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Welcome to Tom Thumb Parent Involvement Preschool


2 Year Olds

1 Day

Spaces available! Two year- old program meets Friday mornings from 9:30AM – 11:30AM. It enrolls up to 16 children and parents or caregivers stay with their two year old during the morning and participate fully in this Vancouver preschool program.

3/4 Year Olds

3 Days

The Three / Four year-old class meets Monday through Wednesday mornings from 9:15AM – 12:15PM  It enrolls up to 16 children. In contrast to the Two’s program, children in the Three’s do not have their parents stay with them except for when their parents are doing Duty.

3/4 Year Old’s

 4 Days

The Three / Four year-old class meets Monday through Thursdays mornings from 9:15AM – 12:15PM. It enrolls up to 16 children. In contrast to the Two’s program, children in the Three’s do not have their parents stay with them except for when their parents are doing Duty.

Welcome to Tom Thumb Preschool

Tom Thumb Parent Involvement Preschool is a special place for children and their parents to discover the importance of play, the fun of learning and the joy of being part of a community of families. Established in 1945, Tom Thumb Preschool has a long history of providing quality care for young children in Dunbar and the surrounding community.
There are presently openings available in the Toddler program and 3/4 Year Old Morning class for the 2017/2018 school year.

Tom Thumb is a member of the Council of Parent Participation Preschools in B.C., an umbrella organization that supports and assists preschools in providing a high standard of preschool education.

Tom Thumb Preschool accepts Child Care Subsidy available through the Government of British Columbia.  For more information on how to apply for Child Care Subsidy, please visit Child Care Subsidy

About the preschool


Construction and dramatic play area

Our philosophy of working with preschool children focuses on the importance of play. We believe that play is really the cornerstone of quality early childhood programs and that it is through play that children learn about themselves and their world. As teachers and parents, we need to take their play seriously and must provide a safe physical and emotional climate which allows children time to explore, experiment and problem solve. We believe that children learn by “doing”, so that children need lots of hands on, concrete experiences. As children also learn through their senses (touching, hearing, smelling, seeing and tasting) we need to provide experiences which capitalize on this mode of learning. As teachers (and we include parents in this term, as parents are indeed the child’s first and most important teachers) our role is to help facilitate the play environment where children can develop concepts as well as learn how to be independent. Most importantly play allows the child to develop positive relationships with other children and to negotiate his needs. One of the most important variables in learning is the child’s concept of him/herself as a successful learner. How a child feels about him/herself and his/her capabilities are crucial in developing positive self esteem, which is at the very core of a child’s being. We believe strongly in a “whole child approach”, or that human growth and development are interrelated and intertwined, and that we must look at the strengths and needs in each area of development – physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually and creatively. Finally, we must realize that each child is unique and special, with different family histories, different learning styles, different temperaments and all of these factors will affect the way we will teach any two children of the same age, in the same class.

Our cozy classroom

Parent Involvement: Not Only Do the Children Learn…

Parent Participation Preschools are committed to supporting the parents of the children who attend the school. High quality parent education sessions not only prepare parents for their “Duty days” as classroom assistants, they also support parents with information and ideas for parenting preschoolers.

Parents: You Give A Little to Get a Lot!

With Parent Participation Preschools, the parents get actively involved in their child’s new world. Tom Thumb Preschool thrives because of the time and effort parents put into the school. Approximately once every 3-4 weeks you will be scheduled as a “Duty parent” in your child’s class. On the second Tuesday of each month, you’ll attend a combination business meeting and parent education night. You’ll have a “job” (portfolio) at the school. The jobs vary in terms of time commitment and responsibility.

For more Information about Parent Involvement

Click here for more information on parent involvement and the role of parents in preschools from the Council of Parent Participation Preschools in BC.

Story corner and library

The Two’s Program

  • meets Thursday mornings from 9:30 – 11:30 AM.
  • enrolls 16 children
  • Parents or caregivers stay with their child during the morning and participate fully in the program.
  • There are 2 parents (“Duty Parents”) assigned to assist the teachers in setting up the classroom and in bringing and preparing snack for the morning. They come to school 30 minutes ahead of class and stay 30 minutes after class to help with the tidying up of the classroom.
A typical morning consists of:
  • a free play period where children can play with blocks, paint, do puzzles, dress up, play in the sand or water and climb as they so choose.
  • Snack time
  • Circle time – the morning ends with songs, rhymes and stories.
Parents have an opportunity to talk informally with other parents, develop lasting friendships and many learn about the benefits of parent cooperatives and move into the Three year-old Program the following year. This Two year-old Program makes the move into the Three’s a very smooth transition. Parents with children at Tom Thumb Preschool attend monthly meetings that consist of a Parent Education session and a Business Meeting.
Two Year Old Schedule
9:00 Duty Parents Arrive for set-up
9:30 Children Arrive
9:30 – 10:25 Free Play
10:25 – 10:40 Gradual Snack
11:15 – 11:30 Circle Time
11:30 Time to leave
11:30– 12:00 Duty Parents Assist Teachers

