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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Talking Preschool at Drop Off
Josiegirl 11:10 AM 05-09-2016
Maybe I'm taking this the wrong way, can you help me decide?
Two dcms are here at the same time this a.m., both really nice people. One has a 4 yo and the other dcm asked if she was going to send her to preschool in the fall. The 4 yo's mom said 'I don't know, we're thinking about it but since we live an hour away, it makes it difficult'. So mom #2 says 'the state gives you 3K towards choosing whichever preschool you want'. Well, it's obvious if she chooses preschool, I lose her. But here they are, discussing all this right in front of me.
How would you feel?
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Cat Herder 11:16 AM 05-09-2016
"How would you feel?"

Sorry for the kids. Sorry for the Moms.

There is so much peer pressure right now on young Moms about the right early childhood experience for their kids.

They are made to feel like they are half-@$$ing it if they stick with traditional care.

The same way we are shamed if we choose to stay traditional.

All for jacked up educational spending dollars and the spin doctors.
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NoMoreJuice! 11:36 AM 05-09-2016
I think it took a while for this to sink in for me, but I totally get it now. The universal rule regarding daycare clients is: They will always do what is in their best interest. No matter how close you think you are with a family, or how much mutual respect you have for each other, if they find what they consider to be a better situation they will always take it. That could be a less expensive daycare, free preschool, a blue house when you have a green one, whatever. We all just have to know our worth and send them on their way.
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Leigh 11:54 AM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
"How would you feel?"

Sorry for the kids. Sorry for the Moms.

There is so much peer pressure right now on young Moms about the right early childhood experience for their kids.

They are made to feel like they are half-@$$ing it if they stick with traditional care.

The same way we are shamed if we choose to stay traditional.

All for jacked up educational spending dollars and the spin doctors.


I share with parents at interviews about how I feel about preschool not being developmentally appropriate. I don't understand the rush to push kids into formal education when there is so much proof that free play is what they need.
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Snowmom 12:18 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Josiegirl:
Maybe I'm taking this the wrong way, can you help me decide?
Two dcms are here at the same time this a.m., both really nice people. One has a 4 yo and the other dcm asked if she was going to send her to preschool in the fall. The 4 yo's mom said 'I don't know, we're thinking about it but since we live an hour away, it makes it difficult'. So mom #2 says 'the state gives you 3K towards choosing whichever preschool you want'. Well, it's obvious if she chooses preschool, I lose her. But here they are, discussing all this right in front of me.
How would you feel?
How would I feel?
I'd feel like I just got a 4 month notice and probably start interviewing now to replace them. If a replacement was found sooner rather than later, I'd give them notice.

I think discussing it in my front entrance is rude. But honestly, now you know what her plans are and you can plan accordingly.
If it came up again though, I'd probably flat out stop her mid sentence and tell her that I don't appreciate her recruiting my clients for other businesses.
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mommyneedsadayoff 12:23 PM 05-09-2016
I would be upset. What if we talked in fron t of them about wanting to replace current kids and implying that we wanted to fill their spot? They would be upset and wondering if they will have care int he future, just as we wonder if we will have that income. Not sure how you should handle it, but maybe call them out on it. "You and ____ were talking about preschool the other day...are you planning to send dck then? I just need to know so I can let people on my waiting list know that I have a opening." See what they say or if they back off of it.
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daycarediva 12:35 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Snowmom:
How would I feel?
I'd feel like I just got a 4 month notice and probably start interviewing now to replace them. If a replacement was found sooner rather than later, I'd give them notice.

I think discussing it in my front entrance is rude. But honestly, now you know what her plans are and you can plan accordingly.
If it came up again though, I'd probably flat out stop her mid sentence and tell her that I don't appreciate her recruiting my clients for other businesses.
and this is what I would do.

I run a prek program (play based, developmentally appropriate). I have NEVER had a parent leave for free/upk care.

I go over and over it at interview and only enroll clients who agree that PLAY is how children learn best, and dislike the early pushdown of academics. I PROVE to them via photos, articles, etc what they are learning daily. I track their progress and send home reports.

I think educating the PARENT has become a new part of my job description.
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Blackcat31 12:36 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Leigh:


I share with parents at interviews about how I feel about preschool not being developmentally appropriate. I don't understand the rush to push kids into formal education when there is so much proof that free play is what they need.
I do the same and make a point of making SURE my clients understand that I offer a full preschool curriculum.

