Topic: Doing away with pre k...

Hey ladies NC has now set up requirements for pre k. If your family doesn't fit these requirements you will have to pay a copayment that may range from $4000 to 16000 just for your child to attend. Is pre k an important part of getting children ready for school or is it not that important. To me even though daycare can teach a child many things pre k is in the "school" so to me it actually prepares them. I'm not sure how other states are going with pre k. But I wish it didn't make such a big change. Even though Aiden has a few more years before he starts school I'm just so worried that them doing away with pre k might nor be a good idea.

Some requirements is parents have to be active duty in military.
Parents must have some type of learning disability.
Parents have to make $19, 500 a year for a 3 family income, and there are other requirements.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

Before I give my thoughts, just curious about where/when this was announced. Can you provide a link? We are also in NC. I am honestly unfamiliar with current or future Pre-K requirements for Pre-K. As a SAHM, I likely wouldn't access it and have considered homeschooling. However, Pre-K was very important to me when I was in NJ.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

I am in Oregon and pre-k is not in our schools, parents have to pay out of pocket for it. To answer your question - YES, it is important. It teaches children social skills, teaches them how to express and handle their emotions, it teaches the alphabet, letter sounds, counting, number, basic science skills, and so much more.  I teach pre-k right now, in the past I have taught Kindergarten - you can tell which kids had a pre-k experience and which did not. 

In Oregon if you want free Pre-K you have to qualify for Head Start, granted Head Start can take a small percentage of over income families, the demand is very high for families who do actually qualify and often there isn't room for a family whose income is over.

Right now I pay $760/month for preschool, next year for Pre-K it will be $933/month.

That is just my take on it, from my teaching experience.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

That seems strange. Here in California they are working on making PreK available to all, and many Free or nearly free programs have cropped up over the years. Many studies have been done advocating for the critical importance and social learning that preschool can be for children. The children who begin Kindergarten without a Preschool experience may end up a bit behind on the bell curve when it comes to socialization. It's the chance to give your child a very positive first school experience and lots of PLAY....especially since Kindergarten has changed so much in it's rigor and focus.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

Texas is the same as Annerbones described. I thought I'd keep Kate "home" with me much longer than I did. But when Kate was just 20 months A went back to her pre school that Fall and Kate looked at me like "where's my entertainment?". If I hadn't been working it would have been different but I was and it has proven to be the best thing we ever did. She will be in her last year of pre K next year (though she is in Montessori so it is grouped by the same grades as traditional schools). She has 2 more years at this school and then will likely continue in private Montessori schools. Assuming I can continue to afford it. Next year she'll stay for a full day (8:15-2:45) and with our 50% scholarship I will pay just over $4000. It just keeps going up after that too!  I really cannot imagine sending my child to preschool by the age of 3 or 4 even if I had the luxury of staying at home. I feel it is very important.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

I'm from NC too smile

Most daycares provide pre-k for not much more than you would be paying for care. From my understanding, the pre-k programs they are talking about are the ones that are subsidized in one way or another. When the twins were younger, I tried to enroll them in the school run pre-k. S had an IEP which in the past automatically gave him a spot. In the past, they would also allow a twin automatic entrance if one qualified. Neither of my kids got in because there were so many applicants. Children from low income homes, homes with non-english speaking and children with moderate to severe delays were given the spots. S was placed on a waiting list, but was never called.

Since they were denied through the pre-k program, I applied for the More at Four program which also looked at childrens needs, but there were many more sites and more emphasis was placed on financial levels. Since at that time I was only working part time, they were both accepted and had a great school year. The More at Four program was almost completely cut the year after the twins went. The current pre-k program has been given an overhaul like you mention.

But, there are other options. M is in a daycare now that offers pre-k. I work full time so there is no way I qualify for any program now. It will cost slightly more than I pay now, but nowhere near the prices you stated.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

As Shanny said, we don't have free pre-k here in Texas, either. (Or in Utah where we're moving next month, where kindergarten is actually also absurdly expensive for working parents, but this thread isn't about that.)

