Alberta’s youth are headed back to school this fall, but what does it mean for Alberta’s youngest?

Some schools for little ones around the area such as Hope Community Playschool have made the hard decision to keep their doors closed this year due to the pandemic.

Strathmore and District Playschool, however, have decided to stay open, but have made some changes in their day to day operations.

“There will be a lot of different things,” explained Janique Lagace, Administrator for the playschool. “We will not be able to have all the parents in the building to drop off and pick up their children. We will have to start 3-year-old and 4-year-old classes at different times. We are only allowed to have 6 parents in the building at a time, then once one person leaves, we can let someone else in to pick up or drop off their kid.”

As for the children, the school is trying to keep things as normal as possible for them. As soon as the children enter the classroom, Lagace says the children will be classified as their own cohort and will be able to be near each other.

“As much as we like the kids to come to playschool to learn to share everything, this year we will have to tell them to keep their hands to themselves, and not share as much as we would like them to. We will also be teaching them to wash their hands frequently and to not touch their faces.”

Certain toys have also been put away because of the pandemic due to sanitary reasons.

“There are a lot of toys that we are not able to use as they are not easily sanitized. We will have to put away our sand tables, and plush toy, cushions. Everything that is not easily sanitized is not allowed.”

One of the biggest changes will be that parents are no longer able to come and volunteer with the classes, causing the playschool to have to hire assistants for the year. They have received some government assistance since the pandemic, but it will not be enough. The playschool has had to raise its monthly fees.

They are still currently looking to hire assistants. Applicants can email for more information.