Did you know that part-day preschools, operating four or fewer hours per day, are not licensed in North Carolina? They may be great for preschoolers, but there’s no government agency visiting, monitoring, or providing any kind of oversight. Are part-day programs licensed in your state?
The center I visited in Virginia is state-licensed and is part of a national chain known for better teacher salaries and benefits and high program quality. And children were happy and busy during most of my visit.
But some of the preschoolers didn’t have enough interesting things to choose from during the morning free choice/free play time. The classroom was equipped and teachers were involved with the children’s play, but the teachers had not planned a teacher-led activity for this time.
The lesson plan posted in the room included only one teacher-planned activity for the whole day. Teachers in this room were not using the free choice/free pay time for intentional teaching and learning.
Without enough interesting activities to choose from some children were bored and aggressive with classroom materials and with each other, and teachers were busy with re-directing and guiding.
Do you see this happening in child care and preschools? Why?
After preschoolers and pre-kindergartners finished their lunch and cleaned their places, they moved to the library area. There, one teacher read quietly to the group while another teacher helped each child one by one prepare his or her sleeping cot. At the end of the quiet story, each child lay down to rest in dimly lit rooms with quiet music playing in the background. Children knew the routine and were ready for at least a short rest after a busy morning full of activity.