START OF CLASS
Classes start promptly at the scheduled time. Please do not enter the classroom prior to this time, as teachers are busy setting up the classroom. Please wait outside the door until the teacher opens the classroom door. You are then free to bring your child in and sign them in. Children may proceed to the Quiet Room after removing outdoor clothes and shoes, and changing into indoor shoes. There the Teacher will welcome them into the classroom, and tell them of the day's activities. At this time, the children have the opportunity to share their news or items brought from home with the class.
PARENTS: Please be courteous by not wearing wet or muddy shoes or boots into our classroom! Your children play on the floor, and it is important to keep them clean.
END OF CLASS
Classes end promptly at the scheduled time. Again, please wait until we open the door. Story time is usually in progress for the last part of class, and parents opening the door easily distract the children. The children will remain seated with the teacher, and parents may enter the room to sign them out and pick them up when the door is opened. Please be on time-children get upset if parents are late, and Teachers have obligations of their own. If any parent is consistently late, we will charge a late fee of $5.00 for every five minutes late, payable at the time incurred.
Your child will not be released to anyone who is not listed on your registration form without prior communication with the teacher, by written notice. Phone calls are not accepted for this purpose; please make sure arrangements are made in advance.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Discuss a comfortable separation plan with your teacher. Visit with your child in the classroom for as long as necessary to assure a happy separation for both of you. Your child's teacher is available at any time to encourage the independence of the child while assuring the parent of a successful separation.
Prepare the child for the first day of school by discussing it in advance, and making a visit to the school prior to enrollment if possible. We will have a meet and greet day that lasts for one hour . The teachers will hand out newsletters, parent manuals, calendars, song books, communication portfolios at this time, and discuss expectations with the parents. This is an opportunity for parents to meet each other, and to ask the teacher questions. The first day of school will be a regular class, and parents may leave if and when they feel the child is coping well. Parents are welcome to stay if they feel their child will benefit by their support. By the third class, we expect it will be a regular school day, with parents dropping the children off and leaving, provided the child is comfortable with this separation. This slow start to the beginning of school helps the children to become familiar with the classroom, the teachers and the other children, the routine of the classroom, and helps to make the transition to school easier on both the parent and child.
It is normal for most children to have some separation anxiety when starting a new situation such as preschool. The teachers are here to support both parents and child in this separation. Please let us know how you would like to handle any problems, or allow us to offer suggestions. We are professionals with this problem, so please trust us to help with easing separation. Some suggestions for separation:
- Set the ground rules with your child before entering the classroom. E.g. "I'll stay for five minutes, then I have to leave. I'll be back when the class is over". Be firm, and be consistent.
- Make sure your child knows you're leaving. Don't attempt to get them involved, then sneak away. TRUST is important! Get the teacher's attention, and they will attend to your child while you leave. If they cry, it usually lasts about 30 seconds after you're gone! Resist the urge to return if they cry- this will only prolong the situation.
- Say good-bye, then leave quickly. Don't prolong the separation by making deals or bargaining for treats after school.
- Don't compare your child to another. Just because "Billy isn't crying" does not reassure an upset child.
- Don't feel guilty about leaving an upset child with the teacher! She is a professional, and this is her job. Your child will always be shown concern and compassion.
- Always reassure your child that you will return when the class is over. If a child is not settling in within a half hour, the teacher will contact you. If you are concerned, call the school back, or make sure we have a number where we can reach you.
- Separation problems are usually very short lived, if the child experiences consistency and consideration in the process. If the difficulty persists, a meeting with the teacher is advised.
Childsplace Learning Centres Ltd. has an "Open Door Policy". If at any time you choose to visit in your child's classroom, you are more than welcome. Compulsory volunteering is NOT a part of our program, our teachers are fully qualified professionals, and we do not rely on parent volunteers to meet our ratios. We do need volunteers from time to time in the class, as well as for field trips. A list will be posted well in advance. You are not obligated to volunteer at any time.
Monthly newsletters and calendars are provided to parents at the beginning of each month. Parents are sent emails each month along with reminder emails about our special events. The bulletin board always contains information about programming, and information posted from various agencies. Parents are welcome to add to our newsletters in any way- with a want ad or information of interest.
