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Old 02-12-2014, 09:40 AM
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Default Preschool Question

Need a group consensus here! In addition to an assortment of toddlers, I have two girls about to turn 4. One of the moms approached me Monday about preschool. She would have to find a preschool that transports from my daycare to school and back and be less than $300 a month, and a quick Google search showed me that those are really rare in my area.

That got me thinking...what is the point of preschool? I have a few resource materials on the subject, and I found checklists for preschool/Pre-K/Kindergarten readiness at my local Lakeshore store. The girls are both well into the Kindergarten readiness list. I have a pretty great curriculum that I feel covers almost all of the skills on the lists. They have a year and a half to master Kindergarten readiness, and I feel they are both rather advanced for their ages.

Several of my friends I have consulted were stay at home moms, and preschool was great for their kids because it taught them to not cry when a parent left them there, taught them social skills and sharing with other kids, and taught them to respect an authority figure other than a parent.

Even the littlest of my kids have mastered these skills. So my question is, what will preschool do for the girls that my daycare can't?

Should I offer to purchase an online preschool program? I've found some great ones that would cost $30 a month for each child. Or is that too much to take on and should I just let them worry about finding a preschool situation?
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:50 AM
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You don't have to buy pre-made preschool curriculum, you can just make your own. There are lots of ideas on in lieu of preschool (website) and pinterest. You can make a KWL and learning web about any subject (animals, plants, colors,) and use that to help you create a curriculum. Most preschools now (at least around here) are becoming more play-based and involve more hands-on (puzzles, blocks, sensory..) curriculum than worksheets and flash cards.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:17 AM
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Default Curriculum

I do already have a huge program, and we have weekly themes that include critical thinking, letter/number/color/shape recognition, motor skills, art, etc... and I am positive that all my kids are benefiting from my program vs. just "playing" all day like the daycare I attended as a child.

I guess what I'm asking is...what if it's not enough for the parents? And should I try to convince them that preschool is unnecessary, or just let them figure it out? They are both GREAT moms and only want their kids to have a huge head start in their educational life, which is totally my goal as well! If they are not convinced that my program is just as good as any preschool, would the addition of a certified preschool package help?
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:37 AM
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I do preschool with the dcks and my dcks are very advanced! And yet I still have a couple kids who the parents pull out to take to a standard preschool. I think no matter how much work you put into them and a curriculum, you are still going to have those parents that need that brick building that says preschool on it...
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:41 AM
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abcmouse.com/school (I believe that's the link)

It's for the parents sake, in all honesty. I sent my youngest son because I wanted him to get accustomed to being away from me and listening to someone other than Mom. He learned next to nothing that was school prep there. Lots of cookie cutter crafts, handprint crafts and birthday parties.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
I do already have a huge program, and we have weekly themes that include critical thinking, letter/number/color/shape recognition, motor skills, art, etc... and I am positive that all my kids are benefiting from my program vs. just "playing" all day like the daycare I attended as a child.

I guess what I'm asking is...what if it's not enough for the parents? And should I try to convince them that preschool is unnecessary, or just let them figure it out? They are both GREAT moms and only want their kids to have a huge head start in their educational life, which is totally my goal as well! If they are not convinced that my program is just as good as any preschool, would the addition of a certified preschool package help?
I really believe in the importance of play, too. Kids do not need drill and kill academics.

Ask the parents to interview with preschools that offer what they're looking for. ASK about curriculum, ASK about ratio. If you are doing all that, chances are they WILL NOT find better. You can't convince them, they need to see it for themselves.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
I do already have a huge program, and we have weekly themes that include critical thinking, letter/number/color/shape recognition, motor skills, art, etc... and I am positive that all my kids are benefiting from my program vs. just "playing" all day like the daycare I attended as a child.

