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Old 01-26-2011, 10:56 PM
ail ail started this thread
 
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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 : )

Last edited by ail; 01-26-2011 at 11:36 PM..
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:18 AM
 
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How do you define "best"? Are you looking at public or private schools after preschool?
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:57 AM
 
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I have checked Primrose@Bee Caves a couple of weeks before. Right now, they don't have openings in my daughter's age room, but it is very possible to have a spot in May if I decide to put her on the waiting list. Also, Lake Hills Montessori@Bee Cave was recommended by a mom on this board. On Bee Cave Rd, there is a Children's Center of Austin as well. I think they are not full yet. If you search this board with "Lakeway", "Bee Cave", you may get a bunch of them.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:45 AM
ail ail started this thread
 
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Thanks for your suggestions--I have checked out Primrose, and my son is currently enrolled in Children's Center. Both, seem to me, to feel more like day cares. Don't get me wrong--kids do have a curriculum, but their mornings (when my son attends) is pretty much filled up with breakfast, lunch, and napping. Very little time for other activities. I have heard mixed things about the Lake Hills Montessori, and and when I called to ask for a tour I was shocked by how unfriendly the person was--so turned off that I could never bring myself to go in for a tour.

By "best" I'm using my instincts (first time parent) as to what I think my child may enjoy and/or need: small class size, good student-teacher ratio, diversity of activities, the ability to flow into other rooms at the school (Child's Center does this, Primrose Bee Cave does not) to participate in other activities such as art, library, computer lab, etc. I do look closely at the curriculum, and appreciate a good mix of play, creative time, and traditional learning (flash cards, etc).
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ail View Post
I have heard mixed things about the Lake Hills Montessori, and and when I called to ask for a tour I was shocked by how unfriendly the person was--so turned off that I could never bring myself to go in for a tour.
I don't have any experience with Lake Hills Montessori, but I wouldn't rule out a place because of a single phone call to whoever was answering the phone that day. It was probably just the front desk person and not someone that regularly deals with the children and maybe she was just having a bad day.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Austin
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Originally Posted by ail View Post
Both, seem to me, to feel more like day cares.
I have my daughter at Primrose in Bee Cave, she's 3, and it's definitely not a "daycare" especially compared to where I had her previously. The morning is filled with learning and sometimes I wonder how the kids do so much in such a short period.

8:30 is Circle time and when everything starts. They do basic learning stuff first and then they have art and math all before snack time. My daughter tells me this morning on the way to school that their are 8 planets (I had to balk because I still count Pluto and had to remember very quickly it's no longer 9), we live on Earth, and that the sun is a star. I was amazed!

I was also amazed a couple of months ago when she came home able to write her name, each letter, at age 3! She wouldn't have learned that at her other daycare.

No, there aren't currently full time openings in the 3 year old class, but I'm not sure about the 2's. There is usually room for part time on the opposite days of the other part time kids. TTh usually has the lower kid count whereas MWF are usually full.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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The best (so subjective) preschools are half-day, and are church based. I would look at All Saints, Good Shepherd, St. Matthew's. The JCC has a great program. Lake Austin Montessori is good. Habibis Hutch is fabulous, but kind of on the granola hippie side (personally, love it.)
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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Like FalconheadWest said, Primrose is definitely not just a day care. They have an established curriculum that every school follows on a daily basis. It's the same no matter which school you attend. Our daughter is in the PreK-1 class. They are currently learning the planets and the major moons of the planets. She can count to 100. She can count in Spanish to at least 30. She can read and write her alphabet, name, address, phone number. She can do simple visual addition problems. Last week she gave us a history lesson on MLK.

Don't be concerned about the wait list if want to be on it. We were initially told November and we got in at least 3 months earlier.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:20 PM
ail ail started this thread
 
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Of course--please please please do not take offense to anything I've written--I toured Primrose and was impressed by staff there--we didn't choose it for other personal reasons but I know it's not simply a daycare, as Children's Center too is not just daycare. Mimimomx3-I have heard that the church based schools are excellent, but we personally have decided that is not for us at this time.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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My kids go / have gone to Lake Travis United Methodist Church Preschool. They only offer half-day programs and follow the public school schedule (closed holidays /summer). It is the most amazing school.

I know you said you didn't want religious, but I have found that non-profit schools tend to focus more on the children than their for-profit counterparts. And most non-profits are church-based.
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