Preschool Education is a distinct program in Québec Elementary Education. The Preschool mandate is developmental rather than instructional. Preschool is meant “to serve as a rite of passage […]; to foster children’s overall development […]; and to lay the social and cognitive groundwork that will prepare children for their future schooling […].” This has a profound effect on how and what children learn in Kindergarten.
Teaching and Learning Tools
Find materials and practical illustrations of classroom practices through documents and videos.
Projects and Learning Situations
Projects and learning situations provide a way allow children to draw from their world of play and their life experience. These are purposeful, meaningful, and challenging situations and they engage all aspects of learning: psychomotor, emotional, social, language, cognitive and methodological. Go to page
Observation, Evaluation and Reporting Tools
In preschool, observation is the favored means of evaluation. Here you’ll find the what, when and how to observe as well as report card inserts that take into account the requirements of preschool education reporting.
Evaluation and reporting on competency development
Various reports, written communication examples, and competency-based grids are available.
- First written communication Download
- Example of a report card insert Download
- English and French Second Language Progress Report Download
- 4-Year-Old Kindergarten: Competency-based Observation Grid Download
The Kindergarten Development Profile (KDP)
"Observation is the favored means of evaluation: it fosters and respects the learning process and focuses on the children's attitudes, behaviours, processes, strategies, and productions." The KDP is an authentic assessment tool that teachers can use to help observe and track their student's progress in an ongoing manner.
- Competency 1: Performs Sensorimotor Actions Download
- Competency 2: Affirms his/her Personality Download
- Competency 3: Interacts Harmoniously with Others Download
- Competency 4: Communicates Using the Resources of Language Download
- Competency 5: Constructs his/ her Understanding of the World Download
- Competency 6: Completes an activity or project Download
The KDP was designed by a team of Quebec Preschool educators and consultants. Learn how it can be used as an authentic assessment tool to help track a student's progress in an ongoing manner and how it can be used to assist teachers in providing differentiated learning for all their students.
Literacy was once known simply as the ability to read and write. Today, it’s about being able to make sense of and engage in advanced reading, writing, listening and speaking. See how to target literacy development to involve these many facets in a variety of natural, spontaneous, as well as planned situations. Go to page
See the Quebec Reading Connection to find Kindergarten book suggestions for ELA and ESL Go to site
English and French Second Language Learners
Second language learners in our schools are of two types: children whose first language is not English, English Language Learners (ELL), and children whose first language is not French, French second Language Learners (FSL). View videos illustrating the phases of language acquisition and get practical information and support resources. Go to page
Mathematics and numeracy
Mathematics games and activities can be done in natural, spontaneous and playful situations. Here are such activities to develop numeracy, both in English and French as well as videos illustrating the what learning can be observed in the different learning contexts created when implementing these activities.
Mathematics Through Play in Kindergarten
A set of 36 activities with reproducible materials to help teachers develop numeracy through natural, spontaneous and playful activities. They cover 6 areas of numeracy development: mastering the counting sequence; identifying, writing and representing numbers; associating a numeral with the number of objects in a collection; developing the ordinal sense of numbers, composing and decomposing numbers into their parts; classifying and recognizing/making patterns.
- Mathematics through play in Kindergarten: Activities Download
- Mathematics through play in Kindergarten: Reproducible material Download
- Mathematics graphic organizer: Making predictions Download
- Mathematics graphic organizer: Reflection Download
Activités et matériel en français
Voici des activités et du matériel reproductible en français pour développer la numératie chez les élèves de la maternelle.
- Repérer et développer les compétences numériques des élèves au préscolaire : banque d'activités
- Éveil aux mathématiques : activités d’apprentissage et matériel reproductible. Activités créées par des enseignantes de la CS Saint-Hyacinthe Go to site
Robotics in Kindergarten
If you’d like to implement a robotics project in your classroom, you will find here all the materials, instructions and printable resources you need. As well, videos illustrate how you could organise the implementation in your classroom and suggests related learning activities before, during and after. Go to page
Special Needs and At-Risk students in Kindergarten: Teacher Toolkit
Learn to work with special-needs and at-risk students or simply with problem situations in your class the same way experienced special-needs teachers do. Get help to clarify the problem, find practical ideas about what to do, and document your interventions like a pro and begin the process of requesting support for a child if needed. Go to page
Shared Resources from the Field
Preschool educators are always creating and collecting materials and ideas. Here are some resources shared by colleagues.
