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Early Learning


at Red Deer Public Schools

The Pre-Kindergarten application form for the 2024-2025 school year is now available. Applying for the program is a two-step process where the first step is to pay a $30 application fee for NEW applications (NOT for students returning for a second year), and the second step is to complete the 2024-2025 Pre-K application form. You will first need to create a Guest Account in our Rycor financial program to make your payment by credit card, or VISA/Mastercard Debit. Click This Link for instructions on how to create the Guest Account in Rycor. Once you have created your account choose the Link for the Pre-K Application form. If you already have a Rycor account set up please complete the Google Pre-K Application form HERE to proceed with the application process. **Please Note: If you require an alternative method of payment or have questions in regard to the $30 application fee, please call 403-342-3703.

The Pre-Kindergarten early learning programs at Red Deer Public Schools offer inclusive programming designed to increase communication, socialization and foster a love of school for children of all needs and abilities. Our classrooms provide welcoming, play-based learning environments that value the importance of family and allow young children to: 

  • stimulate curiosity, foster creativity and encourage critical thinking

  • enhance communication, social, and emotional skills

  • develop gross and fine motor skills

  • develop greater independence and problem solving skills

  • foster a sense of belonging and well being

All early learning classrooms feature:

  • programming by a certified teacher

  • emergent curriculum

  • small class settings with low child to adult ratio

  • literacy rich environments

  • learning through play

  • Individual Support Plans (ISPs) which are developed in collaboration with parents as required

  • additional support through contracted services that may include Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Psychologist. Enhanced services for Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI), and Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)

Three Year Old Programming 

A limited number of spots are available for three year old children born between January 1 and December 31, 2021 who have met criteria for Early Intervention Support. Criteria to qualify may include:

  • severe delay diagnosed by a qualified professional in at least one of the following areas of language development: receptive, expressive, severe communication delay

  • severe physical impediments to normal development and learning. (i.e., deafness, blindness)

  • medical diagnosis provided by a qualified professional (ie: down syndrome, autism)

Our play-based intervention classrooms for three year old children are overseen by a Certified Teacher and an Early Childhood Educator. These programs run in the mornings for 2 hours and 30 minutes, Monday through Thursday.

Three year old programs are currently located at:

  • G.W. Smith Elementary School (maximum 8 spots)

  • Joseph Welsh Elementary School (maximum 8 spots)

  • Partners in Play (maximum 12 spots)

    • taught by a team of Speech and Language Pathologists and overseen by a Red Deer Public Schools certified teacher.

    • specializing in early intervention for severe language delays

    • fee of $200 per month  

Contact Student Services at 403-342-3703 for information regarding whether your child may qualify for this program.

Four Year Old Program

We accept applications for all children born between January 1 and December 1, 2020. Children with Severe, Moderate or Mild language delays are eligible to receive funded spots in the program while children with no delays may also be considered at a cost of $200 per month.

Four year old programing runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes per day, Monday through Thursday. 

Four year old early learning classrooms are currently located at:

  • G. W. Smith Elementary School (AM or PM)

  • Joseph Welsh Elementary School (AM or PM)

  • Mountview Elementary School (PM only)

  • Normandeau School (AM or PM)

  • West Park Elementary School (AM or PM)

Eligibility and Program Fees

Families are asked to complete an Application Form to express interest in Pre-Kindergarten. This helps our Early Learning team screen applications and determine eligibility for the program. There is a non-refundable application fee of $30. Once enough interest is expressed, Ashley Paolinelli, the Coordinator of the program, will call all applicants to let them know if they have been accepted into the Pre-Kindergarten program or not. Children who are 4 years of age may be accepted for a monthly fee of $200. 

Funding from Alberta Education (Program Unit Funding/PUF) is provided for children whose learning is impacted as a result of identified severe, moderate, or mild delays based on documentation provided by a licensed professional. For more information regarding Program Unit Funding (PUF), call the Student Services department at 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When can I apply for Pre-Kindergarten?

A: Applications are accepted beginning on Janury 15th for children to attend beginning in September of the following school year.

Q: How old must my child be to attend Pre-Kindergarten?

A: Four year old programming serves children who are four years of age by December 31st. Three year old programming serves children who are three years of age by September 1st and have identified severe developmental delays.

Q: Is there a fee for Pre-Kindergarten?

A: If your child is identified as having moderate or severe delays and qualifies for the PUF Grant through Alberta Education, there is no program fee. 

Q: Can my child attend Pre-Kindergarten if they don't have any delays?

A: Children without learning delays may be considered for the program at a cost of $200 per month.

Q:  Will my child qualify for the Alberta Child Care Subsidy?

A:  Only children enrolled in a licensed preschool program can qualify for the Child Care subsidy. Public schools are not eligible.

Q:  Will my child be eligible for transportation?

A: No, Pre-Kindegarten age children are too young to ride the school bus. Families are responsible for getting their child to and from the school.

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