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What is a Reggio Emilia preschool?

The main features of Reggio Emilia-inspired preschools and daycare programs

Along with Montessori and Waldorf, Reggio Emilia is one of the main types of preschools offered in Canada. Reggio preschools offer a combination of academic and play-based learning. The focus is on social interaction, project-based learning, and multi-modal learning.

Below, we outline the main features of these preschools and daycares. Keep in mind, though, that preschool programs can vary in terms of aims, policies, teaching approaches, and more. 

Main features of Reggio Emilia preschools

  • Self-guided curriculum: With help from the teacher, children are given the freedom to explore their interests and pursue projects based on them. Similar to Montessori and Waldorf, sometimes do this on their own and sometimes in small groups.
     
  • Social interaction: The classroom is set up for lots of interaction. Kids interact with teachers and peers throughout the day. They also work with their peers in small groups of two to five. It’s believed that kids learn well through interaction, play, and collective problem solving.
     
  • Multi-modal learning: In Reggio preschools, kids are encouraged to express themselves in lots of different ways. They also using a wide range of artistic media, such as painting, sculpting, and drama. And they’re urged to share their thoughts and ideas in many ways  based on the idea of “the hundred languages.”)
     
  • Project-based learning: The Reggio Emilia preschool curriculum makes projects a big focus. Kids work on both short- and long-term projects. These are typically initiated by kids, although teachers provide ample guidance. Projects often start with an open-ended idea or problem posed by a child.
     
  • Teacher support: Reggio teachers support kids in a number of ways. For one, they observe kids to see what interests them. They also connect them with meaningful activities. And, they post children’s work across the classroom. This helps both teachers and kids view student progress throughout the year.
     
  • Parent involvement: In a Reggio preschool or kindergarten, kids are encouraged to be active in school. This can include day-to-day interaction, advising, and work in the schools. It can also involve taking part in field trips and celebrations. What’s more, many parents use Reggio principles in their home.
     

Preschool questions (read our in-depth answers)

Answers to the question “What is a Reggio Emilia preschool?” from school officials

“Reggio Emilia values the child as strong, capable and resilient, rich with wonder and knowledge. It is a project-based program, and the lessons are based on the interests of children.” Marcel Pereira, director of Century Private School, a Montessori school in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

“We believe that the best approach for children is the Reggio Emilia-inspired program. Students learn through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment. The environment should also be organic, tranquil, and aesthetically pleasing.” Vanessa Sjerven, teacher at Elmwood School (the early years program), in Ottawa, Ontario

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List of Reggio Emilia preschools

 
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  School Name Type Cost

St. Michaels University School (est. 1906)  

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • K to 12 Coed
  • Boarding school (255 students)
  • Day school (733 students)
Independent K-12 boarding & day school in Victoria, BC, Canada focusing on university prep. Find out how a SMUS education can benefit your family. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$19,260 to $68,810

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reviews (3)

• User reviews (3)
Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed 19260

Hudson College (est. 2003)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Day school (355 students)
Hudson College is a non-denominational, co-ed school offering superior academic programs from JK‒Grade 12. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Reggio Emilia
$15,600

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• Our Kids Review
• User reviews (5)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 15600

The Dragon Academy (est. 2001)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 4 to 12 Coed
  • Day school (80 students)
Dragon Academy is the right fit for gifted students, grades 6 to 12. Dragon's small, discussion-based classes go beyond the classroom into our world-class city . An inclusive, exciting, can't wait to get there school. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$22,000 to $27,000

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reviews (10)

• User reviews (10)
MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 22000

Richland Academy (est. 2002)  

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • Day school (200 students)
Richland Academy is a progressive, innovative Reggio inspired and International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for children from 2.5-years to Grade 8. Voted #1 Private School in Richmond Hill 4 years in a row. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$18,000 to $18,800


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 18000

Aurora Montessori School (est. 1989)  

