Commonly Asked Questions

Tender Years Learning Center

What kind of preschool is Tender Years?

Tender Years is a Developmental Preschool. Its programs offer children a well balanced preschool learning environment that contains kindergarten-readiness structure while remaining developmentally appropriate and child-centered. Programs are geared to provide children with a blend of opportunities for social skill building with peers as well as nurturing literacy and numeracy skills in preparation for kindergarten.

What is a Developmental Preschool?

The primary principle among developmental preschools is to promote participation in age-appropriate activities, such as hands-on play, group story-time, and theme related activities. Children are encouraged to learn through play, though some have added more academic content in response to demand. Developmental preschools may have philosophies that draw from multiple educational philosophies such as Montessori or Waldorf.

If Tender Years Learning Center’s philosophy is closely aligned with the Montessori philosophy, why is Tender Years not a Montessori school?

Traditional Montessori programs are entirely child-directed within the learning environment. Tender Years promotes a balance of self-directed learning within a structured daily routine. This daily routine and its expectations mirror what the child will experience in a public kindergarten classroom and therefore are familiar to him or her upon entering kindergarten. This makes the transition to formal education smoother and allows the child’s mind to be more available for learning.

Does my child need to be potty trained?

You may register your child for a program before being potty trained, but he or she will need to be in underwear and well on the way to being trained by the first day of school. This means that your child is independent with toileting but has occasional accidents. If your child is not fully trained by the beginning of the school year, we will continue to work with your child by taking frequent bathroom breaks at natural activity transition times. If your child is still having frequent "accidents" at home by the time school starts, his or her name will be kept on our active waiting list. Once trained and an opening is available, if the program has not since filled, he or she may enroll. We realize that potty training is a developmental phase that some children arrive at sooner than others however we need to adhere to this policy to maintain the health and safety of the staff and other students in the facility.

Why is my monthly bill the same amount if there are a different number a days in each month?

Tender Years tuition is based on an annual rate that is divided into 10 equal monthly payments. Therefore, there is no proration of tuition for short months due to school vacations or school closures. If your child is enrolled in Summer Fun Camp sessions, there are additional fees where tuition covers only through the 38 weeks of the school year.

If I have enrolled my child for 2 or 3 days per week but need him or her to attend on a different day during a given week, can I simply swap days?

No. Your child is registered for contracted days and times as specified in the parent contract you will sign upon enrolling your child.  “Swapping days” is not possible.  Staff is hired to meet ratios based on expected attendance from student contracted days.  Due to this, we cannot just “swap days”.  Additionally, Children enrolled for full time placements do not have the option of swapping days for any reason where we are not open on weekends.  Therefore, in the interest of equity for all, swapping is not allowed.

If you need an additional day of care and our staffing ratio for that day allows us to accommodate your request, there is an additional fee.

Why are you closed on MSAD #51 Teacher professional development days?

In our pursuit of quality and continual growth, each staff member must participate in 40 hours of continuing education hours in order to meet professional learning obligations. This exceeds the State of Maine minimum requirement of 30 hours. Therefore, in order to support families of enrolled students with older siblings in the school district, we use the same days as MSAD #51 for teacher in-service/professional development.