Government of Manitoba
Children play with Lego on a colourful alphabet rug. A boy who is visually impaired reads a book with raised dots, a precursor to learning to read in Braille. Sand running through the hourglasses fascinates a curious boy. A boy building with blocks greets the class bunny who has hopped over for a visit. A boy gives a thumbs up. A girl plays with colourful shapes on the classroom light-table. A girl counts and orders buttons by size. Two girls balance on a pipe as they look for frogs in a swampy area. Children create their own book illustrations using the “still life” technique. Two girls are paired during a large group activity. A boy builds with interlocking cubes. A girl illustrates her “story”. Three girls practice their letters on individual whiteboards. A boy holds alphabet blocks that spell out PLAY. Young boys explore classroom science materials. A girl using a walker smiles. Three children share a book together." An educator and 4 preschoolers enjoy a small group interaction.

"The first six years of life set the stage for lifelong learning, behaviour, health and well-being."
Dr. J Fraser Mustard

An Action Plan for Science Education in Manitoba

Early Childhood Education

For Educators

Kindergarten in Manitoba

Manitoba’s Kindergarten learning program offers our youngest students a joyful introduction to school through intentional play-based and developmentally appropriate learning experiences that respect children as capable, motivated, and confident learners and that foster children’s health across all developmental domains.

Manitoba Education and Training supports an integrated, child-centred approach to education and learning, recognizing that young children learn through play and through relationships with caring adults and each other.

Today, every school division across Manitoba offers Kindergarten, and most children attend Kindergarten. There are diverse approaches to Kindergarten across Manitoba school divisions. Some Kindergartens operate the full day, every day, while many in rural Manitoba operate the full day, on alternate days. Some operate at 0.6 time, and others have multi-age classes, blending Kindergarten children with younger peers or with those in Grades 1, 2, and 3. However, the majority of Manitoba’s Kindergartens operate half days, five days per week.

Manitoba’s Kindergarten curriculum is outcome-based and organized into six subject areas: arts education, English or French language arts, mathematics, physical education/health education, science, and social studies. English as an additional language is also considered curriculum. Each subject-specific curriculum framework document identifies student learning outcomes. Four required foundation skill areas are also incorporated into the curriculum: literacy and communication, problem solving, human relations, and technology.

Curriculum outcomes are best achieved in Kindergarten environments where principles of developmentally appropriate instructional practices (such as attention to the diversity of learners), child-centredness, purposeful play, and inquiry are the foundation of all learning experiences. Kindergarten teachers facilitate optimal student learning by being reflective practitioners who use planned observation and a range of assessment strategies to provide instruction that is appropriate for each child.

The most relevant child attributes for success in kindergarten are social awareness and social skills such as friendship-making, self-regulation, knowing how to resolve conflicts with other children constructively, the ability to communicate needs, wants and thoughts verbally, and an enthusiastic approach to new activities.

Doherty, Gillian. “Voices from the Field—The Transition into Kindergarten: Building on the Foundation of Prior Experience.” Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. Ed. R. E. Tremblay, R. G. Barr, and R. De V. Peters. Montreal, QC: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, 2004: 1–6.

Nursery School and Junior Kindergarten

Across Manitoba, some school divisions offer a preschool option for four-year-olds. This option may be called junior Kindergarten, K4, nursery school, or prématernelle. The rationale for offering school-based learning for four-year-olds is common across school divisions and is typically seen as an early intervention program and/or as a way to ease children’s transition to Kindergarten and the school experience. Licensed part day nursery schools may also be offered by community organizations and staffed by early childhood educators.