15 signs of a great preschool!

We are loving Lilina's new preschool and the methods they using to teach and have fun.

We are loving Lilina's new preschool and the methods they using to teach and have fun.

Lilina started a new preschool last week in the 4-year-old class and even from the meet-the-teacher night we have been so impressed with the teachers and the school.  Here are 15 signs, in no particular order, of a great preschool:

  1. They incorporated writing and letter recognition immediately – Even in the quick visit to meet the teachers they incorporated the kids writing their names and letter recognition in two activities. When the kids come into class, they pick out their names out from a grouping of class names on the desk. It helps them learn their names but also learn other names. On Monday, they were working on puzzles made of the other kids’ names.
  2. Her teacher is actually a certified teacher – You can tell that L.’s teacher knows how to run a classroom and is making lesson plans as if she was with a regular elementary class. She’s innovative with her activities and does things I haven’t seen before in a preschool classroom.
  3. The teacher sends home their weekly plan with everything they will be covering, doing and learning – They have the normal morning circle time with a prayer, calendar and learning activities. But then they also do journal writing, song and poem books, read aloud small group activities, whole group activities, one-on-one instruction in writing, art, science, math, drama, sensory table and library (throughout the week).
  4. The teacher uses a theme to integrate her lessons (webbing or laddering for the teachers out there) — So for example the first week the theme was gingerbread man. When we arrived at school the kids were playing with play dough and cutting out gingerbread men. Later they read “The Gingerbread Man” story by Jan Brett. Then they actually mixed real dough and created their own gingerbread men, who later ran away. Later in the week, they measured flour in measuring cups and used balance scales to see what was equal.
  5. The teacher makes her own cinnamon play dough for the class when they studied the gingerbread man –  The whole room smelled so lovely.  (See recipe below.)
  6. When you arrive to the preschool everything is spotless, when you pick them up, the rooms have clearly been played in –  For example, there was flour all over the floor from the measuring exercise. That’s OK because they are learning and playing.
  7. The kids are messy too –  Lilina came home with flour on her shirt and something awfully sticky in her hair. But it just meant they had done good stuff.
  8. The playground is well-maintained and has equipment for all types of play – They have tricycles to ride, pirate ships to pretend in, jungle gyms to climb on, and sand to dig in.
  9. They are organized about snack – You don’t have to worry about the snack basket and who’s bringing snack this week. You bring it all in the beginning and they distribute. No fuss.
  10. They use basic things as a chance to learn – The kids created their own snack mats, where they wrote their names, put their hand prints and decorated it.  (Practice writing). On one side of the snack mat are sort and group circles where they ask the kids to sort and group their snacks – Goldfish go here, pretzels go here. Such an easy thing and they think they are playing with their snacks but they are learning.
  11. We are surprised by the things they are learning – I guess I should have remembered that Rose and Walsh covered the Pledge of Allegiance in preschool but I didn’t. Michael mentioned pledge the other day and Lilina immediately put her hand to chest. She doesn’t know the words yet but she knew it was called the “Pledge of Allegience.”
  12. Your child is thrilled to see her teacher outside of the classroom  – We ran in Lilina’s teacher at the Y and Lilina was just vibrating because she was so excited to see her!
  13. It’s always walk-in—no carlines – I love, love walking into preschool seeing all the kids, their classrooms, the teachers and the parents. You can get to know them and know what’s happening.
  14. They have school pets. They have four finches that lay eggs each year in a large glass cage by the front office and the children just adore the birds. They are fascinated by them and they greet them and watch them every morning when they arrive. I love that they are learning about the birds and how to care for them.
  15. The teachers are so used to talking to the kids at eye-level they talk to you from the ground — Lilina’s teacher at meet-the-teacher night realized what she was doing and said “Oh I guess I could stand up.”

Playdough recipe from Lilina’s teacher

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 tbs. mineral oil

2 tbs. cream of tartar

2 cups of water

1 to 2 Kool-Aid packets. (Use 2 for stronger scent and color.) I assume she used cinnamon here instead of Kool-Aid.

