Wee Can Pre-School & Early Childhood Program
Choosing the right childcare for your own child is one of the most important decisions you will ever make as a parent! The first five years are so important, it is crucial that you not make this decision lightly. I have outlined some of the factors you should consider and reasons that I believe "Wee Can" is an excellent choice:
1.) We have a small staff. This enables your child to feel safe and secure. No chaos or confusion is experienced throughout the day here as we do NOT have change of shifts, relief for lunch breaks, high staff turn over or untrained, inexperienced staff with a large pool of substitutes that the larger programs experience. Consistency is crucial for children. They need to feel safe, loved and comfortable in their surroundings before they can concentrate on learning. Imagine if you had to answer to five different bosses who all had their "own style"-it would be very confusing and stressful. Now just imagine what that can do to a little one who is just developing coping skills!!
*Consistency is crucial to your child’s well being and is a priority at "Wee Can"
2.) I am a Nurse Practitioner with my Master’s degree in Nursing. I have been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. I have worked in Pediatrics my entire Nursing career. I work for SUNY to train other daycare directors, providers and staff in medication administration. I am also frequently called on by the Child Care Coalition to provide training sessions for them. I have conducted state mandated training on hand washing, child abuse, Asthma, Anaphylaxis, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Shaken Baby Syndrome to other day care providers. In addition to this, I act as a Health Care Consultant to many local daycare programs and the YMCA of Greater Buffalo. I also am the Medical Director for the local YMCA camps, helping them develop and implement first aid, emergency and general health and safety guidelines for over 200 children in their camps. These additional responsibilities keep me at the forefront on all aspects of early childcare.
*Your child not only is taught in Developmentally Appropriate ways here by my Master’s Degree educated teacher, but is also being cared for by an experienced RN who is CERTIFIED to educate others in the childcare field! This combination is hard to find anywhere else*
3.) I am Licensed through New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). This process involves criminal history checks, fingerprinting, child abuse clearance, and physical exam clearance on myself and all of my staff. The state has very strict regulations that I must follow on hand washing, diapering, medication administration, fire drills, and many other general health and safety guidelines. I have a licensor that comes to my day care at least every 3 months to make sure I am in compliance with all the regulations set forth by NYS. I am the only, State Education Department Approved integrated Preschool site in all of Orchard Park. This means I met very stringent State guidelines and standards for Preschool education-Kindergarten readiness, I must employ professional teachers with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. This approval process took almost 1 year to complete and was very expensive. This is the kind of level I hold myself and my employees to. Not the bare minimum just to get by, but the BEST program with the MOST qualified staff.
*Any program can say they have "PRESCHOOL", the questions to them should be.... "Is your program approved through the State Education Department?" and "What professional training and educational degree does your "preschool" teacher have?"
4.) The environment I have set up is UNIQUE! I have combined the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS to give your child exactly what he/she needs! I have set up a cozy HOME environment that allows your child to feel comfy and at home here. It is especially nice for your child’s first child care experience out side of your home. There is no "institutional" feel in my facility. Much thought and planning went into the location, purchase and renovation of my Preschool/childcare facility. I have set up all the preschool centers on the first floor of my building. There are some consistent learning centers and some mobile, changeable centers to keep your child comfortable in the fixed routine, yet enough change occurs to keep them interested but not overwhelmed in their environment. Children learn through play at this age, yet they need a predictable, structured daily routine to reach their highest potential! These "learning" areas include Circle time, reading/story time, block play, play dough, puzzles, arts and crafts, scissor/cutting work, calender, weather, name recognition, address/phone number work, pretend play area and time for free, self directed play also. We have a variety of theme based units relating to seasons, holidays, colors, numbers, shapes etc...
5.) A SMALL intimate setting is IDEAL for small children to learn in! Your child can receive the individual attention he/she needs in a non-stressful manner. We are building the "foundation" for your child’s life long learning. The stronger the foundation the better. Research shows that when children are curious and learning is fun, they want to learn more and enjoy the experience of learning. Sitting at tables, working on ditto, cookie cutter lessons is not fun for children. Learning needs to be fun!!! Otherwise, children will be turned off to learning at an early age, they will not be happy about going to school. A common complaint offered in school settings is: "the classroom size is too big". It is ideal to have very small classes for early childhood learning. This allows each child to get individualized one on one teacher time on a daily basis. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states: "It is better to have 5 children with 1 care giver then 20 children with 4 care givers".
*Your child will get the INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION he/she needs in a non-distracting setting at Wee Can. Larger group sizes make this difficult to achieve.
6.) All ages develop optimally here! Children from 2-5 years of age intermingle through out the day. Sometimes we are together, sometimes we are separate from each other. The younger children learn hand washing, manners, waiting their turn and proper language from watching the older children and adults. The older children learn cooperation, sharing, following direction, conflict resolution and the joy one feels inside when one child helps another child. This leads to high self esteem and confidence as well as excellent social skills. Every one is allowed to progress at their own pace!
*Your child is never "pushed ahead" so they can stay with their age group -"up to the next class", the next teacher, the next set of rules.
When choosing education and childcare for your child remember:
*Look past new toys, big, fancy equipment, nice looking furniture. It is easy to set up a state of the art looking facility. Any good business person knows how to do that. You need to look for happy children, smiling staff and "a feel" of a warm and loving environment.
*Smart business people know the right terminology to use with parents-"print rich environment," "language and literacy skills", "developmentally appropriate curriculum"–You need to listen carefully for more: laughter, happiness, fun being had by the staff and children. Children should be engaged in activities that are challenging and look and sound fun! You do not want to hear chaos and confusion.
*You should observe a typical day at more then one facility to get a good feel for what "a day in the life feels like". In my experience, some of the facilities I have been in (and I consult for many) Definitely have "the look" but not "the feel". Many directors "talk the talk" but they also need to "walk the walk".
*It is your responsibility to place your child in the best possible place so please choose carefully! Remember, you need to be smarter then the smartest director out there. Your child is your greatest asset! Look, listen and choose very carefully!
Julie A. Wettlaufer/RN MSN
This site was last updated 07/24/09