I guess what I'm asking is...what if it's not enough for the parents? And should I try to convince them that preschool is unnecessary, or just let them figure it out? They are both GREAT moms and only want their kids to have a huge head start in their educational life, which is totally my goal as well! If they are not convinced that my program is just as good as any preschool, would the addition of a certified preschool package help?
In "most" cases, it has nothing to do with what you do or don't offer in your child care.

It's the fact that you are a child care that offers preschool curriculum verses simply being a preschool.

It's about competition with other parents for some, it's about being in a structured environment with only the same age kids for others and it's about having a teacher teach their child verses a child care provider (even if she has a Ph.d..)it's still daycare to some.

If I were you, I would have a sit down conference with this family and ask them about their educational goals for their child. What is it about preschool for them that interests them?

See if you can show them that you offer the things they are looking for (if you do)....

It's always a good idea to communicate to your DCF's what you offer in your program and what you don't.

Sometimes though, it has NOTHING to do with that and has everything to do with a brick and mortar building that is referred to as a school verses a house and a mixed age group.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
In "most" cases, it has nothing to do with what you do or don't offer in your child care.

It's the fact that you are a child care that offers preschool curriculum verses simply being a preschool.

It's about competition with other parents for some, it's about being in a structured environment with only the same age kids for others and it's about having a teacher teach their child verses a child care provider (even if she has a Ph.d..)it's still daycare to some.

If I were you, I would have a sit down conference with this family and ask them about their educational goals for their child. What is it about preschool for them that interests them?

See if you can show them that you offer the things they are looking for (if you do)....

It's always a good idea to communicate to your DCF's what you offer in your program and what you don't.

Sometimes though, it has NOTHING to do with that and has everything to do with a brick and mortar building that is referred to as a school verses a house and a mixed age group.
This exactly. I caved to the pressure of preschool and sent my ds for about two months because I felt like he must be missing something, even though I am a former preschool/K teacher. I wound up pulling him out because everything he got from the experience was negative: all sorts of weird voices, fighting like superheroes, saying bad words, etc.
For many parents, it is about status, as BC says. My dc kids are all prepared with all the things you mentioned above, and more because they have the confidence and knowledge that comes from a mixed age home daycare. All a preschool can offer that I can't is the number of children. I can't take on 20 four year olds, so I guess parents feel they need that kind of experience. It really baffles me, but that is just what our society views as important. Parents get really upset when they find out that Kindergarten isn't mandatory here- all that extra $ for the "preschool experience", and their kids aren't even required to enter school until age six!
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:29 AM
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We had a slightly different reason for transporting my daughter to a "standard preschool" from a daycare we loved.

When we used to bring my kids to daycare, it was out of town, although it was only 3 miles down the road! Our reason for transporting our daughter to the school-sponsored preschool in our home town was so that she would become familiar with the kids she'd be going to school with. We have a very small town, and we felt this would benefit her in the long run. We truly believed that the daycare our kids attended provided an amazing learning environment, but it was just the familiarity we were going for. My husband would transport her and we still paid for the full-time space. By the time my son went to preschool, I had already opened my daycare.

Could there be a parent co-op kind of arrangement where the parents of the preschool kids shared the responsibility of transportation to/from your daycare? Just a thought.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
In "most" cases, it has nothing to do with what you do or don't offer in your child care.

It's the fact that you are a child care that offers preschool curriculum verses simply being a preschool.

It's about competition with other parents for some, it's about being in a structured environment with only the same age kids for others and it's about having a teacher teach their child verses a child care provider (even if she has a Ph.d..)it's still daycare to some.

If I were you, I would have a sit down conference with this family and ask them about their educational goals for their child. What is it about preschool for them that interests them?

See if you can show them that you offer the things they are looking for (if you do)....

It's always a good idea to communicate to your DCF's what you offer in your program and what you don't.

