Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQs for Prospective Families
1. What makes A Kid’s Place special?
Our most important mandate at AKP is to be responsive to and respectful of the differences that exist among the children with whom we work: differences in personalities, temperaments and learning styles. We do not practice a one size fits all approach, but try hard to help children start on the path toward evolving into the best versions of themselves possible. The trusting, supportive relationships forged between teachers and children is the foundation of everything we do at A Kid’s Place. This is made possible by our unusual student: teacher ratio (4: 1 in the younger classes, 6:1 in the older classes) and the knowledgeability and dedication of our extraordinary teaching staff. It is also extremely important to us that AKP be a community, not just a school, where families are welcomed and supported and where children and parents make connections with one another that often last beyond their preschool days.
2. How do you approach discipline?
We view discipline as an opportunity to help each child develop the inner controls necessary to become a successful, functioning member of a group. As they do in all areas of development, children differ in their awareness of, and responsiveness to, social cues. We believe that it is our job as teachers to gently, but firmly, guide children to learn the give and take of social interactions. We try very hard to make our expectations reflective of the developmental capabilities of our individual children. It is our goal to encourage children to begin to understand how their behavior leads to reactive behavior from those around them. Our approach to discipline is to guide, to support, to narrate; not to punish, humiliate or shame.
3. Does my child need to be potty trained?
No. As in all areas, we recognize that children’s readiness to be potty trained is highly variable and we take an individualized approach
4. Does my child need to be fully vaccinated?
As mandated by CA law, all children need to be fully vaccinated unless they receive a signed medical exemption from a physician.
5. Do you accept children with developmental challenges?
Yes, as long as the placement is deemed appropriate and beneficial for the child in question, and does not negatively impact the other children in the classroom, AKP is committed to the inclusion of all children, regardless of their challenges.
6. What is “emergent curriculum”?
An emergent curriculum comes directly from the thoughts, ideas and experiences of the children themselves, and is constantly evolving in response to their changing interests and passions. Teachers plan curriculum together, but this is never set in stone. Should a child come to school talking about a trip to the dentist, a visitor from another state or something else that is significant to them, we may concentrate on this new topic that “emerged” from the child and save what we had originally planned for another day.
7. What is a developmental and integrated curriculum?
We favor a developmental curriculum (working within a child’s current capabilities at a given time) that is at the child’s level and makes them feel successful. Integrated curriculum ties everything together. If we are studying oceanography, we will read books about fish, eat goldfish, sing songs about fish and have an ocean art project. If a holiday is approaching, we will read books and sing songs about the holiday or the season, create holiday art projects, and decorate the classroom in a festive way. Studies have shown that children learn more completely when the subject is presented comprehensively, using multiple pedagogical methods.
8. How do you prepare children for kindergarten?
Kindergarten readiness is not only about recognizing letters and knowing how to read or write; equally important is being able to listen to others, follow multi-step directions, sit and maintain focus during circle time (and not bother those in close proximity), be a part of a team and take responsibility for personal items. We also emphasize communication: how to talk and listen to others, how to resolve conflicts, and how to get what you need without screaming or demanding. We model and narrate interactions all day long so the children can get a clear understanding of what words they can use to help them maneuver through their day.
9. How do I get more information?
Feel free to email us at email@example.com with specific questions. The best way to get a feel for what we do at AKP, though, is to take a tour. Check out the Admissions Page for upcoming tour dates.
FAQs for Current Families
1. How do you guide children through the separation process?
Children, as well as adults, need time to feel comfortable in a new situation. We are asking your child to expand his world, to trust others besides Mom and Dad, to begin to learn the give and take of making friends, of being a member of a group. Children differ in their readiness to separate during their first few days of school. You can help to make this transition easier for your child by striving to reach that delicate balance between staying just long enough to allow him/her to feel secure, without over-staying your welcome; for some children, this may mean your staying only fifteen minutes, for others, a day or two. Whatever the time frame, keep in mind your goal is to help you child begin to reach out and accept help and comfort from his/her teachers.
2. What is your illness policy (i.e. when should I keep my child home)?
For your child’s protection, as well as for others, please do not send him/her to school if there are any symptoms of illness. After a fever has subsided, your child should remain at home for at least 24 hours. It has been our experience that a drippy nose may be due to allergies, a sinus infection, or the onset of a cold. Since we are unable to determine the exact cause of such symptoms, we ask that any condition be cleared up before your child returns to school. If your child is brought to school sick, or if illness develops, a parent will be called and the child will be sent home.
3. What should I bring with my child to school?
Please bring a box or bag to be kept in your child's cubby, containing one or two changes of clothes and plenty of extra diapers or underwear. We tend to go through these things quickly, so try to make a habit of checking your child's cubby once a week to see whether anything needs to be replaced or replenished. Make sure to LABEL any and everything (lunchboxes, sippy cups, food containers, clothes, jackets, etc.). If you want to go old school and use a sharpie for labeling, go right ahead. There are, however, many websites that sell stick-on personalized labels (a good one is namebubbles.com).
