What is it you are looking for in a preschool? Is love on the list….

When you are looking for a preschool, what is it that is on the list of qualities you are looking for?

Here is a sample of what parents have shared with me:

1. A loving enviroment

2. Low teacher/student ratios

3. A place where their child is accepted for who they are

4. A place where their child will be prepared for the next level of their education

5. Open and constant communication

Here at La Canada Preschool one quality parents say they feel is present is the love we show the children. In the fearful world we live in many schools are afraid to hug, hold or show loving gestures towards a child. I believe this is a disservice, and needs to be reinstated as part of the daily curriculum. Without a hug, a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on where do children feel that loving connection with a teacher? I have been told that we need to let parents know here at La Canada Preschool the love for the children is on the forefront of our interactions. The kindness and acceptance for each child is seen in a teacher holding a child, giving hugs daily and always making time for loving interactions through out the day.

When you child grows up they may not remember when they learned their ABC’s, but their soul will remember that they felt a love for school that will stay with them forever.

What are you looking for in a preschool? Is love on your list?

What to look for in a preschool ?

Parents in California now have many options when looking for a preschool. Transitionary Pre-Kindergartens are being offered across the state, with little to no research behind them, and many families choosing them because they are low-cost and guaranteeing to “prepare” your child for Kindergarten. While these are important considerations for a family, it is also important that families consider their child’s future based on the parent’s goals for the child and the child’s future in an public or private education.


La Canada Preschool is set in a warm part of Los Angeles, right under the mountains in a close-knit community. The Preschool, which began in 1949 offers a home atmosphere that is warm and inviting, supportive and flexible. Children enter school through a gate and are offered more than the just the same old curriculum that meets standards and state requirements. Music is played daily and private teachers come in to play live instruments with the children. Art is offered every day, one-on-one and sand and water are always available for children’s play.


While the morning program and afternoon program are separated by age groups (younger children can attend the morning while only pre-kindergarten aged children attend the afternoon) children are mixed in culture, language, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Owner and Director, Debbie Bacino, offers a flexible plan for children and parents. Teachers meet with parents to discuss children’s development and discuss goals children are working on mastering. All the teachers are versed in early childhood education literature and have knowledge regarding children’s development.


What may be lacking in the Pre-Kindergarten Transitionary Kindergartens is the understanding that children’s goals are not necessarily things they cannot do, but rather skills they are mastering. Since children are being pressure to read and write at an earlier age, the majority of social and emotional understandings are overlooked and eliminated from a teacher who is supervising 24 children at one time.


A family that is looking for the right preschool program needs to consider the school’s goals for the child and see if they match the parents. It may be difficult for some schools to match individual goals of each child when they are pressured to provide certain curriculum. Einstein was known for encouraging children’s imagination and in the age of technology and standardized education children and teachers may be forgetting this aspect of the mind and its purity before the box is setup and they are told what to learn.


A sociocultural perspective is definitely a theoretical foundation at La Canada Preschool. Teachers learn from children and then decide what to provide and how to teach. Each child is incredibly different, shaping the curriculum as the year unfolds. If parents are looking for individual care and supportive relationships then La Canada Preschool will surely fit their needs.


LCPS, March, 2013


But my child reads at a second grade level: what are you teaching at preschool?

When people come to tour my preschool I am frequently told by parents that their child is reading at a second grade level; then asked what are you teaching the children? Upon entering a yard under the shade of a Chinese elm tree you can see the children coming in, finding an activity such as digging a river in the sand or creating art with a marble, a box, paper and paint. There is play dough made fresh everyday.

A friend is being made while other children are thinking about making a friend.

Developmentally when we study children’s play we are looking for how best to teach each child individually, with objectives that are appropriate for their stage of development. While parents, and my apology in advance yet it is usually fathers, seem to want their children to learn academic principles, feeling that play is something children can do at home.

While that is true, as I raised four children and they all played at home, children need to learn to be capable and cope able away from their home environment, as someday they will need to be independent of their parents. This is a huge task when you think about it. At the same time if a child can be given the time to develop at home as well as in a school environment from a preschool age with an emphasis on social emotional development, studies show children being more secure in the world, with healthier social relationships, and even a higher income. All this through exploring the world in a school where children are playing, even while they can read at a second grade level.

Teaching Methods in Preschool: Find what fits your family

Teaching Methods in Preschool: Find what fits your family