Need help with "laws" and advanced placement for 20m DD. (long post sry) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Currently my DD is going to a 2-17 yr school for gifted. She is 20m.  There are about 10 other kids total from 3.5 to 8. The school just opened for the 2-4 age group in January and she was accepted at the time.  Here is the problem. A social services (I believe) law requires a separate classroom and teacher for "toddlers", segregated from the 3+ ages.This would make my DD alone in a classroom and goes against the philosophy of mix children learning (as well as the wrong kind of enviornment for DD). There are also a lot of building modifications that goes along with this that would create a monetary issue for such a small school. My DD absolutely flourishes at this school and loves it there. She has formed extremely strong bonds with the teachers and the children. As many of you know (emotional sensitivities being what they are)...this is going to be a very difficult time for all involved (especially all the kids) come the end of the semester (July) when she might have to leave.  They consider her a "best friend" or "little sister" and DD will go on and on about them at home. One of the teachers and I were in tears over this situation...

 

Just to put it out there, I have been told by the teachers "She exhibits signs of being profoundly gifted". Even parents of other gifted children comment of things that she does in advance of their children at comparable ages. She (IMO) absolutely needs a "different" kind of environment that is aware of the asycronous development challenges and sensitivity needs of these kinds of children.  If she is not in an "academic" learning / free play type environment she just declines and we have so many challenges at home.  This includes her need to be around older kids.  Her closest compainons are all in the 6 to 8 years old kids.  While she does "learning" more along the younger kids range and gets along with them, the older group and her are "best friends" and this is the group she "plays" with. She currently goes to "school" 5 days a week, full days, because both my DH and I are employed full time. She is my only child (as was I) so I have no real idea of "how" gifted she is. I only know what I feel she needs because of her actions and personality changes when placed in different environments and what other people tell me (teachers/parents/doctor).

 

I am trying (as is the school) to figure out what we can do. If she is tested and formally found "gifted" do the rules change? (I know at this age it would be unreliable and probably inaccurate, but it would be just for a formal classification at this point to open up some doors). Is there a special needs law that would allow her to stay? Anyone had to "fight" or change the rules before, and might know some options? I could probably find a place out there (Montessori?) if we have to, but...this place has just been a blessing for her.  I know that 3 years old is "just" a year away, but this has seemed to be the story...when she was an infant and needed to be moved to a crawler/walker room...1yrs was "just" around the corner...then when she was 1.3...2 years was "just" around the corner...now she's almost two and 3 is "just" around the corner....   By the time she is old enough to advance, she needs to be advanced past it anyway.  I have come to the realazation that she will probably never be as old as she needs to be, there has to be a way around that....there just has to be...       Thanks for reading this long post and for any suggestions!!!

 


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#2 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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Your post confuses me-- Montessori is traditionally ages 3-6 together in a class, are there no other students in that age range?  I'm not aware of this rule, it it specific to your state or city?  Yes, there are sometimes department of building requirements for preschool age children, but don't they need to do this anyway if they are having 2-4 year olds?  

 

And no, there are not any tests at 20 months that prove giftedness, nor are there any special education rights associated with it at that age.  

 

I think the school should be able to figure out a way around this.  Who are they getting their legal advice from?

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#3 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I currently reside in Alameda Ca.   

 

There are a couple of Montessori schools here that I looked up on-line that had programs starting a two, but I have not seen the facility or know the "ins and outs" of this type of place.    For example: The child unique Montessori school's website states  "Students at the Pacific school are 2 – 6 years of age. Diapers are not a pre-requisite for entrance. Children who enter The Child Unique must have transitioned from an attachment to pacifiers, bottles and personal belongings at school."

 

I have been looking up the laws here for about the last hour and found this site http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/ord/PG587.htm On-line California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 12 only, that basically states that the "toddler" age group must be separated from the "school age" and "infants".  There are only things stating that you can keep older kids in younger classes with a parents note, but not the other way around.

 

I also need to start looking into any gifted children laws in Ca but haven't got there yet.

 

The school is trying to find a way around it,  They are speaking with lawyers about this but I don't know who.  I will probably be meeting with the lawyer and the founder after spring break as we are all trying to find the way around this. 

 

 

This was a school that until just this January only had 4 years old or older. (I don't know what the exact starting age was).  They recently opened it up for 2-4.  And they accepted her because "they saw a need for it".  However, they had to get different licenses etc...and will going through all the legal "stuff" they have been implementing or wavering...this came up...and so far the social services said they wont wave it.  If there were other 2-4 year olds  this wouldn't be as big of a problem...but she is the only one...so it creates a problem.  There doesn't seem to be any other 2-4 year old applying the youngest ones are around 3.5, so putting her in a class by herself just defeats the purpose.  Due to some laws (I don't know what they are...time frame stuff I would assume)  She is okay to be there for now, but come the next semester, they would have to be up to the "law" and she would no longer be covered.  If there were more her age, or they were a bigger school, this wouldn't be an issue because they would have the money and kids to cover such a thing.   But they are small, and she is the only one, and we are trying to find a way to make it work...


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#4 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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I'm confused as to why they can't create a (small) classroom with the children who are under 5 and include your daughter in that. Yes, I know her friends are 6-8, but there can be times during the day when the children are allowed to mix, I bet. Having a 'preschool' age classroom and a school aged classroom would appear to meet with the CA law as you've described it.


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#5 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 04:06 PM
 
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If memory serves, "infant" is under 12mos, "toddler" is 12mos-2yr, 3's and 4's can be grouped together and 4's and 5's can be grouped together.

 

OP-Would it be possible for the school to set up a small "classroom" for your dd and allow her to "visit" the other classrooms for various activities? This would be much the same as a kinder going to the 2nd grade class for math or reading, etc.

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#6 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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I think that likely from a legal standpoint, 2-year-olds and younger are considered to be "in child-care" when placed in an institutional setting, and not surprisingly, there are laws designed to ensure that they are receiving supervision and care commensurate with their developmental level. They need something much more than a 12:1 student:teacher ratio that might be appropriate in a preschool environment. (Where I live, there can be no more than 4 children per adult if any of the children are under 3.) They are likely to need assistance with self-care, feeding, toileting, etc. They are subject to safety related concerns like choking and such. Children are assumed to require a different level of supervision and care prior to that age. Many children are more advanced and are able to flourish, enjoying toys with small parts, more challenge, less self-care help, etc., but the rules are conservative to keep safe the children who need more. 