PLEASE call the Assistant Director and/or teacher with ANY concerns. We strive to have open communication with all parents, and want parents to feel free to discuss their child with us We have your child's best interests at heart, and will be available to advise or assist at any time.
Please endeavour to toilet your child prior to class. Children are encouraged to be independent in the bathroom, but we assist any child who requires it. Accidents do happen occasionally, and if this is a concern to you, always send your child prepared with a complete change of clothing. Children who have toileting accidents are always treated with discretion and consideration. All children are supported and encouraged with regard to developing sanitary habits in the bathroom. Please see the section "Questions Parents Ask" for more information on toileting.
We strive to make children feel special on their birthday. We have a 'pretend' birthday cake that we use at group time, and the children will sing "Happy Birthday" to the birthday child. If you want to send a special snack with your child for birthdays, please send only a simple fruit tray or Rice Krispies snacks to share. We are not permitted to use candles on the premises.
School photos are usually done early in the school year. Class and individual photos will be taken, and parents will have the option of ordering from a selection of proofs provided from the photographer. A variety of packages are done at reasonable cost, and we welcome siblings for photos as well. Photos will be done during regular class times.
We will incorporate field trips into our program in order to enhance the learning of any particular programming idea. We try to choose field trip activities that focus on the fun aspects of learning, and attempt to not choose things the children are likely to do in Kindergarten. Our program now requires that all parents provide transportation to and from the field trip location for their own child. If parents choose to car-pool, this is WITHOUT the knowledge or consent of the preschool, and in NO WAY implicates Childsplace Learning Centres Ltd. In any we require a 3:1 ratio of children to adults at the field trip location, and will request parent volunteers when necessary. All parent volunteers must sign our Volunteer Agreement Form, available at the time of registration for the field trip. Parents volunteering on field trips are asked not to bring any siblings along, and will be responsible for up to three children while on the field trip.
We also will be hosting presentations in the preschool for all classes. Presentations are set up in advance and parents will be given notice regarding the presentations.
Parents will be given an event calendar that will list the special field trips and/or presentations within the school year.
- Please bring only the bag that we have provided for your child, complete with extra clothing and indoor shoes, diapers and wipes when applicable. Indoor shoes can be kept at the preschool in the bin marked for the child's class.
- Shoes must be worn at ALL TIMES- non-marking soles only please! Please remember that the children are playing outside and must be comfortable.
- Please remove wet or muddy footwear at the entry before bringing your child into the class.
- Dress your children in comfortable, washable PLAY CLOTHES! They will get messy at times, and we cannot guarantee that paint or other substances will always come out. Be safe, not sorry.
- Be sure to label all your child's belongings.
- Please let us know if your child will be absent-we worry! Our voice mail is available 24 hours a day.
- Sick, feverish or children with diarrhea should remain at home with Tender Loving Care. Please inform us of any communicable diseases, such as Chicken Pox, Pink Eye, Strep Throat, Pertussis or Rubella. Children with Chicken Pox are required to remain home until all sores are dry.
- Don't forget our Nutrition Policy when sending snacks!
- Please do not allow your child to bring toys from home. We will endeavor to allow children to "show and tell", but prefer items of interest to all the class. Toys often get lost or misplaced, and can end in a teary situation rather than a happy day at school. We supply a multitude of educational toys and activities, and keep them busy! We do allow teddies or blankies if needed for comfort!
- Make sure you inform us of any changes on your health or registration forms, or changes to the family situation that may affect the child's emotional health.
Q: Why is the classroom so noisy?
A: Promoting verbal and communication skills is one of the primary goals of Childsplace. Verbal interaction is essential in acquiring these skills; as is singing, finger plays, role-playing and dramatic play. A busy classroom is a happy classroom, and the sounds of hammering, building, music and dramatic play are a very major part. Children are still encouraged to use their "inside voices", and to be easy on the ears of their friends!
Q: All my child seems to do at school is play! Why is that?
- Children learn by doing! Play is children's work, and the more work they do, the more they learn. Children respond better to activities that are fun and interesting, rather than instructional academic learning at such an early age.
- A child participating in baking muffins learns about weights and measures (mathematical concepts), differences in texture, comparison of tastes and classification.
