We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, please contact the Program Co-ordinator for more information.

To apply for the 2022 Get Ready for School™ program in Linwood, please click here. All other Waterloo Region program locations are now FULL.

For families interested in the Get Ready for School program at St. Basil’s Catholic Elementary School in Owen Sound, please contact the Program Co-ordinator at grfs@strongstart.ca.


The 2022 Get Ready for School program will be offered in person. For information about program locations and the program schedule, please click here.

ELIGIBILITY: The program is only available to children born in 2018 who live in Waterloo Region.

While applications from all Waterloo Region residents will be considered, priority will be given to families from neighbourhoods previously supported by the in-person Get Ready for School program sites.

The Get Ready for School™  program is a FREE program, delivered in partnership with local community centres. The program, which consists of 44 two-hour classes, is delivered by trained instructors and volunteers who work with children ages 3-4 from January or February to June, just prior to their start in Year 1 of Kindergarten. This highly effective research-based program was created by Dr. Iuliana Baciu and is particularly beneficial for children who have the challenges of English as a second language or for children from low to middle-income families. The program focuses on helping children develop essential early literacy skills. The emphasis on increasing vocabulary, letter-sound knowledge, and classroom learning behaviours are all essential building blocks for children as they prepare to enter their formal school experience.

The program also provides instruction and support for the children’s parents so they are better able to support their child’s learning at home. At regular intervals throughout the program, parents attend information meetings to learn more about the program and how they can reinforce the skills their children are learning. Regular newsletters are shared to keep parents informed. Learning resources are provided for the children to use at home to practice skills with their parents.

For more information on this program, please contact Program Co-ordinators’ Kirsten Carr, and Iwona Dmitrienko by e-mailing grfs@strongstart.ca. Please see Our People page for individual team member contact information.