 

From age 3 until "school age" starts (i.e. Kindergarten), there's usually another set of rules. Montessori schools and other preschools have to abide by these. Where I live the minimum teacher:student ratio is 12:1, and there are rules about how many bathrooms are needed, and how close they are, and what physical space is required in the classroom, and so on. Here it is certainly possible to have a mixed age group, of 2 through 5-year-olds, for example, but in that case the ratios and facilities have to meet the requirements for the youngest children in the group (4:1) -- and that is often cost-prohibitive. 

 

And then from school-age on up there's another set of rules altogether. Here children can be grouped with teachers in 30:1 ratios. That's when academic schooling is presumed to start. Children are often said to have the right to free, appropriate education once they are school-age. That can include gifted programming, depending on the jurisdiction.

 

Before "school age" (whatever that is in your state) I don't think you'll find any rules or laws about education. The laws are about ensuring quality of care. Meaning supervision and safety, manpower and facilities.

 

I get what you're saying about how much she enjoys the program she's in, but you know, young kids are adaptable and resilient. I have a couple of PG kids (one extremely sociable, one not so much) and they did fine without preschool. That's not to say that one of them in particular wasn't an extremely spirited, challenging child as a toddler and preschooler, but she is who she is and we learned and grew together.

 

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#7 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 04:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

I think that likely from a legal standpoint, 2-year-olds and younger are considered to be "in child-care" when placed in an institutional setting, and not surprisingly, there are laws designed to ensure that they are receiving supervision and care commensurate with their developmental level. They need something much more than a 12:1 student:teacher ratio that might be appropriate in a preschool environment. They are likely to need assistance with self-care, feeding, toileting, etc. They are subject to safety related concerns like choking and such. So there is often a completely different set of laws and regulations governing children under 3. That "age 3" cutoff is very common. You see it on toys, for instance. Children are assumed to require a different level of supervision and care prior to that age. Many children are more advanced and are able to flourish, enjoying toys with small parts, more challenge, less self-care help, etc., but the rules are conservative to keep safe the children who need more. 

 

From age 3 until "school age" starts (i.e. Kindergarten), there's usually another set of rules. Montessori schools and other preschools have to abide by these. Where I live the minimum teacher:student ratio is 12:1, and there are rules about how many bathrooms are needed, and how close they are, and what physical space is required in the classroom, and so on. Here it is certainly possible to have a mixed age group, of 2 through 5-year-olds, for example, but in that case the ratios and facilities have to meet the requirements for the youngest children in the group -- and that is often cost-prohibitive. 

 

And then from school-age on up there's another set of rules altogether. Here children can be grouped with teachers in 30:1 ratios. That's when academic schooling is presumed to start. Children are often said to have the right to free, appropriate education once they are school-age. That can include gifted programming, depending on the jurisdiction.

 

Before "school age" (whatever that is in your state) I don't think you'll find any rules or laws about education. The laws are about ensuring quality of care. Meaning supervision and safety, manpower and facilities.

 

I get what you're saying about how much she enjoys the program she's in, but you know, young kids are adaptable and resilient. I have a couple of PG kids (one extremely sociable, one not so much) and they did fine without preschool. That's not to say that one of them in particular wasn't an extremely spirited, challenging child as a toddler and preschooler, but she is who she is and we learned and grew together.

 

Miranda



Miranda said it well.

 

 

We've lived in several states and the grouping by age is the same for licensing reasons. ( 0-12, 13m-3yrs, 3-6yrs or 4-6 depending on the license.) 

 

Our local Montessori too ages 18m to 8yrs. BUT the 18m-3 yr olds were in one room and the 3-8yr olds another for staffing, safety (state law on toys, tools, art supplies, restrooms, feeding, rest time, etc). They occasionally would move a child to the 3-8 yr old room  PART-TIME at 2.5 if they had staffing, but rarely (no they did not have to be potty trained). We had our DDs in Montessori from age 2.75 to ages 3 when I went back to work briefly. They went to the 3-8yr old room for the morning work time ( 8-11am) and then the toddler room for before and after (7-8 and 11-1pm- then I picked them up) in order for their academic needs, but an extra staff went with them and one other little boy with the idea that at 3 they would move over full time to the other room.

 

All the preschools I have worked at could not take kids before age 3 because in the eyes of the state that is 'childcare' and not preschool.

 

If the school really wants a 2-4 yr old program----- they need to try to recruit enough kids to have a classroom and staff to support it. Yes, the little ones would probably be able to mingle with the older kids, but the feeding/staff ratio/rest time etc could be adapted to fit the licensing requirements of the state.

 

 

It is unlikely as your DD gets older you will have legal legroom either in CA according to this website http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/StatePolicy.aspx .

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#8 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Casha'sMommy View Post

 

OP-Would it be possible for the school to set up a small "classroom" for your dd and allow her to "visit" the other classrooms for various activities? This would be much the same as a kinder going to the 2nd grade class for math or reading, etc.


This is a great example! We have thought about this type of option. A child care provider for her and a joined "activities" option. We are not sure if the building would still require remodeling, and this may be a viable option for us. However, it seems the law states that they have to be separated, and we are hoping that one option may be to state that she has a continuous personal care provider during integrated times to supervise....we just don't know if it will work yet. Thanks for the great suggestion.  They have also stated that if she goes to another place they may do "drop-ins".

 

Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

Miranda said it well.

 

If the school really wants a 2-4 yr old program----- they need to try to recruit enough kids to have a classroom and staff to support it. Yes, the little ones would probably be able to mingle with the older kids, but the feeding/staff ratio/rest time etc could be adapted to fit the licensing requirements of the state.

 

It is unlikely as your DD gets older you will have legal legroom either in CA according to this website http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/StatePolicy.aspx .



