So if you are reading this blog post you are considering opening up a part time preschool program in your community. I'm thinking you have probably thought this through you are already past the soul searching stage and you are ready to get started but you're not exactly sure where to start.
Opening a part time preschool is not going to be an overnight deal. You have to begin with asking yourself questions; A LOT of questions! You need to write these questions down. Here are a few of the questions you need to be asking yourself and researching the answers to.
I hope that my post is helping to walk you through the steps that you are going to need to take to start your own preschool. I know that I can't get too specific with you because they don't know where you live an every state is going to be different the specific rules sat by each state differ so greatly that all I can do is give you a general outline of some of the questions you're going to need to find the answers to to help you get started on your business plan. I hope that this post was able to help you get the ball rolling and give you some ideas of questions you needed to be asking yourself and finding the answer to. I would be happy to answer any questions you have please feel free to reach out.
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11. Make Rings
12. Make Finger Puppets
13. Staple a small paper with a number written on it, on top of a pipe cleaner, have children add the correct number of beads to the pipe cleaner.
14. Make funky glasses to wear for the day.
15. Form pipe cleaners into circles and play ring toss! Toss onto an empty paper towel tube.
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The need for quality Early Childhood Education is needed in many places throughout the country and even the world. The center for American Progress states that in Wyoming with more than 65% of households having both parents working outside of the home it has become incredibly important for families to have options that are affordable, high quality and programs that will effectively prepare there children to enter into kindergarten and to succeed.
When a child receives positive early learning experiences this leads to healthy growth and development in all areas, and helps to lay the foundation in which all other education is based upon. Thus making Early childhood education incredibly important to the development of every child. Unfortunately this crucial time period, the first five years of a child’s life is often overlooked by people outside of the education profession.
The Instructional foundations for kindergarten summary report released by the Wyoming Department if Education states that only 52% of kindergartners had a kindergarten readiness level of “proficient”. Students who start behind, stay behind, and mostly likely will never catch up. The only way to improve this is to better prepare our students before they enter into kindergarten, meaning we need more quality preschools for our children under the age of 5.
Statistically before the age of five Children's brains, their personalities and their intellect are 85% developed, this according to the Wyoming Department of Education. Children who grow up in home with parents whom are less educated will them selves by 18 months already fall behind their peers with better educated households. It has been discovered that to produce the highest return on the dollar comparing it to all other investments we receive the highest return from early childhood education. Not higher education and job training, this proving the need for quality and wide spread affordable Early childhood education experiences for our children between birth and five years.
Wyoming Kids First mission is “To lead a public-private partnership in the development of an accessible and sustainable, high-quality early childhood system that supports communities and families.” (Wyokidsfirst.org,2018) The vision of the group is to make sure that all children in Wyoming live and learn in safe environments. Environments that will help them to succeed not only in school but in their futures. This agency has a broad reach over the state Of Wyoming, they are aware of all the programs and personnel in the state. They are already advocates and fight for change to early childhood education within the state. They would be a great source of knowledge for an advocate, they can put you in touch with others in the community who are already fighting for such change as well as help to navigate the path of being a new advocate.
Early Learning in Wyoming: 2017 (Publication). (n.d.). Retrieved June 25, 2018, from Center for American Progress website: https://cdn.americanprogress.org/content/uploads/2017/07/19101219/2017ECFS_WY.pdf
Wyoming Department of Education (2009) Instructional Foundations for Kindergarten Summary.
http://wyokidsfirst.org/ Retrieved June 29th,2018
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It is normal to change things in the classroom over the years. Your classroom grows and changes with you. You take on new stuff, you purge old things. The classroom is ever changing (if you are doing your job right) as you learn as a teacher, everything about your teaching style, your curriculum, you classroom routine, changes. Change is good! Change is FUN!
I am FINALLY painting my classroom after 7 years of the same color, and I am so excited. Not so much about the actual painting part...but about the change. I am almost done painting, and even after finishing just the first coat of paint on the first wall, I knew the room was brighter and better. I knew the parents and the kids were going to love it!
As I paint, I am taking things down off the walls, keeping, storing and purging. I am getting reorganized and prepared for a new school year and a new classroom. Even a new me, I am taking all of the new things I have learned through my students and applying them to how I want my classroom to look and run next school year.
