Montessori at Bowser

Parent's Guide

Guide

Our mission is to provide a pathway to learning for all young children. We aid them in developing a positive self-image, and through our child-focused programming, we foster a joy of learning. The opportunity to learn is introduced through developmentally appropriate activities designed to develop skills in the areas of social, physical, and cognitive growth. This opportunity, available to all children and their families, is presented in a warm and accepting environment that encourages a sense of security and trust.

We believe all children deserve an equal opportunity to learn and develop to their greatest potential. Children learn in a positive, nurturing, stimulating environment where theyre encouraged to solve problems, be independent, satisfy their natural curiosities, make choices, and understand the impact their actions have on others. Thoughtful play is productive play that develops self-esteem and cognitive skills. We believe that an eclectic approach to education provides the opportunity for a balance between adult- and child-initiated activities.

Parent involvement is an important part of our well-balanced, family-oriented program. We have an open-door policy in which you are welcome to visit at any time and encouraged to participate in any or all activities. Our goal is to become a partner with your family in our common goal of providing quality education and care for your child. We want you to feel comfortable with our staff and free to make suggestions regarding your childs education and daily routine during his or her membership in our program.

Teachers who excel:
We carefully hire teachers who love children and are enthusiastic about educating, nurturing, and encouraging them to become independent, confident individuals.

Guiding your childs class through each day of learning and fun is the primary teachers responsibility. If you arrive early in the morning or pick up your child later in the evening, you may not see your childs primary teacher, whose day may begin or end at a different time. But he or she is supported by other teachers and caregivers who work to ensure consistency in your childs day.

To keep you up-to-date and involved in the learning process, our teachers provide daily written reports on your childs development. Feel free to ask the teachers and director about your childs progress, too. Together, we can help your child become a lifelong learner, creative thinker, and problem solver.

Beginning your Montessori at Bowser experience:
Making your experience at Montessori at Bowser a positive one right from the start is our number-one goal. Here are a few details you can take care of in advance, so when the big day arrives, you can concentrate on helping your child feel comfortable in a new situation.

Touring our facility:
One of the best things you can do before enrolling your child is tour our center and meet our staff. A tour gets your child excited about the first day of school. Your child can see the fun activities he or she will participate in, explore the classroom, meet the teacher, and make new friendsall with you present for support and encouragement.

Enrolling your child:
Prior to the first day of school, please complete the admission application, handbook agreement, medical forms, and permission forms and give them to the director. Completing this paperwork may take some time, but its critical to your childs safety and required by state and local licensing agencies.

We are an equal opportunity provider, so we consider all applications for enrollment without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.

A nonrefundable registration fee is required for enrollment. Its an annual fee collected each fall. If you pay the initial registration fee three months or less prior to the designated date, you can forego payment until the following year.

Keeping children safe:
To help ensure your childs safety, all of our centers feature a Secure Access System, located at the front entrance. Each parent receives an individual security code necessary to enter the building. To help us maintain the highest level of security, please keep your code confidential. When your child no longer attends the center, your code is erased from the system.

In addition, most of our classrooms are equipped with observation cameras, and monitors are located in the directors office. Youre welcome to observe your childs classroom at any time.

Picking up your child:
On your enrollment forms, you provide information about people authorized to pick up your child and those to contact in case of an emergency. We keep a file containing their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Please let the director know in writing as soon as possible if any of this information changes.

If you want someone not listed in this file to pick up your child, please fill out the daily authorized pick-up sheet at the front desk. That person will be required to show a photo I.D. prior to releasingyour child.

When divorce is an issue, please indicate on your enrollment form the name of the custodial parent and those authorized to pick up your child. The custodial parent must give us a copy of the divorce decree, which will be kept confidential in your childs file.

If you have an order of protection or restraining order that pertains to your childs protection, please notify us immediately and provide a copy of the legal document.

Making your child feel secure:
Change can be hard for people of any age, so feeling somewhat apprehensive about your new school is normalboth for you and for your child. Following are a few tips to help your childs first day go well:
If your schedule allows, bring your child in to visit before the first day.
Talk with your child about the teacher and the children he or she saw and met.
Discuss the daily routine with your child.
Ask the director about upcoming activities, so your child can get excited about some of the fun things the class will do.

Wearing the right clothes:
Our program is filled with hands-on learning opportunitiesactivities that can sometimes be messy. So we recommend you dress your child in casual, washable clothing with comfortable shoes that are safe for large motor activities.

Since our classrooms go outside daily, please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the days weather. Bring extra clothing to store in your childs personal cubbyincluding a shirt, pants, underwear, and socksfor messy times or when an accident occurs. Make sure to label these clothes, as well as items like coats and jackets that come off during the day.

Bringing toys and personal belongings:
If your child wants to bring a toy or other item for show-and-tell, please let the teacher or director know and label it for an extra measure of security. And if your child wants to bring a security item for rest time, thats okay, too. The rest of the time, however, we prefer that children use our toys and equipment instead of bringing them from home, in order to help us avoid losing or breaking these items.

