Let’s say my three year old son attends an in-home daycare.
It offers a 3:1 mixed age ratio, with an age gap of 20 months. It is led by a bilingual Spanish/English teacher with her BA in Psychology and a Masters in Special Education, graduate academic certificates in Autism Intervention and Applied Behavior Analysis (the gold standard of Autism Interventions), teaching certificates in bilingual and bicultural education and special education.
A teacher with experience in a private Montessori school, suburban and urban public school systems, and urban publicly funded charter schools.
She formerly helped supervise overall early childhood program quality by coaching all Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers, driving developmentally appropriate curriculum, assessment, classroom management, and positive discipline.
In addition, she specializes in character education, bilingual/bicultural education, special education, inclusion, parent involvement, and supporting challenging behaviors.
Her past experience includes providing in-home parent and community training (before being a parent herself) in order to help families cope with everyday struggles related to toilet training, sleep training, feeding, challenging behaviors, communication, social skills, puberty, self-injurious behaviors, and generally promoting children’s autonomy.
She has worked with students from diverse socioeconomic, racial, cultural, language, and developmental backgrounds, spanning ages 3-21, with developmental ages spanning birth to young adulthood.
She is trained and skilled in assessing teacher proficiency and quality through various gold standard environmental protocols, observation tools, and rating scales. She is self-reflective and constantly seeking further professional development through peer reviewed sources.
Tuition for daycare includes the cost of 3 balanced family style meals and healthy snacks, enrichment activities with same age peers and sometimes mixed age small groups in the areas of literacy, music, art, physical education/activity, math/reasoning, and science.
Social emotional learning and character development is imbedded through everything, and screen time is kept to a minimum.
My child interacts with adults and peers from diverse backgrounds. Tuition also includes the cost of field trips to educational sites such as science museums, zoos, aquariums, and the theatre.
My child is taught predominantly in English but is also instructed for a good portion of the day in Spanish through naturally embedded Spanish songs, literature, and practical language. He is also exposed to bits of his heritage Hindi/Gujarati languages and culture through song and literature.
What would you think of this daycare?
In case you didn’t know or put the pieces together, I am describing myself here. And, this teacher, and mom, is also VERY tired of explaining her choice to keep her child at home for ONE more year.
It’s not very often this maestra momma goes off like this… and I don’t like it. I feel like I have to apologize. I worry it’s obnoxious to spout off all my credentials and experience. But I also feel like it’s the most effective argument when I get criticism about this choice. I hate conflict and cringe at the thought that some of the people I love and respect most won’t love or respect my message in this post.
There’s still more to this rant, because not all stay at home moms have the same educational background, BUT I don’t think they should have to constantly defend their choice to keep their preschool child home either. For now, rant over. But look for more info to come on why you shouldn’t feel awful for choosing to keep your child home during the preschool years and how to ensure your preschooler is socialized to other children and authority figures.
* UPDATE * Read the blog post that followed: Preschoolers: To enroll or not to enroll?