JICS Licensed Nursery

Information for Parents

Years ago our school began as a Nursery. The Nursery program still belongs within the community and administration of our whole school. In addition to these supports and standards, the Nursery is also licensed under the Child Care and Early Years Act. All programs for young children are now regulated by the Ontario Government to ensure quality of care, developmentally appropriate programs and safety for all children. As required by the act we have a number of written policies outlining how we ensure the standards of care recognized by the province. Policies regarding program implementation, anaphylaxis, supervision of student teachers and volunteers, administration of medication and other aspects of our work related to sanitary practices and safety can now be found here on our website.


Program Statement

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The Philosophy and Purpose of the School

For 90 years, the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School at the University of Toronto has been committed to the education of young children. Incorporating the developmental, social and cognitive findings of Child Study with influences from progressive education, the Lab School has long been an exemplar of and an advocate for secure, caring, consistent, inquiry-based learning throughout the elementary years.

  • Every student is viewed as individual, unique in his or her combination of developmental readiness, culture, lifestyle, learning style, temperament, and special talents.
  • Our program and teaching reflect our belief that students have different needs at different developmental stages. Our approach is both rigorous and flexible, encouraging the construction of knowledge by teaching students to formulate questions, analyze and solve problems.
  • The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study is committed to helping each student master important subject matter, learn to think critically and creatively, understand the values and traditions which underlie our global society, and develop a sense of personal and community responsibility.
  • The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study is a community of students and teachers, responsible to each other. We work in partnership with each parent to support and enhance the learning of each student.
  • Jackman ICS provides an environment that fosters research and professional inquiry. The school makes a significant contribution to the education, human development and applied psychology work within our university and in the wider educational community in Canada and internationally.
  • The school serves a role in preparing pre-service teachers for their professional life through its contributions to the Jackman ICS Master of Arts in Child Study and Education program, providing both practicum experience, mentoring and course instruction by our teaching staff

The Nursery Program

The Nursery offers a morning program for three- and four-year-olds. The aim of the program is to offer a nurturing environment that provides children the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and secure setting. In this individualized program, children are strongly accepted and appreciated for who they are as we encourage them to try new things and openly express their ideas and feelings. Diversity is valued and celebrated.

The nursery curriculum is designed to meet the strengths, needs, and interests of each child. The program is founded on the belief that young children learn best through free and active experimentation and exploration of materials and ideas as they discover the world around them. Children are supported through challenges and encouraged to reason through problems that arise. There is a strong emphasis on creativity; imaginative play is highly valued. In their interactions with peers, children are helped to understand other viewpoints as they negotiate conflict and discover the joys of social play. Essential to all early learning - social, emotional and academic - are the strong relationships formed between adults and children, among children, and between home and school.

As we develop a curriculum that responds to the ongoing needs and interests of the group, we seek to offer children a balance between spontaneous, child-initiated activities and more structured teacher-led learning. Much of the morning is designed as a play-based program, supporting children’s deep engagement in a variety of learning activities; these may include building, art, problem-solving, science exploration, fine-motor activities, reading and story-telling, dramatic play and outdoor play. The program is further enhanced by the integration of specialist teachers in the areas of music, creative movement, visual art, library and physical education.

Special visitors and field trips enrich the learning by connecting the class with the wider community. Special guests may include storytellers or artists or even a parent with expertise in a relevant field. Each year resources from the Patrick Harvey Arts Fund are used to provide exciting arts opportunities for all the students of the school.

Special Note: As we support children to work together in respectful ways, we are mindful that our school’s Behaviour Code is relevant to everyone in the community. Adults and children alike are responsible for creating a safe and caring learning environment and for listening and speaking to one another in respectful ways.

The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School community is committed to upholding the principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Bill of Rights. All forms of discriminatory behaviour are unacceptable.

Reflective Practice

Nursery teachers and student teachers share observations of the children and their play in daily conversation, in written observations and in meetings. These observations shape the ongoing decisions made by the Nursery teachers about the classroom environment, curriculum choices and how best to support the children.

The Nursery teacher meets weekly with student teachers to reflect on their role in the classroom and their understanding of child development, as well as work with them in their planning for the program. The Nursery teacher also works with specialist teachers, in informal check-in conversations and at meetings, to share information about the children and how they are responding to the specialist programs. As members of a lab school, we view our role as “teacher-researchers", constantly refining our practice in response to observations made in the classroom, new research, and reflections from our colleagues.

Ongoing communication with parents is also a key aspect of our work. Parents learn more about the program through Nursery notices, school-wide newsletters and documentation posted outside the classroom or sent electronically. Parent breakfasts, field trips and open house mornings allow parents to be part of the classroom community. Parents also meet with the Nursery teacher for formal interviews twice a year; other meetings are arranged as needed. Report cards for each child are mailed to families twice a year.

Professional Licensed Practice

Years ago our school began as a Nursery. The Nursery program still belongs within the community and administration of our whole school. In addition to these supports and standards, the Nursery is also licensed under the Child Care and Early Years Act. All programs for young children are now regulated by the Ontario Government to ensure quality of care, developmentally appropriate programs and safety for all children. As required by the act we have a number of written policies outlining how we ensure the standards of care recognized by the province. Policies regarding program implementation, anaphylaxis, supervision of student teachers and volunteers, administration of medication and other aspects of our work related to sanitary practices and safety can now be found here on our website.

“The focus [of early years curriculum] is not on teaching a body of knowledge or a predetermined set of topics. Nor is it centered on children’s achievement of a specific skill set. In the early years, programs are most effective when the content of learning is focused on supporting the development of strategies, dispositions, and skills for lifelong learning through play and inquiry. Through play and inquiry, young children practice ways of learning and interacting with the world around them that they will apply throughout their lives. Problem solving and critical thinking, communication and collaboration, creativity and imagination, initiative and citizenship are all capacities vital for success throughout school and beyond.”
- from How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years

Program Implementation Policy

Working in the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Nursery

The Nursery Programs runs from 8:45 – 11:45am every weekday.

