Meet Our AHS Programs

Awahsuk AHS

Awahsuk Aboriginal Head Start preschool opened in 1997 and is located in Surrey, B.C. on the shared territory of the Stolo, Kwa-Kwa, Semiamhoo and Katzie First Nations. Our Host Agency is the Fraser Regional Aboriginal Friendship Centre.

Our Awahsuk Family includes longtime staff members who are committed to creating a community-based center for Aboriginal families in Surrey. Our families come from all different Nations and their cultures are reflected in the program.

Early childhood teachings about culture are key in ensuring identity, heritage and realizing the important values and wisdom of our Knowledge Keepers. Our dedicated Elders and Cultural Teachers provide the children, families and staff with ongoing weekly opportunities for pow-wow dancing, drumming, traditional teachings, smudging, dancing and learning about what it means to be an Aboriginal Person. Our staff and Elders join in teaching our children the Halq’eme’ylem language. All children that graduate from Head Start receive their own Regalia.

Each year we have a new Parent Advisory committee since AHS is meant to be parent-driven and work as a positive partnership that supports Aboriginal children to grow and develop, feel good about themselves and to promote lifelong learning.

4 year old class: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

3 year old class: Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 11:30 am

14589 108th Avenue
Surrey, BC V3R 1V6 Office: 236-757-8027 Classroom: 236-607-5508

Comox Valley AHS

Comox Valley Aboriginal Head Start (CVAHS) opened in March 1997 in Courtenay BC. The program has grown from a basement setting to owning its own building and two buses, a little yellow school bus and a 15-passenger van. Our strong Parent Advisory Council (PAC) co-governs the program along with our Host Agency, the Upper Island Women of Native Ancestry.

We offer AM and PM Preschool classes for 3-5 year olds, serving 40 children.

Staff includes our Program Coordinator, Family Networker, five ECEs, two Special Needs Supports, Cook, Operations and Bus Driver. Elders regularly share knowledge of our history and language, gardening, harvesting, drum-making, and singing. A Speech-language Therapist also works with our children in all programs weekly. Vision, hearing and dental checks are also offered.

Parent involvement helps make this program unique and successful. The ‘Fall Cultural Evening’ is one event that is PAC-led and staff supported, featuring Traditional Dances and a meal. This is an annual event that this last year saw 60 children and 140 extended families, staff and Elders. The monthly Family Brunch/Lunch gives opportunities for the extended family to come to the centre and share a meal of traditional foods, social opportunities, culture and language.

The Summer Program is focused on Kindergarten Readiness. With close connections to the local School District, CVAHS hosts a Kindergarten Transition Meeting with the graduating students, parents, Kindergarten Teachers, Administrators and Aboriginal Education personnel. At our graduation ceremony, the Aboriginal Education Administrator welcomes the children into the mainstream school system.

956 Grieve Ave
Courtenay, BC V9N 5N5
Telephone: 250-334-2477

Eagles Nest AHS

Eagle's Nest Aboriginal Head Start has been welcoming First Nations, Inuit & Métis children on unceded Coast Salish territory since 1998. We are one of two sites in Vancouver hosted by the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society, located on the shared territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-waututh and Musqueam nations.

We offer morning or afternoon spaces, from Monday to Thursday for 3-5 year olds. Nutritious hot/cold snacks are included. The program features inclusive, play-based learning activities enhanced with cultural experiences by dedicated cultural teachers, Elders, and community visitors. In supporting parents as their child’s first and lifelong teacher, we provide a safe place where families feel welcome. Our Parent Advisory Council meets monthly and gives families an opportunity to gather together to discuss and guide the program.

Our preschool implements several specialized programs such as Moe the Mouse® Curriculum Box for speech and language development; the Seeds of Empathy program for social and emotional competence and early literacy skills. All aspects of our program are interwoven with Aboriginal themes such as traditional language learning, ceremonial practices, cultural beliefs and values.

