What to Register For

Often we are asked "How do I know what to register my child for?" when a parent is looking for a learn-to-skate program.  The following is a guide to assist you in determining the most appropriate program for your child.

My child wants to be a figure skater, My child wants to be a hockey/ringette player:

Regardless of which ice sport a skater wants to get into (figure skating, hockey, ringette, speed skating), they all need to learn the basics of skating.  These basics include forward movement, backward movement, stopping, turning, jumping, edges.  The NSC learn-to-skate programs are designed to provide these basics so that skaters can then move into their respective ice sports with all the skills required to excel.  Please see below to determine the program best suited to your skater.

Children under 3 years of age:

Typically this is too young to be entered into a structured skating program.  We recommend that parents get their little ones out onto the ice in skates so that they gain a better understanding of the "environment".  Very young children tend to get very frustrated because they expect to be able to skate but once they get out there, find they can't even stand up.  It can be quite frightening for them and parents need to let them know that it is OK to fall down many, many times.  That is part of the learning process.

Children ages 3 to 5 years old (by the end of the calendar year):

KidSkate is NSC's learn-to-skate program for 3-5 year olds.
KidSkate is offered evenings and weekends.  The number of classes is typically between 16 to 20 sessions for the season
When children are five years of age, they can go into either KidSkate or CanSkate.  Our recommendation is to register for the KidSkate program if your 5-year-old has never been on the ice and/or is a young 5-year-old.  If the child is an older 5-year-old or if he/she has done some skating and is able to get up on his/her own and move around a bit, then he/she is ready for the CanSkate program (see below).
For a more detailed description of the program, see Kidskate under the "NSC Programs" menu.

Children 5 years of age and older (by the end of the calendar year):

Regardless of a child's level of skating experience, when they are five years of age they can enter the CanSkate program.  On the registration form you are asked to provide their level of experience (four choices from 'none' to 'able to skate backwards') and that information is used, along with their age and gender, to determine an appropriate group for them.  Skaters must complete five of the six levels in the CanSkate program before they can move into the Junior figure skating level.
For a more detailed description of the program, see Canskate under the "NSC Programs" menu.