Important Contacts:

Nursery Teacher: Norah L’Espérance - norah.lesperance@utoronto.ca

Nursery Assistant Teachers: Kenisha Peters, Naomi-Ruth Weerasooriya, and Chantal Taylor

Nursery Late Morning Assistant: Silvana Clavero

Nursery Supervisor and Vice Principal of the Lab School: Chriss Bogert - chriss.bogert@utoronto.ca

School Secretary: Nancy Boudreau

School Administrator and Work Study Coordinator: Naomi-Ruth Weerasooriya

*To contact any of these people by phone, call the School Office: 416-934-4517

Daily Life in the Nursery

8:45 – 9:00: Greeting/ Settling-In
Children and teachers greet each other; children are supported to choose and sustain an activity. We may sometimes begin the day by gathering as a whole group on the carpet; most days our activity centres are all open so the children can get busy immediately.

9:00 – 10:00: Exploration Play
Children engage freely in a variety of art, sensory, building, literacy, math-based, fine-motor and imaginary play activities. Teachers work with individuals and small groups to facilitate play and support emerging social, physical and academic skills. Snack is integrated into the morning playtime in a free-flow manner, allowing children to eat at the table with an adult and a small group of peers.Tuesday and Friday mornings, Tara brings special Art activities to the classroom.On Thursday mornings parent volunteers read to small groups of children in the Library.

10:00/10:30: Moving Beyond the Classroom
Children move to other settings in the school in half groups, continuing their learning with specialty teachers. Children visit specialty teachers in half-class groups for (approx.) half-hour periods.

Tuesday: Gym with Mike (flexible grouping 10:00); Library with Krista (half-groups alternate each week 10:30)

Wednesday: Music with Suzanne (9:00am, 10:30)

Thursday: Gym with Mike (half group 10:00); Drama with Sarah M. (half-groups alternate each week 10:30)

Friday: Gym with Mike (half-group 10:00)

10:30: Circle Time / Half-Group Learning Activities
Nursery teachers work with half the class: learning opportunities include stories, singing, movement, puzzles, games, discussions and hands-on investigations.

11:00 – 11:45: Outdoor Play
Gross motor activities, pretend play and fresh air! Children play outside until they are picked up. On Wednesdays we gather the Nursery children in the sandbox at 11:30.

***Nursery children are picked-up from the playground by 11:45am.

Click here to view the Nursery 2018/2019 Weekly & Daily Schedules.


Each classroom teacher is responsible for classroom attendance. Teachers record attendance by 8:50 a.m. daily using the Sandbox attendance program on their class iPad. Children who enter the classroom after 8:50 a.m. are recorded as “late” in the attendance register by Nancy in the school office. Children who are not present by the time the attendance register is sent to the school office via the iPads are marked “absent”. Children who arrive after the attendance register has been sent to the office must present the teacher with a purple “I’ve arrived” slip or an adult must inform the office that they have arrived. This is a vital check that the attendance recorded in the office is accurate. If parents have told you their child(ren) will be away, please make sure that a teacher notes this in the comments column so the school secretary has a record of the reason for the absence.

Daily Set-up of the Classroom

Teachers and student teachers work together in the Nursery to set-up the learning environment each day. We vary the toys and materials we bring out each day, trying to maintain a balance between novelty and consistency. Adults working in the classroom are asked to observe the children’s play carefully and share any suggestions about how the environment can best serve the children’s play and wellbeing. As the Nursery classroom is a shared space we are also mindful of preparing it for the daycare program that uses the space after the Nursery program.

Adult-Child Ratios

Adult-Child ratios, as set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act are maintained at all times in the Nursery Program to ensure the safety and well-being of the children. One Nursery teacher must be present for every eight children in the program. Student teachers, work-study students and volunteers are not counted in this ratio, although we fully appreciate the care and support they offer the children and the way in which they enrich the program. Note: Nursery Teachers only accompany children to the toilet.


Teachers assess student progress on a continuous basis throughout the school year, collecting and using a wide range of information to provide an informed and comprehensive picture of the student’s learning. Every adult in the Nursery is encouraged to contribute to each child’s assessment folder and to inform the Nursery teacher of anything to note in the daily record.

Supervision of Staff, Student Teachers, and Volunteers

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Nursery Program Staff

All Nursery staff members are supervised by the Nursery Supervisors (approved as supervisors under the Child Care and Early Years Act), in most cases these two supervisors are the Lab School Nursery Teacher and the Lab School Vice-Principal. As well, Nursery staff are members of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School and work under the leadership of the Lab School’s administrative team and the expectations of the University of Toronto.

Nursery staff members engage in orientation sessions at the beginning of each school year (or when beginning their work placements) that include reviews of all school policies.

  • The Nursery Supervisors monitor the work of the staff in the Nursery and provide ongoing feedback in both impromptu daily meetings and scheduled staff meetings. All Nursery staff members are also part of a yearly professional review conducted by the school administration.
  • All concerns and complaints regarding behaviour management practices made by anyone including staff, students, volunteers, parents/guardians, and others are addressed and responded to by the school administration.

Review and Sign-Off

The Nursery Program Statement and Implementation Policy, as well as policies and procedures related to emergency information, anaphylaxis and allergies, administration of medication and playground safety are reviewed prior to working with children for the first time and at least annually thereafter with each staff member, student and volunteer. After reviewing the policies and procedures each person must sign and date the review and sign off sheet.

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Record Rentention

All records involving review of policy and procedures, as well as the monitoring of practices, will be kept on file at the Lab School for two years.

