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Parent’s Handbook

WELCOME!
We welcome you to Abundant Life Preschool, and to the partnership we will share during these early school years.
The need for good quality early education is great, and Abundant Life Preschool strives to meet that need by providing nurturing educational experiences. As an Arizona licensed facility, ALP has chosen to meet quality standards that are substantially higher than the minimum requirements. Our goal is to help your child explore and begin to understand the world around us and to lay the foundations for future academic pursuits.
This handbook includes program policies and important information you will need as we share this year. We hope you will read the handbook carefully. If you have any questions, please call us.
Please talk to us often. Thank you for choosing Abundant Life Preschool. We’re glad you are here!
Warmly,
Suzie Trzaska, Director 928-527-3900 suzie@ccof.church
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR FIRST DAY
ABUNDANT LIFE PRESCHOOL HOURS Abundant Life Preschool’s hours of operation are 6:45am until 6:00pm Monday through Friday.
WHAT TO WEAR Your child should dress for an active day. We suggest comfortable, washable play clothes. Sneakers and socks are best for active play.
WHAT TO BRING Please bring a small blanket and their lunch. It’s also a good idea for your child to bring a small backpack or tote bag to carry art work home. Abundant Life Preschool provides snacks and school supplies for children.
Your child needs a complete change of clothes at the center (shirt, shorts/pants/skirt, socks, and underwear). Be sure to write your child’s name in each piece of clothing. Give the clothes to the teacher in your child’s classroom.
RELEASE OF CHILDREN No child will be released to persons not authorized by a parent or guardian.
ILLNESS Children who are ill will not be admitted to the center.
BEHAVIOR GUIDANCE Our program uses a variety of positive guidance techniques to help children learn appropriate behaviors and develop self-control.
TOYS FROM HOME Children are encouraged to leave their toys at home.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FAQ 1: What if my child is sick? If your child is ill, please keep your child at home. Be sure to let us know why he/she will be absent. If your child becomes ill during the day, we will call you.
FAQ 2: What school supplies does my child need? All supplies are provided by the Center. It is not required, but it is very helpful if your child has a backpack or tote bag to carry home artwork and other papers.
FAQ 3: Do you teach the children anything? Preschool children learn in unique ways, so our activities may not always look like “school”. Our teachers plan activities that help children increase their thinking and creativity skills. Children’s experiences will strengthen their literacy skills and encourage them to investigate the world around them. In other words, we’re teaching early reading, math, science, social studies, health, music, art, and more!
FAQ 4: Can my child bring a toy? We prefer that children leave their toys at home. We have so many here for them to enjoy!
ABOUT OUR PROGRAM
PURPOSE The purpose of the Abundant Life program is to provide a safe and caring environment in which each child can play, learn, and grow.
OUR PHILOSOPHY We believe. . . . That children learn by using their senses and by moving. That each child learns and develops at his/her own pace. That children learn through language and rapidly developing their language skills. That preschool children need hands-on experiences with a wide variety of materials. That families and program staff are partners in supporting the child’s development and learning.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT Abundant Life Preschool is a ministry of Christ Church of Flagstaff. Our mission is to provide the families in our community with an early childhood educational program that develops spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth through creative play and loving instruction in a Christian environment.
REGISTRATION Spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. I understand that Abundant Life Preschool has an annual NON-REFUNDABLE registration fee that must be paid to maintain enrollment of each child.
Fees The annual registration fee of $80.00 (or $150.00 per family with 2 children enrolled) is due upon registration. This fee covers your child’s enrollment from August through July of the following year. If your child registers after January 31, the pro-rated registration fee will be $40.00 and will cover through the end of July of that year.
Prior to starting date of childcare, the following must be received
1. Registration form 2. Registration fee 3. Completed medical record form 4. Current immunization record 5. Emergency notification card 6. “All about my child” information page 7. Signed signature page of the “Parents Handbook”
TUITION PAYMENT Direct Debit from your checking or savings account • Rates are based on weekly pre-payment. • The charges will be processed at noon on Wednesday. • The funds will be removed from your checking/savings account that Friday. To keep your monthly bill consistent and low each month, our annual budgeted cost is divided by 12 months and not calculated monthly. Because we must hold your child’s spot during an absence, we do charge a normal daily fee for absences, federal holidays and the week in December. This, and the holiday time has been dispersed over the rest of the year.