  1. Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff.
  2. Allow to cool, then knead.
  3. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc baggies.

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania on ajc.com. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

56 comments Add your comment

Sk8ing Momma

August 18th, 2011
6:55 am

I disagree with one thing on your list: incorporating writing. IMO, the focus needs to be engaging the children in activities to build their fine motor skills. Most preschoolers are not ready to learn to write. IMO, there’s no *need* for a preschooler to know how to write. If one does, good. If not, no biggie. My concern is that students are pushed too early.

I’d also add the following to your list:

1. There’s NO television.
2. There’s LOTS of read-aloud time, including picture and chapter books.
3. Free play is a priority. Children should access to lots of toys & supplies to play & create on their own.


August 18th, 2011
7:00 am

Glad you found a good place!


August 18th, 2011
7:29 am

My child did 3 years of Montessori, and he was writing in cursive during Kindergarten. We saved the notebooks, because unfortunately in public school they wait until 3rd grade or so for cursive, so this way we have the previous work as a refresher so my child isn’t having to totally relearn from scratch.


August 18th, 2011
7:40 am

1. The preschool should be PLAY BASED. NO worksheets.
2. Lots of literacy experiences.
3. Nurturing adults.
4. NO project art (where everyone makes the same paper dog), lots of opportunities to explore with art materials and make their own art.


August 18th, 2011
7:42 am

Good list, but I disagree with the walk in. When you have newborn twins and a two year old, it’s nice to be able to drop off the four year old in carpool instead of getting them all out to walk through the rain and 40 degree temperatures!

Single Dad

August 18th, 2011
7:54 am

I changed careers so I wouldn’t have to rely on strangers to raise my daughter, but I am glad you found a safe place to unload your kids during the day so you could do something more important.


August 18th, 2011
8:03 am

I guess this is a private school, since they start the day off with a prayer……


August 18th, 2011
8:15 am

It is a blessing to have a school your child loves. TWG…I am so happy you found one!

I am in lots of Preschools and see the various ways things are done. I loved it when I was in Alaska and the director told me about the kids wearing snow suits in the winter. That would not be happening here in ATL.

I look for a school that has teachers who are FUN and love what they do. Since I train teachers of early childhood, I see some who are always looking sour and it makes me sad. I tell them that if their students run to them and want to be there…that is what counts. I like teachers who are not afraid to be goofy too. Some adults look at me, like I am nuts but kids rarely do. It seems like you have great engaging teachers. If you are at a school where the door is revolving and there are always teachers leaving and coming…this is not a good sign as far as continuity of employment. Ask how long the average teacher has been there.

I do not like the parents walking their kids in but that is just me. Not many preschools have this, that I work with. My reason is because some children have separation issues and the car line is easier. Also some parents do too. I LOVE to talk to parents but cannot be at the door visiting with parents for 30 minutes each day ( drop off and pick up could be 45 minutes) and also be doing what I need to do with the kids. This cuts into instructional time. There are some parents I would love to talk to and others who are not as talkative, so their kids might get the short end of the stick.

Amen for no TV and no videos!

Playdo needs to be replaced weekly. Germs can harbor in the playdo. If a child who has strep, uses the playdo…others can catch it from using the playdo too!

Fine motor skills are acquired developmentally and not all children are ready to write at the same time. My daughter could write lovely letters on an index card but she could not read, at four. My son, at four, could read the newspaper but his handwriting was awful.

I like bright colors and a room that looks inviting and organized. I also like a lot of singing and language to literacy activities. Children who are immersed in oral language will be better readers writers and speakers.

Be sure to ask about staff development. What are the requirements? What conferences do you attend? How do you stay current with new ideas? This is how teachers learn. I share staff development and am amazed when they tell me, ” Oh we just learn from each other!”
Really? There are conferences and workshops all over the country that teachers can attend: local, regional and national. At the very least, the director should attend a few national venues. I speak at these conferences, along with lots of other wonderful people who have a passion for young children and know what they need. It is amazing to see what is going on, across the country, and learning from others to

Re: cursive…some schools are phasing it out completely and never teaching it. I am not sure how I feel about that as I know folks do not write as much as they used to ( keyboards) but your signature is required on legal documents.

