Our Programs for Preschool

Our nursery school has socially and cognitively oriented programs for 18 month to four year olds. We aim to provide a well-planned, stimulating, healthy environment in which a young child can develop cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills. Creativity is encouraged through the provision of diverse materials, equipment and experiences that are not easily available in the home.  In our 50 year history, NGCNS has provided quality programs for hundreds of children with the support of parents in the community, the Ministry of Education, and the City of Ottawa.



At the nursery school, children learn about themselves, their strengths, and their limits. A degree of independence is fostered, and enough freedom is allowed that the children are able to express themselves in a way best suited to each. There are times to be messy, to relax, to cook, paint, build, read, sing, talk, complete a puzzle or do a craft. The doing is the important part, not the end result.



A safe, stimulating environment will encourage your child’s natural love of learning. We provide support in learning to communicate and problem-solve with other children and adults in a respectful manner.  Children learn to self-regulate in terms of sharing, interacting with others, and managing emotions.  They also learn about nutrition from enjoying food with others, and therefore develop interests in these areas.



Children learn to cope more effectively with their own feelings – to relax or control their emotions – knowing that an understanding adult will help when needed. They also realize that being in a group of children their own age, others will share their fears, curiosities and pleasures. They learn to trust and confide in adults other than their own parent/guardians. They observe the interdependence of people and experience the need for co-operation.



The school offers a variety of equipment to develop both large and fine motor skills within safe well-supervised areas. Through climbing, jumping, running, building, etc., the children improve their skills and develop new ones.  Activities take place both indoor and outdoors.

Programs/Our Facilities

North Gower Cooperative Nursery School is located in the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre, in North Gower Ontario. Indoors, this facility features two spacious rooms with space for quiet play, circle times, snack tables, and larger equipment for development of motor skills. Outdoors, children enjoy various play structures, sand toys, tricycles and a gentle hill for winter sliding.

Creative Activities

These are media that permit rich sensory experiences for the children and an opportunity for real exploration.  These materials call on the children to use their imaginations to draw pictures about the things that are important or appealing to them. There are also many opportunities to create real or pretend situations.

Construction Activities

In this area children learn colors, shapes and sizes. They also experience different smells and textures. Children enjoy using their imaginations and they love creating things.

Table Top Toys

They encourage a feeling of accomplishment. They increase the child’s experience with color, shape, weight and size. They also offer the satisfaction of taking apart and putting together, which improves eye/hand and small muscle co-ordination and problem solving.


Science Table

This table displays both familiar and unfamiliar objects found in the natural world. These articles change as the seasons change. The children enjoy finding objects to add to the collection and learning about what they find, through discussion.  A magnifying glass shows details more clearly.

Tree House/Listening Centre

This area will be closed off to the very young group as a safety precaution but may be opened in the second half of the Junior program. The listening center set up in the tree house will occasionally be incorporated into the program.

Floor Block Area

This is an area where children work co-operatively and with great imagination in constructing buildings, trains, etc. We are interested in both the actual process of building and in the dramatic play centering on their products and social play. Here again, the children learn about shapes and heights and develop pre-math skills. Concentration is needed for construction of a simple building. Most important here is the learning of sharing.

Housekeeping Centre

This centre is set up to look as much like a child-sized home as possible. There needs to be enough detail to be realistic, but careful selection is necessary so that an excess of materials and utensils will not stifle the child’s imagination. They also learn to socialize, share and cooperate through role-playing. This area encourages the young child to imitate and experiment with various roles, thus developing language skills, as well as large and small muscle development.

Circle Time

This is the formal part of our program. At circle time, the children learn to work together as a group.  This is an opportunity to learn the more obvious things such as sitting quietly, listening to the teacher, taking turns in speaking and listening to others. The children have the opportunity to discover that other children have similar feelings, there can be different ways of expressing feelings and that one can learn from other children; also (the most thrilling experience) that one child can teach another child.  Sometimes we will have stories games, songs, dancing, finger plays, etc., including playing rhythm games with musical instruments.

Outdoor Play

Play on the climbing frames and ladders teach children large muscle co-ordination. All of our outdoor play is useful in teaching children to co-operate, play together and to help. The children all help to put the equipment away and to set things up. In this way, they not only get exercise, but also experience a feeling of responsibility. The children learn to take turns, share, and communicate through play.

Program Options

New for the 2019-2020 school year!

Try out our before school care program for free!  Students registered in either the Junior or the Senior Program can be dropped off any time after 8:30am, with a school start time of 9:00am.  Note that this is a Pilot Program for the upcoming school year, if successful, it will be incorporated into the regular program as a fee based service.

The school offers a variety of equipment to develop both large and fine motor skills within safe, well supervised areas. Let’s get messy!  Cook, paint, build, read, sing, talk, complete puzzles and crafts. Our exceptional space provides for this and more.

Junior Program

This program is offered to juniors who will be 18 months old at time of enrollment, and is run twice a week on (both) Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00am to 11:30am. The enrollment in this program is limited to 10 children, with a minimum of 6.

