A new approach to children's learning

We offer a Reggio-Inspired program, a preschool system developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This unique pedagogy brings teachers who are committed to maximizing each child’s learning potential. Together teachers, children and parents create a school community where everyone contributes to the learning experience.


It is our mission at Reggio International Academy to offer a preschool experience above and beyond what is offered in the Victoria area. At RIA, we recognize and promote the potential of all children by providing them with a unique learning environment that supports and encourages each child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.

What is the Reggio approach?

A key component is dialogue; serious talk with children about each of their ideas on something of importance. Topics are not predetermined to last a limited time as with themes in a traditional classroom; rather they take on a momentum which is navigated by children in a small or large group with teachers working alongside helping by recording, recognizing and helping to identify which step to take next. The goal each time is to explore children’s ideas.


The teacher’s role in a Reggio Program is to ask effective, open-ended questions that stimulate children’s thinking, expand vocabulary and provoke discussion – to facilitate, orchestrate and gently guide so that the conversation remains focused on the subject and sees that each child is given the opportunity to participate, for them to consider the matter at hand with all their creative and critical thinking skills. The teacher does not predetermine the answers or impart information, there are no lectures. Rather, the Reggio teacher’s role is to highlight, extend and deepen the children’s thinking.


The motivation for centering our curriculum on conversation is in order to activate the development of a child’s ability to have creative and critical thought to its full potential, to promote cooperation, interaction and negotiation; and to celebrate children’s natural curiosity about the world and how it works.  Great value is placed on taking time together to focus on important aspects of life and living; to examine an experience, object or idea closely and to wonder and explore together.

Special areas and learning materials which promote creative growth and development.

Focusing on topics in stages - from
observation, documentation, collaboration, discussion, reflection and exploration.

It is our goal that children will possess confidence in their abilities, and establish lasting relationships.


At RIA Early Learning Centre

We employ a constructivist approach to early childhood education which offers children the opportunity to construct knowledge through daily experiences and encounters with their peers, teachers, parents, events, and objects in the world. This specific approach develops theories, negotiates learning, and merges thoughts together, thereby building knowledge and understanding.


We believe that the Reggio approach is successful, and an integral aspect of early childhood education. RIA preschool presents a powerful image and a deep respect for the culture of childhood. It is based on a strong core belief that children, teachers, and parents all work together in the process of building knowledge.


We as teachers follow the directions of children and adapt ourselves in observing, documenting, listening and interpreting their goals, theories and strategies. We as teachers are able to be insightful in the thinking process, always ready to adapt and support the children in their discoveries.



Joanne Francoeur

Manager & Lead Teacher

Joanne graduated with her E.C.E. diploma at Capilano University. She created and ran a thriving Junior Kindergarten program for 5 years. After taking time to raise her two daughters, Joanne was lead teacher and program manager of three preschool programs for six years in White Rock. Joanne specializes in art, science and language arts, she has a great love of learning which is inspiring for the students, parents, and other teachers!

Marina Aitesheva

Teacher's Assistant

Marina graduated with her E.C.E. certificate at Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute here in Victoria BC and is very proud to be a part of Reggio Preschool. Marina is dedicated to the social and emotional development of each child, and especially enjoys watching them learn and grow. Marina is a mother of two children, and in her spare time loves cycling with her family, hiking, and swimming in the lakes during summer time.