Here are a few suggestions and ways to organize and manage your classroom.
- Easy Cooperative Learning Structures for Kindergarten Students
Four cooperative learning strategies that are well adapted to Kindergarten.
Author: Terri Saba, EMSB consultant Download
- Classroom Organisation
Information about basic routines, the physical environment and other classroom considerations. Go to site
Children’s Books and Literature
Here are a few books you can download.
- Books to Support Transitions Download
- Books for Art in the Classroom Download
- Book and Songs to Support English Language Learning Download
- Books and Songs on the Theme of Robots Download
- Books to Support Emotional Development Download
- Books to Support Social Development Download
- Quebec Reading Connection Go to site
Provides information about an extensive selection of quality literature from Quebec, Canada and beyond. Although no links are made to the Preschool curriculum, advanced search allows you to choose K as a level.
- Livres Ouverts Go to site
- Share your favourite book lists. If you have a facourite collection of your own, we'll be happy to post it here. Contact us
Templates, Organisers, Printable Materials
Browse and download various portfolio tools, activity suggestions, and reproducibles.
- Portfolio Reflection Printables
Use them to support children's reflection after an activity or project and then include it in the child's portfolio. Editable in .doc format. Download
- Home Activities
Weekly send-home sheets that invite the parents to do "homework activities" with their child. They are quite different from the "fill-in the blanks/write on the line" ones that are sometimes used. They target Competencies 4 and 5 while showing parents how they can support their child's development in simple ways. Editable in .doc format. Download
- Mathematics Activities Reproducible Material
These materials are made to go with "Mathematics Through Play in Kindergarten" but can be useful in a variety of other mathematics activities. Download
- Project Graphic Organisers and Reflection Tools
For Robotics and other contexts Download
- Cognitive Development (Competency 5):
Graphic Organisers and Reflection Tools Download
- Development of Work Methods (Competency 6):
Graphic Organisers and Reflection Tools Download
- Four-year-old Kindergarten Illustrated Portfolio dividers Download
- Share your favourite resource
Do you know something we don't? Do you have a resource - books, CDs, sites, articles, documents, or your very own good activity or project idea? Please let your colleagues know. Just contact us to tell us about it.
See Kindergarten children in action, immerse yourself in the practices of preschool education and learn more about the many aspects of your profession.
Kindergarten Competencies in Action: Videos
Observation is the favoured means of evaluation for preschool education. When children are observed in natural situations and in different learning contexts, we can see a rich variety of behaviours, attitudes, processes, strategies and productions related to the competencies. Here are video clips that bring our program to life by showing examples of typical observations that meet them.
Psychomotor Development – Competency 1
Developmental Quick Reference Guides for competencies 1 to 5 Download
Learning and Play in Kindergarten
Play is considered to be so essential to healthy development that the United Nations has recognized it as a specific right for all children. Why is it so important? What do children learn through play? And mostly, what do we mean by play?
- To Play or not to Play? Author Kim McGrath Download
- Observing Children's Development Through Symbolic Play Download
- On the LEARN Blog: Enter K – Exit Play? Go to site
Additional Information on Play-based Learning
Play is of such importance for learning in young children that many organisations, education ministries, and academics invest time and resources in providing information and training for educators. Here are some of our favourites.
- The Role of Play in the Overly-Academic Classroom
A seven-minute video.
Highlight: A cogent plea for making play the central feature in the Kindergarten environment while showing many examples of children at play. Go to site
- The power of play
An extensive collection of resources, including posters and advertising campaign materials by the Newfoundland and Labrador department of Education.
Highlight: Provides what you need to inform (and convince!) parents and colleagues about the need to play in your classroom.
Go to site
- Policy Statement on Play-Based Learning
A statement by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.
Highlight: It recommends that educators be deliberate and purposeful in creating play-based learning environments — because when children are playing, children are learning. Download
- The Worksheet Dilemma: Benefits of Play-Based Curricula
An article highlighting what is involved in the cognitive, emotional, physical development and social development of the child.
Highlight: It provides examples of how to show evidence of learning without using worksheets. Go to site
- Let the children play
A synopsis prepared by the Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre.
Highlight: Why play should be valued, how to facilitate it, what conditions are needed to put and what lessons educators, parents and the community can take away from this. Download
- Play as Curriculum
An article defining play and types of play.
