What happens before and after school?

Before- and after-school programs provide children with more opportunities to learn and grow.

School boards are required to provide before- and after-school programs for four- and five-year-olds at schools with full-day kindergarten programs, where there is interest from at least 20 families.

They are offered from about 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. — although the exact time for these programs may vary at different schools. Parents can choose to enrol their child in the before-school, the after-school or both programs, or not at all.

School boards may choose to run before- and after-school programs themselves or work with a third-party child care provider. Some schools may also offer programs for older children or offer programs during school breaks (e.g. March Break, summer holidays) or on professional development (PD) days.

Ask at your school or school board for more information about what before- and after-school programs are available locally.

Engaging activities

Before- and after-school programs complement what happens during the regular school day in the full-day kindergarten program.

Registered early childhood educators are responsible for the before- and after-school programs. They plan a play-based program that is connected to the learning that will happen during the regular school day. The program includes a mix of exploration, guided and independent activities, quiet times and outdoor play.

If there are more than 15 children enrolled in a before- and after-school program, a second adult will support the early childhood educator. The second adult may receive additional training to work in the program, but he or she is not required to be a registered early childhood educator.

Reasonable fees and subsidies

Parents will pay a reasonable fee to enrol their child in before- and after-school programs. School boards that operate programs directly determine fees at a local level and approve them annually during a public meeting. Licensed child care operators (third-party providers) offering before and after-school programs determine their own fees.

In addition, families can apply for a child care subsidy if their child is enrolled in a before- and/or after-school program. The process is similar to applying for other child care subsidies. Learn more about fees and subsidies.