I could write a blog on this topic since this is what I do for a living…train early childhood teachers and work with young children. I love working with teachers who are excited about children and it looks like you found a place where Lilina can blossom!


August 18th, 2011
8:21 am

Kathy…thanks for mentioning the project art…that was one I forgot!

@ JJ…good guess!

@Single Dad…I WAS the stranger people relied on and enjoyed it for many years. I also got to do something important…teach Preschool/ Kindergarten/2nd grade and I loved it. Most children today, have a preschool experience. If you plan to send your child to Kindergarten, they might be at a disadvantage if they have never been to a group preschool. The teachers will be able to tell.


August 18th, 2011
8:24 am

Single Dad – I assume you’ll be homeschooling, since sending them to school at 5 would mean someone else is raising your child. And I assume you’ll be the one coaching any soccer, swim team, tee-ball, etc, since having another coach would mean someone else raising your child. And you wouldn’t dare send your kid to Sunday School, lest someone else raise your child… After all, your whole purpose in life is to raise your child and be the only adult in their life. No other purpose for you.

Mrs. G

August 18th, 2011
8:25 am

Theresa, it sounds awesome! Nothing like the preschool that I attended 24 years ago. A little girl who lived down the street and who I played with regularly went, so my mom signed me up – all I remember doing was playing games in a circle. And consequently being bored. I also remember that there were some especially snarky four-year-old girls (I wonder if they grew up to be “Mean Girls?” ;)). I didn’t learn anything; it was just something that, even at four, I dreaded going to. So, I’m glad that Lilina’s experience will be different! :)

It amazes me (in a good way) how much learning kids do in preschool now. Like I said, all we really did at my preschool back in the late 80s was play games that I didn’t like. Kindergarten was essentially the same from an educational standpoint; I’m sure that it was good for my development in some form, but I remember that I got to first grade and still couldn’t read and felt completely and totally behind because kids who had been in different kindergarten classes had started to learn how to read in kindergarten. Fortunately, I think that I caught up. ;)


August 18th, 2011
8:28 am

Theresa, that sounds like a wonderful pre-K class. All of the things you listed are important in a child’s development. I will admit that no carlines would be a hassle for me because I have to be at work by 7:30, so that wouldn’t work for me. But I always envied parents that could walk their child into the school.

Writing is extremely important. It’s great that she’s learning to write her name. I taught mine to write their names beginning at 3. We did it in sand, with pencils and with a board that had gooey stuff inside. This prepares them for kindergarten. Also, in GA all pre-K teachers are certified that teach in centers that receive GA Hope money. That’s one of the advantages of that program.

I have already decided that my bun in the oven will attend the same Catholic School as my oldest. They start at pre-K. It was such an awesome experience. I am hopeful nothing has changed.


August 18th, 2011
8:30 am

Sorry for my typos in my posts. Our dog is right next to me and whining for me to pet her. Since my daughter left for college , she is my shadow. I love pets but was not good with them in the classroom. My fish died and the gerbil escaped…chewing up lots of books over the weekend :(.


August 18th, 2011
8:32 am

I guess I’m in the minority since I prefer an academic-based preschool over play-based, which is why we chose Montessori. My child really benefited from that environment and today is in a gifted program and working one grade level higher for some classwork. He had plenty of time to play at home, so we felt if we were shelling out for private preschool and pre-K, it should be something where he’s getting school instruction that would prepare him for public elementary school. Obviously everyone has their theories on what’s best at the earliest ages, but this choice worked for us at the time, and today we’re still feeling the positive impact of an academic preschool environment.