Sometimes though, it has NOTHING to do with that and has everything to do with a brick and mortar building that is referred to as a school verses a house and a mixed age group.
Our DD didn't attend pre-school. She is now in Kinder-prep. She has learned a lot. But, a lot of it she was taught at home. We sent her because I felt she needed to be in a structured setting away from our daycare setting. She is at the age where she is learning better from someone else.
Around here its a social status thing. EVERYONE seems to send their kid to pre-school for a year or two then to Kinder-prep before entering kindergarten. Too us this TOO much. Good grief let them learn to play first!
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:29 PM
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Good grief let them learn to play first!
I agree!! We have lots of free play time, and I see so much learning going on while they're having fun and interacting with each other!!

Every good parent wants their child to be a star in school, and I totally admire that. I guess I'm normally so confident in my program (and I have many graduates that are doing so well in school!) and I put so much effort and thought and planning into my curriculum that it rattles me a little to hear that a parent thinks it's NOT ENOUGH. KWIM?
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:19 AM
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I do not think every child *needs* preschool, but I will say I LOVE what it has done for the kids in my program.

To be honest, I used to offer "preschool activities" but often found it interfered with actual care. Especially when I was working alone, had lots of little ones (under 2) it was difficult to impossible to carry things out.
My current group has matured considerably since September - my 3's and 4's attend preschool. I have been very worried about my one 3 yo boy, but since being at preschool he has BLOSSOMED.
We also have full day K here (no naps) and it can be a shock to some kids.

All that said, I would let mom hash things out - or do as BC suggested and set up a meeting.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:25 AM
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I do not think every child *needs* preschool, but I will say I LOVE what it has done for the kids in my program.

To be honest, I used to offer "preschool activities" but often found it interfered with actual care. Especially when I was working alone, had lots of little ones (under 2) it was difficult to impossible to carry things out.
My current group has matured considerably since September - my 3's and 4's attend preschool. I have been very worried about my one 3 yo boy, but since being at preschool he has BLOSSOMED.
We also have full day K here (no naps) and it can be a shock to some kids.

All that said, I would let mom hash things out - or do as BC suggested and set up a meeting.
When I first started FCC, I clarified I was NOT a preschool, but in today's time, I now advertise the learning availability as well as the quality care. There are pros/cons to teaching and still providing care. I think BC said it best by stating it is nothing providers do, sometimes a parents just makes the choice to send their kids to preschool even though providers know they are preparing children for Kindergarten. I have lost kids to preschool only for them to call back or see them down the road and them tell me preschool was a bad choice. But then there are those who believe highly in preschool just because the building says preschool.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
In "most" cases, it has nothing to do with what you do or don't offer in your child care.

It's the fact that you are a child care that offers preschool curriculum verses simply being a preschool.

It's about competition with other parents for some, it's about being in a structured environment with only the same age kids for others and it's about having a teacher teach their child verses a child care provider (even if she has a Ph.d..)it's still daycare to some.

If I were you, I would have a sit down conference with this family and ask them about their educational goals for their child. What is it about preschool for them that interests them?

See if you can show them that you offer the things they are looking for (if you do)....

It's always a good idea to communicate to your DCF's what you offer in your program and what you don't.

Sometimes though, it has NOTHING to do with that and has everything to do with a brick and mortar building that is referred to as a school verses a house and a mixed age group.
The last comment nails it. The parents want a preschool. An official school with no younger kids in the same class and an emphasis on kinder readiness. While you can provide kinder readiness, that is not the emphasis of your program nor can it be because of the mixed age group. They want the group concept of lots of same age peers which you cannot provide.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
I agree!! We have lots of free play time, and I see so much learning going on while they're having fun and interacting with each other!!

