St. Paul's Early Childhood Development Center

Admissions » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Dear Interested Parent,
 
Thank you for your interest in our preschool. We welcome applications year round and open enrollment for the next school year is February 1st. Please include the application fee with your application form to be considered for enrollment or to be on our waiting list. When your child is accepted you will be contacted to schedule an admission interview to determine if we are a match in ministry. We look forward to working with you!
 
Why should I choose St. Paul’s?
St. Paul's Early Childhood Development Center is a nationally accredited, fully licensed, non-profit preschool for children ages 10 weeks through five. We offer a distinctive, high quality education program from infancy to eight grade.  Our school is dedicated to nurturing, educating and ministering to God's precious children. St. Paul’s is made up of a diverse student body composed of members of the surrounding communities.  
 
Is St. Paul's accredited?
St Paul’s Lutheran School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and National Lutheran Schools Association (NLSA). St. Paul’s received the highest marks attainable by WASC – a six year clear and received Exemplary Status in 2014 by the NLSA. In 2009 St. Paul's was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.
 
How many students attend the preschool?
We are licensed for 33 children in our infant/toddler center and 170 students in the preschool.  We have twelve classrooms.
 
What is the student teacher ratio?
All classrooms have two team teachers to provide continuity of care and a quality education that allows children the opportunity to develop and explore to their full potential in a loving Christian environment. Our teacher-child ratio is as follows:
 
            Class Age                  Teacher/Student Ratio
              Infants                               1:4
              Ones                                  1:4
              Toddlers                             1:6
              Preschool                           1:10
              Pre-Kindergarten                 1:11
 
What are your hours?
We are open from  7 am to 6 pm.  We have three types of program:
  1. Full day:  7 am to 6 pm
  2. Part day: 8:15 am to 3:15 pm
  3. Morning:  8:30 am to Noon
Do you provide snacks and lunch?
Two snacks are provided each day in the preschool program.  Students in the infant/toddler program supply their own meals. Hot lunch is offered several times a month.  Students enrolled in the morning program are welcomed to stay to enjoy hot lunch.
 
How much does St. Paul’s cost?
It varies by age group (child's age on September 1st) and programming.  Please contact us for details.  We offer sibling and St. Paul's church member discounts. 
 
Do children have to be potty trained?
No, potty training is available in 2, 2.5 and 3 year-old classes.  Students must bring their own diaper and supplies.
 
Which classroom or age group will my child be in?
Students are placed in classrooms that is appropriate for their age. Typically, it is based on the child's chronological age (on September 1st) and developmental needs.
 
Do the children wear uniforms?
No, however, you can purchase a school t-shirt.
 
Admission/Enrollment Questions
 
What is the enrollment process?
While we welcome applications year round, we officially begin accepting applications for the next year on February 1st. Enrollment typically begins with a tour of the campus where we walk the family and student around the campus and show them our various offerings. At the end of the tour parents are given the application package.
 
Parents should submit their completed application form with their application fee to the preschool office for enrollment or to be placed on a waiting list.  When your child is accepted for enrollment you will be contacted to schedule an admission interview. 
 
May I tour the campus?
Yes, enrollment typically begins with a tour of the campus where we walk the family and student around the campus and share about our program.  Members of the community, college students, teachers at local schools, and others have requested and may continue to request tours of our campus. Please call the school office (714) 637-2416 to schedule a tour. We do not give tours during nap time.
 
What are the qualifications of your teachers?
Our teachers and assistant teachers are experienced early childhood educators. They are Christians who provide a warm and loving environment and have a sincere concern for each of our students.  They have met and exceeded the State of California Licensing requirements for early childhood educators.  Some of our teachers have a Masters Degree, Bachelor of Arts degree, Associate of Arts degree or California Child Development Teacher Permit. 
 
All staff participates in a continuous program of in-service training, regular regional workshops, conferences and studies for professional advancement in order to remain alert to the ever changing needs of today’s families and to the findings of current research.
 
What is your schedule and curriculum?
Our daily classroom schedule offers a balance between teacher-directed and child choice activities. The developmentally appropriate curriculum includes daily creative art activities, children's literature, music, dramatic play, science, cooking, sensory play, gardening and large motor activities. We promote "hands-on" learning through self initiated activity. Our teachers serve as facilitators while the children create and explore engaging learning activities.
 
Our program encompasses the education of the whole child, which includes the child's physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, creative and social skills. We use Concordia Publishing House' Voyages religion curriculum and Second Steps Character Development curriculum. Religious education is a thread that is woven into the curriculum. The children hear Bible stories each day, pray before snacks and lunch and attend a Children's Chapel each week.
 
A positive approach is used in building the children's self-esteem in a relaxed and loving atmosphere. We encourage acceptable social behavior and a spirit of cooperation.
 
Our Infant/Toddler program is establish in a home-like environment where the indoor and outdoor environment is utilized for young children’s active exploration and loving interactions with staff. Sign-language is used to help infants and toddlers to communicate. Our staff will guide and direct children’s behavior toward self-control and independence. Positive experiences are provided to build language and social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Young children are encouraged to develop self-help skills. Infant’s home routine is followed at the program.
 
What is your admission policy?
Enrollment is open to all preschool children ages 10 weeks to 5 years. A child’s birth certificate will be required at time of enrollment. Children must reach the required age for the class they are entering by September 1 of the year they are entering. Children with siblings already in our school having first priority and children of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church members having second priority in placement. St. Paul’s Early Childhood Development Center is open to serve the whole community and admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students.
 
What is your discipline policy?
     We view discipline not as a means of punishing a child who has acted inappropriately, but rather as a means of teaching a child. Positive discipline teaches children where the limits are set, how to maintain control over their bodies and how to problem solve in the event of a conflict. We maintain a Christian attitude in regard to discipline, that being one of loving concern. Un-Christian-like behavior, attitudes, gestures, words, or acts will not be tolerated. We teach children to obey, respect, and cooperate with teachers and peers. Matthew 18:15-17 is used as the basis for disciplinary actions.
     Discipline is most effective when it follows logical consequences. The consequences for behavior have to make sense to the child. When conflict arises, children are encouraged to talk to their peers to resolve the problem. We also model God’s forgiveness at school by teaching children to ask for forgiveness when they feel repentant and to receive forgiveness (grace).
     When a child exhibits inappropriate behavior, the teacher may choose to limit the child’s choices of activities to teach children to respect property and one another. Sometimes separation of children may also become necessary. The teacher might assign appropriate play areas for the children, with the message that they may try playing together later on if they do well on their own. A time out is an opportunity for a child who is out of control and at risk of harming himself or others, to calm down and gain control once again. Once the child gains control over oneself, an adult will discuss the situation with the child and a more appropriate action may be taken.
     When talking to children about their behavior, the children are given an opportunity to give their input on what they feel is an appropriate consequence for their action. For example, a child who is hurting others with housekeeping utensils may be asked, “What can we do to help you to remember how to use the utensils properly?” If the child’s suggestions are inappropriate, then the teacher will make the decision. Through this process, the child stands to gain the most if s/he makes retribution on her/his own terms.
     At St. Paul’s ECDC inappropriate behavior shall be viewed as exactly that. Children shall never be referred to as naughty or bad. We will always address the behavior as the problem, not the child. Whenever possible, the child is given a choice. The teacher will give unconditional acceptance of the child because we recognize that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and gives us forgiveness we must do the same for the children. We also model and teach the children to forgive each other when there is a problem. Children are encouraged and supported as they work out their conflicts.