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BCACCS Preschools

BCACCS is proud to be the host agency for two Aboriginal Head Start Preschools in Vancouver’s urban environment. These programs are for Aboriginal children ages 3-5 years old and follow the play-based philosophy. Both provincially licensed facilities offer morning and afternoon classes with bus services as well as nutritious snacks! These programs are provided free of charge to eligible Aboriginal families.


What is Aboriginal Head Start?

Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) initiative was started as a four year pilot program by Health Canada in1995. It was developed as an early intervention program for First Nations, Inuit and Métis preschool children and their families living in urban centers and large northern communities. In 1998, the program expanded to include First Nations communities on reserve, Aboriginal Head Start on-Reserve (AHSOR).

The primary goal of the initiative is to demonstrate that locally controlled and designed early intervention strategies can provide Aboriginal children with a positive sense of themselves, a desire for life-long learning, and opportunities to develop fully as successful young people.

Aboriginal Head Start projects typically provide half-day preschool experiences that prepare young Aboriginal children for their school years by meeting their spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs.

Aboriginal Head Start Components


All AHS site programs are based on a holistic approach to early childhood experiences which emphasize the needs of the child within the family, school and community through the following six components:
  • Culture and language
  • Education
  • Health promotion
  • Nutrition
  • Social Support Programming
  • Parent Involvement

Parental Involvement


Our preschool programs are designed to include parents. We have an open door policy, which means that at any time you are welcome into the centre. Here are some ways we encourage parents and guardians to be involved in the program:
  • Come into the classroom and participate in the day’s activities.
  • Share family traditions and culture.
  • Parent, Elder Advisory Committee involvement.
  • Join sub-committees.
  • Assist with field trips.
  • Assist with program and curriculum development.
  • Assist with the development of Aboriginal resources.

Program Goals


  • To foster the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical growth.
  • To foster a desire for lifelong learning.
  • To support parents/guardians as primary teachers and caregivers.
  • To foster a holistic approach to learning based on Aboriginal values.
  • To foster the preservation of Aboriginal culture.