We have been looking at PK3 programs for my son. I have very personal experience with the school that we are leaning toward, and although I love it, I am concerned about the amount of time the students spend watching tv/movies and using computers/iPads.
Students arrive at 7:30 but cannot go to down to the classroom until 7:45. They spend this 15 minutes watching cartoons. In the classroom they watch movies and TV shows close to holidays (The Story of Rudolph, The Great Pumpkin, etc.), on rainy days, and just because. Then there are the iPads. I'm not even sure what they're doing with them, but it is often. This sends up red flags for me, but I'm not sure that the other schools would be much different. It seems non-educational screen time at school is becoming more and more common.
My son was TV free until after his 2nd birthday. Now we might watch 15 to 20 minutes twice a month. When he does watch something on TV, it is something we have thoughtfully chosen and previewed (e.g., an adaptation of Corduroy, Ferdinand, or another favorite book).
I would like to voice my concerns to the admissions director, but I'm hesitant to proceed without any hard data to back up my concerns. Any advice?
I would look for another school. If this your only option then I would talk to the director or teacher and explain the you don't want your child watching that much TV/screen time.
Most educator "know" that to much TV is no good. The school does it to make it "easier" for them. NOT all the time but most times. I worked in ED and I have seen to much screen time!!!
I would not look for another place just yet. Instead, I would have a heart-to-heart talk with the director. I don't think I would even bother to bring hard evidence. That would make it judgmental and put the director on the defensive. It is enough that you as the parent express what you want, and the director can have the opportunity to express whether it is realistically possible or not. The purpose of talking to the director is not for you to convince that your way is the better way. The purpose of talking to the director is to determine whether what you want is realistically feasible in the director's setting. The answer may require the two of you brainstorming scenarios, and the answer might very well be no, and you might possibly have to find other care. However, if you want no screen time, then you and the director together have to come up with a plan that will work for you and will fit in with the director's staffing constraints.
I'm not saying it can't be done. In fact, I did it. My 9 y.o. dd has been in the same humungous daycare center since she was six months old, and they had the children do computer time everyday starting at 3 years old, with the occasional movie. Except for my child. I very sweetly but firmly instructed the daycare that my child was not to be allowed screen time. I didn't even have to explain why I didn't want it, the director is a very smart lady and she automatically knew. Together, she and I sat down and brainstormed alternatives for my child that would not create extra work for the teachers. For this reason, we have been loyal to this daycare ever since.
Our family is still TV-free and has been since my dd was a baby.
Thanks for your thoughts Emilysmama! I can see how bringing facts and figures to a meeting with the director might put her on the defensive. I'll try to sit down and talk with the director and see what her thoughts on the matter are. I'm encouraged to hear that you were able to work things out for your family!
I don't think tv or ipads have any place whatsoever at this age. None. To me it screams "run."
Our K class (public charter) occasionally shows something short (ten minutes) and I admit it is the highlight of DS's tv-free week. I saw a MOVIE at school. And I don't stress about it. But preschool, no way?