1. What is the California State Preschool Program?
Answer: CDA's preschools are part of a statewide preschool program funded by the California Department of Education called the California State Preschool Program (CSPP). The program provides subsidized part-day and full-day services for eligible three and four year olds with a curriculum that is developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate for the children served. The program also provides meals and snacks to children, parent education, referrals to health and social services for families, and staff development opportunities and ongoing training to employees.
2. What if my child is not potty trained yet?
Answer: Work with your child at home, and when he or she is ready and has been successful at home with using the toilet then you may enroll. We will continue to help your child at the center once you enroll. A child who has identified special needs may be considered for admission without being potty trained.
3. What if my child has never parted from me before?
Answer: Separation anxiety is very real for some children. It is common for children to cling, have tears or even tantrums, however it usually doesn’t last for long. Our staff is experienced in helping calm separation anxiety. We work with each child and parent to find what works best for them.
4. What meals are served at the center?
Answer: All meals are included - breakfast is served at 8:30 to 9:00 AM, lunch is served from 11:30 to 12:00, and afternoon snack is served from 2:30 to 3:00 PM.
5. What type of foods are served?
Answer: We serve a wide variety of food that is nutritionally balanced. We serve all meals family style and children learn to serve themselves and make food choices for themselves. All meals and snacks are planned by our staff Nutritionist.
6. What if my child has a food allergy?
Answer: With a doctor’s note we will make accommodations for your child’s food allergies.
7. Can my child bring in his or her own meals?
Answer: Because we participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program no outside food is allowed, with the exception of a child who arrives at the center very early before breakfast and needs a healthy snack before we serve breakfast.
8. Do children nap at your center?
Answer: Yes, it is a California Community Care Licensing regulation that all children under the age of five rest for two hours after lunch.
9. Are children required to nap?
Answer: We can make special accommodations for children who do not nap. They will be able to rest by doing quiet activities.
10. Will my child learn to read and write?
Answer: Early literacy and writing skills are very much part of our curriculum and themes. The letter of the week is built into our activities throughout the day including letter sounds and writing.
11. What is a typical day?
Answer: Preschool children learn through play, and a typical day provides children with a variety of supervised activities in our seven learning centers. For example, during indoor free choice time, children can decide to spend time in the art, block, dramatic play, and library, science, math, or computer areas. Outdoor free choice times include exercising gross motor activities such as gardening, woodworking, sand play and climbing on the play structures. Activities during Group Time are teacher-directed activities that go along with the theme for the week. Times are set for meals, snacks, and napping.
12. What happens when it rains and the children can not go outside?
Answer: Staff plans for this and include large motor activities to help children compensate for movement that they would usually do outside if the weather was nice.
13. What are the centers' hours?
Answer: Our centers are open from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
14. What if I can not pick up my child on time?
Answer: If you are unable to make it to the center on time to pick up your child, you will need to make arrangements for someone else to pick up your child for you.
15. What if I can not be the one to pick up my child on a certain day?
Answer: Children will only be released to those authorized persons named on the enrollment form by the enrolling parent.
16. What are the teacher’s qualifications?
Answer: All lead teachers have degrees in Early Childhood Education as well as permits issued by the California Teacher Credentialing Office.
17. Are your centers accredited?
Answer: Two of our centers (Finney and The Parks) are accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC.
18. What is accreditation?
For information on our accreditation, please follow this link: http://www.naeyc.org/
19. Do outside visitors come in to the classroom?
Answer: Yes, we frequently do have students assisting teachers in the classroom. Many students are completing internship programs and others are practicum students receiving guidance from our teachers, who are classroom mentors. Students also visit our centers to provide assistance as volunteers. All visitors sign in and must follow all CDA policies. Students and volunteers always work under the guidance of a staff member and are never alone with children.
20. Do you follow a curriculum?
Answer: Our curriculum is based on the standards set by the California Department of Education and conforms to what are developmentally appropriate practices for preschool aged children. Our curriculum includes literacy, science, math, social skills as well as art.
21. Do you meet the state standards?
Answer: Yes, we meet all of the State preschool standards and we are reviewed regularly by the California Department of Education and Community Care Licensing.
22. What is the child/adult ratio?
Answer: Our child-to-teacher ratio is 8-to-1.
23. Are your centers licensed?
Answer: Yes, all of our centers are licensed through the California Dept. of Social Services, Community Care Licensing.
24. Where are your centers located?
Answer: Answer: We have centers in Chula Vista, San Diego and National City.
25. Is there a bus route by your center?
Answer: Yes, our centers are all located within walking distance of the bus service.
26. Do you have fieldtrips for the children?
Answer: Yes, we offer community based learning opportunities as well as having visitors come to the center.
27. Do you fundraise at your center?
Answer: We do occasionally hold fundraisers at our center – participation is strictly optional and is not required for families.
28. Do you celebrate holidays and children’s birthdays?
Answer: Yes, we do. As part of our multicultural curriculum we celebrate many different holidays throughout the year. Birthdays are very important to children and we want to help you make it special for your child. You will be given a list of options for celebrating birthdays at the center.
29. Who can I talk to if I have a question or concern?
Answer: We believe in frequent and open communications between parents and staff. You may first speak with your child’s teacher and if that does not resolve the issue the Site Supervisor and/ or the Program Director are available to help you.
30. What if I want to change centers because there is one closer to me?
Answer: All transfers between centers will be considered on a space-available basis. You just need to let your Child Care Eligibility Specialist know what your needs are and she will work with you to make the best possible changes for you.