Eagle's Nest Aboriginal Head Start Staff includes a Program Coordinator, three ECEs, a Bus Driver / ECE teacher and a part-time Cultural Teacher. Student teachers also join our classroom on an ongoing basis. Some resources that improve our program are:

  1. BCACCS website, training workshops, and resource library for Early Childhood Educators
  2. AHSABC website, training workshops and resources.
  3. BC’s Early Learning Child Care Framework
  4. Society for Children & Youth of BC!
  5. ECEBC code of ethics

Web links where you can find out more about our program:

618 East Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC V6A 1R1
Phone: 604.253.3354

Cell: 778.892.4402

Future 4 Nations AHS

Future 4 Nations Head Start is an urban Aboriginal Head Start Preschool program located in Mission, B.C. The centre opened in October 1997 and in 2001, Mission Native Housing Society became our Host Agency. Our name refers to the four tribes in our area: Stolo, Sta tlmx (Stat-lee-um) and Cree Nations, and Métis.

Future 4 Nations AHS is a licensed preschool centre providing services to a maximum of 20 children in each class. We run a morning and afternoon program, Monday to Thursday, and provide a nutritious meal for both classes.

We currently employ 5 full time staff, 1 part time Special Needs Assistant, 1 part time Cultural Worker, and 2 Elders that work with the children approximately 4 days a month. In addition, we provide practicum experience for students enrolled in the ECE program.

We have a Parent Advisory Council that gives support, ideas and direction to the staff and we encourage involvement from all of our families and caregivers. The children and families have opportunities to participate in a rich cultural environment with regular land-based activities and community gatherings.

34110 Lougheed Hwy
Mission, BC V2V 4L1
telephone: 604-820-4567

Kermode AHS

The Aboriginal Head Start Program at the Kermode Friendship Society in Terrace BC serves 40 children of Aboriginal ancestry in two preschool classes Monday to Thursday, with a staff of 7 employees. Our program operates from September to June of each year.

Kermode Aboriginal Head Start Program is a Preschool Program designed for children ages 3 to 5 of Aboriginal descent. Our program is one of the twelve (1 of 12) Urban Aboriginal Head Start Programs in BC. Our primary focus is to provide services for the children and their families support Early Childhood Development and instill pride in their Aboriginal heritage, while bringing them to the school readiness stage in order to help ensure an easy transition into Kindergarten. We believe that Parents are their child’s primary teachers and strongly encourage them to be a part of our program.

Our Staff consists of the Program Manager, ECE Floor Supervisor, ECE, ECE Assistant, Family Involvement Worker, Bus driver/Maintenance, and Cook. We have a good working relationship with other community programs such as the CAPC parenting program, Early Childhood Development program and the Child Development Center, our licensing office including the nutritionist and environmental health office, and the School District.

We do have a waitlist for our program and we except registration forms throughout the year, therefore we encourage Parents to register their child as early as possible. Call for more information or to apply for enrolment.

3313 Kalum St.
Terrace, BC V8G 2N7

Toll-free : 1-866-635-4906

Phone : (250) 635-4906 ext 1034

Fax : (250) 635-3013

Little Moccasins Learning Centre AHS

Little Moccasins Learning Centre is an urban Aboriginal Head Start Program located in Williams Lake, the centre of the Cariboo. The Cariboo Friendship Society is our Host Agency. We opened our doors for 40 children in February of 2004, offering preschool programs for Aboriginal Children aged 3-5 years old.

We have seven staff members and two Elders that work with our program. The three prominent Nations in this area, Chilcotin, Shuswap and Carrier, cover a large area with 15 Bands. There are other Nations involved in our centre as well and we make sure the cultures of all the families are represented.

Our AHS program is a Fully Licensed Preschool offering Kindergarten Readiness, Culture and Language, Nutritious Meals, Family Support, Education and Workshops, Parent Advisory Committee, direct Parent Involvement and free Bus Service.

We look forward to continuing to serve children through the Head Start program in order to build a strong future for Aboriginal People. See the attached brochure for more information.

