Frequently Asked Questions:
What is your teacher to child ratio?
We are a Licensed Family Child Care Home, licensed through Texas Health and Human Services, formerly known as Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Our total licensed capacity is 12. However, we stay well below the states minimum standard and choose to enroll a maximum of 10 students.
We periodically have a morning part-time assistant teacher and that changes our ratio to 2:10, otherwise it’s typically, 1:10
What’s the daily rhythm of the program?
Our flexible daily schedule reflects about 70% play-based, (unstructured, meaningful, imaginative play,) while the other 30% is teacher-led, (Friendship circle-time, projects that support teacher-led lessons.) Because, most of our students leave Pint-Size Playhouse and head straight to traditional public-school Kindergarten, we feel it’s not only fair, but necessary to prepare children for the very structured Kindergarten environment by setting healthy boundaries and limits, clear expectations, and incorporating teacher-led activities throughout the day.
7:00- Morning Greetings, Table Activities, Centers
8:30- Wholesome Snack
9:00- Friendship Circle-Time, followed by a literacy or art project
9:30- Imaginative Outdoor Play*
12:00- Story Telling/Yoga/Meditation
3:00- Wholesome Snack
3:30- Imaginative Outdoor Play*
5:00- Good-Bye Hugs
*Please understand that we always attempt to follow the schedule as stated, but with children we prepare for flexibility. *All children should arrive to school by 9:00am.
What about lunch and snacks?
We offer 2 healthy snacks every day, avoiding as much processed food as possible. We have partnered with Misti Buie - Nutritionist and Owner of Balanced Foodies. Misti has created a healthy, kid-friendly snack menu for Pint-Size Playhouse. Focusing on whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, protien, and dairy, substituting organic when available. We serve filtered water with every snack and lunch, and children have access to their water cups throughout the day. We view meals as an opportunity to gather as a school family and participate in meaningful conversations. We conscientiously strive to avoid pressure or conflict around food. We follow Ellyn Satter’s “Division of Responsibility” when it comes to snacks and meals. You can read about it here: https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/handout-dor-tasks-cap-2016.pdf
What are your holidays and closures?
We are a full-year program. We follow Austin Independent School District’s student calendar for holidays and closures. Our school calendar is updated and posted when AISD releases their new school calendar.
For the safety of our students and families, we also follow AISD’s closures and delayed start for inclement weather. When AISD has a 2-hour delayed start, we open at 9:00am.
2020-2021 school year
Labor Day- Sept. 7
Staff Development- October 12
Thanksgiving Break- Nov. 23-27
Winter Break- Dec. 21 - Jan. 5
MLK Day- Jan. 18
President's Day- Feb. 15
Spring Break- March 15-19
Good Friday- April 2
Memorial Day- May 31
Independence Day- July 4 (Observed July 5)
Summer Break- July 19-23
Does your preschool require parent involvement?
Yes! Pint-Size Playhouse believes a strong school community is an important component to children's growth and development. We encourage parents to participate in any capacity they feel comfortable. Your involvement show’s your child that you value their education and you think it’s worth participating in. We understand that every family’s circumstances and work obligations are different. Parent involvement for one family may look different than another’s, and that’s Okay! Parent involvement can take on many forms, it can be anything from donating learning materials and resources, purchasing wish list items, reading a book at circle-time, or helping set up a class party. The possibilities are endless, and we appreciate however you’re able to contribute.
"At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involement of their parents" ~ Jane. D. Hull
*Parents that volunteer more than 8 hours per year will need to submit a Background Check. Parents are never counted in adult/child ratios.
What is your screen time policy?
We respect and follow the American Academy of Pediatrics new screen time rules. (One-hour of screen time per day for children ages 2-5 years.) We feel 1 hour of educational or physically active screen time (broken up and distributed throughout the day) is an adequate amount of time for our preschool schedule. However, we do not actually have screen time written into our daily schedule because somedays we don’t utilize it at all, other days we need a smooth transition while snacks are being prepared or taking potty breaks. We always watch age-appropriate programs, educational lessons, interactive music and movement, (PBS Kids, GoNoodle, or Cosmic Kids Yoga.)
Children, who do not want to participate in screen time are always welcome to read books or draw.
Does your program potty train?
We typically do not initiate the process. We may open up discussion if we feel a child is cognitively, physically, and emotionally ready to start training and parents have not yet started the process. Ultimately, we want parents to make the decision because they will be the ones making a dedicated commitment to their child and the potty training process. In our experience, children who start potty training at home are more successful at school. After there is a consistent routine at home, typically the process logically and naturally transitions over to the preschool setting with minimal difficulties. Potty training primarily centers on parent's pro-active support and developmental readiness of the child. Please be patient during the process, some children take their time, while others catch on quickly. We assist children in every way possible to be successful. For sanitary concerns, Pull-Ups or diapers are worn at school until children are fully potty trained and accident free for 3 weeks.
What curriculum does your preschool use?
We’ve used a combination of play-based learning resources to create our own preschool curriculum. Primarily, we focus on children’s interest to lead the direction of our themed lessons and often follow The Creative Curriculum®