What Parents Say

newgilesduty“I love sitting down to read a story to one of the kids (usually my daughter) because I know that as soon as they see me, four or five other kids are going to swarm all over us and the couch, trying to get closer to the story. Then they’ll each have another book that I absolutely have to read, and it just keeps going and going. St. Giles has introduced us to a lot of wonderful new books.”  —Lisa

“I was excited to watch my son grow and develop in a social setting. I wasn’t expecting to get so much pleasure out of watching all the other children blossom, too. I love getting to know all the other kids in a meaningful way.”–Jodie

“Instead of duty days being a burden, they are a pleasure.  Basically it is a reason to be with your child and her playmates in a wonderful, stimulating environment.  At the end of the day I am invigorated about the preschool and my child and what she is learning.  I love the time I have seeing my child interact in a place other than home. I really like getting to know the other children in the class-they are good people.”–Barb

“I love duty days at St Giles because I can be fully immersed in my 4 years old’s world for a while. No phone calls, household chores, other sibling needing attention and no work pressures. This is a time for uninterrupted and uninhibited play when I am totally present with my child.”–Debbie

“I love it when a child asks me to read to them. Within moments, there are always one or two or five more children around, cuddled in on the sofa and listening intently.”–Jodie

“It has been profoundly helpful to watch the teachers deal with the children!  So, much perspective and insight into the workings of a toddler Mind!”–Sherry

“Everyday I go to preschool I learn something new from the teachers. They are masterful in the way they direct and encourage our children.”– Barb

“I love getting to know all the kids and their parents, too. They are a fabulous group of people, and we have made many good friends. Not only is it fun to watch all the kids interact with each other, it also gives me more perspective at home. With an only child, sometimes it’s hard to put your child’s behaviour in perspective, but now, after watching the other children while I’m on duty, I can say, ‘Oh yeah, my daughter is not the only one who is doing this.’ I have a better sense of what is developmentally normal because of being on duty.” –Lisa

“I love being on duty because it allows me to really get to know the other children and parents well. This enriches my and my children’s experience of preschool. Through this experience, I have made some really good friends and so have my children.” —Miriam

“I love the small group of 4’s on Thursday afternoons. When I was on duty I got to make pancakes, ghost toast (for Halloween), and delicious hummus. It was more laid back and cozy than the rest of the week, and a pretty special time for us.”–Lisa

walk“My absolutely favourite things about St Giles are the teacher home visits for the incoming 3’s class. What a unique and simple way to make a child feel special and ease the transition from home to pre-school.”–Debbie

“My son is an observer, slow to warm up to new situations. The gentle, accommodating atmosphere established by Carole and the other parents really enabled him to take things at his own pace.”– Jodie

“We pass these teachers our babies and they care for them as their own.”–Barb

“The teachers at St Giles really encourage creativity in the kids.  My daughter has expressed interest in many things and Tracy has taken the ideas and run with them.  Winding yarn around the classroom to trip people was redirected to winding yarn around a tent pole and eventually became a “yarn house” that was brought back to life again in our second year at the school.  Experimenting with glue and paint together led to making “silly putty” the next day.  We have loved our time here at St Giles and will truly miss it!”–Laura

newgilespaint“I like how the talents and interests of the parents and kids are integrated into the preschool experience. If the kids are interested in playing doctor, we set up a hospital. If they want to bake, we bake. If the parents are handy, we build things for the kids. If a parent is a pilot, we go visit their airplane. It’s a really dynamic and responsive learning environment, which is great for all of us. I hope I can take some of that energy and apply it to our elementary school experience next year.” –Lisa

“One of my favourite things to do is to see whatever GREAT substance the teachers have in the ‘tactile tubs ‘ for the children to grab, squish, mould, pile, etc.  The kids can make a total mess at school—and do it in the name of learning. I wish I had a place I could go and let myself be that free.” —Barb

“I love the housekeeping area. There are so many fantastic dress-up materials, many of them lovingly hand-made. Every day, children are dressing up and being transported to imaginary worlds.”–Jodie

My husband brought in a simple microscope that was hooked up to a laptop, so the kids could see what things looked like up very close. Kids kept coming up to the table with more things they’d found around the classroom that might be interesting magnified 100X. They really got into it.”–Lisa

“There is SO much more to the program than the materials in the class room!  The teachers are always coming up with art and science projects that are integrated!  I love that they do tons on tactile explorative activities.  Food colored spaghetti noodles in a huge bucket…colored goop under plastic wrap that is like finger painting…homemade moon sand that my daughter can stand and build with for an hour! And, you have to love the blindfolded tasting test!”–Sherry

“I love the fact that my children can get into such huge and creative, artistic, productive messes at preschool and come away from it so enriched. The teachers at St Giles are exceptionally brave and ambitious in the sensory activities that they introduce- I don’t know any other preschool program in the city as rich and varied as this one.”–mom of four, with third child in St. Giles

“I don’t even know where to start describing what I love so much about St. Giles Preschool. The teachers are amazing, loving, funny, and very creative. The classroom space is exceptional. From the moment I saw the classroom, I felt it was a very magical space. There are so many interesting and engaging spaces and things for the kids to explore. One of my favourite aspects of the program are all the various tactile stuff available for the kids to explore….moon sand, goop, painting with their feet, tubs of flax seed, soil, and squishy beads to name a few. I also love that there is always ample opportunity for the kids to run and be physically active, either outside in the outdoor classroom or in the spacious gym.” —Miriam

“I find the Parent Education nights invaluable; from understanding how my childrens’ brains work and discovering strategies that actually help with behavioural issues to being reminded what to do in an emergency situation. They are also another wonderful opportunity for parents to share and be supported by the St Giles community as a whole. I have learned so much and gained confidence in my parenting and decisions.”–Debbie

“It is a social, community based way to get concrete help with my parenting.  Having the experts there and fellow parents fills out the picture in a way I could never achieve by reading a book!”–Sherry

“I got a lot out of the parent education talks; some of the more memorable talks, which I’ve utilized in our daily lives, have been about bullying, sex ed, brain development, science at home, and encouraging good behaviour. Plus, they let me knit.” —Lisa

“Both my children and I have made strong and long lasting connections and friendships with others from all the time spent together.” —Debbie

“It is just such a place of support and friendship.  Helpful and positive in a comprehensive sort of way!  St Giles has been formative for my children as they have embarked on their formal education and formative for my parenting skills.  I wouldn’t trade my time and growing up at St Giles for anything.  And to think I signed up because it was the preschool closest to my house that let me be involved!” —Sherry