@trulyblessed: I worked in a few centers before, but there was one that stands out. It was “voted best in our city” but looks were decieving. It had murals on the walls and the teachers were dressed nice but it wasn’t the best place for your kids. We tried, but managment mad it hard. Here are some questions that I KNOW some of our parents of that center never asked but would have wanted to know and why:
- Could I see your kitchen? Could I see a picture/example of a meal
Sometimes the Kitchen staff whe hired wasn’t as clean as they should have been. I complained, but there were times I went into the kitchen and saw large open cans in the fridge covered in plastic wrap. UNSAFE
2. Where do the students eat lunch? Who serves them? Who cleans up after them? Who watches them while the cleaning is being done? When do they take a nap?
Often, we were to serve the students, assist them with eating, clean up, potty, wash hands and get ready for nap. With the ages 24 months to 3 years old, this is really difficult. Our ratio in California is 1:12, so sometimes we’d have 24 kids to serve, help them eat, potty/diaper, get ready for a nap, clean and put to sleep all in the span of 45-60 minutes. Some things would get forgotten. Some would get left out. We were only human, and our boss was about numbers-not about kids
3. Who gives the tour of the classroom you are looking at? Are tours available all day? Does anyone come into assist in the class while giving a tour?
We were a popular place. We’d get 4-7 tours on a great day. It seems great to the parents touring- they stop and give you undivided attention, answer questions, put your mind at ease. Well, we would be forced to stop instruction every time we got a tour and a co-teacher or aide would have to take over. It was very distracting and not good for the flow of the class or the kids.
4. Who purchases the classroom supplies? Do they get a monthly allowance?
We had no allowance, and our only resources were construction paper. Everything I bought for my class was my own. Making minimum wage, I didn’t have a lot, and I was tired and had NO prep time, so my crafts and lessons were avarge at best. I tried my best, but I didn’t have much to work with. It was hard, and that’s bad for the kids.
The best places I worked for had set times where parents could take a tour, looked at the ID’s of the potential parents, had a receptionist walk them through and did NOT interrupt the teacher, had more teachers and aides then just the legal limit, participated in the states “food program” or had high nutritional standards and were willing to allow parents to see the kitchen, had either a janator, kitchen staff that served the kids, or help at nap time so that the teachers were not overwhelmed, and had a low turnover rate. They provided a monthly allowance for the classroom and had a well stocked supply closet with a lot of materials.
Happy teachers = great program. Hope I helped!