preschoolers

Making Sense of the Preschool Search

preschool search

Your child is one or two and you’re starting to think about preschools. (Ack! But they were just a tiny infant!! )

While we can’t stop time, we can help you get started in the search to find a preschool that matches your priorities.

Here’s one way to get a handle on the options and develop your plan.

  1. Explore the app, Winnie.

  2. Go to Preschool Preview Night (9/19)

  3. Attend Starting the Preschool Search (an online workshop) (9/24)

  4. Revisit Winnie.

It’s worth taking a look at the app, Winnie, before you head to Preschool Preview Night, so you know which tables you’d like to visit at the event. Without a mental roadmap, the preschool preview night event can feel a little overwhelming.

Once you have your list of 5-10 schools, jot down the application process. Every school is different. Some require you to attend an overview, some ask for an interview first, and others lead group tours. Almost all of them start in September/October. Generally speaking, applications tend to be due in December/January and letters go out in April/May.

Best of luck!

Preschool Preview Night - Sept 19, 6:30pm

 

Attend Preschool Preview Night 2019, an all-in-one evening for parents of upcoming preschoolers and kindergarteners, hosted by Golden Gate Mothers Group.

  • Meet and talk with representatives from 70+ local preschools and kindergartens.

  • Get the answers you need to questions about philosophies, costs, schedules, pre-admissions visits and more.

  • Meet representatives from a diverse group of family-focused organizations and learn about their services, and products.

  • Babysitting available onsite! Babysitting will be limited to children who are walking AND at least 1 year old.

Starting The Preschool Search (online workshop) - Sept 24, 7:30pm

 

Got preschool on the brain? Many parents are baffled when faced with the search for the perfect preschool. Play based or academic? Montessori, Reggio, or Waldorf? Does getting into the "right" preschool really guarantee a spot in the "right" kindergarten, ensuring a straight path to an ivy league education? What's the difference between a preschool and a daycare and is one better than the other? Whoo! No pressure!

Join Aki Raymer, MA (www.parentingpaths.com) to explore all of these questions and more. Expect to walk away from the class with a clearer understanding of different educational philosophies, what to look for when touring schools, and what to expect once you begin the application process.

All proceeds go to support the Recess collective. Suggested donation $25-50. Add on any amount to the base rate below.

Use Winnie

 

Enter your zip code and watch the map populate with all of the preschools in your area. Once you narrow down your preschool criteria, you can use Winnie to identify the schools that match what you’re looking for. This app will allow you to search by philosophy, location, price, schedule and so much more. Visit the site.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, or if you’d like more info. hello@recesscollective.org

Preparing for Preschool

Navigating the first year as a parent is no easy feat.  And then all of a sudden, you're faced with thinking about preschools, the beginnings of your child's educational journey, which can feel totally daunting!  

Luckily there are a variety of great resources to assist you in your search.  Here are our tips for an informed, but not crazy-making, search.  

START WITH A LITTLE BACKGROUND RESEARCH.

First, it's worth doing a little (emphasis on little) general research to narrow down your choices.

  • Location: Between home and work is often best
  • Schedule: Do you need part time, full time, how many hours?
  • Fees: What is the family budget for child care?
  • Philosophy: What type of program will be the best fit for your child, given who they are?

As you start to consider which school philosophies seem like the best fit for your child's personality, check out this article for a quick glance at the various approaches --there's Montessori, Reggio Emilio, Waldorf, PlayBased, Academic, and more.  

This overview from the folks at Winnie is phenomenal and will give you an overall perspective on the search, cost and options. 

 

ATTEND PRESCHOOL PREVIEW NIGHT

(this year, it's hosted by GGMG at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park on Thursday, September 28, 5:30-7:30pm). This event can feel a bit chaotic, as it's typically super busy and there is a wealth of information under one roof.  We recommend checking out the list of schools who will be at the event ahead of time, and then narrowing down your MUST VISIT school list to 4 or 6 schools.  

As you visit your top schools, you can get the answers you need to more specific questions about philosophies, costs, schedules, pre-admission visits and more. You'll also have an opportunity to meet and talk with parents, preschool directors and other representatives to get a feel for the school and whether it meshes with what you're looking for.

 

START SCHEDULING TOURS & ATTENDING OPEN HOUSES. 

Once you've narrowed down your top choices, schedule open houses or tours or orientations, depending on the school's process.  Asking questions to assess whether or not each school is a right fit for your little one is important.  Here are some things to think about as you meet administration and parents from each school.  

