FAQFrequently Asked Questions


Is Cold Lake Montessori a Daycare Center or a School?

Cold Lake Montessori is a Licensed Daycare Center for children newborn – 6 years of age. We offer an academic program for children 19 months – 6 years of age from September – June. Giving parents the hours of care they need and the luxury of a preschool program incorporated within those hours.

Cold Lake Montessori also offers a summer camp program for children newborn to 9 years of age in July and August.


Are Montessori Daycare Centers and Schools Religious? 

Montessori is a child-centered, developmentally-based, philosophical approach to education developed in Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s and since adopted by educators around the world.  Montessori Daycares and schools may be housed in churches or affiliated with many different kinds of churches or houses of worship. However, the program itself is NOT religious nor is it attached to any particular religion or church.


Who is the Child Care Licensing Officer for the Cold Lake area that inspects your daycare center? 

The Licensing officer for the Cold Lake area is Tammala St. Jean.


I observed Montessori classrooms and there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity for pretend play. Is this true?
While this may be the case in traditional Montessori school settings, Cold Lake Montessori is a Licensed Daycare which incorporated activities in both the practical life setting as well as pretend play activities. We adhere to licensing regulations, accreditation standards, and a Montessori based philosophy. Our goal is to “follow the child” and enhance their learning through all means possible.


What are your Hours of Operation?

Cold Lake Montessori has to hours of operation.  Depending on what hours of care you require will determine the monthly childcare fees.

Regular Hours

Monday – Friday

6:30 am – 5:30 pm


Extended Care Hours

Monday – Friday

6:30 am – 6:30 pm


Here is a breakdown of our hours of operation:

Montessori Program (September to June)

  • Drop off                                                                                              6:30 am – 8:30 am
  • Montessori Program                                                                       8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Regular Hours of care – children are picked up                        3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Afternoon Extended Care – children are picked up                  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm


We ask parents to drop off their children during the academic year (September – June) no later than 8:30 am so they may have the full benefit of the program. Circle time usually starts in most classroom at 8:30 am, at which time teachers take attendance. Parents are free to pick up their children at 3:30 pm after the academic program ends for the day.


How old does my child have to be to attend Cold Lake Montessori?

Even though we are licensed to accept children who are newborn, we have a limited number of spaces for children under 12 months of age. We only accept up to a maximum of two children under the age of 12 months.


What type of Programs do you offer at Cold Lake Montessori?

We offer a wide variety of programs for parents to choose from:

  • Toddler program                                                   newborn – up to 2.5  years of age.
  • Primary program                                                   2.5 years – 3.5 years of age.
  • Pre-Kinder Program                                             3 years – 5.5 years of age
  • Summer Camp Program                                      newborn  – 9 years of age.


Does my child have to be potty trained in order to attend your Cold Lake Montessori?
children do not need to be potty trained to attend Cold Lake Montessori.


healthy food Do you provide meals and snacks for ALL of your programs?
A basic human characteristic is the desire to share meals together. This particular moment fulfills the interpersonal skills of a relationship. At Cold Lake Montessori your child will learn this social custom. The teachers will show your child how to set the table, sit down, to clear the table, and do the dishes, as well as proper etiquette and manners.

We offer the following meals and snacks for ALL of our programs, including our kindergarten program:

  • Morning Snack                                                           8:30 am – 9:00 am
  • Lunch                                                                           11:30am
  • Afternoon Snack                                                        3:00pm

Cold Lake Montessori follows the Canada Food Guide.  All ingredients are carefully selected and prepared in order to offer your child a large variety of different flavours.

Bon appetite!

Children arriving AFTER 8:30am should already be served breakfast at home. Parents whose children have a food allergy, food sensitivity or dietary restrictions due to religious beliefs or lifestyle will be given a copy of the school menu in advance. If a child is unable to have a specific item on the menu, then it is the responsibility of the parents to provide a replacement food item in place of the food item the child is unable to eat. (For example, if a child is unable to have regular 2% or homogenized milk, then the parents will be responsible for providing Lactose Free milk.) Parents may be required to provide their child’s own meals and snacks for the entire day. Their will be no reduction in childcare fees if this occurs.

Please note: Cold Lake Montessori is NOT a peanut free environment.


My Child has a nut allergy, what is your allergy policy?
Cold Lake Montessori is NOT a nut-free environment we are an “allergy aware” environment. It is EXTREMLY IMPORTANT parents have a clear understanding of Cold Lake Montessori’s Allergy Policy. As part of the admission process parents must read, understand, agree and sign the Allergy Policy. If a parent does NOT agree with the allergy policy and refuses to sign it, then their child WILL NOT be accepted into Cold Lake Montessori.

Children who attend Cold Lake Montessori are introduced to many activities in the practical life area that help them to become more independent, such as how to prepare a snack. The children are also introduced to culinary arts, in which they will learn how to prepare and cook food. In both of these areas children may be exposed to nuts, nut butters (i.e. peanut butter), or traces of nuts.

If your child has an allergy, more specifically a nut allergy, please speak with the Owner or the Director to determine if this will be a safe environment for your child. If your child has any food allergies, these MUST be listed on the Medical Form, as well as the Nutrition and Allergy Form included in the enrollment package. Cold Lake Montessori will develop an individualized health care plan for any child who has a food allergy.


Do you provide subsidy for ALL of your programs?

YES, Cold Lake Montessori accepts Subsidy for families who qualify for ALL of our programs.

The Ministry of Human Services provides financial assistance to eligible lower-income families using Licensed Childcare Centers.

You can apply for a subsidy if:

  • You or your spouse/partner, or the child receiving care are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and live in Alberta.
  • You or your spouse/partner are an Alberta resident.
  • Your children are 12 years of age or younger and are not yet attending Grade 7.
  • You and your spouse/partner are currently working, attending school, looking for work or have special needs
    You or your spouse/partner stay-at-home and have your child(ren) enrolled in a licensed pre-school or approved early childhood development program.

Maximum subsidy rates vary by program type and the age of child attending child care.


Subsidy Calculator

Online Subsidy form for Alberta


Does Cold Lake Montessori have a waiting list? 

If you are interested in having your child attend Cold Lake Montessori, it is important to apply as soon as possible. The waiting list is based entirely on the date the application is received by our office.   The average wait time depends on the age of the child and openings in the classroom.  We can provide you with an estimated start date when you apply.  As children age while on the waiting list, they are automatically considered for any opening in the next classroom.

Parents are notified by phone and email, when a space becomes available for their child.  Parents are given 48 hours to notify us of their decision to either accept or decline the opening.  When a parent accepts the space, they will be required to come into the facility within 24 hours, to complete registration forms and to pay the registration fee and submit a Commitment Fee for their child’s first month of care to secure their child’s spot.

If parents decline the opening, the child drops to the bottom of the waiting list.  The waiting date will then be changed to the date the opening was declined.   If parents fail to contact us with the 48 hour period, Cold Lake Montessori assumes the family is no longer interested in our program and the child is removed from the waiting list.

It is the parent’s responsibility to notify Cold Lake Montessori of any changes in contact information.  If parents cannot be reached due to invalid contact information, the child is removed from the waiting list.



What are the qualifications required of your teachers to work at Cold Lake Montessori?
All teachers MUST have the following in order to work at Cold Lake Montessori:

  • Clean Criminal Record Check with Vulnerability Sector search
  • Clean Child Welfare Check
  • First Aid & CPR Training (within 3 months of hiring)
  • Alberta Child Care Certificate  (Level 1, 2, or 3) or willing to obtain within 6 months of hire.
  • Be at least 18 years of age to be an assistant teacher in our academic program.
  • Be at last 16 years of age to be a summer camp counselor ( Summer camp counselors who are 16 & 17 years of age will never be left alone with the children.  There will always be someone over the age of 18 in classroom with them.)
  • Have at least 1 years experience working with children to be an assistant and at least two years experience working with children to be a lead.

In Addition we also expect the following:

  • Be willing to take additional training/courses while employed at Cold Lake Montessori, in order to provide the best possible program.

teacher2Some of our Teachers  may also have the following:

  • Early Childhood Education Certificate or Diploma
  • Educational Assistant Certificate or Diploma
  • Social Worker Certificate or Diploma
  • Bachelor of Education Degree
  • Language Degree in French/Chinese
  • Music Degree
  • More than 6 years working with children
  • Food Handling Certificate
  • as well as other talents

Are all of the teachers hired on at Cold Lake Montessori Certified Montessori teachers?

No, only the Director holds a Montessori Teaching Diploma. It is extremely difficult to find teachers in rural areas who are trained in the Montessori Method. The teachers who are hired on to work at Cold Lake Montessori  are trained by the Director, have access to training manuals, take part in Montessori workshops throughout the year and are encouraged to obtain their Montessori Teaching Diploma.


What is the difference between a Montessori Daycare and a traditional daycare.
The term daycare is used loosely all across Canada to designate early education environments. Although we do in fact offer “care” during the “day”, our Montessori program for children is not your traditional daycare, which is more focused on learning through play.

By choosing Cold Lake Montessori, you enable your child to make the most of his precious childhood. Our unique program, which focus on enhancing play through learning and personal development, will prepare your child, mind, body and spirit, for the adventure of life.


