|Quality Care for Preschoolers|
Quality programs for preschool-age children (typically ages 3-5 years old) facilitate children’s active exploration of the world around them. At this age, a program does not need to place too much emphasis on academic skill development, as children in this age group learn by doing. Activities involving the imagination, such as playing “house” or “store” with all the appropriate learning toys such as tools, cash registers, etc, allow children to explore subject matter in a meaningful and relevant context. Teachers are the guides or facilitators for these experiences, preparing a safe and engaging environment for the child to discover. A quality program will also allow for ample outdoor play, arts and crafts, music, nature/science activities, basic math, and dramatic play. Teachers should also be reading to the children every day.
As with any program, parents should observe the adult-to-child ratios in the child care or preschool setting. State licensing requires centers to maintain a 1:12 adult-to-child ratio for preschool age children (defined as 2-6 year olds). Small licensed family child care homes can have up to 6 preschoolers at one time, and large homes can have up to 9 as long as an assistant is present. State licensing requirements are the minimum requirements, NAEYC has higher standards which can be found here: NAEYC.
4Cs has developed a Choosing Preschool Power Point with more information on quality indicators in preschool programs. Our trained counselors are available to give this presentation at your local parent group. Please contact Ginny at 650-655-5042 for more information.