At what age are children enrolled at First Years?
Children are enrolled beginning at age 18 months through kindergarten.
What is the staff to student ratio?
The staff to student ratio varies by age group. The ratios are as follows:
Older Ones: 2 adults to 6 children
Two-Year-Olds: 2 adults to 8 children
Three-Year-Olds: 2 adults to 12 children
Four-Year-Olds: 2 adults to 15 children
What are the qualifications of classroom teachers?
All preschool teachers must possess a minimum of a CDA, Child Development Associate. This is a certificate that is issued once a teacher has completed training in the specific needs and issues of young children. Many staff members exceed this qualification, having obtained a Bachelors Degree or higher. Classroom assistants must have a minimum of a high school diploma. Many of our assistants have also completed higher levels of education.
Is First Years accredited?
First Years Preschool and Kindergarten is licensed and accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International. Licensure is a requirement of the state of Florida that helps to insure that centers providing care for children meet state standards. First Years Preschool and Kindergarten has received a religious exemption that allows us to be licensed by ACSI rather than by DCF, the Department of Children and Families. ACSI requires First Years to meet and/or exceed all of the minimum standards established by the state. Twice a year, a member of ACSI makes an unannounced visit to the center and completes an inspection of the preschool.
Accreditation is a voluntary process. First Years Preschool and Kindergarten seeks accreditation through ASCI. This process required the school to look at all areas of operation. An accreditation manual was completed that contained the answers to questions and required supporting documentation on our policy-making board, personnel, curriculum, food and nutrition, physical environment, health and safety, and parent and community relations. After the completion of the manual, a visiting team of four early childhood professionals made a two-day visit to First Years to verify the accuracy of the accreditation manual and to observe the daily function of the program. The team then sent a report to the ACSI Accreditation Council for review and for final accreditation to First Years Preschool and Kindergarten for a term of five years.
Which curriculum is used for instruction?
Our chosen curriculum is the Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence. This sequence provides a comprehensive framework of skill and knowledge acquisition that covers all areas of a child's growth and development.
Is First Years a full-time or part-time program?
First Years Preschool and Kindergarten provides a part-time, half-day preschool experience. All preschool classes begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 1:00 p.m. each day. Classes are offered 2, 3 or 4 days per week depending on the age of the children. Parents are responsible for providing a lunch daily. First Years also offers a half-day Kindergarten class that meets Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Is there an extended day option?
No. All classes will end by 1:00 p.m. daily.