What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
Transitional Kindergarten is basically a 2-year kindergarten program that has been created to enable the children whose birthdays miss the cut-off date for kindergarten. Because of this, there have always been certain kids who are old for their class and young for their class. In the past, these children just stayed an extra year in preschool. Recently, the state has decided to provide for the kids who miss the cut-off date by creating a 2-year kindergarten program. Public school campuses conduct their TK program in the same classroom with the “regular” kindergarten children exposing them to the same curriculum for 2 years. The main difference is that the regular (older) kids in the class are pushed harder and must meet the academic milestones and requirements while the TK kids are not.
Why choose Kids Kare Transitional Kindergarten over Public School Transitional Kindergarten?
At Kids Kare Schools our TK program mirrors the curriculum of the public school transitional kindergarten and regular kindergarten program. Progress reports are generated for all the children and they are all pushed to meet the same age-based milestones. However, our program comprises the older, more advanced kids, while in a public school TK program, the “transitional” kids will be the youngest, least proficient kids in the classroom.
Transitional kindergarten was initially created for the younger/less mature children. Placing these little ones onto a big public school campus with children as old as 12 makes a lot of children and their parents uncomfortable. Kids Kare’s diligent focus on security and safety offers parents peace of mind as their child matures during that last year before starting public school.
In a public school TK class there can be as many as 36 kids per class with one teacher and one aide. In the Kids Kare transitional kindergarten, our ratio of one teacher for 10 children will assure that your child receives the attention necessary to succeed academically.
How would your child feel in this situation: After a year of participating and making new friends in the transitional kindergarten class, they’ll watch 85% of their peers excitedly being promoted to first grade, while in the fall these transitional kids will return to kindergarten only to repeat the same curriculum from the previous year. Instead of moving forward with grade advancement and with the feeling of accomplishment, the child who now must repeat the same kindergarten program from the previous year will probably feel just the opposite, possibly defeated, and/or bored.
Let’s be honest. Kids can be cruel and every elementary school has a bully. Will your child be teased because he/she is repeating kindergarten? Sadly, many parents confess that a child who is “retained” in kindergarten (for whatever reason) feels the stigma attached to being “held back” throughout all of their years in school. Even though they weren’t technically retained, the perception is so. Doing transitional kindergarten at Kids Kare Schools ensures that your child will enter kindergarten feeling conﬁdent and excited, which is what every parent wants!
Transitional kindergarten is a newer concept in the public school arena and they’re still finding their way. Changes to how the TK programs are being implemented on public school campuses, prior to the school year and even during it, is confusing for both the children and the parents. At Kids Kare, we have been successfully preparing these “transitional” kids for actual kindergarten with a successfully proven curriculum for over 55 years! When Kids Kare graduates enter kindergarten for the ﬁrst time, their teachers are always amazed at how well prepared they are.
The length of the school day for these younger, transitional children is also a concern for some parents. If your public school only offers all-day kindergarten, your child will be forced to attend an all-day TK program. This can be way too long of a day for many of these younger ones, especially those who are still needing a nap or rest period in the middle of the day. Additionally, some public schools offer no after-care specifically for the TK children. Their extremely full programs cause these young TK kids to be grouped with children who are much older. At Kids Kare, these transitional kids are immersed in our “Fun While Learning” curriculum during the day, allowing more flexibility to meet the needs of these younger kids, including a two-hour nap for those who still need the “down” time. Most importantly, these TK kids are never mixed in with older children, and are thus only exposed to age appropriate activities and play.