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CA pre-school/kindergarten

CA pre-school/kindergarten

Old May 29th 2012, 6:45 pm
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Default CA pre-school/kindergarten

We're confused. Son was born late December 2007, which would make him 4 years old at the start of the school year in September. The local school says he starts optional kindergarten in September 2013 and mandatory grade 1 in September 2014. That's a full 2 years later than in the UK, and a year later than what I thought I'd understood months ago when I was first looking into this. While I'm not trying to compare UK and US education, two years seems a big difference. He's gone from a 3-hour per day, 5 days per week pre-school in the UK to now having to wait another 16 months until he can go "back" to kindergarten at 4 hours per day, 5 days per week Are our date calculations right? Do we have any other non-private options?
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Old May 29th 2012, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
We're confused. Son was born late December 2007, which would make him 4 years old at the start of the school year in September. The local school says he starts optional kindergarten in September 2013 and mandatory grade 1 in September 2014. That's a full 2 years later than in the UK, and a year later than what I thought I'd understood months ago when I was first looking into this. While I'm not trying to compare UK and US education, two years seems a big difference. He's gone from a 3-hour per day, 5 days per week pre-school in the UK to now having to wait another 16 months until he can go "back" to kindergarten at 4 hours per day, 5 days per week Are our date calculations right? Do we have any other non-private options?
Here's what I found.

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/14/405...ns-school.html

They are quite strict about cut off dates here. My son has an early October birthday, but had to wait until the following autumn, when he was almost six, because the cut off date is age 5 by Sept. 1 here.

I sent him to a year of "full day" preschool, and I have to say he hasn't suffered at all. They are doing the same kind of work, just in a different place. The result is that he has been older and more competent throughout his school life, and this has made him very confident and keen to do well.
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Old May 29th 2012, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Here's what I found.

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/14/405...ns-school.html

They are quite strict about cut off dates here. My son has an early October birthday, but had to wait until the following autumn, when he was almost six, because the cut off date is age 5 by Sept. 1 here.
That article, and your experiences, do match up with DS having to be nearly 6 before he can attend KG (ignoring the transitional optional bit for the moment).

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
I sent him to a year of "full day" preschool, and I have to say he hasn't suffered at all. They are doing the same kind of work, just in a different place. The result is that he has been older and more competent throughout his school life, and this has made him very confident and keen to do well.
I guess this is what we'll have to do - even if it's just a few hours a week - but privately funded.
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Old May 29th 2012, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Goodness I didn't realise it was different state to state. Here mine is starting pre-k at 3 (with a nov birthday) and will be starting Kindergarden at 5. The pre-k is a private one.
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Old May 29th 2012, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
That article, and your experiences, do match up with DS having to be nearly 6 before he can attend KG (ignoring the transitional optional bit for the moment).



I guess this is what we'll have to do - even if it's just a few hours a week - but privately funded.
Try a YMCA if there's one near you. They have decent programs and often have sliding scale fees if that's an issue.
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Old May 29th 2012, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
That article, and your experiences, do match up with DS having to be nearly 6 before he can attend KG (ignoring the transitional optional bit for the moment).



I guess this is what we'll have to do - even if it's just a few hours a week - but privately funded.
Yes but if you both work, you can get a child care tax credit of up to $3,000 per child ($6,000 maximum for more than 1 child). So if you spend $9,000 for your child's education, the federal government pays 1/3rd of the cost.
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Old May 29th 2012, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Try a YMCA if there's one near you. They have decent programs and often have sliding scale fees if that's an issue.
Good idea but a bit of a trek to the nearest one unfortunately.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Yes but if you both work, you can get a child care tax credit of up to $3,000 per child ($6,000 maximum for more than 1 child). So if you spend $9,000 for your child's education, the federal government pays 1/3rd of the cost.
Good point, and thanks for the example!
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Old May 29th 2012, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Yes but if you both work, you can get a child care tax credit of up to $3,000 per child ($6,000 maximum for more than 1 child). So if you spend $9,000 for your child's education, the federal government pays 1/3rd of the cost.
But I think Michael, i could be wrong as i havent checked this, but thats providing you earn on or below $45,000 a year, (total household income).
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Old May 29th 2012, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

You'll find that you'll be spending a lot of money and doing private daycare/kindergarten.

No idea what the rates are out your way, but I'd be happy if they were less than $1500 a month for 2-3 half days a week and I'd be over the moon if you had $1200 for full time care...it's such a range, as it can be as cheap as $400 a month in Maine.

What your town offers might also be very limited and depending on the state, might have a very low household income requirement, it's something like $20K down our way, but there's only room for 381 kids in the state so it is mostly a moot point for most people.
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Old May 29th 2012, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

I've heard the $45k figure but I think that applies to pre-kindergarten, not to "official" kindergarten. I've asked a couple of daycare centers for rates so we'll see how that goes!
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Old May 29th 2012, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by goldenstate31 View Post
But I think Michael, i could be wrong as i havent checked this, but thats providing you earn on or below $45,000 a year, (total household income).
I believe you are referring to the low income child tax credit which I believe is $1,000. I don't see anything about income requirements for the child care tax credit.

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc602.html
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Old May 30th 2012, 2:32 am
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

There are many different options for kids who fall a bit shy of the school cutoff dates, but as you are learning they tend to cost a bit. You might look for some play groups run by the Y or even church groups as they tend to offer some pretty low cost options for nursery school. In some states in the US you would be starting with your child being the youngest in his year, but in most states with the September cutoff you'll have him be one of the oldest (which studies have shown can help a bit).

The UK does start earlier but it is a matter of debate, with some feeling it's not really 'education' but 'child care'. There is actually a movement afoot to move the starting date back a bit. Schools in Finland for example, generally held up as an example of the 'best education system' don't start until children are seven. In case you are interested here is some of that debate:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...to-school.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7234578.stm

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...3&pagewanted=1
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Old May 30th 2012, 4:06 am
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Default Re: CA pre-school/kindergarten

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
Goodness I didn't realise it was different state to state. Here mine is starting pre-k at 3 (with a nov birthday) and will be starting Kindergarden at 5. The pre-k is a private one.
Pretty much everything is different from state to state other than the currency and (in most cases) the side of the road that they drive on. About the only thing that all of the states have in common is a deep seated distrust of the federal government ...
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