Dear Parents or Guardians,
On behalf of The First United Methodist Church of Apopka, I welcome you to our Faith Based Learning Center, Tiny Tots, and I thank you for the opportunity to help minister to and educate your child. As a parent myself, I realize you have made a very difficult decision in choosing where to enroll your child. We are honored that you have chosen Tiny Tots worthy of your highest consideration. We value each child as a precious gift from our Creator, and we recognize this responsibility as you place your child in our care.
It is our priority to provide for your child a safe and effective learning environment, one in which your child can develop to his/her greatest potential. Our teachers are experienced and trained specific to early childhood education. They are equipped with teaching strategies and techniques to insure success.
Tiny Tots is vital part of our total Church life and educational ministry. The student body includes children of the congregation, children of other neighboring congregations, and children whose parents have no church affiliation. Tiny Tots accepts students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities made available to children. There is no discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of educational policies, admissions policies and other school-administered programs.
We invite you and your child to attend any of our Church functions, including our Children’s Sunday school on Sunday mornings. You may learn more about our Church programs at www.fumcapopka.com for information about times and events. We hope that each family will find friendship and spiritual growth, not only in Tiny Tots, but also within the total life of the Church.
I pray for God’s blessings on your family and Tiny Tots.
In His Service,
Kelly Baloun Tiny Tots Director
Philosophy and Goals
“We are dedicated to developing the whole child.”
Tiny Tots is a Faith Based Learning Center of First United Methodist Church of Apopka. Tiny Tots is committed to providing a stimulating, healthy environment for nurturing the total growth and development of our young children. It is a place where children will experience structured freedom, personal acceptance, and guidance from loving and experienced teachers. One of our basic human needs is to know, accept, and enjoy our individuality. Therefore, an important objective is to provide an environment where children can develop as individuals and acquire a comfortable, realistic concept of self, a sense of personal worth, and a love of learning. With a positive awareness of self, a child is freer to develop intellectually and can work toward a happier relationship with others.
Children learn most effectively through positive relationships and through creative exploration and play. We strive to help each child acquire happy, useful patterns of behavior, and a sense of wonder and trust which will lead toward becoming a productive, creative adult. We encourage a balanced growth by placing equal emphasis on each of the major developmental dimensions of physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development. Our primary objectives are to:
• Enhance development of individuality, independence, and self-confidence;
• Provide appropriate opportunities for socialization;
• Guide experiences in practical living;
• Promote physical development;
• Stimulate intellectual development; and
• Provide a solid foundation for faith development.
Through age-appropriate play, children begin to understand their bodies and how they work. Crayons, scissors, clay, paint, glue, blocks, woodworking, musical instruments and manipulative toys help develop small muscles. Climbing gyms, balls, bikes, slides, creative movement, etc. help develop large muscles and improve coordination, balance, and strength.
A young child’s first lesson in community living is learning about belonging to a group. Within the group, a child learns to share, take turns, give and receive help, and to follow as well as lead. He/she learns to express needs verbally and to listen while others talk, to feel secure with adults, and to share their attention with peers. They are encouraged to be self-reliant by learning to take care of personal needs, to finish what is begun, and to clean up and put away materials.
Teachers help a child feel wanted, loved and secure by providing structured freedom in this first school experience. They encourage a child’s independence and individuality by providing many opportunities in which a child can constructively express feelings, manage personal needs, and develop problem-solving abilities. In this supportive environment, a child will experience creativity at many levels, learn to respect individual differences, and develop emotional health and stability.
Stories, finger plays, poems, dramatic play, sensory experiences, music, science, nature, cooking experiences, games, and puzzles all work together to stimulate a child’s intellectual development in every dimension. These experiences strengthen concentration, observation, and memory. They encourage curiosity, reasoning, and a desire to learn, and provide a rich backdrop for development of essential language and pre-reading skills.
A child is a product of relationships with family, friends, and teachers. Relationships are especially significant in Christian learning. A child learns forgiveness by being forgiven, trust by finding adults trustworthy and fair, and understanding by being understood and by having an opportunity for social experiences with loving adults and other children of the same age. In this process, children learn to value themselves as well as others. Being with persons who express love, care, acceptance, and kindness through daily living, and by experiencing and exploring nature, children become aware of God as a reality in their own life and world. Tiny Tots is an extension of the educational and outreach ministry of First United Methodist Church of Apopka, and age-appropriate elements of Christian education guide all curriculum areas. Christian-based literature for each age level is used to help guide planning. These materials are inclusive in nature, and are consistent with the best principles and purposes of early childhood education.