I pay $587 per month per child for pre-k, and I'm so lucky that I could find it at that price. The child care center is considered a  benefit of my job. It is run by my school district and is only for children of district employees.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

I think pre-k is important because today's pre-k is what our kindergarten was.  Kindergarten is the new first grade.  Everything has shifted down, and the child who enters K not knowing their letters, numbers, how to socialize and stand in line, sit on the floor for circle time, and some of the other routines is already behind.  That said, there are a lot of part time programs that would provide those basic skills without a child having to be in preschool full time.

J&J's daycare provides preschool for 3, 4, and 5 year olds and it's included in the daycare cost ($145/week).  One school I teach at has three preschool classes.  One is for kids at risk and is free.  The other two are through a private company and it costs $160/week ($250 if you include before & after care) and have excellent teachers and curriculum.  I wish I could afford to have my kids go there.

The other school I teach at provides half-day pre-k and half-day K for all community members (all the other programs are full-day).  It's kind of all over the place. 

I read an interesting article the other week in the NY Times titled No Rich Child Left Behind which was about how the wealthy could afford such luxuries as good preschools so their kids were already better off entering school and the divide just keeps broadening from there.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

I also, think pre-k is important. We will do Montessori pre-k which averages about $1800 a month for the twins, plus the cost of our nany to get them afterschool. We have a nanny but plan on doing music lessons, Spanish lessons, and more cultural awareness before they start pre-k.

Re: Doing away with pre k...

I think it depends on the kid and your lifestyle whether or not PreK is necessary.  If you teach your child at home and you are the kind of people who learn through fun experiences and you find social outlets for your kids then they should be fine skipping preschool and going to Kindergarten.  My oldest would have been fine doing so.  I think the only thing that she would have had to adjust to would be a full day at school and being tired.  Our free PreK is only 3 hours a day and then Kindergarten is a full school day so she will have been eased into it.
If your child has social issues and/or isn't learning letters, numbers, colors, shapes and at least the beginning of simple reading, math and science at home then I think they would struggle.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/ … inary.html

I also believe iys important. I had no idea that other states had to pay. It makes it hard for single parents or low income families that are a little over the income threshold. The daycare Aiden attends is wonderful. But it'd not really a school setting as it's more playing and having fun.  Saralee this topic is not really getting put out there as it should be. But I had no idea other states had to pay.

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12 (edited by telly 2013-05-07 17:16:38)

Re: Doing away with pre k...

Coryandamanda I agree also with that. I guess its just I feel it's important because me and all my sisters attended pre k and I was looking foward to sending him there too. It also gets them ready for the real deal.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

There's no free pre-k here in Canada.  And with only one pre-k option in my small town, which is stupidly expensive, not many kids go. In fact, I know for a fact there are 4 kids in the morning group and 5 in the afternoon for pre-k in our town.  And yet about 100 kids for kindergarten each year.  I have to jump the other side bandwagon and say that I don't think pre-k is that important.  Between daycare, play groups and other activities, I think kids get lots of socialization.  But, maybe because it is no uncommon to have pre-k in my area, our kindergarten program may be different to help ease kids in differently.

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14

Re: Doing away with pre k...

Goobie, I want to move to where you live!
No, seriously, I hate the American education system and we are really contemplating how it will be possible to something completely different. Kids aren't ready for academics at 4, and I hate the idea of preschool. Now, I will add that we live in a very white suburban rich community with mostly either sahm or nannies. Preschool around here,  all the way up to kindergarten, is only 3 hours a couple of times a week. If its more than that it's daycare.
Studies have shown, however, that preschool is very beneficial to a lot of at risk kids, which is why it's so frustrating the way our system is set up! The "rich kids" benefit a small amount from the programs their parents will pay for, and the "poor kids" who would benefit immensely instead get cut and get nothing. It's no wonder there is such a huge gap in abilities and potential for success even by the time they hit kindergarten.
I really don't understand how there could have been study after study done to show how education can and should be done right, and our country continues to do pretty much the exact opposite! ...... Anyway, sorry to get up on my soapbox there! We are currently trying to figure out what to do for E for the fall and just cannot decide. We would be thrilled to find a program that was three hours of free play every day and no academics. That would be our ideal. But that doesn't exist. Everyone has to push pre-academic skills these days. Ugh!

