Private Preschool Curriculum

Updated on March 25, 2015
T.G. asks from San Antonio, TX
21 answers

Hello Mamas!!
I am planning to open a Preschool in San Anttonio in August 2015. Ages 2-5 Which is the best curriculum out ther. The curriculum should focus on ALL aspects of learning including social-emotional skills, mathematics, science social studies. Thanks in advanced!!

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answers from St. Louis on

Math, science and social studies? This has got to be a joke!

Oh and yeah, I get that my kids learned science digging up worms when they were that age but to call it science kind of screams I haven't a clue.

Oh, when they ate the worms was that health class?

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Reading on

Seriously? Why would you want to open a preschool when you clearly don't have a background in early childhood education? If you did, you would not be asking this question. What you are looking to open isn't a "school" - you're looking to open a daycare, which some people call "school" incorrectly. If you want to open a preschool, get an education that is appropriate. Personally, I would not send my child to a preschool where the director had to google preschool curricula to start!

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answers from Los Angeles on

At 3 & 4? The "work" of kids is to play!

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answers from Boston on

Honestly? My first reaction is that, if you are just now researching curricula and you don't even know where to start, you are in no way going to be able to open a school, screen and hire staff, meet licensing requirements, advertise and hold open houses, all in time for August! And while you probably wrote this in great haste, if you're going to be putting ads and communications out into the community, I'd suggest that you get some help with proofreading and spelling. You just can't make these kinds of errors which seem minor but which reflect on your knowledge and professionalism. You also need to really know your market - zillions of parents want nothing to do with an academic preschool that includes science, mathematics and social studies! Many want a play-oriented school for social skills that includes music, art and outdoor play (especially since you live in a decent climate that allows outdoor activities all year). So make sure your market isn't saturated and that you know what the needs and preferences are among your prospective families. Once you identify your personal philosophy and the market, work with a qualified advertising and branding specialist and writer to develop a campaign, a marketing strategy and a unified "look" for your materials. Don't just a graphic artist who can make things look pretty - you need an underlying concept and idea that sets your school apart from others. Good luck!

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answers from San Francisco on

What is your education and professional experience? The NAEYC recommends (and most paying parents demand) a play based program. Clearly you will be most comfortable running a program which falls into your training and experience, but really, if you expect to run a successful school you will need to understand the local market and rules/regulations.
Our preschool was run by a wonderful director with many years of experience in working with young children, and she held a Masters degree in early childhood education, as did her two head teachers. It was a "high scope/emergent" curriculum, basically a play based, child led program somewhat similar to the Reggio Emilia Approach, which I assume you studied in college. That's the philosophy I would follow.

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answers from Washington DC on

i have two huge concerns with this post.
preschool should be play-based, not curriculum-based.
anyone planning to open a preschool should already have a tried-and-true 'curriculum' in mind before even considering taking on the huge responsibility of caring for someone else's pre-schoolers.
if you plan on burying these little people in ALL ASPECTS OF academics, i don't foresee a happy time for them.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Ditto working in a good one before opening one. And T., it's really important to understand that little kids learn through play. A curriculum is nice but you shouldn't be trying to be a SCHOOL. Instead, the children need a safe place with plenty of supervision, a predictable schedule so that they know what's next, and you need an understanding of child development so that you don't expect more out of children than they are capable of.

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answers from Norfolk on

I guess anything they learn in school is part of a curriculum but I have a hard time thinking of it that way for a preschool.
Our son went to a Montessori preschool.
He learned how to button/unbutton, zip, unzip (how to dress himself), how to draw (trace at first) shapes in preparation for writing skills (small motor skills).
He learned how to raise his hand, work in groups, play with friends, sit at circle time, help change the water for the class pet (a parakeet) and even some yoga.

Although some kids were reading before they were out of kindergarten our son knew his letters, numbers, colors and shapes and that was good enough - he didn't have homework (or grades beyond getting a sticker or a smiley face) and I wanted him to love learning and not feel pressured by it.
(His reading didn't really take off until the 2nd half of 2nd grade and then his reading skills have been well above what ever grade level he was in. By 8th grad his lexile was 1700+ which is the highest score possible and the highest his English teacher had ever seen.)

I'm sure some parents would love a curriculum with a 'focus on ALL aspects of learning including social-emotional skills, mathematics, science social studies' but something promoted like that for our son would have turned me off.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Ummm, it's all play based at that age. Centers where they learn through play and imagination. My older two went to a private preschool and if it was anything like what you're describing as far as a curriculum, they wouldn't have gone there.

And if you are just now researching this but planning to open in 5 months, you are already at least 1 year behind the in a daycare or a preschool first and learn what works. Or use that education (that I would demand you have to teach my children anything) to plan your days.

