Daycare/Preschool Question

Tiffany - posted on 05/11/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 2 yr old daughter has been going to daycare for two yrs now and I keep getting asked if she will be going to preschool since she turns 3 in two weeks. Do I need to put her into preschool? She is in an excellent daycare that has cirriculum, goals, progress reports, etc. and I feel she'll be doing the same things at preschool. Can't I just keep her in daycare or is preschool necessary? Thanks for any help.

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Teresa - posted on 05/16/2009

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Hi Tiffany! Excellent question.... I'm a Master Child Development teacher and have taught Head Start Pre-School in Califronia for 10 years. I can tell you that day care and pre-school are not the same thing. For one thing, when your child is in a center that is mainly day care, chances are the "teachers" do not have to have much education in Early Childhood Studies, in California, the minimum is 12 units.. that's only 4 college child development classes! The quality of education your child is going to get is much different than in a center that is strictly a pre-school. Most centers, such as Head Start and state pre-school require their teachers to at least have an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Studies and hold a state credential to teach. Home day cares require no education and day care centers do not require a credential (yes, this varies by state). Also, day cares and chain centers have a curriculum that tends to be "cookie cutter" and very simple. Most HS & SP centers have a High Scope curriculum, which is based on teaching the whole child and is child directed- teaching how the child learns, hands on learning, and discovery based. When deciding on a center for your child, a few key questions to ask (that will help gauge if they are going to prepare your child for kindergarten) is to ask: Do they assess their students for development during the year? Are parent conferences, where skills are discussed, as part of the program? Do the program goals , which should include kindergarten readiness, fall in line with your state's kindergarten standards? Pre-Schoool is in essence Kinder prep, so if this is what you want for your child, make sure it's a place that will do the job and not waste yours or your child's time. I hate to say it, but kids can get a better pre-school education at the free head start and state pre-school programs than at a high priced center because the center is private and not required to have higher educated teachers. If you can qualify, look to your local school district or county board of education for their programs. Oh, and ask about teacher/child ratios. My county (Riverside), it's an 8 to 1 ratio, with a limit of 20 kids in my class. County lisencing will have a limit on the amount of children in a class because of space- there needs to be a certain square footage per child in the class. I became a teacher after my oldest was past the age and OH the things i learned and wish I'd known before! I had her in a day care center with a "pre-school" program... when she went to kinder she was completely lost! My son faired much better and was ready for kinder when he was 4... it's all about what is right for your child. Sorry this is long- I'm a bit passionate about the subject! Good Luck!

Gabrielle - posted on 05/15/2009

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Our daycare takes kids up to age 5, and we plan on leaving our daughter there until 1st grade. One nice benefit of a day care is the schedule. I looked at my friend's Montessori pre-school where her daughter is, and the hours are only 8:30-2:30. Sorry, we both work, and the daycare is open from 6:45-6:30. And, yes, they'll teach her all the things she would have in a pre-school. Plus, at least here in California, all pre-schools are private, so you would still have to pay for the schooling. If you're happy with her daycare, I would say you should leave her there.

Lynsey - posted on 05/12/2009

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she will learn more because there is less children, and the staff ave more time to dedicate, as 4 a pre school they can have 7 staff and up to 45 children and they cant give as much love and attension as in a nursey. i've worked in both and 4 my child nursery is the best place xx

Tiffany - posted on 05/12/2009

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Thanks for the info. She is definately comfy where she is and learning so much all of the time!

Lynsey - posted on 05/12/2009

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They can stay at full day care as they aVE to d o the same curriculum as a pre-school if not trhey do more. It is best to keep her where she is at the moment bcoz she is settled!!
hope u can use this info

lyns x

Keisha - posted on 05/11/2009

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Sounds like your daycare is a preschool. Many daycares start a preschool curriculum when the kids turn 3 or when they go into the three year old class. My oldest is in a preschool program at a "Learning Center"...which is nothing but daycare. They take infants all the way up to 4 year old kids and then have before and after care for grade school kids. Some of them even have Kindergarten programs. My youngest will be starting there when he turns two and will enter the preschool program when he moves into to the 3 year old class. Anyhow...so if your child is learning and she's happy, then no there is no need to move her to a place that officially calls themselves a "preschool", because its all the same.

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