August 18th, 2011
8:58 am

@ A, of course you have to do what you think is best for your child. My two went to play based. My son is 2 years away from his Doctorate and my daughter is a Sophomore at UGA. Both were good students, for the most part and loved to learn. A good preschool can show you why play is important. I talk about this all the time and share the objectives that illustrate the point. If you ask the teachers why they are doing something and they give you a rote answer or nothing at all, that is not a good sign.

Regarding certified Pre-K…of course standards are meant to keep things consistent and this is usually a good thing. Not all Pre-school teachers who are certified are good teachers. Just like not all of those who have their driver’s license are good drivers. I prefer to get a feel for the preschool facility and the employees over knowing that everyone is certified. It is true that some pre-schools have ” teachers” with no formal training, in education, at all. RJ…can you give the link that requires the GA teachers to be certified? I would like to read up on that.


August 18th, 2011
9:24 am

@MJG, no, I have no link, this something I know as a teacher. Perhaps you can do a google search regarding the state pre-k program.

@A, I don’t know if by academic-based you mean worksheets or not. Play-based instruction is an important part of a child’s development. I remember interviewing schools for my son. I was amazed that there were daycare centers that wanted two year olds to wear uniforms and work out of workbooks. My question was what hands-on activities are you doing? Worksheets are so inappropriate at that age. I wanted him using his senses to learn about the world around him. I think you will find that regardless of the curriculum, neither determines a child’s giftedness. You can’t teach a kid to be “gifted”, they just are. But let me say that it seems that everybody’s kid is in the gifted program now, including my own. I just don’t remember seeing so many kids in the gifted program when I was growing up. It was a handful. However, eventually the work becomes harder and they are no longer working at a grade level ahead. It levels off. That’s been my experience as a middle school teacher. Some parents get really frustrated because they thought they had a little Einstein and realize that their smart kid isn’t making those straight A’s like they used to.


August 18th, 2011
9:28 am

Not worksheets at age 3, but in Montessori they are learning through doing tasks and pulling lessons off the shelf to learn math, etc. By the pre-K year, and certainly by K, they are doing paper-based lessons and reading all the time. But the “practical life” and what they call “sensorial” lessons were just as valuable. Simply pouring water from a jug or moving beads from one container to another using tweezers were not worksheets, but they taught fine motor skills.


August 18th, 2011
9:59 am

I taught in a montessori school all through college (after school activities). I was determined to send my kids to montessori once I had them. Unfortunately, once my children were born and old enough for pre-school, the montessori schools around us (including the one I worked for) were just glorified daycare. In fact, they didn’t even have any 1/2 day programs. It was a set price for all day/everyday and all I wanted was for them to have a couple hours in the morning to learn and play.
I still love montessori and remember that there were always people who thought it was too structured and others who thought it was not structured enough. I think, if a school follows true montessori principles, it’s awesome.
I agree with not having kids write too soon if it stresses them out. A lot of 4 yr olds (especially boys) just aren’t developmentally ready and they can do just fine at 5 or 6.
I haven’t seen too many pre-schools that go overboard with the academics. I think most realize that kids at that age need fun activities to learn. I just don’t like the idea of “all day” pre-k. (ie..lottery funded). This is more for the parents’ benefit than the children. Georgia should have totally reduced the hours of Pre-K when they were looking for ways to spend/save lottery dollars.
Theresa, I think that your pre-school sounds great.


August 18th, 2011
10:04 am

@RJ, the PreK teachers in the HOPE program do not have to be certified teachers and it’s the reason I pulled my son out of the program 4 weeks into it. I believe if the PreK is housed in a public elementary school the teachers are certified but not in the daycare centers. They do have to have so many hours of continuing ed but they don’t have to have a college degree. I’ll see if I can find the info online.


August 18th, 2011
10:11 am

@ RJ…I am a teacher of early childhood teachers and did not know that the teachers had to be certified to teach Ga PreK. So, I made a few phone calls including Bright From the Start. I was just told they did not need to be certified. The lead teachers needs a Bachelor’s degree and the other teachers need a CDA. I like to stay on top of things, if possible and thought maybe this was a new rule. I wanted to check into it. It is not required for the PreK teachers to be certified. This is what I was told today.


