Sunnyvale Preschool: Our 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing a Sunnyvale preschool is a big decision, and we know parents have many questions for the staff at each potential school, so we have compiled a list of some of our most frequently asked questions so you can determine if Precious Moments might be a good fit for your child.
Are You A Sunnyvale Daycare Or A Sunnyvale Preschool?
Often the terms daycare and preschool are used interchangeably, and in some cases, you will find that a daycare and preschool provide many of the same services such as planned activities, meals and snacks.
Many daycare facilities are very informal, basically it’s just a small private home that accommodates a small number of children. The children might range in age from three months up to age 6, and academic activities usually are not part of the equation. The children engage mainly in free play, though there might be a planned activity now and then.
However, a Sunnyvale preschool will be a bit more formal in general than a daycare, even a daycare that provides some daily activities. This does not necessarily mean that a rigorous academic schedule is followed, but there is a daily structure with carefully planned activities, as well as outdoor playtime, meals and nap time.
At our Sunnyvale preschool, we provide care services for children two years to six years in age. Each day is planned carefully with an assortment of thoughtful and educational activities and experiences. We keep children on a schedule, keeping them busy and happy and engaged throughout the day.
What Is Your Educational Philosophy?
There are many different types of preschools out there. Some adhere strictly to a specific teaching style, such as a Montessori preschool or Waldorf preschool. Some are quite academic and fairly rigorous, while others implement a mix of styles and strategies to meet the needs of a diverse student population.
At our Sunnyvale preschool, our founder has studied a variety of early childhood teaching styles and philosophies and created a curriculum that incorporates the theories of Piaget, Montessori, Erikson and others. We also offer a STEAM-based curriculum that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics.
This might sound like a rigorous program, but we really emphasize the ideas of creativity, problem-solving and exploration for our program. This age group is eager to explore and learn, and we provide them with interesting lessons that form a foundation for their future learning.
For instance, we might want to teach children about plants and how they “drink.” We can place white flowers, such as carnations, into clear cups filled with water and food color. The students can actually see the flower change color because the water is being fed up through the stem to the flower. We can plant seeds and watch as the seeds sprout and grow.
As students get older, they will learn more about how plants receive water and nutrients and will learn more about how plants grow, but these experiments provide them with a foundation that their teachers will add to as they move through elementary school to middle school and on to high school.
How Many Adults Are Watching The Children?
Every Sunnyvale preschool is required to meet certain adult-to-child ratios. These ratios depend upon the age group, as younger children need more supervision than older children. Thus, our 2-year-olds will have a few more adults on hand than our 5-year-olds, simply because the older children are more independent and don’t need the same level of supervision.
At our Sunnyvale preschool, we meet or exceed state requirements for adult-to-student ratios and teacher-student ratios. It’s crucial to have a proper ratio to ensure that each of our student’s needs is addressed.
More importantly, perhaps, it’s not just about having the proper amount of people in place; it’s about having the right people in place. Children need to feel safe and secure and respected in their environment and our teachers and support staff get to know each individual child and provide a caring atmosphere where children feel nurtured and excited to come to school each day.
What Is Your Staff Turnaround Like?
This is actually a huge issue, and we totally understand why parents are so concerned about staff turnaround. When people are constantly coming and going in any workplace, it can cause chaos, but small children need consistency and once they establish bonds with teachers and caregivers, it’s important that these adults are a constant presence.
We are proud to have a low turnover rate, many of our teachers and staff members have been with us since the very beginning, and we are extremely careful in our hiring processes to ensure that the people we select match our philosophy and style and intend to enjoy long-term success at our preschool. We also seek out experienced employees, and it’s not just a bunch of part-timers or college kids, but professionals who truly love working in early childhood education.
What About Security?
Every parent worries about the security and safety of their child during the school-day. Our Sunnyvale preschool is a completely secure location with plenty of supervision. We have strict drop-off and pick-up procedures in place as well, to ensure the safety of each child.
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Furthermore, we also believe that parents have the right to view their children whenever they wish. Therefore, we offer a live camera feed at our preschool so that you can log in and check up on your child at any time. It can provide an enormous sense of relief for a parent to simply observe what is happening at our preschool and to see that their child is having a good day.
What’s A Typical Day Like?
This is a great question and a common question. For this reason, we have posted examples of a typical day up on our website. If you look under the Nutrition & Enriched Programs tab, you can find the daily schedules for our younger groups as well as our older groups, which necessarily differ somewhat.
After all, a five-year-old has a much different attention span than a two-year-old. A younger child might need a longer nap period or more frequent bathroom breaks than an older child, and our schedules accommodate these differences.
We do provide a nap time or quiet time for all of our students during the day. While many children will sleep, others will occupy themselves with quiet activities such as looking through books, drawing or writing, etc.
Are Meals Included?
We offer breakfast, lunch and snacks as part of our daily nutrition program and these costs are included in your tuition. We are committed to providing students with wholesome, well-balanced foods and create menus ideal for growing bodies. We never microwave foods, and virtually all of the fresh ingredients we use are organic.
You can view sample menus under the Nutrition & Enriched Program tabs. We view mealtimes as not just a nutritional necessity, but also an excellent opportunity to teach independent eating, for expanding the palate and enjoying new foods, and as a social occasion. This is a perfect time for students to learn the art of conversation with their peers and have some fun.
If your child has allergies or dietary restrictions, please let us know. We are a peanut-free zone, but if your child has additional allergies, we recommend that you pack and bring food if our menus do not meet your child’s specific needs. It is crucial that you inform us of any types of allergies your child may have on your enrollment forms.
Is There Playtime?
Absolutely! Children need time to get outside and run about. We also provide many free play opportunities indoors, as well. Free play engages the imagination and inspires creativity, so while we offer plenty of structured activities, we also recognize that young children learn through play as well.
As often as possible, we like to allow children some freedom in the selection of their activities. For instance, after our large group circle time, some students might select learning center activities while the teacher works with small groups and focuses on skill-building in that small-group setting.
Our facility is stocked with a myriad of learning centers that include books, a listening center and lots of fun manipulatives. While it feels like play to your child, they are really learning as they look through a book or create patterns with blocks or sort items into groups. When they are painting, the mix colors and learn about texture and perspective.
Are There Special Events?
We definitely provide the children with many enrichment activities. For instance, we might have the fire department come to teach a bit about fire safety and show off their amazing trucks. We might have a kite-flying day which is not only fun but also a great science experiment.
Throughout the year, we celebrate special events such as Halloween, Diwali and Christmas and enjoy field trips to the beach or petting zoo. Sometimes, we will have a reptile or bird show on campus, or enjoy a session of yoga or Zumba dance. We even host a science fair, which the students absolutely love.
How Does The Enrollment Process Work?
The first step is to contact us and schedule a tour of our Sunnyvale preschool campus or perhaps attend one of our open houses. This allows you to really get a look at our facility and curriculum and as well as providing you with an opportunity to meet our teachers.
Once you have visited and determined that our school seems like a good fit for your family, you can complete the application and if your application is approved, you will complete our Admission Agreement. We do require a nonrefundable $100 application fee, and if your enrollment is approved, we require a registration fee and a final balance deposit (equal to one month’s tuition) to secure your child’s space at our preschool.
Our Sunnyvale preschool is a great fit for families that either reside or work in Sunnyvale, but we also have options in Santa Clara and San Jose. We look forward to meeting with you and determining whether Precious Moments is the right fit for your family. Give us a call at any time or click on the green Book a Tour tab on our homepage to get started with the process.