I agree! I think they are trying to get more little ones, and this would be the perfect scenario we one day hope will be in place as the facility grows. Thanks for the website. I haven't looked at it yet, but I will.

 

Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 They are likely to need assistance with self-care, feeding, toileting, etc. They are subject to safety related concerns like choking and such. Children are assumed to require a different level of supervision and care prior to that age. Many children are more advanced and are able to flourish, enjoying toys with small parts, more challenge, less self-care help, etc., but the rules are conservative to keep safe the children who need more. 

 

 Where I live the minimum teacher:student ratio is 12:1,

 

Before "school age" (whatever that is in your state) I don't think you'll find any rules or laws about education. The laws are about ensuring quality of care. Meaning supervision and safety, manpower and facilities.

 

I get what you're saying about how much she enjoys the program she's in, but you know, young kids are adaptable and resilient. I have a couple of PG kids (one extremely sociable, one not so much) and they did fine without preschool. That's not to say that one of them in particular wasn't an extremely spirited, challenging child as a toddler and preschooler, but she is who she is and we learned and grew together.

 

Miranda


Miranda, there is so much I like and agree with about what you said.  Thank you so much for your response.  Safety issues for my DD are quite simply a bottom line.  These rules are in place to meet safety concerns for the welfare of the child and I support and understand those rules.  My DD is incredibly aware and conscious of things that surprise even me, she does not put toys in her mouth, she shares, she is overly concerned for other children...can feed herself with adult utensils...can navigate stairs, on and on (she is not potty trained).  The bottom line is, however, she is 20m.  A responsible, perceptive, and able... 20m.  But like you are saying, just because she can do these things on her own, does not make it a responsible decision to act as if she has mastered these things like a 3 or 4 year old would or that she should not have these safety guides implemented for her well-being.

 

That being said, the school ratio (no matter the age) is never greater than 1 to 5.  This is there policy.  We are just trying to figure out how it would be legally possible to remove the "separation" part, stating that all safety requirements are there...example...gate blocking off stairs...a nap room (even though she doesn't nap), a high chair and booster chair, the required teacher ratio.  Kind of like saying...instead of placing her in an advanced room...we have all the kids in a room that meets the safety requirement for DD's age group...the other kids just learn higher level stuff, and she does projects on her own with a designated teacher.  This is the way it pretty much is right now.  They are just being told she has to be completely separate... to pull this off, they would have to break their lease, and get a new place because the building doesn't support a separate room with it's own facilities.  EDIT:  If they had more kids ages 2-4 they would simply lease a separate place for them and staff it appropriately...they just need the numbers and don't have them right now, and to do this for one child isn't financially feasible.

 

I also think that if this doesn't work out, I will definitely find a place where she can flourish.  I had to work really hard to find this place, and I will work hard to find another if I have to.   It doesn't need to be a "school" at all.  I think she does best in a multi age group (we have tried same age peers, no good) and some type of learning (can be completely play based, but when she colors she wants to count...Let me try saying this different, she likes to play just only a little bit, she wants to play and learn...learning is her playing...with a little playing in-between.  I hope that makes since.  When she was in "day-care" they suggested a different environment for her, because she soon became uninterested in the toys, and started yelling at the teachers because she didn't want to play with the ball or pop-up/picture blocks or whatever.   Her personality started taking a huge turn for the worse during that time.  This place has just done so much for her, and she is doing so well, that I just hate to see something so great go away.  I feel like, this is great for my DD, and if I can, I will exhaust my options to keep her in a place that she does well in.  (This is the first place we were able to find that worked well for her) 
 

 

 

 

Thank you for the links...I am going to try to take a look at them now ;)


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#9 of 44 Old 03-31-2012, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I'm confused as to why they can't create a (small) classroom with the children who are under 5 and include your daughter in that. Yes, I know her friends are 6-8, but there can be times during the day when the children are allowed to mix, I bet. Having a 'preschool' age classroom and a school aged classroom would appear to meet with the CA law as you've described it.



Sorry, I missed this post at first.  As I understand it, she can not be in a class with anyone older than 3.  They can create a 0-3 infant room but she would be the only one in this range.   They could make a 2-4 (2-4) toddler, but she would still be the only one.  I would be perfectly fine with a 2-4 class, or 0-3 class, and am sure that she could still see her "friends".  I would like her to be around other kids with similar interests personally, and the school would need that financially.  We have done the daycare infant and daycare toddler age group not gifted peers and it didn't work well, but I am sure if all the kids were similarly "gifted" this would change that dynamic and it could work just fine for her.  This is were I was hoping someone would know some fancy advance child loop hole that would save the day.  I am hopeful, but so far there doesn't seem to be one.... (Again, I am not sure about the accuracy of the laws as I understand them, I could be totally wrong)

 


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#10 of 44 Old 04-01-2012, 03:04 AM
 
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This is a one year problem. 

 

How big is the fine / consequence if the school is discovered to be violating this regulatory infraction?  Would you be willing to cover it for them and move  her to another school if that happened?

 

How likely is the school to be discovered to be harboring a 2 year old in with older kids?

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#11 of 44 Old 04-01-2012, 04:07 AM
 
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I worked at a childcare/preschool and the way they complied with the law is to have low walls built for each age group. The infants were in a completely separate room but when they turned 1 they moved to the one year old section. Then there was a 2 year old section and the next one was 3-4 year olds. The walls were about 1/3 the size of a regular wall and used as shelving in each room for books, cubbies and toys. Each age group did naptime in their own areas at the same time so it was quiet except for the music but completely divided.

It was set up in a circle arrangement so that the infant room was used as one section of the edge of the circle and had a glass wall and door on each end of the room to connect the rest of the groups located on the circle. Everything else was in the center communal area, kitchen, dining area, bathrooms, separate changing area for younger kids who were not potty trained and an office.

Off the circle was a hallway that lead to the the 5-6 year old classroom, which was a completely separate room. An indoor gym, storage room, and a door to the outside playground were also in that hallway and they did staggered recesses as required for different age groups.
When it was time for lunch, they rotated for the necessary separation of age groups in the communal area located in the center of the circle and had tables with seats in them as high chairs for the 1-2 year olds and regular tables and chairs for the older kids.

