Our Kids 20th logo
The Canadian education system

The Canadian education system

Private and public education in Canada

Find a list of schools  

If you are searching an education in Canada and you want the very best for your child, you've come to the right place. Our Kids offers comprehensive listings of private schools from across Canada. Sending a child to get an education in Canada is often similarly priced for many private or boarding schools as it is for publicly funded (state run) schools. In addition, your child will benefit from a higher quality education than what he or she would receive in one of Canada's public schools.

An overview of education in Canada

The following provides a look at how the Canadian education system works.

All education in Canada is overseen by the federal government but the onus is on provincial governments to govern funding and academic regulations, which vary widely from one province to another. Whether a school is public (state run) or private it must meet stringent requirements of federal or provincial regulations.

Canadian schools are generally in session about 190 days per year, with about two months off during the summer and two other holiday sessions at Christmas time (late December) and Easter (April). The Canadian education year begins in early September and ends in late June.

Most publicly funded schools are non-religious but there are exceptions in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and some cities in Saskatchewan. The vast majority of privately funded schools in Canada are religious-based. However, a small minority of secular private schools has a reputation for prestige and excellence in education.

Levels in Canadian education

Preschool or nursery school for children aged five and under includes some preschool daycare programs, junior kindergarten (in Ontario only) and kindergarten, (K) which is a requirement in most provinces excepts for province in the prairies.

Elementary school runs from grades one thorough six (ages 6 to 12).

Junior high school might also be called senior public schools or middle school and is found in most provinces. In a few select areas, schools may run from K to 8. In most provinces junior high school runs from grades 6 through 9 (age 12-15) although in Ontario, it ends at grade eight (age 14).

High school ends in grade 12 (age 18).

To learn more, read our guide to Canadian grade levels and Canadian provincial grade levels.

Upon graduation from high school, children may enter the workforce or enter university, college or a career school. In Quebec schools, instruction is primarily in French but in general, Canadian schools teach in English.

Use our search page to find private schools in Canada. Or read about specific provinces and areas where you can find English language instruction in Canada. And one other thing: families and kids interested in mixing education and travel should look at our list of Round Square schools.
Find Private Schools:

In the spotlight:

  • A fresh approach to Coding Camp

    Whatever you might think a coding camp is like—say, kids at laptops, you know, coding—it’s safe to say that Hatch isn’t that. Here’s why their unique program is now being used by 250+ schools across Ontario. [Read more]

  • 3 tips to an allergy free summer

    One mother’s guide to keeping your kids allergy-free this summer. Whether it’s at home or while kids are away at summer camp, these two things are a must to have on-hand. [Read more]

  • Toronto's only fully immersive English Mandarin School

    Being bilingual has positive cognitive effects. But Mandarin leads the way due to its character-symbol relationship which requires the use of more areas of the brain than English, French or Spanish. [Read more]

Latest Articles

June 6, 2018
Scarborough preschools and daycares
Find the top preschools, daycares, and nurseries in Scarborough, Ontario

May 24, 2018
Milton Montessori schools
Find the top Montessori schools in Milton, Ontario

May 24, 2018
Troubled teen boarding schools
Find the top boarding schools for troubled teens and youth

May 9, 2018
Scarborough Montessori schools
Find the top Montessori schools in Scarborough, Ontario

May 3, 2018
Private Mandarin schools
Find the top Mandarin-language and immersion schools in Canada

Canada's #1 private school guide Our Kids is proudly Canadian Our Kids is Parent Tested, Parent Approved

Disclaimer: Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by OurKids.net or its associated websites. See Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2018 All right reserved.

Sign up to receive our exclusive eNews twice a month.

You can withdraw consent by unsubscribing anytime.

Name is required.
Email is required.
verification image, type it in the box
Verification code is required.
Our Kids

From Our Kids, Canada’s trusted source for private schools, camps, and extracurriculars.