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The Canadian education system

The Canadian education system

Private and public education in Canada

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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.
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