I can remember when our son was almost to preschool age and the impending questions about preschool. It's scary, especially the first time around. Not to mention that the preschool we had decided on was on a first come, first serve basis and only had so many openings. We literally lined up at the door hours before registration to guarantee our child's place in the class. As if all the other questions weren't enough for us... what will he do when he is there, will he be potty trained in time... the list of questions went on & on. It was overwhelming.
So after coordinating my post a couple weeks ago about local business women, it clicked... why not take it a step further where I could and provide more useful info to mamas who may be in the same boat now that I was once in, starting with preschool.
This week's post is a short Q&A with Heather Caroccio of Startwrite Preschool in Geneseo, NY. Not sure what's best for your child, Heather's a great resource. She can be reached at 585.749.7883 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How old does my child have to be to start preschool in September?
A: Your child must be 3 before December 1 of that school year in order to attend Startwrite's 3 year old class. In order to attend the 4 year old class, your child must be 4 before December 1 of that year. Q: How many classes do you offer at Startwrite and what days/times per week? A: Monday/Wednesday/Friday is the 4 year old class from 9:00-11:30. Tuesday/Thursday is the 3 year old class from 9:00-11:30. Q: Does my child need to be potty trained to start preschool? A: It is highly encouraged. It makes it easier on both the teacher and child if they are. Q: What’s your daily schedule for class? A: We always start the morning with playtime. We do this because the students all come at various times so this way no one is missing any daily lessons. After cleanup we meet on the carpet for morning greeting. This is a great time to let each child talk in the group and get to know names. We follow this time up with a book on a specific topic and lead into a whole group lesson. Snack is then set up which then leads us into show and tell. After we go into centers which is when we break the children up into 4 small groups. One center is almost always working on fine motor skills, one is working on the letter of the week, and two are teacher run centers. Generally after centers, it is time for dismissal. Q: What is your educational background/training? A: I have my bachelors degree in early education and my masters in literacy. I taught kindergarten for 5 years before starting my own business. I also sign up for different seminars in the area to stay current on new ideas. Q: How do you handle discipline issues? A: Several years ago, my principal at the time told me to give my students two options when they were making bad choices. One option was the ‘right’ choice and the other was almost always something you would say that they weren’t going to want to choose. By giving them the ‘choice’ they took ownership of their action. I have never forgotten this way of thinking and it works 9/10 times. If the child is still making bad choices after that then they are asked to sit out of whatever activity we are doing until we teachers feel they are ready to join back in. Q: Do you provide snack/meal while my child is at preschool? A: We send home a monthly calendar and each school day has a different child’s name. If your child is on that particular day then you provide enough snack for the class and we provide drinks. Q: How much parent involvement is expected? A: There is no parent involvement expected. If a parent would like to stay they are always welcome but it is not necessary. We do highly encourage an adult on field trips. Q: What are the class sizes? A: I like to keep my numbers semi small to make sure each child gets the individual attention he/she deserves. Typically the 3 year old group in around 10-12 and the 4 year group is 16. Q: Do the children take field trips through the preschool? A: We do take field trips throughout the year. We try to plan 1 trip about every other month.
Q: Is there anything else a parent of a preschooler should know about Startwrite or sending their child to preschool? A: The fact that a parent is looking to find a preschool for their child is amazing. It is such a great way to have children learn to work with other children their age. It is also wonderful to help children get a leg up on the academic piece to set them on a successful educational journey. We try to make sure both the social and academic piece is equal while having fun!