2. What is the education and training of the staff members?
3. What measures have you taken to ensure my child will be safe while in your care?
4. Who is allowed to pick my child up from the center?
5. Can I visit my child during the day?
6. How will I know about child’s day?
7. What will you do if my child becomes ill or gets hurt while in your care?
8. How do you handle discipline?
9. What does a typical day at your center include?
10. What type of preschool activities does your center offer?
11. Do you accept children with special needs into your program?
12. Do you provide food at your center and if so, what kinds of food?
13. What materials must I provide from home?
14. Do I need to provide you with a schedule of when my child will be in attendance?
15. Do you transport children to school?
16. Will the center be open on holidays, school breaks or if the weather is bad?
17. When is tuition due and what forms of payment are accepted?
What is the staff to child ratio at your center?
Kinderland follows state requirements for staff to child ratios. For infants (ages 1-12 months), we maintain a ratio of one caregiver for a maximum of four children. For toddlers (ages 12-30 months), we maintain one caregiver for a maximum of seven children. For children above 30 months (2 ½) we maintain a ratio of one caregiver for up to ten children. Those who are five and are in school have a ratio of one caregiver to a maximum of fifteen children. In addition, Kinderland typically has one or two additional support teachers available throughout the day and provides one-on-one care for special needs children as needed.
What is the education and training of the staff members?
At Kinderland we strive to hire teachers who will provide, nurturing, developmentally appropriate care to the children in our center. We have a number of staff members who have bachelor’s degrees in child development or psychology, or who are state certified teachers. Other employees have degrees in early childhood education, and most have years of experience in the childcare or public education field. All staff designated as “lead” teachers are required to complete annual STARS training, regardless of their college education. This course covers child development, current childcare research and high interest topics such as music or art. It is updated with 10 additional hours of training each year, to keep our staff up to date on best practices for early and elementary education. Our teachers are also required to have first aid and infant and child CPR training. Other trainings include proper food handling and on reducing transmission of illness. All Kinderland employees are required to pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment.
What measures have you taken to ensure my child will be safe while in your care?
Kinderland’s number one goal is to keep children safe while they are in our center. The first step in ensuring safety is to hire vigilant staff who interact directly with the children, are aware of everything that is going on around them, and are trained in what to do if an emergency arises. Kinderland’s buildings meet or exceed fire codes and emergency drills are conducted regularly. A system of closed circuit cameras has been installed, which monitor all activity in our centers. Outer doors are kept locked at all times and beep when opened, and we utilize a variety of sirens, bells and buzzers and keypads to guard exterior doors as well.
Can I visit my child during the day?
Parents are welcome to call and check on their child at any time during the day. We also welcome parents to visit, as long as it is not upsetting to the child and the parent has cleared a criminal background check. Nursing mothers are encouraged to come throughout the day and use our breastfeeding room.
How will I know about child’s day?
Kinderland records all aspects of your infant or toddler’s day on a special log. You are encouraged to look at it when you pick up your son or daughter. Information recorded includes diaper changes, sleep times, meal times and activities such as books or outdoor play. Tentative daily schedules for each age group are posted on the parent bulletin board and lesson plans for each age group are available in the classroom for your review.
Who is allowed to pick my child up from the center?
Upon enrollment you will be given a form which provides a list of individuals who are authorized to take your child out of the building. Staff members will ask anyone they do not recognize 110% for picture ID, and check it against the list you provided. Anybody who does not have ID, or whose name does not appear on the list will not be permitted to take the child out of the center. Only parents will be permitted to make changes to the pick up form. Changes must be submitted in writing; for security reasons, we will not make changes over the phone. Please note that state law prohibits staff from preventing a legal parent from picking up his or her child without legal documentation.
What will you do if my child becomes ill or gets hurt while in your care?
Kinderland operates for well children only. If a child develops symptoms which require him or her to leave our care, we will first contact the parent, followed by the emergency contact individuals listed on the enrollment paperwork. Kinderland follows state guidelines for exclusion of sick children. In the case of a minor injury sustained in our center, you will receive a detailed incident report. Depending on the severity of the injury, we may call you at work to let you know. If a child receives a serious injury at Kinderland we will transport him or her to the closest emergency medical facility for treatment, and immediately contact the parent or guardian. A staff member will stay with your child at all times until you can get there and we will follow up by contacting our state licensor. Please note that we have never had an injury at Kinderland which required hospitalization.
How do you handle discipline?
We believe that behavior problems stem from either lack of positive stimulation (boredom) or frustration. By recognizing the causes of misbehavior, we are in a better position to deal with problems before they arise. Children in our care have many activities to choose from to meet all interests, maturity levels and energy levels. These activities are balanced with structured curriculum. Staff are on the lookout for children who may be having difficulties so they can step in immediately, before there is a problem. We attempt to intervene on the lowest level possible, by giving warnings or suggesting alternate activities. Our goal is for children to develop the self-monitoring skills, ability to communicate and self-control to begin solving problems on their own. In the event that a behavior requires correction, we will do so in a non-threatening way. If needed children will be given brief, supervised time-outs, and staff will explain to the child what behavior earned them the time-out. Following time-out, we will help integrate your child back into play, and praise him or her for making better choices. Under no circumstances will Kinderland employees use corporal punishment.
What does a typical day at your center include?