Our Brochure

99 South 3rd Ave.
Williams Lake, BC V2G 1J1
telephone: 250-398-6841

Power of Friendship AHS

The Power of Friendship AHS program was established in August of 2000 and moved into its own building, in 2004. Our host agency is the Prince George Native Friendship Centre. We have an active parent group that meets with the staff and on their own monthly. They are involved in the planning and implementation of our program. Parents attend workshops and sessions offered here and/or in conjunction with the parents of Site I, the PGAHS program.

Some of the workshops include: Nobody's Perfect, Stress Management, Child Safe, Food Safe, and Communication Skills. We are fortunate to have the Métis Elders take part in our program as well. They perform such things as knitting mittens for the children, storytelling, attending workshops and seminars, and saying opening and closing prayers at functions. Our Elders also act as advisors/role models around good ways of being.

Our children have learned about drumming and singing, about traditional values and have been asked on several occasions to perform at different events. Our Cree cultural curriculum has grown extensively over the years, many components of which have been shar

ed with other AHS sites and mainstream educational institutions.

The PGAHS and POFAHS programs come together in the summer months to provide a six-week program for children on the waitlist who will be entering kindergarten in September. This session is designed to encourage a strong sense of identity and to prepare the children for the structures and routines of kindergarten.

Please see the attached pamphlet for more information about our Aboriginal Head Start program.

Our Pamphlet

110 Anderson St.
Prince George, BC, V2M 4Z1
telephone: 250-564-1840

Prince George AHS

The Prince George Head Start Program (PGAHS), which began in 1996, is funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada under the Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC) Initiative. Our Host Agency is the Prince George Native Friendship Centre.

PGAHS offers a comprehensive program designed to meet the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of Aboriginal preschool children (ages 3-5) living in the urban setting. The team facilitates a safe, non-judgmental environment during the children's formative years, encouraging holistic growth by understanding the importance of community, family involvement, cultural awareness, and respect.

The cultural curriculum is based on the Carrier language, which also recognizes cultural diversity and respects the traditional land of the Lhedli T'enneh.

Our program recognizes the parent/caregiver as the natural advocate of the child and whose primary concern is for the health and well-being of Aboriginal children. We work closely with our parents/caregivers who meet as a PAC once per month or more, and workshops/trainings are available based upon what is indicated in the yearly needs assessment. Some of the workshops include: Nobody's Perfect, Stress Management, Child Safe, Food Safe, and Communication Skills.

The PGAHS and POFAHS programs come together in the summer months to provide a six -week program for children on the waitlist who will be entering kindergarten in September. This session is designed to encourage a strong sense of identity and to prepare the children for the structures and routines of kindergarten.

1945-3rd Ave.
Prince George, BC V2L 1G6
telephone: 250-563-3884

Prince Rupert AHS

Prince Rupert Aboriginal Head Start (formerly Cedar Road) opened its doors in 1996. For many years we were run by the Cedar Road Society which was a parent-run non-profit society. In 2007, Prince Rupert AHS took on its current name and switched host agencies to Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society.

Prince Rupert AHS is a preschool licensed for up to 20 children per class. From Monday to Thursday we run a morning class and an afternoon class each day. On Friday we offer a program for children going into Kindergarten. The goal of this program is to give the children the opportunity to enhance their Kindergarten Readiness skills.

Prince Rupert facility is now in a beautiful residence with 9 staff members, which includes a program coordinator, 3 ECE’s, ECE/Family involvement worker, bus driver/maintenance, receptionist/custodian and 2 support workers. We also have a Tsimshian Elder who teaches language and culture.

At PRAHS we believe that Aboriginal children have the right to quality cultural education, which includes teaching the roots and values of Aboriginal heritage, as well as skills based in strong self-identity, which will preserve their heritage. We encourage community and family involvement, cultural awareness, and respect our traditional communities’ beliefs.

Prince Rupert AHS works closely with Supported Child Development, Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, School District as well as other agencies. The relationships that we’ve built with these local agencies are very valuable to not only Head Start staff, but also to the families involved in our program.

