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  #1  
Old 11-16-2010, 06:36 PM
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Default Anyone Combine Preschool and Childcare?

Hello,

I'm new to this forum and to offering childcare in my home. I hope to start a nature-based preschool program this summer or fall. In the meantime, I'm taking in one full-time and one part-time toddler. I have a son who is 19 months so this will hopefully be a good fit.

Just wondering, for those of you who offer preschool as part of your program, how it works? Is it hard to organize both? Hard to keep everyone of different ages interested? Do you offer the preschool curriculum strictly for the older kids? Do you have any preschool kids who come JUST for preschool? Any info or tips would be appreciated, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2010, 01:30 AM
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Welcome to the Daycare.com Forum MsJoy!
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:58 AM
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I combine the program and incorporate it within the limits of ages. I just adapt the material for fit all ages. I have a family childcare business so we just do things as a group and I try to keep the themes organized within an explore and play atmosphere. We have group time around 9am (after diapers and infant naps begin). The infants that are awake join us! I've thought about offering a preschool only for those interested, but it's difficult to begin right at 9 and end right at 11am. The babies rule the roost as they say and sometimes my little pre-K's are not into circle time at all.

That's just what I found to work for me having mixed ages. Your plan sounds great, too! It would be so fun to do that Have a great day!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:53 AM
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I run just a preschool, from 8:30-11:30 4 days/week. Most of the children come either MW or TTH. I have a couple of kids that come a little earlier and stay a little later, but I don't do full-time child care, so it's a little different situation than yours.

I advertise it solely as a preschool, then when parents call I tell them I can do extended care. The ages range 2yrs-3-1/2 yrs right now, although I'll take kids up to kindergarten age. This is my first year doing it and next year I will do only 2-1/2 and up (maybe even 3 and up). I started at age 2 this year because my own daughter was only 20 months and I had a few people interested when their children were only 2. They do not have to be potty trained to come, which I actually find does not interfere at all.

We start right at 8:30 and end at 11:30. Here's our schedule (it's flexible of course):

8:30-8:45 Morning meeting (book on theme, talk about day, count number of children, maybe a good morning song)

8:45-9:15 Small group (teacher planned activity, based on their interests, often messy because we do this part of the day in my kitchen ).

9:15-9:45 Outside play

9:45-10:15 Come in, wash hands, snack

10:15-11:00 Free play in playroom, clean up

11:00-11:15 Circle time (songs, games)

11:15-11:30 Story time, get shoes on, pick up

For the most part it runs really smoothly. I have one child that comes before 8am and 2 that go home after 12, but that's all.

I have one 2-yr old boy that is very active and he's able to stay with the group most of the time, but it's really a little old for him. My daughter who's under 2 does really well, although obviously doesn't always understand what we're doing.

I do activities that everyone can do (except when I do scissors, my 2-yr old boy doesn't do those). My curriculum includes open-ended activities and no worksheets or anything, so all the activities are appropriate for the ages.

So far I'm getting great feedback from the parents. I just did parent conferences, including a developmental assessment and the parents really appreciated it. We will do one group activity per semester, this fall it was visiting the pumpkin patch after hours with the parents and that was a HUGE parent pleaser.

Hope that helps, I've only been doing it a few months now, but if you have any questions, let me know. Good luck!

btw, a nature-based preschool sounds fantastic!!!
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:53 AM
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I advertise as a preschool as well but I do offer all day care. I only care for ages 2-5y. I don't think I could do all my preschool stuff with mixed ages. I know some do though, I just couldn't. I do offer part time if parents just want mornings (which is when we do most of the preschool stuff).
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2010, 10:58 AM
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I offer an all around learning environment, We do have calendar time, and a coloring time and books, and songs,.. but not a formal preschool. I tried it for awhile but the little ones always looked with wonder, so we changed everything around to include an all age environment where they are all included and noone feels left out.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:04 AM
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I don't advertise as a preschool, but as a home daycare. One of my selling points is that use a pre-packaged preschool curriculum with my 2-5 year olds.

Honestly, I use it more to keep myself focused! It give rhythm and order to our days and if they learn something in the process (which they do!) then its a bonus. It gives me ideas for centers and different types of activities; the craft projects are right at my finger tips. I let all the kids participate, even the littlest ones. I have a 15 month old who LOVES paint and books; a one year old who loves to be involved with music and reading; and almost two who thinks he can do it all!