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

We have pre-k here in Illinois , Ty is 3 and i pay $200 a month for 5 days a week 2 1/2 hours a day through out local park district .The school he will be going to for kindergarten has a pre-k program that is run on grants , I had him tested and he placed above average , but because I am a single mom, he has no father in his life , an my dad (his grandpa) is about to pass away , he qualified to get in . They will bus him to and from my driveway every day and it is totally free. They did let me know that he can be removed from the program if a child that is "at risk" needs a spot . For this reason I am keeping him in the pre-k he is in but only 2 days a week since one is in the morning and the other is in the afternoon so that if he does get taken from the program I can still put him back in full time at the other !!
I have to say , Ty is extremely smart but he NEEDS the structure he gets from school , he has been going since he was 2 and it was the best thing I could have ever done for him.

Re: Doing away with pre k...

I'm in Oregon too and all Pre-K's are private. I did not know they were public anywhere. I guess we do have like Head Start.  I believe Pre K is extremely important & pay around $500 a month for 3 days a week. It takes me 45-minute loop just to drop off & then again go pick up or Z would go 5-days a week. I also have paid for his to attend Pre K all summer since 2. I actually am stopping though at the end of this school year just because I hate the drive but mostly to save some extra. He'll be in many summer programs though including a small summer school for kids. I'm hoping & planning on R attending preschool come September. I've felt VERY guilty he is not already in something. Just turned 3 a few weeks ago after seeing how much Z has gained but it was just not possible. Every place was full or had requirements like he had to be 3.  Anyways the cost is well worth it to me. I can't imagine not sending the boys to Pre K

Re: Doing away with pre k...

I have a strong bias against the over-"schooling" (versus learning & growing) of kids, so take this with a grain of salt.

My professional opinion - pre-k is only "needed" for homes that are culturally different than the culture of school (ie deficient according to what the state/schools deem important). I put "needed" in quotes because I don't agree that it's necessary, but it's true that is the group that will benefit the most to learn the culture of school and then be able to meet those expectations for the rest of their years trudging through the system.

In homes where reading is important, where adults have time to talk to kids and have meaningful interactions, where kids go places, do things (structured and not), where kids gain a variety of life experiences - pre-k is not necessary. These kids already have pre-academic skills. They have been immersed in the culture of school since birth.

Kids with developmental delays or other specific special needs do benefit greatly, since early intervention is crucial - but that ideally starts long, long before pre-k and isn't applicable to typically developing kids.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

Jack is in an all day, 5 day a week play based preschool that doubles for childcare. I visited 14 preschools before moving him from his daycare at just 3 yrs old to this school. Obviously we both work so he would have to be somewhere all day. He also has a February birthday and will be 5.5 when he starts kinder in the fall. I think this topic is interesting because, last fall, we were wondering if he needed more academic instruction versus playing all day and we contemplated moving him for his last year of prek....we wondered this because he started to express strong desires to read, but was not interested (or we weren't patient enough) in us teaching him. We bought different reading tools and incorporated weekly rather than monthly library visits, etc. but we wanted help with the actual phonetic teaching in a fun, group setting...a more academic preschool...even though, up to this point, I was adamently opposed to those very settings. thankfully we did not make the decision to move him. He is blossoming right where he is. However, when he tested to get in to the kindergarten he will be attending in the fall he was off the charts in most areas, all except for phonetic sounding....which we knew he wasn't getting at school. Socially he is very well adjusted ( if not a little bit overly knowledgeable about power rangers, and Other things learned from big boys at preschool). It's hard for me to imagine what he would be like with no preschool...if he had stayed at his daycare with 6 kids, two of them always infants...

