Hi, I live in Camden County NJ and we are currently looking for preschools for our oldest child starting in the Fall. I have been really disappointed in what I have seen so far and I am getting discouraged. The good part is the places we have looked at seem very nurturing and caring. The teachers have seemed nice and like they truly care for the children. My main concerns are the snacks that the kids are fed is not what we feed our children. Especially still being so young, my daughter will be 3 in August, we try to stay away from preservatives, genetically modified foods, dyes, artificial anything, and choose organic unprocessed foods as much as possible.
The snacks that have been provided at these nursery schools are not what I would like my child eating and we have been told that because they get state funding we are not able to bring snacks in for our child, unless there is an allergy. So unless my child has a doctor's note stating she has an allergy, then I have no say on the snacks that they will be feeding my 3 year old! That doesn't seem right to me. What if I chose to raise my children as vegan or vegetarians? Would this obviously not be allowed then while they were at nursery school? And because these facilities are state licensed, which i certainly see the positives to on most levels, this then means that my child has to have every last vaccine and an annual flu shot which is now required in NJ. I feel like I have to give up parental rights just to send my child to nursery school!
Does anyone have recommendations for a 3 year old nursery program in the Camden/Gloucester/Burlington County NJ areas? My husband and I are also very vigilant on toxins in our children's toys, art supplies, dishware etc. I know I will have to compromise in some areas in order to find a nursery school for my child, but I just wish I didn't feel like I was compromising everything.
We would love a nursery school with loving, nurturing, caring teachers, that has bright sunny well ventilated rooms with some wooden toys (not just plastic) and a curriculum that encourages play, exploration, and movement (not just worksheets). Outdoor activities and playtime is also important to us.
I am tempted to keep my child at home and educate her myself. However, she really needs the socialization and she is so excited to go to school and make friends. Please help, any recommendations would be appreciated! Thank you!
My son has been going to the JCC in Cherry Hill for many years. They are very aware of his food dye sensitivities and we have always had the option of bringing his snacks vs. their snacks. Now that he's older and likes to have the same snacks as his friends, they work with him to make the right choices.
However, I can tell you that my sister is pulling her child out of there right now because the classes are too big. The ratio is 4 to 1 but when you have 20 kids in a room, it was too much for my nephew. She's moving him to Adath Emanu-El in Mount Laurel in the fall. They seem to be a bit more on the crunchy side, have smaller classrooms. It may be worth looking into if your child gets over stimulated easily.
I will the the Kindercamp at the JCC is wonderful and I really adore and respect the woman who runs it.