Title: Playgroup/nursery school
npl - May 20, 2012 07:20 PM (GMT)
I'm considering putting my 2yo into a half-day program in September. With the demands of a larger family, including (almost) teens, and a new baby (B"EH), I feel too stretched-thin to give this rambunctious, independent little one what she needs all day. So, I feel like some kind of program would be best for my mental health and the needs of everyone else in the family.
But, I have no idea what to look for in a program! Should I go with a self-contained program for 2-3 yos (she'll be almost 2.5yo), or a home-based playgroup for her age group run by a trained ECE, or a mixed-age daycare?
And, when I interview and visit, what should I look for?
chavs - May 21, 2012 12:38 AM (GMT)
Personally I'd go for a home based one with a mother leading it (child minder).
I'd have a lot of things i'd look for I think. Of the top of my head the following come to mind.
I'd like to see how the child minder was with the kids and if the kids seems happy and bonded with the her. I'd ask her how she handles the kids in different circumstances and how she'd helps a child feel safe and settle in. I'd want to see that she'd spend time with the children playing and taking the kids lead (play games they'd like) and letting them colour without trying to make them draw inside the lines and that kind of stuff. I'd like to see her read to the kids and I'd like to see that the kids have free play as well. I'd want to spend some time with her when she is working and see that she spends the time with the children and not chatting to the ppl working with her the the whole time or me for that matter. I'd obviously bring my child and introduce them and see how she'd deal with my child and then see how it would go.
Well done for taking care of yourself. Its important to do that to function as a mother and be a good mother. I hope it will be easy to find someone and obvious when you have found the right person.
LearningFromExperience - May 21, 2012 05:25 AM (GMT)
In addition, you want to see her eyes light up when she talks about the kids and what they do
The format doesn't really matter, it's the person.
4daughters - May 21, 2012 06:10 AM (GMT)
My sister in law was very pleased with the Hebrew Immersion Montessori style pre-school near the BAYT. From her description, it sounds like they have warm caregivers and a rich program.
npl - May 21, 2012 04:18 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (4daughters @ May 21 2012, 01:10 AM)|
| My sister in law was very pleased with the Hebrew Immersion Montessori style pre-school near the BAYT. From her description, it sounds like they have warm caregivers and a rich program. |
Thanks! I saw her at pickup today and she told me all about it!
npl - May 21, 2012 04:19 PM (GMT)
Thanks everyone! Now I need to get around to making some calls before all the spaces are taken!
JRKmommy - May 22, 2012 02:05 PM (GMT)
I know that the Flamingo nursery and pre-nursery programs are being revamped for next year, and will be more Montessori-style.
For home-based programs, you really want to check them out carefully, to the same standards that you would expect for a larger program. If it is just 5 kids, the law doesn't require them to be licensed and there is virtually no regulation at all. I looked into one home-based program for dd#2, but they seemed offended when I asked about getting police checks, and that made me uncomfortable. As I was wondering what to do, I met my (then) backyard neighbour - an ECE who was starting her own home-based daycare. She came over with a binder full of information...including her CV, reference letters, and a police check! At a minimum, a police/vulnerable sector screening should be provided, along with references. Having someone ECE qualified would be great. You should also find out if the referees have seen the care provider in action - there was a woman in our area who took care of kids and the parents (including 2 friends of mine) swear that she was wonderful, but I saw the appalling way that she dealt with the kids when taking them to community programs. You'll also want to take a look at the home and the space where the program is to take place. Is it clean and safe? What are diaper procedures (handwashing, separate area, supervision of other children during changing)? If they are in a basement, are there multiple routes out in case of fire? Is there any musty smell that may indicate mould?
npl - May 22, 2012 02:11 PM (GMT)
JRK - thanks for all the local info! I think I'm probably too late for Flamingo, unless something has changed in the last few years. When I was looking for ds2, they were full in Feb!
The info about in-home centres is just what I was looking for! I actually have a friend who runs an in-home centre, and has space for the summer, which would be ideal. But, knowing her personally I'm not totally confident in her skills. She's such a sweet, caring and trusting person, but there's another aspect to her that gives me warning signals that I can't substantiate. I can go with my gut instinct with her daycare, but not on others I don't know.
JRKmommy - May 22, 2012 11:17 PM (GMT)
You can try Flamingo - I think that they were doing registration later than normal because of the revamped curriculum. Eliana enjoyed it.
Lubavitch Leaning Centre (at Chabad Gate) has a 1/2 day nursery program as well, that we used with Jessica.
The Chabad Gate program has more families that are actually Lubavitch, as well as more that are frum but not Lubavitch, than the Flamingo program, although both programs will take kids from non-observant backgrounds.
Associated has a Mini-Mentch and Beyond program for her age group:http://www.associatedhebrewschools.com/abo...ams/mini-mensch
npl - May 22, 2012 11:46 PM (GMT)
We're seeing the Lubavitch Learning Centre program tomorrow - it's now at the BAYT, and a friend has been very happy sending two kids there. I have the feeling I'll find more of a "chevra" there, but I think Chabad in general does a good job of supporting all levels of commitment within their programs.
Left a message for Chabad@Flamingo. The secretary thought there might be some spaces. I had also heard rumours of a revamped curriculum, which I'm looking forward to hearing about it. If it's easily walkable, that would be a huge plus!
Of course, Associated is the closest, but not sure if it will have the focus I'm looking for - it's on my list of programs to look into!
npl - May 23, 2012 02:22 PM (GMT)
So, the program I saw today is very basic in terms of facilities and supplies, but warm and nurturing. When I arrived, the teachers were sitting on the floor, playing with the kids. DD was not nearly as shy or clingy as I expected - she was happy to look around the room and find something to play with, if I stayed nearby. I think she picked up on the calm and warm atmosphere.
I think dd would be happy enough there, and if the other programs don't seem better, then I'll send her to this one.
I'm feeling a lot less nervous about it all, now that I saw a place, and I've seen how dd has suddenly matured in the last few weeks.
Chavelamomela - May 23, 2012 02:45 PM (GMT)
The fact that the teachers were on the floor playing with the kids sounds a lot more important in my mind than to sparse facilities - as long as the space is safe and clean, even the most basic place w. a loving provider is better than a more well-stocked program with teachers that keep their distance.
npl - May 23, 2012 04:16 PM (GMT)
chavi - that was my thought, too.
If the place I'm seeing tomorrow has, in fact, developed a montessori curriculum, and I feel they will run it well, then that will be a vote in it's favor (along with being walkable in decent weather) but it is significantly more expensive.