Good communication is of the greatest importance. It is central that there is a similar child care and education philosophy between our school and parents. We welcome questions, feedback, or discussions of any kind that are oriented towards a positive outcome for the child(ren). Any issues of a sensitive nature will be discussed in private
Tuition / Payment Procedure
Your specific rates will be outlined in your Contract and Rate Agreement. Tuition is payable in advance and is due no later than the 25th of the month, unless another arrangement has been agreed upon. Payments may be made by bank transfer or cash. Repeated late payments may be grounds for termination and parents who are more than 2 weeks late on payment can be denied childcare until their account is made current. We maintain an open door policy for parents during preschool hours.
Arrival and Departures
It is normal for some children to have difficulty separating from parents, or cry when dropping off. Please make your drop off brief, the longer you prolong the departure, the harder it gets. A smile, cheerful good-bye kiss, and a reassuring word that you will be back is all that is needed. In our experience, children are nearly always quick to get involved in play or activities as soon as parents are gone. If you linger, show fear or apprehension, you send the message they still might be able to convince you to take them home. The longer you delay departing, the longer they will be in a state of turmoil. Once you’ve left we can get started on the business of settling in.
Please be brief at pick-up times, as well. This is a time of testing, when two different authority figures are present (the parent and the teacher). All children will test to see if the rules still apply. During arrival and departure, we expect parents to back up our rules. Please be in control of your child during pick up times.
Our normal procedure is to release the child only to his/her parents, or someone else the parents designate on the Authorized Pick up and Emergency Contact Form. If someone other than the parent is to pick up the child, please notify us ahead of time. A verbal notice is fine on that day, if this person is on the list of people who are authorized to pick up your child. Please inform emergency contacts, or people designated to pick up your child, that if we do not know them then we will need to ask for identification. This is not meant to offend them. This is simply a measure taken for the child’s protection. Drop off and pick up are not good times to discuss serious problems. Little ears and minds hear and understand everything. We would happy to set up a time where the issues can be discussed in private.
Tuition fees are based on enrollment (a reserved space), not on attendance. To maintain a reserved space, fees must be paid during the absence of a child due to illness, holidays, vacation, or for any other reason. If a child is not on a full time schedule, it is possible to make-up absences on days not normally scheduled for attendance. This will only apply to absences due to illness. This must be agreed upon by 13:00 on the day preceding the make-up day to ensure that a meal is ordered for the child. This also applies to children making up an absence in the afternoon session. Any lunch cancellation also has to be declared by 13:00 on the day preceding the absence.
Holidays / Vacations
The following is a list of the holidays that The Academy will be closed:
- Independence Day (October 28th)
- Christmas Break (December 23rd-January 1st)
- Easter Monday (April 21st)
- May Day (May 1st)
- Liberation Day (May 8th)
- Summer Holiday (August 1st-August 31st)
Special arrangements can be made.
Clothing / Attire
Children should arrive dressed for play. We like to have fun! Having fun involves outdoor play and lots of messy activities, so make sure that your child is dressed appropriately. Clothing should be comfortable and seasonally appropriate for outdoor play. Make sure to include hats, mittens, boots and coats for cold weather.
We prefer that children do not bring toys from home unless it is something that can be shared with the entire group. Little ones have a difficult time sharing with others, and it is even harder with their own special toys. If toys are brought, please note that they may be put away, if they are the cause of disagreements among the children.
Preschoolers enjoy a structured schedule that allows for flexibility. A schedule helps the day to run more smoothly and allows the children to look forward to certain activities. We will adhere to our written schedule to the best of our ability, but there will be times when we have to make adjustments to the schedule. We appreciate families considering our schedule when picking up or dropping off children.
Meals will consist of morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack. Menus will be posted on the bulletin board in the coat room and will be sent weekly by email.
We never force a child to finish what is on his/her plate, but we do encourage each child to try one or two bites of everything. Sometimes they are surprised by what they like! All eating patterns will be communicated to the parents.
