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 families begin to have questions about children moving to the next age group. I hope that this answers at least some of your questions.
You can come to an informational meeting on Tuesday, January 29 from 5-6 pm in the Sweet Building's A-Z Room to learn more and ask 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 Type||Age as of September||Class Names|
|Infant/Young Toddler||6-weeks to approx. 22 month||Bumblebees, Caterpillars, Doodlebugs, Wild Things|
|Older Toddler||Age 2 (by December)||Moonbeams, Rainbows, Sunshines|
|Preschool*||Ages 3 to 5**||Blue Jays, Butterflies, Chipmunks, Fireflies, Grasshoppers, Hummingbirds, Roadrunners|
* PIC currently has eight (8) preschool classrooms.
** PIC currently has singular and mixed age (ages 3-5) preschool classrooms.
- Fireflies (generally children who are 3 by September). These children can move to any of seven (7) classrooms.
- Blue Jays, Butterflies, Chipmunks, Hummingbirds, and Leapfrogs (children who are 3 by September 1 through 5 years old). Many children spend two years in these classrooms.
- Grasshoppers and Roadrunners. These children are 4 by September. Most of the children in these rooms will move on to kindergarten the following fall.
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.
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.
As children become the older-end of the age group in their classroom, are their developmental needs being met?
At PIC, all of our teachers have backgrounds and education in the full-range of Early Childhood Education, not just in working with a specific age group. Thus, our teachers are well-equipped to handle the changing developmental needs of the children in their room.
There is usually the opportunity for each child to be at the younger end of the classroom age range and an opportunity to be among the oldest. There are advantages to both. Children at the younger end watch and learn from their older friends. Older children have the opportunity to model for the younger ones.
Children at the older end of a classroom generally have a cohort of other children close to their age. This way, teachers can plan new and developmentally appropriate activities specific for the small group of older children, in the same way that they do so for the younger ones.
Infants and toddlers: Children in our infant/young toddler classrooms may be well be into their twos before there is an opening in the next age group. Children in one of our toddler classrooms (Moonbeams, Rainbows, Sunshines) may be in their threes.
Preschoolers: When children reach kindergarten, there is a hard cut-off for enrollment. This means child with a fall birthday will always be on the older end, and a child with a summer birthday will always be on the younger end.
More Questions? Please do ask!
Come to an informational meeting on Tuesday, January 29 from 5-6 pm in the Spruce Building's A-Z Room.
For more information, send an email to: