Maine Department of Education
ESTABLISHING A FOUR YEAR OLD PROGRAM
-Things to consider in your planning process-
Community Approaches to Four Year Old Programs
Involve your community in the decision to implement a four year old program. Other child care, head start, nursery/pre school providers may be impacted. Determine the need in your community.
- How will your program interface and plan with the child care community (center based and/or family child care) or local Head Start programs) for a regionalized approach?
- What are the extended day needs of children and families?
- How will your program address the needs of working parents?
- Include Child Development Services (CDS) in the planning process.
- Your local Child Care Resource Development Center (RDC) can help you coordinate with local child care /early education programs.
- PUBLIC PRE-K COMMUNITY COLLABORATION COACHES ARE AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Will there be enrollment criteria for a targeted population?
- Will you be able to serve all eligible children (universal access)? Is there a long range plan to do that?
- Will there be an application process?
- What kind of information will you seek about children/families?
- Is your school structure is adapted to the needs of younger children, eg, providing flexible and open classroom space, reducing travel time on bus, implementing parent outreach activities?
- Is there consistency with DHHS child care licensing rules in relation to needs of younger children? i.e. child/adult ratios, square footage requirements
- Will children be impacted by multiple daily transitions?
- Is your environment designed to be inclusive of both typically developing and children with special needs? http://www.umaine.edu/ExpandInclusiveOpp/inclusion_toolkit/default.htm
- What are your plans for a developmentally appropriate curriculum with an emphasis on play and active learning?
- Do your teachers have a child development background? The Birth-5 081 teacher certification endorsement is required of all classroom teachers.
- Ed Techs must hold at least an Ed Tech II Authorization
- Use the Early Learning Guidelines as a guide for best practice.
- Are you familiar with NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children?
- Consider NAEYC Accreditation criteria as a goal. The National Association of Elementary School Principals recommends that these criteria guide implementation of programs.
- Are you familiar with Maine Roads to Quality Accreditation Facilitation Project and other Professional Development activities? Information is included in your packet.
- How will your program facilitate the transition of children between programs if necessary (i.e. preK to childcare)?
- How will your program facilitate the transition of children to kindergarten?
- What nutrition components/meals do you plan to offer?
As per Title 20-A MRSA, Chapter 215, the transportation component for a public preschool program can be waived. If transportation is not provided, how will this impact access to your program? If you do provide transportation, you are encouraged to follow guidelines established by NHTSA (National Highway Safety Agency.) Please refer to NHTSA (National Highway Safety Agency (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/) for federal safety guidelines.
- Do you have a plan for vision, hearing and any other health or developmental screening?
- Will your program include outreach and support programs designed to improve parent-school relations, school readiness and parenting skills?
- What type of supports will you provide to parents choosing to be home with their children
- How will you involve parents and other family members in program and policy decisions?
Monitoring and Evaluation
- What criteria will you adopt to measure program outcomes?
Possible Sources of Funding:
- State Funding: EPS, K-2 Weighted Funds
- Federal Funding: IDEA97, Section 619-3-5 Year Olds; Part B, Section 611, 3-20 Year Olds.
- Title I, Title V (NCLB), Twenty First Century (NCLB)
- Coordinate and/or Partner with Head Start