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answers from Austin on

When a person (or group) decides to start a new school, whether it's pre-school, college, or anything in between, a clear objective is the first step. For example, suppose that there's an under-served population that needs educational assistance. I read recently about a woman who realized that the children she served lunch to had no access to computers or the internet. So she formed a school that provided them with computer training. Some schools focus on the performing arts, or international studies and languages, or life skills for developmentally delayed students, etc.

If you don't have clear objectives, and a selected curriculum that will fulfill those objectives, (and curriculum doesn't have to mean "science", it can mean something as simple as "learning table manners" and "learning to play together while sharing toys and taking turns"), then it's not the correct time to plan to open the school.

There's a pretty big difference between 2 year olds, who most often just play side by side, and 3 year olds, who are beginning to grasp the concept of taking turns, and 5 year olds, who are learning to recognize color words and can often print their names.

One curriculum for these ages will probably not suffice. A 2 year old is learning to scribble without eating the crayons, and a 5 year old is learning to properly identify the more complicated colors and to color a picture neatly. That's an over-simplification of the learning-stages differences, of course, but it's just an example.

So you'll have to have teachers familiar with these age ranges and developmental stages, and have learning goals that are appropriate for these diverse ages. And you'll need to teach the groups separately. You can't sit them all down and teach the same things to them as a group. And you'll need to accommodate children who are advanced, or the occasional 5 year old who has not been exposed to simple skills like using scissors.

No single curriculum will focus on all aspects of all learning for these ages. Social studies and science for a 2 year old? I don't know many parents that would find that appealing.

And, professionalism in your written communication will be required. Even your city's name is misspelled. There's not one properly worded or spelled sentence in your entire post.

I wish you the best in re-thinking your goals and purpose in establishing this school or daycare.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I second the suggestion of actually working at a preschool before you open one. The on the job experience is essential-- preschool is not something you can just walk into cold. I was an teacher's assistant for about two years before leading my own group and I took that time to learn a lot from the women I was working under and to do my own studying.

If you are an active person who has some education in early childhood education (and business and understanding the regs for your county/state in terms of being licensed/registered)-- if you have a good understanding of the age groups you are working with and how they learn, you can make up your own curriculum tailored to fit the emergent interests and needs. When I was teaching I never used a purchased curriculum; instead I programmed circle time, stories, music and movement and other activities to what the children in my group were interested in, playing and asking about. This was more respectful of the child-led activity of learning through play and was mentally engaging for me as well.

And remember, they work and learn best through play!

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answers from Portland on

If you're not trained in early childhood education taught by those who are trained I suggest you open a daycare. My grandson's caretaker had years of experience in caring for children but none in the educational realm. Her clients asked for preschool experiences for their children because they could not afford a licensed preschool. She purchased a curriculum and used that with those children whose parents were interested in having it. She only charged extra for the cost of the curriculum. This didn't work out. In part because the main focus for the parents was childcare. The caretaker wasn't trained in presenting the curriculum. She had a good heart and was a good caretaker who did provide some learning without the curriculum. The curriculum did not turn her into an early childhood teacher.

If you are wanting to include preschool curriculum in a child care situation, know that it takes much more than a purchased curriculum to do that. And....unless your focus is on teaching children through play you will not attract parents to your business.

To teach preschoolers, one must have extensive education in child development and know how to use that education and experience to plan your overall approach to education.

The field is much too competitive for a mom without training and experience to successfully manage a preschool. Mom's are still able to charge for daycare Because they have had successful experience caring for children. Curriculum is not the first step in organizing either child care or preschool.

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answers from Salinas on

For preschoolers? How about no curriculum at all?

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answers from Philadelphia on

I was only concerned with the social aspect of preschool. Any preschool that had a curriculum including math, science and social studies I personally would have steered clear of.

I wanted my child to have fun and have a great, positive experience at preschool.

I taught my child to read at age 4 however. She went into kindergarten reading 3-4th grade level chapter books and by 5th grade her reading comprehension tested at a 12th grade level.

Teach your child to have a love of learning and teach them to read and the rest will come.

Check out the book "How to Raise a Brighter Child."

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answers from St. Louis on

check with your competitors...they'll know what is working & what's not.

your local school district would be another resource.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I think it would make more sense for you to apply to work for a preschool and figure out what philosophy matches the way you want to teach. You seem very inexperienced. I agree with some of the posts below and not other points. You do not come off as an educator with misspelled words and, well, so unprepared if you plan to open a preschool in Aug 2015.

-Science and Math are very important in Preschool learning. I think you want to know how to approach it. Play based is popular right now. The people who think Science and Math seem funny are not thinking about sand tables and water tables for science experiments and cause and effect. Creating patterns with geometry shapes in primary colors are a wonderful way to make Math fun along with looking at a calendar (too many things to list).

I am not a preschool teacher, but wish you well. Hopefully you truly love being around children. You seem 'green' so my advise is to hire seasoned preschool teachers who have an approach you want in the school. You may need to take a back seat to your employees until you have more experience.

edit: I usually have a misspelled word or missing word, so I actually do not think much of it. I does make me chuckle when I see it from my kids' teachers.

