Numbers needed: P.E.I. Public Schools Branch asks parents to register kids for kindergarten now

Children headed for kindergarten next fall need to get registered. That's the message from the P.E.I. Public Schools Branch.

Registrations are important to planning for schools say officals

Proper planning can help avoid disappointment on the first day of school, says the Public Schools Branch. (Todd Berkey/The Tribune-Democrat via AP)

Children headed for kindergarten next fall need to get registered — that's the message from the P.E.I. Public Schools Branch. It is asking parents to register kids by Nov. 25, in order to help with staffing and getting facilities ready. 

"We can plan in a way that involves us knowing who are all the little faces we'll be looking at in the fall," said student services director Julia Gaudet. 

Gaudet said a lack of registration numbers poses concerns for the branch that families won't be properly prepared. 

"We're not able to have the communication with the parents that we would like to have in a timely manner so that they are able to participate in some information sessions and the welcome to kindergarten planning that happens in the spring time in anticipation of that fall start. " she said

Past problems getting registration numbers

Gaudet said there have been problems in the past of not getting registration numbers on time. 

There have even been cases of families showing up on the first day only to face disappointment when they can't attend class without being registered.

"Usually a little one in tow when that happens and they're excited to be welcomed and to start and in order for a child to have a successful start at school it really does require some planning." 

The French Association of Early Childhood Education Centres of P.E.I. is hoping signing bonuses will encourage people who have left the field to reconsider and return to the profession. (CBC)

Changes could be coming to school zones

Registration is especially important now, as school zones could be changing next fall, so children may not be going to the school parents think they will be

"We're just encouraging them to remember that and sometimes parents get excited you want to show your little one 'this is the school you're going to be at next year' you start driving by and familiarizing them with the area. We want them just to keep in mind that there may be some changes," said Gaudet.

Gaudet said the Public Schools Branch doesn't have any concrete numbers yet for what they expect kindergarten numbers to be, they will know more after registration closes.

To qualify, a child must be five years old by Dec. 31, 2017. Parents must have proof of age such as a birth certificate or P.E.I. health card and a proof of address.