I see no issues discussing preschool in the entryway/within ear shot of the provider IF they weren't aware that I offered a full preschool curriculum. kwim?

So my response to OP's question and my reaction to the parents if this happened in my entry way is and would be dependent on the parent's awareness or lack of awareness of my offered/provided services.
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Leigh 12:48 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
and this is what I would do.

I run a prek program (play based, developmentally appropriate). I have NEVER had a parent leave for free/upk care.

I go over and over it at interview and only enroll clients who agree that PLAY is how children learn best, and dislike the early pushdown of academics. I PROVE to them via photos, articles, etc what they are learning daily. I track their progress and send home reports.

I think educating the PARENT has become a new part of my job description.
We've never had what I would consider a good one last around here. Parents are looking for places that send home tons of worksheets, adult oriented art work, and will teach their kids to read by kindergarten. We've had some good ones, but they never last.
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mommyneedsadayoff 01:00 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I do the same and make a point of making SURE my clients understand that I offer a full preschool curriculum.

I see no issues discussing preschool in the entryway/within ear shot of the provider IF they weren't aware that I offered a full preschool curriculum. kwim?

So my response to OP's question and my reaction to the parents if this happened in my entry way is and would be dependent on the parent's awareness or lack of awareness of my offered/provided services.
I totally agree and understand your point. In my area, preschool is only a few hours a day, so most people still need daycare, so I wouldn't be offended by that either. In this case, though, it sounds like preschool must be full day, so they are talking about leaving her care, while still in her home, which I think is rude. To me, its no different than talking about going to a different daycare while still standing in my entryway I would be upset by that, but I wouldn't make a stink. I would just make sure I advertise and prepare to lose them or maybe even, depending on how serious I think they are, give notice and move on to my next kid.
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AmyKidsCo 02:09 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice!:
I think it took a while for this to sink in for me, but I totally get it now. The universal rule regarding daycare clients is: They will always do what is in their best interest. No matter how close you think you are with a family, or how much mutual respect you have for each other, if they find what they consider to be a better situation they will always take it. That could be a less expensive daycare, free preschool, a blue house when you have a green one, whatever. We all just have to know our worth and send them on their way.
Yes, Yes, Yes! This is what I always tell other FCC providers!

No matter what, families always do what's in their best interest.

The sooner we figure that out the less heartache and stress we go through.
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CalCare 02:10 PM 05-09-2016
What always complicates these conversations is that the word "preschool" doesn't have any specific universal meaning. You can call your all day TV daycare "Patty's Preschool" if you want!
The fact of the matter is, "preschool", "childcare", and "daycare" are all words that mean a program where the children are cared for usually (not always) apart from their parents.

So, these parents wanting "preschool" don't know that what they are really looking for is some sort of preparation for kindergarten. And, what they often don't realize, is that the way children prepare for kindergarten is by having opportunities to learn about themselves and their world through play.

Many psychologists are saying the rise in child and teen depression and suicide is because of the lack of play growing up. Many scientists, doctors and child development professionals are practically begging our government to stop writing curriculum that they have no experience or education in writing and to make a return to play.

And play based curriculum doesn't mean the care givers or teachers don't plan. Just the contrary. Quality play based programs do have curriculum, planning, lesson plans, and an environment and materials purposefully prepared. All "play" programs aren't quality either- you can call yourself play-based and say "go play toys" or you can call yourself "play based" and make formal observations of children daily/weekly, determine what developmental areas need support, plan environment and materials to be provided - which specific children have show specific interest in, and follow through by facilitated that play and assessing it afterwards.

So, I guess in this particular situation, I might ask what the parent thinks the "preschool" would provide that isn't provided here. If it's a developmentally inappropriate curriculum where children are asked to sit at tables- just to teach them how to sit at tables in Kindergarten, then I would tell the parents that's not developmentally appropriate and give them plenty of peer reviewed articles and results of studies that prove it. When they are confused as to why this is what the government seems to think is best (these are state funded upk's, we are talking about I presume?), I would explain that the only reason the state funds these programs is because academics is getting pushed down from first grade and kindergarten to preschool because the way high stakes testing has caused a demand for younger and younger children to know more academic concepts sooner and sooner. And do you know who plans common core (the reason academic curriculum is being pushed down)? Government officials with no background in child development or education. The better kids can manage to do on these tests, the more money those test makers and curriculum planners get. These mf's are using our kids for money. They are preying on the fears of well meaning parents and teachers. The fear that we want to do the best for these children and if we don't we'll ruin them. But we are ruining them. We are literally ruining the social, emotional and creative development of our children because of this. And not only that- the children who are in play based programs actually develop better language and cognitive skills as well. It's just not as obvious because they do better on tests AT FIRST. Studies show that children from head start programs did have an academic advantage over their peers- until it leveled off at third grade. After that, there was no advantage. And by then, those kids did not get to develop appropriately in all domains.

