AP 220: Early Childhood Development And Services

Instruction & Assessment


Early Childhood Programs utilize a continuum of programming that is developmentally appropriate and meets the diverse needs of young children and their families. A play-based learning environment shall exist as the standard that guides program development and delivery.


a) Early Childhood Programs: shall refer to those programs that support the developmental needs of children before they enter grade one. Young children participate as active partners in learning, build a set of shared experiences and develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare them for subsequent learning. Early Childhood Programs may provide additional support for children with identified needs to assist their access to learning by removing barriers.

b) Kindergarten: shall refer to one (1) component of the total Early Childhood Programs, as funded by Alberta Education’s Specialized Learning Supports (SLS) Kindergarten Severe Grant, and referring to the year immediately prior to grade one.


1. Children who meet criteria for Program Unit Funding shall requalify each year for a maximum of two years, following another year in Kindergarten under the SLS Grant.

2. A child, identified with severe disabilities or delay(s) shall be at least two (2) years and eight (8) months of age to access Early Childhood Programming.

3. A child, identified with mild language delay, shall be at least two (2) years and eight (8) months of age to access Early Childhood Programming; notably,

3.1. The child shall be diagnosed by a Speech and Language Pathologist with a moderate delay (3rd to 6th percentile) and identified risk factors that are likely to persist into later childhood; and/or

3.2. The identified child may have a moderate delay and two or more mild-moderate delays in fine motor and/or gross motor development to access Early Childhood Programming and shall access a maximum of three (3) years total including kindergarten.

4. Each child accessing Early Childhood Programming shall have developmentally appropriate programs with supports and services as needed.

5. The child’s individual program plan shall be developed collaboratively, engaging parents in a meaningful way.

6. Current provincial and divisional regulations with respect to safety standards, programs, policies, teachers, records, finance, and insurance shall be strictly maintained.

Kindergarten Considerations:

7. For the purpose of entering Kindergarten, a child must be at least 5 years old as of December 31 of the school year in which the child begins Kindergarten.

8. The Specialized Learning Support (SLS) Kindergarten Severe Grant is for children with a severe disability, severe language delay, or a moderate language delay who require additional supports beyond that offered in a regular Kindergarten program; notably:

8.1. To be eligible for the SLS Kindergarten Severe Grant, children must be a minimum of 4 years 8 months as of August 31 and less than 6 years of age as of September 1 of the school year.

9. The Division shall provide a Kindergarten program designed to enhance student abilities and skills, and address children’s developmental needs.

10. The Kindergarten program shall:

10.1. Be consistent with the Kindergarten Program Statement prescribed by Alberta Education;

10.2. Utilize an integrated play-based approach to learning; and,

10.3. Endeavour to actively involve parents, staff and community.


Date Approved: May 24, 2023

Reference: Education Act: 21, 42-43,5 6
Early Childhood Services Regulation (126/2022)
Funding Manual for School Authorities
Kindergarten Program Statement (2008)
Standards for Special Education (2004)
Standards for the Provision of Early Childhood Special Education (2006)

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: May, 2023

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.