A Montessori education prepares children for the real world.
Success in the real world, more and more, comes from the ability to think creatively and innovatively.  To take initiative.  To work cooperatively with others – as well as by oneself. To both define and solve the problem.   To persevere in the face of difficulty, and to keep thinking even when the first (and second, and third!) attempts are failures.

This is what our educational model does.  This is preparation for the real world.  With a strong foundation in methods supported by scientific research, Montessori education has a clear and striking record of success in preparing children for real life challenges and successes.


How do you handle discipline and behavior problems?

Because we have a mixed age group, discipline develops naturally through the guidance of older students. The desire to imitate the positive behavior of a five-year-old is a strong influence on a three-year-old.

We stress consideration for people and property and help the children absorb the rules and our values right from the start. Our ultimate goal is always for children to love learning! When occasional behavior challenges do arise, we handle them in an age-appropriate way with firm sensitivity. We make certain that the rules are clear and consequences fair and consistent. We primarily use redirection as an appropriate response to most instances. If the situation escalates, the child will be asked to “sit out” until he or she gains self-control and is able to act appropriately, follow directions, or show respect for people and property. We Never engage in any physical punishment or shaming!

We keep lines of communication open with parents. If the situation warrants, we work with parents to address ongoing behavior issues. We also encourage parents to talk to us about behavioral challenges they are seeing at home, ones we may not see at school. Working together, parents and teachers make a great team.


What role does the teacher play?
In a Montessori classroom the teacher acts as a facilitator among the students, encouraging discussion and exploration of different topics. In a traditional classroom, the teacher is the primary focal point and frequently spends a majority of the class lecturing children, with the expectations that they will absorb the information.


How does your daycare inform parents of their child’s progress?
One of our program goals is to communicate openly with parents.  Parents and teachers often communicate with each other during drop off and pick up times and through their child’s communication books. Written progress reports are also given to parents twice a year. Parent conferences are held once per year. If you would like to meet with your child’s teacher at any point in the school year, just ask! You do not need to wait until conference time. Like you, we want what is best for your child and open communication with you helps us reach that goal.


What holidays do you celebrate?
We celebrate birthdays, various holidays, and we have an end of year celebration. The end of year celebration is also our graduation ceremony to say goodbye to our friends who will be moving on to kindergarten. Because of our student diversity, we celebrate the holidays of many cultures. We invite families who would like to share their culture/heritage with us in the classroom so that we may learn from one another.


Do you only accept children only on a full time basis or do you offer a part-time or half-day programs as well?
We do NOT offer a Part-Time or Half Day program for children who are enrolled in the Mini-Toddler and Toddler program unless their space. We do offer a Half Day program and Part-Time for Junior Kindergarten children.  However, priority is always given to parents who need full time care.




For Primary Children

Morning Session

  • 8:30 am – 11:30 am

Afternoon Session

  •  12:30 pm – 3:30 pm


I am trying to decide if I should enrol my child to attend 5 full days do you have any recommendations?
When the time comes for a child to start preschool or daycare, parents often wonder: “Does he really need to go five days a week? Isn’t it better to let him stay home a few days during the week? I’d love to still have him with me, too!” We understand that it may be hard to let your three- or four-year-old child go, especially if you have the luxury of being able to be home with him or her a day or two a week! Many of us at Cold Lake Montessori Daycare are parents ourselves, and we totally get how precious it is to be able to enjoy time with your child. It would be much easier for us to offer three- and two-day schedules, like many of our competitors do, and avoid this questions altogether.

So why do we insist on a five-day schedule for three-year-olds? The answer is simple: In our experience, children need the consistency of attending school every day to benefit optimally from their Montessori experience.

Part-time children don’t derive the full benefit from the Montessori environment as they never really get settled down in a consistent routine.
I once worked at a Montessori school where primary students were given the option of attending school full time for just three days a week. After a while, I began to observe a great difference between the part-time students and the full-time students who came to school five days a week: The part-time students appeared to spend much of their time aimlessly wandering around the classroom, while the full-time students were actively engaged in lessons on the floor or at a table, working independently, working with a classmate, or working with a teacher.

In Montessori, we empower children to choose work on their own and to concentrate on their work. This voluntary choice, this child-initiated concentration is at the heart of the amazing academic achievements that astound adults, and one of the key aspects of motivation in Montessori. However, the part-time students I observed rarely had this drive; they didn’t seem to know what to do, or which lessons or materials to select. Their days often went by without even one episode of concentration.

