The North Vancouver School District is very proud of the StrongStart drop-in program we provide in seven of our elementary schools. Children and their parents or caregivers in our community can access high quality early learning environments and activities offered in the StrongStart centres located at Norgate, Westview, Montroyal, Eastview, Boundary, Lynnmour, and Seymour Heights Elementary Schools.
Our StrongStart facilitators are talented early childhood educators with a deep understanding of the principles and best practices in early childhood development. The types of activities featured in the StrongStart program, including explorative play, artistic expression, nature-‐based learning, snack and circle time, are carefully designed by our facilitators to maximize the engagement and learning of all children, as well as the adults (parents, grandparents, caregivers) who accompany them to the centres.
StrongStart BC Operations Guide, produced by the Ministry of Education, outlines several learning opportunities that are intended to support the important interaction between children and the adults who care for them. These opportunities provide further extensions for play‐based learning supported by adults beyond the StrongStart program. It is therefore critical that adults who accompany children to StrongStart be fully engaged in the activities offered in the centre, and that they interact in meaningful ways with their children (or the children in their care) to enhance their early development and growth.
Adults attending StrongStart BC centres can expect to participate in organized sessions like circle time, in play activities, and in serving a healthy snack. Adults can discover new ways to support the children’s learning at home and may make valuable connections with others attending the centre. (StrongStart Operations Guide, p. 3)
The North Vancouver School District has developed the following guidelines to maximize the benefits of the StrongStart program, and ensure the safety and adequate supervision of all participants:
- All children who attend the StrongStart program must be attended by an adult (parent or caregiver). A maximum of 2 children/adult is permitted. Special consideration may be made for parents/caregivers who have more than 2 children (from the same family) if adequate supervision can be provided. Please speak with the StrongStart facilitator at your centre.
- Parents/caregivers are asked to refrain from using their cell phones while at the StrongStart program. Phones can remain on for emergency purposes, but should not be used for making phone calls, texting, or accessing the Internet.
- Parents/caregivers can take photos of their own children at StrongStart, but should refrain from photographing other children without permission.
- All StrongStart centres are allergen-free environments. Healthy eating and good nutrition are embedded into the program and reflected in the healthy, daily snacks provided by the Strongstart facilitators. Please do not bring your own snacks or treats to the centre unless there is an arrangement made in advance with the facilitator (e.g. special event or birthday).
- For safety reasons, and in accordance with fire regulations, if attendance at the StrongStart reaches a maximum number of participants, facilitators will post a sign outside the door to indicate that the centre is full that day. Please respect these guidelines and arrange to visit the StrongStart centre on another day.
The StrongStart early learning program provides benefits to both children and adults by providing high quality learning experiences and social interactions. The program is designed to foster early child development in a play‐based environment while offering adults important ways to support their child’s learning in the program and at home. We hope these guidelines will enhance the enjoyment of the StrongStart drop in program for everyone.
If you have any questions about these guidelines, or the StrongStart program, please contact your
school's StongStart Facilitator or the Principal.