It was a great place to work and the whole set up was very well organized.

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#12 of 44 Old 04-01-2012, 06:03 AM
 
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The preschool my son attends is mixed age 2-5.  This is NY, so laws may be different, but I know they needed to have "2s Nest" which was a somewhat separate area, but only through using moveable low walls.  The 2 year olds started their day there, but then were able to play with the rest of the kids in the school for most of the afternoon (he's just there for 3 hours in the afternoon twice a week).  The staffing ratios in the entire place do conform to the younger kids, and the building is built with the required bathrooms and methods of exit and such.

 

If your school wants to convert to a preschool, they will have a whole other huge number of policies to follow, that's just the reality.  They may need to wait until they have enough kids to make it financially doable.  I would love to open a preschool myself, but implementing the policies are so cost prohibitive.  

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#13 of 44 Old 04-01-2012, 09:06 AM
 
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There isn't an accurate test for a toddler and being gifted doesn't make a child an exception to any state law. I used to teach preschool in CA though I can't profess to be an expert on the law. I worked through the public school district and they managed that aspect. I do know 2-year-olds CAN be with older kids but it's a numbers game. The ratios are different with a 2-year-old in the mix (like 1:4 as opposed to 1:8.) On top of that, what can be in the class is different. How you run the class, when naps and meals are scheduled... all that is different if even ONE 2-year-old is present. It's much easier to go the other direction and we did have an occasional 3/4-year old in the 2-year-old class. It wasn't an issue because the class was staffed and situated around the youngest members already. Moving a 2-year-old into a 4-year-old class can require the hiring of additional staff, altering of schedule and limitations on what items are available to the older kids. That is asking a great deal. 

 

If it's more important to you that she be with older kids than in this particular program, you can move her to a home daycare that doesn't have the same restrictions. You could hire a nanny that would take her to mixed age activities. I know, not likely realistic but just throwing the options out there.

 

It's very difficult to get around these sorts of laws in the preschool years but easier when they turn 5 and in school or when they turn 8 in activities. 

 

 


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#14 of 44 Old 04-01-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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If I were you I wouldn't be tryIng to find a way around child safety laws. I'm kind of shocked the school was unaware of them before you enrolled. That would concern me.

Look, I have a pg ds and two hg children, so I get that they are different. But your child is only 20 months. It sounds like she's very social. She will thrive in any enriched environment. My boys had a nanny who took them to the park, museums,book stores, library, zoo, etc. That's all a 20 mo old needs regardless of their intellectual prowess. When my kids were 2 q/2 they went to a half day preschool. If I could do it over I would find a different one than where my boys went at age 4-- but that's a long way from 20 months. Relax a bit. I think you're placing too much faith in this school. If its good now, it will still be good when your dd is old enough to attend.
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If I were you I wouldn't be trying to find a way around child safety laws. I'm kind of shocked the school was unaware of them before you enrolled. That would concern me.
Look, I have a pg ds and two hg children, so I get that they are different. But your child is only 20 months. It sounds like she's very social. She will thrive in any enriched environment. My boys had a nanny who took them to the park, museums,book stores, library, zoo, etc. That's all a 20 mo old needs regardless of their intellectual prowess. When my kids were 2 q/2 they went to a half day preschool. If I could do it over I would find a different one than where my boys went at age 4-- but that's a long way from 20 months. Relax a bit. I think you're placing too much faith in this school. If its good now, it will still be good when your dd is old enough to attend.


Chaimom,

 

We aren't trying to find ways around safety.  In fact, they add more safety measures than required because she is there.  We are trying to find a way around an age requirement.  We want to advance her to an "older" group so that she doesn't have to be segregated.   

 

Some additional information might help on this point.  There are only 3 kids currently "full time".  My daughter, a four year old, and a 7 year old.  The rest part time on certain days.  Kind of like home school away from home.  The parents of these children are usually there with their kids.  There is always a director and a lead educator present.  This means that about 60% of the time the teacher to child ratio is 2:3.   At all times the director, the lead educator, assistant, teacher, physiological evaluator is with my daughter. 

 

I can also understand how them not knowing this would be a problem might seem concerning.  They are new, and have been in compliance, in contact with social services and lawyers, getting wavers for what they need (example back yard footage because they go to the park almost daily) and this is just something that came up.  To know these people, would diminish any concern.  They are not experts at the laws, this is a new school that the mother of a profoundly gifted child and her child's caretaker (lead educator) started because they saw a need for something in our area that did not exist.  The rest is trying to make it happen, and be lawful and safe while doing so.

 

My daughter will be fine in any atmosphere that was aware of her needs and had a program in place to work with.  Yes, I may have to find a different place that capable of meeting her needs.    She is adaptable and loves 99% of all people she meets.   But this is what I am looking at.  The place she is at  EXCEEDS her needs, she loves, is the best place I have found by far, and has on site gifted resources.  Has helped ME tremendously understand my DD and are great people.   So, if given the option to choose.  I will choose to try to keep her in a place that I know she does great in and exceeds her needs, then moving her to a new place that I hope she will do well in and meets her needs.  I understand there is a "well this is all she needs" so relax...but when you see how wonderful someone does in an environment and the difference that it makes directly on her personality, it is hard to not even try to see if there is someone out there who might know how to make it work.  ---Also, when originally looking for a place that would meet my daughters needs, this was the only one I was able to find, and I had to wait three months before they opened.  I am sure there is another place she will do well in, finding it is the trick.  Now that she will be 2yrs when we are looking, that will probably help as it opens the door to some Montessori places I think.

 

I understand that kids, even the gifted ones, aren't usually in preschool at this age.  All I am looking at is her personality, and her personality does well in this mixed age group setting, and the atmosphere they provide.  She loves to socialize, and loves to learn.  The group she likes to socialize with are much older kids, when she is around  only age appropriate peers in a day care type setting, her personality starts to take negative turns.  I am hoping to keep her here because it provides all the things that she seems to flourish with.  I can understand how someone might think 20m, she doesn't need these things at 20m.  It seems a bit much right?  But her personality is what tells me that these are the things she "needs".  Just like if a kid comes home frustrated, and angry at one type of school and loves another type of school, you can say, well the first school had everything he needed, but his personality and actions are saying otherwise. 

