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Old 02-10-2011, 09:13 PM
 
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The Early Childhood Program at the Dell Jewish Community Association is also on most short lists of "best" day cares/pre-schools. We've been very, very happy.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Ft.Lauderdale, Fl
3 posts, read 7,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ail View Post
I'm trying this again : ) I enrolled my 2 yr old P/T in a preschool/daycare in the Bee Caves area. It's good for now, but I would like to switch him when he turns 3 (still P/T) to some place a bit more preschool oriented rather than daycare.

I am fairly new to to town and don't have a circle of friends to ask--what ARE considered the best preschools in town? I would prefer NOT to send my son to a church-affiliated preschool which seems to be so prevalent here. I live in the bee caves/westlake area, and am willing to travel a bit (within reason). I know I need to get his names on lists soon... Thank you in advance...feeling a bit lost in this arena : )
Check your county for the Childcare Licensing Office. They have a list of all licensed preschools/ daycares in your area with detailed info for you to view as you are searching out the best school for your child
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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Default I'm in the same situation as you one year later...

Hi, AIL!

I am in the exact situation as you described and wanted to see what you decided with your toddler. I have toured so many schools in the Bee Cave/Westlake area. I like all the facilities available at Children's Center of Austin, but it does seem more like a daycare environment--not for the older children but for the little ones anyway. Also, there seems to be a teacher and director turnover which is concerning. I sat in and observed a class at Lake Hills Montesorri and was impressed--but it didn't seem like the kids had enough room to move around and the tot lot/playground for the little ones seemed a little dated and old. I would LOVE to hear your experience and what you decided. Everyone tells me I am overthinking this, but I feel it's my responsibity to place my child in the best environment that fits her. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
12,226 posts, read 28,028,276 times
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I guess a lot of it comes down to what is meant be "...a bit more preschool oriented rather than daycare".

The schools we looked at (and currently have our kids, now 2.5 and 5.5), we call daycare; however, they are learning counting, letters, and perform all sorts of activities geared specifically for fine and gross motor skills. Right now, our 2 y/o is learning to identify bugs and they then hunt and identify them in the playground area. She can count to 10 (usually ) and can sing her ABCs, although it will be some time before she understands the basics concepts. She can also identify the letters in her name. It is structured somewhat, but also allows the kids to progress as they are ready.

Teacher turnover, unfortunately, is an issue for all daycares at one time or another. The teachers just don't get paid that much, no matter where you go. It seems to go in spurts - they lose a long-time teacher, and then have to go through 2 or 3 more before they find a 'keeper'. It is hard to guarantee that the first person you hire to replace a lost teacher will be the right fit for all involved, no matter how much due diligence you do. In our combined 7 years or so total that we have had a kid in daycare, we only had one period of time were teacher turnover affected us personally for a few months. We worked it out with the daycare (our child 'advanced' to the next level a bit early), and that was the end of it. The administrator worked very closely with us to do what they could do, and we appreciated that.
Quote:
and the tot lot/playground for the little ones seemed a little dated and old.
Just remember, it is not dated or old to a toddler . If it is safe and provides activity for the child, it is probably fine.

Quote:
but it didn't seem like the kids had enough room to move around
This initially bothered me some, at least while the kids were indoors (outdoor area is huge), but watching the kids over time, they have very different space requirements (and probably perception) than you or I. Larger spaces can also make if more difficult to involve a whole group, so I think there is a balance between too large and too small.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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Thanks for the info and I do agree with everything you said. Where do you send your littles ones--if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by maastrichtian View Post
Not a lot out there, is there?

We're in the same boat. 2.5 year old in Eanes. I also think it's funny/sad how many religious schools are out there that will tell you "we're not a religious school". I have talked to many a Montessori, and am disgusted with them all (NO OFFENSE - I've talked to a lot of Montessori parents, also, and they all love it). I hadn't looked too much into the Eanes ELT/CDC programs (since it's 3 years+) but will now. The answer to your question is probably the UT lab school. We got on the list there back in August and haven't heard anything from them, which is typical. I don't expect to hear from them. But the academics there are well-regarded, and it's part time, and clearly no religious affiliation. We're also on the list at the nature & science center, which is more what our son will enjoy - not necessarily something for you.

Good luck - the pickins are slim - but I am FIRMLY in the "they don't really need preschool, particularly in Eanes, and the mass hysteria surrounding preschool is something I don't want to be a part of, either" camp.
What is your feedback with the Montessori schools you've checked out? Just curious as we are exploring the idea of sending our's.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
12,226 posts, read 28,028,276 times
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We are at a Bright Horizons, although we would have also gone to a Primrose or a Children's Courtyard given slightly different circumstances at the time we started. All three of those are (despite what some people might tell you) very similar in what they do - I would consider all of them to be 'educational' in their approach, not just herd the kids together and get them to the end of the day.

On a related note, make sure you meet with the director of wherever you are looking and have a long conversation about -whatever- and make sure you feel comfortable with them. Visit the facility (or various facilities) multiple times. They generally will be more than willing to take you around and show you how the school is run, and although none will have issues with you showing up unannounced, be aware that they may have to juggle staff to get you an escort, so it may take a little while if you happen to show up at a bad time. Pay attention to the teachers - friendly, open teachers were a must with us. Even if they are great with the kids, I want to be able to feel comfortable with what is going on, and a little one cannot communicate that very well, so you depend on the teachers for feedback.

There are others out there that we did not visit due to geography or whatever, but might be fine as well. We wanted a place that was close to home to limit the amount of time that the kids would spend in the car each day, but some people prefer a place closer to work so they can stop by easily if their kid(s) get sick.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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Anyone have feedback on similar programs (light religious , montessori or not) in the northwest hills area?
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:11 PM
 
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Thanks, Trainwreck 20, for the advice and insight. I know that the CCOA Bee Caves location is currently looking to fill the director's position. I've heard from parents of older kids that atmosphere and the way any preschool or daycare is run depends on the director who is overseeing it at the time. But I guess that is true of any daycare, educational facility, or even business or even corporate world.

FueledbyBlueBell, I haven't visited any facilities in the NW area. My focus has been the Westlake/Bee Caves area and a couple in the Southwest area. I have toured quite a few places--Children's Center of Austin on Bee Caves, St. Neumann's preschool, Lake Hills Montesori, Good Shepherd, and a coupld of other church schools/MDO programs to name a few. If you want my feedback on any of these, I will be very happy to provide it to you. Also, our nanny has a good friend who works at a Montessori school off of Lake Austin Blvd and she loves it and apparently she also worked at Lake Hills Montessori.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:42 PM
 
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We love Bright Horizons at Bee Cave. The teachers and staff are great and the facility is clean, beautiful and filled with light. Our two sons LOVE it and have both grown tremendously while attending school there. The director, Sharla Robles is amazing and is a great resource. A great director really makes a huge difference and working with Sharla we know that any reasonable request we make will be honored.
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