Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Parent Participation Preschool?
What exactly does "parent participation" mean?

Is Explorer Preschool licensed and accredited?

What is the curriculum?

What are Class Workdays?

What is a Maintenance Workday?
What is a Double Parent?

What is a Twin Parent?

What is a Partial Participating Member?
How many children attend Explorer Preschool?
Does Explorer Preschool have a wait list?
Is Explorer Preschool associated with a particular religious organization?

How can one learn more about Explorer Preschool?



What is a Parent Participation Preschool?

A parent participating preschool is a family enterprise. Families join together and draw on each other's talents and resources to provide a sound educational environment for their children. The director and teachers provide leadership and guidance as parents assume the responsibility for implementing the program. Parents receive instruction from the staff and other resources to increase their knowledge and skills related to the child. Thus parents grow in their abilities to be educators of their child both at home and at school.

The advantages of the parent participation system of education are numerous. Sharing your child's preschool program provides you with a unique opportunity to see him in a group situation. Through interaction with the teacher, you are able to develop a more knowledgeable approach to your child's education.

The preschool has one central purpose - your child. What the preschool is teaching may not be evident to the casual observer, but your child is learning and growing in a very real way. Play is important business. During your child's preschool career he will learn many important things.


What exactly does “parent participation” mean?

The typical parent will spend approximately 10 to 15 hours per month participating in school activities, the majority of which is spent in the classroom. Explorer parents are required to participate at the school in three ways:

  • Parents work in the classroom, under the supervision of a professional teacher to implement the program, up to once per week depending on the class the child attends.
  • Parents serve on one of twelve operating committees responsible for the operation of the school.
  • Parents attend classes taught by professional teachers and invited speakers designed to improve their parenting skills both at home and in the school.

In addition to the required participation listed above, parents may serve on the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the management of the school and the leadership of the operating committees. Directors are nominated by the membership and approved by a majority vote of the entire membership.


Is Explorer Preschool licensed and accredited?
Explorer Preschool is licensed by the California Department of Social Services as a daycare facility and is accredited as a preschool by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. In addition, the school is a member of the California Council of Parent Participation Preschools.


What is the curriculum?
There are five separate classes at Explorer addressing four age groups. All the classes adhere to Explorer’s developmental philosophy, which holds that children are best prepared for K-12 education when they have developed self-confidence, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to pay attention to teachers and to focus on a task. These skills are gained through a combination of free play with peers and structured activities in art, sciences, music, cooking, dramatic play, gross motor activities and manipulative toys.

The classes emphasize the development of verbal and focusing skills through circle time and group reading, as well as interpersonal skills through actively supervised, cooperative play. The kids also engage in additional age-appropriate activities.

Our 4-Day program is a unique class held at nearby Vasona Park during the fall and spring months. Vasona classes emphasize a science curriculum including hiking, field trips, experiments, creek exploration and the study of local animals and insects. Teacher-assisted journal writing motivates an interest in reading and the alphabet.


What are Class Workdays?
These are the days when a parent is scheduled to assist in the classroom as a Parent-Teacher along with other Parent-Teachers and the credentialed teacher of the class. Parent-Teachers arrive 15 minutes before the beginning of class to help set up and may stay after class to finish cleaning up.


What are Parent Education classes?
The Parent Education program is a necessary component of this type of school to provide you with information concerning your child's needs and abilities. The required class meetings, lectures and in-class work as Parent-Teachers contribute to a parent's knowledge of early childhood development and trends in education. The Parent Education program also increases knowledge of individual children and their needs and improves our ability to parent appropriately and effectively.


What is a Maintenance Workday?
Families participate in the maintenance of the school and yard by attending work parties on Friday afternoons (1.5 hour shift) and/or Saturday mornings (3 hour shift) for a total of 6 hours. Families from the Friday and Monday/Wednesday twos classes are required to work a total of 3 hours. Either parent may attend. Children do not attend.


What is a Double Parent?
A double parent is a parent with two children enrolled concurrently in different classes in the school. Double parents are considered "single" parents with regards to requirements except Parent Education classes and Class Workdays. Double parents must attend all meetings for their children's classes and work as scheduled in each class.



What is a Twin Parent?
This is a parent with more than one child enrolled in the same class. A twin parent's class workday rotation is 1.5 times as for a parent with one child in MW2s, Fri2s and T/Th classes. In the MWF and 4day class, the twin parent must work for each child.


What is a Partial Participating Member?
Members who fulfill all requirements except working in the classroom and attending daytime Parent Education meetings are considered partial participants. There can be no more than two partial participating members per full class, each requiring Board approval. If the member does not arrange for substitutes, the tuition is doubled. If the member does arrange for substitutes on all workdays, there is no tuition increase. Partial Participating Members and Long Term Substitutes must be approved by the Board.


How many children attend Explorer Preschool?
Explorer is fully enrolled with 100 children. Approximately 3000 children from about 1500 families have attended Explorer preschool since its inception.


Does Explorer Preschool have a wait list?
The school typically starts the year with a wait list of several dozen students. By mid-year, there are still several students on the wait list for each class.


Is Explorer Preschool associated with a particular religious organization?
Explorer is not affiliated with any religious organization, and accepts children without regard to religion. Parents are often invited to talk to the children about popular holidays celebrated in their religion or culture. Though Explorer currently leases space from Lincoln Glen Church, the school has no specific religious affiliation with the church.

How can one learn more about Explorer Preschool? 
Call (408) 723-0757 or email secretary@explorerpreschool.org

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