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The Move-up Memo

Everything you need to know - from Deb Green

This is the time of year when many children approach the older end of the age range for the classrooms that they are currently in. It is a time when you begin to have questions about children moving to the next age group. I hope that this memo answers at least some of your questions.
What are “Move-ups?”
“Move-ups” is the term we use at PIC to refer to the process of moving children to the next age group. 
What is the age range in each classroom?
Each PIC classroom starts out the school year with a specific age range.
Classroom TypeAge at start of school yearClass Names
Infant/Young Toddler6-weeks to approx. 22 mo.
Bumblebees, Caterpillars, Doodlebugs, Wild Things
Older ToddlerAge 2 by December

Moonbeams, Rainbows, Sunshines


Preschool*Ages 3 to 5 by September**Fireflies***, Grasshoppers, Leapfrogs, Peanuts***, Roadrunners, Starfish
* PIC currently has six (6) preschool classrooms. We are in the process of creating two (2) new mixed-age (children 3 - 5) rooms, and by September of 2017, there will be a total of eight (8) preschool rooms.
** PIC currently has singular and mixed age preschool classrooms.  
Grasshoppers and Roadrunners (generally children who are 4 by September)

Fireflies and Peanuts (generally children who are 3 by September) 

Starfish and the Leap Frogs (generally children who are  3-5 years old by September)

*** This year of move-ups, there will be six (6) classrooms that children moving from the Fireflies and Peanuts will be eligible to move to.
When will my child move to the next age group?
Usually some time in mid-to-late spring—as spaces become available usually due to family moves—we are able to begin moving the oldest children in the infant/young toddler rooms to the older toddler rooms, and the oldest toddlers to the preschool rooms, either singular- or mixed-age. 
Move-ups continue from late June through early fall, as some children go off to our summer camp, or leave for the summer. Other move-ups will happen when the oldest children go off to kindergarten in September.
This means that as the school year goes by, there will be children over 2 years in the infant/young toddler rooms, over 3 years in the older toddler rooms, and over 4 in the Fireflies and Peanuts.
Are move-ups based solely on age?
No. Children move in “rough” chronological order as space becomes available in the next age groups.
What does “rough” chronological order mean?
Our Enrollment Coordinator and Program Coordinators consult with classroom teachers about each child’s individual needs, temperament, and other factors. For example, some children do better when moving with a specific peer, or if separated from a specific social group. Some children may have developmental or home needs that make it best to wait a little longer or move a little sooner, including the birth of a new baby or move to a new home.
There are other factors we also take into consideration. For example, even when your child is the oldest in your classroom, s/he may not be the oldest among all the children of that age group. When planning for move-ups, we must consider the ages of all the young toddlers, all of the older toddlers, and all of the preschoolers. We also need to balance gender and the number of days a child comes to PIC. 
This all means that often it is not the oldest child in the classroom that moves before the others. Be assured that once the spring/summer move-ups begin, all children age-eligible for moving up to the next age group will do so in a relatively short period of time.  
When will we know when our child will be moving? How can we prepare for the move?
You will receive an email from our Enrollment Coordinator about 2-3 weeks before a child’s scheduled move-up date. Teachers also receive notification when a new child is coming into their rooms and will reach out to you to offer any information needed.
We always suggest taking your child to visit the new classroom about a week before the scheduled move to say hello to the classroom teachers. Talk about the move to the new classroom at home and use the teacher’s names, as well as the names of any of the children in the room that your child may already know.
What is the move-up transition like at PIC?
In the older toddler and preschool rooms, children tend to move in groups. The children seem happiest and most comfortable when they know they are moving with at least one friend.
With our younger children, we often plan a week-long transition to the new classroom. Each child is very different and the teachers are very sensitive to knowing that some children need more time than others.
Often on the first day of the transition week, a teacher will take a child (or children) to the new classroom where they will stay for a short period of time together. Some children wave goodbye to their old teacher on the first day and never look back, while others react better when they spend a little more time each day of the transition week in the new room, gradually getting used to being there all day.
Can parents request specific classrooms?
Many of the children are siblings of children who were in classrooms before them. Often these parents have an established relationship with a teaching team and would like their younger child placed in the same room.  We do our very best to honor these requests. However, other than the sibling example, we ask that families do not request specific teachers or classrooms.
How does PIC decide what classroom children are placed in?
There are many, many factors that go into classroom placement decisions and this process is probably one of the most complicated things that we do. As much as possible, we want each child to move into a classroom where there are other children who s/he knows. We want a balance of gender, age-range, and of part-week and full-week children. Again, teachers know which children will do better if moving with a peer group or being split from a specific peer group. We also take into account which classroom culture may best fit each child’s personality and temperament. 
Children grow and develop in so many ways during these early years and our teachers know the children in their class very, very well. We ask you to trust us in this process. 
More Questions? Please do ask!
Enrollment Coordinator Grace Piaña  -   gpiana@parentinfantcenter.org
Infant-Toddler Program Coordinator Kharma Hicks  -  khicks@parentinfantcenter.org
Preschool Program Coordinator Tamara Clark  -  tclark@parentinfantcenter.org  (maternity leave until June )
Executive Director Deb Green  -  dgreen@parentinfantcenter.org