Our age-appropriate curriculum focuses on these overall themes:
1. Children in relation to themselves -developing a positive self-concept and an awareness and understanding of physical and emotional uniqueness and growth;
2. Children in relation to others -building healthy bonds of love and respect for family, peers, the Church, and their home community;
3. Children in relation to the physical world -developing a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty and variety in the natural world, including animals, habitats, and natural systems; and
4. Children in relation to God – building awareness that we are children of God, and we respect, care for and love all children in God’s creation.
These themes are addressed throughout the year by providing a variety of active learning experiences, both child-focused and teacher-directed, through literature, music, art, science, fine and gross motor activities, health, mathematics, sensory experiences, cooking and whole and small group activities appropriate to the children’s developmental levels. At least six activity or learning centers are maintained in each classroom, and children may move freely among the centers.
Children will have opportunities to participate in large groups, small groups, self-
selected groups, and individually. In this way, they encounter many opportunities to gain in language skills, to expand their knowledge, to grow in curiosity, to problem-solve and create, and to improve physical skills.
• Group time (stories, poems, movies)
• Creative art activities and craft projects (painting, clay, collage, crayons, scissors, paste)
• Music (finger plays, singing, instruments, records, creative movement)
• Outdoor play (fenced playground with wheel toys, climbing equipment, sandbox, easels)
• Indoor movement center (during inclement weather)
• In-house field trips
• Science and nature studies (walks, gardening, animal care, study of weather and seasons)
• Snack (food preparation, cooking, nutrition)
• Play equipment and creative materials for independent or guided learning in math
(blocks, puzzles, games, educational materials, toys)
• Writing center (paper, markers, scissors, glue, dictation, dramatic play)
The Value of Play
Our program is founded on the belief that play is the most developmentally appropriate and productive avenue for young children’s learning. It is the child’s way of exploring the physical world, of relating to others, of organizing ideas, knowledge, and feelings, of adjusting to the demands of the environment, of releasing tensions, and solving emotional problems. Because true play is inherently individual and has no pre-determined expectations, there is no “failure” in play. Each child is free to succeed at self-chosen tasks, and this success leads to feelings of competence, self-worth, and willingness to explore and to try new things.
Every area of development is enhanced through self-directed play. Through play,
children develop physical skills and coordination of large and small muscles. They explore objects and materials and discover what can be done with them. They practice skills useful to later school learning, such as visual discrimination, recognition of patterns, pre-reading and writing skills, and refined hand and eye movements.
In stacking and building with blocks, children learn about spatial relationships, balance, weight, and gravity. In sand and water play, they explore concepts of volume, weight, and comparison. During dramatic play, children practice social roles, develop communication skills, and expand their understanding of their own and others’ feelings. At a time when language ability is insufficient to fully convey feelings and frustrations, play provides an effective avenue for self-expression. Perhaps most importantly of all, children discover their own personality in play and develop confidence in their own ability to deal with the world around them.
Play has all the characteristics of a complete educational process. It secures concentration for a great length of time. It develops initiative, imagination, and intense interest. There is complete emotional involvement. No other activity calls so fully on the resources of effort and energy within each child. Play is the most complete of all the educational processes, for it influences the intellect, the emotions, and the body of the child.
Our approach to discipline at Tiny Tots is an extension of our philosophy on how young children learn, grow, and develop. We provide a stimulating and loving environment that fully intrigues and involves children and that affords them the right and ability to make real choices leading to natural consequences.
It further protects the rights of each individual child and promotes the development of inner controls leading to self-discipline. Classroom rules are limited and are designed to protect persons and property, and to promote pro-social behaviors such as sharing, taking turns, and tolerance of individual differences as children are developmentally able to comprehend and act on such concepts.
At Tiny Tots, our primary means for effective behavior management focuses on
recognizing and encouraging the desired behaviors of the child. If problems do arise, the teacher:
1. Verbally reminds a child in positive terms of acceptable behaviors (i.e. “Blocks are for building, not for throwing. Let’s see what we can build with these blocks.”);
2. Redirects a child’s activity to an area that may be more calming or involving (i.e. water/sand play, play dough);
3. Only if necessary, removes the child from the immediate activity briefly until she/he is able to regain a measure of self-control. This calming time is taken near the activity center, not in isolation, and generally the child determines when she/he is ready to re-enter the activity.
The goal is not to embarrass or call attention to the child, but to offer a brief respite from activity so that the child can gain control of his/her own behavior once more. At no time is corporal punishment, intimidation, shaming, shouting, or other forms of humiliating and/or frightening “discipline” tolerated. It is our belief that while some behaviors cannot be accepted, each child must always be and feel accepted and loved. An example of patience, love, positive guidance, and forgiveness is the foundation of our philosophy as a Church-related early childhood program.