ATTENDANCE Our program is open from 6:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The preschool is closed on these following days: New Year’s Day Martin Luther King Jr. Day Presidents Day Good Friday Memorial Day Fourth of July August Center Cleaning/Training Day Labor Day Veterans Day Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas Week I understand that my normal tuition payment is still due for these holidays.
Late Pick Up. Abundant Life Preschool closes at 6:00 p.m. Two things happen when you are late picking up your child. First, your child becomes anxious about why you are late. Second, staff (who have responsibilities after children depart) may have to stay at school past their scheduled time and are late for their evening commitments.
A late pickup fee of $1.00 per minute for every minute after 6:00 pm will apply. A note will be placed in the sign out sheet to notify you of a late charge, and will be due the next day. Please understand that repeated lateness will jeopardize your child’s enrollment in the Abundant Life program. Child Protective Service will be notified after a half hour has passed or if we are unable to contact you or any of your emergency contacts.
Daily Sign-In I understand that, per Arizona State requirement, I will complete the sign in/sign out form each day my child attends. Complete signatures are required. Initials are not allowed. The sign in/sign out sheet is located in the appropriate alphabetical book located in the school entrance. No child will be able to attend school without an adult accompanying them to the classroom
DISENROLLMENT POLICY If I decide to terminate my child’s enrollment for any reason, a two-week notice is required. If I terminate my child’s enrollment without notice, I remain responsible for two weeks of child care fees. I understand that Abundant Life Preschool reserves the right to cancel the enrollment of a child for any of the following reasons: 1. Non-payment of tuition. 2. Not observing the parent’s Enrollment Agreement. 3. Physical or verbal abuse of staff or children. 4. Chronic disruptive behavior
STAFF Staff members are selected, not only on the basis of education, qualifications, and experience, but also on the basis of attitude. Teachers are chosen who exhibit real dedication to teaching, and genuine concern for children. All teachers have experience with early childhood education and/or special skills that qualify them to teach.
CURRICULUM Abundant Life Preschool offers your child a safe, loving and stimulating environment. The school will provide experiences that encourage the development of your child’s positive self-concept, while recognizing individual needs.
Lesson Plans: The lead teacher of each classroom will plan and post a weekly lesson plan and send out monthly newsletters letting you know what they are learning in the classroom in the upcoming month.
2’s and 3’s Goals and Development: Focus on learning opportunities to develop individually on social, emotional and cognitive experiences. Enhance concepts in order to be ready for Pre-K.
Pre-Kindergarten Goals and Development: Each Pre-K student will be assessed twice a year to determine individual strengths and needs. These assessments will be shared with the parents at Parent/Teacher Conferences in the spring.
Curriculum: Abundant Life Preschool is dedicated to providing each child with interesting, challenging and age appropriate activities that engage the imagination and enhance cognitive skills. We strive to equip your child with those skills necessary (emotionally, socially, and academically) to be ready to enter and be successful in Kindergarten. This is achieved through play such as music and rhythm, language, fine and gross motor activities, dramatic play, cooking, science, creative media and outside experiences throughout the community at large. We also help to enhance and promote each child’s sense of positive self-image, individuality and creativity. Every child is encouraged to participate in all types of play. Through play and hands on activities, children develop the skills needed. Abundant Life Preschool offers a center-based activities program. “Choice” center children can choose from are: Listening and Audio Pretend Play Writing Reading Math Science and Sensory Art Small Manipulative Skills (beading, puzzles, matching, peg boards, card and board games) Large Manipulative Skills (cars, dinosaurs, animals, blocks and building tools)
The alphabet is practiced daily. They will not only learn recognition of the letter, but also the phonetic sound of the letter in order to start pre-reading. Children learn numbers, days of the week, months, seasons, shapes, colors, and much more. Our activities help children develop patience, cooperation, boundaries, respect, and tolerance of others as well as encouraging good manners, personal hygiene, social development, and personal growth all of which are essential to reach their full potential.