Making the first day a positive adventure:
Starting school is an exciting prospect for little learners, but for some children the first day can also be confusing. As concerned partners who care about your childs happiness, we work with you to make your childs first day as happy as possible. Here are a few things you can do to make it go smoothly:

Arriving and departing:
When you arrive and leave Montessori at Bowser each day, sign your child in and out along with the time of arrival or departure. These forms are located at the front counter. Once you have signed your child in, please help him or her to the appropriate classroom.

Helping your child adjust:
When the first day arrives, you can help your child with the transition in many ways. Talk with your child about the exciting activities that will happen throughout the day. Let your child bring a special item to feel more secure. Take a little extra time in the morning and stay as long as necessary to help your child feel comfortable. We assure you, from our experience, that your child will settle down shortly after you leave. Feel free to call us at any time during the day to see how your child is doing.

Some children adjust easily to their first day of school, but others find it difficult to say goodbye. Both reactions are normal. Children are individuals who react to situations differently. If your child is hesitant about your departure, take a moment to reassure him or her that youll be back at a certain time. This uneasiness usually doesnt last for more than two or three weeks, so please be patient. If youd like some suggestions on how to help your child adjust, feel free to ask the teacher or director.

Communicating to build a partnership:
We pride ourselves on effective communication with parents. Our open-door policy means we encourage you to visit the center at any time and are always open to your suggestions or questions concerning your childs day.
We offer many ways to communicate. Our staff is available on a daily basis to listen and discuss your wishes regarding your childs needs. We also communicate through our monthly news brief, monthly teacher letters, daily reports regarding your childs day, and a parent board located in the foyer. Additionally, please feel free to call whenever you have questions or concerns. Communication is an important component in the relationship we have with our families.

Opening the magical doors of knowledge:
Learning is the technique of acquiring skills and understanding. Our curriculum was developed with the whole child as its focus. Because each child is developmentally unique, we give your child the opportunity to grow as an individual. Activities, materials, and teaching methods are age-appropriate, creating a classroom environment that challenges your childs learning potential at all developmental levels.

Children learn best by doing. Our curriculum is an eclectic approach to early childhood education, providing numerous opportunities for exploration, hands-on activities, and child-initiated choices. Our approach to education provides a learning opportunity that encourages children to become independent and develop an understanding of their environment. It gives children a beginning foundation for success in school.

Infants:
Soft objects, books, toys that change how they look or sound when manipulated, and music are all a part of our warm, responsive infant environment. So are loving caregivers, who spend the day talking, singing, and playing games with your child.

Each baby has its own crib, furnished with a sheet and a bumper pad. Feel free to bring a blanket and other items to make your baby feel secure. A daily written report keeps you up-to-date on your babys sleeping, eating, and diapering schedule.

Toddlers:
Rapid development is part of being a toddler. And toddlers thrive in our safe, nurturing environment where theyre encouraged to think through their actions, solve problems, and experience new things.
We provide written progress reports each day documenting your toddlers eating, napping, and diapering routine, as well as activities your child participated in throughout the day.

Two-year-olds:
Two-year-olds are curious explorers of the world around them. Our enriching environment, range of educational toys and materials, and self-directed activities help enhance their sense of discovery and encourage their independenceall of which prepares them for the adventures of preschool.

Toilet training is another part of our daily routine. When you feel your child is ready, we are here to assist you in this adventure. During the toilet-training process, please let the teacher know what is most comfortable for you and your child. We provide a daily report with your two-year-olds eating, napping, and toileting routine, as well as things accomplished during the day.

Preschool:
Your preschool child is involved in many hands-on activities to enhance his or her learning experiences. Our approach to education provides a learning opportunity that encourages children to become independent and develop an understanding of their environment. Our day is filled with a variety of choices for learning, with a good balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities. Our classrooms are divided into Interest Areas that encourage your child to explore and imagine while developing school-readiness skills. We provide a brief report informing you about your childs day.

School-age:
School-age children need a break from schoola creative, fun, and relaxed environment in which to learn. In our less formal setting, your child can play games with friends, create art projects, have fun outside, challenge his or her computer skills, relax in our quiet area, or complete homework assignments.

To accommodate working parents, we offer transportation to and from many local elementary schools. We also provide a full-day program when your child is out of school. And during the summer months, we offer a camp filled with fun activities and field trips to enrich vacation time. (An additional fee is required for field trips.)

Discipline:
Redirection and a positive approach are the best way to discipline. A positive attitude is always our guide when correcting inappropriate behavior. Generally, the incidents we encounter are minor and warrant a simple redirect approach. For inappropriate classroom behavior, we implement a time-out in a quiet area. Children who misbehave are expected to stay in the area for one minute per year of age. Infants and toddlers are redirected, and time-out is not implemented.

Occasionally, more severe disciplinary problems may arise. At these times, open communication between parents and the director is critical to resolving these issues.

    Basic essentials:

Payment and Billing:
Prompt payment of tuition is helpful because it lets us focus on your childs educational environment, not on collecting fees. All fees are due and payable in advance on Monday of each week. (In the case of divorce or separation, the parent or guardian with custody of the child is responsible for payment.)