Young children thrive when their daily lives are full of consistent routines. They do best when they can predict what is going to happen next. This kind of consistency happens when a child goes to school for five consecutive days in a row each week versus attending school for only two or three days a week. It is hard for a child to figure out their routine when they go to school every other day or for just a few days in a row!

Part-time children have a harder time transitioning to school, and often need to re-adjust after three or four days away.
Part-time students, who attended for three consecutive days, then took four days off or who only attend 2 days a week, often struggle at the beginning of each week—almost like being new to school again. And, of course, once they were finally settled after a few days, it was time again for them to have another long break before returning back to class. (Ask any teacher what the first days of school are like after a long break such as winter break or spring break. Chances are, teachers will tell you that those first days back to school the students have to be given time to get back into their classroom routine. Unfortunately, part-time students face that kind of transition every week.)

The worry and anxiety that sometimes occur when a young child starts attending school or daycare for the first time will dissipate once they are able to establish a routine and come to the realization that school is an enjoyable place where learning and friendships occur. The five-day-a-week schedule enables students to feel safe and relaxed in the classroom and aids them in forming strong bonds with their teachers and friends. We realize that it may be challenging for you to let your child attend school or daycare every day, yet we hope that you are willing to support him in this new phase of his life by sending him at least five mornings a week, giving him the consistency and community he needs to flourish.


Does Cold Lake Montessori require parents to fundraise or volunteer?
Parent contribution to and involvement with the program is important to children’s development and the general success of Cold Lake Montessori.

Cold Lake Montessori fosters partnerships with parents to promote mutual trust, respect and develop the ethical and moral conduct of our students. Parents benefit from a strong association with Cold Lake Montessori and with other parents who share similar values and aspirations for their children.

The  Mini-Toddler, Toddler, Primary and kindergarten classes offer various opportunities for parents and their families to become involved and collectively enrich our classroom and daycare/school environment.

Important aspects of contribution and involvement include, part are not limited to, the following:

Fundraising Participation
The cost of childcare fees does not cover the cost of caring for and educating a child at Cold Lake Montessori. Like most daycare centers, and preschools, Cold Lake Montessori solicits charitable gifts and has a limited number of fund-raising events each year to support its work with young children. These funds supplement childcare fees and tuition income, lower your child’s childcare and tuition fees and enrich our educational programs.

Volunteer Opportunities
We LOVE volunteers! Our body of parents and special friends strengthen our community through sharing their myriad of talents. Volunteers can share special presentations with the class, help with improvements around campus, design and support special events, and much more!

Currently parents are NOT required to submit a fundraising or volunteer bond cheque to Cold Lake Montessori. All volunteers will be required to obtain a criminal record check with a vulnerability search. This can be done at the RCMP station in Cold Lake.


What is the Commitment Fee and why do I have to pay it?

Cold Lake Montessori School relies on its enrollment commitments to plan for the year. All parents are required to submit a cheque, with no date on it, equivalent to one month’s worth of child care fees for the program their child is enrolled to attend.

The Commitment Fee demonstrates a parents commitment to have their child attend the daycare, and to give proper written notification if they choose to withdraw their child. Failure to give proper notification will result in a parent not only paying the next month’s childcare fees and any applicable late fees, but also forfeiting the Commitment Fee.


children playing2

Are you open during the Summer?
Yes. We are open all year round, with the exception with some closures throughout the year that are indicated on Cold Lake Montessori’s calendar. We offer a program for children newborn – 6 years of age from September to June, and a fun summer program in July and August for children newborn – 9 years of age.

Parents will have the option of being able to enroll their child  monthly or not at all. Occasional, in order to fill up spaces, the daycare will also allow parents to book care on a weekly basis. Summer forms are handed out to parents in March of each year. This informs us of the number of children that will be attending, and gives us the opportunity to plan the summer program and staffing. Parents will have until May 31st to make any changes to their summer form and to pay their summer fees. Summer fees become non-refundable after May 31st. Some exceptions may apply to members of the Canadian Armed forces who are unexpectedly posted after May 31st.

Parents are NOT required to register their child for the summer program in order to “hold” their child’s spot in our academic program. However, Cold Lake Montessori reserves the right to amend that policy without notice.


Does Cold Lake Montessori accept children with Special Needs?
Children with mild physical, mental or educational difficulties are considered for admission when special care or attention is not required. Reasonable accommodations will be made provided that no changes to the program are required and that the child does not pose a risk to himself or others. A recent diagnostic assessment by qualified professionals which identifies the child’s needs within a mainstream environment is required. Periodic assessment may also be required during the school year and prior to re-enrollment. An educational assessment made during this time will determine:

  1. The child’s progress.
  2. That our environment supports the developmental needs of the child.

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