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Old 12-22-2015, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 592,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
Sorry, I'm biased. My first babysitter was an Hispanic lady and I might feel that is a benefit. If they are licensed and their workers are legal then what's the problem. I'd certainly feel comfortable asking about the legality of their workers. I'd understand not using them if they can't tell me their work force is legal.

And have a plan B for snowy days. Not that many of them in Bethesda.
I think a babysitter is an entirely different situation than what we have here.

There were 12 last year (7 closures and 5 2-hour delays). There were 10 closures the year before. And that doesn't account for late openings when the school decides it doesn't want to open, as it sounded like they close or open late more than the MoCo school system, from the way they were talking. That's a lot for a single mom with a limited number of days off which are much needed for my son's medical appointments.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 592,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Not addressing the ethnic makeup but the school closing policy.


OP, you're in Maryland, correct? Snow in this areas closes everything down, and it doesn't take much. Pre-K programs tend to run on the public school schedules, which include weather closings and dismissals.
Yes, Maryland (and not western MD where there's twice the snow but four times the plows so snow never touches the roads). Exactly my thoughts. We were posting at the same time.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:47 PM
 
4,554 posts, read 2,022,675 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UserName14289 View Post
That was one of my concerns about their wages (and this is *not* a cheap school, which is even more concerning). Monthly tuition is more than my first mortgage.

Yes, my son is almost 2.

He also has a speech delay. They boast teaching Spanish, but at 2, I want his focus to be on English. I was raised bilingual Greek and English and find it confusing for some children. I can't imagine how confusing it must be for a child with a speech delay.

Also, many people on the staff had thick accents and some less than ideal English since it's obviously their second language.

What I love about our current school is that it is extremely highly rated by the MD Dept. of Education, and that all their main pre-k teachers have a bachelor's or higher in a related field. Teacher assistants have at least their 90-certs. My cousin argues at this age, a degree is not important. She wants her daughter to feel safe and nurtured. To me, a degree says this is my chosen field, this is a career, a passion -- not something for extra cash or to get a Visa.

I also asked about their kindergarten preparedness rates, and got the answer, "well, a few students are reading by kindergarten" (I didn't specially ask about reading). At our current school, all kids are reading before kindergarten. I do not want my son struggling in kindergarten because he was not adequately prepared. Oh, and our current school costs $600/mo less.
I was considering chiming in, but when I saw you post this I knew I had to. My immediate thought was that there is primarily an Hispanic staff because they can pay that staff LESS. (That they live a considerable distance away may also be an indication that the staff lives in a poorer part of town and cannot afford better (again LOW wages). This should be of concern in terms of their 'preparedness' for positions in educating young children.

Another thought was that you would be lucky to have an Hispanic staff because of their typical love and pampering of little ones. But unfortunately, there are some 'red flags' here.

A few things:
I live in New Mexico (our population is heavily Hispanic) so culture is not an issue.
I am a Speech-Language Pathologist.
I provide services for some preschoolers at their day care settings.
As a service provider, I have experienced a wide range of day care settings and those with a lack of diversity in staff ALWAYS raise a red flag for me EVEN though our population is heavily Hispanic! One of my problems is with the low wages for these staff members who work very hard in these centers. They are 'stuck' in these jobs and have little autonomy/input into the system in which they work. They have some of the strictest guidelines, NOT just from the state which oversees child care, but from the owners of these businesses. And it must be remembered that they are, above all, BUSINESSES!

The regimentation of the children in some of these centers is unbelievable. For example, when I enter a day care to provide services I find my little guy sitting at the snack table with his peers and TOTAL quiet is demanded of them. This is required under the guise of 'teaching manners', but seriously, who expects a one, two, three or even four year old to be completely quiet?! I, in turn, am there to teach my little guy to speak and find the snack table an excellent setting in which to encourage some social communication, at least with me! When his little playmates chime in, I welcome it, but they are essentially reprimanded and even moved elsewhere at the long table to discourage them from making a peep! This happened a couple of weeks ago and my jaw dropped I was so appalled.

I couldn't hold it in and after a few moments came right out and asked why the children were moved. I was told that talking wasn't permitted at the table. Unbelievable. In every 'good' daycare/preschool setting I have been involved in, verbal interaction during communal dining is considered most desirable. I could hardly contain myself, so I gave a very strained smile in response. It probably was more like a grimace.

Since I am not the one setting their working conditions I had no recourse, but I wondered about how these children were otherwise 'limited' in their development by stringent, meaningless rules that go against good developmental education principles.

It may seem that I am on a rant here, but parents must take the time to discover the 'innards' of any childcare to which they entrust their child.

You are right to question the lack of diversity. To me it might indicate a poor working condition for the Hispanic staff who may not have 'options' and may be essentially at the mercy of an employer/system. If the staff is so restricted, perhaps one might find that the children are 'restricted' as well.

I've tried to be objective as I can about this, but I do admit to having my biases based on many, many, many years of experience in my field.

Another point of concern is definitely the possibility of a lack of English language skills of the staff in a predominantly Hispanic staff setting if they are, indeed, low wage earners. They may be recent immigrants or of low education backgrounds themselves. This is not to say all are of such backgrounds, but there is definitely the possibility. The staff of the daycare to which I have referred are so limited. How are children to learn to speak correctly in such a setting? I have no problem with second-language learning, I am bilingual, English-Spanish myself. It's just that children who already have language development difficulties are at a great disadvantage in such situations. The first language must have a strong foundation before a second is introduced. The first language and any second language introduced must be properly spoken by teachers, staff and parents. You are correct in your concern for your little one with language delays!

What other options are available to you?

