It’s time to think about registering your children for next year. It may be helpful to understand how the registration process works.
We will distribute registration forms on January 18. If your child has a younger sibling, please pick up an additional registration form and submit it with your child’s form. One payment is fine for multiple children. This is a seniority based registration system, so there is no need to rush the forms to us. All forms are due by Monday, January 31.
After receiving the registration forms and sorting them by seniority, I begin the long process of placing the children in classes. When filling the classes, my first priority is to accommodate your choice of days with a 6-9 month age span in each class. This is the most complex and challenging part of the process: working in approximately 80 first choices by age span, maintaining teacher-child ratios, and aligning siblings atten- dance. I deliberately consider these factors first to keep it as objective as possible. Other considerations are the boy/girl ratio, continuity of care, staff recommendations based on children’s development, and placing children for our four/five year old classes for “red-shirting” (children who will stay with us after their fifth birthday), to name a few.
In order to accommodate your first choice of days, it may result in a multi-age classroom, which have older two and young three year old children enrolled for example. I do not follow an age cutoff for classes (such as 3 by September 1st), when there is an overflow of families requesting the same placement. If I did not create the multi-age classrooms, families would be offered their second and third choice options. In my first years as director, I learned how disruptive it became when choice of days were not accommodated! Work schedules with sitter arrangements, long standing playgroups, extracurricular classes were impacted and upset parents struggled to rearrange preplanned commitments.
About multi-age classes….As we are a play-based program, focusing on your child‘s development, each teacher implements curriculum based on your child’s specific aptitudes and interests. We do not use prepack- aged, age driven curriculum that is doled out based on birthdates. Sometimes, parents focus on chronological age and have expectations that their child might be the oldest or the youngest in a class. However, we are focused on your child’s individual development, rather than their development in relation to their future school age placement. We are proud that we have prepared dozens of children for very successful kindergarten experiences from our multiage classes.
With that being said, we strive to set up classes that are going to best serve the needs of the children. These factors provide us with a reasonable amount of flexibility and allow us to meet the needs of the Preschool community. While we understand that parents have preferences for certain placements, there are times that things turn out differently, and changes cannot be made without greatly impacting many other families. We will do our best to balance families and program needs.
Although we begin the process in January, it isn’t fully completed until summer. However, you will receive a confirmation of your child‘s placement – either M-F, MWF, or T-TH – in late April. We delay announcing staff and class rosters until we are certain assignments are established.
Questions? I am happy to answer them. Just stop by the preschool office, or email is great as well. Also, check out the FUMP Parent Handbook for additional information about registration, payments and events for the coming school year. It is filled with helpful information.
We look forward to having you back next year!