That's my more than two cents!
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Josiegirl 04:38 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Snowmom:
How would I feel?
I'd feel like I just got a 4 month notice and probably start interviewing now to replace them. If a replacement was found sooner rather than later, I'd give them notice.

I think discussing it in my front entrance is rude. But honestly, now you know what her plans are and you can plan accordingly.
If it came up again though, I'd probably flat out stop her mid sentence and tell her that I don't appreciate her recruiting my clients for other businesses.

Two words you wrote down defines exactly the way I feel, rude and recruiting. I went speechless when dcm started talking about the money from the state and everything because she wasn't sure SHE wanted to send her 4 yo dd to preschool or not. Her dd is the special needs dcg I have and I think in HER situation preschool will be very beneficial, only because she'll have trained help available to her and she'll be in with kids her age. Someone in her dd's list of experts suggested preschool and I agree in her case. But not every case.
This other little girl has always thrived here, today was her 1st day back from being home with mom on maternity leave.
I don't know.... Should I say something to dcm to see how serious she is? Parents now are doing it because it seems to be the 'in' thing to do. I wish I could express all my thoughts well enough to her to sound intelligent.
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Unregistered 04:52 PM 05-09-2016
A few years ago two of my dcms were preschool directors. But they brought their preschool age children to me.

They used to try to recruit among my other dcks though. Kinda warped I put a line in my policy just for them about not soliciting business from my dc families.
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Snowmom 06:01 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Josiegirl:
Two words you wrote down defines exactly the way I feel, rude and recruiting. I went speechless when dcm started talking about the money from the state and everything because she wasn't sure SHE wanted to send her 4 yo dd to preschool or not. Her dd is the special needs dcg I have and I think in HER situation preschool will be very beneficial, only because she'll have trained help available to her and she'll be in with kids her age. Someone in her dd's list of experts suggested preschool and I agree in her case. But not every case.
This other little girl has always thrived here, today was her 1st day back from being home with mom on maternity leave.
I don't know.... Should I say something to dcm to see how serious she is? Parents now are doing it because it seems to be the 'in' thing to do. I wish I could express all my thoughts well enough to her to sound intelligent.
The dcm that was being asked if she was considering school?

If you decide to have a talk, I would do it privately (outside of daycare hours or when there's potentially no interruptions expected).
Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with being candid with families regarding what their expectations are vs what your expectations are. I think that's a very healthy business relationship.

You could say something like:

"Hey DCM, I was wondering if we could have a chat about DCG and her future here.
I wanted you to know that my observations regarding DCG are..."
Then you could mention how well she does with group time, socialization, learning activities, etc.
When I touch base with families (usually mid-year), I typically give them a few bullet points of things I'd like to work on with their child over the next few months. Typically things like sharing, expressing emotions, etc. Nothing too complex, but something to keep in mind for the parents at home too.

Then ask what her expectations are while at your daycare and how she feels DCG is doing.

You could mention that you overheard DCM1 asking about formal preschool and see what she says, but I don't think it's really necessary if you get a good feel from the conversation.
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Jazzii 08:19 PM 05-09-2016
It seems like I'm going to be the odd the one out here, but at my center, we think preschool is great! The prek program in my district is a great program, nap time and play kitchens included

We are play and arts and crafts based but there's a point in time where what we can supply is not what our kids need.

We have prek registration dates posted, and we help parents whenever they ask us.

Right now, our 2 year olds can recognize 15-18 letters and most numbers from 0-10

This is one of the disadvantages of a home daycare- mixed age. I feel like once children are at a certain age they need to be challenged to develop their critical thinking skills, this does not mean sitting down and doing worksheets but rather engaging in more sophisticated play with same age peers.