  • 9 am - 11:30
  • Story Time
  • Crafts
  • Snack
  • Learning Games
  • Outside Play
  • 2 Days/wk
Pay Monthly


Senior Program

This program is offered to seniors who will be 30 months old at time of enrollment, and is run three mornings a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00am to 11:30am. The enrollment in this program is limited to 16 children, with a minimum of 12.

  • 9 am - 11:30
  • Circle Time
  • Crafts/Tactile Play
  • Snack
  • Story Time
  • Outside Play
  • 3 Days/wk
Pay Monthly


Program Questions & Answers

We encourage comfortable play clothes for indoor and outdoor activities, well suited for the weather conditions. Clothes should be washable so that your child does not have to worry about getting them dirty.

Each child needs to have a pair of soft shoes or slippers with non-slip/waterproof soles and an extra change of clothes to be brought in each day in their school bag – 2 to 3 children may be required to share a cubby during the week making it cumbersome to leave these items at the school for the duration of the week.

Anything that is to be taken off – mittens, hats, scarves, sweaters, and especially boots need to be labelled.

During the winter season, please ensure your child has appropriate outdoor clothing (ie. neck-warmers, hats, mittens, snow pants, etc.).

Each child is responsible for his own snack and drink. Any containers used need to be labeled and taken home on a daily basis to be cleaned thoroughly. Please send nutritious food in re-usable containers. We are a peanut/nut-free school, please ensure all snack are peanut/nut free. Please read labels! If an item is made in a factory that processes nuts/peanuts please do not send it to school. We do not permit sharing as some children have allergies.

No, children do not need to be toilet trained to be able to attend the school.  We will encourage the use of the toilet for those children in the process of being trained. An adult will be present to assist in making this endeavor a successful one.

If a child needs to be changed, the teachers will do so.  Leave a few spare diapers in your child’s cubby, as well as a complete set of indoor clothing. Label all items as well as the bag they are to be stored in.

If your child has an allergy, this needs to be indicated on the registration form.    Any allergies will be posted with details stating what the allergy is, the child’s name and an identifying picture, a likely reaction, and follow-up procedures.  This information will be posted at the child’s snack table.

If medication is required while a child is at the school, the parent must complete a Medical Authorization Form each time the medication is required.  This form can be obtained from the Program Director.  In cases of potential emergency such as asthma, anaphylaxis, allergy, parents can complete the Emergency Medication Authorization Form once, indicating the condition under which the medication may be used.  Parents must provide permission in writing for the nursery school staff to administer the medication if they see just cause to do so.  These medications must be kept in a place that is safe from the hands of children, or carried in a fanny pack by the teacher.  Medication must be labeled and in its original container.

The North Gower Cooperative Nursery School believes that preschool education should be available and accessible to all. The school maintains the lowest possible tuition fees in order to assist all families, including low income families, to gain better access to early childhood education. Volunteer cooperative responsibilities and yearly fundraising play a crucial role in this low-cost delivery of high quality programming.

If you are interested in the nursery school, but not sure if you can manage the fees, the NGCNS maintains 1 subsidized space under the City of Ottawa Daycare Fee Assistance Program. Please visit the following City of Ottawa website for further details on child care fee subsidy.

If applying for a subsidized space, please be sure to register your child in the program in order to hold your spot while your application is being processed. A full refund is available up until the 31st of July prior to the start of the school year.

The school provides an integrated program for handicapped and/or special needs children. The school will guide the parent/guardian in seeking the assistance of a resource teacher. The resource teacher is provided through the Ontario Ministry of Education and Andrew Fleck Child Care Services.

Handicapped children who are not in the integrated program may be accepted on a two-month trial basis. Extra care required by these children is to be supplied by the parent/guardian, if deemed necessary.

Tax exemption receipts for families where both parents/guardians work will be available upon request from the Treasurer at the end of May and at the end of December.

The Nursery School is a registered charitable organization. If any person is interested in donating to the School (whether goods or money), please speak to the Treasurer about obtaining a charitable donation tax receipt.

Tax receipts will not be issued to families in lieu of work done for fundraising activities (i.e. those families choosing a buyout option for the special event).

Please contact the Director of Education before withdrawing a child from the program. One calendar months’ notice must be given to the Registrar prior to withdrawing a child and that month’s fees must be paid. Outstanding cheques will be returned by mail.   No refunds will be made for holidays, or absenteeism.

If a child, for whatever reason, is having a detrimental or disruptive effect on the program, after consultation with the parent/guardian, the staff and executive have the right to make the decision that the child be withdrawn from the program.



This program has instilled confidence in our little girl and allowed her to grow in an environment that is beyond special. This has to be the best kept secret south of the city of Ottawa. A huge thanks to Judi & Hawley, always supportive, always caring and always helping the kids to grow.

Brian Stoneman Profile Picture in Circle

Brian Stoneman -


Our daughter loved going to the North Gower Nursery School from day one.  She loved the crafts, the singing, stories and all the different activities.  She gained confidence, independence and relationship building skills in a wonderful and fun environment. Hawley & Judi are so warm and caring with all of the children.

Nadine Campbell -