Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the student-teacher ratios at MCS?
  2. What about academics at MCS?
  3. Where will my child go from MCS and how will she adjust to a new environment?
  4. What scheduling options are available?
  5. My child will be four in the fall. Do I sign up for the Early Childhood or the PreK?
  6. What are the tuition rates and fees?
  7. What are the additional before and after school care costs and schedules?
  8. Is financial aid available?
  9. Are parent hours required?
  10. Must my child be immunized to attend MCS?
  11. My child turns three in November. Can s/he attend MCS this fall?
  12. I can only guess that my child will be potty trained in the fall. Do I enroll now or once they are potty trained?
  13. How do I get on the wait-list or schedule a school visit?
  14. Do different weekly schedules end up costing more or less per day?

  1. What are the student-teacher ratios at MCS?
    Student-teacher ratios are kept as small as possible in order to allow individualization and close relationships. The youngest MCS students (3 years old) will typically spend Small Group Time with no more than seven children, while older students (4 – 6) may spend Small Group Time in a group of ten to twelve.
  2. What about academics at MCS?
    The MCS curriculum challenges children in all areas of development, and traditional academic areas – reading, writing, math, etc. – are no exception. At the youngest ages, language, math, and problem solving are embedded in projects, activities, and real-life experiences, allowing teachers to observe and further children’s developing skills. For five year olds, academics are pursued primarily through longer-term project work, in which children put their growing skills to use. At each step along the way, teachers continually address children’s learning through high expectations, observation-based assessment, and work samples gathered.
  3. Where will my child go from MCS and how will she adjust to a new environment?
    Some children will remain at MCS for Kindergarten. Others go well-prepared to attend a public or private school. The decision about a child’s future school of attendance is a complex one, made by each child’s parents. The child’s teacher and the director are always available for discussion as this decision draws near. MCS prepares children for the future learning environments and challenges by building a strong grounding in necessary skills and knowledge, but also by developing self-confidence through successful mastery of challenges. MCS builds true self-esteem, which only comes through an earned sense of competence.
  4. What scheduling options are available?
    Cozy 3 year old Classroom: Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday, Monday – Thursday. If you are needing a 3 day schedule, we may have some options available.
    Early Childhood students (children who begin the year at age 3 and 4): Mixed age 3 / 4 classrooms: Monday-Friday; Monday/Wednesday/Friday; or Tuesday/Thursday. If you are needing a 4 day schedule, we may have some options available.
    Pre-K students (children who miss the birthday cut off for kindergarten, or are turning 5 by December 31st, 2015): Monday – Friday; or Monday/Wednesday/Friday. If you are needing a 4 day schedule, we may be able to accommodate you as long as Tuesday or Thursday is the day your child will not attend school.
    Kindergarten students (children who are 5 on or before September 10th): Monday-Friday
  5. My child will be four in the fall. Do I sign up for the Early Childhood or the PreK?
    The term PreK can be misleading, as the Early Childhood rooms also provide a PreK program and prepare students for their Kindergarten experience. The designated PreK program is for children who turn 5 on or before December 31st, 2015. Children typically have experienced two years of an early childhood program, miss the kindergarten cutoff or whose parents would like their child to experience one more year before kindergarten.
  6. What are the tuition rates and fees?
    Visit our Hours and Tuition page for a complete explanation of our tuition and fees. Please note that each year, our tuition and fees are reviewed by the Board of Directors in January, and rate changes may occur at that time for the upcoming year.
  7. What are the additional before and after school care costs and schedules?
    For many families, the traditional school day (drop off at 9:00am and pick up at 3:00pm) presents a schedule conflict. Therefore, MCS offers: before care from 8am to 9am, half hour after care from 3pm to 3:30pm, and a full after care option from 3pm to 5:30pm. Daily rates are higher for drop in care than for regular scheduled days. Families do need to call ahead to utilize drop in care. Visit our Hours and Tuition page for an explanation of the costs and schedule options.
  8. Is financial aid available?
    Yes. The Board of Directors has made a continued effort to direct resources toward tuition assistance; fundraising is the sole source for tuition assistance. Requests for information on the tuition assistance application process may be directed to the office. The MCS scholarship is administered through NAIS to objectively determine eligibility for the school’s tuition assistance. Requests should be made ASAP as the application process takes time and we have a limited number of application fee waivers. The first batch of scholarships will be allotted the first week of March. MCS also accepts the Best Beginnings Scholarship (administered through the State of Montana). To see if you are eligible and/or apply for this scholarship please contact Child Care Resources.
  9. Are parent hours required?
    No. Although MCS is not a parent co-op, parent involvement is a critical component of our school that helps it run smoothly!  We believe that involvement is most successful when it proceeds from the parent’s interests and abilities. Parents can choose to be involved in many ways at MCS, as occasional visitors or regular volunteers in the classroom, by sharing a particular skill or interest with a Small Group, by hosting or accompanying a field trip, by participating in special activities or by serving on a Committee or the Board.  MCS parents and friends maintain this vital learning community by helping.
  10. Must my child be immunized to attend MCS?
    As a licensed child care center, MCS is required to enroll only children who have been immunized or have either a conditional enrollment form or exemption form completed in compliance with state regulations. Immunization records or exemptions are due before the first day of school. For more information, please visit the Montana Department of Human Health and Safety Immunizations page.
  11. My child turns three in November. Can she attend MCS this fall?
    MCS requires children to be three years old by October 31st in order to attend. Children must also be potty-trained.
  12. I can only guess that my child will be potty trained in the fall. Do I enroll now or once they are potty trained?
    For our youngest of enrollees, it is sometimes hard to know if they will be potty trained by the start of the next school year. Over the summer most children are able to complete toilet training. Children are expected to be independent in the bathroom and fully trained. (We fully understand occasional accidents happen!) If your child has not achieved independence in toileting before the new school year, we ask that you contact the office and we will discuss if you would prefer to hold your spot (you will still have to pay tuition) or we will arrange for a refund.
  13. How do I get on the wait-list or schedule a school visit?
    New prospective families are encouraged to tour the school and then place their child/children on the wait-list in the fall and winter prior to starting school.  For full information or to learn how to schedule a tour, please visit our Enrollment page.
  14. Do different weekly schedules end up costing more or less per day?
    While it might seem at a glance as though different weekly schedules will have a different cost break-down, our school schedule and tuition have been balanced to ensure the different schedules are paying the same daily rate. Over the course of the school year, days that seem to have a disproportionate number of holidays (Mondays and Fridays) are balanced out by other aspects of the calendar year such as Professional Development days, Thanksgiving, and other days off.