I suggest that you research how to choose/what makes a good...daycare setting. Try websites such as ZerotoThree, babycare or parents.com to start. Good luck and please return here to let us know what you've decided to do for your child.

Last edited by tangelag; 12-22-2015 at 08:07 PM.. Reason: Offer suggestions
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 592,245 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangelag View Post
I was considering chiming in, but when I saw you post this I knew I had to. .... [truncated] You are correct in your concern for your little one with language delays!

What other options are available to you?
Thank you for your post. Those were my gut reactions and before I even returned to my car after the tour, I knew it wasn't a good fit. But I seem to have trouble with listening to my gut still because I was firmly ready to not go there, until my instincts were challenged by one of the speech therapists and I began questioning whether I was making too big of a deal of things.

I figured she should know better, but her point was, go where I have to and my son will get the care he needs and be okay. Well, I don't *have* to go there. It's just the most convenient for work. But if I rethink where I live, maybe I can land a place to live closer to the pre-k I like (which is further from jobs and in much more expensive houses, sadly).

For some reason, the corridor between where I'd be living and working doesn't have pre-k's with the best track records. The two best pre-ks are other locations of the same school we're in now and *love*. One is very far south almost on the outskirts of Bethesda. The other is at the extreme other end at the tippy top of Rockville.

I noticed that the placement isn't random. These pre-ks, held in high esteem by every grade school teacher I know and have even met randomly at playgrounds, etc, are strategically placed within 3 miles of a top performing high school (I'm guessing because they know that those parents are thinking long term about education, such as myself -- so I suppose I fit their demographic pretty well lol).

This pre-k in question has very good word of mouth, unlike other pre-ks also in this more central location to the majority of jobs, but I can't get past the concerns of the all Hispanic staff.

Another option is keeping him in the school he's at now (just part-time, half-days for now) and trying to hold off the move until he's ready to transition to kindergarten. I just thought moving later might be a lot to juggle for both my son and myself (moving, starting new job, then starting new school all in a tight turn around which seems like a lot of unneeded stress for his first exposure to school).

Thank you for sharing that information and reminding me to listen to my gut, and not just one speech therapist.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Seattle Area
1,716 posts, read 1,491,378 times
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Sounds like you got lucky. Embrace it, it won't always be this way.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,472 posts, read 15,913,707 times
Reputation: 38735
Quote:
Originally Posted by UserName14289 View Post
That was one of my concerns about their wages (and this is *not* a cheap school, which is even more concerning). Monthly tuition is more than my first mortgage.

Yes, my son is almost 2.

He also has a speech delay. They boast teaching Spanish, but at 2, I want his focus to be on English. I was raised bilingual Greek and English and find it confusing for some children. I can't imagine how confusing it must be for a child with a speech delay.

Also, many people on the staff had thick accents and some less than ideal English since it's obviously their second language.

What I love about our current school is that it is extremely highly rated by the MD Dept. of Education, and that all their main pre-k teachers have a bachelor's or higher in a related field. Teacher assistants have at least their 90-certs. My cousin argues at this age, a degree is not important. She wants her daughter to feel safe and nurtured. To me, a degree says this is my chosen field, this is a career, a passion -- not something for extra cash or to get a Visa.

I also asked about their kindergarten preparedness rates, and got the answer, "well, a few students are reading by kindergarten" (I didn't specially ask about reading). At our current school, all kids are reading before kindergarten. I do not want my son struggling in kindergarten because he was not adequately prepared. Oh, and our current school costs $600/mo less.
Since your son has a speech delay I would be concerned about the staff being difficult to understand and using poor English. Now, if it was just one or two staff members that would be OK but all of the staff would be a major problem.


I also agree that having a degree usually means that a person is committed to young children. And, you can be warm and nurturing and also have a degree.
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:38 PM
 
5,811 posts, read 3,298,927 times
Reputation: 13548
I wouldn't worry too much about him adjusting to a future move and school change. You can involve him in the whole thing in a positive way and he'll see it as an adventure. Good preschool in the interim is more important. He's lucky to have such a conscientious Mom!
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 592,245 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpaint View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about him adjusting to a future move and school change. You can involve him in the whole thing in a positive way and he'll see it as an adventure. Good preschool in the interim is more important. He's lucky to have such a conscientious Mom!
Who would have thought it would be so much easier to find a good preschool in Baltimore over Bethesda (although, admittedly, I did pick where we are living now based on this preschool, though my best friend will insist it's because she lives nearby lol)? Just goes to show, don't judge a book by its cover.

Good point.

Aww, thank you!
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:07 PM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,787,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UserName14289 View Post
See, now that just makes sense. One of his speech therapists said the same thing. The other said that they'd be coming to his school to work on speech with him, so it wasn't as important that his teachers weren't native English speakers as myself and the other therapist thought. We obviously don't agree, and I feel pretty confident about that. Thank you for confirming.

Wow, through college? That's a lot of speech therapy.
Sorry, I didn't make that clear. He had an IEP for a learning disability. The first indication that he might was the speech delay when he was a toddler, but the speech itself was fine by kindergarten. Because he had issues processing sounds, the IEP specified he should have native English speakers. Heavy accents aren't usually a problem in elementary and high school, but they can be more common in nursery school/day care settings, and again in college.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 592,245 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Sorry, I didn't make that clear. He had an IEP for a learning disability. The first indication that he might was the speech delay when he was a toddler, but the speech itself was fine by kindergarten. Because he had issues processing sounds, the IEP specified he should have native English speakers. Heavy accents aren't usually a problem in elementary and high school, but they can be more common in nursery school/day care settings, and again in college.
Ohhh, gotcha. Thank you.
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