If you're recently arrived in Québec with your little ones, you're no doubt wondering which school to send them to. While they’re thinking about their new favourite teacher or what team they’re going to play on, keep reading to learn about Québec’s education system and to help you make an informed decision.
In Québec, there are four distinct levels of study, designed to prepare children and young adults for the future. In general, the age groups for each level are as follows:
4-5 years old: preschool (optional). Also known as kindergarten or “maternelle” in Québec.
6-16 years old: elementary and high school (general and professional training).
College: pre-university or technical training.
University: 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle and postdoctoral studies
Is your little one too young for school bags and homework? From the moment they’re born up to age 5, you can send them to a private, public or family-run daycare with the lowest rates in North America. Learn more.
Québec is committed to giving children from all walks of life the tools they need to thrive and succeed. Public schools are administered by school boards, and access to them is determined based on different geographical zones. So depending on where you live, the government will allocate the best school for your little one.
If you’re a newcomer to Québec, contact the school board office in your region to enroll your child in a local school.
Here in Québec, many government-run public schools offer alternative teaching programs and approaches—from alternative and international schools to schools focusing on athletics, the arts or science. Do your research to find the best fit for your child!
Some regular public schools welcome children with special needs to participate in regular or adapted classes. Québec also has a range of specialized schools for children with special needs, whether they have a physical or mental disability, if they’re on the autism spectrum or if they have any other specific challenges.
If you’d like to choose where your little ones learn instead of being allocated a school based on where you live, you can send them to one of the many private schools in Greater Montréal. To be accepted into one of these independent institutions, your file will be evaluated and your child may need to take an admissions test.
In the private sector, you can find several schools designed for children from other countries. Just a few examples include the Collège Stanislas and Collège International Marie-de-France (French high schools) and Alexander von Humboldt (a German school).
Visit the Ministry of Higher Education website for more information on the programs offered at every academic level.
Greater Montréal offers world-class study opportunities in a diverse range of fields, in 11 universities. To learn more about the university system, visit Montréal International's website dedicated to international students.