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How did Day Prep Educational Therapy get started?

I am an educational therapist, life coach, and mother of five, ages 7, 17, 19, 21, and 23. I founded what was to become Day Prep in 1996. Day Prep now serves San Diego, Seattle, and New York. In addition, remote family coaching services with Cara Day are provided to families living anywhere in the world. We address the whole child – as an individual, within a school community, and as a member of an important family – your family. Children are taught how to use their unique gifts and abilities to create success with learning, executive functions, social skills, and cooperation to live a more successful, integrated and inspired life. Parents reach new levels of awareness so they can increase their skills as an effective, approachable, and loving parent.

How long will it take before I see results?

Children develop habits over many years of home life and schooling experiences. Like any habit, whether behavioral or thought, it takes time to incorporate new behaviors and thought patterns. Some elements of our instruction can be seen and felt right away—as early as the assessment or first few sessions! These can include overall confidence, relief that they are receiving help, a newfound belief in their ability to gain mastery of things that have been difficult for them, and practical tools and strategies they can begin using right away. Over longer periods of time, children begin to incorporate the new tools and ways of being more rapidly as they are introduced. The successes the child begins to experience at home, school, and among friends build an intrinsic desire to engage. We have seen this with even our most disgruntled and resistant children. At this point, a child begins to self-evaluate and self-motivate. What they are learning bridges to home, school, and social situations in a seamless way. Parents begin to hear new language coming from their child as they develop a stronger inner compass and quiet confidence.

What is the difference between an educational therapist and a tutor? What are the costs associated with each?

A tutor generally teaches subject matter with the goal of improving a child’s grade and performance in a particular subject or skill. The tutor provides systematic, individualized instruction based on the unique abilities of his or her student. In this way, a child who is uninspired or struggling gains mastery and confidence in the subject. Often, this can be a life-changing experience for a student because of the new skills, thought-processes, and individualized attention they receive. A tutor may also provide instruction for a specific entrance exam. In this way, a child learns how to approach each section of a test, as well as how to write a top-notch essay. The skills and confidence a child gains from this instruction prior to an entrance exam is invaluable. The view and role of the educational therapist is broader. An educational therapist collaborates with the child’s family, teachers, doctor, and other specialists who may be providing services. Additionally, an educational therapist evaluates how the child’s behavior and cognition affect his or her learning and performance. With a focus on neuroplasticity, behavioral modification strategies and critical thinking skills are systematically and directly taught. An educational therapist has an advanced degree, supervised clinical experience, and an understanding of the underlying psychological issues which affect the social and emotional elements of a child’s life, both at school, at home, and in social settings. Educational therapists create a success plan, set goals, and continuously work to monitor the child’s progress and needs. Additionally, educational therapists often work with a child for the duration of their schooling experience. Many parents recognize that their child will benefit from private instruction of this kind, in the same way they benefit from specialized private instruction in any other endeavor, such as piano, soccer, or the like. While educational therapists are often sought when a learning or behavioral issue presents itself, educational therapy is also beneficial for all students who want to get and stay on the cutting edge. Many of our clients, about 60 percent, do not have any diagnosis or specific learning concern. Their parents recognize the importance of receiving specialized academic instruction as a part of the educational process. Academic coaching is becoming a standard part of life for many families, given its important to their child’s overall success and excellence in life. The same way a child has a soccer coach, parents provide a coach for their child’s top endeavor–education! Day Prep Educational Therapy offers both educational therapy and tutoring services. Often a combination of both services is the best plan for the child’s growth. At Day Prep, tutoring services are offered by teachers, most with credentials and advanced training or degrees. College students studying for educational therapy are also available as tutors. In some cities, we have high school students with GPAs of 4.3 or higher who also provide instruction. In this way, we offer a variety of instructors and price points to meet the need of any client. Educational Therapists and tutors at Day Prep are personally trained by Cara Day and use her practices, philosophies, and methods in their work. On-going collaboration between Cara and each teacher ensures implementation of the student’s success plan. Teachers complete required observation hours as well as supervised sessions as part of their training. The teachers enjoy all-team training days and demonstrate the highest levels of self-evaluation and growth as practitioners. Day Prep team members are true professionals who are emphatic and passionate about what they do. Cara Day completes all initial assessments. A learning plan with several options is presented after assessment, and each family determines the best course for their child based on the recommendations. For subject-specific or entrance exam tutoring, a complete assessment is available, but not required.

My child’s teacher said she thinks my child may have ADD? What should I do?

ADD is sometimes overly and improperly diagnosed by medical professionals who spend very little time with a child. Teachers are sometimes the first step in this cycle of over-diagnosis. Please review the following information and get in touch if it sounds like it may relate to your situation.

When we work with you, will my child have “extra” work to do beyond the session time and beyond their regular school assignments?

For children in grades 4 – 12, we are generally able to use the assigned work to teach your child the skills we want to teach. In this way, students learn the skills in the context of the materials they are actually required to complete, in addition to receiving great results and grades on their assignments. We give your child proven, usable tools and teach them how to complete things in the best possible way. As they begin to incorporate our best practices, they become master students, in charge of their own learning. During the summer, we use all of our own materials, plus any resources from the school your child will be attending in the fall, such as the upcoming math text. We also review your child’s completed school work and tests as they come home. In this way, we become an integral part of the child’s “academic loop,” providing additional incentive for the child to implement what they are learning from us while they are at school. Review of their school work by our practitioners helps make this happen sooner than later. For children in grades junior kindergarten to 3, we use our materials, in addition to completing any homework, if requested by the parents. On school vacations, and especially in summer, we are able to provide instruction with our materials, which is optimal. Some parents only want us to use our materials and they choose to complete their child’s homework with their children. For other families, homework completion during the session is a top priority. In these instances, the session does not end until everything is complete and the child is prepared for all upcoming tests or assignments. We are here to serve you. We make a plan based on the goals and needs of your child and your family. This is a fluid program that changes throughout the year based on the child’s needs, school workload, and vacation schedule. While many families first reach out for an initial issue, most of our families continue to use our services for the duration of their child or children’s schooling years. We become a piece in their family puzzle.


If you have any questions, contact us!