FAQs

What if I am going to be late?

Please text the teacher, but remember they are not permitted to answer or check their phones until class is over. If you are worried that your message did not go through, or do not have the teacher’s number, please text Heather at 778-838-0335.

Where are the parks located?

Laura Secord
We meet the children at the circle garden in the court yard. Children who are too young will be picked up from their class by our Forest Educators. We walk from the school to Trout Lake where the program will take place. Parents can pick up children at 5:00 at the parking lot next to the lake off East 19th Street. 

Douglas Woodward
Take the Exit for 15 St. (Cross Creek Rd) 
Continue onto Cross Creek Rd
Turn left onto Tyrol Rd. 500 m
Turn right onto 15th St. 79 m
Turn left onto Camelot Rd 160 m
Camelot Rd turns right and becomes Camwell Dr . We meet just above the parking lot in the open area. 

UBC Farms
Please make sure you park your car in the parking lot at the farm.  We will meet at the Yurt which is down the path to the right.

Coho Park
From the Highway, East on Mamquam Road
Left on Garibaldi Way
Right on Parkway crescent
Left on Park Crescent
Take the next right down the road to a dea end with coho park sign.
There is limited parking.

What items should I send with my child?

✔Rain or hiking boots & water sandals for the river

✔Long pants & spare set of clothing

✔Loose fitting clothing to allow the body’s insulation to work

✔No one-piece clothing–it is difficult to undress to use the bathroom

✔A small backpack that you can carry

✔A snack in a reusable container (or lunch for full-day programs)

✔A whistle attached to your jacket or a lanyard

✔A water bottle

✔Sunscreen & bug spray (come with it on, and bring some too)

✔An extra set of socks & gloves

✔Plastic bags in case feet or clothing get wet

 What if there is a wildlife danger?

Saplings Educators are all trained on what to do when we see wildlife in the parks. We teach the children what to do if and when we see a bear. Our Bear drill is as follows: All children are asked to bring a whistle ( or their loud voice) The Educators will blow the warning whistle and start to sing Jingle Bells loudly. The children come together in a group facing the Educator, one Educator at the front, one at the back looking at the bear, and slowly back away. We will retreat to a safe spot and notify parents. We do a safely check before we enter the forest with the children, if we see signs of bear activity we will choose a different location for the day.

What if the weather becomes too poor to remain outside?

It is our motto that there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Please come dressed for the weather as we will remain outdoors whenever possible. However if we see lightening, or the wind becomes too strong, we will head to an open field or an indoor space and notify the parents of the change in pickup location.

Is Saplings a licensed program?

Saplings is both a licensed and licensed “not available” program. The only difference in the programs is VCH( Vancouver Coastal Health) is not able to license programs that do not have a designated indoor space. The quality and structure of the program remains the same.

How are programs billed?

School-year program fees are the same amount for each month regardless of the number of days in a month. The monthly fee is determined using the average number of days in the program divided by the number of months the program is in operation; 10 months for September to June

Spring break and summer camp fees must be paid up front.

We offer both secure debit and credit card payments which go through Netbanks on the first of each month.

What is the caregiver to child ratio?

School-aged 1:12
Preschool 1:8
Toddler 1:4

We typically operate with two educators at each location.

Does Saplings provide food or snacks?

Depending on the program: We provide snack to out licensed after school care programs. Saplings is not allowed to provide snacks or we would be considered a care program and would need a license. We are working on getting a license.

Does Saplings have any food restrictions?

Saplings that does not have any restrictions on food that may be brought, but we will send out a note to other participants if a parent notifies us of their child’s food allergy.

What are rules regarding releasing children to persons other than their legal guardian?

If this is going to be a regular thing, please include the alternate care providers name on your child’s emergency information (epact). Otherwise please notify our forest educators at drop-off time, or for last-minute please call ‭Heather at (778) 838-0335‬.

Are parents required to stay during programs?

Other than the Parent Participation Program, we do not require parents to attend. However if parents would like to join us, we do ask that you participate in the group with all of the children. Please understand that if it is becoming a problem for your child or other children we will ask that you leave, and we will do our best to support you and your child during the separation process.

What is a typical day like in non-school age programs?

A typical day looks something like this…
9:30 Good morning song/drop-off
9:35 Walk to basecamp, drop-off backpack, and set magic walls 
9:40 Free play (songs, stories, swings, fairy houses etc. based on children's interests)
10:00 Snack (if you are hungry you are welcome to eat when you're ready)
11:00 Adventure walk
11:45 Lunch and tidy up
12:15 End of day wrap up (sharing favourite part of day, goodbye song) 
12:30 Pick up (varies by program and location)

All of these times are general guidelines as we base each day on the children's needs and interests.