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Volunteers, Work Study Students, and Practicum Students

We are fortunate to have the support, care and skills of a number of adults in the Nursery program. Some of these are Masters students in practicum placements during their teacher training. Others are university work-study students and others are volunteers.

Note: Only employees, over the age of 18, have unsupervised access to the children. Volunteers, Work Study Students and Practicum Students are not included in adult-child ratios required by the Child Care and Early Years Act.

  • Student teachers are both learning in the classroom and contributing their skills and talents to the program.
  • As is required by the Child Care and Early Years Act, student teachers have their immunization records reviewed and criminal record checks before beginning their placements.
  • Children are never left in the care of a student teacher alone, qualified teachers are always present.
  • Student teachers who work in the classroom are constantly monitored by the Nursery Teacher and students receive feedback daily; they are also reviewed by staff from the MA program and the Lab School who visit the classroom to watch their teaching and who meet with them outside the classroom to discuss their placements. MA students receive written evaluations part way through their placements and at the end of their placement.
  • Work-Study students and volunteers add to our support of the children and the program; they also have a criminal record check and review of their immunization record. Like students in placements, volunteers and work-study students in the course of their duties are never left alone with the children. They are monitored and given ongoing feedback from Nursery teachers.
  • Volunteers, Work Study Students and MA students in their placements are all given a handbook at the beginning of their work in the classroom. This handbook outlines the philosophy of the program and gives guidelines for working with the children. They also all read the Program Statement and Implementation Policy. They “review and sign-off” to acknowledge their understanding of these policies.

Training and Development Policy for Staff

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Professional Development

Teachers at the Lab School, including the Nursery teacher, pursue professional development in many ways, including a weekly Wednesday afternoon meeting. Attendance at these weekly staff meetings and planned professional development events is mandatory.

Teachers at Jackman ICS are encouraged to attend conferences and other experiences related to their professional development and report back on their learning during our Wednesday Staff Meetings. Plans to attend conferences should be discussed in advance with Richard and Chriss. Teachers use their UTFA PD Budget to pay for conference expenses and fill out the Conference Information Form.

Nursery Assistant teachers are also encouraged to attend conferences and workshops related to professional development.

All Nursery staff meet monthly to review the growth and development of the children, the daily operations of the Nursery with respect to health and safety standards and to discuss pedagogy.

All Nursery staff review all Nursery policies and the Lab School Teacher Handbook annually or before commencing employment.

All Nursery staff receive First Aid Training every three years to maintain current certification.

All Nursery staff are in good standing with the College of Early Childhood Educators and are hired based on their experience and ability to implement a quality childcare environment and responsibly care for young children.

Health, Hygiene, and Sanitary Practices

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Health, Hygiene, and Sanitary Practices

Teachers follow recommended guidelines for hand washing and helping children in the toilet. Toys are washed regularly. Any toy that a child puts in their mouth should be removed from the play area to be sanitized.

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Daily Cleaning

All school classrooms and administrative rooms are cleaned after 6pm each day. Floors are vacuumed and mopped daily.

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Cleaning Supplies

Bleach is kept in the a locked cupboard below the sink beside the refrigerator. Each day, Nursery teachers will mix bleach and water (using the proportions recommended by Toronto Public Health – see chart in cupboard over sink) in the spray bottle labeled for this purpose (kept beside the sink). This is used for disinfection purposes. After tables are cleaned, bleach should be sprayed on and wiped with a clean paper towel. Other cleaners used in the Nursery include dish detergent and “Orange-a- Peel” concentrated cleaner. The evening cleaning staff, hired by U of T, have a full range of cleaners approved for their use on carpets, surfaces and washrooms. CAUTION must be exercised to keep cleaner OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN.

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Food Preparation and Serving

Food for daily snacks is stored appropriately in fridges and cupboards. Counters are cleaned and disinfected daily and before beginning any food prep. Anyone preparing or serving food uses appropriate hand-washing procedures. Tables are wiped and sanitized before any food is served. Children wash their hands before joining the snack table. An approved “three sink method” is used to clean all dishes and utensils.

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Toys and Equipment

Toys and play equipment are disinfected according to their use: some daily and others on a rotating schedule (see Cleaning Protocol and schedule). All tabletops are cleaned daily by our school cleaners and periodically throughout the school day, as needed. Floors are swept after messy creative activities or snack time. Any toy that has been in a child’s mouth is removed from the play area and disinfected before returning to circulation.


Garbage is removed daily. Disposable diapers are placed in an appropriate container designed for this purpose.

Washroom Routine

Children wash their hands with soap and water, after they have been to the toilet. They dry their hands on a paper towel, and then dispose the dirty paper towel in the garbage bin.

Diaper Routine

Children who wear diapers are changed in the Nursery washroom. Nursery aged children are changed standing up. Staff members clean hands and put on gloves when changing a child. Diapers (and any wipes/diaper creams provided by the family) are stored in each child’s cubby in the bathroom. After removing gloves, staff members clean their hands and assist the child in cleaning his or her hands. Dirty diapers should be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of in the container designated for this purpose.

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Hand Washing

Staff members use appropriate hand-washing procedures:

  • After helping a child in the washroom or changing a diaper

  • Before handling any food

  • Before and after administering first-aid

Blood and Body Fluid Spills

The area around a spill of blood or other body fluids should be immediately isolated. Staff members use gloves or other protective equipment when cleaning up this kind of spill. Blood and body fluids are cleaned up with paper towel, soap and water; attention should given to any splashes or splatters around the area. A brush and dustpan should be used for any broken glass or sharp objects. After cleaning, the area should be rinsed and disinfected. Disinfectant should be left on for at least 5 minutes.

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Infection Prevention and Control

Nursery teachers, along with our administrative staff work together to manage health information and to monitor signs, symptoms and illness in the Nursery class community. This is done through surveillance, exclusion when needed, communication with parents and with public health when appropriate.

