About Us

Our philosophy is that children learn best through play-based activities!

  • We believe that each child is an unique individual and learns at his/her own pace.
  • We provide an environment that stimulates curiosity, creativity, imagination and independence.
  • We provide opportunities to develop gross-and fine-motor skills.
  • We encourage social interaction and cultivate problem solving skills.
  • We have highly qualified teachers with strong early childhood  skills to help your child  develop.

Please note: Our staff is neither trained nor equipped to handle children with mental disabilities, or those who suffer serious emotional problems, or those with certain physical or medical conditions.  If your child has health issues, please discuss this with the teacher before registering.  If your child requires emergency medication or special care, an aide may be required to attend with the child.  There is Goverment funding available to parents in these situations but you are required to persue it before registering with our program. 

The following links offer information for children with special needs or who have English as a second language. You may want to consider alternative programming should your child require these services.



Our Teacher

Shirley Hiemstra has been with Woodcroft (formerly Dovercourt Playschool) for 22 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and has previously taught Kindergarten, and Grades 1, 2 and 5.  She also has Level 3 Certification (Child Development Supervisor) from Alberta Children's and Youth Services.

She has a passion for teaching young children and loves "playing" with them; facilitating their growth and development by leading them through fun and exciting "learn through play" experiences.  

Shirley has served several terms on the Edmonton Preschool Association's Board and regularly attends Conferences and Workshops to continually upgrade professionally. She has current Child Care First Aid Certification.

She has been nominated for the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education.


Our Educational Assistant  - Gaylene St. Pierre

Gaylene and her husband Randy live in Stony Plain.  She has two sons who are currently attending the University of Alberta.  Her love of children began early when she graduated from University with an Education degree.  She taught part time for many years so she could spend more time raising her family.  For the past three years she opened a day home and loved providing quality and educational care for children of working parents.  

She is thrilled to be joining Woodcroft Playschool and is looking forward to working with young children in the classroom again!