Preschool Handbook

Welcome to the Preschool group. We look forward to working closely with you and your child, to ensure a comfortable and enriching experience for all.

The Preschool is comprised of the Upstairs and Downstairs classrooms.  While your child will be based in one of these rooms, he/she will have several opportunities to interact with children and staff in both rooms, on a daily basis.

Please take the time to check your child in daily, at the computer in the entrance hallway, when you come to the center each morning. When you arrive at your child’s classroom please spend a moment getting him/her settled in. This will ease the transition from home to the classroom. Children must always be accompanied by a Parent to the Upstairs Preschool classroom.

Pick-up at day’s end is often a very busy time.  After you have picked up your child from the classroom, please keep him/her with you at all times, until you leave the center. Be sure to check your child out for the day, using the entrance hall computer.

Kindly call the center by 9:00 a.m. to let us know if your child will be late or absent. Arrival before 10:00 a.m., is essential for ensuring that your child gets a good start for the day, and can be a full participant in our program. We ask that you let us know about any planned vacations or absences, by marking them on the calendar, posted on the Preschool bulletin board, in the downstairs hallway.

Frequent and open communication between home and school is important.  If you have any questions or concerns, please bring them to the attention of one of the Teachers, as soon as possible. The Preschool Program Coordinator is also available to assist you with any questions or concerns.

Please check mailboxes and art folders daily, for items that should be taken home.  Throughout the day, our office may communicate with you via the e-mail address you have provided. You will also be invited to participate in bi-annual conferences with your child’s Teacher, in the Fall and Spring.

Items Your Child Will Need

All required documentation, including current physical and up-to-date immunization record, must be completed, before your child begins attendance.  Please bring in the following items, which will make your child more comfortable at the center:

2 pairs of pants (shorts)

2 shirts

2 undershirts

2 pairs of underwear

2 pairs of socks

one small blanket and crib-sized sheet for rest time.  No pillows

toothbrush and tube of toothpaste

winter: snow gear (snow pants, boots, hat, gloves, mittens)

summer:  water play gear (bathing suit, towel, hat and  water     shoes)

Appropriate Clothing

Little Angels is a place to explore and to learn through play, so please dress your child appropriately. Belts, snaps, and buttons, which are hard to fasten, make bathroom time difficult for independent dressing, especially for those still toilet training. Please have your child in comfortable clothing that can get dirty. For safety reasons, he/she should wear well-fitting sneakers or closed, rubber soled shoes. No sandals, crocs, or dress shoes are permitted. They are not safe for playground time or walks.

We request that your child does not wear “superhero” clothing at day care.  Children often act out the role of the character adorning their clothes. Typically, this type of play becomes aggressive.  We encourage you to limit your child’s exposure to “superheroes” until he/she can distinguish reality from fantasy.  However, we firmly request that children do not wear clothes with superheroes on them (ex. Batman, power rangers, etc.) at day care.

Everything must be labeled please, with first and last name!

Meal Times

During meal times, children experience family- style dining with their Teachers and the other children. Children are encouraged to help set the table and to serve themselves. Preschool snacks and lunches are provided by daycare.  Lunches consist of a main dish, a vegetable, milk, fruit or another healthy dessert. Our menus follow the New York State Office of Children and Family Services guidelines for nutrition. If your child does not like what we are serving or will only eat “food from home,” please speak to us so that we can discuss an alternative.

We ask that your child eat a nourishing breakfast before arriving at day care. If it is necessary to provide your child breakfast or snacks from home, please consider the following requests. Breakfast from home will be served only to children arriving between 7:00 and 8:00. All food should be labeled with child’s full name, and should be nutritious. Food from home should be given to the Teacher at drop-off, and not placed in cubbies or backpacks. We prefer that you save chocolate, donuts, and sugary cereals and snacks for home.  Also we are a nut- free environment. If your child will be bringing breakfast from home be sure to check labels.  If an item contains nuts, or has been prepared in a facility where nuts are processed, it is not allowed in the center!

Health Practices

In order to keep our classrooms sanitary and to keep germs at bay, we need your help. Kindly wash your hands with soap and water before visiting your child’s classroom, as well as your child’s hands.  He/she will be required to wash his or her hands at the following times, at a minimum:  when coming in from outdoors, before meals, after toileting, and whenever soiled by materials or bodily fluids.

The number one, best tactic for eliminating contagious elements, is to consistently and properly wash hands. It is important that all the adults in our program follow the same procedures. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our environment healthy!