- Verbal skills are developed as they label utensils and ingredients. Science concepts are learned as they watch the muffins being changed by the heat of the oven, and they learn about nutrition at the same time!
- The water table offers many of the same skills as baking, and children also learn about volume, measurement, liquid vs. solid. Add bubbles or items that sink or float and you have even more learning experiences.
- A child playing ball or jumping rope learns about spatial relationships, kinaesthetic awareness, gross motor control and depth perception.
- The dramatic play centre helps a child's social development and awareness, while learning about problem solving, turn taking, role-playing and creative expression. Playing the role of "mommy" or "daddy" assists children in understanding the complexity of these roles, and helps them often to play out situations they do not fully understand, and thereby increase their well-being and self esteem. We feel it is important for both boys and girls to learn nurturing roles.
Q: Why don't my child's' art projects look like anything?
A: A child's approach to art is quite different from that of an adult. The most important aspect to them is not to produce a finished product, but the actual enjoyment and learning experiences they acquire from the process itself. This is termed, "Process over Product". We provide a wide variety of art materials for children to experiment with, and a new activity is available for each class. We do not provide models for the children to copy from- we choose to nurture the child's own creativity and allow them to freely explore the medium. As all of our interest centers are "free choice", we encourage children to participate daily in the art activities, but we will not force participation. Only when we have a special or seasonal art activities (such as Christmas ornaments or Mother's Day gifts) do we expect all children in the class to participate.
Q: Does preschool get children ready for kindergarten?
A:Your child's teacher works very hard to help your child make the transition from home to school. Activities are planned that will help to develop independence, enhance motor skills, encourage creative thinking and promote the ability to co-operate with others. Students do learn many skills that will help them to become successful in Kindergarten, but the most important requirement is the social maturity to deal with the challenges children face in their first year of school. It is a large adjustment, and we recommend two years of Preschool to help children be ready to face the challenges with confidence and maturity. Preschool is valuable in this area, as children learn to relate positively to each other and to their teachers, and they learn socially acceptable behavior within a school environment, as well as sharing, turn taking and respecting others. We also focus on fine motor skill development, large motor skill development, and pre reading and math skills.
Q: What if my child isn't quite potty trained?
A:This is an issue that Childsplace Learning Centres Ltd. has taken to heart. It is very important to us that all children are able to participate in the program, and we will NOT EXCLUDE any child who is not yet fully trained. The "Potty Process" is an individual learning process, with all children developing at their own rates. Our belief is that this process should never be rushed, and we are willing to support children in their individual developmental process. Any child who experiences a mishap in the classroom will be treated with respect and consideration, and an "accidents happen" attitude. Please ensure that you have communicated with your child's Teacher if you have any concerns, and that the Teacher is aware of your child's progress in this area. Make sure you send your child with extra diapers, wipes, underpants and clothing.
Q: When will my child begin to read?
A:Most children do not begin to read until grade one. An informal beginning generally produces more skilled and willing readers. Drilling young children on the alphabet will often create stress and not lead to any retained knowledge, nor help with reading readiness. Encouraging a love of books and story telling, a broad experiential background and language skills are essential to skilled and willing readers. Memory games, puzzles, stories and finger plays all contribute to reading readiness. A broad spectrum of these activities is offered at Childsplace, and a wider variety of word games and alphabet puzzles are offered by the time the child reaches the 4-year-old program. As early childhood professionals, we have been asked on several occasions by various professionals to evaluate reading programs for children, both videos and classroom instructional programs, and much to their consternation, have refused to endorse in any way any program that pushes children to read before they are ready. Some children have a natural ability and interest, and will learn to read before grade one. But if they don't- it does not necessarily mean they will experience difficulties later on. Acquiring reading skills is a process that most children follow at their own pace. Some of the skills involved relate to maturity of brain functions that cannot be hurried along by any program.
The most valuable gift a parent can give to their child is that of their time. Spending time reading to your child, talking about the events and the pictures in the books, and allowing children to verbalize their ideas are all valuable pre-reading skills which can foster an early love of reading and learning. The most cost-effective means of assuring these skills is to invest in a library card- the most comprehensive selection of children's literature is available- free of charge! A trip to the library with your child is an early learning experience they will value forever.