Pre-K an Alternative to TK

Pre-k or Tk?

We have a lot of parents who ask us which is better and why? Our answer is a complicated one, in that it depends on the child, the family situation, and the school. Here is a basic comparison of the programs that may help you in your decision making.

Stepping Stones

Pre-K

TK
Age Range 4-5 years old up to entry into kindergarten Must turn 5 between September 1st and December 1st
Class size 1:12 teacher to student ratio, lower with our rotating aide. 1:33 teacher to student ratio, if the district has the funding they may have an aide
Food service Organic snacks and lunch eaten with teacher which allows parents to know what and how much their child ate. Usually: conventional (not organic) lunches eaten in a cafeteria not closely monitored children and eat or not eat then go play.
Teacher Education 12 core Early Childhood Development units specific to the development of early learners. Our teachers all have above and beyond those required units and are required to take continuing education classes and workshops. Bachelor’s Degree and Teaching Credentials, but not necessarily a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Curriculum We use Handwriting Without Tears, a curriculum designed around child development and we are able to work individually with each child because of our lower ratios. Public schools have to follow state standards and hold each child up against the same required standards.
Cost Tuition varies based on the number of days and hours you require Children are required to attend 5 days a week, the program is free but is usually only 4 hours long and then parents are required to pay for afterschool care.

Ultimately we encourage parents to look into the TK programs in their districts. Visit the classroom during the day and see the dynamics. There are some really good quality programs out there and unfortunately there are some very poor quality programs out there. As always we want our families to do what is best for them!