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In South Carolina, children must be five years old by September 1st in order to enter kindergarten. Because of that rule, we see no reason to rush a child through pre-school by constantly “moving them up” to the next classroom when they are supposedly “ready.” Children benefit much more in an environment where meaningful and lasting relationships can be developed between the children (and their parents) and their caregivers/teachers. Park Place Children’s Center is the only pre-school on this side of town to provide “continuity of care” – meaning that the children (beginning in the Toddler Room) and their teacher remain together for more than one year.

Park Place Children’s Center follows a typical school year schedule, where children stay in each classroom for a full year, and “move up” to their new classroom every August. When toddlers move up to their two year old classroom, their teachers move with them. Since this is a prime time for separation anxiety, moving with their teacher minimizes the emotional affect on the children. The children have a “new” teacher when they move up to the three year old class, but that teacher moves with them the following year to the four year old class. The reason for this is more academic; your child’s teacher has two full years to ensure that your child is completely prepared to succeed in kindergarten. The teacher is able to fully determine each child’s strengths, weaknesses and learning styles, and has time to implement curriculum that best meets each child’s needs.

Keeping children and teachers together has several benefits. Close relationships between children and their primary caregivers can flourish. Research shows that it takes children several months to establish a bond with a non-parent. Therefore, moving from room to room should be done as infrequently as possible to minimize tough transition issues for the child. Continuity of care also allows children and their teachers to really get to know and become comfortable with the “culture” of their classroom. They don’t have to spend time every few months trying to get to know a new set of rules, friends and ways of doing things. Relationships between parents and teachers are also enhanced. Knowing that your child’s teacher really knows your child – their habits, behavior patterns, likes and dislikes – gives parents comfort that their child’s needs are being met by someone who loves and understands their child.


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