Highlight: Good synopsis that reinforces the active role of the teacher in shaping and supporting the play environment. Go to site
Questions about Preschool Education
Questions and issues submitted by teachers. Answers were provided by school board and ministry consultants.
- Should children be playing still in kindergarten?
In fact, this brings up 5 questions often encountered by preschool educators: What is play? What are its benefits? Is it really needed? Haven’t they played enough in daycare? Shouldn’t we focus on learning to read and write earlier?
- Are teachers allowed to plan a progressive entry for kindergarten?
Provisions that allow implementation of progressive entry at the beginning of the Preschool year are now included (in annex) in the teachers’ collective agreement. The main objective of progressive entry is to help the children bond with their teacher.
- Should my expectations for a K child be subordinate to the expectations of the cycle 1 teacher?
What should your expectations be for a Kindergarten child at the end of a school year? Should they be the same as those of any other K teacher or should they be subordinate to the expectations of the cycle 1 teacher(s) in your school
- What is the difference between kindergarten and daycare?
That's a question that all kindergarten teachers have had to answer at one point or another. Although often phrased differently, this question targets the specific nature of kindergarten, its mandate, the learning done by children and the role of the teacher.
- Preschool teaching time is less than Elementary teaching time. How does that affect preschool children?
Teaching time at elementary has gone up from 23h30 to 25 hours a week. Even though pre-school time was not increased, this change has a direct impact on K children since they often now also have de facto increased school presence time.
- Why should a Preschool educator be concerned with the school's Standards and Procedures?
Should a preschool teacher be asked to sit on the Standards and Procedure committee? What do standards and procedures have to do with preschool education?
Evaluation in Preschool Education
Evaluation and reporting in Preschool
Evaluation and reporting in Preschool have their particular requirements which are in line with the Preschool Education Program’s specificity. Thirteen video clips and their accompanying support documents explain all aspects of evaluation in Preschool Education Go to page
Pedagogical Documentation: Videos
Pedagogical documentation is a process for documenting children's experiences and studying what children reveal about their views of the world. Watch the following video clips and read the research brief to reflect on your practices and think about ways to make children's questions, ideas, and learning visible. Go to site
The "Kindergarten" Video Series
To obtain the 2-set DVDs
Each Québec school board has received a set of 2 DVDs which they are allowed to reproduce.Please contact the consultant in your board who holds the Preschool education dossier.
About the videos
The videos in this series provide information on the practices that foster acquisition of the Program’s six competencies. They can serve as catalysts during group meetings to facilitate discussion and thereby enable teachers to re-examine their pedagogical practices. They also provide an interesting way of familiarizing Elementary, Cycle One teachers with the Preschool Education Program.
The workshop guides are meant to help present and animate group reflection and discussion about the practices in Preschool Education while viewing the videos.
- Workshop Guide - Preschool Education Program (2.4 Mo) Download
- Workshop Guide 2 - Emergent Literacy (1.8 Mo) Download
- Workshop Guide 3 - Emergent Mathematics (1.5 Mo) Download
- Workshop Guide 4 - Sharing Practices with Christiane (1.6 Mo) Download
- Workshop Guide 5 - Learning Through Play (1.3 Mo) Download
- Workshop Guide 6 - Science and Technology (1.2 Mo) Download
- Workshop Guide 7 - Information and Communications Technologies (538 ko) Download
Visit some of the professional associations via their web sites.
- AEPQ Site de l’association
Highlight: Pour ses congrès annuel en novembre, sa Revue Préscolaire, et ses formations régionales. Go to site
- Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development
An extensive web site.
Highlight: Great source of documentation to improve our knowledge of the social and emotional development of young children. Go to site
- Québec Provincial Association of Teachers
Association web site.
Highlight: Their November Conference Go to site
- Reading for the Love of It
The association web site.
Highlight: Their annual conference. Go to site
MEES Program Documents
Official program and program related documents published by the Québec Ministry of Education
Québec Education - Preschool Education
Preschool Education Program (Chapter 4 of the QEP) Download
Preschool education program in a table Download
Framework for the Evaluation of Learning – Preschool Download
General Education in the Youth sector - Yearly Directives Go to site
Adapting Our Schools to the Needs of All Students: Policy on Special Education Download
Individualized Education Plans: Helping Students Achieve Success – Interactive forms Download
Québec Education - 4 Year-Old Kindergarten
Preschool Education Program for 4-Year-Olds Download