  • All parents are informed of the importance of keeping children home when they are sick and signs and symptoms that would indicate that a child is not well enough to be at school (the Nursery Parent Handbook contains this information).

  • Nursery Teachers observe children for signs of illness upon arrival and are in communication with parents about any illness or symptoms the child may be experiencing.

  • Daily records of attendance are maintained by our administrative team and kept in the school office. Notes regarding absence due to illness are recorded in the attendance record.

  • Nursery Families provide immunization records when they enrol their child in the Nursery. Parents are asked to provide updates to this record when they occur. These records are kept in the school office.

  • Reportable communicable diseases are called in to Public Health. Follow-up with parents occurs when necessary.

Exclusion Due to Illness
  • Children who are showing signs of illness are evaluated as to whether school is the best place for them to be. Caregivers will be called if:

      • the child is not able to participate fully in school activities due to their ill health

      • they need care beyond what can be provided in the school environment

      • they are contagious and risk spreading disease to others

  • A child who may have a communicable disease is brought to the school office where school administrators and teachers can refer to the signs and symptoms of communicable diseases and determine whether the child should be isolated and sent home.

  • Any child or staff member who develops symptoms of a communicable disease is removed from the classroom and shared school spaces.

Outbreak Management

When a child has contracted a communicable disease and is showing symptoms of this at school…

  • Parents and emergency contacts are notified as soon as possible so that the child can be picked up.

  • Children are isolated in the school office until they are picked up.

  • Signs of communicable diseases are noted in the attendance register. This is true for children who are sent home, as well as parents who phone in to let us know about the health of their absent child.

  • If an outbreak is suspected (more than one person, with the same symptoms on the same day), office administrators report this to Toronto Public Health at 416-392-7411. Information shared will include:

      • Date and time of the first case

      • Date and time of the most recent case

      • Total number of children and staff in the class

      • Total number of ill children and staff in the class

      • Signs and symptoms of the illness experienced

      • Control measures we have implemented

  • In the case of a severe outbreak Toronto Public Health may require parents to submit stool samples to the Central Public Health Laboratory. The school will contact parents for their consent should this be recommended.

  • During an outbreak, hand hygiene will be reinforced, high touch surfaces and toys will be disinfected more frequently and communal sensory play (water table, play-dough) may be suspended.

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Reporting Unsanitary Conditions

Nursery teachers report any problems with equipment or unsanitary conditions in the learning environment to U of T administration. Our receptionist, Paige, should be informed of any plumbing issues. Other issues are reported to our Business Officer, Jun Cheng.

Administration of Medication

In accordance with the Child Care and Early Years Act, the Nursery staff may administer prescribed and non-prescribed medication when authorized by a parent.

Any medication must be in the original container and labelled with the child's full name. Parents are required to fill out a medical dispensing form indicating the child's name and administration instructions including administration times and dosage.

Medication should be given to a staff member in the school office. Medication will be stored in accordance with the instructions on the label. If refrigeration is not needed it will stored out of reach of children in the school office. Medication that needs refrigeration will be stored in the office refrigerator. Asthma medication and Epi-Pens will be kept in a safe location and readily available for emergencies.

Medication will only be administered to a child from the original container as supplied by a pharmacist or the original container/package and labeled with the following:

• The child’s name
• The name of the drug or medication
• The dosage of the drug or medication
• The date of purchase and expiration
• Instructions for storage and administration

Following administration of medication, the medical dispensing form will be signed by a staff member in the school office; the time of administration and any reactions will be noted.

In the event of a missed medicine administration, the parent/guardian will be notified. Any unused medication will be returned.

Click here to the JICS Medical Administration Log & Permission Form.

Anaphylaxis and Food Allergies

Snack is served in the Nursery each day. All adults working in the Nursery must familiarize themselves with the information about food and other allergies that is posted in the classroom.

  • Epi-pens and other epinephrine injectors will be placed in a clear ziploc bag labeled with a bright pink "Epi-pen stored here" sign, in a visible location on a bulletin board in the classroom.
  • Teachers will take Epi-pens and other epinephrine injectors with them when leaving the school (i.e. fieldtrips)
  • Children will be monitored for symptoms indicated on their individualized plans, should they have an anaphylactic reaction 911 will be called and the procedures on the child’s emergency plan will be followed. A child’s individual plan will include:
  • Description of the child’s allergy
  • Monitoring and avoidance strategies
  • Parent/Guardian consent for administering allergy medication
  • Emergency contact information
  • Location of Epi-Pen and back up
  • If an Epi-pen is administered, a child will be immediately transferred to hospital.
  • All Jackman ICS staff members are required to have current first aid certification.
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It is the responsibility of the parents with anaphylactic children to identify their children to the school using the medical forms sent out in May. A copy of this form is included in the class emergency numbers file as well as in the school secretary's office in a red binder. On this form the parents are asked to provide information regarding the child's triggers and history of reactions to the specified triggers. This form also includes a photo of the child and permission to administer epinephrine in the event of an anaphylactic reaction. The parents are required to send in two epinephrine auto-injectors (one for the classroom, one for another area in the school) that will be effective throughout the school year.

