North County Pre-schools?

Updated on January 10, 2008
E.R. asks from Saint Louis, MO
6 answers

My little girl is potty-trained and will be three on Christmas day. I selected a pre-school for her when I was expecting, but they have since moved to Wentzville. We have had such a tough time finding a pre-school that meets the needs of my family.

We are looking for a center in the North (or Mid) County area that offers a full-day program with healthy meals and teachers who are licensed in Early Childhood Education. I will be willing to drive further if we are unable to find what we need in our vicinity.

I am hoping that we find a permenant solution becuase she has been to 4 babysitters in the last 3 months, which has been tough on all of us. I have tried to avoid this because I am a stickler for providing consistency, but it has been tough. (One was my mother-in-law who returned to work, one was a girl who SPANKED her without asking, one was a friend of mine who lives very far and her current babysitter is only available until the end of January).

Please help! I am especially looking for positive and negative feedback on any and all of the preschools and daycare centers in the North/Mid-County areas, but would appreciate any feedback regarding what to look for when I am touring these facilities.

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So What Happened?

I am seriously still looking.
I have appreciated all of the great advice and I am weighing all of my options.
I feel like I owe it to my daughter to look at every single pre-school.

Hmmm.. So does anyone know how to get over the need to be the perfect mother?
Thanks for all of your great advice!

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

Check out the Sacred Heart Villa. It is on The Hill in South City. I know it is not in N. County but it is a very respected facility in St. Louis. It is a Catholic Organization, you do not need to be Catholic to send her there but she will be subject to religious prayer and teachings. It is a wonderful facility in a wonderful neighborhood. I highly suggest it.



answers from St. Louis on

I will be sending my son to St Norbert Catholic School. They have a a full day preschool program for 3's and 4's. It is in Florissant, MO. It is an actually school that goes from Pre-k-8th grade. The instructor are teachers, not babysitters who are not qualified to teach.



answers from St. Louis on

The Florissant Community college has an early child care center. The teachers there are education students (I believe.) The draw back is that they are closed for about 6 weeks in the summer and they have a waiting list. (That's why we don't use them.)

My children are in First Academy in Maryland Heights (Riverport). I'm not sure how many of the teachers are educated in Early Childhood education, but they serve healthy meals. Some of the teachers are still students, some have degrees. I live in North County, too, and the commute is about 15-20 minutes.



answers from St. Louis on

Try Florissant Valley Community College. They've actually got an ECE program on campus, so the staff is very well trained. They should take community members, too-- when I switched from faculty status to community member, it was a bit more, but not much, and it was no problem.
Hope this helps!



answers from St. Louis on

Well it is not in North County but I recomind Villa di Maria Montessori School in Kirkwood. It is small and has wonderful classes. Warm loving staff will help you daughter to learn reading, writing and math. The School has a summer camp program with a large number of the same staff.
The school is at 1280 Simmons Ave. just two blocks off of Manchester Rd. Call at ###-###-####. The school is off for Christmas break but the phone is checked every day or so. Look at their webpage



answers from St. Louis on

I can't specifically recommend a facility b/c I don't have children yet and don't live in N.Co, but I did work as a caregiver in military Child Dev. Center's for 3 years and I can tell you what you want to look for:

As far as accreditations, a NAEYC (National Assos. for the Education of Young Children) accreditation is the key thing that I plan to look for when we have kids. Anything else (accreditation/licensure wise) doesn't really mean that much. They have very tough standards and they have to be renewed with new inspections every few years. Their inspections include all the records, safety issues, and they spend A LOT of time observing the caregivers in each room interacting with the kids. They are there for like a week, and the inspection is random.
(I may be confusing some of the details with the multiple military inspections we had but I do know the NAEYC is important.)

-They should have cameras in every room, and I would ask them what they do with the tapes, how quickly they are re-used, do the cameras connect to monitors somewhere? (Our cameras went to the front desk so if there was a problem in our room they could send someone in to help us out, and parents could watch their kids without coming in to the room and disturbing them , etc.) Cameras are a big deal to me because they not only protect the kids, they protect the caregivers too. With 14+ kids, it is impossible to see every little thing that happens-but the cameras do.

-Don't worry so much about what the caregivers say to you (they are working with 3 year olds all day, after all), worry about how they interact with "their" kids. Observe the kids, do they seem happy?

I actually think the licensure of teachers is probably the least of the things I would look for. A license does not necessarily make a good caregiver. If it is NAEYC accredited, you can be sure that the caregivers receive extensive training and are very qualified to be working with children. The NAEYC was aiming for all caregivers to have a CDA (associates in Child Dev.) by a certain year, but that seemed impossible and unrealistic to me-I don't know how that has worked out.

Also, the NAEYC site has a list of accredited facilities and it tells you when they are up and about their standards. I would suggest you start there.
Good luck and I hope this helps!

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