A SAFE SPOT is also used as a child-led form of behavior self-modification. Each
classroom has an area labeled “SAFE SPOT” where a child is encouraged to go in the event that he/she just needs to “take a break” or “cool down”. The SAFE SPOT area may include calming activities such as a lava lamp, feelings books, pillows, sensory activities or other age-appropriate manipulative. This area is NEVER used as a form of discipline, nor is it teacher-directed.
Organization and Staff
The mission of the First United Methodist Church Faith Based Learning center, Tiny Tots, is to provide a sound early childhood program in a Christian setting. The program is operated by the Tiny Tots Advisory Board comprised of the Pastor, Director, Business Manager, parent representatives, church members and various persons responsible for the educational ministries of FUMC. The Advisory Board meets quarterly (January, April, July, and October).
Tiny Tots is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and has begun the process of becoming accredited through UMAP (United Methodist Association of Preschools). Accreditation with UMAP involves a comprehensive process of self-study and professional review to verify compliance with UMAP’s criteria for a high quality early childhood program. It exceeds all criteria regarding staffing, curriculum implementation, administration, and health and safety standards.
Our teachers are hired on the basis of educational background, appropriate experience, and demonstrated skill in working with young children. They must meet at minimum the training requirements set by the Department of Children and Families to work in a childcare setting, prior to being considered for a position at Tiny Tots. Above all, they are warm, loving people with a deep and growing Christian faith and a commitment to provide the best possible preschool experience for your child.
All teachers and staff are background-checked and screened prior to employment.
Teachers are certified in American Red Cross First Aid/CPR, and all are required to continue their professional development by annually attending a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education events in the field of early childhood education.
Tuition and Fees
Wait List Fee:
There is a fee of $25 for placement on the wait list for enrollment. This fee is nonrefundable and does not guarantee a spot for your child. It simply places your child on the wait list for the appropriate classroom. Once a spot is available for your child, the wait list fee will be deducted from the appropriate Registration Fee. If a parent is requesting to enroll multiple children, a wait list fee must be collected for each child.
Full-Time Annual Non-refundable Registration Fee:
Individual: $75.00 Family: $125.00
Part-Time Annual Non-refundable Registration Fee:
Individual: $50.00 Family: $105.00
Registration fees are used to cover administrative costs. These fees are non-refundable and will not be applied toward tuition. To secure admission for a new child, the registration fee must accompany a Temporary Enrollment Form. The registration fee for a returning child must be paid no later than July 1st in order to prevent his/her space from being released to a child on the wait list. Proof of identity in the form of your child’s birth certificate, medical forms from your child’s pediatrician and a completed Enrollment Packet are required for admission.
Eligibility for enrollment is without regard to religious preference, race or ethnic
background. Enrollment of a child with special needs shall be considered on a case-by-case basis. Enrollment must have prior approval by the Director after consulting with parents/guardians and other professionals.
Tuition is subject to an annual review and may be changed with the approval of the Tiny Tots Advisory Board. You will be given a 30-day notice prior to any changes in tuition or fees. All accounts must be current for each week, and you are welcome to make weekly, bi-weekly or monthly payments. Tuition has been divided into 51 equal amounts for your convenience. You will pay no tuition for the full week of Christmas Break when the school is closed.
Tuition will not be pro-rated or excused for days missed due to illness or other
unforeseen circumstances. In the event of school closings due to severe weather conditions, as a health precaution, or due to reasons beyond the control of the school, tuition shall continue to be charged. All fees may be made in the form of cash, credit card, debit card, money order or check. Checks/money orders should be written to Tiny Tots and include your child’s name in the memo portion of the check/money order. A fee of $30 will be assessed on any check returned by the bank due to insufficient funds. If you wish to have a weekly receipt of payment, please see the Director or Business Manager.
*Because of DCF ratio requirements, rates are based on the classroom your child is assigned to, NOT his/her age.
Part -time drop off shall be no earlier than 8:45 a.m., part-time pick-up no later than 3:00 p.m.
Pre K & VPK Programs and Fees
Each schools Four-year old program is run differently, at Tiny Tots of Apopka there is no difference in student-teacher ratios, curriculum or teacher training between the state funded VPK programs and parental funded Tiny Tots Pre K program. It is simply parental choice/preference. Listed below is information about the programs offered at Tiny Tots of Apopka for our Four-year olds.
|Break down of the Florida’s VPK Program*Parents must provide a Letter of Eligibility from the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County granting your child’s participation in the VPK program. www.elcorangecounty.org *Parents/Guardians with children enrolled in the state-funded VPK program must read and follow the parent polices set forth in the VPK Agreement packet and Tiny Tots of Apopka Parent Handbook. Including but not limited to the attendance policy.
*Sibling discounts and Church Member discounts are not available
for students receiving VPK funds.
*The VPK program at Tiny Tots of Apopka follows the OCPS school calendar. Whenever, OCPS is closed, care will be available for children participating in the VPK program at an added fee because funding from the state is not provided. If care is NOT needed, no additional fees are due.
*The VPK program at Tiny Tots of Apopka begins August 18, 2014 and ends June 3, 2015. Summer care is available at an additional fee.
*There is no registration fee due for children participating in the FREE portion of the VPK program. A $75.00 registration fee is due for children participating in the VPK wrap program.
|ACTIVE FUMC Members||Non-Members|
|9 a.m. -12 p.m. VPK Program||FREE||FREE|
|Full-day VPK Program weekly rate||$100.00||$100.00|
|Part-time VPK Program weekly rate (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)||$75.00||$75.00|
|Tiny Tots Pre K daily rate||$20.00||$20.00|
|Break down of the Tiny Tots Pre K Program*Parents/Guardians with children enrolled in the non- state-funded Pre K program must read and follow the parent polices set forth in the Tiny Tots of Apopka Parent Handbook. There is no attendance policy that must be followed, nor are there additional parental agreements to sign. *Sibling discounts and Church Member discounts ARE available for students enrolled in this program.
*The PreK program at Tiny Tots of Apopka is a year round program; there are no additional tuition related fees that will be added to your child’s weekly tuition.
*A $75.00 registration fee is due for children participating in the PreK program.
|ACTIVE FUMC Members||Non-Members|
|Tiny Tots Pre K full time- weekly rate||$120.00||$130.00|
|Tiny Tots Pre K part-time weekly rate (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)||$85.00||$95.00|
ALL payments shall be delivered by an adult to the Director’s office and placed in the tuition box. If you wish to pay by cash, only exact change will be accepted, as cash is not stored on the property. Online payments may be made using the www.cakechildcare.com software program. The account number will be your child’s name.
• Families with more than one child enrolled will receive a 10% discount on the second child’s tuition.
• Active church members of FUMC receive $5.00 off the weekly tuition rate.
• Families that are eligible for both the church & sibling discount will receive whichever one is greater.
• Because of the financial obligations of our budget, we do not accept post-dated checks, nor will we hold checks for delayed deposit.
• Refunds are not available. Any overpayment of fees will be credited to your account. If a child is withdrawn with a credit in the account, those monies are forfeited to the school. No refund checks will be written at any time.
We are a developmental center. Progressions and/or advancements of a child from one class/age category to another are based on both age and developmental level. As a child grows, he/she will be assessed developmentally and will be moved to the next class in order to provide age and developmentally appropriate learning experiences with his/her peers.
Tuition Due Dates and Penalties
Tuition is due by 6:00 p.m. on the first business day of each week. If your child is absent on that day, tuition is due the first day he/she returns to school. A fee of $20 will be assessed for a delinquent tuition payment received after the due date. If tuition is more than one week in arrears, the family will be contacted by the Director to discuss if there are other concerns, and to determine if they wish to discontinue their child’s enrollment. If no effort is made to clear the delinquent account, the child will be withdrawn, and the space will be filled from the wait list.
If a child is absent from class for an extended period due to illness, vacation or for any other reason, but expects to return to school and desires a place reserved, tuition will be charged during the period of absence. Tuition rates are not prorated, regardless of the number of days per week he/she is in attendance.
All enrolled students, are granted two weeks of each year (July 31, 2014-August 1, 2015) to be designated as VACATION WEEKS, for which they will pay one-half their regular tuition. This vacation time must be taken in increments of five consecutive days, in the same week, Monday-Friday. A Vacation Request Form must be submitted to the Director or Business Manager. Vacation weeks may not be carried forward to the next year. Vacation weeks may not be used as part of the required two-week withdrawal notice.
Families who claim dependent childcare on Federal and State Tax returns may contact the Director or the Business Manager for documentation.
2014-2015 Tiny Tots of Apopka School Calendar
August 17 ………………………………Teacher Dedication Service / Open House
August 18 ………………………………………………………First Day of School
September 1 ……………………………………………..Labor Day School Closed
November 27&28 ……………………………..Thanksgiving Break School Closed
December 22-26 …………………………………..Christmas Break School Closed
January 1&2 …………………………………..New Year’s Holiday School Closed
January 19 …………………………Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday School Closed
February 16………………………………..President’s Day Holiday School Closed
April 3……………………………..………………….. Good Friday School Closed
May 25 ………………………………………………Memorial Day School Closed
June 5………………………………………………………………Last Day of VPK
July 4 ……………………………………………Independence Day School Closed
August 14……………………………………… In-Service Training School Closed
*In order for Tiny Tots to maintain a competitive edge in recruiting and sustaining
teachers, it is important to offer our teachers the same benefits as surrounding private and public schools. Please review the school calendar and note each day that Tiny Tots will be closed. The calendar is subject to change.