  • Aurora, Ontario
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • Day school (370 students)
Aurora Montessori School offers a comprehensive, nurturing and enriched program for Toddler to Grade 8. Our enrolment of 375 day students has an average class size of 15 to 24. [View profile]
  • Montessori
  • Reggio Emilia
$10,500 to $16,200


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 10500

Kingsley Primary School (est. 1981)  

  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • PS to 5 Coed
  • Day school
For the past 36 years Kingsley Primary School offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade five in Etobicoke. Its average class size is eight to 12 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$12,000

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reviews (2)

• User reviews (2)
Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed 12000

Mississauga Christian French School (MCFS) (est. 2008)  

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • Day school (63 students)
Mississauga Christian French School offers programs from pre-school to grade eight. Its average class size is 15 students. Offering an Olympic-sized Gym. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$7,000 to $9,000


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 7000

B.E.N. School-House (est. 2005)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 6 Coed
  • Day school (35 students)
B.E.N. offers an engaging, caring learning community.Focus is on qualities and skills alongside Ontario Curriculum. Small class sizes, daily outdoor activities, art classes and workshop. Parenting workshops are offered. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$7,350 to $11,900

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Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed 7350

ArtsCalibre Academy (est. 2011)  

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • PS to 9 Coed
  • Day school (170 students)
ArtsCalibre Academy empowers students through creativity, mindfulness and leadership. We offer Preschool to Grade Eight in 2017/2018, adding one grade per year through to Grade 12. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$1,600 to $6,250


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 1600

Pickering College (est. 1842)  

  • Newmarket, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Boarding school (115 students)
  • Day school (325 students)
Pickering College's fully-integrated Global Leadership Program (JK to Grade 12) inspires students to become agents of courageous, ethical and positive change with the confidence, knowledge and skills to shape the future. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$25,270 to $66,580

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reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed 25270

Robbins Hebrew Academy (est. 1957)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • Day school (390 students)
Robbins Hebrew Academy (RHA) teaches students to think critically and globally, in a community that builds self-esteem and life-long character. RHA is Toronto’s first Jewish school to be CAIS accredited. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$13,050 to $17,990


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 13050

St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)  

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • Day school (550 students)
Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$18,000 to $28,430


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 18000

Oak Learners (est. 2016)  

  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • JK to 6 Coed
  • Day school (12 students)
Oak Learners offers a creative learning atmosphere, working with your child’s unique learning style to inspire their strengths and interests. [View profile]
  • Reggio Emilia
$3,600 to $18,900

User
reviews (3)

• User reviews (3)
Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed 3600

The Bishop Strachan School (est. 1867)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Day school (825 students)
  • Boarding school (75 students)
Located in Toronto, The Bishop Strachan School is Canada's oldest independent JK to Grade 12 day and boarding school for girls, welcoming students from Toronto and around the world. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$32,860 to $62,250

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls 32860

Kingsway College School (est. 1989)  

  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • Day school (400 students)
Kingsway College School offers programs for PK to grade 8 in Etobicoke. Its average class size is 17 to 21 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$9,980 to $28,060


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 9980

Academie Providence (est. 2002)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • Day school (200 students)
Providence Academy is the only Private French Catholic School offering a trilingual program of study in Ontario with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition: $8,800-10,300. Extracurricular activities: $600-$650. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Reggio Emilia
$9,000 to $10,300


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 9000

Vincent Massey Academy (est. 1985)  

  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • NS to 3 Coed
  • Day school (230 students)
Vincent Massey offers a balanced approach to education, setting your child up for succecs in all avenues of life. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$9,000 to $15,000


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed 9000

Havergal College (est. 1894)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Day school (900 students)
  • Boarding school (50 students)
Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$33,850 to $61,900

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User
reviews (5)
• Our Kids Review
• User reviews (5)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls 33850

Summit Micro School (est. 2010)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Coed
  • Day school (60 students)
Summit Micro School offers an alternative program from JK to Grade 8. Reggio Emilia inspired Kindergarten and Project Based Learning programs inspire and engage while developing essential 21st Century skills. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$14,300 to $20,400


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 14300


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