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Old 10-26-2008, 09:57 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,522 times
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You can get pretty good lists to research by searching Google/Yahoo for the string:

five star childcare chapel hill

(or, substitute your local city name)

I usually see 10-15 entries that can then be investigated and with Google, you can put them on a map (along with your home) to see them at a glance for distance.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:07 PM
 
86 posts, read 212,175 times
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Carolina Friends School has an Early School program:

Carolina Friends School | Early School

It is a Quaker school but that really just means it is a very diverse school. The kids that go there really, really love it and the parents are very happy with it. The teachers really care about the students. They emphasize art, music, accepting other people, and nature. It is expensive, but it's worth it!!
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:06 AM
 
1,627 posts, read 6,294,472 times
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I loved the Friends School. Also Duke School has a great preschool and if you're really into nature and believe preschool should be what it used to be (as in--social, outdoor play and not academic) then the Waldorf School has a fantastic program. I love Waldorf but many don't get it or don't agree w/it so do your homework on that one--it's not just another "regular" preschool.

Other places I've heard over and over get great reviews from parents (including parents who aren't religious) are
Orange United Methodist preschool, the Presbyterian Church on Franklin Street, CH Family Preschool.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:25 PM
 
52 posts, read 135,506 times
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Ya know, I don't like that star system. Apparently a center has to pay a sizeable amount of money to get a five star rating, and it's based upon things like the number of blocks per child the center has. I dunno - I just walked into places close to where I live. I inspected the area, observed how the staff interacts with children, and asked a lot of questions about childcare philosophy, discipline procedures, safety, etc.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:08 PM
 
1,627 posts, read 6,294,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary_Anne View Post
Ya know, I don't like that star system. Apparently a center has to pay a sizeable amount of money to get a five star rating, and it's based upon things like the number of blocks per child the center has. I dunno - I just walked into places close to where I live. I inspected the area, observed how the staff interacts with children, and asked a lot of questions about childcare philosophy, discipline procedures, safety, etc.
I agree on the star thing--good point. I think those with the star ratings tend to be larger places and/or "chains." Places I would try to avoid.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogandtoad View Post
I think those with the star ratings tend to be larger places and/or "chains." Places I would try to avoid.
This is not necessarily true. My kids are in a small (64 kids), non-chain, non-profit 5-star center. A search of 5 star Centers through the State's Div of Child Development will find a number other non-profit and non-chain centers out there.

I am on our Center's Board of Directors and have seen many examples of the criteria that go into the star system - our Center went up for reassessment recently. Some criteria make perfect sense and others seem crazy or excessive. Some indeed deal with space and materials considerations, with caregiver's education, compliance with state regulations, etc. Some are very particular - depth of mulch on a playground, rules about window coverings, etc. Others deal with the ratio of caregivers to children.

I definitely agree that stars should not be a complete indicator of quality. There are 5 star Centers where I would not want my kids to be, and there are surely Centers with 2 or 3 stars that presumably have a full roster of satisfied families at them.

I chose our Center based on word of mouth and my own observations, not because it was a 5 star. One should absolutely visit Centers they are interested in, take a tour, ask questions, drop by unannounced, and talk with parents who have kids at the Center. But to dismiss the system all together as being arbitrary and meaningless as Mary Anne has done is not fair in my opinion. The star system can be a helpful starting point for someone interested in finding a Center with enhanced ratios, an educated staff of teachers (yes, I do know that experience counts a lot as well), etc.

Last edited by jill7930; 10-28-2008 at 02:54 PM.. Reason: typos
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