We are a year-round school. However, we are closed several days during the year to accommodate for training, continuing education classes, etc. We strive to meet the needs of our Tiny Tots families while still providing ample times of continued education and rest for our teachers. Maintaining a positive morale and working environment is important in order to provide a highly qualified, strong and well-educated staff\
2014-2015 Tiny Tots of Apopka VPK Calendar
August 17 ………………………………Teacher Dedication Service / Open House
August 18 …………………………………………………………First Day of VPK
September 1 ……………………………………………………Labor Day NO VPK
October 23&24…………………………………………………….………NO VPK
November 24-28 ……..…………………….……….Thanksgiving Break NO VPK
December 22-26 …………………………………………Christmas Break NO VPK
December 29-January 2 ……………………………………………………NO VPK
January 19 ……………………….………Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday NO VPK
February 16…………………….………………..President’s Day Holiday NO VPK
March 20……………………………………………………………..……NO VPK
March 23-27……………………………………………………………….NO VPK
April 3……………………………..………………….. …….Good Friday NO VPK
May 25 ………………………………………….…………Memorial Day NO VPK
June 5………………………………………………………………Last Day of VPK
If OCPS schools are closed due to severe weather, Tiny Tots will also be closed. Please call the school for more information (407-814-4811) , or visit our website, www.tinytotsofapopka.com.
If, during the school term, a family finds it necessary to withdraw their child from the program, notice must be given in writing two weeks in advance. Failure to comply with the withdrawal procedure may result in retention of your child’s medical records, classroom evaluations, and will be disqualified for re-enrollment.
Should a child become unable or unwilling to participate meaningfully in the group, or if the child presents a danger to other children, or if he/she is a continual disruption to the class within the teacher/child ratio, the family will be called for consultation. The family and staff may work out the child’s continuation for a trial period, and the Director will assess and approve any special staffing/materials needed during this time. After a trial period and consultation with parents and teachers, the Director shall make a final decision regarding the child’s continuation or withdrawal from the program.
Immunization and Well-Check Forms
The health, safety, and well being of your child are very important to us. There are
specific forms required as a condition of admission to Tiny Tots and must be turned in within 30 days of your child’s start date. These forms are available in your child’s pediatrician’s office and must be signed and dated by your child’s pediatrician, stating that she/he is healthy and able to participate in typical school activities. Each form has an expiration date, and you will be notified 30 days prior to the expiration dates. Your child will not be permitted to attend Tiny Tots with an expired form.
Some pediatricians require notice before providing the above forms. You might call the doctor’s office prior to your child’s appointment. If the form’s expiration date is before your child’s appointment, ask the doctor to extend the date on the current form to be after the appointment date. Check the forms for accuracy before leaving the office. The forms may be faxed. Please see Appendix I on the last page of this Handbook for more information.
Procedure for Illness
If your child is sent home with fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms considered to be contagious, he/she may not return to Tiny Tots until at least 24 hours have passed and all symptoms are gone (symptoms include, but are not limited to, pulling on ears, runny nose, loss of appetite, cranky or lethargic). This policy is for your child’s protection, as well as for all the other children. We are not equipped to care for sick children, nor do we want to endanger the health of the other children in our care. We will call you if your child is inconsolable from feeling poorly, or if your child has a condition needing medical attention. If your child becomes ill at home, the same 24-hour rule applies.
Please keep your child at home if he/she exhibits the following:
1. Head lice: a child may return the next day as long as the following is provided (as stated by DCF): a product box, box top, empty bottle, or signed statement by a custodial parent or legal guardian that treatment has occurred;
2. Severe coughing, causing a child’s face to become red or blue, or making a whooping sound;
3. Difficult or rapid breathing;
4. Stiff neck;
5. Diarrhea (more than one loose stool within a 24 hour period), or vomiting;
6. A fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher;
7. Pink Eye;
8. Exposed, open skin lesions;
9. Unusually dark urine and/or gray or white stool;
10. Yellowish skin or eyes; or
11. Any other unusual sign or symptom of illness.
A child exhibiting these signs or symptoms must remain at home, or must be picked up from the center within one hour of notification if the child is in attendance. A child may not return without medical authorization, or until the signs and symptoms of the illness/disease are no longer present. We will notify families of any exposure to communicable diseases in the center. We take proper precautions to halt the spread of infections through the school while still maintaining confidentiality. The Director will make the final decision on when a child may return to the center.
All children are expected to participate daily in outdoor play, weather permitting.
