. What to look for in a preschool ?
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Parents in the La Canada Flintridge area now have many options when looking for a preschool. Many people in Pasadena to Burbank search Google using the phrase “preschool near me” and learn that Transitionary Pre-Kindergartens are being offered across the state, with little to no research behind them. Many families choose them because they are low-cost and guarantee 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 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. We are an early childhood education institution nestled in the foothill community of La Canada Flintridge. Our school, which began in 1949, offers a home atmosphere that is warm and inviting, supportive and flexible. Debbie Ficarra is the owner and the Director of the school. We think it’s important that the Director be on-site, in the classroom, and present at the school regularly.

Preschool Begins At The Gate

Children enter school through a gate and are offered more than 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.

Our Director & Our Teachers Are All Early Childhood Educators!

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 many of the Pre-Kindergarten Transitionary Kindergartens around Los Angeles is the understanding that children’s goals are not necessarily things they cannot do, but rather skills they are mastering. Since children are being pressured 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. This is clearly not the case at our school. We focus on preschool math concepts that allow children to have fun when they learn because they enjoy learning, no matter what the subject.

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 the individual goals of each child when they are pressured to provide a certain curriculum. It should come as no surprise to anyone that all kids and all families have different needs and different priorities. We don’t try to be all things to all people within early childhood education. We strive to provide the highest level of professionalism in an environment where children feel safe, are allowed to be creative and explore the world around them in a safe and nurturing manner.

Albert Einstein was known for encouraging children’s imagination. 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 set up and they are told what to learn.

A sociocultural perspective is a theoretical foundation at La Canada Preschool. We don’t apologize for it and we don’t shy away from it. Our approach is quite simple, 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. We believe that kids have a natural curiosity about life. If this curiosity is nurtured it can be shaped to create a child who grows up to be a lifelong learner. If parents are looking for individual care and supportive relationships, La Canada Preschool will surely fit their needs.