Everything you need to know about kindergarten registration in Anglophone East, all in one place, with tips from a mama who has been there a few times!
It’s that time of year again – when parents across the province realize just how old their babies are!
New Brunswick schools hold Kindergarten registration in October the year before your little one begins school – which may seem a little early, but there are lots of great reasons, including giving you lots of time to feel ready for the big changes ahead.
Here are some of the basic things you need to know:
In New Brunswick, students go to school in the year during which they turn five. So if your child will turn five by December 31, 2020, you register in October 2019.
If your child will be four on September 1 of the year they are allowed to begin school, you can hold them back to the next fall. (This is sometimes called ‘red shirting’ your child. I don’t have personal experience with this, but my friend Jennifer wrote an interesting opinion piece a few years ago about her experience.)
You can NOT send a child to school earlier than age five (January 1st, 2013 babies have to wait a whole year compared to December 31, 2012 babies, for example), no matter how ready you think they are.
You can find these policies online.
If you miss the October registration push, contact the school your child will attend as soon as possible. You CAN register later in the year, but the earlier you can, the better, as there are lots of preparation events that are helpful for parents – and it makes it easier for the schools to figure out things like class size and busing.
When you register, you’ll be asked to provide your child’s birth certificate, medicare card, immunization records, and proof of your residence (a copy of your phone bill, etc – something with your address on it). There are some forms to fill out: you can find them on the Department of Education’s website and are asked to have them filled out in advance.
One of the reasons to register in October is to allow you and your family to become familiar with the school.
In the Anglophone East district (Southeastern New Brunswick), registration for 2020 takes place at your school beginning October 15, 2019, between 9am and 3pm on weekdays. To register, simply visit the school. You can bring the forms with you already filled out, or ask for a copy at the school.
Not sure what school you should be at to register? You can find out online. (The search is a little picky, so be patient and read the instructions; for example, it didn’t work when I typed out ‘road’ because it wanted ‘rd.’)
After registration, parents/guardians are invited to an Information Session to help the adults learn about what else is planned over the year to help transition to school, as well as to give you some activities you can do with your child to help prepare them for Kindergarten.
Your child will be expected to spend time one-on-one with an educator to try to determine what areas they have mastered already and what areas they could focus on to be ready for Kindergarten. This is done by an Early Years Developmental Assessment (EYE-DA), which is administered by an educator from Family and Early Childhood Anglophone East on behalf of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The EYE-DA sessions take place shortly after registration; you often find out the date when you fill out the registration forms as the school.
These assessments take into consideration your child’s age at the time, as well as how comfortable they appear to be with the educator. The EYE-DA takes about 45 minutes to complete. Children play and talk and are not meant to feel like they are being tested. The goal of the EYE-DA is to help you understand any areas in which your child could use help to prepare them for the transition to Kindergarten. Don’t think of this as a test, for either your child or yourself. It’s meant to be fun for the kids and give you some guidance on areas you might want to work on before they head off in September.
In the winter, both parents/guardians and children are invited to take part in a school-based event, where children receive a bag full of learning goodies – books, scissors, activity sheets, etc – that again can help prepare them for the fall. Sessions are held at schools and at local libraries. This generally lasts about an hour.
Being registered for school also means that you will receive notification from your school about the annual Kindergarten Orientation day. You and your child will spend a portion of a school day in the Kindergarten classrooms with the teachers in the Spring. Again, these dates are generally shared at registration and available online.
It’s always great to make sure your child’s eyes and ears have been checked before beginning school. There is a program through the province that can help pay for eye exams and glasses, if you do not have coverage and make below a certain income. This program also covers visits to the dentist.
Looking for practical tips for preparing your child for Kindergarten?
I’ve got you covered. Don’t stress about the alphabet and whether they know yet what two plus two equals. Make sure they can handle the emotional stuff, like going to the bathroom on their own and speaking up when they need to. The rest will fall into place! Read the full list of practical tips here!
Thinking about homeschooling?
There are lots of local families who choose this route, for various reasons. One thing to know: you still need to register! Find out the details here.
Those are the major points, folks. Let us know if there’s more information you’re looking for, and we’ll do our best to find you some answers! Until then, good luck!
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