Outdoor play is necessary for good physical development and general overall health. Do not send your child to school if she/he is not well enough to participate in outdoor activities. We are not staffed to watch a child inside during this period, as teachers are required to supervise their class when outdoors.
Preschool attendance is not required by law, but we do record attendance each day.
Please telephone or e-mail the Director if your child will be absent.
To help maintain a safe environment for our children, all of our office and teaching staff maintain current, up-to-date First Aid and CPR certifications. In the event of an accident or other medical emergency, every effort will be made to immediately notify a parent or designated emergency contact person.
An Emergency Care Form is filed on each child at the beginning of each school year. This form will grant permission for Tiny Tots to take whatever steps necessary to obtain emergency medical care in the event parents or designated emergency contacts cannot be reached. If the emergency warrants immediate medical attention, we will first call 911, and the child will be transported to the nearest medical facility. Continued effort will be made to reach the parents.
Procedures for Administering Medication
We will be happy to administer medications to your child upon receiving a completed and current Medication Authorization Form for our files. These forms are valid for six months. The medication must be in the original container and must be properly labeled with the child’s name, dosage, date, and the prescribing physician’s name and phone number. All over-the counter medication must be labeled for proper dosages. If the child is younger than the age
recommended for the least dosage, we must have a doctor’s note stating the proper adjusted dosage for your child.
Parents must provide a dosing dispenser. Dosage on the dispenser and the prescription must match. Parents may not dispense medication by placing it in a child’s bottle, cup or food. Upon discovery of such a situation, we will call and ask that you come pick up your child. Medication will not be administered unless the above procedures are followed. Tylenol, Motrin, or other medications will not be administered at the school to control a fever.
Emergency medications provided by the child’s pediatrician must be immediately
available for severe allergic reactions (bee stings, food allergies, etc.), serious medical conditions and other emergency situations. Information about such severe health situations must be reported on the Emergency Care Form, and Medication Authorization Forms must be signed by both the prescribing pediatrician and the parent each school year. We require that all such medications be provided on your child’s first school day and remain at school. Parents will be responsible for ensuring that the medication is current and will not expire during the course of the school year. In the event that the child’s emergency medication is administered, the doctor’s instructions will be followed.
Emergency Preparedness Plan
First United Methodist Church has an Emergency Preparedness Plan. The plan provides for Fire, Tornado/Hurricane, Intruder, Terrorism and Missing Child. Please ask the Director if you would like to see a copy of this documentation and plan. Drills are conducted monthly.
Children learn through active exploration of the classroom and playground. They need to feel free to enter activities without fear of damaging their clothing. Please dress your child in comfortable, durable clothing. Because our playground has climbers and is surfaced with rubber mulch, we ask that you send your child in shoes that completely enclose the feet and have soles that are safe for climbing. Sandals are often uncomfortable on the playground surface. SHOES MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES. Clothing should be easy for children to learn to manage themselves as they grow and develop-zippers instead of buttons, mittens instead of gloves, etc. We will use the playground daily unless it is raining or extremely hot/cold. Please support this policy by dressing your child appropriately for any type of weather: sun, rain, snow, mud, or cold. Remember to pack an extra set of clothing for your child each day. You may choose to leave the extra set of clothing in your child’s backpack or cubby.
Personal Care Supplies
It is your responsibility to make sure your child has all the supplies he/she will need while in our care. These items include, but are not limited to diapers, wipes, lunch, snacks, drinks and a change of clothing in case of an accident or spill. If we find that a child is out of these basic necessities, you will be notified immediately to resupply the necessary items.
Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks
All formula and breast milk must be freshly prepared daily and placed in individual
bottles labeled with the date and your child’s first and last name. Bottles are kept refrigerated until feeding times and then warmed in warm water. No cereal may be mixed in bottles. Baby food and finger food should be ready to serve, requiring minimal preparation by the teachers. Be sure to label all bottles, caps, and food containers. We ask that you only pack plastic bottles/cups, as glass poses a safety hazard.
We are happy to assist parents with feeding arrangements to allow for continuation of a successful breastfeeding relationship after returning to work or school. We do, however, require infants to be able to take a bottle or cup before starting childcare. Mothers are welcome to stop in during the day for breastfeeding.
From 6:30-7:30 am, we will be happy to serve your child a breakfast that you have
provided. If your child arrives after 7:30 a.m., we ask that he/she will have already eaten breakfast at home so that our school day may progress on schedule. After 7:30 a.m., the next time your child will eat will be morning snack.
You will need to pack a lunch and drink for your child. Frozen drink boxes provide a cold pack to help keep the lunch cool, and are melted and cool for drinking by lunchtime. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be cut into bite-sized pieces before packing them for lunch. If a child needs a spoon, please furnish one. Because teachers are supervising several children, we have found that sandwiches and finger foods work best at lunchtime.
