Finding a preschool for your child is a very important decision. Before you know it, the 2013-2014 school year will have begun. Here are some questions and resources that may help you as you look for a school for your young child (be sure to check out back-to-school discount info at the bottom of the post!):
- Is the facility licensed by the State of Florida? Some Florida child care centers also earn a Gold Seal designation, reflecting quality in the level of care and supervision provided to children. Visit our online search to identify licensed child care providers and see inspection histories.
- Are all teachers are up-to-date on training requirements?
- Does the facility meet all staff-to-child ratios?
- What kind of curriculum do they offer? Is it developmentally appropriate?
- Do staff have positive, nurturing interaction with the children?
- Do the children appear to be happy and comfortable in their surroundings?
- Are the children constantly supervised? Is each staff member responsible for the same children each day?
- How do they keep parents informed about their child’s progress and school updates? How frequently are communications sent to parents?
- Does the facility have clean, safe surroundings?
- Do they provide healthy, nutritious snacks and/or meals?
Here are the minimum ratios of children:teacher required by law:
Additional information and requirements regarding all the above issues are detailed in the Florida Administrative Code Child Care Standards.
If your child is 4 years of age by September 1, your child may be eligible for Florida’s FREE VPK program.
In addition, the back-to-school sales tax holiday will be August 2-4. During this period, no Florida sales tax or local option tax will be collected on sales of clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $75 or less per item, on certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item, and on computers and certain related accessories selling for $750 or less per item when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use. This is the first time that computers and related accessories have been included in the holiday. Check out the Florida Department of Revenue website for more info.
Have a safe and wonderful school year!