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At Rio Terrace Community Preschool, we envision for our children to become active participants in, and shapers of, their worlds and to grow cognitively, socially, emotionally and globally though child-based, teacher-facilitated learning.


To cultivate a community of families and teachers working together to provide a safe, stimulating and positive environment that enhances and fosters the physical, emotional, cognitive, creative and social development of individual children through play-based learning and discovery.

This will be implemented by practising an emergent and constructivist curriculum;

children learn through doing. 


Welcome to Rio Terrace Community Preschool for 3 and 4 year olds!

Our preschool is a parent co-operative program which has been in operation since 1968.

The program is part of the Rio Terrace, Patricia Heights and Quesnell Community League.

We aim to provide a stimulating, supportive and positive environment to meet the physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs of your child. Each preschool session includes story time and circle time, free-flow supervised playtime, music enrichment, crafts, snack, and large-muscle group games. Each child is challenged to the extent to which he or she is ready, and children are actively supported and encouraged every step of the way.




As with most preschools, we operate as a parent co-operative. That is to say, parents run the preschool. To be successful, we need everyone’s assistance. One parent (per child) will be required to fill an executive position or to take on a particular job. Examples of jobs may include: helping to organize fundraising, helping advertise, or helping to maintain the preschool’s social media.

When a parent takes on a job, they receive a description for it;

new suggestions for jobs are always welcome.


1.  Attend General Meetings (approximately 2 to 3 evenings a year);

2.  Help in the classroom

♦ 3-year-old program: averages 1 morning every 2 months (with full enrolment)

♦ 4-year-old program: averages 1 morning/afternoon every 2 months (with full enrolment)

3.  Be responsible for an assigned job, or serve on the Executive Board;

4.  Assist with fundraising

♦ As with the vast majority of not-for-profit preschools, our low fees do not cover the costs of running the preschool

♦ We require all hands-on-deck, as many hands make for light work.

♦ New fundraising ideas are always welcome.

Additionally, if you have special skills or hobbies that you would like to share with the children, please let one of our teachers know. At Rio Terrace Community Preschool, we encourage close parent relationships, and welcome you to take an active role in your child’s first educational experiences!


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Julianna Van Soest 
aka Ms Jules

Rio Terrace Preschool Teacher

I have always loved to sing, play, and imagine.  For the past 20 years I worked in Toronto and then Edmonton teaching children of all ages in drama, music, and musical theatre. Being a SAHM to my own children inspired me to go back to school and learn about early childhood education.  I graduated last year with honors from Norquest College with a diploma in Early Learning and Childcare and was fortunate to do my working practicum with the incredible educators at Jasper Place Family Resource Centre.  I met our wonderful teaching assistant Jess in class at Norquest.  We worked together on many projects and are incredibly happy to bring our shared joy, playfulness, and knowledge to the community of Rio Terrace. 


I am passionate about the field of early learning and believe strongly in the power of play to support young children to grow and learn.  Children are naturally curious and eager to learn about the world around them and at preschool we create environments and opportunities to engage and create wonder for these mighty learners. By providing developmentally suitable, hands-on, and meaningful play experiences, children are actively honing essential social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills. These experiences foster their growth and serve as the foundation for their success as lifelong learners. I center my practice around attachment theory, emphasizing the cultivation of strong connections with children to support their learning and well-being. Respecting the ideas, needs and feelings of every child is of utmost importance to me.  


I am the proud mom of two lovely little humans, James and Cooper . In Edmonton’s warmer seasons we love to camp, bike ride and explore the outdoors. In colder weather you might find us cuddled under fuzzy blankets reading books, playing board games or in epic Lego battles with my husband Dave. I still love to sing and play ukulele or piano. I have two silly kitties named Luna and Nova. Their favourite thing to climb is the Christmas tree!


Jessica Melnyk
aka Ms Jess

Rio Terrace Preschool Assistant Teacher

Ms Jules and I graduated together from NorQuest College, both holding Level 3 certifications in Early Learning and Child Care Education. During my journey, I accumulated 800 practicum hours at a non-profit child care society, gaining valuable experience with children of all ages.


My practice is based on Alberta's early learning FLIGHT framework, which involves keenly observing and actively participating in children's play as a co-learner, co-imaginer, and co-researcher. This approach helps me uncover creative ways to leverage their interests for positive development across various domains including social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and linguistic. All while making their learning journeys visible through documentation.


Outside of my passion for early learning education, I take great pleasure in outdoor activities, including going on walks with my cat... in a stroller! In my free time I love to get lost in a good book, and spend time engaging in lively discussions with my book club. When not immersed in a book or enjoying nature, I nurture my collection of indoor plants, practice yoga, explore my imaginative side through various creative outlets, (including drawing, crocheting, sewing) and cherish moments with my significant other and family members.


This little community preschool is such a gem! All three of my kids have gone here. The teachers are fabulous - they’re engaging, supportive, and playful. We have been so blessed with RTCP being our kids' first step in their education.


BONUS: the indoor climbing wall and twisty slide! So fun!


  • Lori

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