TRANSPORTATION AND FIELD TRIPS We do not provide transportation to or from Abundant Life Preschool. Field trips are not a part of our curriculum. We bring special events and community resources to the school to enrich the program.
CHAPEL TIME Our 2’s, 3’s and Pre-K classes integrate Chapel Time into their daily routine. The children gather each Tuesday morning in Children’s Auditorium for Bible songs and a Bible story told by a member of the pastoral staff from Christ’s Church. The chapel lesson is extended into daily classroom activities by application; puppets, stories, acting, and other interactive activities.
OPTIONAL PROGRAM The Tippy Toes dance program is available at Abundant Life Preschool. Children at age 3 may participate in this program at an additional fee. This fee is payable to the dance teacher. A black box for Tippy Toe’s is located in the office.
HEALTH
ILLNESS For the good of all children and the teachers, please keep your child at home if he/she is ill. If symptoms appear during the day, we will call you to pick up your child immediately.
If your child is exposed to a contagious illness, we will post a notice at your child’s classroom door. Please let us know if your child has been exposed to a disease away from school so that we can watch for symptoms.
State regulations require that children with the following symptoms be excluded from child care: Fever 100 degrees or more. Diarrhea (2 or more watery stools which is not contained within clothing. Vomiting (Within the last 24 hours). Rash that is not obviously associated with diapering, heat, or allergic reactions to medications. Sore throat if associated with fever or swollen glands in the neck. Severe coughing leading to gagging, vomiting or difficulty breathing Pink eye Untreated scabies, head lice or the presence of nits Ring worm Impetigo
If your child is sent home due to illness, he/she cannot return to preschool until he/she has been free from symptoms for 24 HOURS without the use of a fever reducer. This is to allow your child ample time to recover and stop the spread of illness to the other children and staff.
IMMUNIZATIONS Every child in the Center must be fully immunized. A photocopy of the child’s current immunization record is required at the time of enrollment. Please remember to provide a new copy if your child receives additional immunizations during the school year. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in termination of your child’s enrollment.
MEDICATION Our program staff does not administer medication to children.
INJURIES Minor injuries will be treated with appropriate first aid and you will be informed about them on an ouch report. Ouch reports are placed in children’s cubbies for parents to pick up.
You will be called to the center immediately if your child sustains a more serious injury. In cases that we perceive to be potentially life threatening, we will call an ambulance to transport your child to a medical facility and will direct you to meet the ambulance. All costs for the ambulance and medical fees are the responsibility of the child’s family.
NUTRITION Our program serves two snacks per day. Menus are posted in each classroom.
Food Allergies Please notify your child’s teacher if your child has food allergies. Menu items with equivalent nutritional value will be substituted for allergy-causing foods.
REST Children are offered an opportunity to rest after lunch. Children have sleeping mats labeled with their names. Clean sheets are provided weekly, or more often if needed. Please bring a small blanket from home to make the children feel more comfortable. Children are not required to sleep, just rest.
OUTDOOR PLAY Outdoor play is not just recess, but is an extension of our indoor learning opportunities.
All children will play outdoors every day, weather permitting. The length of outdoor play times is adjusted according to the weather. Factors such as temperature and wind are considered in determining whether children will be able to play outdoors and how long they will stay out.
Please dress your child for the weather, especially cool mornings in fall and spring. Sneakers with socks, or other similar shoes,are best for running,climbing,and enjoying the outdoors.
SAFETY AND EMERGENCIES
SECURITY CARD POLICY Security is an important part of our program, so we will issue each family 1 card to gain entrance into the ALP building between the hours of 6:45 AM and 6:00 PM, Monday thru Friday. The cards allow access to the main entrance door and the south entrance to the playground. Just flash the card in front of the security box to engage the door and gain entrance.