 

Also,  when she was younger I tried a few one on one providers in home, and they all turned out pretty bad, so now I try to stick to care centers, where I can feel there is a checks and balances in place.   I would love for her to have this place be a stability point for her as well. 

 

If its good now, it will still be good when your dd is old enough to attend.  Of course it will...I am just not looking forward to a year of the behavioral and emotional issues, that were completely overwhelming, that we had to go through with our daughter before we found this place.  ;) 


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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

. I do know 2-year-olds CAN be with older kids but it's a numbers game.

 



This is the law I am looking for!!!!  It is promising to know this is a possibility.  The ratio's are already there, as are the safety requirements for her age Incorporated into the entire school.  This is what I have found so far. 

 

C) Preschool (36 months to enrollment in kindergarten) - 1:8 adult-child ratio, 1:24

teacher-child ratio.

 

101216.4 PRESCHOOL PROGRAM WITH TODDLER COMPONENT 101216.4

(a) Licensees serving preschool-age children may create a special program component for children

between the ages of 18 months and 30 months. The provisions of Sections 101151 through 101239.2

shall apply for children over 24 months, except as specified in Sections 101216.4(a)(1) through (6). The

provisions of Sections 101351 through 101439.1 shall apply for children between the ages of 18 and 24

months participating in a preschool toddler component, except as specified in Sections 101216.4(a)(1)

through (6)

(6) The toddler program shall be conducted in areas physically separate from those used by older or

younger children. Space planning and usage for the toddler component shall be governed by the

provisions of Section 101438.3. Plans to alternate use of outdoor play space must be approved

by the Department.

(A) Requirements for physical separation between children in the toddler component and

older or younger children need not apply when a planned activity is being conducted.

2) Children in a child care center between the ages of 18 months and 30 months may be placed in

the toddler program. A child older than 30 months may participate in the toddler program with

written permission from the child's authorized representative. No child in the toddler program

shall be placed in the preschool program before the age of 30 months without written permission

from the child's authorized representative.

 

I am thinking that last sentence may be my ticket...maybe I can give written permission for the school to place her into the "preschool program" when she is 24m.  That would be the beginning of the next semester, right when we would have to have her moved.  It would be 6 months "early".   If she is not in the "toddler program"  there would be no reason to segregate her. 


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Place your child in an age-appropriate, enriching environment.  She's not even 2 years old yet.  Gifted or not, she's a very different human with different abilities and development than even a 36 month old.


 

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This is a one year problem. 

 

How big is the fine / consequence if the school is discovered to be violating this regulatory infraction?  Would you be willing to cover it for them and move  her to another school if that happened?

 

How likely is the school to be discovered to be harboring a 2 year old in with older kids?


No.  Don't.  If the center would go for this, run the other way. 

 

What other violations might be there that they hope not to get caught on?  A school willing to bend these rules might be willing to bend other health and safety rules-- stretch CPR training renewals, timing on diaper changes, exposure to allergens, etc.

 

Also, these violations get recorded and are part of the public record.  When looking for new centers, I always read the violations.  I would look at every last one.  Health and safety is first for my child.  Enrichment, shumrichment, if she's not going to survive the experience, who cares if the environment lets my child consume the maximum enrichment possible?

 

Finally, as the parent of one of the 8 year olds I'd be pretty peeved if I'd signed my kid up for this great program, only to find a not-yet 2 year old in the group.  We've left programs that let in kids younger than the cut off.  The teacher's attention isn't distributed where it should be, behavior, energy level, and attention span is different, and it broadly reduces the experience for my child.

 

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Place your child in an age-appropriate, enriching environment.  She's not even 2 years old yet.  Gifted or not, she's a very different human with different abilities and development than even a 36 month old.

 

Again, I completely understand where this train of thought is coming from.  I have tried to explain how this seemingly logical answer just hasn't worked for my daughter.  Although it is the easy, straight forward, logical, Typical, and cost effective solution.... it just is not working.   Let me try to explain what I see of my daughter, that might help posters understand that if I thought this was an answer, I would have done it (or I should say, would have continued to do so).

 

We are talking about a 20m old that (while browsing through the baby center website.) easily and a long time ago meet all milestones including advanced skill past a two year old.  This page seems to fit her about 90% http://www.babycenter.com/0_learning-milestones-cognitive-skills-ages-3-and-4_72271.bcw

 

Things she can do in addition to these are name over 18 parts of her body, (she will say what they are).  Has a 800-1000 word vocabulary...(I started recently trying to count them again but am not sure).  Speaks in 7 word sentences.  Knows all close "people" by name, (about 15 or so?) not including dogs by name and stuffed animals by name and some movie characters.  Wipes herself when on the potty, can understand and completes multi tasking directives (about three separate tasks are her limit, four is a little much).  She was brushing her own teeth around 6 months and washing her own hands properly around 7m.    If a child gets hurt she will ask the child if they are okay, go up to the teacher, articulate what happened, where the injury was occurred on the body, what "object" the body part hit, that the child is hurt and crying, but okay. She has a fish puzzle that requires her to match about 10 color "tails" to the heads.  She removes and puts back these pieces on her own and correctly in less than 5 minutes (never timed).  Sometimes she thinks its funny to put one in the wrong place look up at me and say "Nooooo" shake her head and laughs and laughs and then puts it in the right place. She also sings many songs, including the alphabet and learned how to count to 10 in less than a week. 

Things she can't do:  Dress herself; Draw a cross; potty trained (completely), and not sure if she could ride a tricycle but it wouldn't surprise me because she rides around in her battery powered ATV..

 

Placing a child like this in an "age appropriate" climate with other kids that may not be able to even walk, or talk, playing with toys that rattle and spin.........

