How does Pre - School education work in the USA?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by fairynuff, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. fairynuff

    fairynuff Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2005

    Hi,
    I am a pre - school teacher in the UK and I Love reading all your questions and the support you get from each other when answers are posted. I only wish we had something like this here.
    I know this may be a huge question but I am really interested to know how Pre - School education works in the USA. Do the government have a say in the curriculum? Is it private or voluntary? What qualifications do Pre - School teacher need? How big are the classes? and what is the adult child ratio per class? hope you can help
    thanks :angel:
     
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  3. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Oct 10, 2005

    They have a big say in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), very little say in educatiion for typical kids. Go to the NAEYC site and you can get some info. Qualifications vary. The ratio is basically about 10:1 depending on your state.
     
  4. fairynuff

    fairynuff Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2005

    Thanks jcg
    In the Uk the ratio is 2 1/2 -3yrs is 1:3 and 3 - 5yrs 1:6 so in my class of 18 children we have 3 staff one class leader and to assistants.
     
  5. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Wow! You are lucky! In my state it is infants 1:4, TODDLERS (18- 32 months) 1:7, PRESCHOOL (33 months-5 years) 1:10.
     
  6. fairynuff

    fairynuff Rookie

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    How on earth do you cope?
    For child protection we are not allowed to have less that 2 teacher in the classroom. So even if we have a class of 6 children we must have 2 staff.
     
  7. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    I don't know how people do it! When I worked in a private daycare, I had 4 babies crying all at once. I put two in bouncer seats and two in my lap and prayed that somebody would fall asleep soon. I guess that is why I teach second grade now!
     
  8. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Oct 11, 2005

    In Wisconsin it all depends where you work. There are in-home providers that are either certified or licensed. Being certified you can't have as many children in your home, but the county looks after you and you're lucky if they come over at all to check up on you between getting recertified. When you're licensed you can feel them breathing down your neck. All group daycares (out of home) must be licensed if they care for children more than 3 hours a day. Then you have state regulations which are similar to the regulations for in-home, but modified a little for the situation. The gov. always has a huge part to do with it.

    In my home I can have up to 8 children depending on the ages. No more than 4 if they are all under 2. I don't take more than 6 because I know what I can and can't handle. In group daycares the ratios are 1:4 for infants up to 2, 1:6 for 2 years old, 1:8 for 2.5 years old, 1:10 for 3 years old, 1:13 for 4 years old. You have to have a certain amount of credentials to be a teacher in a ps preschool or a daycare setting. However, in Wisconsin, they don't necessarily have to be credited courses by law, but most centers have an education policy that is followed.

    To be honest, I think the ratios stink, but after awhile you do get use to it and it becomes a cinch!
     
  9. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Oct 11, 2005

    Preschool varies greatly here. Some are private, some are public, some are church-run. If you're in a public setting, your curriculum is determined by the same board that works with the rest of the schools. Private and church run preschools have a lot more say over thier own curriculum, but still must meet certain criteria as set by the government...especially in the health and safety area. Preschool is not required. Even Kindergarten is mnot mandatory in all areas yet (Kindergarten is the 5 year old year, in case you weren't sure).

    Each state has it's own rules about ratios. Here, the ratio rules are different depending on whether it's a public or private setting. Personally, I have 20 kids (4's and young 5's) in my class and 2 adults.

    Qualifications also vary depending on what kind of setting you're talking about. I work in a public school, and I have the same sort of demands that teachers in older grades have (I have to have my 4-year degree in Early Childhood Education, plus my graduate degree within 5 years...and I must continue to get credits forever, 6 credits every 5 years). Private preschools and daycare centers may have very strict requirements, or may have minimal requirements. Many (at least in this area) don't require the teacher to have a certification in education or a degree.