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answers from Wichita Falls on

Discuss this with an early childhood education specialist. Contact any of the local Universities in your area that have an education department for references. There are many approaches to this age group and you may want to hire a specialist to line out a basic curriculum and point you in the direction of further resources.

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answers from San Francisco on

I would look into Waldorf or Montessori (you'd need to be certified in either of those techniques, however, and I'm not sure you can do that by August? But you could offer "Waldorf-inspired" or something similar...). Both of these educational systems are centered around the idea that children will learn things when they're developmentally ready to do so, and as such, during the preschool years are heavily play-based. Children this age learn best through play, and there's a fair amount of research to support that.

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answers from Chicago on

Is this a home daycare that you will be providing preschool curriculum? Or... Are you looking for a way to schedule your day? Or.. an actual paper and pencil curriculum? At preschool age curriculum is play based. Now having said that you incorporate all those things you have listed above into the play based day. a housekeeping corner which helps with social emotional skills, blocks both big and small help with moter skills. get them in different colors and you can work on colors, counting, numbers etc. get small bins of things like zoo animals, dinorsaurs etc to keep by the blocks. an art place with markers and crayons and paints etc. have your day set up so that you do things like circle time to start the day, a free play time (this should be off and on all during the day) , a story time, snack time, art time, music time, lunch time (if your an all day preschool) a rest time, outside play in the morning and afternoon. more free time snack again in the afternoon and then just more play.

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answers from Williamsport on

Our area's top-rated private daycares are play-based through age 4. At 5 they start kindergarten. Games. Hands-on toys (blocks, train tracks, whatever). Songs. Free play. Outdoor time every day. Story time. Nap. Snack. Science is informal from hands-on play like how fast they go down the slide. Math is basic counting. Social-emotional is playing with some basic discipline for aggression when needed.

Look into this a bit more in your competition. In our area the only place with scholastic structure before regular kindergarten has K4 (4yo kindergarten) at a private Christian school and it's only a few hours long including lunch and playtime and basic letters and numbers and bible songs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If it were me I'd spend the money on a real curriculum like Scholastic or one of the other name brand ones. It is so much easier and it's all inclusive, covers all the areas.

One thing though, the pods your teachers do really do need to coincide with the season's. For some reason one of the child care places I worked in was off by a few weeks. BUT in real life it made a heck of a lot of difference. We were doing water, water play, goggles, underwater, February in Oklahoma!

Crazy! So it made no sense to us or to the kids.

Another thing. In most states ANY child care or school setting for kids under kindergarten age they are governed by the child care regulations.

That means that you have to follow any guidelines they set up such as kids under kindergarten age MUST lay down and nap/rest for at least X hours per day. With the curtains drawn and the lights lowered and quiet going on. Even Head Start and pre-K have to follow the states child care guidelines and they're part of the local school system.

So any pre-school type of situation is still classified as child care but with definite differences. SO you do need to get a child care provider hand book to see what they require.

If I were going to put my kiddo in any sort of preschool setting I would make sure they had fun teachers, fun activities that encouraged learning, had family style dining, took naps and for those that no longer napped there were quite things they could do while laying on their cot that were engaging but still very quiet.

I'd look at the facility structure. Is it built for 3 year old kids or school age/adults. Are all the sinks, toilets, counters, tables, chairs, windows, shelves, toys, fish tanks, etc...set up to be for that age and size of kiddo. Are their chemicals for sanitizing good ones or commercial ones that don't always do a good job or that might hurt the kids. What do the materials look like. Is everything dated? The cot covers worn out or fresh and happy looking? Is there a washing machine so accidents and puke and diarrhea messes can be washed up as soon as possible. Are the floor surfaces tile, wood, carpet, linoleum, or other? Does it look clean all the time? How do they clean it, do the teachers get up after lunch and kids going down to sweep and mop? DO they actually get the floors clean or just pushed out of the way and damp mopped? Does it smell in the building? Where are the mops and other cleaning tools kept? Out of reach in a locked room?

What does the outdoor space look like? trees and grass and sand and toys to climb on and crawl under? Balance toys and swings? I didn't have swings at my facility because my insurance would have doubled. Are there sand digging toys, does anyone go out and sift through the sand for razor blades, cigarette butts, drug paraphernalia, broken been bottles, in the playground area? Are there easels attached to the fences where the kids can pop one down and do art work, can they bring building toys outside, play cars in the sand and on the pavement, are there balls of various sizes, and more that they can do while outside that will spark their imagination? Are there riding spaces and riding toys? Are there animals on the grounds like a pony or donkey or ducks or rabbits? Sand and water tables and tactile tables?

There are lots of things I look for in a facility that others might not know to look for. I don't care what sort of rating a facility/business has...if they are skimping the provisions or making choices to not do what is right because they think it's silly or something then that's not the place for my kiddo's.

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