August 18th, 2011
10:32 am

I should rephrase; not having a certified teacher was one of the reasons I pulled my son out of the state-funded PreK program. There were more reasons and the lack of consistency is why I’ve never been a big fan of the program.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 18th, 2011
10:40 am

@homeschooler….”In fact, they didn’t even have any 1/2 day programs. It was a set price for all day/everyday and all I wanted was for them to have a couple hours in the morning to learn and play”

So if you had wanted to drop your kids off there, they had to stay all day? You couldn’t even come take them out after they spent the half day you wanted them there?


August 18th, 2011
10:48 am

Guess we were lucky with our Montessori. For ages up to 4 (including what would be considered the pre-K year), kids stayed just a half day with an option to stay all day once a week for lunch and be with the older kids. Once they turned 5, and then into the kindergarten year, it became a 6-hour program but it was not what I would consider daycare. There was no before/after care and the entire time at school was spent on structured activities, whether it was math/reading or more “play” type things. With Montessori even the simplest looking lesson fits into a larger scheme. For example, the way they have the younger kids do a practical life lesson like picking up beads or whatever gets their little fingers sort of trained for the handwriting and cursive that will come later.


August 18th, 2011
10:55 am

@MJG–I’m surprised that some schools are not teaching cursive anymore–is this a new trend? I know in our elementary shcool they started in 3rd grade and I figured that was pretty standard. I realize we all rely on computers these day but I think there is still value in learning to write in cursive.


August 18th, 2011
11:39 am

@ betty…yes, I am hearing about this more and more as I travel. Some school districts have eliminated teaching cursive altogether.

@ A…yes some play based schools use those little eye droppers with colors for fine motor skills too!


August 18th, 2011
11:44 am

@MJG, then perhaps that’s just in the public schools, but in my school district they MUST be certified to teach pre-k. We were told that all teachers had to be certified if they were teaching pre-k. This was the same in the center that my son went to. As a matter of fact, I was told this at my daughter’s Kindercare center many years ago. Maybe it’s changed, but it’s what I was told. Our pre-k teacher at my school holds a maters degree. Regardless, my child will be with a certified teacher, just as the other two were. Just my preference.

So, RJ...

August 18th, 2011
12:22 pm

…if I was a certified teacher for many years (with a Master’s Degree in Education) many years ago, teaching K-5, then left treaching, and now return as a pre-K teacher but have not invested in renewing my certified and am hired to teach pre-K, would you let me teach your child?

So, RJ...

August 18th, 2011
12:23 pm

…and please forgive the typos – certification (not “my certified”) – teacher, not treacher…


August 18th, 2011
12:46 pm

@So, RJ, the answer would be no. I take my kids education very seriously. If you haven’t stayed abreast with the latest in education then I wouldn’t want you to teach my kid. Again, this is my preference. I work hard to keep my certification active, I expect my kid’s teachers to do the same. Again, this is where my husband and I stand. You may feel differently.


August 18th, 2011
2:29 pm

@single dad: Why are you considering Theresa’s sending her child to school as “someone else raising her?” Some people (teachers) are better at explaining why things are as they are, how to do things, etc to a small child. I do not excel in such arenas. I give my children love, attention, comfort, etc., but some things are taught! I think Theresa has found a great place to place her child.

I also don’t know why some teachers think parents think of them (teachers) as babysitters. Um…no, the government says to send your kids, so we send our kids. I don’t consider it babysitting. I consider it as the person best-suited and most-capable of teaching my child about reading, writing and arithmetic, etc. etc.

Thanks, RJ...

August 18th, 2011
3:22 pm

…I understand…I spent the additional years getting certified in other areas…you and Theresa are very good parents.

Brown Eyed Girl!