Payment in full is required for your childs scheduled days. You do not pay if your child has the chicken pox, measles, or mumps (one week is allowed), if your child is in the hospital, or if there has been a death in the family.

Parents who become more than two weeks delinquent on payment may be asked to remove their children until payment is made in full. During that time, the childs position in our center cannot be guaranteed for re-enrollment.

Vacation Time:
You receive vacation time after your child has been enrolled in the center for one year. You receive the total amount of days your child is enrolled a week times two. For example, if your child is enrolled two days a week, you receive four vacation days per year. If your child is enrolled five days a week, you receive 10 vacation days per year. Vacation days may be taken as sick days, personal days, vacation days, etc.

Holidays:
We observe the following holidays. If a holiday falls on your childs scheduled day(s), full payment is required. If a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, we reserve the right to celebrate it on a Monday or Friday.

New Years Eve Day
New Years Day
Good Friday
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve Day
Christmas Day

On-time pick-up:
We realize that emergencies happen; however, it is important to pick up children on time. Late pick-ups take personal time away from our teachers, who have appointments and families to be with. Parents who arrive after closing time are charged a late fee of $5.00 per child for every 15-minute increment. If parents are more than one hour late, and we are unable to contact anyone listed on the enrollment form, we are required to call the proper authorities.

Breakfast, lunch, and snacks:
We provide a nutritious breakfast/snack, a hot lunch, and an afternoon snack. Breakfast is served between 8-8:30 in the morning. If you want your child to receive breakfast, please make sure he or she is here before 8:45. (Breakfast is not provided for latch-key children, unless they are part of our full-day program.) Lunch is served between 11-11:30, and an afternoon snack is served between 3-3:30.

We plan our menus in accordance with state health requirements for school-age and preschool children. All meals and snacks are served family style. Our teachers are encouraged to eat with your child, serving as role models. Manners and etiquette are part of our daily routine.

If your child has food allergies, please include this information on your enrollment forms. If your child has any other nutritional needs, please notify the director in writing and well do our best to see that they are met. We are not, however, able to make exceptions due to food dislikes.

At most of our centers, we ask you to provide formula and baby food for infants and toddlers. When you are ready for your child to be introduced to soft foods, please let us know so we can work with you and your child to make this happen.

Illnesses and medications:
Illness is a part of growing up. However, in order to protect the health of all children at our center, please keep your sick children at home. (The enclosed insert contains guidelines to help you make the right decision.) If your child becomes ill while at our center, the director will contact you to make arrangements to have him or her picked up.

We can administer over-the-counter and prescription medication with your written instructions. Over-the-counter medication must be labeled with your childs name, date, and directions for administering the medicine. We are unable to exceed the recommended dosage for your childs age. We can administer prescription medication if the medicine is a current prescription from your doctor. It must be labeled with your childs name, directions for administering the medicine, prescription date, physicians name, and prescription number.

Please give your child the morning and evening doses of medication at home. Well be happy to give the afternoon dose. If the prescription requires more doses during the day, we can accommodate that as well.
We can also give nebulizer treatments. For our staff to give these treatments efficiently, we prefer mid-morning or mid-afternoon time slots, which give us more opportunity to administer the treatment uninterrupted. If this request causes any difficulties regarding your childs needs, please speak to the director.

If youd like us to use topical productssuch as diaper ointment, teething gel, or sunscreenplease provide them along with written approval and instructions.

Birthdays and other fun times:
We hold holiday parties throughout the year in each classroom. Youre welcome to participate, and well notify you in advance when these events occur. Youre also welcome to bring snacks and party favors for holiday or birthday celebrations. However, to comply with local licensing agencies, we can only accept commercially prepared foods (unopened and packaged by a bakery or manufacturer).

Days on-the-go:
Sometimes, were on the go to various outings or field trips. Children are transported in our childcare van or by a private bus company. So that your child age three years or younger can attend these events, please supply a car seat for the childcare van. We provide adequate notice before field trips and require your written permission so that your child may participate.

Insurance protection:
We carry a primary accident plan in the event your child is injured during school activities. We also carry general liability and commercial auto insurance.

Weather emergencies:
Our center very seldom close; however, if we must because of severe weather or some other emergency, we follow Richardson school district for closing. You will be charged for the first two snow/ice days of the season.

If your child uses our van transportation, please note that vans operate at our discretion. If a winter storm occurs during the day, please contact the center for van information. If the weather is severe during morning hours, vans wont operate until we feel it is safe for travel. This may result in your child being tardy to school.

RESPONSIBLE PARTIES

If you should have concerns, request, suggestions, etc. about the Child Care Program we ask that you contact your Director who is immediately responsible for the daily conduct of the program. If you do not feel that your concerns are being addressed please contact our Executive Director. [Executive Directors]

If you still do not feel your concerns are being addressed you may contact those persons that are legally responsible for the program. [Owners]

Note: The above is a general summary of our policies and procedures and are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to you center's Parent Handbook for details of your specific center.

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