If you need additional cards to allow other designated persons to drop off or pick up your child you will be charged $10.00 per card. All cards are numbered and are assigned to your child. If you lose your card and need a replacement, you will be charged $10.00.
When you withdraw your child from Abundant Life Preschool, you are required to return all cards assigned to you. Thank you for your adherence to this procedure.
RELEASE OF CHILDREN I understand that my child will be released only to those persons whose names I have listed on the blue emergency card. I will advise Abundant Life in writing if any person other than those listed is authorized to pick up my child. In case of parental custody matters, legal documents with a court seal must be on file at the school.
Abundant Life Preschool employees will require proof of identification from any person arriving to pick up your child, if the office staff or teacher has not met them previously.
EMERGENCY PROCEDURES Evacuation procedures for fire and other emergencies are practiced monthly. When severe weather is in the area, the director monitors weather reports and alerts staff to be prepared to make decisions to keep everyone safe.
All Abundant Life Preschool staff members are certified in First Aid and CPR. Parents will be contacted by a staff member if there is an emergency.
SNOW DAY PROCEDURES Abundant Life Preschool will strive to provide consistent daily child care. We do not follow the Flagstaff Unified School District snow day closings and schedules. However on days that are exceptionally hazardous, the following options may be taken: a delayed start of the school day or a full day closure. Please check our website, www.alpflagstaff.com, to find out if there is a change in schedule, check our Facebook page, or listen specifically for the Abundant Life Preschool information on KAFF (92.9 FM, 930 AM). If no change is listed, we are on a regular schedule.
CHILDREN’S NEEDS
CLOTHING Children in our program are active and creative. So that your child can fully participate in all the activities, please follow these guidelines when dressing your child for school. Clothing is washable and durable enough to permit vigorous play. Clothing in inexpensive so that soiling, damage, or loss will not cause great concern. Shoes are sturdy and protect the child’s fee. Sneakers (with socks) are the best choice. Flip flops, sandals, and open toed shoes can be hazardous, so for this reason please leave them at home. Clothing is appropriate to the weather conditions. Children will spend time outdoors every day. Be sure to send jackets, sweaters, coats, gloves, hats as needed. All clothing is labeled with the child’s name.
Change of clothes at school. Every child must have a complete change of clothes at school (socks, underwear, shirt, shorts/pants). Please check periodically to see if your child’s change of clothes needs replacing. If a change of clothing becomes necessary during the day, the soiled clothing will be placed in a bag with your child’s name on it, and be placed in the tub under the sink in your child’s classroom.
CUBBIES Children are provided with cubbies as a means of keeping their belongings together. Please check your child’s cubby each day for notes from your teacher, art projects, and other items that need to go home.
TOYS Please discourage your child from bringing toys from home. We will have special days when children may bring something and we will notify you of these days. If a toy is brought from home we cannot be responsible for returning it. Teachers will ask your child to give the toy to you to take home. If the child is unable to do this, we will ask them to show it to their friends and then place it, for the rest of the day, in the office to be picked up on the way home. PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD’S TOY! No guns, war toys, or toys of destruction.
BIRTHDAYS We will celebrate birthdays during snack time. Parents are invited to bring a special snack, purchased from a licensed bakery or grocery store (not prepared at home per ADHS regulations).
GUIDANCE AND DISCIPLINE Our goal is to help children learn acceptable behavior and develop self-control. Our program is designed to promote positive and enjoyable learning experiences and to build trusting, respectful relationships. A well-planned schedule, classroom arrangement, and curriculum, along with a well-trained staff, significantly reduces instances of inappropriate behavior. However, when children do make mistakes in behavior, we use the following guidance techniques. • Tell the child what he/she CAN do. • Give choices whenever possible, but only when the child really has a choice. • Support children in learning to solve their own problems and work out conflicts. • Re-direct a child to another activity. • Help children learn how to play with friends.
Limits of Behavior • You may not hurt others. • You not hurt yourself. • You many not hurt toys and equipment.