August 18th, 2011
3:25 pm

I think that a daycare should cover all aspects of life: sometimes you work, sometimes you play. My four year old is in daycare, however, learning has been made so much fun for him, I don’t think he realizes how much he is learning. He has been reading for about 8 months. He knows how to write his name and he is very knowledgable about things that I don’t recall knowing at his age. He enjoys going and I hope he continues to feel that way throughout his quickly approaching school career.


August 18th, 2011
3:32 pm

Totally on the same page with you. My daughter goes to sunbrook in woodstock and they are amazing. She is in PreK-3b this school year and she is learning so much. I will keep her here for private pre-k. At 3 and a half, she can spell her name, she recognizes all of her letters and numbers on sight, knows colors, numbers and body parts in spanish and more songs than I can possibly count. Her 3k teacher is also a certified teacher and I have no doubt that she will come out of PreK 4 knowing how to read. She already recognizes words. This is not “pushing” a child. It’s allowing them to rise to their abilities!


August 18th, 2011
3:50 pm

A certified teacher is no guarantee of a quality program. Teaching 4th grade is very different than running a good preschool classroom. I would look for a teacher who knows what the NAEYC guidelines are for preschool classrooms and/or is certified in early childhood education. I would look for a teacher who stresses appropriate activities, which are not necessarily letter and number recognition and definitely does not include worksheets. The facts that your child loves her teacher and comes home messy but happy are good signs. Glad you and your daughter have found the right program for you.


August 18th, 2011
4:39 pm

My niece is starting preschool in a few weeks and has been excited about it since they took her to enroll. All she needed to see was the classroom and the Play-doh! Now all she talks about is how her friends and her Play-doh are waiting for her. (No, she has not met one child in the class but clearly she believes she will be making LOTS of friends…she’s not as grouchy as me! LOL). I hope it is as good to and for her as Lilina’s program is. It sounds exciting.


August 18th, 2011
8:48 pm

@ Ohio…attending the NAEYC conference is a wonderful way to meet early childhood educators who have a passion for what they do! I have been invited to speak at the conference several times and love to meet people from all around the world. Having a teaching certificate is great but attending a a national conference and embracing current trends in education or even getting to know what others are doing, to me, is wonderful too. You can live your entire life in one state and get a teaching certificate in that state too. If you attend a national conference in a different place each year and hear speakers from all across the country too, that can broaden your perspective about what works in early childhood. The percentage of Pre K and Kinder teachers who have attended the NAEYC conference, to me, is rather small in our area. Something to ask your child’s teachers, for sure!


August 18th, 2011
11:17 pm

My children went to Sheltering Arms Child Development Center and they were awesome. You forgot one thing on your list. The teachers have been there for years. When my children attended SA, most of the teachers had been there anywhere from 5-20years. SA centers are NAEYC certified which mean they are the creme of the crop. I have always said that if I ever get rich, Sheltering Arms will reap the benefits. Go Jere Via. They are a non profit and run an phenomenal program.

Questioning Dad

August 19th, 2011
5:16 am

What about sickness prevention and sanatizing? I know that schools are required to sanitize toys and things that can go in infant’s and children’s mouths, like everything. But what about smaller items like crayons, markers, and manipulatives? I want my child playing with stuff but don’t want him sick all of the time. Norovirus can live for days on surfaces.


August 19th, 2011
6:11 am

@SingleDad…really dude? No wonder you’re single.

Merry Mary

August 19th, 2011
7:25 am

The Goddard School in Sandy Springs has a Zonosanitech sanatizing machine. It allows toys and mats to be sanatized without exposing my child to bleach or other chemicals. It shows me that they are committed to the children’s health. I believe that it is exclusive to Goddard; does anyone know? I did not see on anywhere else while visiting and checking places out.


August 19th, 2011
9:16 am

It may not be a state requirement that the lead teacher’s in the Pre-K class be certified, however, most daycare centers require it if you are going to be in a Pre-K program. There is something called a CDA certificate that my son’s school required. Plus, when a center is NAEYC accredited, they usually require that certificate.