Reducing Exposure & Communicating to Keep Children Safe

  • In addition to the information gathered by the office in the May package, teachers will also communicate with parents before school begins to gain information about the allergies of the children in their care
  • Teachers will work with parents and school staff members to reduce, and when possible eliminate, the child’s risk of exposure to their allergens
  • Modifications to school snacks and food shared at special events will be made when possible in order to meet these goals:
    • making these events as inclusive as possible
    • reducing the exposure of problem foods for children with food allergies
  • Families in a child’s cohort will be alerted should there be specific considerations to be taken into account when preparing snack, or food for special celebrations etc.
  • When appropriate, children with anaphylactic food allergies will bring their own food from home
  • All Nursery staff, student teachers and volunteers will be made aware of the children in the class with anaphylaxis and the allergens these children need to avoid
    • In addition to reviewing each student’s individual plan, all Nursery staff will also review this policy every school year prior to the arrival of the children in September
    • All student teachers, work study students and volunteers will review this policy, as well as the individual plans of each student, before beginning their work with the children each year
  • Anaphylaxis information, along with a photo of each child with anaphylaxis, will be posted in the classroom and kitchen. Information about every child in the school with allergies is also stored in the school office, in the emergency backpack in every classroom, in the staff and MA students lounge and in the multi-purpose/lunch room.
  • Supply teachers will also be given this information in written form
  • The Lab school announces a "nut-free" policy to all families and the school is a nut-free zone.

Fire Evacuation Emergency Procedures

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  • A red “Emergency back pack” is kept in the Nursery (usually on the countertop)– this back pack contains:
    • first aid supplies (including band-aids in the front pocket)
    • a red booklet containing all contact numbers and medical information about every child in the class
    • Epipens are attached to the bulletin board behind the countertop “desk” area
    • Any other medication is stored in the school office out of reach of children.
  • In the case of a fire alarm or drill, the nursery children should be ushered out the recess (south) door and led to the middle of the long benches in the playground. The attendance clipboard should accompany the class and the windows and doors should be shut.
  • In the case of a lock down or lock down practice, we will receive information through the walkie-talkie system. The children should be gathered on the carpet and quietly read a story. Classroom doors should be closed.

* All adults working in the Nursery must read the allergy and medical information posted on the cupboard above the sink.

* Other information about the children’s special needs will be posted inside one of the cupboard doors. * please ask about this

* Remember that the information which families share with us about their children’s particular health or learning needs is confidential within our classroom staff community. If parents share information/questions/concerns, this information should be shared with the Nursery Teacher, Norah.

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Fire Drill

Fire procedures are posted near the door of the Nursery classroom. All adults are asked to familiarize themselves with these procedures. We have several unannounced school-wide fire drills each year. Nursery children and teachers also implement additional fire drills so as to practice emergency procedures every month.

Click here to view the complete JICS Fire Evacuation Emergency Procedures.

Nursery Monitoring Compliance Policy


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that that staff are informed of and adhere to all the policies and procedures in place in the Nursery program. As well, it is important that all Nursery staff understand that compliance with the policies will be monitored on an on-going basis and any contraventions will be addressed.

Responsibility for Knowledge of and Commitment to Policies

Upon being hired, as well as annually thereafter, staff will be responsible for reading and reviewing relevant policy documents. Staff will record the date that they review the policies, as well as sign an annual staff agreement indicating their agreement to implement these policies. The Supervisor will ensure that this happens at the start of each school year for returning staff, and at the time of employment for new staff.

Relevant Policies

The policies that will be monitored for compliance include:

  • Playground Safety Policy
  • Anaphylactic Policy
  • Sanitary Practices Policy
  • Serious Occurrence Policy
  • Medication Policy
  • Supervision of Volunteers and Students Policy
  • Program Statement Implementation Policy
  • Staff Training and Development Policy
  • Criminal Reference Check/Vulnerable Sector Check Policy
  • Fire Safety/Evacuation Procedures
  • Waiting List Policy
  • Any children’s individual plans for accommodations that may be in place

How compliance with these policies will be monitored

  1. The Supervisor and Head Nursery teacher will conduct a review of all policies before the start of each new school year, and revise as needed.
  2. All Nursery staff will be required to read each year all policies and procedures before school begins in September, and to sign and date a chart that they have done so.
  3. All Nursery staff will be required to know, understand, and implement children’s individual plans for accommodations as needed.
  4. The Supervisory and Head Nursery teacher will formally and informally observe all the staff in the Nursery program on an on-going basis for policy compliance and provide relevant feedback.
  5. The Supervisor will formally and informally observe the Head Nursery in the Nursery program on an on-going basis for policy compliance and provide relevant feedback.
  6. The Supervisor and Head Nursery teacher will provide initial training for new staff, and then monitor as in #4.
  7. The Head Nursery will hold regular meetings with Nursery staff, once per month. At these meetings, the implementation of policies will be discussed.
  8. During these monthly meetings, the Nursery teachers will also discuss the ongoing daily implementation of the program and policy, children of concern, and other issues as they arise. This includes reviewing children’s individual plans and accommodations, and ensuring understanding of and compliance with these plans/accommodations.
  9. The Head Nursery teacher and Supervisor will have regular meetings, once per month, to discuss observations of staff with respect to policy compliance.
  10. Opportunities for additional learning, training, and support will be provided to all staff as needed.

How contraventions of these policies will be addressed

  1. If a staff member is observed to not be following the policies, the Head Nursery teacher will ask for an individual meeting to discuss and review the policy in question. Opportunities for further training provided as required. The teacher will be closely observed for compliance following this meeting.
  2. If the contravention continues, the Head Nursery teacher will bring it to the attention of the Nursery supervisor. The Supervisor will meet with both the staff member and the Head Nursery to review the policy again. The staff member will be supervised to ensure compliance.
  3. Data will be collected about incidents, including date, description, actions taken, and next steps.
  4. This data will be used to discuss with the staff member what is expected
  5. If further contraventions occur, the staff will receive first a verbal warning from the Supervisor, under advisement from School Principal and Business officer.
  6. This may lead to suspension of duties if not corrected, at which time the Supervisor would seek further counsel from School Principal and Business officer, and possibly Human Resources at OISE. This may include a written warning, and then possibly dismissal if not corrected.