Snack time is provided daily each morning and afternoon. Please include in your child’s lunch box a “snack bag” for snack times. Bite-sized pieces of fruit, crackers, Goldfish, celery sticks, etc. work well at snack time. Candy, cookies, cakes, etc. are discouraged because of their high sugar content. You may want to include an additional drink for snack. Every child will have a cubby assigned to him/her. Please place your child’s lunch box in the cubby each morning. Properly label your child’s lunch box and its contents to avoid any mix-ups or lost items. We ask that you only pack plastic containers, as glass poses a safety hazard. All food and drinks should be ready to serve, requiring minimum preparation by teachers. Remember to pack a spoon or fork for your child each day.
Special Snacks and Treats
Due to allergies and dietary restrictions, it is our school policy that parents will be
notified BEFORE any special snack or treat is given. This includes birthday cupcakes or treats. Please notify your child’s teacher two-weeks prior to bringing in any special snacks/treats. Teachers frequently plan simple food preparation projects for small group or individual classroom activities, designed to reinforce an idea, concept, or theme being explored with the children. Fruits and vegetables may be included, as well as items such as pudding, easy-bake cookies, raw vegetables and biscuits. You will often hear from your child or teacher about these special food experiences. If children have special dietary requirements or allergies, teachers will work with you to provide suitable alternatives. Children are encouraged to try different foods, but may choose not to participate.
All children are required to rest quietly on a mat at naptime. If it will help your child rest more comfortably, he/she may bring a small item from home (small pillow, sheet, stuffed animal). These items will be stored in the cubbies and will only be used at naptime. One regulation cot (as required by The Department of Children and Families) is furnished for each child upon enrollment.
Arrival and Pick-up
When driving in the church parking lot, please use extreme caution, traveling at a speed of less than 5 mph, hold your child by the hand at all times and be watchful of other parents and children. Parents are responsible for signing each child in and out daily, using the kiosk in the Director’s office. Parents shall at all times make certain a teacher is present before leaving a child. Consistency with your child’s drop off routine will help in making your child’s day start smoothly. Choose an activity he/she seems to enjoy for a quick goodbye. To avoid distractions, if parents wish to visit with one another, please do so outside the classroom. If your child is ever reluctant to stay, follow the guidance of the teacher in handling such situations.
Circle time begins at 9:00am every day. We prefer you drop off your child prior to the start of Circle Time. This allows him/her to begin the day with consistency and dive into the morning time of welcome and curriculum. Nap occurs daily between 12:30pm and 2:30pm. We ask that children do not arrive or depart during this time if at all possible.
When picking up your child, please check the Communication Crate in your child’s classroom for Daily Reports, artwork, or communication from the office/church, etc. Do not forget to check your child’s cubby for soiled clothing, blankets, sheets, etc. ALL nap items must be taken home each Friday to be laundered and returned the following Monday or school day.
If someone other than the parent/guardian is dropping your child off, please make sure he/she is listed on your child’s Enrollment Form, as permitted to pick your child up. If the person is not listed, WE WILL NOT RELEASE YOUR CHILD!
For the safety of your child, any changes to your child’s pick up list MUST be made in person by the child’s legal parent/guardian at the Front Desk. We will not release your child to someone other than the individuals listed on the pick-up list. Changes made through faxes and phone calls are not permitted.
Tiny Tots of Apopka reserves the right to ask to see a photo ID before we release a child to any individual. We also reserve the right not release your child to individuals who appear to be impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Open Door Policy
Parents of currently enrolled children are welcome to visit anytime during regular hours of operation. Feel free to drop in and check on your child. However, a child adjusting to new surroundings will want to leave with you if you pop in for a visit. Please consider your child’s schedule when dropping in or calling, and remember that visitors usually cause children to react in an excited manner that does not normally occur.
Family involvement helps enhance the quality of our Preschool. Tiny Tots welcomes parents to visit and observe at any time, although teachers may find it necessary to limit the number of persons who can visit at any one time. Please consult with your child’s teacher in regard to scheduling a visit. Children look forward to having family members come into the classroom to join the circle, cook, read a story, or present an activity. We encourage parents to volunteer their help and various talents to extend the teachers’ programs. However, classroom time is not appropriate for conferring with the teacher about your child. Please see the Director to schedule a formal conference meeting if necessary. Siblings and non-registered children may not spend extended time in classrooms and may not be left unattended. Prior to volunteer participation, you will be required to review the “Guidelines for the Protection of Children and Youth” available from the church. Please see the Director for more information.
