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What makes Vancouver Child Study Centre unique?

  • With three ECE-certified teachers, our preschool program (3-5 year olds) has one of the best teacher-student ratios in the area

  • Our Anchor program (2 year olds), which is facilitated by Dr. Christianne Hayward, PhD, is unlike any other in the city

  • We have an onsite playground that was custom-built for preschool-aged children, which allows us to nurture a strong relationship with nature and encourage outdoor play

  • Our enrichment opportunities include field trips and in-class guest experts

  • We prepare fresh, healthy snacks that we serve family-style every day. We use predominantly organic ingredients that are always nut-free and accommodate dietary restrictions.

A history spanning more than half a century

Our licensed preschool is a well-loved and deeply rooted Reggio-inspired centre celebrating over 50 years of inspiration.

At VCSC, education is an enriching experience. Our core values prioritize play as essential to the authentic development of children. We offer an innovative and fun loving learning environment dedicated to child focused exploration, creativity and collaboration. Our school is an inclusive and vibrant place where children, parents, teachers and the community grow together as partners in learning. VCSC is a joyful and inspiring space where meaningful relationships flourish.

Our preschool classes have a maximum of 18 children and 3 ECE-certified teachers, resulting in a 1:6 ratio. Our two-year-old Anchor program classes have a maximum 9 children and 2 teachers, resulting in a ratio of at least 1:4.5.

Our Reggio-inspired philosophy

VCSC programs are inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. This educational approach values the image of the child as curious, resilient and competent; rich with wonder and knowledge. The image of the child is at the heart of our play-based curriculum where children and teachers discover and explore together. Our teachers support the children's ideas and foster their intellectual development with an emphasis on play as the means for learning. These learning experiences are made visible with documentation. Thoughts, dialogue, photographs and creations are displayed to invite conversations, to reflect on our experiences and to promote the work of the children. Our classroom is a creative and collaborative learning environment thoughtfully crafted to support and respect the interests of the children.

For more information about the Reggio Emilia approach, see attached PDF.


How are parents and families involved in the school?

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and caregivers are an integral part of the VCSC Community. We encourage everyone to share their unique skills and interests. From attending field trips, volunteering to help out with errands or little jobs the school needs to get done, our community is stronger with everyone’s involvement. The children recognize the value of their school when they see their families involved.

The Vancouver Child Study Centre is a not-for-profit society. A board of directors, consisting of volunteer parents of children currently enrolled at the school, oversees the business affairs of the Society.

How does Reggio compare to Montessori?

Reggio focuses on collaborative small-group work. The children are encouraged to dialogue, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem-solve through mixed-group work.

Reggio Emilia offers a social-constructivist philosophy of education, whereby students construct their own meaning within a social context and environment. Reggio educators take the time to form relationships with children and have rich conversations with them about things the children are interested in.

Reggio Emilia is built on a play-based program, which allows the children to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks and create meaning.

One of the greatest benefits of playing is to assist with the development of social competence. Children can build relationships, learn to resolve conflicts, negotiate and regulate their behaviours. In play, children usually have increased feelings of success and optimism as they act as their own agents and make their own choices.

Reggio’s documentation is a way of recording the work and the words of the child. Using everything from pencil and paper to audio and video equipment, Reggio teachers transcribe the words and interpret the work of the child, documenting both academic and social progress. The documentation makes the child’s learning visible.

Reggio documentation is carefully displayed for the community to view. At the end of each school year, families receive a commemorative book filled with their children’s work and highlights from the past year, a tangible way to see the remarkable growth of each child. Families also receive a USB key filled with photos of their child taken throughout the year.

The Montessori environments are very structured and are often set up in a way that encourages children to work independently. Montessori centres use Montessori materials designed for multi-sensory, sequential, and self-correcting experiences. These materials facilitate learning and builds from the concrete to the abstract in constructing their knowledge.

Originally called a "Directress", the Montessori teacher functions as designer of the environment, resource person, role model, demonstrator, record keeper, and meticulous observer of each child's behaviour and growth.

Montessori teachers observe, carefully record the work and progress of the child. These observations are intended to lead the teacher to understand what lessons or materials to present next.


“VCSC has been one of the best decisions we have made for our children”

“The environment, teachers and Reggio practice are amazing and unlike any other we could find in the city. With our second child we have had the opportunity to also experience the Anchor program which is as wonderful as the 3/4 program. We feel blessed to have found such a gem of a preschool for our little family and look forward to returning once more with our third child.” - Sara P.