8 answers

Vpk - Deland,FL

So i'm really worried about picking the right VPK for my 4 year old. What do I need to look for, what questions do I need to ask. Help. Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden

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I considered many VPK sites and went with Bright Horizons. They were wonderful. My daughter is now in kindergarten, and I feel she got the best possible start by attending VPK there.

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As a VPK teacher, you need to look at the center, find out the qualifications of the teachers, talk to the director and see how you "feel" about it. You should get a good, loving feeling from the environment, the kids there should be happy. Show up unannounced to look at the place, then you will catch them the way they really are, not a front that can sometimes be put on when a tour is scheduled. Also, look at the curriculum used. If it is a school you are seriously considering, maybe they will let you and your child spend a little time in the class, during circle time or a special activity.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please contact me, I'll try to help.

I considered many VPK sites and went with Bright Horizons. They were wonderful. My daughter is now in kindergarten, and I feel she got the best possible start by attending VPK there.

i would definitely find one that is church based. the ones that are not, mostly do not have the curriculum that the church's do. also, go online to the dcf website, they will list the infractions for each daycare and what they were for and if they got them straightened up. i know of 2 good schools in deland. they are ECDC (downtown stetson area) and also the Presbyterian church by the library. My 2 have gone to ECDC and the teachers are wonderful, patient, get them super ready for kindergarten. the centers are just like they have at school, they send home little books, they get them ready to be able to eat their lunches at school after Christmas time, etc. The Presbyterian Church, i've heard good things about, too. Pretty much the same things as ECDC. They both fill up quickly, though, so I would do research quickly.

Go with your gut. Visit several posibilities and take your child. Check out the environment and how it makes you feel - when I first looked I walked into so many schools that immediately overstimulated ME, I wouldn't dare put my daughter in such an environment (every inch of the walls were busy and covered, the classrooms only separated by half walls, noise, noise, noise...) Also talk with whoever runs the place and a teacher or two; your gut instinct should help you make the right decision. Good luck! My second daughter, and last, will be starting VPK this fall and I'm so excited to finally have both of them in school - I haven't been alone in my home for almost 6 years!!

I didn't have a clue, so a few parents gave me tips. There is a site that you can see what grade VPK schools are getting to get an idea. Then decide what you want your child to get out of the school. I had a list of questions that I took with me like hours, days, outside time, breakdown of time, safety, field trips, etc... The VPK people told me to go unscheduled and unannounced and that was the best tip ever! I went and viewed several schools and saw safety issues. Leaving child unattended in high chair in another room, so I felt that my child could be left like that also. Fire hazzards with how cluttered a room was. Toys that were dirty and children playing with it. Darkness in areas of rooms with no outside lightening like they were in a cave. Teachers loosing control of their rooms. Then I compared it with grades they received for learning. I took my husband to the final 3 and we made our decision. We had really good luck! I started looking about this time after I got my paperwork in and they gave me all the schools. I did narrow my search down to those within a certain radius. It is overwhelming but well worth my son's education. I wish you the best of luck!

From what I understand, VPK can be quite tricky! My sister lives in Palm Beach County and found it hard to use. Some schools only have a few spots that fill up quickly. She found a really great private school that took VPK, but they put all the VPK kids in one class and they didn't have any interaction with the kids paying big bucks to go to the same school--segregation, basically. She ended up not using it and paying for a different private preschool.

You need to make sure the program has a healthy balance of sensory motor, movement and music, art and being read to. They need to develop auditory skills not learn how to write at 4! The state mandates what they teach academically but 4 yr olds do not and should not be academic. I don't like their program. Just because it's free, does not mean they have to go. Check programs out and see what interests you but kids need movement and hands on learning more then anything.

Ask about the cirruculm and to see specific examples. Ask about how the school feels about parent involvement and how parents can get involved. Take your child to check it out. Best thing that my daughter liked was the potty was her size.

Check out this website i found just binging VPK in deland, fl
http://www.elcfv.org/VPK_Parents.asp

www.greatschools.com is another wonderfull website with alot info for parents on schools of all ages, what to look for, how they rate, and what other parents say.

Start soon as the VPK programs with elementary schools fill up fast. Check local school districts websites for which one you are zoned for. Then call the school to see if they have a VPK program. Also, you can change your mind after you sign her up.

We are in clay county and love Ivy League Academy. They have locations in other areas too. Its just like real school, including holiday festies. Like pj day, spirt week of wearing different colors on certain days to see which class has the most, field trips. Parents are always encouraged adn welcomed to participate. There was even school photos. My 1 yr tries to go to school everyday with her sister. There is a weekly report to parents and homework on monday to be turned in on friday. Just a couple of review sheets of the letter and number they worked on last week. My daughter begs me to let her do it before we even get home.

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