|Parent Handbook - Additional Content|
|Upon enrolling your child at Bright Start, you will need to:
…Fill out a personal history form, emergency form, child dismissal form, transportation permission, TumbleBus permission. These will need to be updated whenever circumstances change.
…Sign an enrollment form, including the information about the required two week deposit.
…Provide proof of up-to-date medical vaccinations—a photocopy of your pediatrician’s vaccination record works best (this will need to be updated regularly as your child receives additional inoculations.),
…Bring in a backpack, tote bag or something similar to contain their belongings. Please be sure to clearly mark the outside of the bag with your child’s name as well as the clothes themselves, There should always be at least one complete change of clothes, including underwear and socks, in the bag.
…A one week supply of diapers or pull-ups and wet wipes, if your child uses them, marked with your child's name and replenished as needed.
A word about clothing…
Please give consideration to the clothes you send in for your child as well as those that your child wears each day. Children need a wide variety of experiences to learn about the world. Some learning experiences can get messy. Children need to know that if they get paint or mud or whatever on their clothes, it will be okay! Please do not send your child to day care or preschool in clothes that can’t get messy. If a child is concerned about such things, they are not fully able to immerse themselves in the learning process and therefore will not learn as much from their experiences.
Children enrolled to attend Bright Start through the lunch hour (12-1) must bring a lunch from home. Our kitchen facilities are very limited, so children must have ice packs in their lunch boxes to keep their food fresh and cool. We must also ask that children not bring food items that require heating. We simply do not have the capability to handle those tasks. Please note: We are a peanut-free school and keep that in mind when preparing your children’s lunches.
A word about toys from home….
For those children who nap here, we encourage you to send a special stuffed animal or doll to cuddle with at quiet time if that provides your child comfort while away from home. Please do not send any toys with the older children who do not nap here unless they have been requested to bring something in for Show and Tell (we’ll let you know when that is).
If your child has some difficulty either letting you go in the morning or leaving the Center at the close of the day, please allow yourself enough time to do an activity with them (5 minutes or so) to help them with this transitioning. Do remember that our preschool program begins at 9:00 and that the Center closes at 5:30, and allow that extra time in your schedule so that you can meet those times.
In order to provide the same kind of celebration for each child, we will provide a birthday hat for the birthday child and a candle to put in their snack that day when we will all sing Happy Birthday. If you want to provide muffins or cupcakes for snack that day, it would be appreciated but not required. We’ll keep a supply of muffins or cupcakes on hand so that each birthday child will always have that for their snack. Please do not send in party favors or any other special things for that day. If you are having a party for your child at home, please do not distribute invitations at school. It is very hurtful for some children to feel left out of others’ parties.
Child Illness Policy
When children are sick, they should not be brought to Bright Start. They feel better in their own homes, recuperate faster, and are somewhat less likely to share their illness with the rest of our Bright Start community.
If your child has any of these symptoms: not feeling well enough to participate in regular daily activities here including outside play, fever of 100 degrees or higher, continuing diarrhea, vomiting within the last 12-18 hrs, an excessively runny nose, or a cough of any significance, please keep him/her home until the worst of the symptoms subside. If your child is diagnosed with strep, they must be on an antibiotic medication for 24 hrs. before returning to Bright Start. If your child has chicken pox, they must remain at home until the pox scab over (usually 5-7 days following initial outbreak).
We will not administer medication of any kind without explicit, written directions from home or from the doctor. Forms for this purpose are available from the Bright Start Office.
Discipline and Positive Guidance
Two key words describing our discipline policy are gentle and firm. Rules are established and children are expected and helped to follow them. When a child has difficulty behaving appropriately, we employ positive guidance techniques to help them successfully negotiate for what they want or need. We teach and encourage children to express their feelings using words. We also discuss alternative behaviors to help them achieve the desired goal in a positive way. We occasionally offer a child quiet time along with strategies, i.e., hugs, going for a walk, having some alone time, etc., to help the child calm his/her body. The undesirable behavior is always explained and teachers always discuss options for alternative behaviors that help children develop problem-solving strategies before returning to the group or activity.
Positive guidance techniques and good social skills development go hand-in-hand. Learning to use good manners is an integral part of a child’s development and preparation for managing well in the elementary school setting and in the outside world. Good social skills learned early on will help pave the way through many of life’s complexities and will result in life-long benefits to the child who uses them. Throughout the day there are a myriad of "teachable moments" to help children with their developing social skills.
Super hero and weapon play is not part of our program. Studies of preschool age children indicate that this is a time when distinctions between fantasy and reality are often fuzzy. This play can transform a child into a power figure who uses violence to settle problems. We encourage children to settle differences through the use of words. We strive to empower them through success in work, play, physical challenges and human interactions. We are committed to peaceful resolutions of all conflicts. Even a tee shirt with these images can alter a child's behavior and self-concept. We ask that super hero costumes and clothing with super hero figures stay at home.
Code of Ethics
At Bright Start we follow the guidelines for responsible behavior in early childhood education established by The National Association for the Education of Young Children. This code of ethical conduct outlines our professional responsibilities in our relationships with children, families, colleagues, community and society.
The basic principles are:
…Appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of the human life cycle
…Base our work with children on knowledge of child development
…Appreciate and support the close ties between child and family
…Recognize that children are best understood in the context of family, culture and society
…Respect the dignity, worth and uniqueness of each individual (child, family member, colleague)
…Help children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on mutual trust, respect and positive regard
…Above all, we shall not harm children or participate in practices that are disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitive, intimidating, psychologically damaging or physically harmful to children
A list of references is available. Please let us know if you would like a copy.
6:30 Open – Choice of Activities
7:45 Breakfast for those who want it
9:00 Children Welcomed; Circle Time
9:20 Choice Time with Choice of Activities in Interest Areas
10:30 Morning Snack, Closing Circle, Preparation for Outdoor Play
11:00 -12 Outside play (weather permitting) or Large Muscle Activities in Fellowship Hall
12:00 Lunch (Lunch must be provided from home.)
12:30 – 2:30 Quiet Time Please note: At Bright Start all children under the age of four spend quiet time on a cot in the nap room.
1:00 – 2:30 K-Ready for children who will be in kindergarten the following year.
2:45 Afternoon Snack; outside play time.
4:00 Choice of Activities
This schedule is prepared to provide a reasonable representation of the rhythm of our days. From time-to-time some variations in our routine will occur.
|You Enroll...We Inspire...They Discover!|
|FOR YOUR INFORMATION|
|Rate Schedule & Enrollment Info|
|Name:||Bright Start Early Childhood Center * PO Box 211, 84 Main St., Topsham, ME 04086 * 207-725-7621|