THRIVE Child Development Centre


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Thrive Child Development Centre, located in Sault Ste. Marie, is proud to offer an inclusive, educational, and developmentally appropriate on-site Preschool program, H.S. McLellan Preschool. Our program is built on an understanding that children learn best through play as it fosters their curiosity, creativity, and autonomy. Play also provides children with opportunities to build relationships, solve problems, and test theories to expand their knowledge. Our goal is to provide an inclusive, safe, and nurturing environment that will help all children learn and grow to their fullest potential.

H.S. McLellan Preschool is a non-profit program licensed by the Ministry of Education under the Ontario Child Care and Early Years Act. Our staff consists of registered members of the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators and College approved equivalencies.



smiling child


  • Toddler and Preschool classrooms, operating between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • 20+ years of service and experience
  • Choices of days and hours (2 to 5 days per week)
  • Reduced rates for more than 1 child
  • Vacation and sick time adjustments to fees
  • Family involvement and child observation opportunities
  • Development and implementation of Individual Support Plans to ensure inclusion of all children


  • 24-space preschool program for children 2 ½ – 5 years old (one preschool room with 16 children and one preschool room with 8 children)
  • 10 space toddler program for children 18 to 36 months old



Our program follows an emergent curriculum that is based on the children’s interest, strengths, and needs, incorporating these into the learning environment and conversations with the children. Educators also use this information to plan and implement play-based learning activities that are meaningful and developmentally appropriate.

Emergent curriculum requires observation, documentation, and collaboration with other educators and families, where it is often spontaneous and responsive to the immediate interests of a group of children. Educators are co-learns alongside the children while engaging in their play, exploring and encouraging their discoveries.

Various professional learning resources are used to support educators with curriculum, including the document How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years, written by the Ontario Ministry of Education.





Educators are continuously observing and documenting the children’s experiences throughout the time they are enrolled in the program. Documentation is a vital resource to make the children’s learning visible to themselves and their families, as well as assisting educators in assessing the quality of the program and further scaffold the children’s learning. Individual portfolios are created for families to look through at any time their child is enrolled and are provided with it as they leave the program. Portfolios include artifacts that demonstrate the skills and concepts the children have learned, including written observations, pictures, and artwork.


kids on floor


Free Play – Art, fine motor/manipulatives, sand/water, science, math, library, blocks, music/movement, playdough, and dramatic play. Learning centers are changed monthly, as well as whenever children develop new interests or their skills develop.

Group Times – Whole or small group activities that support children’s learning of turn taking, active listening, sharing, and respect for others. These include the learning centers listed under free play and any other activities that include the children’s interest and needs.

Meals – A nutritious and well-balanced lunch, as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, is provided.

Rest – A daily nap or rest time is provided.

Self Help Opportunities – Bathroom routines, eating, and dressing and undressing from outdoor play.

Self-Regulation - Use of visual and daily schedules, sensory resources based on the children’s individual needs, and co-regulating with children through difficult moments.

Our daily routine encourages and supports the development of children’s physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language skills, as well as promotes self-esteem and self-regulation.

Family involvement is encouraged, where we welcome families to visit or participate as able.



Family Book Lending Program

This program focuses on family literacy. Each child in our program has the opportunity to take a book home for a couple of days. Related activities are provided for the child to enjoy at home with their family. Each month a new book is provided. We encourage families to take time to look at the pictures, read, and talk about the story with their child. Be a good role model! Share the love of books with your child!



  • Includes loose parts and connection to nature that stimulates children’s sense, supporting their creativity, exploration, self-confidence, and resiliency.
  • Children have the opportunity to spend at least 2 hours outdoors every day, weather permitting. We provide opportunities to promote strength, coordination, and physical activity through active play.
  • Our playground includes a hill, shade structures, bike/running path, talk tubes, playhouses, large sandboxes, and many other opportunities for sensory and active play.
  • During the summer months, children plant, nourish, and harvest a vegetable and flower garden.
  • Alongside free play, group activities are also planned and implemented.

To view a copy of our parent handbook, see downloads (left)


Playground Equipment
Toddler Playground
Pre School Playground
Toddler Playground Covered



"As a mom of a Kabuki Syndrome warrior, I am thankful for the amazing care and education that was provided to my son. He has a complicated medical history and their attention to detail and eagerness to learn put my anxiety at ease. He was happy to go to Preschool every day and grew so much under the guidance of the incredible team at H.S. McLellan Preschool. We miss every single one of them dearly, the love and enthusiasm they put into the kids has helped my son (and me) be more ready for school in the fall.
Thanks again to an amazing team."

"My wife and I wanted to write a little something about our daughter's experience with H.S. McLellan Preschool. Our daughter started at the Preschool when she was 18 months and continued there until she started school. It is without a doubt the best choice we could have made for her. H.S. McLellan Preschool helped play a big role shaping our daughter into the person she is today. They gave her the skills to be a good listener and to participate, which was critical as she was a very shy little girl. The staff at H.S. McLellan Preschool was exceptional and 100% committed to giving every child the best possible environment to learn and develop."



Looking for local support services or funding support? Here’s a list of common resources our families often look for.

View Childcare Resources 




Fore more information about H.S. McLellan Preschool, contact Sarah Bates,
Professional Services Manager – Early Childhood Education, or complete the submission form below.

Sarah Bates, Professional Services Manager – Early Childhood Education

74 Johnson Avenue

Sault Ste. Marie, ON  P6C 2V5

Tel: 705-759-1131, Ext. 209

Fax: 705-759-0783

(Please reference “H.S.McLellan Preschool” in your subject line.)

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