It is great pleasure that we welcome you, your child and family into our program at Waabinong Head Start Family Resource Centre.

Who we are? 

A Pre-School Learning Centre licensed under the Day Nurseries Act. 

Where are we located? 

169 Spring Street in the downtown area of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Who is eligible?

Aboriginal children within the City of Sault Ste. Marie who are 2 years of age and up.

Is there a cost?

Funded under the Public Health Agency of Canada, this is a FREE program.  There is NO COST to enrol your child.

Our Organization

A Non-Profit Charitable Organization, Waabinong Head Start Family Resource Centre opened its doors in 1997.

Governed by a Board of Directors, Waabinong Head Start has a staff of eight:

  • General Manager who is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and also serves as the Classroom Supervisor
  • Program Services Coordinator
  • Two Child Development Specialists who are Registered Early Childhood Educators
  • Nutrition Specialist (Cook)
  • Maintenance/Replacement
  • Two Van Drivers (East and West)

We provide childcare and services to children and families within the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

It is our mandate to provide a holistic and integrative learning experience for children and their families.

Our Classroom

Shkiyaak Niigaansiwag teachers are qualified Early Childhood Educators and trusted community members providing appropriate, culturally sensitive childcare and opportunities to participate in activities that celebrate and strengthen the culture and spiritual traditions of our communities. 

Our classroom is licensed to accommodate 24 children in the morning and another 24 in the afternoon. Classes are held from Monday to Thursday during September to June. 

We Believe

We believe that children will develop feelings of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence by reinforcing honesty, respect, kindness, sharing, positive role modeling, love, concern and supportive feedback. 

We believe we strengthen the cultural identity of your child by coordinating caregivers, elders and teachers to work collectively through all aspects of programming and components.  It is vital that our student views culture as part of him/herself rather than a separate program.  At Waabinong Head Start it is imperative that children learn their traditional language, custom and beliefs.

About Our Logo

The Medicine Wheel is the background with all its teachings.  The Dream Catcher is cradled in the circle of the medicine wheel.  The seven beads in the dream catcher represents the seven Grandfather Teachings of love, honest, truth, humility, bravery and wisdom.  A man and woman are in the centre reaching out to each other and their hands meet where the good dreams are released.  There are three children, two of whom are playing together while the baby rests on her mother’s back.  The three children also represent the balance we must find in our mind, our body and our spirit and like little children we are all eager to learn.

What does our name mean?

“Waabinong” means “Eastern Doorway – Where Life Begins”

Our Classroom Name

“Shkiyaak Niigaansiwag” means “Our Future Leaders”

Why is our program unique?

Our program is unique in the City of Sault Ste. Marie area because: 

  • We can relate to the fact that the activity of daily living of our families are different  
  • We respect and support our families as a whole. We recognize that children, siblings, grandparents, aunts & uncles and extended family members play an important role within family structures and our program
  • Our Centre offers “free” childcare services to the urban community 
  • We offer two half-day programs per day from Monday to Thursday
  • We provide a safe clean learning environment
  • Practical lessons in every day skill that children need to live a healthy and practical life is practised on a daily basis 
  • There are qualified Early Childhood Educators (ECE) on staff at all times
  • We focus on our Native Culture and Traditions, attend area cultural celebrations and host seasonal feasts
  • We offer Traditional Healing Services to our children, families and community members
  • Parents take an active role in the extra-curricular activities that are provided to your child
  • We provide Free Transportation to and from the Centre Monday to Thursday 
  • Specialized services are offered on-site
  • We serve hearty nutritional breakfasts, lunch and snack daily. The Canada and Aboriginal Food Guides are taken into consideration when preparing meals 

Contact Us Today – (705) 253-3129

We are more than confident that we can continue to achieve our primary goal to demonstrate that locally controlled and designed early intervention strategies can provide preschool children with a positive sense of themselves, a desire for learning and opportunities to develop fully and successfully as young people. 

We are happy to be a part of your child’s life, watching them grow up confident that they are worthy of love and respect, capable of meeting life’s challenges, and able to make valued contributions to their families and communities.