313 Prince Rupert Boulevard
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 4E4
telephone: 250-627-4010


Qwallayuw AHS

Campbell River Aboriginal Head Start opened in September 1996, with Laichwiltach Family Life Society as our Host Agency. The name for our AHS program, Qwallayuw, means ‘My Reason for Living’ in the Kwakwala language.

We are very proud of our culture and language component. Our wonderful Elder, Sophie, teaches Kwakwala to all the children. They are identified according to clans, such as wolf, eagle, raven, and bear, and learn about Native dancing from our cultural teachers.

Each day the group activities change. The centres are circle, science, art, culture, cooking, gym, playground, walk, computers, or literacy with the Kindergarten Teacher. We find it enhances the children's attention span and creativity to offer smaller groups and age-appropriate choices. Through the six components, we offer support by building language, culture and self-esteem in our children and families.

Our program offers free transportation for children; healthy meals/snacks; transportation to and from PAC meetings; Special Needs support and a lending library of resources; Parent support; Vancouver Island Health: hearing and vision screening (2x year) and Dental Hygienist (3x year).

Our Host Agency, Laichwiltach Family Life Society, offers a range of services to further support our children and families; these are accessible at the same location as the AHS centre.

  • For Children (0-6): Occupational Therapy; Speech & Language; Aboriginal Infant Development; Aboriginal Support Child Care
  • For Families: Counselling (adults, youth): Abuse, addictions, healing; Youth Outreach & Support Program; Parenting Programs; Elder Program; Lil Fry Daycare; Family Support; Collaborative Planning/Family Group Conferencing; Aboriginal Urban Health Navigator; Stopping the Violence Outreach Program; Blade Runner Program (Youth Employment Readiness Program); Cultural Events; Monthly Community Dinners
  • For more information, visit

441-4th Ave.
Campbell River, BC V9W 2T7
telephone: 250-286-3044

Sas Natsadle AHS

North East Native Advancing Society (NENAS) delivers the Sas Natsadle (little Bear) Aboriginal Head Start program in the city of Fort St. John. The licensed preschool program serves 40 Aboriginal children and their parents in need of emotional, social and intellectual support.

Sas Natsadle AHS is an early intervention program that provides for the needs of the whole child and their family through support services. The program focuses on the involvement of parents, who are the child’s first and most influential teachers. Many parents report improved relationships with their children, greater life satisfaction and psychological well being resulting from the supportive social networks that this community-based preschool program offers.

Sas Natsadle Aboriginal Head Start program aims to:
• Foster the spiritual, intellectual and physical growth of the child
• Inspire children to become life long leaders
• Support parents and guardians as the main teachers and care givers of their children
• Ensure parents play a key role in planning, development, operation and evaluation of the program
• Recognize the need for and support extended families in teaching and caring for children
• Ensure that Aboriginal culture is integrated into all components of the program

We offer Aboriginal children ages 3 to 5 and their families the following services free of charge:
• Fully licensed preschool
• Kindergarten preparation
• Culture and language needs
• Nutritious meals
• Family support
• Education and workshops
• Parental participation
• Bus service to and from the program

Preschool Hours (two classes per day):
Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 11:30 am, 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm

10328 - 101 Avenue
Fort St. John, BC V1J 2B5
telephone: 250-785-0887

Singing Frog AHS

Singing Frog is one of two AHS sites hosted by the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society. We opened our doors to children and families from a shared space located on Grandview/¿uuqinak’uuh Elementary School grounds, located in the east side of Vancouver. In the spring of 2008 renovations transforming office space to preschool space was complete, allowing us to have our own facilities.

Families are welcome to enrol their child(ren) in either a morning or afternoon class which are offered Monday through Thursday. We have a small bus which allows us to also offer free bus service, within a specific area and time frame, for families to utilize.

The diversity of the families, guests and staff allows us to provide and participate in unique learning experiences throughout our program. We have been very fortunate to have parents, knowledge keepers, as well as community members participate in a variety of ways including storytelling, singing, drumming and dancing with the children.

