[Skip to Content]
Kindergarten Page Banner


Last updated on Thursday, October 26, 2017.

HWDSB schools are exciting, enriching places for young learners to receive an education. They learn to explore the world around them, solve problems, and make new friends. Our Kindergarten Program helps students get off to the best possible start. Your child will be challenged and encouraged to do his or her very best. Our caring educators are with them every step of the way!

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is proud to announce that Kindergarten is available for four- and five-year-old students at schools in September.

Registration starts on February 6, 2017 at your home school. Visit Find My School to find  your home school.



Your child can attend HWDSB Kindergarten if they are…

  • Age four or five by December 31, Kindergarten attendance is optional.
  • Age six by September 1, full-time school attendance is required.

About our Kindergarten Program

During the regular school day, children are involved in many different kinds of activities designed to help young learners explore, discover and grow. They will have opportunities to initiate learning and play, as well as take part in more structured play-based learning under the guidance of a teacher and early childhood educator.

The teacher and early childhood educators are guided by a curriculum document based on the existing kindergarten program and research and other early learning curricula.

Play-based Learning

Instruction takes place in various formats including one-to-one, whole class and small groups.   Through play-based learning children develop a strong foundation for learning in all areas, including language and math, engage in healthy physical activities and the arts, and develop socially and emotionally through interaction with their peers and the educators who guide them.

Through informal meetings, parent conferences or written reports, parents will receive regular updates that include comments on the child’s learning. The reports also include suggestions for parents to support their child’s learning.

Advantages of Kindergarten at HWDSB

  • Safe school environments in which your child will learn
  • Parental involvement opportunities in every school
  • Community partnerships to enhance your childs learning experience
  • Access to numerous resources and support services
  • Caring, well-trained Kindergarten educators
  • Early learning and child care facilities are available at selected schools

Is my child ready for Kindergarten?

Help your child prepare for the Kindergarten experience:

  • Be responsive and positive – listen to your child
  • Talk, read, and sing to your child on a daily basis
  • Encourage clear speech
  • Encourage safe exploration and play
  • Be selective in the TV shows you watch together
  • Encourage independence in toileting and dressing
  • Promote sharing and co-operation
  • Expose your child to painting, crayons, and scissors
  • Introduce your child to letters and numbers
  • Visit your local library and family resource programs such as the Parenting and Family Literacy Centres and Ontario Early Years Centre
  • For  more information on community-based programs and services, call 211.

Is your child “language ready” for school?

When your child is getting ready to start Junior Kindergarten this fall, help them get the best possible start in school.  By age four, your child should:

  • Follow simple directions with two or three steps (e.g.:  Get your boots and hat and meet me at the front door)
  • Pronounce words about the same way as others his/her age
  • Be understood by people he/she doesn’t know most of the time
  • Speak in sentences that sound about the same as an adult’s
  • Use endings on words like dogs, jumped, or biking
  • Play a pretend game and be able to describe it to you afterwards with enough detail for you to understand
  • Be able to answer questions about a book you just read together

If your child is unable to do the things listed above, a speech-language pathologist should meet with your child. In the Hamilton area, Early Words is a publicly funded organization that provides speech and language services to pre-school children.  Please call Early Words at (905) 381-2828. You must call this number to register your child before August 31, in order for your child to be eligible for services through his/her Junior Kindergarten year.  There is no cost to parents.

Do you have children up to 6 years old? Do you have questions about your children’s development?

Come and find out if your children are on track! For free!

Check it out and meet with nurses, speech and language pathologists and teachers. Help your children grow and learn by coming to a Check It Out. For “Check It Out” times and locations call Health Connections 905-546-3550 or the Hamilton Early Years Information Line 905-524-4884 www.hamilton.ca/beststartwww.ndds.ca.

What school will my child attend?

Parents must register at their home school.

Not sure which school is your home school? Visit our Find My School Application.

How do I register my child for Kindergarten?


Parents must register at their home school.

Find your home school using our online School Locator tool at www.hwdsb.on.ca/find or call 905-527-5092, ext. 2391.

What to bring to registration?

  • proof of status in Canada, i.e. Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Refugee, etc.,
  • proof of age,
  • proof of address,
  • guardianship/custodianship documents (if applicable)
  • immunization records – for City of Hamilton Public Health Services
  • health card number – optional
  • Completed Student Registration Form – Please note that the form cannot save to your computer with your completed information, please fill in the content and print.

Before and After-school Programs

At HWDSB, the before- and after-school program (extended day program) provides children with more opportunities to learn and grow during a seamless day with fewer transitions for children and families. A list of schools where this program is offered is below.

These programs generally run from school entry and dismissal. although exact times may vary by school, based on family needs and entry/dismissal times. Parents can choose to enrol their child in the before-school program, the after-school program, both programs or not at all.

These programs will operate on school days and, where there is sufficient interest, may offer expanded services on PA days and some school holidays. Again, this may vary by school. Program details are listed below.

Programs require at least 20 students to be part of the extended day program. Boards may not offer the before- and after-school programs if there is not enough interest from families. In addition to the program for kindergarten students, the extended day program may be offered to students in grades 1 and 2 on a first-come, first-serve basis, if space exists at a school.

The extended day program is a fee-for-service program. The average daily fee for a before and after-school program is $18.00. All fees posted are subject to change.

Need Help?

Families who need help with costs may be eligible for subsidies through the City of Hamilton. Find details on eligibility for this assistance on the City of Hamilton website or by calling 905-546-4870.

If you would like more information, please contact Lisa Kiriakopoulos, 905.527.5092 ext 2234.

Information on How to Apply for Financial Assistance for Before and After School Programs: Financial support is available to eligible families who live in Hamilton and need assistance with child care costs for children ages 0-12 years.

To find answers to general questions about child care fee subsidy and learn more about eligibility, who to contact and what to expect please go to: https://www.hamilton.ca/social-services/early-years-and-child-care-services/about-child-care-fee-subsidy

Office location:
Child Care Subsidy
Lister Block Building
28 James Street North, 6th Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8R 2K1
Contact Information:
Phone: 905-546-4870
Email: childcare@hamilton.ca
Fax: 905-546-3064
Office hours: Monday-Friday. 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Select a school

All schools with early learning and child care programs are listed below. Use the arrow key below to select your child's school, and if early learning and child care is available at your child's school, the details will be available.

Special Needs

School board personnel partner with parents and community agencies to support the learning needs of all students so that they can have a positive and seamless transition to school.  Depending on the needs of the child, specialized personnel and equipment will be identified to support the learning plan at your child’s school.

Find out how HWDSB supports your student with Special Needs:

First Rider Program - Transportation

Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board take the safety of all students seriously. We believe that our youngest riders deserve some additional orientation support as they start riding school buses. For this reason, HWSTS provides First Rider orientation / safety training sessions for JK/SK students and their guardians annually. Sessions are approximately 45 minutes in length where students and their parents watch a video on bus safety, take a ride on a school bus, and receive an introduction to all the safety features on the bus. Students will receive an information package and a certificate with their name on it. Additional information on the First Rider program, locations, dates, and eligibility will be forwarded to parents by HWSTS in early summer. For more information, please visit the Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) website.Transportation

Kindergarten Information Toolkit