Our beautiful and natural outdoor play space

The Three / Four year-old program- Mornings  3 days a week

  • meets 3 times a week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,  from 9:15 AM – 12:15 PM
  • enrolls 16 children
  • Two parents work with the teachers in the classroom as Duty Parents ad they did in the 3′s program.
Most of the children in this program have attended Tom Thumb for at least one year, or two years if they have attended the 2′s Program. They are indeed ready for more challenges and the program changes to meet their ever increasing needs and skills. Parents and teachers observe and listen very carefully to the children and attempt to pick up on their interests and develop what we call an “emergent curriculum.” All of the same interest centres such as art, blocks, dramatic play, clay, music etc. are available to the children in this class but often we focus on a particular interest of the children which may last for a couple of weeks to over a month at a time. These interests or projects will evolve or emerge from the children rather than being dictated by the teachers. Examples, of interests in the past have been gardening and flowers, trains, night, fire, puppets etc. We also try to provide experiences related to the seasonal changes. Field trips in the 4′s are common and they often are related to the current interest. e.g., a trip to a bakery or to a farm, going for a trip on the bus or to the local Dunbar library. The children make good use of Chaldecott Park which has more space and is more challenging to this age group. In this program we also have an introductory circle when they first enter the classroom. This is a chance to share news and stories, plans for the day and sing. The 3/4′s class is divided into two groups for a second circle later in the morning which focuses on stories, more conversation and project work.
Four Year Old Schedule
12:40 Duty Parents Arrive
1:00 Children Arrive
1:15 Meeting Time
1:15-1:45 Outside Play or Gym
1:45 – 2:50 Free Play
2:20 Gradual Snack
2:50 – 3:00 Clean Up
3:00 – 3:15 Story Time
3:30 Children Depart
3:30 – 4:00 Duty Parents finish Clean up

The tire swing and water feature

The Three / Four year-old program- MORNINGS 4 Days a week

  • meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9:15 – 12.30PM.
  • enrolls 16 children.
  • In contrast to the Two’s program, children in the 3/4  do not have their parents stay with them except when their parents are doing Duty.
  • Each day 1 parents in the 3/4′s Class assist the teachers to set up the classroom, prepare a snack, engage the children during the morning and help clean up the classroom after the children leave.
Children in the 3/4′s program have a gradual entry in September so that they feel comfortable with separating from their parents and slowly get to know the routines, become familiar with other children in their class and begin to bond with their teachers. The program is play-based and offers the children a variety of materials and toys and equipment as well as a variety of social experiences. There is an outdoor play yard as well as a gym to use on rainy days. The 3/4′s Class does not go on field trips until the spring when they begin to do short trips to the local Dunbar library, to Chaldecott Park and walks within the neighborhood.
Three Year Old Schedule
8:45 Duty Parents Arrive
9:15 Children Arrive
9:15 – 9:30 Meeting Time
9:30 – 10:40 Free Play
10:20 Gradual Snack
10:40 – 10:50 Clean Up Time
10:50 – 11:05 Meeting Time
11:05– 11:45 Outside Play or Gym
11:45 Children Depart
11:45 – 12:15 Duty Parents finish Clean up

Art Supplies

2017 / 2018 Registration

General registration is on a first come, first served basis. Please see details below on registration policies, deposits and fees. Please email or check the website for upcoming open houses which will be held in our classroom (3737 West 27th Avenue, St. Philip’s Church)  for interested families to learn more about our programs.  There are openings presently available in the 2’s and 4’s classes for the 2016/ 2017 school year.