 

No good.  She was in an age appropriate day care ages 1-2 when she was about 11m-15m...  After she was in the class for about 3 months the day care approached me about her "needs" and that they could not meet them, how "different" she was and that I should look into specialized care.  I had no idea about "giftedness" up till this point, and still am dealing with trying to teach people understanding for support.  In her old child care she was becoming violent, and angry, digressing and crawling and crying and ... it was horrible.   If she did all that at 13m...    No, this is not an option.

 

 

On everything else you said....I completely agree...Safe and legal.  If it can't be done legally I will find a place for her until it can be.


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Finally, as the parent of one of the 8 year olds I'd be pretty peeved if I'd signed my kid up for this great program, only to find a not-yet 2 year old in the group.  We've left programs that let in kids younger than the cut off.  The teacher's attention isn't distributed where it should be, behavior, energy level, and attention span is different, and it broadly reduces the experience for my child.

 



I am editing my original post to this comment because it was reactive....my train of thought on this comment is this...

 

There are kids with special needs also in her class.   For example lets say autism.  I don't go in with the attitude that this is going to be something that is going to "reduce the experience for my child" because it requires a level of supervision and "pull outs" and restructuring.  I go in with the attitude, what can we do to make sure that for all of the children, all of the requirements for healthy fulfilling experiences can be meet.  Additional supervisions, explaining to children what is going on and why, what personal space is, etc.

 

Teachers aren't taken away because she is there, they are added, which ironically, because of her abilities, adds more teachers for the older kids, not less.

 


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You've come to the right forum to find understanding and commiseration for when you child doesn't fit.   We get it, and we've lived it.

 

For a lot of the mathematical milestones, I couldn't find a description of my DS' skills when he was 3 on the PBS development tracker at any age level (much better than babycenter, IMO).  A lot of us have a lot of experience in this kind of thing now.  I've been there with childcare misfits, I've been there with preschool misfits, and I've been there with schooling misfits.  I think we get it.  We understand that your child is probably not well served in a room exclusively for kids 18-30 mo (a standard age range).  However, you will likely need to find something appropriate for the under 2.5 year old set, as your DD is likely not past the mouthing stage (you might think you are, but until those 2 year molars come in, you don't know thumbsuck.gif )  I remember being so frustrated because DS' toddler room only had those peg puzzles and 2 6-piece wooden jigsaw puzzles.  He'd been doing those since the moment he developed a pincer grasp (7? 8? months?).  At the time they were trying to get him interested in those puzzles, he was doing 50 piece puzzles picture side down.  But there are no 50 piece puzzles where none of the  pieces fit through their handy choking tube tester.  We were able to agree that maybe puzzles wouldn't be a skill he worked on during the day.

 

My family has done 4 child care centers, three preschools, a nanny and a nanny share.  All solutions are temporary.  Neither of my children have had more than 11 months straight of the same care situation.

 

You've bounced out of one place because it wasn't a good fit, and you found yourself someplace that seems great, but is evidently unaware of the licensing laws.  Take these experiences as lesson learned and keep looking for a better fit.  You're in a big, urban environment.  There are more places out there.  Ask on Berkeley Parent's Network for specific recommendations.

 

 

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Wow, how did I miss that comment....if the not yet two year old was doing all the same things as the 3 year old and had her own supervision separate from the lead educator and other teachers for the kids you would feel this way.  I feel that is very unfortunate.  My child obviously can't get what she "needs" because she is far to advanced for a younger setting....and you would walk out on a school because you simply would see a younger child, not even give time to evaluate their suitability because...."She's to young...and if she's going to be here I'm leaving"    Fortunately, The parents of the other children are understanding, always speaking highly and impressively of DD, and completely suport the fact that she is there.   I get told all the time by other parents how much their kids have grown by having her around and how much their kids love to play and work with her.  Also, during more formalized classes, she isn't even in the room...

 

Teachers aren't taken away because she is there, they are added, which ironically, because of her abilities, adds more teachers for the older kids, not less.

 


We cross posted.

 

I'm sharing my experience.  We've had several negative experiences with people bending age rules.  IT hasn't worked in my experience.

 

My kids are as exceptional as your little girl sounds to be.  It's a constant struggle.  This summer, the parks and rec has broken down all their camps as ages 5-6 or ages 7-10.  My almost 7 year old won't be going to those camps.  He's developmentally beyond the 5-6 group, but at 6.75 years, he won't yet be 7.

 

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Again, I completely understand where this train of thought is coming from.  I have tried to explain how this seemingly logical answer just hasn't worked for my daughter.  Although it is the easy, straight forward, logical, Typical, and cost effective solution.... it just is not working.   Let me try to explain what I see of my daughter, that might help posters understand that if I thought this was an answer, I would have done it (or I should say, would have continued to do so).

 

We are talking about a 20m old that (while browsing through the baby center website.) easily and a long time ago meet all milestones including advanced skill past a two year old.  This page seems to fit her about 90% http://www.babycenter.com/0_learning-milestones-cognitive-skills-ages-3-and-4_72271.bcw

 

Things she can do in addition to these are name over 18 parts of her body, (she will say what they are).  Has a 800-1000 word vocabulary...(I started recently trying to count them again but am not sure).  Speaks in 7 word sentences.  Knows all close "people" by name, (about 15 or so?) not including dogs by name and stuffed animals by name and some movie characters.  Wipes herself when on the potty, can understand and completes multi tasking directives (about three separate tasks are her limit, four is a little much).  She was brushing her own teeth around 6 months and washing her own hands properly around 7m.    If a child gets hurt she will ask the child if they are okay, go up to the teacher, articulate what happened, where the injury was occurred on the body, what "object" the body part hit, that the child is hurt and crying, but okay. She has a fish puzzle that requires her to match about 10 color "tails" to the heads.  She removes and puts back these pieces on her own and correctly in less than 5 minutes (never timed).  Sometimes she thinks its funny to put one in the wrong place look up at me and say "Nooooo" shake her head and laughs and laughs and then puts it in the right place. She also sings many songs, including the alphabet and learned how to count to 10 in less than a week. 

Things she can't do:  Dress herself; Draw a cross; potty trained (completely), and not sure if she could ride a tricycle but it wouldn't surprise me because she rides around in her battery powered ATV..