Every good parent wants their child to be a star in school, and I totally admire that. I guess I'm normally so confident in my program (and I have many graduates that are doing so well in school!) and I put so much effort and thought and planning into my curriculum that it rattles me a little to hear that a parent thinks it's NOT ENOUGH. KWIM?
You can't take it too personally. They parents may want something you can't provide, like 20 other 4 year olds. but that doesn't mean you don't have a quality program. It is just no longer the right fit for them. And that is okay. This is their child and it is their choice to send here wherever they want and it would be best for you to not take that personally. They may be completely wrong in some of their reasoning but it is their choice to make. No sense ruining the relationship by getting all personally hurt over it. Just like we expect the daycare parents to understand that sometimes we have to downsize our group, take different ages, or let a child go....it is not personal if their child no longer fits in, it is just part of the nature of daycare.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
I do preschool with the dcks and my dcks are very advanced! And yet I still have a couple kids who the parents pull out to take to a standard preschool. I think no matter how much work you put into them and a curriculum, you are still going to have those parents that need that brick building that says preschool on it...

Yes this very true!
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
I do already have a huge program, and we have weekly themes that include critical thinking, letter/number/color/shape recognition, motor skills, art, etc... and I am positive that all my kids are benefiting from my program vs. just "playing" all day like the daycare I attended as a child.

I guess what I'm asking is...what if it's not enough for the parents? And should I try to convince them that preschool is unnecessary, or just let them figure it out? They are both GREAT moms and only want their kids to have a huge head start in their educational life, which is totally my goal as well! If they are not convinced that my program is just as good as any preschool, would the addition of a certified preschool package help?
I think the disconnect here is that they probably don't know what exactly "kindergarten readiness" is (what the milestone and skill requirements are) or where exactly their child is developmentally. If you can find something about the state's standards are for kindergarten readiness (a kinder teacher can probably help you with this) to give parent's even if you just find the info and have to type something up for them it should help. But include a link or reference to where they can find this info.

Keeping a record of observation assessments (informal so that the child doesn't know they're being tested) and samples of their progress to show parents will show them that what you are already doing is helping them meet those standards.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:38 PM
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I have toyed with the idea of offering a preschool curriculum for the kids that are ready when my DS is 4. I have another DCB who's a couple mos older and had one a couple mos younger who left for Jr Preschool but I would have totally liked to do that. I have a DCG who's almost 18mos and by the time my DS & DCB are 4 she's be 3+ so it could work well for everyone plus advertise that for a certain age group.

I personally would print out the readiness list and highlight the ones they've already mastered and explain that you could purchase a curriculum for each for an additional $100/mo or something... If they're willing to pay $300/mo and send them elsewhere why not keep them there for less and get the same thing? It does require monitoring and progress checks and more responsibility so I do think you should add a fee for it and not just include it for free.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:05 PM
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My only thought would be the very basic differences that can *sometimes* occur - in preschool you learn more about the school-style care than you might at a daycare. Things like raising hands, walking a long way by yourself to the bathroom, or standing in a line. That, along with the large group of same-age peers are probably the only differences, but ones that some parents find important. And you may even do some of them already.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
I agree!! We have lots of free play time, and I see so much learning going on while they're having fun and interacting with each other!!

Every good parent wants their child to be a star in school, and I totally admire that. I guess I'm normally so confident in my program (and I have many graduates that are doing so well in school!) and I put so much effort and thought and planning into my curriculum that it rattles me a little to hear that a parent thinks it's NOT ENOUGH. KWIM?
I wonder if parents know how much you are doing with the kids to prepare them for kinder? I find as a preschool teacher, probably 40% of my job is educating the parents on how I am educating the children. I run a play-based preschool and prekinder program (all from my home), that is all hands on learning--no worksheets, no product art, etc and I find that I have to spend a lot of time informing the parents of what we're doing and how that is helping prepare us for kinder so that they understand that all of this playing is actually LEARNING. So, I wonder if they just don't realize all that you do with the kids?

I also think there are some parents who send their kids to preschool as a status thing and because everyone around them is doing it. Also, some parents really want that 'school' experience for their preschooler-whether it be because it's in an educational building or because they have field trips or because they do whatever... there are some parents that no matter what, will send their child to a 'preschool building'.
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