Registration and Tuition Fees

How to Register Send email to . The subject of the email should read “TT registration –  2s class” (or 3/4 mornings class or 3/4s afternoon class). The body of the email should contain your child’s name and birthday, parent names, address, phone number and email. All applicants will receive an email to let them know if they have a spot for 2016-2017 or if they are on the wait-list. Registration packages will be distributed after receiving the applicable deposit. Further questions can be sent to

Registration Policies

Please note places for each up-coming school year are given out as follows:
  1. Currently registered children: Children currently enrolled in the school are guaranteed a place in the next year’s class. Registration for currently registered families will take place in December. Registration packages will be handed out in early December and are due to be returned to the Enrollment Chair by December 19th.
  2. Siblings of currently registered children: Families currently enrolled in the school wanting to take a place for siblings need to inform the Enrollment Chair and return registration packages by December 19th if you plan on registering other children at Tom Thumb next year.
  3. Non-registered alumni: These families need to inform the Enrollment Chair by December 19th to secure a place ahead of the general public.
  4. General Registration: Registration for the general public will commence January 1st starting at 8am via email at . The places not taken by the above mentioned Tom Thumb families will be offered on a “first come first served basis”.
  5. After January 11th further registration and wait-listing will take place by email at or by phone at 604 222-2550.
Registration Packages The Enrollment Chair issues registration packages which consist of a number of important forms. The completed forms are returned to the Enrollment Chair, along with a cheque made payable to Tom Thumb Preschool for the registration fee and the first and last month’s tuition fee. The entire deposit is non-refundable. Note: The number of registration packages distributed to new families is based on the number of spaces that are available after returning children, siblings and alumni have been registered. The Enrollment Chair and Enrollment Assistant are responsible for registering all new and returning children into their age specific class and for ensuring that full enrollment is maintained throughout the school year. For further info, please call 604-222-2550 or email

Council of Parent Participation Preschools (CPPP)

Once your child is enrolled, not only do you become a member of Tom Thumb, you also become a member of the Council of Parent Participation Preschools (CPPP). The Council is an umbrella organization that supports and assists preschools in providing a high standard of preschool education. Each month you receive a newsletter from the Council with interesting articles and useful information regarding issues surrounding early childhood education and development. For more information about the Council, visit their web site at

Registration & Tuition Fees


So you are now interested in enrolling your child or need further information.

Click on the relevant class “Contact Us” Below and complete the form.

You can find us here – Tom Thumb Preschool – 3737 West 27th Avenue – St Philip’s Church – Vancouver, BC (Map)

Painting with tea bags yyy
  • Two Year Olds
  • $100.00
  • per month
  • $100 Registration Fee
  • Thursday Mornings
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM.
  • enrolls 16 children
  • Parents or caregivers stay with their children
  • Contact us
  • Three / Four Year Olds Morning Class
  • $305.00 – 3 Sessions Mon Thro Wed
  • per month
    • Three / Four Year Olds Morning Class
    • $375.00 – 4 Sessions Mon thro Thurs
    • per month
    • Contact us
  • $100 Registration Fee
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Mornings
  • 9:15 – 12:15 PM.
  • enrolls 16 children
  • 1 duty parents each day
  • Contact us

Meet Our Staff


Lisa Anthony

Lisa Anthony is joining Tom Thumb as our Supervising Teacher    Lisa comes to us from Marineview Preschool where she has been teaching for the past 16 years.   She is a very experienced early childhood educator and is excited about the opportunity to work in a parent participation preschool.  Prior to receiving her ECE certificate, she completed a Bachelor of Special Education degree at UBC and taught special needs children in the public school system.  Lisa was born and raised in Vancouver and has been living in the Dunbar area for many years.  She is also the mother of three grown children.  

Lana Griffin

Lana started her journey in early childhood education when she moved to Vancouver in 2013. Having previous experience working as a nanny, working in schools as an educational assistant both in a regular classroom and directly with children with special needs, she found that there was lots of opportunity for growth and development in this field and that it was something that really interested her. Once she completed her early childhood education basic certificate she went on to work as a manager for a small multi age daycare in Richmond called Building Blocks which also provided out of school care. Once her term ended at Building Blocks she was hired by the YMCA of greater Vancouver at the Beach location and spent five months learning about the YMCA’s policies and curriculum and was able to put into practice their methods of teaching. After some time she concluded that different methods of teaching and environments might be better suited to her teaching style. Having always been drawn to the climate of a preschool classroom, with the educational dynamic provided by the early childhood educator, she is very excited to join the Tom Thumb Preschool teaching staff this April as assistant supervising teacher.

Contact Us


For more information, please call 604.222.2550 or email us at Tom Thumb Parent Involvement Preschool – 3737 West 27th Avenue – St Philip’s Church – Vancouver, BC


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