When enrolling at Peñasquitos Christian Preschool, we encourage parents to consider their student’s birthdate as well as developmental age and how he/she falls within our programmatic options and consider matriculation over a two to three-year timeframe.
The Preschool Journey.
Thinking about the Conclusion at the Beginning…
When parents consider the matriculation process “thinking about the conclusion of the preschool journey while they are still at the beginning” we are then able to work together to set long term, goals that ultimately follow the child along their journey. This in turn helps us to work together to individualize the program for each student.
In the same way that any other educational institution sets goals; college, high school, middle school, elementary school- you know when you enter that institution how long your student will be there and what you will take with you once you leave. In a similar fashion, a preschool like PCP with identified standards and learning outcomes is not any different.
At Peñasquitos Christian Preschool is our objective to support your family and student in reaching your next milestone, Kindergarten and elementary school readiness with the social and emotional tools that will prepare your child with the foundations for school success.
This process starts with our initial discussions upon enrollment and through the first year. We begin thinking and processing about how your child will matriculate through our program so that together we can accomplish those goals for the benefit of your child. This does not mean that life doesn’t happen or things can’t change…it just means that together we make a plan so that your child ultimately benefits from a program that looks at the big picture.
The Kinder Readiness Comparison…
Many times we are asked the question near the end of the preschool journey, “why continue in the final year of preschool at PCP if your student is eligible for a public program like public TK”?
That is a good question. However, we like to engage in this dialogue around the beginning of your student’s journey. That is right, we like to have this conversation when children are 3 years old or even still 2 ½. Compare this to talking about college placement when your student is a freshman.
The reason why we engage in this dialogue so early in the journey is that even though child development is not altogether predictable and we encourage parents to leave room in their decision-making for growth and change; information and options for parents are a phenomenal foundation and a solid baseline for decisions that we consider a tremendous benefit.
As a program, we want to support families with the gift of time and information-sharing in making decisions about their children all along the way. We want to equip parents with knowledge and research so that they can make the best decisions for their students when the time is right.
The Kinder Readiness program at Peñasquitos Christian Preschool has considered comparable to other public/private Kinder prep programs in San Diego in the aspect of age/stage of students served. Kinder prep programs in our community are attached to preschools, K-12 schools, or public schools.
There is a defined baseline and expectation for quality in serving 4-5-year-old children that we believe should not be compromised. These expectations have been scrutinized by the Academy of Early Childhood Programs and Professionals in Washington D.C.
There is a distinct difference in Peñasquitos Christian Preschool’s Kinder Readiness Program from other public and private programs not nationally recognized and that is highlighted in a couple of major factors. Because our program is committed to early childhood ethics and best practice through our association with NAEYC Accreditation, there are some distinct differences in PCP’s preschool as well as Kinder Readiness as preparation for Elementary school and beyond:
- We believe that this age/stage of children (4-5 years old by December 1st) are still considered within the core of early childhood education as defined (birth to age 8 years old) and therefore programs that ethically offer an exceeding amount of student choice, and play-based academics over an extended period of time with low teacher/student ratios and group sizes are choosing to meet a quality that is defined as best practice. For this age group, the maximum group size is 20 with a ratio of 1:10. Any program that exceeds this recommended ratio (defined by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs) is not within the scope of best practice. This includes public Transitional Kindergarten in the state of California as they serve the same age and stage.
- Trickle Down Academics which means that academics meant for older children (even Kindergartners, are now being offered to 4 or 5 year-olds as a means for preparation). When children’s brains and development are not ready for this type of academia, teacher-led interrupted, mandated center time, student drilling (regurgitating facts), worksheets, reading, math programs meant for older children it creates stress in children and then learning outcomes end up not being based in social and emotional benchmarks and goals. Research has proven time and again that social and emotional goals and outcomes are the foundation and baseline for higher learning and school success. Read Here: What Educators Say about Increasing Expectations in Young Children
- Our belief does not stem from individual opinions, persons, or programs rather it is based on a collection of facts and early childhood position statements that have led to early childhood learning standards and best practices for this particular age-group.
- We strongly encourage parents to use the preschool years to develop a solid basis in child development so that they can fully understand, value, and respond to their child’s ever-changing and growing needs. Our staff is available and will work with parents to help them recognize and adapt to the shifting dynamics of family life, school life, and the crescendos of parenting relationships.