January 2015

December 28, 2014


From the President

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe & happy holidays… and as healthy as could be!

To start with, a few thank you’s to pass along – always a nice way to start things off. First, thank you to everyone who brought things in for New West Family Place. Barb and Natalie (our enrollment coordinator) brought the donations down, and were very warmly welcomed.  Second, thank you to Ron Booth, with the City of New Westminster, for the holiday swim and skate passes he donated to the preschool. Third, a BIG thank you to Jennifer Rhyne (*blushing*) for reprising her role as Newsletter Editor (for the 3rd time!).  Pamela, our former editor, has moved to a role with the GM set up committee, so please stop by to say hi at our January GM.  Finally, thank you so much for the gifts and treats you gave me. It was so generous and so thoughtful!

For our New Years resolution, we will be trying very hard to consolidate our email communication in attempt to reduce the number of emails families receive. There are three main emails that are sent each month… our newsletter, the GM agenda information, and the GM and Executive meeting minutes. In a preschool our size, there are a number of people who need to pass along information, so we are going to try to include as much information in these emails as we can. Do I promise you will never receive another email outside of these three – no (sorry!).  However, hopefully this will not only reduce the number of emails, but also make it easier to find the information you’re looking for.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


preschool newsImportant Information for January!

The first General Meeting for 2015 is on January 6!


Enrollment News

‘Tis the season to begin registration for September 2015!  We have some important upcoming dates to share… both for yourselves and to pass along to friends and family members too!

Open House:
We will be hosting our annual Open House on Thursday, January 29 from 3:00 – 6:00 PM and we would love your help in spreading the word!  This is a great opportunity for families to come, see the school, speak with our Teachers and learn about the amazing programs we offer.  If you know someone who may be looking for preschool for next year, please let them know.

We will also be looking for some help organizing and participating in the open house, so if you love to rave about the preschool… this is your chance!  Let your Teacher know if you’re interested.

Current Members/ Priority Enrollment:
For those families who are current members of the preschool (ie: you have a child currently attending), registration begins Tuesday, January 6 (the evening of the GM). Registration will take place from 6:30 – 7:00 PM, and again during the meeting break.  At this time, you can register a child who is currently attending for the next year, or a sibling who will be entering the preschool for the first time. Please look for the registration form to be attached to the GM meeting agenda emailed out prior to the meeting. Current member families have priority status for a limited time, so please be sure to register early to reserve your place.

In our goal to maintain established peer groups whenever possible, so classes move as a group to the next year-level. For example, the current 3 year old morning class has priority for next year’s 4 year old morning class.  Similarly, the current 3 year old afternoon class has priority for next year’s 4 year old afternoon class. Should you wish to change your class time, please indicate this on your registration form. Changes are determined by priority status and our Teachers always have input into class composition.

Alumni Families:
For those families who have previously attended the preschool (either old siblings, or the parents), but who are not longer current members, registration is Wednesday, February 11 from 7:00 – 7:30 PM.  Alumni families have priority status from February 11 – 13, so please be sure to register on time to reserve your place.

General Registration:
For those families who have never been preschool members.  Registration begins Saturday, February 14 from 8:00 – 11:00 AM and will be ongoing until the classes are filled.

Registration fees for the 2015-2016 preschool year are $100.00 and are due at the time of registration.  Monthly fees will be voted upon by the membership during the May AGM (current fees are $145 for the 3 year old classes and $175 for the 4 year old classes).

Treasuring Art
Every child is different when it comes to art… some are prolific artists, and others only visit the art area from time to time. When you are on art duty we ask that you take a few moments when you are writing children’s name on art to make sure that the child’s name is spelled correctly (please use the name guides if you are not sure). We also ask that, if by mistake, art with another child’s name was put in your child’s mailbox, that you return the art to preschool so that we can pass it on to the correct artist!

When Your Child is Sick
Just a reminder that when your child is sick, please email or call the preschool to let us know. We also ask that if your child has had the flu to keep them home until they have been free of flu symptoms (fever, vomiting, diarrhea) for AT LEAST 24 HOURS. Most children (and adults) would benefit from staying home longer than this as they are often quite susceptible to other germs and illnesses.


 MC900237778Silent Auction News

DATE: Saturday, February 28
TIME: 7:00pm – 11:00pm
PLACE: Glenbrook Park Amenities Centre

It is that time of year again! The QPPS Annual Silent Auction will be Saturday, February 28. And since 2015 seems a great year to change things up, we are very excited that this year’s auction will be held at the Glenbrook Park Amenities Centre, a gorgeous hall right in our own neighbourhood, just a 2 minute drive from the preschool. The Silent Auction Team is busy working to make it a very memorable and fun night full of food, music, drinks and great company.