 

Placing a child like this in an "age appropriate" climate with other kids that may not be able to even walk, or talk, playing with toys that rattle and spin.........

 

No good.  She was in an age appropriate day care ages 1-2 when she was about 11m-15m...  After she was in the class for about 3 months the day care approached me about her "needs" and that they could not meet them, how "different" she was and that I should look into specialized care.  I had no idea about "giftedness" up till this point, and still am dealing with trying to teach people understanding for support.  In her old child care she was becoming violent, and angry, digressing and crawling and crying and ... it was horrible.   If she did all that at 13m...    No, this is not an option.

 

 

On everything else you said....I completely agree...Safe and legal.  If it can't be done legally I will find a place for her until it can be.


I don't think anyone here is misunderstanding the situation. Most of us have had 20-month-olds just like this but BTDT experience has us looking at your situation a little differently. I guess some are trying to save you the burnt out of throwing all your fight into situations that would be less than ideal anyway.

 

Personally, we handled our situation by being home with our kids longterm (which has meant DH and myself working opposite shifts at times, my dropping to part-time or freelance, for a few years it meant being a total SAHM.) Now, this isn't a judgement. I absolutely know this isn't possible for all and that it's not even "best" for all families. I just can't fathom how my kids would have fit into a full-time care situation being who they are. At 20 months, DD wanted to be at the art museum everyday and  DS wanted to hike around in parks from sunrise to sunset. If it were impossible for either parent to be there, I would have sought a nanny who could give one-on-one attention. Is this at all a possibility for you? It's just something I'd seriously explore.

 

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You've come to the right forum to find understanding and commiseration for when you child doesn't fit.   We get it, and we've lived it.

 

For a lot of the mathematical milestones, I couldn't find a description of my DS' skills when he was 3 on the PBS development tracker at any age level (much better than babycenter, IMO).  A lot of us have a lot of experience in this kind of thing now.  I've been there with childcare misfits, I've been there with preschool misfits, and I've been there with schooling misfits.  I think we get it.  We understand that your child is probably not well served in a room exclusively for kids 18-30 mo (a standard age range).  However, you will likely need to find something appropriate for the under 2.5 year old set, as your DD is likely not past the mouthing stage (you might think you are, but until those 2 year molars come in, you don't know thumbsuck.gif )  I remember being so frustrated because DS' toddler room only had those peg puzzles and 2 6-piece wooden jigsaw puzzles.  He'd been doing those since the moment he developed a pincer grasp (7? 8? months?).  At the time they were trying to get him interested in those puzzles, he was doing 50 piece puzzles picture side down.  But there are no 50 piece puzzles where none of the  pieces fit through their handy choking tube tester.  We were able to agree that maybe puzzles wouldn't be a skill he worked on during the day.

 

My family has done 4 child care centers, three preschools, a nanny and a nanny share.  All solutions are temporary.  Neither of my children have had more than 11 months straight of the same care situation.

 

You've bounced out of one place because it wasn't a good fit, and you found yourself someplace that seems great, but is evidently unaware of the licensing laws.  Take these experiences as lesson learned and keep looking for a better fit.  You're in a big, urban environment.  There are more places out there.  Ask on Berkeley Parent's Network for specific recommendations.

 

 

 

Although I understand this is just a singular point you are trying to make...my daughter never "mouthed" things.  Even as an infant.  She refused pacifiers and just doesn't put things in her mouth. She never ever did, and we tried!  She has a full set of teeth (as far as I know) and has for a while, however I don't know if there are some 2 year old molars in the back that need to come in, again, I was told she had all her teeth break.  If they haven't when she gets them it is completely possible that she may develop a mouthing thing...she may develop a mouthing thing just because one day, but...your right, I don't know if this will ever happen.

We have been through 7 places, 3 at home, 3 child cares, and 1 gifted co-op.  I am now looking at a possible move or two till she is three, a possible summer program placement and a move back at 3.   Although I understand that this happens, and she is adaptable and young, but I would really like to offer her some stability. 

 

Also, I do not think she is alone, I do not feel I am the only one struggling with this, or that ever has.  As a community of parents that all have specially gifted children, I imagine that all or most have gone through exactly this.  She does some things faster than others, and some thing I hear of others are so remarkable.  Like many of your child's accomplisments.  I love hearing about things like this.  Doing puzzles upside down.  Wow.  I am concerned simply for what is best for my child, I can't do anything but try to say that a group of kids that are 2.5 and older hasn't worked for her.  Maybe a place out there that has other advanced children her age would work, but I don't know any.  

 

I will try Berkeley's Parent's Network for some recommendations.   I went through Bananas a while back and they said they didn't know of anything.   Thank you very much for the recommendation on this site.  I am open minded to other suggestion like this...Anyone in the area that knows of a mix age place or some other resource would be much appreciated if the place she is in doesn't work.  I want to find a good stable legal safe place for her, I am open to suggestions.

 

Also, please forgive me for coming off combative. (I was thinking I might be and it is not my best quality) It is something I am learning to take in stride and be reasonable with, I have had so many people make so many negative comments in regards to my daughter that I never thought I would have to deal with, and I am still learning to tell the difference between the constructive criticism and advice that I may disagree with but might need to hear (or might not apply but is trying to be honest and helpful), and the close minded comments that come from a lack of understanding. 

 

Thank you all for your responses, and for being honest. 

 


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Purely from the things you stated..her vocabulary, etc...she sounds advanced, but not so advanced she wouldn't fit in well at a nurturing, play based preschool. In my opinion she would not fit in well with 5 or 6 year old kids, based just on what you specifically described. That's just my observation. My eldest child is 8, and gifted, although not profoundly so, and I'm pretty sure he could do all those things you listed by age 2. All three of my extremely bright children in fact could do those things listed and had no problem in a daycare or preschool. What specific problems in a typical daycare are you having? I also would not feel comfortable with such a young child in the same classroom as my 6 or 8 year old. They are just light years apart, no matter how advanced your daughter is.

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#25 of 44 Old 04-02-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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#27 of 44 Old 04-02-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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If you cannot get this situation to work out have you considered looking for something slightly different in child care?

