Yes, the calendar may tell us that it’s snow-filled January — but it’s not too early to start thinking about where to send your 4-year-old child to preschool when the leaves of the trees start to turn golden in autumn.
The application window for spots in Canyons District’s tuition-based preschools in the 2019-2020 school year is now open. Parents can click here to apply for high-quality preschool programs at Altara, Bella Vista, Butler, Edgemont, Jordan Valley, Oakdale, Quail Hollow, and Willow Springs elementary schools.
For the Canyons preschools, which follow an evidence-based curriculum the lines up with the core standards of learning at the kindergarten, the cost is $100 per month for students attending two days per week and $200 a month for students attending four days. There’s also a one-time $20 registration fee. Availability in the program for the coming academic year is based on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis.
Morning sessions are from 8:20-10:50 a.m. Afternoon sessions are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Terri Mitchell, the programs administrator for CSD’s Early Childhood Department, gives this advice to parents who are looking for a preschool for their kiddo: Pay particular attention to the safety, security, cleanliness and organization of the staff and the school.
The children should be guided in play, she said, and their social development should be supported. The staff ratio is important, too. No less than one adult for 10 children. In Canyons’ preschools, we have a higher adult-to-child ratio, she said.
Parents also should spend some time preparing children for their first time in a classroom.
“If parents talk to their children about how fun it will be for them to go to school, then the children will be more likely to be excited to go to school,” said Mitchell, who shared more tips during an appearance on ABC4.
Mitchell tells parents to read books with their children and seek out story times at local libraries. She also urges parents to show their children photographs of their first day at school and share experiences of what it was like to go to school for the first time.
“Preschool can be an important part of early childhood development,” she said. “The time spent at preschool may be the first time that a child is away from her or his mom and dad or grandparents, or without their siblings, for an extended period of time. The kiddos learn a little bit of independence. They also learn their colors and their ABCs and 1-2-3s, which can help them as they start their kindergarten and first-grade years.”
In Canyons, free school programs also are provided at Title I schools. Students who turn 4 years old before Sept. 1, 2019 and live within the boundaries of Midvale, Copperview, Sandy and East Midvale elementary schools can apply to participate. CSD will being taking applications for spots in those preschools on March 1.