What do you have to do right now?
Keep an eye on your child’s box, during the first week of January you will be receiving a family donation form (it is mandatory that every family donate to the auction). Please fill out this form carefully so that the Special Event Team can correctly price and sort your item. Now you might be asking…what can you donate? Gift certificates, gift baskets, hand crafted items, services, or any type of new item are all great ideas. If you are unsure, please ask any member of the Special Event Team.

Traditionally the evening ends with a very lively Live Auction where some of the larger donations are auctioned off. If you have an item, or service that you think would work well for this, please contact Christina at fundraising@qpps.ca.

Tickets for the Silent Auction will be distributed first week of February, every family will be given 2 tickets. If by some chance you are unable to use your tickets, please return them to Christina (Delia, 3am). If you have friends or family who would like to attend the event, additional tickets will be available for purchase on a first come first serve basis.

We are looking forward to a great Silent Auction!

Fundraising Update

Thank you to everyone for your AWESOME fundraising support this year! Thanks to you, we have not had to worry about meeting our fundraising quotas this year. Only one reminder this month: Adams Meat Pies order forms will be at the sign in/out area at the preschool. They are due on January 22 and will be delivered at the February 3 meeting.

kirstenParent Education

These are a going to be a great couple of months for parent education so… for the January and February workshops, we have a limited number of tickets available to family, friends or alumni who are not currently QPPS members.  Tickets are $10/each and must be reserved ahead of time with Tasha (contact info below). Also, in honour of our January speaker – this month’s recipe on the left side bar of the newsletter is a great snack!

In January:

Kristen Yarker will join us for a presentation on “Snacking Secrets”.  Child-feeding expert Kristen (MSc, RD) helps Moms and Dads support their picky eaters to try new foods on their own (without being forceful or sneaky).  A speaker, author, and dietitian, Kristen is a picky eater turned food-lover herself.  Her passion: enjoy healthy eating (from the very first bite).  Since 2008 she has been working with families to provide good nutrition for their kids today…and, instill a LOVE of food that lasts a lifetime.  Check out her website at www.kristenyarker.com.

Topic for Workshop:  Snacking Secrets (2 – 5 years)

Plan healthy snacks that your child will eat (without ruining their dinner!) Do you struggle to find a balance between providing quick, convenient, healthy snacks and serving real family meals?  In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to use snacks to help your child to eat a balanced diet
  • How to use snacks to encourage your child to eat a variety of foods
  • How to use snacks to help your child build food-confidence

In February

Dawnn Whittaker, founder and senior sleep consultant with Cheeky Chops (www.cheekychops.ca) will present a child sleep seminar that will address sleep issues with a variety of ages.

If you have any questions or comments about parent education, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tasha. Here are her deets:

Tasha Murray
QPPS Parent Education Coordinator
phone 604-526-5527

10190175001_3763476146001_PalmTreeCards-HERO-FullFun and Gorgeous Thank You Cards

If you aspire every year to get thank you cards out after the holidays,here is a fun (and beautiful) craft project you could do with your little one – there is a video to help! All you need is some paint and your preschooler’s hand. Fingers crossed we can get around to making some of these!



Safety Advice

A safety concern that the teachers have spoken about is choking. As a gentle reminder to families please encourage your children to sit while eating or drinking while at the preschool. No child should ever be left unattended while eating snacks or lunch. Here are some safety reminders around choking and strangulation prevention.

Safety: Something to think about! Injury is the leading cause of death and disability for children in Canada. Every year, more children die as a result of injury than any other childhood disease. The sad part is that most childhood injuries are predictable and preventable. Two common injuries that occur in infants and young children are choking and strangulation.

Preventing Choking:

Babies and small children are at particular risk for choking because they like to put things in their mouths. Here are a few safety prevention tips to help you select safe toys and safeguard your home to prevent choking in young children.

  • Buy toys with safety in mind! Follow the age recommendations on toy packaging, even if you believe your child is more advanced. Many toys have small pieces that are a choking hazard, especially for children under 3 years of age.
  • Think BIG when buying toys for infants and toddlers. To prevent choking, buy toys that are bigger than the child’s fist. Inspect all toys to make sure there are no small parts that could break off and be choked on.
  • Teach children how to use the toy properly. Rather than simply giving your child the toy or supervising the activity, play with your child.
  • Teach children to put toys safely away after playing. Make sure that toys that are meant for younger children are stored separately from those for older children. Periodically check through toys to make sure they haven’t become unsafe through wear and tear. Fix or throw away toys that have become unsafe.
  • Avoid latex balloons. Whole balloon or balloon pieces can cause a child to choke. Never allow a child to play with a balloon without adult supervision.
  • Keep sharp items such as safety pins, wall tacks, paper clips and nails out of reach. Sharp items can do serious damage if swallowed.
  • Avoid tiny or hard foods such as peanuts or hard candies for young children. Round foods like hot dogs and grapes should be pureed or cut lengthwise.
  • Teach children to never put coins in their mouths. Don’t leave change lying around. Children often mistake coins for candy.
  • Ensure buttons and other decorative items are fastened securely to the garment. These items can cause choking if swallowed or inhaled.

