Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • What is your educational philosophy?
  • What is the daily structure like?
  • How do you handle discipline?
  • What type of experience/background do your teachers have?
  • What are your regular hours? Do you have after care hours? [Also see School Year Calendar]
  • What is the cost?
  • What is the ratio of teacher to child? What is your class size?
  • Do you have openings? If so, when?
  • What is the relationship between the church and the preschool?

 

Educational Philosophy

FUMC Preschool and Child Care Center is an inviting place for children to learn and grow according to their unique developmental patterns. The staff of teachers will welcome your child with Christian love, respect, and dignity. Our creative and qualified staff will provide a safe and stimulating environment where your child will learn to care for themselves and others as valuable members of our community.

Objectives

The objectives of FUMC Preschool and Child Care Center are:

  • To provide a safe, nurturing, accepting place for your child.
  • To provide both structured, supervised and interest based learning experiences.
  • To provide opportunities for children to build the self-confident foundations for social skills within their peer group and with adults.

To provide an environment that allows for development in the areas of:

  • Confidence and self-help skills
  • Self-awareness and awareness of others, or social skills
  • Language development/communication
  • Cognitive growth-learning skills
  • Physical development/defining motor skills
  • Health and nutrition

 

Daily Structure

Please see: 

 

Discipline

On discipline-we do a lot of talking things through.We use "time-out" only when a child has been hurt. Even then, once the child who was hurt has been cared for, we stay close and continue the conversation. We talk a lot about "taking turns" and giving children the right phrases to use when they want a turn with a toy or a bike. ["Can I have a turn with that in 2 minutes?" for instance.] And if a child continues dangerous behavior, he/she is given a warning, such as: "If you crash the bike again, I'm afraid you'll need to go find something else to do." If behavior continues, the teacher will re-direct the child to another activity.

 

Experience/Background of our Teachers

Most of our teachers have college degrees and all have many years of teaching experience. [California State Licensing simply requires Teachers to have 12 Early Childhood Education units.] Two of our teachers have been here for over 20 years. [See: Preschool Staff] Teachers also meet with their classroom co-teachers and Diane monthly to discuss each child's development. [This program is based on "The Sooner the Better" program, developed at the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, IL.]

 

Hours of Operation

We're open year-round from 7 am to 6 pm, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and 7 am to 5:30 pm on Tuesday. We're closed for major holidays, one week in August for cleaning and preparations for new school year, and we're closed from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day. [See School Year Calendar]

We offer a unique schedule: we don't have "after care hours," Rather, we offer the choice between a Part Day, which is anything up to 6 hours/day, and a Full Day, which is 6-10 hours/day. Part Days can be 7-12:30, or 8:30-2:30, or 9-3, for instance. Full Days are more like 8-5, 9:30-4:30, etc.We require that children are in school by 9:15 am. While we offer our curricular activities and circle times in the mornings, we continue to offer lots of educational activities in the afternoon, too.

 

Cost

Please see:

 

Teacher-Child Ratios & Class Size

In the Butterfly Class (3,4,5's) we have 2-3 teachers and up to 18 children (A ratio of 1:9 or 1:6).

In the Caterpillar Class (2s & young 3s) we have 2-3 teachers and up to 16 children (A ratio of 1:7 or 1:5).

 

Openings

FUMC Preschool and Child Care Center will not discriminate based on race, gender or gender identity, national origin or religion. The following criteria must be met by all children enrolling in the center:

  1. Children must be 2-5 years of age.
  2. For the health and safety of all the clients, each child must be physically fit, emotionally and socially ready to participate in our program.
  3. Each child should be read for the program we offer and be able to benefit from it.
  4. All children, as well as children with special needs, will be included providing that we can meet he child's individual needs as well as the needs of the group.

We offer tours at 10 am, by appointment. We allow year-round enrollment. We can enroll children as early as their 2nd birthday, whenever it falls during the year. Other popular times for enrolling are Summer (mid-June) and Fall (mid-August). Our program was founded with the intention to offer flexibility, so that we can better accommodate the needs of working families. For more information, please contact the Director, Diane Wikse, at 707-546-7012 or 707-542-8215, or email: preschool@fumcsantarosa.org.  

 

Relationship between the Preschool and the Church

Our Center was founded by members of the First United Methodist Church in 1992 in order to offer affordable preschool and child care for families in our community. These members continue to support our operation in many ways, including scholarship donations. Their ongoing support makes it possible for us to offer the teacher-child ratios that we do. That is, by housing the program, we are able to put more financial resources into staffing.

A few of our preschool children are from church families, and some preschool families come explore our church and join, but is is certainly not a requirement that preschool families attend the church.Preschool families are all invited to several church events throughout the year, in particular:

  • The Halloween events, such a "Trunk or Treat" or "Harvest Fair"
  • Our Christmas Eve Children's Service, 4 pm, every Christmas Eve.
  • The Easter Egg Hunt every year on the Saturday before Easter.

Preschool families are especially invited to attend any or all of the worship services and /or events. For more information on what's happening, you can pick up a Roseleaf Newsletter by the Butterfly class , or view it on-line. You can also view entire worship services on our web-site. Or, to get a sense of what's going on in the life of the church, you can view our monthly "Ministry Minute" videos.

Because we are in a church setting, it's okay to talk about God. We don't make a big deal of it, but when conversations turn to how things work, or why some of us are different, we can include God on our answer, if it seems relevant. ["That's how God made us!" for instance] We don't have to shy away from religious tak, in other words. We also:

  • Pray before each snack and meal. ["Johnny Appleseed" and other prayer-songs.]
  • Sing one or two simple "God" songs with Darlene in our music classes each week.
  • Have "Vacation Bible School"(VBS) one week each summer for all children in our program.
  • Invite our Senior Pastor of other Church Staff to meet with the children for special occasions, and we invite them to offer up a prayer before our concerts and graduation.