Saw this discussion over at Parenting Times. Was wondering whether to participate or not (coz' I opt to do home-preschool), then Linda left a comment at my blog and kindly requested I contribute. So, okaylah. I do my good deed for the day. Hahahaha.
Here are her questions:
1. Do childcare and preschool sound different for parents?
Yes. Parents equate childcare to babysitting. Whereas preschool is equated to early childhood education.
2 Will parents choose childcare instead of preschool, or vice versa, by knowing that preschools offers more educational services, while childcares are more custodial and most of the time offer full-day service that benefit the working parents?
It depends on the age of the child. I would say parents with children aged 0-2 will opt for childcare. Parents with children aged 3 and above are more likely to choose a preschool setting. Furthermore, a majority of preschools have after-school childcare services. The option of combining both education and babysitting services appeals to many full time working parents.
Especially, for Question 3 and 4, Please sort out the options provided, from the most important to the least. In which, the inclusion of some justification and additional important points will be greatly appreciated.
3. What are the requirements that can make up a quality preschool?
- Well-managed curriculum
- Facilities (e.g Library, playground, teaching materials)
- Quality educators
- Learning environment
- Quality educators. The teachers are the main focus of a kindergarten. Whether a child will love to go to school or not depends on how they feel about their teachers. Whether a child will love learning or not also depends on the type of teachers they have. Next to a parent, I feel they are they next biggest influence on a child.
- Regular updates the parents on the child's development. Discusses with the parents on how to work with the child.
- Willing to listen to the parent's concerns. Teacher and parents work hand in hand.
- Facilities. A library is important. Children should be surrounded by books and encouraged to read. Playground must be safe and not run down. But children must also be given the time to play or else what is the playground for.
- Teaching aids to make learning a sensorial experience.
- Well-managed curriculum. The preschool should use a curriculum that has been proven effective.
- Learning environment. Must be bright, cheerful and clean. Children must feel comfortable and happy.
4. How would parents define “quality educators”?
- A degree holder
- Training certified person
- Patience in dealing with the children
- They are resourceful. Meaning they have with them many different teaching methods and know which is the best one to use for each individual child. Good teachers are ones that can reach out to the children. So I guess some kind of training is required.
- They are sensitive to the different rates of development in each child and will adapt their teaching accordingly.
- They make learning fun and foster the love for learning, rather than drilling the child endlessly.
- Fun personality. Children like to be around them.
- Even though a fun teacher, they do discipline with love.
- They go beyond teaching abc's by fostering the child's character as well.
- A degreer holder. Not necessary.
- Ask your children. If they say the teacher is good, then he/she is good :)
5. Would you, as parents, allow your children to be exposed to technology in their preschool age (3 to 5 years old) as supportive tools in their learning process? Such as: computer interactive game help in the building of creativity, letters introduction with the use of computers, access to internet, etc. (any example of any kind of technology that have helped your children to learn might be helpful)
Yes. But like you said, it must be a SUPPORTIVE tool and not the main tool. I do surf the internet and have found, many useful learning programs for my children like Starfall.com, Sesamestreet.com, storyplace.org, iknowthat.com, Boowa and Kwala. More of my online resource here: http://del.icio.us/lian8. My children are very familiar with the use of the computer and can navigate themselves. My goal is that they learn how to search for information on the net so they can expand their knowledge beyond the classroom. For example,
learning about whales, we searched the net to listen to whale sounds. Also, created emails for them to encourage them to write. During my time we had pen-pals. Why not have email-pals? Later, will teach them how to use practical applications such as photo editing, creating word documents, excel, digital drawings etc....
Although learning to use the computer is an important part of their education, parents must enforce time limits.
6. Finally, any opinions to point out and expectations to be expected from a preschool, please do clarify it further.
- With the many current kidnappings, safety is very important.
- Do not succumb to parents' pressure to pile up on the homework. If you communicate regularly with the parent, they do not need to use "quantity of homework" as a measuring tool to how much their child is learning at school. If you really need to give homework, give FUN homework. Be creative. Do away with the boring homework of writing repetitive letters and words.
- Assure parents that PLAYING is part of learning.
- Get parents more involved in their children's learning. We need to change parents mindset that once children go to school, teaching is the teacher's responsibility. It should be parents and teachers become partners.
Okay, that's it. So, who wants to be next?
It's been pretty good taking part in this questionnaire. Really made me think what I really want from a preschool. Things are always clearer when you put it down on paper. Well, in this case, on a blog.
So, what kind of preschools are you looking for?
p.s. If you decide to participate, let MG know and she will link to you on her list of parents who participated.