Preventing Strangulation:

Because they lack coordination and upper body strength, babies and small children are less able to untangle themselves if caught up in cords or to pull themselves up if hanging by cords or clothing. As a result, their risk for strangulation is higher.

  • Keep blind and drapery cords securely out of reach. Place the child’s crib so that it is out of reach of windows with blinds or drapes (at least one arm length away).
  • Remove drawstrings from the hoods, waists and bottoms of children’s jackets and other garments. Drawstrings can get caught in car, bus doors or on playground equipment.
  • Choose garments with “break-away” hoods rather than fixed hoods. Fixed hoods pose a risk of strangulation.
  • Never allow skipping ropes, string or bicycle helmets on playground equipment.
  • Tuck in the loose ends of scarves. Long scarves are a strangulation hazard.


Choking or strangulation can be life threatening for people of all ages and requires a quick and effective response. Knowing what to do can save a life. Call your local St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross office to find out how you can acquire the skills you need to perform artificial respiration, choking response skills and CPR.

fingerpainting_kid3-Year Old Class Information

It is difficult to believe we are nearing the half year mark for the preschool year! We wish to thank all of the families for sharing this playful journey with us. Every week Jenny and Donna are discovering new things about one another and about the children in our classrooms. Our programming remains ever evolving as Jenny and Donna work closely together to meet the needs and interests of all of the children in our 3’s classes.  From Preschool In The Park, Thanksgiving, Soup Day, Halloween, Pizza Day, Photo Day and Christmas celebrations and all the days in between, we are slowly but surely building trusting relationships and growing friendships.

January will certainly be another fun filled month of learning through play for all of us. Stay tuned for arts, crafts, dress up and literature based on themes of Pete The Cat, pirates, and perhaps even erupting volcanoes! Jenny and Donna are planning another cooking day with the children as well as engaging our groups in helping make play dough in the class room. Music and Movement will become a more significant presence in our preschool day beginning in the new year!

Throughout the past few months our 3’s have shown us that a favourite activity is manipulating play dough and other tactile materials. We have also explored “ghost” dough, “frozen” goop and of course salt dough and cinnamon dough.  We wanted to share with you a wonderful recipe for homemade fingerpaint. Please try to make this at home with your little ones.

Here is the recipe (this recipe is easily doubled or tripled for bigger groups):

Homemade Finger Paint

1/4 cup of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of water.
food coloring or a little washable paint if you are concerned about staining.

Food color will stain hands/ clothes if not washed right away but the experience of making paint from scratch was worth pink hands for a few hours. You may not want to do this with nice clothes on or before family pictures. The alternative is to use some tempera paint in the place of the food coloring.

Donna is looking forward to sharing circle time with Jenny. Up until now Jenny has exclusively led the group circle times while Donna sat back observing and supporting quietly from the sideline. Both Jenny and Donna agree that she is ready and willing to step in and take part in leading story and songs alongside Jenny. This will be new for the children and duty parents! Thank you for helping support our group circle and story times so that it is an enjoyable and positive experience for everyone. A very important part of parent participation is actively supporting the teachers during group time on the carpet.

In the spirit of collaboration, friendship, and learning together!

Happy New Year and all the best to you and yours!

From Teacher Jenny and Teacher Donna

melting-ice-md4-Year Old Class Information

Welcome back to preschool! We hope that you all had a restful and fun-filled break! We want to thank all the families for the thoughtful gifts and cards that were given to us before the holidays.

As you arrive back at preschool during the first week, please give yourself and your child a few extra minutes at drop-off time. Sometimes after a break everyone needs a little bit of “warm-up” time to remember routines and feel comfortable. As soon as your child is “back in the swing of things”, we encourage you to work towards a bit more independence with them by saying goodbye at the door or at their cubbies, and then allowing them to do the handwashing/shoe routine on their own. If it is cold and snowy, please make sure that your child has cold weather gear (snow pants/coat, mittens, hat), so that he/she can play out in the snow.

Before the break we had noticed that many of the children loved the train station as well as building various kinds of towers and bridges. We will expand the train station and explore this more by looking at mapping (asking questions like “Where can we go on the train?”) and creating “mazes” using the overhead projector. We also plan to provide various materials to construct cities and roads together. We have built incredible structures with large blocks, so we will add small blocks, paper and cardboard and magnets. As it is the colder time of year we will also have ice  to build and play with. Please help us with this project by bringing in ice (frozen in any kind of plastic recycled container) as our preschool freezer can only hold so much ice! We look forward to showing you the structures and cities that are created!

Things to Remember:

  • First day back at preschool is January 5 2015
  • Please bring in ice frozen in various recycled plastic containers.

We wish you all a Happy New Year as well,

From Teacher Barb and Teacher Eleanor



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