Frequently Asked Questions
We believe in supporting evidence-based child development. We encourage children to explore and learn as we introduce academic curricula through meaningful play.
The latest child development research shows that children construct knowledge through “hands-on” experience. Our program provides materials and equipment appropriate to each child’s developmental level and individual needs.
The following are some examples of the materials available.
- Cognitive area: books, puzzles, manipulative toys, pre-reading, math and science tools
- Creative area: paints, easels, play dough, sensory experiences, materials for drawing, cutting, and other materials to create open-ended projects
- Gross motor area: building materials, music, and manipulative toys. trucks, cars, trains, climbing toys, and other large muscle toys in the class and on the playground
- Socio dramatic area: dolls, housekeeping play area, puppets, dress-up clothes, and props that allow children to imitate and make sense of the world around them
Participation in play at learning centers gives your child the most extensive array of learning opportunities possible. They develop essential skills such as language and vocabulary, social skills, physical aptitudes, and cognitive skills, like problem-solving.
The classroom features learning centers to develop language, math, science, computer skills, art, fine, and gross motor skills. Learning centers include:
- Sensory tables
- Dramatic play
- Outdoor play
- Story Time
The goal of our program is to help children develop their potential socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Our teachers provide carefully planned activities in cognitive, social/emotional, physical, and language areas.
Teachers guide and encourage your child to explore and learn and to implement the academic curriculum through this meaningful play. They both supervise and participate in children’s play, modeling when necessary, and also stepping back when appropriate for your child to get the best learning experience at the moment.
The teachers are highly qualified and experienced educators that have degrees in the fields of education, early childhood education, psychology, and other related fields. In addition to their academic training, the staff also participates in ongoing training and development with monthly planning meetings and professional association conferences. All employees are CPR and First Aid Certified. Our teachers provide an environment of trust, care, respect, and individuality for each child.
We will talk to you about your child when you drop them off in the morning, and again when you pick them up at the end of the day. We also provide monthly newsletters with information about the daily program.
The newsletter outlines concepts and themes introduced in the learning centers, as well as songs and rhymes children are learning. Special events, activities, and parent conferences are announced twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.
Parent participation is an integral part of our continued success, so yes, we require 10 hours per school year per child for parent participation. We invite parents to volunteer in the classroom when they desire. The staff can suggest ways in which parents may participate.
It is usual for preschool children to be egocentric and to act from their perspectives. We talk with children about how their actions affect others and encourage them to verbalize their feelings. It is a slow developmental process, but children learn to respect the rights of others and to become caring, thoughtful learners, and friends. By recognizing and honoring children’s rights and feelings, we have learned that the children eventually show the same respect to others.
We train our teachers in the methods of Conscious Discipline® and Love & Logic®. All teachers at Beginnings use redirection with children when there is a conflict over toys or materials. We encourage children to use language rather than physical means to express their needs and wishes. We are interested in building self-control and self-direction in the children. Physical punishment or “time out” is never used in disciplining children at the school. In discipline situations, our goal is to enhance the child’s ability to function appropriately and self-regulate, not to punish.
Conscious Discipline® is an evidence-based classroom management system and socio-emotional curriculum. Teachers use Conscious Discipline® as a way to communicate with your child in a kind and compassionate manner. Modeling kindness will encourage your child to use the same behaviors when interacting with others.
Love & Logic® is a classroom management program that provides alternative ways to communicate with children. Sharing control and decision making and consequences alongside compassion are just a couple of methods used in this system.
Parents are encouraged to introduce their children to a consistent staff member, especially one to whom she or he seems comfortable. It is essential to tell the child you are leaving and will return in a short time to pick him/her up. It is best to keep “good-byes” short and sweet. Lingering good-byes can be painful for the child. We will contact the parent by phone if the child remains upset and is unable to participate in classroom activities. We will inform the parents if we feel the child needs a shorter day or other adjustments to make the separation easier.
Children do not have to be toilet trained to enroll in the Toddler program. We know that it is developmentally appropriate for children to toilet train at a range of ages. Our teachers support and help parents during the child’s period of toilet training. Your child must be toilet trained to move up into the preschool classrooms.
It has been our long-time experience that children easily toilet train when they are developmentally ready. They also model themselves after other children who are toileting. We handle toilet training in a natural, positive manner, taking the lead from the child. Children are checked regularly and encouraged if they appear to need the toilet.
Our daily schedule offers appropriate time for learning, including an outdoor program that we consider an extension of the classroom. We participate in outdoor play each day, including wintertime.
Our program provides a healthy breakfast, hot lunch, and an afternoon snack. Our meals follow the USDA CDCAP meal patterns, so you know your child is getting the right amount of nutrition every day. Only water and milk are available at mealtimes, no juice. Water is also offered to the children throughout the day, as needed.
Yes, our kitchen and classrooms are a peanut and tree nut-free environment.
Family-style meals promote a community feel. Teachers and children share food and talk about their day so far and what’s to come. These discussions encourage language development and planning skills. Children serve themselves from a communal plate to master motor skills and ultimately gives them a sense of accomplishment.