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Daycare question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My son loves his current daycare but I just feel like it's not very focused on getting them ready for school. It's new so there are not many reviews online, those two that I found were good. It's a very diverse school, and we appreciate it. DS loves it and always wants to go, so we've been happy. But we just notice that education there isn't great. I've talked to other moms that think the same. So I checked out a daycare that is actually closer to our house, and they seemed to be better  - I observed a lot of good teachable moments. Everyone else in the area think it's a great place for kids and very education-inducing environment. For example, they have specials: P.E., theatre, Spanish, Science, etc. The ONLY thing though is their menu. Children are fed from cans and reheated foods, and processed stuff. To me, children acquire healthy eating habits since little. I just know if DS is fed this 3 times a day, he soon will loose interest in home-made meals. In brief, he likes his current daycare and is happy there, but the educational level isn't there for us. The other daycare seems to have better curriculum, but we aren't ok with what they feed to kids. I wonder if we continue in his daycare or make a transfer to the second one.

post #2 of 7

First, my bias...I tend to think there's too much focus at a young age in getting kids ready for school at many programs for young kids. So that bias definitely colors my perspective.

 

If were in your place, I'd keep my child at the first place where he's happy and eating well. If I were concerned about the educational content, I might work with the other parents to suggest ways the daycare could supplement the activities with more activities that you'd like to see.

 

Most of all, though, remember that you know what's best for your family and if neither of these daycares feel right, keep looking until you find the place that works for you. smile.gif
 

post #3 of 7

Can you share more about what is bothering you about the "education level"? Are you looking for more structured activities? How old is your child?

 

There is tons of research that shows play-based learning is best in early childhood. So while your child is not necessarily bringing home handwriting worksheets (i.e. copy the capital letter A 30 times) if he is in an environment where he is surrounded by the written word (i.e. toys labeled on shelves) and has unlimited access to books and writing materials (pencils, crayons, paper as developmentally appropriate) he is learning handwriting.

 

Here is a great article about what 4 year olds should know: http://www.drmomma.org/2011/11/what-should-4-year-old-know.html

 

Here are a couple of the thousands of articles about play based learning: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/12/29/christakis.play.children.learning/index.html

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/kindergarten/eq-over-iq-how-play-based-learning-can-lead-to-more-successful-kids/article2059603/

 

I would also highly suggest the book Einstein Never Used Flashcards. It is full of research about how young children really learn and the best ways to facilitate their learning.

 

I would be very hesitant to take my child from a place where he is so happy and secure. He is going to learn best when he feels comfortable and safe. 

post #4 of 7

What I expect from daycare/preschool is social time, sensory activities, music, reading, art, self care/help skills. Of course in an environment where my child can thrive and is loved well by the teachers, I agree with discipline policy, etc. Education beyond simple counting, ABC, writing name isn't a priority for me.

post #5 of 7

Read: Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Children Really Learn and Why the Need to Play More and Memorize Less.

 

Is the daycare your son is going to play-based? Do they have an interesting variety of experiences? Do they do projects with the kids? What's the educational philosophy?

 

There is research showing that early academics actually harm children in the long run. Children who go to academic preschools and daycare do start school a bit ahead in academics. However, that 'advantage' disappears by 2nd grade. What's worse is that children who go to academic preschools/daycare are less interested in learning, more focused on short term rewards, and tend to not like school as well. These academic daycare centers are preying on parents' fears that their children won't do well in school.

 

What's best for children and is most supported by research is a play-based environment for preschool. Preschoolers do best with being able to experience a rich variety of situations and to be able to play out the things they're interested in. If you look at the guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), you'll get a good list of what to look for.

 

I deliberately chose a play-based, child-directed daycare for our children. They went there through Kindergarten. They thrived there. They were fine when they started school, and they are doing very well indeed in school (now in 2nd and 5th grade). Better yet, they're interested in learning. Our daughter has discovered a passion for history, and at 8 is seeking out both fiction and non-fiction books on history. She plays out her interest as well. Our son (10, nearly 11) is very interested in politics and current events. It's really fun to have him ask at the dinner table "What happened today?" or to discuss politics with him. Neither of them see learning as a chore that's only restricted to school. That's because we invested heavily in helping them explore in age-appropriate ways when they were in preschool.

 

Do you really want to send your child away from a school where he's thriving so he can get more academics and lousy food?

 

 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I don't think he will be unhappy in the other daycare, but we never know. Yes, he is used to the current ones, loves his friends, and is eager to go there every time. I can't guarantee he will be equally happy in the other one, but everyone says it's a great place and kids are treated with love.

 

When I came to tour the second one, some teachers were sitting with children doing work one-on-one, there was a circle time and lunch time in others. Computer lab teacher was working one-on-one with a children as well. In drama classroom, children were acting things out. Teachers there are all above 40 y.o. and have worked there for years - they have very low turnaround, hence very experienced educators. In our present daycare ALL teachers are very young and pretty but they definitely lag behind in experience. Plus specials looked great.
 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

Read: Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Children Really Learn and Why the Need to Play More and Memorize Less.

 

Is the daycare your son is going to play-based? Do they have an interesting variety of experiences? Do they do projects with the kids? What's the educational philosophy?

 

There is research showing that early academics actually harm children in the long run. Children who go to academic preschools and daycare do start school a bit ahead in academics. However, that 'advantage' disappears by 2nd grade. What's worse is that children who go to academic preschools/daycare are less interested in learning, more focused on short term rewards, and tend to not like school as well. These academic daycare centers are preying on parents' fears that their children won't do well in school.

 

What's best for children and is most supported by research is a play-based environment for preschool. Preschoolers do best with being able to experience a rich variety of situations and to be able to play out the things they're interested in. If you look at the guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), you'll get a good list of what to look for.

 

I deliberately chose a play-based, child-directed daycare for our children. They went there through Kindergarten. They thrived there. They were fine when they started school, and they are doing very well indeed in school (now in 2nd and 5th grade). Better yet, they're interested in learning. Our daughter has discovered a passion for history, and at 8 is seeking out both fiction and non-fiction books on history. She plays out her interest as well. Our son (10, nearly 11) is very interested in politics and current events. It's really fun to have him ask at the dinner table "What happened today?" or to discuss politics with him. Neither of them see learning as a chore that's only restricted to school. That's because we invested heavily in helping them explore in age-appropriate ways when they were in preschool.

 

Do you really want to send your child away from a school where he's thriving so he can get more academics and lousy food?

 

 

 


Lynn, your points are great! I hope I will get your book! The thing is that I know that a kindergartener must read by the end of the year and answer A LOT of critical thinking questions. I might be looking at the long way to bolster IQ but whatever projects he brings from his current daycare are ridiculuous - a feather stuck to a piece of paper or a "drawing" of 1 line across a carton paper. Even having conversations with teachers are very frustrating. Ex. "Ms. Smith, DS still confuses colors" Ms. Smith's reply: "Don't worry, ma'm, give it some time, just don't do any colors with him for 2 weeks at all"...

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