I'm just sort of rambling with no real point except to say that I think preschool, done with the intent of enhancing the wonder of the 3-4-5 year old, is an experience worth giving every child.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

My kids' pre-k is mostly play, a lot of art, and yes, those horrible academics. They know letters and numbers and couldn't be prouder. They love it. I think it's reasonable to think your own child might not be ready at 4, but some just are, and they thrive on learning.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

I too have subjected my child to the horrors of preschool. She is starting to read and GASP just the other day when we were using our rain barrel she said she would "stand behind me and wait patiently because that is what you do". I don't think a blanket about kids not being ready for academics at four is at all accurate. This is based solely on the fact that I am parenting an actual four year old who is indeed ready and interested in academics.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

K&H a lot of us who run daycares in this area do SOME academics with the kids, at their own pace.  For example, today we were outside playing, and I grabbed a piece of sidewalk chalk and wrote all the kids names, then we spelled them out loud together.  We work with numbers, colours, shapes and letters, but all in a play based setting, so you CAN find daycare like that (even if it means you have to move here and bring E to me!)

I may be the unpopular one for this, but I am all about play based settings and am not a fan of the Montessouri academic style at all.  To me, that is too much for a small child.  And that is the only preschool our area has, is a Montessouri one.  And the only kids that are in it are Drs and lawyers kids who have nannies.  Being proud of learning how to spell their name at 3 is awesome, its the rigid scheduling I have a personal problem with.  I'm all about routine, not schedule.  BUT, let me also add that the only preschool in town is owned and run by my ex husbands wife smile

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

We do have lots of pre-k options here.  Because we live in a mostly poor, at-risk city, 4K is when kids start going to full-time school here.  There are also lots of 3K options that are the same price as full time daycare.  Our daycare doesn't have a pre-k program so we will be entering him into pre-K.  That means this fall I have to start applications and tours to get him into some of the more coveted schools in the neighborhood.

I don't think kids need pre-k to do well in school.  Neither I or my siblings went to pre-K.  We had a mom who taught us things (I could read before I went to kindegarten). I was socialized in Sunday School and "library school" (story hour with extended activity time).  And, we all excelled in school.

Re: Doing away with pre k...

Goobie - you'll need to redo your research into Montessori (not Montessouri) because there is absolutely nothing "scheduled" about it. It is the exact opposite and when people mispeak like this it really adds to all of the misconceptions about Montessori.

Sorry OP for the off topic curve here smile

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

I don't have much to add but am reading all of the responses because H is going to be ready for preschool in the blink of an eye. He already knows all of his capital letters and numbers up to 30 (sorry if that sounds like I'm bragging!), and because we are both teachers, I think it just happens that we teach him stuff at home everyday. He spends his time away from us with his grandparents who take him to libraries, museums, etc. everyday, but I am worried about his socialization. Preschools around here are private, too, so we're not sure how to choose. They're all expensive!

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

Laney goes to preschool 2 days per wk right now. We would have kept her in this setting next school yr as well but she has a speech delay. She has been receiving services and would have normally started our state based pre k program in the public schools at 4. We just had another speech evaluation done last wk to see if she qualifies for an extra yr if pre k (3 hrs a day with transportation provided but this mama isn't putting her 3 yr old on a bus!!). We find out Monday if she qualifies which I believe she will. Though maybe it might not be ideal for everyone, I am thankful for the opportunity to help her catch up in her speech.

Re: Doing away with pre k...

Shanny wrote:

Goobie - you'll need to redo your research into Montessori (not Montessouri) because there is absolutely nothing "scheduled" about it. It is the exact opposite and when people mispeak like this it really adds to all of the misconceptions about Montessori.

Sorry OP for the off topic curve here smile


Oops, its that Canadian thing to throw extra U's into words smile

I cannot speak for all Montessori schools, just the one in our area, and it is almost militant in its scheduling.  I will freely admit my research is pretty limited to the only preschool option in my area, and that I have not looking into the program as a whole as it is not relevant for my life.  I am glad to hear not all are as rigid as the one here.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

I am so on the fence about preschool with Olivia, and she will be 3 in July. There is a lot I like about the idea, and a lot I don't.  We only have ONE Montessori school in the area (which would be my choice) but it is FIVE days a week...I think most if not all of the day from what I can tell.  I am absolutely not interested in that.

I want to find a 2-3 hour 2/3 times per week program for her. So far, based on my interested I've not found it yet.  Around here it seems the most popular option is all day day-care, and I've seen several MDO programs, that I'm not necessarily interested in either.

