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General News · 30th August 2014
Tanya H.
The Playgroups will be reopening at the Gorge Hall on Monday September 8th and at Mansons Hall on Wednesday September 10 from 10:30-12:30. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing everyone as our Fall sessions start again. This year we will be doing seasonally themed art activities that children can take home. I am also putting a call out to the community for special guests. I would love to see people who might have a special animal in their lives to share with the children, or a craft, art or anything that someone feels the young children and families of Cortes might enjoy or learn from.

Please see the guidelines below that were developed last year by members of the Playgroups. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone 0187 or by email at

The Parents and Tots Playgroup Guidelines and Policies

The Playgroup is a social environment for young families to get together in an open space with a number of activities to engage children’s gross and fine motor skills. This is also a place for children to grow socially and a safe place for children to develop their friendship skills. The group is not only a social outlet for children but also for parents. This group has long been a place where parents can use each other as resources through everyone’s unique knowledge and experience.

This space is a facilitated, but mostly unstructured play space for caregivers and their children. However, a paint table or art/craft activity will be available from 10:30 – 12:00. At noon there will be a story time. Clean up starts at 12:25.

Age: The mandate for the Toddler Playgroup is for children that are developmentally approximately 12-36 months. However, we welcome all children under school age. Because of this everyone must keep in mind safety issues for crawlers. Please remind older children that attend that the group is for the smaller ones and that the bigger kids have to use walking feet while in the room. This space gives the older children an opportunity to role model appropriate behaviour such as sharing and turn taking. Older children are encouraged to help in the space, ie; help pour paints, or chose items to bring out of toy boxes, etc.

All Caregivers Need to be Watching their Children at ALL Times.
Caregivers are responsible for their child’s safety and behaviour while attending the Playgroup. Please make sure that you are within hearing and visual range of your child. Please ensure your back is not turned to your child.

Violent behaviour is not tolerated in the Playgroup by anyone. If there is a concern with a child’s behaviour in this way please inform coordinator and parent of child. If a child displays this behaviour it is expected that the caregiver will immediately inform child that they can not behave that way in this space. It is also important to acknowledge what made the child resort to violence. IE. “You really wanted to play with that toy. It made you mad when J. took that toy from you. Etc.” The child should also be shown, explained how the act made the other child feel. Doing this in front of the other child helps that child to understand what and why the behaviour of the other child was present. If a child is needing space or some time alone with an adult, there are the seats just outside the hall, or in the kitchen at the Gorge. When child and caregiver are ready they are encouraged to rejoin the group. We will see behaviours in this space as children learn and explore each other and their surroundings. We can teach in a supportive and non threatening way. Please read following protocol for more detail.

Sickness: Please do not bring your child to the Playgroup if they have had a fever, diarrhea, vomiting or cold or flu symptoms within the last 24 hours. It is common for children to have a runny nose or minor cough after having a cold. I have been informed that if the mucus is clear and your child has their typical energy level (not sleeping more or longer than usual and in their regular spirits) that they are likely not contagious.

If a caregiver would like to leave the room, they need to find another adult to mind the child while they are away and let the coordinator know who that person is and how long they intend to be away.

If you notice that something is in need of repair, attention, or cleaning please put it on the kitchen counter and let coordinator know. A major cleaning of toys is done once a month. The mats are used regularly by other programs and need wiping, cleaning before each group. We use a vinegar solution for cleaning and it is kept in the toy box with our art supplies. The climbing structure is sprayed with this before each group. It can often be found on the kitchen counter, out of children’s reach, during the playgroup. If you use it please return it to a safe place.

Please feel free to express any thoughts, wishes or concerns. If anyone would like to have personal time to discuss anything, coming 15 minutes early or asking for a few minutes after cleanup can be arranged.

There will be further information available at the Playgroups about how to handle conflict resolution between the children.