CHRONIC DISTRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR We will make every effort to work with the parents of children having difficulties in our school. We are here to serve and protect all the children. Children displaying chronic disruptive behavior, which has been determined to be upsetting to the physical or emotional wellbeing of other children in the class, may require to be disenrolled.
PLEASE NOTE: Abundant Life Preschool reserves the right to withdraw any child who demonstrates a threat to the safety and learning environment of the other children enrolled. A parent will be called at work anytime the child exhibits uncontrollable behavior that cannot be modified by the teachers. The parent will be asked to take the child home immediately.
SEPARATION The first few days at Abundant Life Preschool will be an adjustment period for you and your child. Some children adjust to a group setting without any apparent difficulty, others will cry and cling to parents. Some children will be unusually quiet and will not join in activities. Other children may become over-stimulated and act out aggressively.
Here are some suggestions for things you can do to help ease the adjustment period: • Visit the center with your child prior to leaving him / her for the first time. • Children are not always sure that parents will be back to pick them up. Even if they do understand parents will return, children do not always understand about timing. Please explain to your child in advance what will happen when you drop him / her off and also reassure the child that you will be returning. • Talk to your child positively about and the things he / she will be doing. Place emphasis on what your child is going to do at the center rather than what you will be doing while away from your child. • See that your child is involved in a specific activity or is the care of a teacher before you leave. • AVOID LONG GOOD-BYES. The staff is very capable of dealing with upset children and it makes their job much harder when parents linger – this can’t be emphasized enough. • Do not hesitate to discuss adjustment issues with your child’s teacher or the center director.
POTTY TRAINING Abundant Life Preschool staff cannot assume the responsibility for potty training your child, but is willing to work and support you in this endeavor. For a child to be considered potty trained and to be allowed to come to preschool in underwear, the following minimum requirements must be met:
1. The child must start out using pull-ups with the Velcro tabs on the side at preschool, which are much easier on the teacher who has 8 children to care for. 2. The child must be using underwear at home on a daily basis for a minimum of two weeks with limited accidents. 3. The child must be able to initiate going into the bathroom on their own as needed. 4. The child must be able to know how to pull up and down their own pants.
Abundant Life Preschool staff will help with buttoning and wiping. We ask that you talk with your child’s teacher regarding your goals and requests for potty training and that you do not send your child to preschool in underwear before they can meet the minimum requirements. After potty training, if your child has three or more accidents a day for two or more days while wearing underwear at school, you will be asked to return them to pull-ups (with Velcro tabs) until a second two week period of meeting the above requirements is achieved. Please make sure and bring at least 3 sets of extra clothes during potty training.
Your child’s teacher is limited in how they can assist you in potty training because of the significant amount of dedicated time required in this endeavor. The Abundant Life Preschool Director will discuss this policy with you upon request.
FAMILY – STAFF PARTNERSHIP
CONFIDENTIALITY All information about children and families is considered confidential. Staff members and volunteers will maintain the confidentiality of each family and of each child’s educational records.
COMMUNICATION We use a number of methods to communicate between center and your family. • Talk to your child’s teacher at drop-off and pick-up time. • Read posted weekly lesson plans and daily schedules. • Read special event notices posted near the sign-in sheet. • Read the center and teacher newsletter that sent home every month. • Enjoy the photos, children’s work, and other documentation of children’s activities. These are posted in your child’s room and throughout the center. • Check your child’s cubby or sign-out sheet for notices. • Emails sent to you from the center Director. • Visit the center! You are welcome to drop by any time.
DAILY ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES A parent or authorized adult must accompany children into and out of the center at all times, and must sign children in and out.
Drop-off and pick-up times are opportunities to exchange information with our staff. As staff members are greeting children, parents often have lots of information to give us. Please help us do a good job – if it’s important for us to know, write it down and hand it to a staff member.
LICENSING AND INSPECTIONS
Abundant Life Preschool is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Department of Health Services Child Care licensing and inspection reports are available upon request. Please see the preschool Director.