Recording Compliance and Contraventions to Policies

The following information will be recorded (please see appendix)

  • A date of the observed behavior
  • A description of the observed behavior
  • One of the following:
    • An analysis of how this behavior was compliant with the policies, OR
    • An analysis of how this behavior was non-compliant with the policies
  • What actions were taken or will be taken by the Head Nursery Teacher or Supervisor to address the non-compliance, and next steps

Addressing Non-Compliance and Contraventions to Policies

The manner in which non-compliance is addressed may depend on circumstances and context, but here are some general guidelines.

The Nursery Staff Policy Compliance Checklist can be viewed here.

Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check Policy

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All staff members working with children in the Lab School are required to submit a satisfactory criminal record check through the Vulnerable Sector Screening Program. Returning teachers will be asked to sign the Annual Offence Declaration to confirm that there have been no changes to the information on file.

Nursery Staff members must update their Vulnerable Sector Check every five years (as required by the Child Care and Early Years Act), and after a break in employment of more than 6 months (not including a maternity/parental leave or a sick leave). (A declaration is required after a break in employment of less than six months.) Anyone beginning work in the Nursery must submit a check that has been obtained and conducted within 6 months of beginning employment.

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All volunteers working in the Nursery program on an occasional or recurring basis, are required to submit a satisfactory criminal record check through the Vulnerable Sector Screening Program.

Parent volunteers are required to obtain only a criminal record check. Please find more information about volunteering as a parent in the Parent Volunteer Policy.

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Work Study Students

All volunteers working in the Nursery program on a regular, consistent basis are required to submit a satisfactory criminal record check through the Vulnerable Sector Screening Program.

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Teacher Candidates

All Teacher Candidates are Associate Members of the Ontario Teacher’s Federation and the Ontario College of Teachers. As Associate Members, Teacher Candidates are expected to always act in a professional manner according to the Standards of Practice of the Ontario College of Teachers. As Associate Members of the Ontario Teacher’s Federation, Teacher Candidates should be aware of the Regulation under the Teaching Profession Act.

Teacher Candidates are required to:

  • obtain a vulnerable sector police record check (VSS), including a mental health assessment (MHA)

  • complete a Workplace Safety/ Insurance Form for each placement (onus is on student to submit)

Note: Teacher Candidates, Volunteers and Work Study Students placed in the Nursery need to sign a declaration if their Vulnerable Sector Screen is more than six months old.The VSS must be less than five years old.

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Process for obtaining the Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS)

The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study has it’s own memorandum with the Toronto Police Department, and is able to act as the “agency” requesting the criminal record check; the checks are then completed by the Toronto Police Service.

Anyone needing to obtain a VSS for work in the Nursery program will be given a letter and signed form from the Lab School Vice Principal, Chriss Bogert.

Jun Cheng, the business officer, and Nancy Boudreau, the school secretary, also have this authority under the memorandum. The letter, form, and payment are mailed in to the Police Department by the applicant. The Police Department will mail the document to the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to bring the document to the school and give to the school staff. The original of the document must be seen by the Vice Principal, Business Officer, or School Secretary. A copy will be made for the school to keep, and will be signed saying the original has been viewed and verified by the school.

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Should the applicant submit a Criminal Record Check or Vulnerable Sector Screening showing evidence of a police record, confirmation of his/her duties will be postponed pending a review of the information. A police record will not necessarily disqualify the applicant from the position. The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Lab School reserves the right to request the applicant to provide additional information with regard to his/her application for duties. The final decision will be made by the school administrative leaders in consultation the Institute’s director and business officer. The applicant’s information will remain confidential and will not be shared beyond the members of this Criminal Record Check Management Review Committee.

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Protection of Children

If there are staff working in the Nursery program while their Criminal Reference Check is still pending, they will not be allowed to be alone with the Nursery children. Additional measures will be put in place to protect the children until the vulnerable sector check is obtained.

Parent Issues and Concerns Policy and Procedures

The Parent Issues and Concerns Policy and Procedures can be viewed here.

Lab School Admissions and Wait List Policy

Jackman ICS is committed to diversity in all forms. Three principles underlie ongoing efforts to build a unique learning community and create diverse, gender-balanced, equitable classrooms with broad-based populations representing cultural, economic, and social diversity:

  • Jackman ICS aims to represent Toronto’s diversity, including its aboriginal and multi-ethnic dimensions.
  • Jackman ICS strives for economic diversity by providing limited needs-based financial support.
  • Jackman ICS classrooms are gender-balanced.

Preference will be given to siblings of currently enrolled children, candidates who have completed the Jackman ICS-Bloorview Integrated Kindergarten JK/SK Program, and children of Jackman ICS employees. There is no preferred status for children of the University of Toronto employees beyond Jackman ICS, or for children of Laboratory School alumni. The Admissions Committee, chaired by the Principal, reviews the admissions policy annually.

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Admissions to the Nursery School

The Nursery School, the only year for admitting a full class of new students, has spaces for 10 girls and 10 boys. The admissions process for the Nursery school begins in January and ends in March of each year. We will contact you if we are able to consider your application in the year your child turns three years of age.

Jackman ICS approaches applications in chronological order, bearing in mind the considerations for diversity, siblings, staff children, and the need for classes to be balanced for age and gender for both research and pedagogical reasons. An Open House/Information Evening is held in January/February for families near the top of the waiting list. For those attending the Open House who are interested in continuing the admissions process, a subsequent interview allows parents and children to visit the laboratory school during the Nursery morning, to ask questions and to meet the teachers. Admission offers are made by letter immediately following completion of this process.

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Admissions to JK to Grade 6

Spaces in JK to Grade 6 classes occasionally open when a child leaves the school. These spaces are filled following Jackman ICS policies and diversity principles, and according to the best interests of the child and the class, bearing in mind diversity, siblings, Bloorview applicants, and balance.

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Nursery students (2017-2018): $14, 787 + Enrolment Fee

JK-Grade 6 Students (2017-2018): $23, 056

Enrolment Fee

There is an Enrolment Fee for each student entering Jackman ICS:

Nursery – Grade 2: $5,000

Grades 3-4: $3,000

Grades 5-6: $2,000

Enrolment fees are non-refundable and due upon acceptance.