 

WHAT TO DO IN THE MEANTIME?

While you are busy identifying and scoping out the right schools, help your child begin to develop familiarity with a drop-off environment, socializing with peers and, discovering interests.

The Precess Program at Recess is a great resource for establishing the foundational skills needed for a successful transition to Preschool.  Precess, taught by Nicki McGrath, has been an amazing precursor (and even alternative) to preschool for many children over the years.  Learn More

A Peek into Our Precess Program

A Peek Into Precess

The fundamental goal of our small pre-preschool program is to provide a foundation for a love of learning and enrich your child's social and emotional skills.  If you are looking for a pre-preschool program, or a program to supplement a part time program, look no further!  Fall Session Begins September 11.

We do so many fun activities each week...many of which you could re-create at home.  Here's one of our favorites, tie-dying bandanas!

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Tie dying bandanas is an exciting art activity that also helps with fine motor skills and color awareness. The best part is that no matter how you choose to color the fabric, it always looks brilliant when it's finished! 

White bandanas cost about $1 each and tie dye kits with 3 colors including 3 pairs of gloves and rubber bands cost $2.99-3.99 at Michaels or Flax. 

To begin, kids take their bandana and scrunch it into a tight ball. Then they need a little help placing the first rubber band around it. Kids should be able to then put 2 or 3 more rubber bands into their ball without help (or more even!). Then kids put on the plastic gloves; don't worry about fitting fingers in, they will be big and that's okay.

Kids can take turns with each bottle squirting dye onto their bandana and also watch their friends. Afterward put them in the washer and rinse them before drying them in a dryer. The next day children can see what their bandannas ended up looking like! They can wear them on their heads, neck, legs, or use them as a blankie for a baby doll. This is definitely one of our favorite activities in Precess. 


About The Program

Precess is a small drop-off program, for children 2.5-4 years old, to explore and discover through hands-on, sensory rich, play-based experiences. Each day, we start out with free play in Recess' expansive indoor playspace. Then we move on to share a snack and a story together. Learning and fun continue as we explore science experiments, create artwork, and play movement games. Through these varied activities, children learn following directions, working together, routine, and other key skills for learning success.

In Precess, we strive to create a warm and welcoming space for individualized learning through play, stories, songs, and art. Paired with the diverse playspace, Precess Kids is all about creating a unique learning environment that supports the development of young children.  

LEARN MORE and visit: www.recess-sf.com/precess

Toddlers in the Kitchen - Sign up now

Can Toddlers Really Cook?!  

What do you actually do in Toddler Chefs? 

We really do cook!

Here's how each class is structured.  We begin each day with a "taste test." Every child smells, feels, tastes, and learns about each ingredient in the day's recipe.

Our chefs then take turns chopping, pouring, mixing, blending, rolling, mashing... all the steps needed to prepare the food for the stove or oven. Teacher Carissa usually handles the "cooking" portion of the class, while our little chefs take a break with blocks and puzzles.

When are food is ready, it's time for the best part - eating our creations!  


Benefits of early exposure to cooking 

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  • In class, we chop, mix, blend, stir, crack, pour, and shake our ingredients together.  All of these activities develop hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills.  These are skills that are important for tying shoes, hand writing and typing.

  • Exposure to new tastes, textures and smells.

  • Especially with food, it's incredible to watch a toddler's openness to trying new things when they see other children trying new things too!  

  • Children who play a key part of the cooking process have a boosted confidence and pride when enjoying the final product.   

  • You'll gain strategies for involving your child in the cooking process at home (they really can do SO much!).

  • You'll learn fun, simple, quick recipes to can recreate at home. 

  • Lay the foundation for preschool and beyond through the classroom format of this class.  Your child will begin to practice listening to a teacher, sitting for extended periods of time, taking turns, practicing patience, interacting with peers... and more!


Some of our favorite creations so far: 

  • Pesto sauce with noodles
  • Banana oat bars
  • Funny face pizzas
  • Fruity smoothies
  • Hummus and crackers
  • Quesadillas with guacamole
  • Fried rice
  • Veggie tostadas
  • Lettuce wraps

 

AUGUST CLASSES BEGIN 8/7.  

Tiny Toddler Chefs, 18-30mo, Mondays at 9:30am,
and Toddler Chefs, 2.5-4yrs, Mondays at 4pm. 

Cost:  $100 for the 4 week series (includes play before/after each class)
Members SAVE up to 25%!