I'm not a teacher, though I love watching the kids learn.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:14 PM
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We are a Daycare & Preschool both. We have some children who come just for preschool, and some who are enrolled in daycare and does preschool also. Our official preschool hours are 9-11:30 am, but I personally think most of their learning comes after preschool doing our routine daycare things. Free play (practicing their letters in the writing center, putting together the numbers puzzle "what's this number? What number comes next?, outdoor play "why do the leaves fall off the tree?", etc.
The owner watches the daycare children in one room while I do preschool in the other one. I have 4-5 yr olds 3 days a week and 2 1/2-3 yr olds the other 2 days. We use a preschool curriculum, and the parents reimburse for it every month on top of their weekly daycare or preschool rates (they haven't ever complained about it either. I think they just like knowing we use an actual curriculum). I think a lot of our families came to us because of the "preschool" part in the daycare's title _________ Daycare & Preschool.
I don't think organizing both is any more difficult than organizing one or the other is. The only difference is planning preschool activities to do during the morning. Of course things would be a little different in a smaller daycare. You probably wouldn't be able to afford an assistant to watch kids while you do preschool, so in your case, the age groups would have to be combined. Maybe you could do like someone else mentioned, doing preschool with the older ones while the younger ones have morning nap. I think advertising as preschool also could bring in more children, if you wanted to go that route. By the way, I don't have a teaching degree, but I consider myself a preschool teacher because I do teach that age. I don't think you need to be a certified teacher to consider your daycare a preschool too (unless your state laws are different from our's).
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:36 PM
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Wow, thanks so much for the warm welcome and all the great information! The more I work with the "youngers" the more it makes me think that a minimum age of 2.5 would be an asset. I would prefer not to offer the additional childcare and stick strictly with a preschool program, maybe offering two sessions per day (with a different group of kids in the a.m. and p.m.) if there was a need. BUT right now I need cash and I told the mother of a 15 month-old that I would take her on full-time. I think I'll just advertise it as a preschool only and then determine on a case by case basis (and depending how much I need the money!) whether or not to add additonal daycare kids. If I have just my son and this other little girl, during the time when preschool isn't in session we would be free to go out to the library and things, which would be great!

Anyway, I appreciate all the info and loved the schedule--I too want to look into a "real" curriculum--I think it will help this structure-loving mama to enjoy my days more. I love seeing the kids learning new things!
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2010, 08:25 PM
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I plan to do all ages, but yeah I bet it'll be more dificult if I have babies. But ya know what, I plan to make some changes to our yard so we can also do an outdoor learning area yet still a shady place for the youngers. I think it's possible to integrate the different age groups.
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:17 AM
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Question Curriculum

Which Pre packaged curriculum do you use??

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCMom View Post
I don't advertise as a preschool, but as a home daycare. One of my selling points is that use a pre-packaged preschool curriculum with my 2-5 year olds.

Honestly, I use it more to keep myself focused! It give rhythm and order to our days and if they learn something in the process (which they do!) then its a bonus. It gives me ideas for centers and different types of activities; the craft projects are right at my finger tips. I let all the kids participate, even the littlest ones. I have a 15 month old who LOVES paint and books; a one year old who loves to be involved with music and reading; and almost two who thinks he can do it all!

I'm not a teacher, though I love watching the kids learn.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2010, 11:59 AM
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Default preschool/daycare

I've never really entertained the idea of having a preschool program, officially. I like to create my own lesson plans and I'm afraid that if I were technically a preschool, then I would lose some of the creative freedom that I enjoy.
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:27 PM
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I do a preschool program in my daycare I have mixed ages but I work everyone in
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I've never really entertained the idea of having a preschool program, officially. I like to create my own lesson plans and I'm afraid that if I were technically a preschool, then I would lose some of the creative freedom that I enjoy.
I used to help a Preschool teacher out in the mornings for one of her preschool classes. She's well known in our area and has a ton of kids (like 14-18 kids in her 4-5 yr old class in the morning, then again in the afternoon), plus 14 or 15 kids in her 3 yr old class. Everyone in this area love to brag that their child's preschool teacher is Ms X. My point of this was that I never once saw her use a curriculum. At the beginning of the year she creates an outline telling what skills the children will be learning for Kindergarten preparation, and then follows those skills throughout the year teaching them. She does her own thing, I believe, and yet everyone wants this lady as their child's preschool teacher. So I wouldn't think having a preschool only program would mean you couldn't make up your own lesson plans.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2012, 04:34 PM
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Exclamation This is how I have seen it done and some what I plan to do....

I worked at a home daycare where she cared for children ages 3 months to 12 years with a preschool: In the mornings before breakfast (those ariving before 8) she did some crafts and activities before breakfast then after breakfast she let them free playfor a few hours. then she did sit down/"stuctured" preschool for about an hour every morning (from about 10-11am) and put the infants down for there morning nap and wake them up after preschool. Then let the children play outside until lunch (12-12:45 because she had a big group once kinders got out of school) then nap time from 1-3 and then more activities for the before & after schoolers. personally when I start my preschool/FCC I think I want a longer "Preschool" time but it would be a mix of sit down/instuctional activities and uninstuctional play but more interaction with the kids and have more of a child driven curriculum with more things than just ABCs, 123s, and colors. I also want to teach life skills and support deeper thinking with open-ended questions.
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