The above tuition fees are set by the University of Toronto.

The school fees do not represent the full costs of educating a child at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. The University of Toronto deducts what it recognizes the Lab School’s contributions to the academic work of the University to be and has calculated the fees outlined on this page.

The Laboratory School’s connection to the University influences everything from our high academic standards to the spirit of inquiry that pervades our classrooms. Please see more about the lab school-university connections under “What does it mean to be a lab school?"

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Tuition Support

Families approved for Jackman ICS tuition support are notified by letter and the amount of the financial assistance award will be placed in the family’s University of Toronto Fees Account by September 1 of the school year.

To find out more information about financial assistance at Jackman ICS, please visit our Financial Assistance page of the Lab School website.

For more information about admissions to Jackman ICS, please visit our Lab School Admissions page on the Lab School website.

Prohibited Practices Policy

The Nursery Program is licensed by the Ministry to meet the standards laid out in Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA). According to this act, we must state for parents that none of our staff will be engaged in any of these prohibited practices:

  • corporal punishment of the child;
  • physical restraint of the child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purposes of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose of preventing a child from hurting himself, herself or someone else, and is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent;
  • locking the exits of the child care centre or home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency and is required as part of the licensee’s emergency management policies and procedures;
  • use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
  • depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
  • inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.

The Role of Adults in Working with Young Children

Cultivating behaviour based on respect and kindness begins with the youngest children in our school: the Nursery children. Positive behaviours are those that allow each person to get his or her needs met, to be approachable, to work with others, and to express his or herself in ways that can be appreciated and understood. Supporting children to behave in positive ways gives them the experience of things going well for them. In the Nursery, teachers and parents work together to support the children, as they develop self-regulation skills and gain an understanding of the perspective of others.

As outlined in the Child Care and Early Years Act, teachers working with young children would never use corporal punishment, deliberately harsh or degrading measures or deprivation of any basic needs.

All adults working with the Nursery children are encouraged to:

  • Anticipate situations that may create problems or stress for children and change the environment where possible (i.e. are the children hungry? crowded? bored?)
  • Help children to identify problem behaviour
  • Redirect children to more positive behaviours and activities
  • Describe acceptable options and give gentle reminders
  • Help children identify their own emotions and express them in socially appropriate ways
  • When setting limits, explain reasons and share information
  • Explain logical consequences
  • Be mindful of their own body language and tone of voice to convey a calm, respectful attitude

Be aware of three important moments in addressing negative behaviour:

1.) Before a Problem Emerges

  • Make sure children’s needs are met: are they getting bored? Frustrated? Tired? Hungry? Confused? Worried?
  • Redirect to something more interesting/fulfilling
2.) During a Problem/Conflict
  • Facilitate dialogue: support children to articulate needs, wants, feelings. Help them to listen to each other. Translate/interpret when necessary.
  • Offer Solutions: help children to understand their options.
  • Teachers may physically remove a child from a situation in which they are causing danger to themselves or to others.

3.) After Something Has Happened

  • Listen to all the children involved to fully understand the situation.
  • Help children to identify the feelings of everyone involved.
  • Re-state expected behaviour and identify consequences.
  • Help the children to re-engage in something more positive.

Contravention of the Behaviour Code and Guidelines

Anyone working with children in the school is accountable to the School’s Behaviour Code and the guidelines outlined in this document regarding working with young children.

Prohibited practices include those outlined in the Child Care and Early Years Act:

  • Corporal punishment of a child
  • Deliberate use of harsh or degrading measures that would humiliate a child or undermine his or her self-respect
  • Depriving the child of basic needs including food, shelter, clothing or bedding
  • Lock or permit the child to be locked for the purpose of confining a child
  • Use a locked or lockable room or structure for the purpose of confining a child

Anyone (including staff, students, volunteers and parents) who disregards these and other policies of the school (including the Nursery program, licensed under the Child Care and Early Years Act) may be subject to discipline at the discretion of the school administration.

Failing to adhere to the school’s policies and behaviour management guidelines may result in:

  • A verbal warning
  • A written warning
  • Removal from the program

When determining which disciplinary measure will be taken, the following criteria will be considered by the administrators (including the Nursery Supervisors and the School principal) :

  • The seriousness of the offence
  • The action, or potential risk or harm to the child
  • The past and recent performance of the employee
  • The frequency of occurrence
  • Previous disciplinary action taken


Documentation of disciplinary measures will be kept in employees’ files for at least three years.

All disciplinary measures of school staff will also comply with the University of Toronto’s Human Resources and Equity policies, guidelines and agreements. Discipline of University of Toronto teacher candidates will take place in consultation with Practicum Supervisors.

Playground Safety Policy

**All adults working in the Nursery (including student teachers, work-study students, and volunteers) will read this policy and have the opportunity to ask questions about it before beginning any work with the children.

Outdoor Play

At the Lab School, we value outdoor playtime as a vital part of the school day. When children play freely during recess, they develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively.

We view recess as a time for children to be as autonomous as possible. Our goal is to provide developmentally appropriate parameters that allow for independence, choice, physical challenge, solitude, exertion, and social connection.

Rules and guidelines for outdoor play are created with safety in mind, both physical and emotional. They are designed in accordance with the following three principles:

* There is an expectation of fair play and consideration for others
* Targeted exclusion is not permitted
* Recess equipment must be used safely and appropriately at all times

Playground Safety Policy and Practice

The Lab School has developed the following Playground Safety Practice in compliance with the Ministry of Education.

Recess times are planned carefully to allow for appropriate groups of children to play on the yard with good adult supervision. In designing recess times the following factors have been considered: opportunities for social connection (sometimes across grades), optimal space to play in, time for extended play and appropriate supervision. School staff members work together to maintain adult-child ratios and the most favourable positions for supervision on the yard.