We are working to continuously build on the relationship we currently have with the local elementary school and are grateful for the consistent invitations to the schools celebrations, the input on school development as well as the varied support of their staff. We look forward to assisting children and their families with the transition into public schools and their journey down the path of life long learning.


2150 McLean Drive

Vancouver, BC V5N 3X9

Phone: 604.253.5388

Fax: 604.253.5282


We also have a link under the BC Aboriginal Child Care Association:

AHS Preschools in BC

Kermode Daycare Centre AHS

Kermode Friendship Society Childcare AHS

(Waap Sagayt K’uulm Goot – House of One Heart)

In October 2018, Kermode Friendship Society in Terrace BC opened its second Aboriginal Head Start program – a sister to Kermode AHS preschool.

Our new AHS Child Care centre is located at 4714 Park Avenue, Terrace BC V8G 1W1. We are an urban (AHSUNC) program located on traditional Tsimshian Territory.

Kermode Friendship Society AHS is also called Waap Sagayt K’uulm Goot, which means ‘House of One Heart.’ It is a full-day program for children aged 12 months to 5 years old.

We are open from 8:15 am to 4:45 pm, Monday to Friday. Children receive safe and consistent care. Breakfast, lunch and snack are provided during program hours.

We have seven staff, as well as a Cultural Mentor who attends the program for 10 hours a week, sharing Nisga’a language and traditional cultural teachings. In September 2019 ,we will become a ‘Language Nest’ and will have four Elders attending who will be teaching the children and staff Sm’algyax.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 250-635-4906

or email:

Munu Learning Centre AHS

The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre and the Munu Learning Centre recognize the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation: upon their territory we live, work, learn and play.

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre opened the doors to our new child care centre, Munu Learning Centre, on March 11, 2019. Mun’u is the word for child (daughter or son) in the local Hul’qumi’num language.

Located at 20 Fifth Street, Nanaimo BC V9R 1M7, Munu Learning Centre is a full-day Aboriginal Head Start program for Indigenous children 3 to 5 years of age.

Our staff includes our AHS Program Coordinator, one Early Childhood Educator, one ECE-Assistant, and our valued Elders.

We create an environment in which the children, families, employees, and volunteers participate in activities on a daily basis.

Our cultural approach will focus on the Aboriginal cultures and languages of the children attending our Centre. We also provide opportunities where Elders, knowledge keepers, families, and parents participate and share their culture with the children and staff.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 250-591-0798

or email:

Skeh Baiyoh – House of Children AHS

Prince George’s newest Aboriginal Head Start program opened in October 2018, a sister to the two AHS preschools, Prince George AHS and Power of Friendship AHS.

Our AHS child care program is located in the Prince George Child Development Centre at 1687 Strathcona Ave, Prince George, BC V2L 4E7.

Our program’s name, Skeh Baiyoh – House of Children, was given to us by Edie Frederick, an Elder from Lheidli T’enneh.

We have 3 full-day programs:

1. Eagle Room – Multi-Age Program for 8 children

2. Cougar Room – Multi-Age Program for 8 children

3. Bear Room – Infant/Toddler Program for 12 children

Skeh Baiyoh is following mostly Carrier tradition and language led by our Cultural Teacher.

To support our AHS families, we host a monthly Community Kitchen, as well as a Potlach style family gathering each month, and we offer transportation to our centre in the morning.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 250-640-9923

or email:

Smameletawtxw Little Pebbles AHS

Smameletawtxw Little Pebbles AHS program is hosted by Mamele’awt Qweesome Housing Society (MQHS) and so is a ‘sister’ site to Future 4 Nations AHS, also hosted under the same society.

We held our opening/naming ceremony on April 1, 2019 and received our Child Care License on April 3, 2019.

We are located in The Waterstone in Chilliwack, which is an 80-unit apartment building owned and operated by MQHS. The address is 45603 Yale Road, Chilliwack, BC V2P 0H6.

