Is your child turning four by December 31, 2023? If they are, it’s time to register them for Kindergarten at the OCSB this fall. We are sure you have questions, and we have the answers! Here are the answers to the top 5 parent questions we receive yearly.
Do we have to be Catholic to register our child?
At the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we welcome all students and their families. You don’t need to be Catholic to be part of our diverse OCSB community. At all our schools, kindergarten students will be invited to pray, sing songs, make crafts, and talk about God.
How much French is taught in Kindergarten, and does it matter if we don’t speak French at home?
The OCSB bilingual Kindergarten program offers equal French and English instruction. Your child will enjoy discovering new words and sounds in French as they read stories and sing songs with their educators and classmates. You don’t have to be French-speaking to support your child in our French programs. We routinely see OCSB French Immersion students thrive in our programming and share the joy of the French language with their English-speaking parents.
Is before-and-after-school child care available? How do I register?
All except four of our schools have before-and after-school programs. These Extended Day Programs (EDP) are operated by the school board or through a licensed childcare centre on school property. You can find details on our website’s Child Care page or the Welcome to Kindergarten page on your child’s school website.
Do I have to sign up for the school bus? How do we know if we qualify for transportation?
All yellow school bus transportation is operated by the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA.) When you register your child for school, we provide OSTA with the relevant information, so there is no need to sign up separately for the school bus. Eligibility depends on your child’s grade and the distance from your home (or care provider) to the school. The details are on OSTA’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage. You can use OSTA’s Bus Planner tool to check whether your child qualifies for transportation.
September is a long way away. Why do I need to register now?
OCSB staff needs to start planning early to ensure everything is ready for September. By registering now, we can begin hiring educators and administrative staff, allocating classroom space, and updating OSTA with information about new registrants so that they can plan their bus routes. If you plan to send your child to an Extended Day Program (EDP) for before-and-after-school care, you must register your child at the school – first and then you register for the extended day care programs if they are offered at your child’s school.
We have also found that registering sooner rather than later helps families transition as they prepare for school. Parents and little ones can talk about what school might look like in the fall and use the time leading up to September to frame this experience with positivity and excitement. Plus, we’ll mail your child a really fun Welcome to Kindergarten package!
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to know more? We’ve also put together a Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions document answering the most common questions about Kindergarten.
Still have questions?
Please fill out our Google Form to submit your questions. We will update our Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions document every two weeks with any new questions and answers.