4. What should I pack in my child’s lunch?
Lunch is an enriching time for socializing, for being self-sufficient, for sharing, for developing pride. Plastic wrap is difficult to unwrap; using non-lock bags or wax paper will enable our children to unwrap food by themselves. Please send small portions of food, children are overwhelmed by too much.
Parents need help from each other! PLEASE OMIT cookies, candy, and other non-nutritious goodies from lunch. If everyone cooperates, it will make it easier for all to be firm on this point.
WE ARE A NUT-FREE SCHOOL. Please DO NOT pack items containing nuts including, nut butters, e.g. peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc.
Lunch is an opportunity to encourage our children’s independence. We allow each child to determine what they eat and in what order. Teachers do not tell their children what to eat first. Please keep this in mind when packing your child’s lunch so that each item included will contain some nutritional value.
5. Do you offer make-ups or refunds if my child is absent?
Absences due to illness, vacations, or any other reason, may not be made-up, credited or refunded for tuition. Your fees pay for direct operating costs, staff, rent, materials, etc. All of these things must be available for your child. When you enroll, you are reserving the time, space, staffing and provisions for your child, whether s/he attends or not.
6. Who do I talk to if I have a question about my child?
Our classes are team taught; we do not have head teachers and we all know your children equally well. Susie, Amanda and your child’s teachers are all approachable for questions and problem solving — issues about home, sleep, food, separation, potty training etc. The only thing we ask is that, if it’s an issue that requires more than a 2 or 3 minute response, please either send one of us an email or schedule a discussion appointment.
7. Can my child bring toys to school?
Sorry, no. Toys are distracting and often get lost or broken. We recommend that you tell your child to leave the toy in the car where it will be safe and waiting until school is over. Books, CDs, science type objects (leaves, rocks, bugs, etc.) and transitional/soothing items are always welcome but please remember to label these things with your child’s name!
8. Can I add additional days or hours during the year?
Additional days may be added during the school year, provided space allows. If you wish for your child to attend on an occasional basis, or to try and see if he/she is ready for an extended day program, please speak to us prior to the day you want him or her to attend to see if space is available. We must place a limit on the number of children in our playgroups in order to provide adequate staffing and a quality program.
(Note: while Covid-19 health and safety protocols remain in place, it will not be possible for children to attend on an occasional basis or for parents to sign their child(ren) up for the extended day program mid-year)
9. Do you offer enrichment classes?
Yes. We offer three, 8 week long, enrichment sessions over the course of the school year for children in the Ducky and Popsicle classes. Classes are 45 minutes long, from 12:30 to 1:15 every day. Options vary from session to session, but classes that have been offered in the past include gymboree, yoga, dance, art, phonics, cooking, drama and Spanish.
10. Do you offer carpool?
Yes, for children in the older classes. Our carpool lane for morning drop-off for the 2 Popsicle classes, and for playgroup pick-up, is available in the alley behind the Popsicle yard. Please enter via Grand View, not Centinela. The carpool lane is monitored from 8:50 a.m. until 9:10 a.m. and from 2:45 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Please do not arrive earlier than these allotted windows or engage in prolonged conversation with the teacher conducting carpool. The alley is narrow and jams easily, and we want to be respectful of our neighbors. The Ducky class also begins offering morning drop-off a few weeks after the school year begins, in the alley behind the Ducky/Butterfly yard. Until carpool begins, we ask that Ducky parents park and walk their children into class. Guppy and Butterfly parents should park and walk their children in for the entire year.
(Note: While Covid-19 health and safety protocols remain in place, all children should be dropped off and picked up in carpool.)
11. Do you have an option for early drop-off
Yes, early morning drop-off is available starting at 8:15 a.m. You must sign-up in advance if you wish to drop your child off early. Please see tuition schedule for cost located in
Programs & Tuition.
(Note: early drop-off will not be available while Covid-19 health and safety protocols remain in place.)
12. What is your EIN (tax ID #)?
13. What is PAC?
PAC is a parent volunteer group dedicated to supporting community building with AKP families, offering activities and events, teacher appreciation, and raising money for the school. The events and items PAC currently runs are The Mar Vista Artwalk, Make It Mar Vista, Teacher Appreciation Week, Parent Talks, Coffee Talks, Fundraising, Parent Outings, Family Outings, Graduation and Yearbook.
For more information, or if you're interested in joining PAC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
14. How can I become more involved?
You can help augment our programs by participating in our educational programs, school activities, fundraisers for scholarships and school development, potluck dinners, field trips and more. The Parent Action Committee plays a vital role in planning many of these special events. All parents are invited to join our monthly meetings and become a part of this important preschool support group.
15. How does the school celebrate your child's birthday?
We are pleased to celebrate you child’s birthday in his/her classroom. We encourage low-key, simple birthday celebrations. Parents are invited to provide a special birthday treat for their child’s class. Please save elaborate birthday treats and candies for home parties. We recommend cookies, muffins, popsicles, frozen yogurt, or even pizza. Please make arrangements with your child’s teacher well in advance so that the celebration can be successful. Also, please make home birthday party invitations and arrangements outside of school. Be sensitive when planning a party as children’s feelings are easily hurt if they are among only a few left out.