5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Joining A Parent Participation Preschool

Guest Post by Brooke Bennett of Happy Corner Preschool

Parents today are faced with big decisions.  For many, it starts early with choosing the right preschool.  When choosing a preschool, today’s savvy parents are looking for small class sizes, top quality programming, and assurances that their child will be kindergarten ready.

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Parent Participation Preschools (PPPs) offer all of these aspects of preschool education, and more.  PPPs have a long and proud history in Metro Vancouver, and have been operating in British Columbia for over 60 years.  Below you’ll find the top 5 benefits of joining a PPP.

1) Parents participate in the classroom experience.

PPPs offer much higher adult/child ratios and small class sizes compared to other preschools. At a PPP, children receive the personalized attention, recognition, and support they deserve to develop their social and emotional skills.

As part of the parent participation aspect, a family member or caregiver volunteers their time in the classroom. After an orientation, the volunteer, along with the teacher and assistant teacher, are available to help and support the students.

By being in the classroom with their child, parents are able to model a lifelong love of learning.  Hands down, the children absolutely love it.

2) Parents can sharpen their parenting skills.

Let’s face it, parenting a preschooler can be trying and emotionally draining.

For the majority of us, their behavior is truly baffling.  Most parents would love to understand the reasons behind their child’s outbursts and mood swings – but where does a busy parent find the time to figure it all out?

PPPs are an amazing parenting resource and offer free monthly parenting seminars by experts in child development.  These speakers’ events provide parents with knowledge to broaden their parenting skills and allow them to share experiences about raising children with other like-minded parents.

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3) Children receive high-quality programming.

The quality of preschool education is on every parent’s mind.  Parents need to know that their child will be stimulated, challenged, and supported at an age-appropriate level.

PPPs provide enriched and quality play-based programming.  Child-led play is crucial for children to develop socially, cognitively, physically, and emotionally.  Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.  PPPs also recognize the importance of play to child development and are committed to providing enhanced play-based environments.

4) Be part of a community.

A sense of community is integral to the development of a child’s feelings of belonging and security.  The “village” parents are so desperately seeking to help raise their children can be found in the community of a PPP. 

PPPs offer the opportunity to build friendships with other parents and children and to feel part of a caring community.  Parents are able to meet others with similar parenting values, work together to support the school, and make life-long friends. The time parents invest in creating this community has an amazing pay-off. 

5) Parents help children learn new skills.

At the core of PPPs are the families.  Parents are directly involved in the classroom and the administration of the school.  PPPs are a wonderful setting for both children and parents to learn new skills, meet new friends, and take the first steps together in a school setting.

Research shows that parent involvement early in a child’s education is a major factor in their success.  Children that are comfortable and feel supported at school tend to do better overall, which means parents have to spend less time dealing with problems later on.  It clearly pays for parents to make an investment with their own time in the early years.    

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PPPs formed out of the need for community and have been treasured in their communities for generations. 

Preschoolers graduating from PPPs have the skills and tools for problem solving, self-regulation and interacting with others.  These children are ready to enter kindergarten with confidence.

Curious about PPPs?  Happy Corner Preschool, one of two PPPs in East Vancouver, is holding its Open House and Registration on Saturday, February 24 from 11am-1pm.  Bring your families for a stay and play, meet the teachers and see the classroom! Learn More

Photos courtesy of Amber Hughes Photography and Jozi Grant Photography 

#WCFPreschool Twitter Chat!

Education Starts with Preschool!
Join WestCoast Families and several local education experts for a one-hour Twitter Chat about everything related to Preschools. What should parents look for when choosing a preschool? What skills should a preschool develop in children? What type of preschool is best for your child? Tune to our Twitter Chat for a dynamic discussion (in 140 character snippets!).

Where: Twitter! Our handle is @wcfmag. Follow us to be part of the chat!

Hashtag: Use the hashtag #WCFPreschool to be part of the conversation

When: Tuesday, 26 May 10-11am

We hope to Tweet you there!

Pre-school vs. Daycare: Which is right for you?

