Kindergarten Program

Especially for Children is excited to offer a Kindergarten Program for the 2020-21 school year at two of our locations: Eagan and Edinborough. Experienced and dedicated teachers will utilize The Creative Curriculum® for Kindergarten to provide rich learning experiences for kindergarten students. This curriculum brings a research-based, whole child-focused approach to project-based learning. It is content-rich and hands-on, supporting students in developmentally appropriate ways to become active learners, who are creative, confident, and armed with lifelong critical thinking skills. The curriculum is aligned to the Common Core and to state learning standards.

 

Enrollment in EFC Kindergarten will open to the public on August 15 (after we have allowed current EFC families the opportunity to enroll). Please feel free to contact us at 952.857.1100 to join our pre-enrollment list before August 15.

Just as in our Pre-K program, the physical learning environment of the Kindergarten program at Especially for Children centers on interest areas. Children are given ample time each day to explore independently and with peers and teachers the following areas:

  • Blocks
  • Toys and Games
  • Dramatic Play
  • Art
  • Library
  • Writing Center
  • Sand and Water
  • Music and Movement
  • Cooking
  • Technology (non-screen-based but rather, how things are made)
  • Outdoors

Parent Communication

Parents of kindergarten children receive daily classroom notes with highlights from the day, photos, and learning goals via the Daily Connect App. We hold parent/teacher conferences two times a year to discuss your child’s progress toward age-appropriate developmental goals.

As many parents are facing a unique situation with respect to school this year, we have identified some Frequently Asked Questions below:

 

Can my child be enrolled in their school district and attend EFC Kindergarten?
Yes. If you choose to enroll your child in your district but the school is not offering full in-person instruction, your child can attend EFC and remain enrolled in the district. We encourage you to reach out to your district and inform them that your child will be participating in a full day, NAEYC accredited program.

 

What happens if my child enrolls in EFC Kindergarten and not in our school district?
Minnesota does not require that children attend kindergarten – school attendance is not required until a child is 7 years old. Some families may decide to enroll with EFC and not enroll in their district. The EFC Kindergarten experience will leave children well prepared to enter 1st grade in the following year, should they choose to do so. If you enroll with EFC and choose not to enroll in your district, you will have the option of enrolling your child as a kindergartener or 1st grader in the fall of 2021. We encourage you to reach out to your district to inform them of your plans, and to make a future grade-level decision based on your child’s development.

 

Will my child be able to do distance learning while at EFC?
The focus of EFC Kindergarten will be engaged and in-person learning. We believe it is important to offer a consistent, high quality, face-to-face learning experience for all children. Because we will have children from different schools/districts in the same classroom, we do not feel it is feasible to manage varied distance learning on electronic devices. Instead, we believe our most important role will be to give children the rich, in-person learning experience of a well-rounded kindergarten. In speaking with several districts, it is our understanding that the distance learning requirements for kindergarteners average between 30 minutes and 2 hours per day. Should you choose to have your child participate in distance learning, those device-based activities would be conducted during family time outside of EFC. We are open to working with families if there are paper-based or experiential activities provided by your district that could successfully be completed in our environment, for example a project or activity that a child might work on during small group time or quiet time. We would also encourage you to speak with your district and share the type of experience your child will be receiving – districts may reduce the distance learning expectations for children who they know are receiving high quality education in another venue.

 

Some districts will be hybrid, others distance learning. My district might start one way but then change in the middle of the fall. Given all of that, what kinds of schedule options will you offer?
Public health experts continue to encourage us to keep groups of children and staff as close-knit and consistent as possible. Maintaining small, consistent cohorts of children is key to reducing exposure for everyone. In addition, we know that districts will be modifying their schedules and may shift from distance learning to hybrid and back again, which means that the needs of families will vary. For these reasons, kindergarten children will all be enrolled five days per week, and we will not offer off-setting schedules. This decision is based on our desire to provide the safest, healthiest environment possible, and to ensure that you can rely on us being able to care for your child no matter what changes your district undergoes. That means that if your child’s district offers in person learning two days per week, your child would simply not attend EFC those days, but could attend the other three. We will not accept part time children, so if your district shifts back to distance learning, you can be assured that your child can attend a full week.

 

Because your child is fully enrolled, they would also be able to attend before or after school on days that they are doing hybrid learning in their district. Transportation for such an option would need to be arranged either individually or with your school district (if they make that available).