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CONNECTIONS

NATURE PLAY

Connections Nature Play is Diamond Valley’s only Forest School program

Our program is licensed under the Province of Alberta’s Early Learning and Child Care Act and follows the Child Nature Alliance of Canada’s Forest & Nature School model.

As a Licensed child care program, families whose children are enrolled in Connections Nature Play may be eligible for the Affordability Grant and the Child Care Subsidy through the Federal-Provincial Child Care Agreement.

Connections Nature Play provides opportunities for children to build their social-emotional, physical, intellectual and creative well-being through outdoor adventure-based and inquiry-driven play. Our program aims to cultivate connections with the land, culture, others and self among 3-6-year-olds supported by attentive Early Childhood Educators at a 1:5 adult:child ratio.

2024/2025 forest school

We are in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals to runt he program 7:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday for the 2024/2025 program year.

To learn more about our program, scroll down and submit a query using our contact form or give us a call at 403-498-6321. We are looking forward to hearing from you! 

Spending time in nature, with repeat visits to the same natural areas, allows children opportunities to build self-confidence, connections with the land, emotional regulation skills, motivation and concentration, as well as develop their positive self-image and ecological literacy.

Click here to view the Child Nature Alliance of Canada’s Principles of Forest and Nature Schools.

We Offer:

 

  • Outdoor play-based and curiosity-driven experiences
  • Attentive and supportive guidance from certified Early Childhood Educators and trained Forest & Nature School Practitioners
  • Core hours and extended hours options
  • Small groups (1:5 ratio)
  • Registration capped at 10 children
  • Childcare subsidies to increase affordability
  • Parented nature play programs, day camps and other opportunities

2023/2024 Monthly Fees

Monthly Rates for Core Hours (9:00am to 2:30pm)
          $225/month for 1 day/week
          $450/month for 2 days/week
          $675/month for 3 days/week 

Monthly Rates for Extended Hours  (8:00am to 4:30pm)
         $275/month for 1 day/week
         $550/month for 2 days/week 
         $825/month for 3 days/week

In addition to monthly fees, an annual registration fee of $60 applies to each family. This fee entitles each family to register any/all of their children as well as free admission to family-friendly programming throughout the year, such as Jr Maker workshops and seasonal events hosted by the Diamond Valley Sustainable Living Centre.

To reserve your child’s spot:
 
  • Complete and submit registration form, and
  • Submit payment via e-transfer for the first month plus annual registration fee must be made via e-transfer to dvslc.treasurer@gmail.com with the following in the memo/notes field: 
    “Month/Year – Child’s Name – Days/Core or Extended + reg fee”
    For example: “Sept/23 – Latisha Cohen – Mon/Wed Core + reg fee”
Space is limited limited and registration available only while spaces last. Fees are pro-rated for mid-month registrations. 
 

DROP IN CHILD CARE

While capacity allows, we welcome drop-ins! 

Regular Drop-In Rate: $60/day

JUNE 2024 DROP-IN PROMOTION! $50/DAY

Available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – Use the contact form at the bottom of this page or email us at natureschool@dvslc.ca or call/text us at 403-498-6321 to request a drop-in!

 

OUR EDUCATORS

Kirsti Sarrazin

Kirsti has been providing childcare at her dayhome in the Diamond Valley  for the past 7 years and prior to that, enjoyed a decade-long career in fisheries. She loves being outside and sharing the wonder of nature with all children including her own. Kirsti is a certified Forest and Nature School Practitioner and is working towards her Level 2 Early Childhood Educator certification.

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Katie Bakken

Katie has been working with children  of all ages in a variety of settings, including schools, provincial parks, summer camps for over 30 years. Parenting has allowed her to discover the joy of fostering children’s natural curiosity in the great outdoors. In addition to being a Certified Teacher, Katie is also certified as a Forest and Nature School Practitioner and Level 3 Early Childhood Educator.

Jay-leena Looy

Jay-leena is passionate about integrating connection and nature into education and is a strong advocate for children. She believes all children are capable and competent, and that the role of each teacher is to create a learning environment that allows all children to thrive. Jay-leena can often be found tending her garden and enjoying walks with her dog Leo. She is qualified as both
a Level 3 Early Childhood Educator
and holds her Permanent Teacher Certification.

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Michelle Robertson

Michelle has spent the last 3 decades educating herself and working with children of various ages in various roles. She is a certified Level 1 Early Childhood Educator and also carries counseling and trauma therapy certifications. Michelle is passionate about children and their healthy development.

All Connections Nature Play Educators have undergone the Police Information Check and Vulnerable Sector Check process and are First Aid trained. We encourage and support our Educators in working towards Forest and Nature School Practitioner certification through the Child Nature Alliance of Canada.

Although we spend most of our time with the children outdoors, we also have access to washrooms and an indoor play space for when conditions are not conducive to being outdoors all day, such as cold spells, heat waves, extreme air quality and severe weather.

Thank you to the
Turner Valley Legion
for partnering with us
to create a ‘home base’ for Connections
Nature Play

The Turner Valley Legion organizes many seasonal events for local children and families, demonstrating their strong commitment to  our community’s youth. Veteran’s Hall and The Backyard have become a wonderful home base for Connections Nature Play, providing both indoor and outdoor play spaces and ample parking for drop-offs and pick-ups, as well as being located close to a variety of public natural spaces in the Town of Diamond Valley. 

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Thank you to the
Foothills Energy Coop for financially supporting the establishment of Connections
Nature Play!

 

We’d love to hear from you!

Call Us: 403-498-6321
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm
(excluding Statutory Holidays)

Email:  natureschool@dvslc.ca
Anytime!