Do you offer infant and toddler care?
We do not have any infants or toddlers in our program at this time. Our youngest children are 2.5 or 3 years of age. If there were at least 3 families with infants interested, we would open our infant room again. If you are interested, please contact us for a tour.
I heard you used to offer infant and toddler care and now you do not… why?
When we first opened our doors to the community, we understood there was a need for quality infant and toddler care. We created a space to serve this need. We set our rates by matching daycares in the area. We worked to find quality staff who were willing to learn about Montessori and implement the method with the youngest children.
By the time we were open two years, it was clear that this offering was detracting from our main mission, which is the preschool program to prepare children for their school years and beyond.
The first issue was that the cost to provide the care was much more than families could afford to pay, or were willing to pay. This deficit was financially draining on the rest of the program.
The second issue was that our current ratio of children to adults matched the state requirement 4:1, but we wanted to offer a lower ratio of children to adults 3:1 so that the children would have better care and attention throughout their stay with us. Of course this lower ratio would be more expensive to provide, but the children would experience invaluable benefits from more attention and care.
The third issue was that we also wanted to increase the quality of staffing by providing more training in Montessori and continuing education in child development.
Of course all of these quality improvements require investment and higher operating costs. We knew we wanted to offer a quality program to the youngest learners or none at all. We decided to increase the rates to cover the costs involved with providing the increased quality care and learning.
We experienced criticism for this decision and some of the currently enrolled parents advised us to increase the rates for everyone enrolled to help cover the cost for their children. We did not think it was fair to the families of the older preschool age children to cover the costs of the program for the younger children.
We understand that families must budget their finances according to their priorities and that the increase was out of the price range for some families. We’re happy that they were able to find care that matched their needs and budgets.
We hope that all families understand that we have to budget our finances as well and we simply could not subsidize the cost of program forever. The bank would lock the doors and there would simply be no program, even for the preschoolers.
SWMS is the only school in the community that provides a quality educational experience along with the convenience for working parents that their children can stay for a full day. The only other school in the community offers their pre-school program for only 3 hours per day. This works for families who have the freedom and convenience to transport and care for their children the remainder of the day, but for many parents, this is simply not an option.
We are proud to provide the working parents of our community with an opportunity to give their children a solid foundation for success in the future even if they work full-time jobs. We knew that in order to continue providing this educational opportunity for children in our community, we would have to set the infant and toddler rates to cover the true costs of the care.