The Early Years at VTT - Q&A - Vancouver Talmud Torah

What are your hours?

Since September 2016, VTT has been proud to offer flexibility, choice and longer hours in its early childhood programming. Families can choose from the following options: Preschool Half Day – 3 Years Old (until noon); Preschool Full Day – 3 Years Old (until 3:20; with option to pick up until 4:30, Monday through Thursday); Junior Kindergarten Half Day (until noon); Junior Kindergarten Full Day (until 3:20; with the option to pick up until 4:30, Monday through Thursday). Our Preschool and Junior Kindergarten follow the same Shabbat and holiday dismissal schedule as the rest of the school. When there is an early dismissal for a Jewish holiday, all classes in the early childhood program will also dismiss at 11:25 a.m.

From November through March, school dismisses at 2:20 p.m. for Shabbat. However, parents whose children are enrolled in the full day program have the option to pick up on early dismissal Fridays no later than 3:20 p.m.

What is the teacher-student ratio in your classrooms?

For the full day programs, the ratio is 1:8. For the half-day programs, it is 1:10.

If my child is enrolled in the full day program, can I pick him/her up early?

Your child can be picked up early, as long as it does not interfere with our preschool (3 year old program) nap time (12:45-2:15). 

Can the tuition be adjusted if I’m enrolled in full day, but choose to pick up my child early a couple of days a week?

Regrettably, one is obligated to pay the full tuition regardless of what time you choose to pick up your child. VTT budgets staff time, materials and programming based on numbers of students enrolled.

Can my child attend 3 or 4 days a week instead of the entire 5 days?

No. Our early childhood program is a full week program.

Why do you follow a play-based philosophy?

With many decades of experience running our early childhood department and supported by vast amounts of peer-reviewed research, we are convinced that in the early years children develop, learn, grow and mature best while engaged in play. Through play, children learn how to share, negotiate, problem-solve, self-regulate, think creatively and critically, gain independence, explore, develop fine and gross motor skills and, most importantly, have fun! These are critical life skills. Children have their entire lives to focus on academics; we are committed to helping them learn through play. Every one of our faculty members wholeheartedly embraces this philosophy.

If I enroll my child in the half day three year old program, can I enroll him/her in the full day junior kindergarten the following year?

Priority goes to currently enrolled students. Thus, students attending the full day 3 year old program will get first priority. Next on the list would be those in the half day program wishing to switch to the full day program for Junior Kindergarten. Siblings come next and then community at large has the opportunity to enroll.

Will my child be “missing out” by only attending half day?

Not at all. All the students, be they in half day or full day, will follow the exact same curriculum. For those in the full day program, the length of playtime may be extended and some additional enrichment may be offered. Keep in mind that there will be nap time (or quiet time) in the 3-year old program and the opportunity to do the same in the junior kindergarten in the afternoons. There is an added specialist in the afternoon roster. 

If my child has serious allergies, do I need to worry about lunch time in the full day programs?

If food allergies are an issue, we suggest you send lunch from home and not subscribe to our catered hot lunch program. Teachers are very sensitive to food allergies and are vigilant any time outside food is served. They are trained to monitor situations involving food very carefully.
Will your full day programs operate on early dismissal days, Pro-D days, Jewish holidays and secular holidays?

No. Our early years program will follow the same school schedule and calendar as the rest of the school. It is important we honour our Jewish values and treat all our staff equally with respect to professional development opportunities.

Tell me about your playground.

We are proud of our dedicated early childhood playground space.