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Growing together before school begins

Your child’s formal educational journey begins in kindergarten, but there are many opportunities to help your little one feel prepared and excited about that first day of school. They can start exploring as early as they're born! The Ottawa Catholic School Board invites all new families to enjoy the high quality and diverse programs we offer for the early years. Give your child the best possible start. Join our school community early and let’s grow together.

Drop in to a literacy centre to play and learn (birth to 6 years)

Visit one of our five Parenting and Family Literacy Centres to help prepare your child for school. The play-based drop-in environment lets children and their parents focus on literacy, numeracy, and school readiness. It’s also a great way to meet other members of your community, learn about community resources, and get acquainted with the school facility. The programs are free and a light snack is provided.

Find a literacy centre near you

Visit a preschool resource program (birth to 6 years)

Visit one of two preschool resource programs in the city (Orleans and Kanata locations) to take advantage of a caring relaxed atmosphere for parents and children. These programs offer a toy and resource library with a large selection of toys, books and videos available for loan and daytime training and evening workshops. Their experienced, professional staff are also available to offer support to parents with concerns about their child's development.

See program locations

Join a toddler, preschool, or school-age program in your school

There are a wide variety of child care options in our OCSB school facilities. These programs offer a warm, caring and secure environment where children can learn through play in your very own community school. Register early with the City of Ottawa’s Centralized Waiting List if you are considering using any of the following child care options. You can register as soon as your child is born.

  • Toddler programs (18 months to 30 months)
  • Preschool programs (2.5 years to 4.8 years)
  • School age programs (4 years to 12 years)

Register early to secure a spot

Prepare to register for kindergarten 

Get your documents ready (such as your child’s birth certificate) for Kindergarten Registration Week, held each year in January for children who will be 4 before December 31st.

Don’t forget the important step of updating your child’s immunization records online. Did you know Ottawa Public Health requires that you enter the information from your little yellow book on their website? They check the online records each year, and school suspensions can be issued if your records are not kept up-to-date online. Update your records now.
Take advantage of our School Support Readiness program to help build the bridge between being a toddler and starting school. With open communication between parents, preschools and schools, we can help make the transition easier. We are currently offering home visits and school entry support at a select number of OCSB schools. Help build the bridge to school.
Check to see if your address, or your caregiver’s address, is eligible for yellow school bus transportation. Plan to attend School Bus Safety Awareness Day for First-Time Riders in August, where you can take your child for a test ride on a school bus and learn how to behave safely around a bus. Visit OSTA's website.