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Preschool & VPK FAQs

We understand you have a lot of options to consider when choosing a preschool. Bayside Discovery Center in Palm Bay, FL provides a strong foundation for kindergarten through our preschool and VPK programs. We’ve compiled the answers to our most frequently asked questions below here:

Does my child have to be potty trained to come to preschool? Certainly not! We are very experienced in potty training and are more than happy to help you and your child reach that milestone. We will stay in communication with you about how they are doing as school and decide together with the parents when it’s time to progress to “big boy” or “big girl underwear.” Usually parents report that potty training goes much more quickly when children start coming to school. It becomes part of their routine and the positive peer influence can be very helpful.

Is food included in my tuition? We do provide a morning and an afternoon snack for every child. It will be served with juice or water. A list of the week’s snacks is posted at the beginning of each week if you are interested in seeing what we are serving. The parent provides lunch, but we gladly heat or refrigerate lunch items.

Then what do I send them for lunch? We want you to send them what you know they will eat! We find that parents providing lunches is a great way to make sure that everyone gets something they like. We are happy to keep cold food cold and hot foods hot for your child at lunchtime so feel free to send in leftovers, sandwiches, lunchables, heatable cups of pasta, chicken nuggets, etc. Again, if you know they like it- send it in. (And we’ll provide the paper plates, spoons, and ketchup too!) Why are your part time programs MTW or ThFri instead of MWF, like some schools? We have found, through years of experience, that young children really do thrive on consistency and routine. Bringing your child to school two or three days in a row helps them to be better acclimated to us and helps them to better know what to expect each morning when they wake up. It makes for much easier separation each day and easier transitions into school activities. We aren’t starting over again every school day.

Can I come by during the day to see my child? Of course! We have a very open-door policy at our school and there are never any “no dismissal” times. We realize that many of you are full time working parents and a visit with your little one may be just what you need in the middle of your day. Feel free to come by for lunch sometime. Preschoolers eat at 11:30 am and VPK students eat at 12 pm. Provided your child isn’t too upset by your coming and going, we will encourage you to visit as much as your schedule permits. If it is very upsetting to your child, we will let you know gently that it’s probably not a good idea. We do have some places where you can sneak a peek at your little one without them seeing you as well! And, of course, you can call us all day long and we will give you updates as needed.

Do you offer any discounts? Yes, we do offer a 10% discount for the oldest siblings.

Can I stay with them on the first day? We’d really prefer you didn’t and here’s why: You’ve decided to send your child to school for many different reasons. You’ve chosen us because we are obviously so clean and sweet and trustworthy! But seriously, it’s an eventuality that your child will be coming to school and you won’t be there. We take our jobs very seriously and we will make sure that your child is soothed, distracted if need be, and comfortable in their time with us. We will call you if they need you. We will never let them cry all day and not tell you. We will always remind them “mommy or daddy is coming back.” We will always be honest with you if we don’t think they are ready for preschool. Sometimes it’s harder on mom and dad than it is on the child! So instead of planning to stay all day, plan to keep your cell phone close by and maybe pick up early and we will definitely let you know if they need you.

What do you mean when you say your classrooms placements are developmental, not chronological? We simply mean that we want your child to be in the best peer group for them. For example, not all 2 year olds are the same. A 24 month old and a 35 month old child could potentially be doing a lot of different things. We place children in classes with other children close to their chronological age, but pay attention to their development and allow for a little wiggle room if we, along with parent input, feel like an older or younger peer group might be a better fit for them. Just because you have a birthday does not mean you have to move on to a new class.

Who can pick up my child from preschool or before and after care? Anyone that the parent enrolling allows if they present photo identification. We will have you fill out an information card for each child you enroll in our school listing all of your contact information as well as a list of who can or cannot pick up your child. Obviously we will get to know the primary person who picks up on a consistent basis, but anyone we are not familiar with will be required to produce photo ID and must be listed on your child’s card. All information cards are kept at the front desk at all times for quick reference for our front desk staff. We would rather make someone go back to their car in a huff to produce identification than to allow your precious children to go home with the wrong person. That being said, please make sure you always keep your information current and obviously let us know of any legal custodial changes.

My child has allergies; are they safe at your school? We have such compassion for parents who have to deal with the daily threat of food or other allergies. We will do our best to ensure the comfort of your child and make sure they are in the least restrictive environment for them to still be able to participate in our daily routines. When you have made us aware of allergies, we will not only inform the classroom teacher, but every teacher in the building will have a written list of allergies for the whole building on their clipboard at all times. Allergies are also posted in all food prep areas. If you need to provide alternative snacks, you are welcome to do so. If you’d like to provide substitutes for cooking project ingredients, we are happy to provide you with our recipes. If your child needs an Epipen, we will store it within our reach and label the cabinet it is stored in. We will work with you to make sure all reasonable accommodations will be made for you to feel comfortable leaving your child at our school.

What are the different program options? Our preschool programs are literature-based curriculum for all of our classes, 12 months-5 years of age. Our Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program for 4 year olds is top notch. Elementary students are very much a part of who we are at . We are pleased to service Westside Elementary School with quality before and after school care.

Both our preschool and VPK programs are designed to develop your child’s motor skills, language skills, pre-reading, pre-math, and social skills.

What does VPK mean? VPK or Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten is a specific program for 4 year olds. Our VPK staff is well qualified and experienced in purposeful planning for the numerous standards that the State of Florida mandates for pre-kindergarteners.  For more information on the state standards for VPK, please visit Florida Department of Education. Read what makes Bayside Discovery Center’s VPK different here.