Many of my students next year are returning students. I have read so many things through out my years as an Early childhood student and teacher. That children need consistency, don't make major changes to the classroom, it unsettles the children. My students have come to learn change is good, they kind of have to. Throughout the school year we do change things. The room has to fit the children in the room. What works for last years students wont work for this years and sometimes things change month to month, week to week or day to day. Our classroom evolves with the children in the room. It changes with their interests. It changes when there are issues and two activities are not working well in close proximity. There are so many reasons for change. Yes, it does take some adjusting on everyone's parts, but that is OK. We are teaching our students that change can be good, and showing them the proper way to handle and deal with change. So I say, go forth and create some change in your classroom, help it to fit and work for the people in the room!
As a teacher you know one of the most important and stressful times in a parents life can be choosing the right school for their child. This post is about the best way to support them as they are on the search for a quality program for their child.
1. Make them feel welcome. Invite them in! I am not big on scheduling visits, but then again I own the school and make my own rules. If you are in a school that requires a parent to pre-schedule, then so be it! Invite them in, they want to see you at work. Show them attention answer their questions, listen to them, but keep working to show you know what the heck you are doing!
2. Don't be fake! Be yourself! You cannot fool a parent! Also, lets be real, if you have to fake being a nice person, WHY ARE YOU TEACHING PRESCHOOL?!?
3. Realize that you are not everyone's cup of tea, and that is OK. Tell them about your self, give them some background. Tell them why you are a teacher. Give them your teaching philosophy, goals, or mission right there in person!
4. Make sure to give any literature your school hands out, Business cards, brochures, and a website or Facebook page for them to look at.
5. TALK TO THEIR CHILD! Ask the child to join your class, ask the child questions, show an interest in the child! You should honestly be interested in this child! You both need to feel each other out.
6. If only one parent can make it, let them know you would be happy to meet with the other parent, when he or she has the time.
7. Show them around your classroom, point out the areas where they can find parent information.
8. Give them a run down of everything you do in class, whats the class schedule?
9. Show them your teaching credentials, if you don't have a notebook of your training's and certificates, you need to make one NOW!
10. Ask them to feel free to contact you personally if they have any questions after they leave. Coming to a new place can be overwhelming with all that is going on. They may think of something they were meaning to ask after they leave. Let them know its ok, it happens and you WANT them to contact you if they think of something.
11. Take their information. Send a follow up email, Thanking them for coming in and again extending the opportunity for them to call if they have anymore questions.
Good luck! Meeting new parents is parent of running, owning or being a preschool teacher. This is something that has to, and will be done all year long. Some people hear about you and get such a solid recommendation that by the time they make it to visit you they want paperwork to sign up! Others just found you online or on a list of preschools, either way, be prepared!
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In my first few years of teaching preschool I did not do a graduation ceremony. About 5 years ago a parent said to me "please do a ceremony, I'll pay for it." She really wanted to see that moment, she wanted pictures. I went home to reflect and ultimately decided to do a ceremony. I of course did not have her pay for it, but I did however charge parents a small fee to help pay for the cost of a location and the gowns. I believe the fee was $15. While this fee did not cover everything, it did help offset the cost. Every year I pay around $80-$150 for the location and any other supplies needed.
I have done the ceremony, outdoors in a local park with and end of the year picnic, at the local library and the botanic gardens.
We ordered our caps and gowns from AlphabetU.com, I actually ordered these after doing light research on the quality. We were absolutely please with the product, and then a year or two after ordering we were in LA for the NAEYC conference and Alphabet u had a booth at the conference. The representatives in the booth let us know that Alphabet u, color matches each fabric. So if you order some one year and end up needing more 5 years later, they will match in color! The have quite an extensive selection of graduation supplies. It's a great catalog to start having be sent to your school.
We keep our caps and gowns for reuse. We wash and steam them every year before we use them again. We do give the parents the option to buy the cap or gown if they so choose. We give each child their tassel on their hat as a keep sake. So we have to order tassels every year. But the cost is really not to bad.
Depending on the kids in the room we do something fun, like sing a song to the parents, dance down the isle, etc. nothing elaborate. I let the kids decide, we make it all about them!
Give a speech, thank the children, thank the parents for their support. Call their names and have them come up to receive their diploma and give them a hug!
Make sure to leave lots of time to chat with parents and take pictures!
Sometime I do a slideshow for parents to watch as they are taking there seats, I on'y do this if we are in a space that has a projector.
The most important thing is to plan what you are comfortable planning and plan for something that will make the kids happy. This is there moment, they should be in on all the decision making!
Abby Lazarus M.Ed.
Over 13 years in the ECE profession. A bachelors in Child Development and a Masters in Early Childhood Studies.