And I am REALLY tired of hearing “long days benefit the parent’s and not the children”!! A good center also provides nurture and stimulation for extended day also. I HAVE to work to provide for my children and to show them that being a productive member of society means doing what you have to do even when you don’t want to. I mean would you rather me sit at home on my but and collect assistance just so my kids only have to be in school for 6 hours versus 8??


August 19th, 2011
9:42 am

BeastieBoyMom-that’s so funny. I was going to say the exact same thing!!

and oneofeach4me…amen! Yes, let’s not work and get welfare so our kids don’t have to go to preschool where “someone else is raising them”. People up on their high horses make me sick…like we just want to dump our kids off somewhere. If you are anything like me, you do research and assure that your child is in a happy, healthy, safe environment. He has more fun and learns a lot more than if he was sitting at home with me with no money to do anything. Like I have said before, it’s whatever works best for your family.


August 19th, 2011
9:53 am

@yuki ~ put it this way… I interviewed 25 places within a 15 mile radius of my home, checked parent references, talked to parents in the parking lot coming out of the center, check online for complaints… I did ALL of that before I placed my kid in a center. I don’t judge you for keeping your kid at home, I don’t know what your circumstances may be. So don’t judge me because I go to work everyday to provide a better life for my kid. Heck, it’s not like I am dropping them off on the weekends….. I am still mom!!


August 19th, 2011
9:56 am

and when I say “you” or course I am speaking to those who judge.. not actually you lol!!


August 19th, 2011
10:15 am

I thought we were talking about someone with a 4 or 6 year degree and a teaching certificate, as far as a certified teacher.

Re : CDA
The CDA is an entry-level credential which is required in most states for family child care licensing and to be a lead teacher or a director in center-based programs.

The CDA process requires 120 clock hours of training, a collection of documentation. observation at the workplace by a CDA Advisor, and participation in a Verification Visit with a Council Representative.


August 19th, 2011
10:20 am

@ MJG ~ to me… a certified teacher is one with a “certificate”. A teacher with a degree is a “lead teacher” or just a Degreed Teacher. They just mean different things to me… but my point was that at my son’s daycare, who has state run Pre-K classes as well as one private Pre-K class they require the same from each room. The “lead teacher” must posses a degree in Early Childhood Education and the assistant teacher must at least possess their CDA. They do not require this however for any summer camp teachers or ASP teachers. But the center has standards and most teacher’s have been there 5+ years. Teacher turnover is one of the main things I look for. It will let you know what kind of people the owners or directors are!!


August 19th, 2011
11:01 am

The Sandy Springs Goddard is not the only metro pre school using the Zono to combat sickness. Kids R Kids in many metro locations use Zonos to sanitize. The Zono was developed and is marketed by a local company, Zonosanitech. The machine sanitizes most toys and equipment in a preschool without exposing the teachers or students to bleach or other chemicals. Check it out at http://www.zonosanitech.com.


August 19th, 2011
10:39 pm

This sounds ridiculous. It always makes me sad when people think preschool should be conducted like high school. Calm down. Read some parenting books, like Last Child in the Woods, or any literature out there that references studies showing play is the most important aspect of early childhood education. I hope your child isn’t burnt out by the time they turn 8.


August 19th, 2011
10:51 pm

@ oneofeach4me and yuki. I said the long day benefits the parents because they (ie..you)don’t have to pay for the time your children spend in the lottery funded pre-k program. Do you not find it beneficial to not have to pay? (except for aftercare) When the true educational benefits are broken down, the few hours in the morning when the children are fresh and doing academic activities are what prepares them for kindergarten which is the reason for the lottery to fund pre-k. So, I’m not trying to be mean, I just think the state should only pay for a partial day. (8-12:00). I’m glad you work. I certainly see enough people living off the government. But there is a difference between needs for academic pre-school and needs for childcare because one works outside the home.


August 21st, 2011
10:58 am

My 2 yr old daughter attends a private preschool from 9am – 1pm for socialization and learning purposes.

I certainly don’t consider preschool having someone else “raise my child” when she is with me for the other 20 hours of the day.