Little Angels understands how important it is for a child on medication to receive all of the required doses, and will do its best to assist Parents, if medication is needed at the Center.  We follow the guidelines of our licensing agency, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, which requires specific permissions and documentation prior to administering any medications. Please refer to the center’s Program Handbook for detailed requirements. This policy encompasses all prescription and non-prescription medications, and vitamins. All requests for administering medication must be made with the Director or Assistant Director upon arrival at the center. Medications may not be left in the classroom, in cubbies or backpacks, or with individual children.

In Preschool, we use a different means of recording information about children who have been given medication at home, or whose Parents come to the center to give medication.  The Medication Administration At Home And At The Center binder, is used for this purpose.  If you have given medications to your child before drop-off, or come to the center to give medication, please let us know by completing the necessary information for your child in the binder.  It contains a page for each Preschool child, and instructions concerning the information we ask you to supply.

Toileting

Children entering Preschool in September, may be in various stages with regard to toileting skills.  If your child is in the toilet-training process, please share this information with Teachers, so that they may replicate your toilet-training methods, as nearly as possible, and provide frequent opportunities for your child to use the bathroom.  Consistency between home and school is essential to ensure that toilet training is successful.

Within the Preschool daily schedule, there are designated times for bathrooming the entire group.  When children need to use the bathroom in between those times, they are accompanied by a Teacher.  If your child is in pull-ups or diapers, Teachers will change him/her in the bathroom, as needed, and whenever the child indicates this is necessary, as well as before/after rest time. Please let the Preschool Teachers know, at drop-off, when your child was last changed.

The Preschool classrooms do not have changing tables for diapering. Since children are encouraged to be independent, comfortable clothing, which enables them to dress and undress with ease, is recommended for Preschool.  At least one complete set of extra clothing, should be left at the center, so that Teachers can help children change, when accidents occur.  If your child is toilet-training, several extra changes of clothing are recommended.

Preschool Plan of Day

7:00 -9:00

Arrival and welcome.Tabletop Activities/Puzzles/Stories.

9:15- 9:30

Snack Time (In separate classrooms)

9:30 – 9:45

Circle Time 

9:45 –10:45

Small group Activities (Curriculum Based and Interest Areas)

10:45 – 11:45

 Outdoor Time

11:45 -12:30

Lunch, Bathroom

12:30 – 3:00

Story Time/Rest Time

3:00 -3:15

Snack and Bathroom

3:15- 3:30

Group Meeting

3:30 – 4:30

Outdoor Time

4:30 – 6:00

End-day Activities (Curriculum Based and Interest Areas)
End-of-day pick-up

Curriculum

The core of our Preschool curriculum is to provide activities and experiences that validate the interests of children, while encompassing the following aspects of development: Social/Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, and Language. The Creative Curriculum framework is our guide to provide daily experiences which develop skills in Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology, and the Arts.  In addition to participating in planned Teacher-directed experiences, your child will be encouraged to explore self-initiated activities, and choose from the various interest areas throughout the classroom. We have carefully selected developmentally appropriate materials and props for each of these areas.

Assessment

We view assessment as an ongoing process.  We use the Creative Curriculum system as our method of assessment. We observe children and write anecdotal records describing your child’s behaviors, take dictations, collect artwork samples, and photograph work, over several months. After gathering this information, we complete the assessment form by noting behaviors that best describe your child’s experiences in each of four overall curriculum goals.   We will then invite you to a biannual parent conference to share and discuss the assessment. Typically, conferences are held in October and May.  If you have any questions or concerns between conference times, please feel free to let us know.  We will be happy to set up a time to discuss your concerns.

Outdoor Time

We try to take the children outside daily, morning and afternoon. During the winter, we may spend less time outside, but we plan to go out every day, weather permitting. Please be sure that your child comes to day care with clothing that will keep him/her warm and dry, during our time outside (a jacket, snow pants, boots, a hat, a scarf, and mittens). If your child is not feeling well, and you think he or she should remain indoors, please keep him or her at home. Going outside is an important part of our day!

We rotate our outdoor time between the playground attached to the building, the Peck Ave. Playground (on site, just a short walk through the parking lot), the “Big Field” (located near the Midland Ave. entrance to Avon, also on site), and walking trips throughout the town of Rye.

Library Day

Every other Thursday a group of our Preschool children will have the opportunity to visit the Rye Public Library. The library hosts a planned story time, and we will also spend some time choosing books to borrow for the classroom. We select children to participate, based on readiness.  Children need to be capable of managing the walk to the library, and sitting quietly for the literature experience, in a public setting. We leave the center at about 9:30 am and arrive back at 11:30 am.