Article by:  Kimberly Fowler and Melissa Martz for OurKids.net, Canada’s trusted source for camps and schools.

For many working Vancouver families and single parents third party childcare is a necessity and daycare is often seen as the only realistic option. Many of these same parents are astonished when they discover that private preschool is just as available to them. Even busy, stay-at-home parents are realizing that preschool can provide their children with a wealth of advantages over regular daycare.

Preschool costs the same

Although the benefits of preschool are far-reaching, parents usually reject the idea in favour of the “lesser costs” traditionally associated with daycare. However, experts note that paying tuition for early childhood education instead of the hourly daycare rate is either about the same cost or sometimes even cheaper!

According to the 2013 report, You Bet We Care: A Survey of Centre-Based Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada, the Canada-wide median monthly fee at a full-time centre for toddler care is $696, or $674 for preschool care. However, because of the wide provincial range in costs, 25 per cent of monthly fees were higher: for toddlers $902 or higher, and for preschool aged children $816 or higher.

Median monthly fees for families in British Columbia were similar: $1,047 for infants, $907 for toddlers and $761 for preschool.

Examples of private preschools in Vancouver such as Collingwood School, Crofton House School, and North Star Montessori Elementary School have nursery and preschool programs with monthly tuition costs ranging between $566 and $1,485.

A variety of financial assistance options are also available to help pay for private pre-school such as support from the school itself, local community programs and sibling discounts.

What’s the difference?

Young children who attend private or independent preschool have a more hands-on learning environment and are introduced to many educational topics. This is a very different approach to many day-care centres where the focus is simply to provide care and opportunities for play. 

Why pre-school?

Private preschool dispels the myths that children don’t like to learn, and that ECE will rob them of their sense of play. In fact, preschool starts toddlers on a path to lifelong learning through a variety of techniques “disguised” as play and can help cultivate the linguistic, logical and social skills needed for success in later school experiences through play! Preschool also develops emotional intelligence, encouraging responsibility and self-expression. But the advantages of private pre-school even go beyond the exceptional learning environment, including:

  • Flexible schedules and after and before school care to meet your needs
  • A highly secure and safe setting for children
  • Small class sizes, ensuring that children feel secure away from home and allowing them to make friends easier, grow in self-confidence and develop a positive attitude towards authority.

Private preschool is also a great way for parents to test out Montessori school, Christian school or any other private school and gauge if it is right for their child. Experts also insist that it is best to start private education early in order to foster learning in a child’s developing stage. Often, this “trial run” will not only provide children with a mental and social advantage, but also give them an edge when gaining acceptance into elementary programs.

What to look for, what to ask

The cost and type of childcare varies greatly depending on your location. Contact day-care centres and private schools in your area for accurate fees and care options. When evaluating the pros and costs of your childcare options, make sure to ask the following questions:

  • What is the school’s educational philosophy?
  • What is the school’s reputation?
  • Are meals and snacks provided? If so, are they included in the fees?
  • Is transportation (i.e. school bus) to and from school included in the fees?
  • Does the fee cover the entire year, or just the school year? Are March break and summer programs offered?
  • Is there an extra cost for before- and after-school care? Can the school work within your schedule? What is the fee for picking your child up late?
  • Will you have to pay for care when your child doesn’t attend school on holidays, when they are ill or on a family vacation?
  • Are there any school trips materials, uniforms or other subsequent costs you will need to add to the regular fees you will pay?

Give your kids the best school experience this year. Meet with private preschools across the country this fall at the Our Kids Vancouver Private School Expo: http://www.ourkids.net/expo/vancouver-expo.php

FREE Preschool Resource from Science World

Are you a caregiver or parent with preschool-aged children? Looking for interesting and experiential activities? Science World offers free preschool resource packages as part of their Big Science for Little Hands program. These activities for children from three- to five-years-old are intended to serve as starting points and inspirations for scientific explorations. Each theme includes small and large group activities which can be adapted to any environment. There are also complementary @Home packages, designed to use easy-to-find materials, perfect for one-on-one learning.

Visit www.scienceworld.ca/preschool to learn more.