 

I do get the level of skill you are talking about, as other parent's have mentioned. I never sent my kids to preschool. I saw absolutely no point to it. As you have discovered, many of the skills being worked on were ones my child had already mastered, was likely to master on their own, or had no interest in. I did, however, have to work full time as did my husband. We set out to find a childcare with no academics. The one we settled on was a home daycare (so multi-age birth-6years). She did do a worksheet a couple of times a week with the kids, with each kid working on something at their own level, but never spent more than 20 minutes on the task. More often that 20 minutes was spent on a craft project. She read to the kids every day and the kids went outside every single day. We live somewhere much colder than you, but the outside time was our number one priority. When we found a sitter that was sure to warn us that she sends the kids outs rain, shine, snow, cold, or whatever and to be sure to send our kids with the appropriate weather gear and a few backups for the unexpected we knew we had found the right place. Having the chance to explore outside and the chance to expend a bunch of energy every day was better than all the academics in the world for funneling my kids curiosity and energy.

 

We happened to also stumble upon a really good social cohort as well. He had a group of friends who were all 6-18 months older than him and at least two of those kids have since proven themselves to be gifted as well. But this was certainly not a setting where giftedness was expected or anticipated. It was all about the play.

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#28 of 44 Old 04-02-2012, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think anyone here is misunderstanding the situation. Most of us have had 20-month-olds just like this but BTDT experience has us looking at your situation a little differently. I guess some are trying to save you the burnt out of throwing all your fight into situations that would be less than ideal anyway.

 

I know I felt like this when I made this post.  I didn't mean to be close minded like that.  I should have known better.  My experiences finding places and understanding for my DD has lead me into some bad habits of over reactive defensiveness and a very very inaccurate assumption of "if you were in my shoes you would understand and agree with me."  Lol wrong.  How can I come onto a site and ask for help and be so close minded?  Shame on me.  I am trying to go back and reverse, taking suggestions and advice for what it is, experienced, and caring and honest.  People are trying to post to help me because they have been in my shoes.  And who wouldn't be concerned if they see someone trying to bend the rules, especially when safety can be involved?  Who wouldn't be concerned if there was a toddler in their child's "high school" environment?  I am just going to be really sad to have to see this opportunity go.  But everyone is right.  There are other options, even if you have to change them and keep trying.  It is my job to be open minded, and adaptable, and find those places best for her.

 

 If it were impossible for either parent to be there, I would have sought a nanny who could give one-on-one attention. Is this at all a possibility for you? It's just something I'd seriously explore.

 

I would love love love to be an at home mom.  I also can imagine how difficult it must have been for you and your DH to have to juggle two jobs so someone could always be home.  Unfortunately my DH and I are both active duty military.  Good news is that in about 7 years (when she is 8/9) both or one of us will retire and be home with her (or out with her).  (Here is hoping for the lottery he he).  

I have considered a "nanny" type.  When we did one on one care with her, one lady kept passing out, then the next lady doubled her price and dropped us, and the next lady was being beaten by her husband....All came HIGHLY recommended by friends and the last one was the highest recommend person from a Child Care center and locals.  I though maybe at my house with camera's....I just am SO worried about that after my experiences.  But yes, I would love that!



 

 


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#29 of 44 Old 04-02-2012, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMom View Post

Purely from the things you stated..her vocabulary, etc...she sounds advanced, but not so advanced she wouldn't fit in well at a nurturing, play based preschool. In my opinion she would not fit in well with 5 or 6 year old kids, based just on what you specifically described. That's just my observation. My eldest child is 8, and gifted, although not profoundly so, and I'm pretty sure he could do all those things you listed by age 2. All three of my extremely bright children in fact could do those things listed and had no problem in a daycare or preschool. What specific problems in a typical daycare are you having? I also would not feel comfortable with such a young child in the same classroom as my 6 or 8 year old. They are just light years apart, no matter how advanced your daughter is.


I agree.   I think she would do well in a 3-5 (typical) year old group. Maybe even a 2-5. Like you were saying "preschool age".  This would give her some identical peers, some "look up to" peers, and some learning on how to be with "younger" peers.  And she could be there for a while.  I hate to keep moving her.  She currently does well with the older group setting, but she is definitely not on par with a 5 year old.  I would like to see her in a preschool age group, but in no way does it have to be a pre-school.

I would love a play based pre-school / daycare, she is very active.  She can have a high attention span, but she is just so full of energy.    The place she is in mixes the preschool and the school.  Its not that I think she belongs with 6-8 year olds.  And if it was just school age for gifted, 5+, I also would think she doesn't belong there.  I just wanted her to be a part of the preschool element, and it so happens to mix with the K+.  She does well there, but I can completely understand.  If my gifted 8 year old was going to school and there was a daycare 2 year old (even if advanced) in the classroom, I don't know how I would feel either.  Hopefully the school will get the attendance and funding required to run a pre-school element separate from a school age element.  I think this is their goal.

 


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#30 of 44 Old 04-02-2012, 03:02 PM
 
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We had significant issues in daycare/preschool for our son. We tried age-appropriate settings, we tried mixed age groups. Ultimately, what he really needed was time to grow into his own skin. He is incredibly stubborn, incredibly intense, and advanced cognitively and academically.

 

I also think you would be better served finding her an age-appropriate play-based setting. Most 20 month olds do better with older children, because the older children are able to incorporate the needs of a younger child and have the social skills to share, let things go, etc. 2-3 year olds are still figuring out how to be in the same place together and solve conflicts. there won't be conflicts between a 20 month old and a 6 year old because the 6 year old will let the 20 month old do what s/he wants since 6 year olds understand that 20 month olds are babies.

 

you say your child can't get what she needs in an age-appropriate setting. What are her needs that aren't being met? Perhaps my greatest regret with our son is putting him into a 3-6 Montessori classroom as a 2.5 year old. Cognitively, he was totally ready for the works--in fact, if anything, they never found his sweet spot in terms of work. Socially and emotionally, it was an unmitigated disaster, and they were totally unable to accommodate his asynchronicity.

 

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