Field Trips

The Preschool group takes several field trips throughout the year.  Every child will have the opportunity to participate in field trips during the Preschool experience at Little Angels. Children younger than three and a half years need Parent accompaniment to participate.  Some of the trips may be within walking distance. Often, such local trips are prompted by a learning theme that the group is pursuing. For other field trips, Parents may be asked to volunteer as chaperones and drivers, and there may be a fee. On occasion, we will hire a bus company to transport the children.  We do request that you volunteer to participate in two or more trips throughout the year.

Parent Involvement

One of the most important aspects of a successful Preschool experience is Parent involvement. Becoming involved in your child’s group provides insight into your child’s daily experiences and routines at the center, as well as the dynamics of the group.  We encourage Parents to participate as much as possible. Listed below are some examples of Parent involvement activities:

Share a story with the children at circle time or before rest time                                                                 Share hobbies/special talents                                                                      Join us on library day                                                                      Accompany children on field trips                                                                           Collect art supplies and materials for children’s projects                      Furnish dress-up clothes and costumes                                                      Plan workshops for Parents                                                               Become a Board member (see Carolyn)                                                      Join the Little Angels Fundraising Committee

Please let us know if there are any other ways you would like to be involved.

Communication

Frequent and open communication between home and school is an essential component for ensuring a successful Preschool experience for your child.  Should you have information to pass along about your child, which may affect his/her day at the center, kindly speak to the Preschool Teacher briefly at drop-off, or contact us by telephone or e-mail.  We have a system in place to be sure that important information is communicated to Staff members. Lengthy, in depth conversations should occur in conference format, when both parties can communicate in a private setting, and Teachers are not required to supervise other children. Conferences can be set up by appointment with your child’s Teacher.

Preschool Teachers will be communicating with you on a weekly basis, to share information about children’s learning experiences.  This will come to you in newsletter form, via e-mail, on Friday, each week. Since “Daily Sheets” are not used in Preschool, Teachers will do their best to answer individual questions you may have about children’s eating, rest time, and toileting, as long as it does not compromise their need to supervise a group.

Home-School Partnership

In each of our Preschool classrooms, throughout each day, Teachers focus on helping children to create a “community,” a place where they feel safe, help one another, and see themselves as part of the group. An important means of developing social skills in the classroom community, as well as any other, engages members in taking responsibility for themselves, others, and their environment.

Through the implementation of daily routines and classroom guidelines, and by providing continuous support, Teachers in Preschool facilitate children’s development in this area. The goal is that children interact appropriately with one another and adults, utilize materials properly indoors and outside, and eventually develop pride in maintaining their classroom environment.

To achieve these goals, we feel it is essential to follow-through with children, and remain consistent with our message to them. We are certain that you share these goals, as well, and request your support to ensure that children receive a consistent message at home and at school. With your assistance, the social behaviors we are teaching children will transfer to other situations, and become valuable life skills.

Kindergarten Readiness

As your child approaches Kindergarten age, you may have some concerns regarding expectations, and readiness for this transition.

Every year, Little Angels hosts a “Kindergarten Meeting” to discuss these concerns.  A guest speaker will be invited to present you with some valuable information regarding Kindergarten readiness. As the time draws near for your Preschooler to enter Kindergarten, we also recommend that Parents visit with the future Kindergarten teacher or school. We welcome any discussions or questions you may have, regarding your child’s transition to Kindergarten.

Summer Program

During the months of July and August the center offers a summer program. Each child has the opportunity to play outdoors, participate in water play, have picnics, do arts and crafts, and enjoy summertime games. The daily schedule is varied somewhat from the usual Preschool schedule.  However, meal times, and rest times are still part of the routine.

Toys from Home

We request that your child keep his/her own toys at home. These toys may be lost or broken when they come to the center. While some children like to share their toys with friends, others are less willing, causing hurt feelings.

We do realize that children often have a strong desire to show Teachers and friends a favorite toy, book, souvenir, or photograph.  For this reason we have incorporated “show and tell” into our Tuesday morning circle time. “Show and tell” is a wonderful opportunity for children to develop expressive language skills, poise, and self-confidence. Please help them share in this experience. Assist your child in selecting an item to bring in on Tuesday. Also, encourage them to verbally share special events, trips, or projects that they have participated in, with relatives or other friends. We do ask that you leave action figures and Barbie dolls at home. Thank you for your cooperation!

We welcome you and your child to Preschool!

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