Mornings at Kinderland start out with free choice time. Our belief is that free choice time promotes children’s development of self control and fosters language development and social skills. We offer academic preschool each morning for all children ages two through kindergarten age and age appropriate activities for infants and toddlers and school age kids. Afternoons include a balance of activities centered around our weekly theme, free choice activities, outdoor play, utilizing the learning centers or our indoor sandboxes, sensory exploration or teacher directed activities such as painting or games. Homework help is provided after school for older kids, and we offer a “day camp” style program for school age children during school breaks. Infants sleep and eat according to their natural schedule, with lots of time spent interacting with their caregivers, or exploring their environment. As they become toddlers, the amount of structured activities in their days begins to increase. Daily schedules and weekly lesson plans are posted at the center for your review.
What type of preschool activities does your center offer?
Kinderland offers academic preschool every morning, each day of the year. All children in attendance for childcare participate in our program. Many children also come to Kinderland for preschool alone. Our program is developed specifically for our centers by a former elementary school teacher and reading specialist who has credits toward a doctoral degree. It is designed to meet the expectations of the local public schools for incoming kindergarteners. Additionally, our center participates in LEEP, a program sponsored by the Longview School District to promote early learning. Skills gained from LEEP trainings can easily be transferred to our other sites.
The major academic focus of our preschool is on early literacy skills such as phonemic awareness, letter recognition, story comprehension and pre-writing skills. We balance these activities with others to promote simple math concepts, fine motor skills and continuing to refine large motor skills. Also, our preschool strives to foster self control and communication skills, while preparing children for the social demands of today’s kindergarten classroom. Games, songs, story time, poetry, art projects, theme activities and sensory exploration are just some of the ways children in Kinderland’s preschool prepare for their educational futures. Parents are encouraged to view the weekly lesson plan grid and activity packet posted at the center. Additionally, parents will receive an assessment of their child’s progress periodically throughout the year.
Do you accept children with special needs into your program?
Kinderland has a very broad inclusion policy and does not turn away children based on special needs. Our philosophy is that :
- Every child has strengths and weaknesses. We strive to recognize the strengths of each child in our care.
- When children with special needs are included in our program, everyone benefits.
- Our policy of inclusion helps promote acceptance of diversity and prepares children for the public school’s inclusion policy.
When enrolling children with special needs, Kinderland will work with the parent, the child’s medical provider, public school and if necessary Working Connections Childcare to develop a plan for inclusion that ensures the safety of all the children in attendance, as well as other needs that may arise for the child. This often requires a one on one caregiver.
Do you provide food at your center and if so, what kinds of food?
Kinderland is enrolled in the USDA food program. For toddlers, preschoolers and school age kids, provide breakfast, lunch and two snacks daily, according to the guidelines established by the USDA and Washington Administrative Codes for portion size, nutritional requirements and meal times. We serve a variety of fruit, along with wraps, sandwiches, veggies, milk, juice, cheese, cereal, bagels and crackers. Menus are posted at the entrances to our centers for parental review. We will work with families and their medical providers if a substitution is necessary for a child. Kinderland provides iron fortified infant formula, infant cereal and jarred fruits and vegetables for babies under age one and welcomes mothers who are nursing to supply breast milk or visit the center to nurse.
What materials must I provide from home?
Parents are asked to provide their children with enough diapers and wipes to last a full day. We have plenty of storage if you would like to send a larger quantity. We’ll notify you when your supply runs low. Per state law, ALL children must bring at least one change of clothes daily in a labeled bag, though we encourage multiple changes for those still in diapers. Toys from home are not permitted at the center, however, we encourage you to send your child’s special blankey or other security object to help with transitioning and rest time if needed. Kinderland provides all other materials for rest time. Please label all items brought from home with your child’s name (coats, backpacks, clothing etc.) as many children have similar belongings. If your child requires a food substitution (such as lactose free milk or sensitive formula) you will be asked to provide that from home as well.
Do I need to provide you with a schedule of when my child will be in attendance?
Kinderland asks for a tentative weekly schedule for planning purposes for all infants and toddlers. Your center will confirm this schedule daily with you to ensure adequate staffing. Parents must confirm their infant or toddler’s schedule by 12:00 the day before care is needed to ensure a space. We strive to be as flexible as possible with the schedules of older children and welcome your child to come any day, however, we ask you phone the center to check availability before dropping off.
Do you transport children to school?
Kinderland is on the public school bus routes for several elementary schools. Parents of school age children should speak to their center regarding schools included and other requirements.
Will the center be open on holidays, school breaks or if the weather is bad?
Kinderland is closed on state and federal holidays. We will however remain open during elementary school conferences, teacher in-service days and seasonal breaks. It may be necessary to check classroom availability with your center prior to breaks if your school age child is not a regular attender. Priority will be given to children who regularly attend before and/or after school, those with siblings who currently attend the center and children formerly enrolled full time at Kinderland before new school age children will be enrolled. In case of inclement weather, Kinderland will make every effort possible to remain open during regular hours. Changes to the operating schedule will be noted on the building voice-mail, and Facebook page.
When is tuition due and what forms of payment are accepted?
Childcare payments are due on the first or fifth day of each month (depending on your site) on a prepayment basis. Kinderland also accepts subsidized payments from Working Connections Childcare. The director is happy to assist families who qualify in setting up payments. Working Connections Childcare establishes a copay which is due to the center on the first of the month for the previous month’s care. Kinderland accepts cash, money orders and personal checks.