Seattle Learning Center FAQs
What are the ages of children you accept?
- SLC Queen Anne accepts children ages 12 months to 5 years old. SLC Montlake accepts children ages 3 months to 35 months.
Are the children required to be potty trained before they start at the center?
- No. We only ask parents to communicate with us when they start potty training their children so we can do the same at the center. Parents need to provide diapers, wipes and supplies for their children.
What physical activities do you offer?
- We take all of the children outside twice a day, rain or shine. Additionally, we offer gym class twice a week at our QA facility.
Do you go on field trips?
- Yes. In the last couple of years, we have been to the Center for Wooden Boats, Children’s Museum, Space Needle, Woodland Park Zoo, and Seattle Aquarium. Field trips are planned in advance and parents are informed ahead of time. In addition, our QA school visits the local farmer’s market and local small businesses in the QA community during neighbourhood walks.
What discipline methods do you use?
- At SLC, we use positive discipline techniques that include the Love and Logic method, the emotion coaching method, and the “educaring approach” of Magda Gerber. Please check our website (seattlelearningcenter.com) to learn more about these methods on our school philosophy page.
What is your school philosophy?
- SLC believes children learn through play. We are a play based center that incorporates RIE and Montessori into our learning environments. Please check our website (seattlelearningcenter.com) to learn more about these methods on our school philosophy and curriculum pages.
When does the school year start and end?
- SLC runs year round and begins each new school year in September.
What are the tuition rates?
- Our tuition rates are listed in this brochure and on our website.
What is the menu like and the cost of food?
- We provide healthy snacks and meals at SLC. We serve breakfast, lunch, and snacks. The cost of food is included in the monthly fees. Our lunches at QA are catered through FareStart which provides fresh and sustainable meals. We occasionally make homecooked meals at our QA branch for lunch but always make our breakfasts and snacks on site. The ML branch makes homecooked meals for breakfast, afternoon snack, and all lunches.
Do you have an outdoor area?
- SLC has a small outdoor area onsite at QA and a 1000 sq ft outdoor area at ML. Our Queen Anne school is also very close to Little Howe park where we regular take walks to. At both schools we will take the children out for outdoor play twice a day as long as the weather permits.
What is your staff to child ratio?
- We have lower ratios than what is legally required for the majority of the day. We think it is imperative to have adults that can actively supervise all of the children. We have at least two teachers for every seven infants (1:3.5), one teacher for every five toddlers (1:4.5) and one teacher for every seven pre-schoolers (1:6.5).
What is your curriculum?
- We use the creative curriculum with a monthly theme. We use that theme to setup the environment and incorporate the theme into the various centers in the room. The children are given free play throughout the day and they can choose what activities/materials interest them.
How long have you been open?
- SLC was established in Sep 2009 and we opened our second school, the Montlake branch, in 2014.
Who are the teachers and what are their qualifications?
- All of our lead teachers have a bachelor’s degree or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and have extensive experience working with children. All staff members have undergone a criminal records check, TB test, and fingerprinting. Our teachers and assistants are all trained in First Aid and CPR. Please visit our website for more information on our current staff.
How do parents get involved with the school?
- Parents are welcome to come and volunteer to help at the center anytime. SLC has an open door policy, and you can come anytime to see how your child is doing at the Center. Parents receive a monthly newsletter with upcoming events and important information.
How do children learn academic skills through play?
- When children play, they learn valuable skills such as social and emotional competence. When the children are socially and emotionally competent, they will have the self-regulation required for academic instruction. For example, a child that can self-regulate and ignore distractions will be able to listen to the kindergarten teacher who is giving a reading lesson. This social and emotional school readiness is critical to successful kindergarten transition and success throughout life. We do not force academics onto the children so that it becomes a chore but rather something that derives naturally from their curiosity.
How do they learn math, science, reading and writing?
- With our various centers in the classroom, children are constantly exposed to the opportunity to read, write, experiment, and practice math skills. The reading center has books that pertain to the monthly theme and we read to the children for story time/various times throughout day. The art center has several writing tools out for children to explore. If they are playing with blocks, teachers can ask children to sort, count, add and subtract. In science and sensory activities children can practice measuring, forming hypothesises and experiment with cause and affect. The math center has self-correcting Montessori materials that naturally explore the ideas of counting and sorting. By having the freedom to choose activities to participate in, children are taking the initiative in their own learning. Teachers will ask questions that have students think about pre-academics in math, science, phonics and social skills
How do we incorporate RIE and Montessori?
- RIE focuses on basic trust in a child’s ability to be an initiator, explorer and self-learner. Montessori emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural development. Both philosophies concentrate on respecting children and letting them be their own person. We incorporate these philosophies through how our teachers interact with children and in how the environment is set up. Please check our website (seattlelearningcenter.com) to learn more about these methods on our curriculum page.
What do you do to train teachers?
- All staff are required to complete the STARS 30hr Basic Training mandated by the state. When new teachers are hired, we go through an extensive orientation covering our school philosophy, behavior guidance strategies, and have them observe in the classroom as well. Ongoing training consists of monthly staff meetings, staff training days throughout the school year, and 10 or more hours of professional development classes. Our teachers also attend the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conferences as well as local conferences.
Why do you prefer to teach social emotional skills to rote learning?
- Social emotional skills are imperative to succeeding in life. Acquiring these skills is a good foundation for academic learning later on. When children learn to manage their emotions and treat others kindly, they become more equipped to go out in the world. Children will have the rest of their school life being drilled, taught to memorize and tested. The early childhood years at SLC are valued, respected, and cherished because this window of time goes by fast. These years are the most important time to help shape children into being kind and compassionate humans who feel capable of expressing themselves.
Why do you not use worksheets or flashcards?
- Worksheets and flashcards limit a child’s ability for curiosity and exploration. These materials will not be used at our centers to teach rote learning and memorization. By giving various tools and materials to experience letters, numbers, and information, children can soak up knowledge in an experiential and meaningful way.