    I have to ask...where are you in the UK? I lived (and taught) in CAmbridgeshire for a couple of years when I was a newlywed. My first daughter was born there in a British hospital!
    Kim
     
  10. fairynuff

    fairynuff Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2005

    It seems the systems are basically the same.
    Here in the Uk we have State nurseries & private, non profit making and church pre - schools the only difference is the government the children fund from the term after their third birthday whatever the setting they attend. We have to follow the standards for care and follow a curriculum as laid down by DFFE (Department for education) this covers six areas of learning, Creative development, physical development, personal,social and emotional development, Mathematical development, communication language and literacy, and knowledge and understanding of the world. all settings are inspected by OFSTED ( Office for standards in education) at least every four years and there report is posted on the net so everyone can see.this report will stay on their web site until the next inspection.
    I live in the county of surrey about 30 miles from London i Know Cambridgeshire very well does this mean that your husband was in the forces? as i know their are some US bases there.
    thankyou for taking the time to reply to my question i find this whole area of education fascinating.
     
  11. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    No, my husband wasn't in the Air Force, but he was associated with the base. He was at RAF Molesworth, and I taught at RAF Alconbury. We lived in a little village called Sawtry. My daughter was born at Hitchingbrooke in Huntingdon.

    If we ever were to go back, my kids would attend a British school, rather than the base school. I saw some wonderful things with my friends' kids in British school, and I'd hope they'd have the same chance to experience them.
    Kim
     
  12. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    In new jersey (east coast below new york) ratios are 1:4 for infants, 1:7 up to 2 1/2 yrs, 1:10 for 2 1/2 to 3 yrs, 1:12 for four's, and 1:15 for fives. I know there's a limit of 20 kids per room for at least 3's and 4's (don't know about other ages but I think 2's are the same, limit of 20 per room.) My job is associated with the public school system (state funded) and we can only have 15 kids with one teacher/one assistant. No exceptions. So my ratio (I have 3's and 4's) is a bit lower than the state's requirements for other centers. My curriculum is picked by the school board; privately owned centers can select or develop their own. In my experience, most privately owned centers write their own curriculum, or use a variety of resources as opposed to one curriculum. No one has to attend preschool. But in low income areas in new jersey, parents can send their child to a state-funded preschool for free--but you have to live in that district. There's also programs to help working parents pay for daycare (preschool) but they have income requirements to qualify. If you make too much money for these programs, but you're not rich, you have a really hard time finding quality care for your kids! Daycare in my area runs from $150-250 a week. Church run preschools are usually cheaper.
     
  13. fairynuff

    fairynuff Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2005

    kim, I have huntington once a long time ago i remember it being a nice place,but have never been to Sawtry. How long were you over her and did you have chance to see much of the rest of the country. I have only been to the states once and that was to LA My husband was working in Orange county and we went over to see him i fell in love with Laguna beach "wow"

    The Government funding is to the value of 1,500 Pounds per child per year. It is available to every child no mater what there family circumstance. and parents can claim it wherever their child goes, either to,nurseries, playgroups, pre -schools, even all day care. It was designed to help parent who want to work but can't afford child care.
    The cost to parents to attend my Pre -school is 1,560 pound per child per year the parents pay the shortfall once the Government funding has been deducted.
    "The early learning goals" is the curriculum we have to follow. you can view this on www.qca.org.uk if you would like. The government call it "the foundation stage" We have to progress the child through the stepping stones. in all six areas of learning.This system is followed through as the child goes into the reception class in mainstream school (I think that would be your kindergarten) so we are following the same curriculum as schools but at a lower level. We have to pass on detailed reports on a child's progression within the six areas of learning as the leave us to go to school.
    The system seems to work parent are much happier that their children have a set curriculum and the transition into school seems to be smoother for the child.
     
  14. Brandon

    Brandon Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2005

    At my school in kansas our 3-5 year old classrooms have a ratio of 1:12
     
  15. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2005

    Here we also have a point system. Meaning, you could have 1 infant and 5 4 year-olds and still be in ratio.
     

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