Preschool programs

Preschool programs
There are many preschool programs available. For more information, visit your local Family Centre, school board or CSSS. Here are a few.

There are many preschool programs available. For more information, visit your local Family Centre, school board or CSSS. Here are a few.


Giving each child an equal chance for success. This program is currently offered in 45 school boards, and over 10,000 families benefit from it each year. The program’s mission is twofold: supporting parents in helping their children succeed and fostering a harmonious transition into school.

The program runs from September to June and offers 4-year-olds and their families a minimum of 8 sessions with parents and 16 with children. “The preferred formula is to meet with the child and his or her parents, but each school board may vary the formula according to their needs. For example, the Val-des-Cerfs school board offers 8 parent-child sessions lasting 2 hours each. During the second hour, the children go off alone with an educator to explore their future school while parents follow a workshop with a moderator, who offers tips on academic achievement, parenting and raising children,” explains Chantal Hamel, preschool education consultant and Passe-Partout moderator.

Parents looking for more information can contact their local school. The Commission scolaire de Montréal doesn’t offer this program; however, it does offer the 4-Year-Old Kindergarten program in several neighbourhoods. (The list is available on the CSDM website).

Accès à l’école

Since 2004, the Accès à l’école program has been offered in 2 of Montreal’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods (Côte-des-Neiges and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve). The result of a partnership between schools and social pediatric centres, the program targets 3-year-olds to facilitate their transition to 4-year-old kindergarten. The goal is to create a relationship between the parents, the school and the various partners, to familiarize families with their local school, and to better prepare children, parents and teachers for school, as well as to intervene quickly with children experiencing difficulties.

The children go to the school with their parents twice for an observation meeting as well as to talk and get tips from staff. Following these 2 meetings, if children are deemed not completely ready, they are referred to a 13-day educational summer camp to get them used to interacting in a group and familiarizing them with the school’s layout. This program is currently in place in 14 schools.

“We’ve noticed that, when school finally starts, there are fewer tears, since children recognize their classrooms, see familiar faces, and so on. Parents feel a lot more engaged, and the program also allows us to screen possible learning difficulties ahead of time,” explains Cantin, who participated in evaluating the program.

Hailed as a success, the program is gaining momentum, and 5-year-old kindergartens may even implement it.


The Centre de Psycho-Éducation du Québec offers the Brindami program for daycares. The program targets social skills and self-control skills, and provides educators with tools to lead child-friendly workshops with a puppet named Brindami to children aged 0 to 5. Brindami currently offers 16 workshops on 4 different themes.

Jeux d’enfants

TheJeux d’enfants program focuses on easy pre-reading and pre-writing skills learning, as well as language development. It also fosters the acquisition of other socialization skills, emotional and cognitive development, notions of space and motor skills.

Well-liked by parents of young children, the material for Jeux d’enfants is also used in CPEs (early childhood centres). Training is offered through the Department of Continuing Education and Services to Business at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme.

  • Being ready for school involves the development of the whole child, which is acquired through everyday experiences.
  • Your child’s games and initiatives are great opportunities to slip in some learning.
  • Stimulate your child’s curiosity and make learning fun by suggesting a variety of different games.
  • Boys need their fathers to read stories to them.
  • The home environment plays the largest role in the development of a child.