I cannot stress the importance of APPROPRIATE play and learning (I have an education background)

So in short, I get so excited when parents talk about preschool and I often join right in.
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Blackcat31 09:17 PM 05-09-2016
Originally Posted by Jazzii:
It seems like I'm going to be the odd the one out here, but at my center, we think preschool is great! The prek program in my district is a great program, nap time and play kitchens included

We are play and arts and crafts based but there's a point in time where what we can supply is not what our kids need.

We have prek registration dates posted, and we help parents whenever they ask us.

Right now, our 2 year olds can recognize 15-18 letters and most numbers from 0-10

This is one of the disadvantages of a home daycare- mixed age. I feel like once children are at a certain age they need to be challenged to develop their critical thinking skills, this does not mean sitting down and doing worksheets but rather engaging in more sophisticated play with same age peers.

I cannot stress the importance of APPROPRIATE play and learning (I have an education background)

So in short, I get so excited when parents talk about preschool and I often join right in.
That is not a disadvantage.

My kiddos get to play and learn (without worksheets) with kids their age.

AND they get to play and learn and teach kids older/younger than them.
I'd say that's an advantage in many ways.

I (and most in-home providers) also support and stress the importance of appropriate play and learning. Neither of which have any requirements for or restriction to same age classmates/playmates to qualify as developmentally appropriate. I too have an educational background.

There are many in home child care programs that prepare children for and beyond school just as well, if not better in some instances, than brick and mortar preschools.
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Unregistered 09:27 PM 05-09-2016
In most cases I respectfully disagree with your statement about mixed age groups. I have had a handful of children for whom I recommended a preschool rather than a mixed age group, but it's a rarity.
I absolutely agree that they need a deep level of play with peers, but that happens and is facilitated here.
Critical thinking, empathy for others including children at different ability levels, and constant assessment of both verbal and nonverbal communication occur naturally in a mixed age group. The youngest receive love, motivation and modeling of language and behavior from the older children. The middle children begin to realize that they are no longer babies and that little ones look up to and copy them. The older children become aware that they are models for the children younger than them and relish that role, often becoming active "teachers" by their own choice.
Children who are in care with the same children over a number of years, with a consistent caregiver develop an extraordinary bond with each other and with their caregiver. This promotes deep extended play and in-depth learning, where one child's question or statement spurs a friend's curiosity. If a caregiver allows this to happen, children think of questions and possible answers that are well beyond what is typically expected of preschoolers. It goes far beyond rote learning.
I'm sure others will add more details of how things happen in their child care homes.
This is the "magic" of family child care. Of course there are sometimes families that consider preschool a necessity, or succumb to the societal pressure to use a "same age" program. (And sometimes they return for a visit and parents wonder why they felt the need to make that choice.)
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laundrymom 06:31 AM 05-10-2016
Originally Posted by Jazzii:
It seems like I'm going to be the odd the one out here, but at my center, we think preschool is great! The prek program in my district is a great program, nap time and play kitchens included

We are play and arts and crafts based but there's a point in time where what we can supply is not what our kids need.

We have prek registration dates posted, and we help parents whenever they ask us.

Right now, our 2 year olds can recognize 15-18 letters and most numbers from 0-10

This is one of the disadvantages of a home daycare- mixed age. I feel like once children are at a certain age they need to be challenged to develop their critical thinking skills, this does not mean sitting down and doing worksheets but rather engaging in more sophisticated play with same age peers.

I cannot stress the importance of APPROPRIATE play and learning (I have an education background)

So in short, I get so excited when parents talk about preschool and I often join right in.
I respectfully disagree w the line about mixed age being a disadvantage.
However, I completely agree w the importance of appropriate play and learning. And I've been an early childhood educator for almost 30 years. My educational background is specialized in children from birth to first grade.
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Jazzii 08:41 AM 05-10-2016
Definitely didn't mean to step on anyone's toes!

Right now we have a wide array of mixed ages, unfortunately most of them fall within the infant (under 2 in my state) age group. While yes they're able to play with another many of my infants are new to words, for them I think its beneficial however, my older kids not so much. Right now we have 3 that will moving to prek, and then we have 3 that will be moving next year. Other than those 6 the rest are mostly babies. We have 16 daily.

