Using the Top Ten Questions fro NIEER, determine if the answers to all 10 questions are available on the web site. List information found to all 10 questions. Basing your opinion on this information would you send your own child to the Pre-K program you chose to research? Why or Why not?
Dr. Ellen Frede documents with the list at the National Institute for Early Education Research focal points for a Pre-k selection process. I feel that there often is a confusing difference or grey area between a 'preschool and a child care facility.' The list helps keep a focus on important issues that a center really needs to be accountable for. Most try to attain state accreditation and violations of basic criteria can hurt the reputation of the business.
I used the list to evaluation a center that is associated with an area school (A), which provides free services and one I worked at, a Montessori (B), which is fee for service.
1. Making an appointment to visit the program and spend time in a classroom
What to look for: safe spaces with children comfortable and engaged in what they are doing, not easily distracted or wandering aimlessly; children seem happy, not distressed, bored or crying; adults are caring, sensitive (not harsh), responsive to children's needs and requests, and involved in what the children are doing by helping children solve problems, accomplish projects and learn; time and space for active outdoor and indoor play as well as quiet time. Children's voices dominate.
2. Curriculum availability and proven evidence that teachers implement it
A. Annual pre post test, showing student growth
B. Ongoing achievement ...
Accountability questions to consider, offered by the National Institute for Early Education Research, to help parents evaluate preschool programs is discussed.