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Administrative Procedure 210: Early Childhood Services

Early Childhood Services (ECS) programs shall address the developmental needs of each child. Where such programs are offered by the division, an integrated model of services involving staff, parents and the community will be utilized.

  1. Early Childhood Services (ECS) programs provide services to address the developmental needs of children before they enter Grade 1. In ECS programs, young children participate as active partners in learning, build a set of shared experiences and develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare them for subsequent learning. ECS programs provide additional support for children with special needs to assist them in reaching their full learning potential.
  2. Kindergarten means one component of the total ECS program funded by Alberta Education and refers to the year immediately prior to Grade 1.
  3. Preschool refers to the year immediately prior to kindergarten.
  4. Children whose special education needs are severe may be eligible for an ECS program for three (3) years prior to Grade 1 entry. Children who have mild or moderate special education needs may be eligible for an ECS program for two (2) years prior to Grade 1 entry. Alberta Education funds these early intervention years for children with assessed special education needs.
  5. Special education needs means a child with mild, moderate or severe disabilities who is assessed as having a mild, moderate or severe cognitive disability, visual impairment, learning disability, hearing impairment, emotional/behavioural disability or a child who is gifted. All children with special education needs require an individualized program plan (IPP).
  6. The ECS program will adhere to the beliefs, principles, goals and program dimensions as set out in the current Alberta Education Program Statement.
  7. Enrolment in ECS programs is voluntary.
  8. Children who are five (5) years old on or before December 31 will be eligible for kindergarten programs.
  9. A variety of program models (full-day, half-day and/or home-based program) may be available depending on the needs of the child and the community and resources available.
  10. Where ECS programs are offered by the division, students are considered as enrolled students for budgeting purposes and as such are part of the whole school’s budget process.
  11. Evaluations of child participation in the ECS program shall address the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth of each child. Progress reports will be made periodically to the parent.
  12. For placement of children with assessed special education needs, Administrative Procedure 201 – Student Program Placement shall apply.
  13. The programs for children with special needs, including those who have severe disabilities, shall be organized in accordance with Administrative Procedure 213 – Inclusive Education.

Education Act
Early Learning and Child Care Regulation