Maybe its the space constraints of the home, but I see a lot of frustration among the older kids as the infants are learning to explore (mouthing and dumping out bins especially lol)

There are, without a doubt some preschools I would NEVER recommend to my parents but we are familiar with very good ones, my district is UPK and the teachers are NYS certified (which is a pain in the ass!!).

And while I know the craziness surrounding public education, I feel like maybe my kids need more than what I can provide, not because we are unable, but with 7 infants on different schedules we have a hard time doing it all. I recently completed some time in a kindergarten class and there's a definite difference between those who were in prek and those who were not, in many ways!

I'm confident that we have successfully created a solid foundation and by the time a child in our care is preschool age, they would flourish with such a change. Some things like manners and routine along with independence are things that we very much pride ourselves on, and I can see them learning things like letters though our read aloud and the like but then I find myself in the pace of "now what?" And I think that's where we struggle
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Jazzii 08:43 AM 05-10-2016
I may also start a thread to avoid hijacking this one
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Fiddlesticks 09:34 AM 05-10-2016
Originally Posted by Jazzii:
Definitely didn't mean to step on anyone's toes!

Right now we have a wide array of mixed ages, unfortunately most of them fall within the infant (under 2 in my state) age group. While yes they're able to play with another many of my infants are new to words, for them I think its beneficial however, my older kids not so much. Right now we have 3 that will moving to prek, and then we have 3 that will be moving next year. Other than those 6 the rest are mostly babies. We have 16 daily.

Maybe its the space constraints of the home, but I see a lot of frustration among the older kids as the infants are learning to explore (mouthing and dumping out bins especially lol)

There are, without a doubt some preschools I would NEVER recommend to my parents but we are familiar with very good ones, my district is UPK and the teachers are NYS certified (which is a pain in the ass!!).

And while I know the craziness surrounding public education, I feel like maybe my kids need more than what I can provide, not because we are unable, but with 7 infants on different schedules we have a hard time doing it all. I recently completed some time in a kindergarten class and there's a definite difference between those who were in prek and those who were not, in many ways!

I'm confident that we have successfully created a solid foundation and by the time a child in our care is preschool age, they would flourish with such a change. Some things like manners and routine along with independence are things that we very much pride ourselves on, and I can see them learning things like letters though our read aloud and the like but then I find myself in the pace of "now what?" And I think that's where we struggle
I would say the problem with *this* mixed age model is that there are way to many infant/toddlers for this group. I am licensed for 12, of which no more than 2 can be under the age of 2. So my current mixed age group consists of 2 one-yos, 2 two-yos, 2 three-yos and 5 four-yos. I can think of no other setting than a mixed-age small group setting that takes better advantage of scaffolding and teaching to the zone of proximal development. When you are already preparing lessons for every developmental stage, it is easy to allow children to explore the stage just above (or just below) their own. Also, it takes advantage of the old adage "the best way to learn is to teach," nothing makes a four-yo prouder than teaching a two-yo some numbers, or how to hold a crayon, or how to play fireman. When I taught 5th grade, lessons were aimed at the middle, with accommodations made for the struggling students. When there was time, the lesson was extended to challenge the high achieving students. There was never time. Never.
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Mad_Pistachio 09:50 AM 05-10-2016
Originally Posted by Leigh:
I share with parents at interviews about how I feel about preschool not being developmentally appropriate. I don't understand the rush to push kids into formal education when there is so much proof that free play is what they need.
as a parent, I agree. it rubs me the wrong way to see study after study on benefits of play for early childhood period in a person's life and then see worksheets and standardized tests being pushed onto 4-5-6-year-olds.
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Ariana 10:43 AM 05-10-2016
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
"How would you feel?"

Sorry for the kids. Sorry for the Moms.

There is so much peer pressure right now on young Moms about the right early childhood experience for their kids.

They are made to feel like they are half-@$$ing it if they stick with traditional care.

The same way we are shamed if we choose to stay traditional.

All for jacked up educational spending dollars and the spin doctors.
Standing ovation!!

I would tell the moms this too!
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Ariana 10:44 AM 05-10-2016
Originally Posted by Mad_Pistachio:
as a parent, I agree. it rubs me the wrong way to see study after study on benefits of play for early childhood period in a person's life and then see worksheets and standardized tests being pushed onto 4-5-6-year-olds.
I know right?! It is sooooo frustrating!!
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