Birthdays and Special Events
We strive to offer a peanut-free environment in our classrooms, and all products
containing traces of peanuts or peanut oils should be avoided. All snacks provided for special events or birthdays must be pre-approved by the Director and brought to the Director’s office for distribution to the classroom. Baked goods from home, pre-opened foods, or those missing a nutritional label will not be distributed to our students. Please notify the Director if you wish to provide snacks for a special day. Throughout the year, you will be provided a daily schedule for each class and a calendar showing school holidays, dates for in-house field trips and activities. Teachers will only distribute party invitations to students if every child in the class is invited. If you choose to invite only certain children to your child’s party, distribution of invitations must take place outside of school.
Items from home
It is requested that children limit items brought from home. Some teachers assign “Show and Share” days to emphasize sharing. Toy guns, knives and toys that encourage rough and violent play are to be left at home. Expensive or fragile electronic toys may not be suitable to bring, as all of the children will want to touch or operate them. Pets, interesting nature items, and many other items are welcome additions to our classrooms. If you have questions, please check with your child’s teachers in advance to avoid any potential conflicts. All personal items brought from home must be labeled with your child’s FIRST and LAST NAME.
Access to student documentation (registration, medical, evaluations, etc.) is available to preschool staff only on an `as needed` basis, and to the child’s parents upon request. Documentation is kept secured in the Director’s office. Assessment information is used as a tool to help preschool staff and the child’s family to assist the child in physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. Information regarding your child will be released to outside agencies only with parent or guardian written consent.
We believe in open communication at all times between families and the Preschool. You will receive monthly newsletters and calendars from your child’s teacher that will provide specifics about the curriculum, birthdays, events, and plans. You will also receive a newsletter from the Director that gives a general school-wide calendar and articles of interest. We have many resources available to you pertaining to child development, education, parenting, etc. The office maintains an extensive library of articles on myriad topics. Please feel free to ask for information on topics of interest to you. We would like our working parents to be informed about their child’s preschool day. Please telephone the teachers and ask any questions you might have, or telephone the office. We are available as partners in your child’s early education!
CHILD CARE PROGRAM LICENSING INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
The Florida Department of Children and Families helps assure parents that child day programs that assume responsibility for the supervision, protection, and well-being of a child for any part of a 24-hour day are safe. While there are some legislative exemptions to licensure, licensed programs include child day centers, family day homes, child day center systems, and family day systems. The state may also voluntarily register family day homes not required to be licensed. Standards for licensed child day centers address certain health precautions, adequate play space, a ratio of children per staff member, equipment, program, and record keeping. Criminal record checks and specific qualifications for staff and most volunteers working directly with children are also required. Standards require the facility to meet applicable fire, health, and building codes. Compliance with standards is determined by announced and unannounced visits to the program by licensing staff within the Department of Children and Families. If you would like additional information about the licensing of child day programs, or would like to register a complaint, please contact The Department of Children and Families.
As stated in the Department of Children and Families Florida Administrative Code:
Childcare Standards 65C-22.
006 Record Keeping
(a) The childcare facility is responsible for obtaining for each child in care a current, complete and properly executed Student Health Examination form DH 3040 (June 2002), which is incorporated herein by reference and may be obtained from the local county health department, from the parent or legal guardian or a signed statement by authorized professionals that indicates the results of the components of the Student Health Examination form are included in the health examination. The Student Health Examination shall be completed by a person given statutory authority to perform health examinations.
(b) The Student Health Examination or the signed statement is valid for two years from the date the physical was performed. An up-to-date version must be on file for as long as the child is enrolled at the facility.
(c) The childcare facility is responsible for obtaining for each child in care a current, complete and properly executed Florida Certification of Immunization form Part A-1, B, or C, DH 680 (July 2010) or the Religious Exemption from Immunization form, DH 681 (July 2008), which are incorporated herein by reference, from the custodial parent or legal guardian. DH Form 680 and DH Form 681 may be obtained from the local county health department. Immunizations received out-of-state are acceptable; however immunizations must be documented on the Florida Certification of Immunization form and must be signed by a physician practicing in the State of Florida. Specific immunization requirements are included and detailed in the most current edition of the “Immunization Guidelines-Florida Schools, Child Care Facilities and Family Day Care Homes” as promulgated by the Florida Department of Health. (d) If the custodial parents or legal guardians fail to provide the documentation required in paragraph (a) or (c) above within 30 days of enrollment, the facility shall not allow the child to remain in the program. Rulemaking Authority 402.305 FS. Law Implemented 402.305 FS. History–New 6-1-97, Amended 7-2-98, 3-17-99, 7-26-00, 1-4-01, 7-13-03, 9-12-04, 4-12-07, 5-1-08, 1-13-10, 8-1-13.