It's frusturating!

Re: Doing away with pre k...

Goobie wrote:

Oops, its that Canadian thing to throw extra U's into words smile

not just canadian, though!  my dad was british, and i remember failing a spelling bee at my elementary school here in america because i spelled the word color "colour."  it was correct according to what i'd been taught at home.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

Yes! Horton! Exactly!!!

Around here everything is worksheets, science lessons, and achieving. Drives me nutty!
Horton, thank you for taking the time to write all that out, that's it in a nutshell.

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Re: Doing away with pre k...

Here in Michigan we have free pre-school in Head Start and in the school system...But like others to get in you have to qualify in certain areas..income,special needs ect...If you don't qualify your kid can still go to the school based one if there is an opening when all others are admitted and you have to pay a certain amount a week...

I can't really speak for the the public school preschool program but I teach for Head Start...As far as academics go we really spend a lot of time teaching letter reconigtion,letter sounds,colors and number reconigtion 1-10.. Most of the day is actually play based if you can believe it...lol not rigid at all..But fast small increments...

8:30-9:30 children arrive..we have 2 bus runs..They actually get some free play here..I set up learning tables they can choose from in the am..art,Ipads,puzzles, small activities...sometimes I take them outside even..

9:30-10:00..Breakfast/brush teeth

10:00-10:25..Large group..this is when they go over the letter sounds,numbers,daily rules,weather ect..

10:25-11:10 Choice time..This is when they get free choice..Art Easel,art table,block centers,Ipads,sensory tables ect..they get to choose their activities..I always have paint,chalk ect...out..Always a art activity pertaining to the theme that week..this weeks was eyes on the sky..I had them chalk stars on black construction paper...

11:10-11:30 outside play

11:30-11:45 small group..this is when we do journals,play board games,small experiments ect...

11:45-12:00 bathroom/wash for lunch

12:00-12:30 lunch

12:30-1:00 Music time on the carpet then a story to settle down a bit...

1:00-1:30 Relax on cots and listen to relaxing music and Ms..Sheila tell you stories with their names in them(loves them)

1:30-1:45 Prepare to go home and go outside to play until the busses arrive

2:00..Board busses and go home.


So while we do it fast  we keep it light and fun...But we have a theme every week..I wish it would go to every two weeks so we could have more fun with it...

Lindsay xx

Re: Doing away with pre k...

Oh  yeah, our preschool does most of its' teaching through art and music.  They do simple cooking and science projects that the kids LOVE.  The only worksheets are a couple they send home in a folder each Friday.  If the kid wants to do them, great, if not they say not to make them.  My kid loves them most of the time and asks for extra but that is just her personality.  One of the main things we wanted when we chose our top choices for Kindergarten were that they had Art, Music, PE and some other programs that they had no plans of cutting.

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32 (edited by Ibelieve 2013-05-09 05:49:48)

Re: Doing away with pre k...

It has been fascinating to read about all the different options there are depending on what state you live in. I grew up in Australia where Kindergarten is for 3 and 4 year olds and children can start school at 4 3/4 years of age but can start as late as 6. In Australia 4 year kinder is funded by the government with the aim that all children and families that want to attend will be able to so I believe about 95% of children will go to kinder the year before they go to school. Most kinders are only 15 hours a week and it will depend on the kinder whether that is made up of whole days or half days and so for parents who work they often have to send their child to kinder and to daycare to cover the hours of child care that they need. Some child care centers will run a kinder program for 4 year olds in their care to help parents who work too. Most of their curriculum is play based and the only time you generally see worksheets is when they are helping the children to get ready to transition to school. They still learn their ABCs, etc but it is done incidentally in their play rather than a teacher 'teaching' them with flash cards, etc.
I am a big believer in letting children be children and letting them learn through play and their own interests so I would try to choose somewhere that has those beliefs and values for Zayden.

*oh and on the adding the 'u' lol. Australians generally follow British English so I grew up spelling color - colour and favorite was favourite, etc. It took me a little while to spell it the American way. lol