How long has Planet Kids Academy been in business?
Our Owner, Beverly McQuaid, purchased the Soult Street-Mandeville property and established Planet Kids Preschool in 1996. In 1999 she purchased property in Covington to open a second Planet Kids and in 2004 construction was completed and the doors opened for Planet Kids Academy in Madisonville. In 2008 all schools were consolidated into the Academy in Madisonville which has earned “BEST SCHOOL” honors for the last nine years.

Is Planet Kids Academy licensed?
Yes. We hold a Type “2” License from the State of Louisiana Department of Child and Social Services. Our license is renewed annually after a very extensive annual State inspection is passed.

What are the hours of attendance?
Planet Kids Academy is a 12-month Early Childhood Education Center that offers a 3, 4 or 5 day program for children ages 12 months through 5 years old. We operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm. Curriculum time is from 9:00 – 4:00 daily. Tuition entitles a child to any or all of the 7:30 – 5:30 preschool day.

What is the classroom “ratios”?
Classroom ratios are set by State Department of Licensing for all childcare facilities in Louisiana. The teacher-to-child ratio changes depending on the age of the child. Planet Kids Academy is well-known for operating its programs under the ratios suggested by State minimum standards. The reason for this is so the Staff of the Academy can be successful in meeting the educational goals that they establish for their programs each year.

What is the educational philosophy of Planet Kids?
In our mission statement we emphasize our desire to create an environment of love, respect and stability that will foster a feeling of security within each child and help them to freely explore their natural development within a climate of guided-learning and unconditional acceptance. Our goal is to create lifetime-learners who are safe and secure and know that they are loved and respected as they test their boundaries and meet the challenges that are placed before them as we ready the children for “bigger schools” after Pre-K.

What is the curriculum like?
Planet Kids Academy bases its curriculum in all of its programs on a kindergarten-readiness initiative. From the Ones program through the Pre-K we are using our daily activities to give children practice in the academic and life-skills necessary for an easy and successful transition to kindergarten. Planet Kids children have been known to be easily identified in the Kindergarten programs that we “feed” into – public, private and parochial alike. This provides us with excellent feedback and encouragement to carry-on our traditions and methodologies.

Do children get to spend time outdoors?
The outdoors provides children another “classroom” of sorts to perfect gross-motor skills, social connections and individual competences. The Academy is located in a very pastoral setting within Madisonville…..it is very serene, peaceful and private. Our NAEYC-designed playgrounds are separated for age-appropriate development: Ones, Twos & Preschool ages. The students are all assigned their own “Program Time” for both AM and PM outside time on a daily basis. Their time outside will only be limited by the extremes of weather conditions and weather is taken into effect daily.

Do children watch “television” daily?
Planet Kids Academy classrooms were designed with wall-mounted, flat-screen televisions and are used exclusively daily curriculum – to – lunch – to – rest transition times within the Early 3 to Pre-kindergarden program. During these transitional times teachers are allowed to play short, animated features, 15 – 20 minutes in length, as a means of “quieting” the children’s energy and readying them for the quieter activities of their day – eating and sleeping. Any other television viewing must first be approved by me – the Director – and includes the material wanting to be viewed. The emphasis at the Academy is promoting hands-on learning every day.

What are the school’s policies on potty-training?
Potty-training is a regular part of our Toddler Programs curriculum. All of our programs are designed with their own bathrooms as part of their classroom. Each bathroom has a toddler-size toilet to promote this skill-building. As educators we know that potty-training as with reading – is a readiness skill – children will do it when they are ready. However, we are ready and willing to encourage this development as soon as they arrive at the Academy – even in the Ones Program – the children are encouraged to “sit” on the potty during regularly-scheduled times of the day. We feel this “routine” will stimulate the “idea” along with the positive “peer influence” they receive as others are accomplishing this skill. It all works wonderfully as each child accomplishes this very “independent” developmental milestone.

What is the “discipline” philosophy of the Academy?
In partnering with each parent-family to realize the goals we set for our children, well-behaved students are certainly a priority. To accomplish this we put an emphasis on daily communication between teacher and parents so that all behaviors each day can be observed, reinforced and corrected when necessary. Our focus is always on helping children to learn respect by being respected – this includes the way we correct inappropriate behaviors. The Academy staff is well-trained on the methods involved with behavior modification and these techniques are used on a daily basis. One cannot overstate that one of the most effective tools for guiding desired behavior is through unconditional love and acceptance – this is something that we feel needs to be role-modeled on a continuous basis so that children can see that the need for appropriate choices pertains to everyone – even adults!

What is the illness policy at Planet Kids?
Childhood illnesses are a very real threat in an Early Childhood environment. It starts with insuring that our students are current in their Immunizations upon enrolling at the Academy and continues with vigilant policy that is proactive in sending children home at the onset of illness symptoms such as fever, unexplained rashes, diarrhea and vomiting (to name a few). Additionally, the Staff is well-trained in the maintenance of daily classroom hygiene and sanitizing and we allocate a generous portion of our operating budget to cleaning tools that help us to stay on top of the continual hygiene needs of the environment itself.

How can I contact my child’s teacher?
Communication is very important to us at the Academy – we have designed many “tools” that will encourage continual communication between your teachers, your Director and yourselves. Additionally, your Director has an “open door” policy for impromptu conferences, as well as, those that can be scheduled. Lead teachers can be requested to return your telephone inquiries during the rest-time period of their day – simply by leaving the number where you can be reached at that time with our Administrative Assistant. We LOVE all opportunities to talk about our favorite topics in the world – education & your child!

What is the BEST way for me to learn more about Academy Programs?
Please call 985-845-0377 and speak to our Administrative Assistant about scheduling a tour of our facility. We love to schedule our tours between 10:00 – 11:30 so that prospective families can view all of our programs working during the main parts of their curriculum and enrichment classes – during a typical day. You will be given a thorough tour of our entire facility, have your questions answered, meet the Director for further clarifications and receive all necessary registration materials. We look forward to meeting you soon.