Here are some answers to some things you may be wondering about as you are considering your toddler’s transition to a new classroom.
- When should my toddler transition?
The Toddler Community program is designed for children ages 18 through 36 months, however, due to challenges with waiting list and available openings in our preschool programs, they will typically remain with us longer than that if their 3rd birthday falls after September of the enrollment year. Ultimately, transitions will be determined based on availability. If your child is independently using the toilet and seems ready to transition, we will let you know if we have the availability to move him or her to Wild Hearts or PreK at MMCS.
We process all of our summer camp re-enrollments for our current Wild Hearts & PreK students first to determine how many remaining openings we will have for toddlers who are aging out of their current classroom. If your child will be 3 as of June, we typically recommend that they go ahead & transition starting in June (if they attend summer camp and if there is a space available for him/her), assuming they are independently using the toilet. If your child turns 3 sometime over the summer, they may also be ready to transition in June.
- Will my child stay with the same classmates?
While definitely try our best to keep familiar faces together whenever possible, since we do have 2 different options for preschool, your child’s classmates may or may not be enrolled in the same program you choose for your child. We also need a nice balance of ages in our preschool programs, so depending on the ages of the returning students, we may have to split up children who were in the same classroom in order to achieve a beneficial mix of ages for the group.
- Can I choose my child’s teacher?
You are welcome to request a specific teacher for your child, but for some of the same reasons listed above, we may or may not be able to accommodate your request. Students who are returning to the same classroom will remain in that classroom for the consecutive years, remaining spots will be offered to siblings whose families have an established relationship with the teachers and then we will look at accommodating any parent requests (while taking into consideration the age balance and classmate pairings).
- Can my child be in the same classroom as his/her sibling?
If you prefer your children are placed in the same classroom, we will do our best to accommodate that request – taking into consideration the aforementioned needs as well.
- Will my child be scared to transition to a new classroom?
There is a chance that if your child has struggled with separation anxiety in the past, s/he will struggle with it again when s/he transitions to a new classroom, but our teachers are highly skilled at helping children settle into a new environment and we offer a gentle, gradual transition that involves visits to the classroom and meetings with the teachers before the child’s first day and this goes a long way to ensuring a smooth transition.
- What if my child is not using the toilet independently but they have aged out of the toddler classroom?
Our toddler teachers work diligently to ensure that all of our toddlers are independently using the toilet when they “graduate” from the toddler community, but regression can and does happen, especially if there are changes at home (deployments, new siblings, new job for mom or dad, new house – all of these and more can affect your child’s independence). Rarely, a child may still be working on this skill when the school year begins. If this is the case, the child will need to master the skill at home prior to beginning the new program. The ratios and designs of our preschool classrooms simply don’t allow for one teacher to be assisting with toileting, so it is really important that your child can complete the process from start to finish (yes, this includes wiping–please practice at home!) on their own before they begin. You can continue to reserve they spot by paying tuition and send your child when they are ready.
- Can I change my mind about which program I want to send my child to after I submit my re-enrollment form and tuition deposit?
We are unable to guarantee any changes to enrollment after your re-enrollment is completed. This is why its incredibly important to attend fall information sessions and tours and ask all questions you have about these options prior to our January 15th deadline.
- What are the differences between the 2 programs?
This is definitely the most popular question! We have put together a little comparison chart to help parents see what these 2 programs have in common and how they differ. The most obvious difference, of course, is that Wild Hearts is fully outdoors!