To further ensure safety we have developed a Playground Safety Log that includes:

Accident Reports (Nursery Teachers) to track all injuries on playgrounds.

Playground Injury Log (Vice Principal) to highlight problem areas.

Daily Inspection Checklist (Morning Care staff member) done prior to children entering playground.

Monthly Maintenance Inspection (Vice Principal with input from Nursery Staff) to record hazards or defects that need immediate attention or require a plan of action within a specific timeframe.

An Annual Third Party Inspection is done one per year.

Action Plan to record results of the annual 3rd party inspection, including timeframes to address each specific issue.

Note: third party inspection reports are kept on file, along with a log indicating any repairs, removal or installation of equipment, including dates and companies.

Daily Visual Checks (prior to going outside) include:

A designated staff member (Luis or substitute) will inspect the playground prior to the children playing outdoors. Staff will record any observations in the daily playground log book. Staff will check to ensure:

  • The fence and gate are safe, and the fence and gate locks are in good working condition

  • Stairs are clean of any debris and toys

  • The sandbox is clean of any glass, paper, animal droppings, sticks and/or large stones

  • The equipment is not bending, warping, or rusted

  • Surfacing material is not worn and scattered

  • There is a good drainage area

  • Check for ice, and apply salt to slippery areas

  • Strangers are asked to leave, or if necessary, further actions are taken (ie. Calling Campus or Toronto Police).

  • Observations are recorded in a daily log

If any problems are observed, the Nursery supervisor will be notified immediately.

Monthly inspections:

A designated staff member (the Phys. Ed Teacher, Mike) will inspect the playground prior to the children playing outdoors. Staff will record any observations in the daily playground log book. Staff will check to ensure:

  • All of the above in daily checklist

  • Look to see if any woodchips need to be redistributed, or replaced

  • Check all climbing equipment is in good working order

  • Inspect all play surfaces for wear and tear

  • Inspect all playground equipment for wear and tear

  • Remove equipment in disrepair from the storage shed

  • Notify the supervisor of any problems that need addressing

  • Record these inspections in a monthly log

Annual Inspection

An annual inspection will be conducted by a third party. The report will be shared with the Ministry Program Advisor.

If problems are observed in any of the inspections, the Nursery supervisor will:

  • Take appropriate action to remedy the situation

  • Document the observations and actions taken

  • Call U of T Facilities (3000) for repair items under their responsibility

  • Document any maintenance work that needs to be done, and notify the Lab School Principal and business officer, Jun Cheng

  • Notify the Phys Ed teacher if any equipment needs repair or replacement

  • Review plans for playground improvement with the Lab School Principal and Phys Ed teacher

Early Years Playground Supervision: Guidelines

  1. Nursery, JK and SK children are not allowed on the large play structure. The small structure is designed according to safety codes for small children – the children are free to play on this structure when supervised.

  2. Equipment (hoops, balls, etc) is not allowed on structures.

  3. Tricycles and wagons should remain on the asphalt.

  4. Monitor the use of wagons carefully – pushing a wagon from behind when another child is pulling can result in the puller getting run over. Use good judgment regarding how many children can safely sit in one wagon.

  5. Monitor children on slides guiding their use for safety and turn-taking.

  6. Skipping ropes should not be out when the Nursery children are in the yard. When used by older children they must only be used for skipping (not tying things, etc.) on the pavement.

  7. Games involving weapons (with real objects or imagined) is not permitted.

  8. Children are encouraged to respect the trees and should not be playing with them in any way that could damage them.

  9. In winter, be aware of icy patches. Monitor play in these areas carefully, if needed, ask children to move away from these areas.

  10. Monitor the yard and equipment to insure that they are in good condition. Broken equipment should be removed from the play area and any hazardous conditions should be reported to the office.

  11. Principles of inclusion and conflict resolution that apply in the classroom are equally relevant in the playground. If children are hurting each other with words or physical actions a teacher should get involved immediately. Supporting children to negotiate and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution is ideal. Children who are persistently unkind or dangerous to others in their play may be asked to play away from other children or spend some time in the classroom. *Always inform the classroom teacher of dangerous behaviour or social conflicts among the children.

  12. Children who need first aid help should be accompanied to Nancy and Paige in the school office.

  13. Position yourself well in the yard: be aware of hard-to-see spots and where the other supervising adults are already standing. Important areas to monitor are the climbing structures, the shed and around it, and the gate. It is important to remember that our prime responsibility out on the yard is the supervision and safety of the children. Any conversation between adults – teachers or parents – must not take away from our focus on the care and supervision of the children. Any adult on the yard who is not known to staff should be questioned and redirected to the office if needed.

  14. If you need to leave the yard for any reason (to accompany a child to the toilet, for example) be sure to inform another adult who is also supervising the yard. CCYEA ratios must be maintained at all times for the Nursery children.

  15. The time of departure for each child is indicated by staff on the attendance sheet. Families initial that they have picked up their child(ren).


As a general rule, children will be dressed for outdoors in all the outdoor clothing that they wore or brought to school. It is useful to ask a child whether they need to use the toilet before getting dressed. In very cold weather, make sure the child has mitts and a hat. For safety, make sure scarves are tucked into the coat, rather than dangling. This also applies to drawstrings or cords. In wet weather, consider whether the child has appropriate foot wear: tuck pants into rain boots. Encourage children to dress themselves as much as they are able – scaffold their efforts.

We play outside in many kinds of weather, please make sure you are also dressed appropriately!

Family Handbooks

Click here to view the Nursery Family Handbook.

Click here to view the JICS School-Wide Parent Handbook.

Parent Volunteer Policy

The Parent Volunteer Policy and Sign-Off can be viewed here.