As a past teacher I can tell you that the past few reviews on this school are completely accurate. The "school" is pure show. As a licensed educator I was shocked at how incompetent administration was, most centers having directors with no degrees in education or no idea what the requirements are for kindergarten in the US. Staff turn over is unbelievable because all teachers feel the same, the administration staff in place should never had received the positions they have now. Centers are beautiful but staff are pressured to put on a show and parents will never know who their child's day actually went because we were not allowed to talk about accidents or concerns with families.
I love my daughter's toddler teachers, they are amazing! The director and assistant director at Eden Prairie are incompetent. The Jardin concept was created as a business deal, business-centric, not child-centric! Looking at the profiles of their "team" on their website, no one has a degree in education, except the curriculum development coordinator. Not created by teachers, created by business men/wmn.
The food is not what I would feed kids. Breakfast is high carb -wheat bread w/cream cheese & jelly, lots of cereal. Lunches hardly have protein. They count the cheese in the pasta as the protein. Rice noodles with garbanzos. Wheat bread. Snacks: cheese (which is good), Annie's bunnies, rice bars, oatmeal bars, raisins, cranberries (high sugar/carb). The milk is "hormone-free," so basically, any cheap store brand.
I could've asked to see a menu in the tour- oh wait- they never gave me a tour! They told me they had an immediate spot for my child, but couldn't get me a tour for 2 weeks. I decided to forego the tour and just sign her up. They didn't get her in until over a month later. They pushed back the start date three times.
The extra charge doesn't seem justified. I could see charging more for the organic food and "natural diapering." But after seeing them use Wal Mart wipes, I don't trust that they are using organic food and wipes. For the price, I expected organic milk, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, veggies, sweet potato, fruit, cheese, yogurt, nuts- real, whole foods.
There were many communication issues with director and assistant director not calling me back with answers to questions. When I asked if they had a parent aware rating, they didn't even know what that was. The final reason we pulled my daughter out of here was because when I told them we were going on vacation, the director informed us that we would have to pay full tuition that week because we hadn't been there a year yet. I pointed out that we never had a tour or someone sit down with us to go over that. She brought it up to "admin," but they couldn't change it. Even when you are there a year, it's still only 50% off! This is not at all industry standard. You would think with the headaches trying to get her in, they would want to make up for it. They aren't concerned with doing the right thing, only in numbers. I DO NOT recommend. There are other things I could write too!
the facilities are beautiful but it is for pure show. The staff and "teachers" are trained to put on a show for parents and potential future families. If your child were to get hurt, you'd recieve a false "ouch report" . Your child might have been seriously hurt during the school day but they wait until the end of day. If there is a "mark" on your child, you'll get a ouch report, if there is no "mark" you'll never know. They allow bullying of students by other students and teachers constantly swear in Spanish in the classrooms in front of the children. The children here learn Spanish because they have no choice since a lot of the teachers ONLY speak Spanish making communication with the parents difficult. The teachers are discouraged from letting parents know how their child's day really went and are always told their child had a "good day". Teachers face being written up if they talk to long to a parent. There is no real academic structure. The organic food program is great and so are the most teachers. There are a handle who are open about disliking children and are not very nice. Think twice before sending your child to any of Jardin Magico centers.
I think you should know that the favorable reviews are correct and were all written prior to August 2013 when the school had a 90% turnover rate in their staff. Since then, the quality of staff is hit or miss and the owners do not seem to have any interest in obtaining a 4 star rating that most credible daycares have. The facilities are beautiful, nicer than my house, but I feel that it has become more about babysitting in the preschool than it is about learning. I don't believe that my kid needs to be able to read at age 4, but it doesn't seem like she has progressed much in the last year. I do things with her at home, but this facility charges rates that are comparable or higher to institutions with better curriculum. Now, they do offer better food (made from scratch). It's truly a shame. Parents that have utilized JM up until July of 2013 were so proud of where they sent their kids to school. It's been a year and has not recovered. The owners need to evolve. What worked for the first decade is no longer sustainable. We are experiencing ridiculous turnover rates. Why? I'm not sure I want to know.
Our 3-year old has been at the new Eden Prairie location since Fall of 2013. The facility is immaculate, no matter what time of day you're there and the staff is warm and helpful. My son's teachers (1-2 teachers per class of 6 or so kids) are wonderful and my son (who was terrified of being away from mommy at first) was loving his "school" within a few weeks. When I visit the class the kids are engaged. My son comes home with wonderful projects each day and is fed healthy meals. Most importantly my son says his teacher "loves" him. The tuition is competitive with similar immersion schools, it's a bit of an investment.. but seeing our son so happy makes it all worth it. My only suggestion for improvement would be more frequent parent-teacher progress chats. I believe there are two a year, but I would love to double that. Some on this thread have mentioned the immigration issues that were reported in the media in 2013, I'm satisfied that the school handled the situation properly -- and I believe it's made them even more discerning when it comes to their current and future staff members. I would highly recommend Jardin Magico in Eden Prairie.
We have also been on a waiting list for over 2 years. We were told the wait list was 6 months. We completed the tour and have never heard back. I have made several phone calls trying to find out where we are at on the waiting list, with promises of getting phone calls back and have not once received a return call. I have never had this much difficulty with any child care provider I have inquired about.
This is an excellent daycare and school facility - with devoted, punctual and caring staff. The rooms, schedule, menu and children are meticulously maintained. Their scratch kitchen and cooking is amazing to parents who care about their kid's diets & introduction to a variety of foods. The attentiveness to every child is beyond amazing, with daily calls & emails from the staff, if parent desires it on top of a daily conversation with the teacher at pick up. Having visited several other daycares in the SW & Edina - JM is by far the best and most of should be attributed to the teachers. The 1.5yr waitlist was worth the wait!
The teachers are what makes Jardin Magico so special. They are, hands down, amazing, loving, and kind. The eco-friendly aspect, Spanish language immersion and scratch kitchen are just bonuses. Our toddler just took her kindergarten-readiness assessment and she knocked it out of the park - I attribute much of her success and preparation to her teachers. Communication from Xavier and Natalie could be better, but we have nothing but praise for the amazing teachers. We go to the Edina location.
We have a toddler and infant, both who started at 2 months old at Jardin Magico. We considered moving our daughter to our church for preschool to save money and an the hours were more flexible (7am-6pm vs. 730-515) but we just couldn't imagine pulling her out of Jardin. Our children LOVE school, the teachers are very loving, they cook healthy, homemade lunches with lots of veggies, provide cloth diapers, it's extremely clean and organized, and they constantly reinvest in the facilities & new toys, etc. All of the staff seem to know our daughter's name which tells me the kind of community they have. The most obvious benefit of course is the bilingual environment. At 2 1/2 our daughter can speak full sentences in Spanish, sing the alphabet, say the days of the week, count to 15... In 2 languages! Copies of the typical daily schedule are provided. The parent who pulled their child out for lack of structure and curriculum must not have received this information (not sure why). Free play does fall at drop off and pick up while education time is planned when there are fewer interruptions of children coming and going.