Cleanliness / Hygiene
We do our best to maintain strict cleanliness and hygiene standards. Children’s hands are washed before and after meals and after toileting. If parents provide a toothbrush and toothpaste, teeth will be brushed as well. All staff are required to wash their hands frequently and also use antibacterial gel. We clean our school daily to insure every morning children arrive to a clean and organized environment.
There will be a designated rest time each day. All children must nap, rest, read or play quietly during this period. Rest time gives children a much needed break during the day. If parents would like their child to nap during the day please notify us and, if necessary, provide any sleepwear or comfort items.
There will be times and ways you can get involved in your child’s preschool experience. You are welcomed and encouraged to participate in birthdays, holiday celebrations and other school events.
The Academy Rules
There are certain rules that all children will be taught and expected to follow. This is for the safety and well being of everyone. There will be no running permitted in the school. Hitting, pushing, biting, grabbing, kicking, spitting, or pinching other children/adults will NOT be allowed. No standing or climbing on chairs or tables.
There will be no use of obscene, derogatory or disrespectful language.
Respectful treatment of other people and all property, toys, and furniture is expected. Please support us in the enforcement of these rules, in order to create a better environment for all (see Arrivals & Departures).
We maintain a positive discipline policy, which focuses on prevention, love, consistency and firmness. We stress two main patterns of behavior: respect for other people and respect for property. The children are explained the rules frequently, so they are all familiar with the guidelines. Please keep in mind that there WILL be disagreements between children. Young children have a hard time expressing their feelings. Sometimes they hit, throw toys, bite, etc. We will try to prevent problems, discuss inappropriate behavior, encourage making amends when offense involves another person, and sometimes withdraw privileges based on the principle of “natural consequences”. An example might be where a child is misusing a toy then he/she will not be allowed to play with the toy for a period of time. The use of time outs will be rare except when a brief cooling off period is needed. Sometimes when children are fighting or throwing toys, we will put the toy in a short time out, and then bring it back into circulation a little later. This seems to work better than giving the child a time out.
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will there be any spanking, physical abuse, verbal abuse, name calling or isolation used. Neither food nor sleep will ever be withheld from children as a means of punishment.
When/If we approach you about dealing with a behavioral issue with your child, know that we are on the same team! Helping your child to be more successful in the classroom is our only motivation. And although every child is different and you know your child best, please also remember that we have been in the trenches and helped hundreds of kids through hundreds of issues. This is probably your first experience dealing with, for example, a biter. It will likely be the teacher’s hundredth time. The teachers should listen to the parents and the parents should listen to the teachers. That’s teamwork!
We will be playing outdoors every day that weather permits. Please make sure that your child is appropriately dressed (see Clothing/Attire section) for outdoor play at all times. Our activities will include walks, playground time and field trips. We do not go outside when we believe the temperature is too cold or hot for the children’s health and enjoyment.
The Academy is a “well-child care facility”. At no time do we provide sick childcare. The following illness policies will be strictly enforced, for the health, well being and safety of all concerned. When your child has had a rough night or a rough morning and you wonder if they might be getting sick, stay home.
Every effort is taken to reduce the spread of illness by encouraging hand washing and other sanitary practices (see Cleanliness and Hygiene).
Parents will provide any medications needed by the child, including over-the-counter and prescription medicine. NOTE: All medicines must be in their original container with pharmacist’s or manufacturer’s label, child’s name, dosage instructions, current date, name of medication, and times to be administered clearly written.
Minor bumps and scratches are inevitable, but we make every effort to keep the children safe through supervision and childproofing. Minor injuries receive appropriate first aid, and if an emergency injury or illness occurs, you will be contacted as soon as possible. If necessary, your child will be taken to the nearest hospital where you will be asked to meet us. If you are not going to be at your usual place of employment, or at home, please make sure that we have a number where you can be reached.
Revisions to Handbook and Contract
There will be a yearly revision to this handbook and the accompanying contract. All families will sign a new contract each year. We reserve the right to make changes in rates and policies as we deem necessary. You will be notified, in writing, of any changes that may occur. Every attempt will be made to give at least a two week notice of changes.