Our centre is home to an 8-space program for Infants/Toddlers and a 17-space program for 3 years to school age.

Hours of operation are from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday – Friday with ½ hour at the beginning and end of each day for staff prep and clean up. We provide two nutritious meals and snacks and outdoor playtime daily.

We currently employ three full-time Early Childhood Educators, two part-time ECEs (three also have their Infant/Toddler certification), our Program Coordinator (with ECE), a cook/nutritionist and a part-time Elder.

We are located in the heart of Stolo territory and are looking forward to incorporating the rich culture into every aspect of our programming.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 604-392-2003

Mobile: 604-795-0948

Or email:

Thi Lelum Smuneem AHS – ‘Big House of Future Generations’

In September 2018, Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Nanaimo proudly opened the doors to our Aboriginal Head Start Child Care program at 100-475 Tenth Street, Nanaimo V9R 1A1.

Our new building features a cultural design and is located on Snuneymuxw First Nation Traditional Territory.

Thi Lelum Smuneem offers group childcare to children over 30 months of age (mostly 3 to 5 year olds).

Our Staff includes our Program Coordinator, three Early Childhood Educators, an SCD, Kitchen Coordinator and a Bus Driver.

We have three valued Elders who support our program with language and cultural teachings and activities.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 250-754-4000

or email:

Awasisak Achakos AHS

Awasisak Achakos Head Start opened on November 25th 2019. Our program is located in Kelowna and we work in partnership with the Central Okanagan School District and our sponsor, Métis Community Services Society of BC.

We are a licenced full-day Child Care program for 25 children, aged 3-5 years. Our hours are 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, with staff on site from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

We have a Program Coordinator/ ECE and 3 Full-time ECE on staff.

We also have a Cook /Bus Driver and an ASCD Support Worker.

Parents and families play an important role in our AHS. We are fortunate to have 4 Elders sharing their gifts and knowledge with our children and families. The main culture of our community is Métis. Awasisak Achakos means ‘Children of the Stars’ in the Cree/Michif language.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 250-870-5163

Cell: 250-718-8081


Hohudul’eh Bayoh IHS

Hohudul’eh Bayoh – House of Learning Indigenous Head Start opened its doors in early December of 2019. Our program is located at 2994 Burrard Avenue in Vanderhoof, BC.

Hohudul’eh Bayoh IHS is a full-day program for children aged 0 – 5. We are open from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Fawn’s Hideaway room has space for 8 infants and toddlers. Fox’s Den room has space for 16 children from 3 – 5 years of age.

We have 7 staff, consisting of 4 Educators, a Cook/Janitor, a Program Coordinator, and a Knowledge Holder who will attend both programs on a part-time basis.

Located on the traditional territory of Saik’uz First Nations, our program reflects all the Indigenous cultures of the families in our community. Our parents and family members are supported by our sponsor organization, Carrier Sekani Family Services.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 250-567-5675

Or email:


Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society AHS

Opening Fall 2020 in Langley, BC

Clever Raven AHS

Clever Raven AHS opened its doors on November 12, 2019 in Courtenay, BC. Our program engages 8 toddlers and 16 preschoolers in cultural learning. We are open daily from 8-5pm and share space with the Wachiay Friendship Centre.

We are a nature-based program with an emergent curriculum. From our loose parts playground to the five beaming tree poles that live inside our play space, we offer an exciting and welcoming environment.

We have seven staff on site daily and work with our community Elders, knowledge keepers and professionals to provide a variety of services and experiences for our children and families.

Working with the Friendship Centre allows us to offer education programs, skills training, advocacy, cultural activities and programs, and many other benefits to our parents and families.

We look forward to growing and learning together as we create a caring community for the many different Aboriginal cultures in our AHS program.

For more information, contact our Program Coordinator at:

Phone: 778-225-0296

or email:

Little Mukluks AHS

Opening Spring 2020 in Williams Lake, BC

Talking Little Feet  AHS

Opening Spring 2020 in Grand Forks, BC

AHS Child Care Services in BC