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About Open Sesame

Open Sesame Preschool is a family-centred, play-based, inclusive preschool program licensed by the Ministry of Education under the Child Care and Early Years Act 2014 (CCEYA) for 16 preschoolers between the ages of 2 1/2 and 5 years old. 

We offer a half-day morning program that runs from September to June, Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. 


Our daily routine includes outdoor activity on our fenced playground, a healthy snack, small and large group activities and lots of time for free play. Embedded in our program is a focus on social-emotional well-being, communication skill development and relationship building.

Open Sesame has operated as a non-profit program with the support of Mount Zion Lutheran Church since 1970.

Open Sesame feels like a second family to us. My son has created many special bonds with both the educators and other children who attend. We have thoroughly enjoyed all the crafts, Kindergarten prep, outdoor adventures, and life skills my son has experienced over our 2 years of attending preschool.

Open Sesame program photo.jpg
About Open Sesame

Our Philosophy

We believe in children's potential

At Open Sesame we see each child as competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential.  We engage in child initiated, teacher supported play-based learning and we continuously reflect on ways we can build on and support the ideas children already have to create opportunities for expanding their learning.  

We create opportunities for children

to learn through play

As educators, we honour each child’s uniqueness and provide meaningful opportunities for them to learn through play.   Play is the most effective way for children to learn and gain new skills.  During play, children make sense of the world around them.  They experiment and problem-solve.  Play engages children with challenges they can master.  In play, children experience joy, wonder and delight that inspires their creativity. Children’s interests, strengths, needs and perspectives form the backbone of our daily activities. 

We create an atmosphere of

co-operation and caring

At Open Sesame, children and families are given the opportunity to discover the diverse social, cultural and linguistic perspectives of our preschool community and the community beyond our doors. In an atmosphere of co-operation and caring, each child will feel valued and be encouraged to continue to develop their strengths and abilities.  We believe that it is important for children to experience the freedom to make choices in order to build self-confidence, a sense of belonging and of responsibility.

Families and Caregivers 

are the experts on their children​

Parents, caregivers and families are the first and most important influence on children’s learning, development, health, and well-being.  Parents and caregivers are the true experts and want what’s best for their children.  At Open Sesame, our role is to support parents’ goals for their children.

We value families and we strive to build a community where all families feel that they belong, and are engaged in a meaningful way as valuable contributors to their children’s learning.  Every family is unique and brings a new perspective to our program.  Valuing this diversity and building partnerships with families helps strengthen our ability to meet each child's individual needs. 

Special Needs

We welcome all children and are equipped to work with a variety of needs including challenging behavior, speech delay, medical diets, and autism spectrum.  If needed, our staff work closely with resources in the community such as KW Habilitation, Kidsability and others, including private therapists and we participate in transition to school meetings for children who are getting ready for Kindergarten.  Contact us if you have been referred by a community partner.

Daily Fees

Open Sesame participates in the Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan (CWELCC), a program that is lowering child care costs and improving access and quality across Ontario’s child care and early years sector.  Funding for the Canada-wide System is provided by the Federal government, and is being delivered through a partnership between the Ministry of Education and the Region of Waterloo. 


For the current year, Open Sesame’s base fees are  $24/half day.  With CWELCC fee reductions, families now pay $12/half day for preschool enrollment.  Invoices are sent out monthly and fees are due in the first week of each month.   Families are NOT charged for scheduled closures including statutory holidays, Winter Break and March Break.


The Region of Waterloo manages a subsidy program for child care in the region.  Families who need help paying for child care can get further information from the Region of Waterloo or by contacting us.

Special Needs
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