We've assembled this list of the questions we are most frequently asked, and we hope you'll find the answer to your question here.  

If you don't find an answer to your question here or if you would like additional details, please feel free to contact us at (920) 739-3840.

A TYPICAL DAY

1.  What are the operating hours of the center?

6:45am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday

2.  What are the center’s office hours?

The main office is typically open between the hours of 8:00am and 5:30pm, Monday through Friday.

3.  Do the children go outside every day?

Children are scheduled to go outside every morning and afternoon, depending upon weather conditions. 

If the temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit actual temperature or with the wind chill, children ages 2 and older will go outside. 

If the temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit actual temperature or with the wind chill, children age 1 will go outside.

4.  Are parental visits allowed during the day?

Parents are welcome to visit their child at any time during the day.  We ask that parents talk with their child’s teacher to find out the best time during the daily class activities to visit.

5.  Can I call to check on my child during the day?

We welcome parents to call any time with questions or to simply see how their child is doing that day.

6.  Is there a nap or quiet time during the day?

All day children, under the age of five, must rest for 30 minutes during the center’s designated rest period.  Each child will have his/her own, labeled cot, cot sheet and blanket.  (Blanket provided by parent or guardian.)  Children who are not required to rest will be involved in afternoon activities, in the rooms, under adult supervision.

Those who have rested or slept may get up after the 30-minute period and interact with other children in the room.

7.  How should I dress my child?

Child should wear seasonally appropriate clothing and shoes throughout the year.  We ask that parents not send their child in flip flops or shoes with higher heels.  A winter jacket, snow pants, boots, a hat and mittens are needed during winter months when the temperature goes below 40 degrees.  Your child will be engaged in all types of activities; some of which may get messy.  Please have your child dress in clothing appropriate for these activities.

ACADEMICS AND CHILD ENRICHMENT

1.  What will my child be learning; Is there a specialized curriculum followed?

The following is an explanation of the High/Scope curriculum that we use here at Bridges CEC.  This should help you to have a better understanding about the curriculum planned by the teachers, as well as how your child’s day is structured around the High/Scope approach to learning.

The High/Scope Educational Research Foundation bases its educational approach on four guiding principles:

  • From birth through adulthood, the individual develops awareness and understanding through active involvement with people, materials, events, and ideas.
  • Learning is most effective when the individual plans, carries out, and reflects on intentional activities.
  • A variety of developmentally appropriate active learning experiences contributes to the individual’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development.
  • Consistent support and respect for personal decision-making strengthen the individual’s confidence, self-control, and sense of personal effectiveness and responsibility.

The fundamental premise of the High/Scope Curriculum is that children are active learners who learn best from activities they plan and carry out themselves.  Our daily routine is a plan-do-review sequence that incorporates clean-up and small/large-group activities.  The plan-do-review cycle permits children to make choices about their activities and keeps the teacher intimately involved in the whole process.  The curriculum is based around a set of developmental guidelines called “key experiences”.  Each classroom will focus on one key experience a week and develop age-appropriate activities around this.  If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to talk with your child’s teacher.

Please click on the following link for additional information from the High/Scope website.  http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=1

2.  What is the center’s philosophy of learning and education?

The program, as a multi-cultural day care center, feels it is the basic right of every child to feel a sense of identity, purpose and self-esteem, derived in part from each child's cultural heritage. We feel that each child is unique and deserves the opportunity to grow and experience that uniqueness. Through a program designed to be stimulating and accepting of individual differences, we strive to present a program that develops the whole child.

Infants and Toddlers:

Children ages six weeks to two years have ample room to explore and experience the world around them.  Secure surroundings and plenty of adult interaction create strong foundations for a good beginning.

Two-Year Olds:

Emerging skills are recognized and fostered through a careful balance of independent and group activities.  A safe and creative classroom environment offers choices for active learning.

Preschoolers:

Children age three to six are encouraged to explore and discover through their own first-hand experiences.  Learning areas and activities include: block building, art, music, dramatic play, language activities and plenty of teaching toys.  Fostering new friendships is an important part of the preschool-age program.  Challenging materials and activities are available to stimulate and engage children in the learning process.  Through the children's daily planning, new ideas are explored.  Individual interests are pursued while still allowing ample time for group activities.

Our program serves as an extension of the family.  We bring together both parents and teachers in an effort to provide each child the opportunity for happy and healthy development.

3.  Is there a behavior guidance policy?

Our goal is to help children build self-control, not to have them behave through adult imposed controls.  Effective discipline aims at preserving a child's self-esteem.

  1. It is the desire of the staff to direct their effort and reinforce children in the act of "being good."  Our goal is to praise children when behaviors are appropriate and redirect those behaviors that are not.
  2. When a problem occurs that cannot be handled through redirection, children ages three and over may be involved in the discipline technique time out.  In the event that a child is involved in causing physical or emotional harm to him/herself or others, or continually misuses equipment, s/he will be removed from the group/situation in order to calm down and discuss with the teacher alternate and appropriate behaviors.
  3. Good communication between parents and staff is essential.  It is very important that all adults are consistent in their approach to solving behavior "problems".  Staff will make every effort to provide both positive and negative feedback about children to their parents.  We ask that parents do this as well.

4.  Do you offer extra-curricular programs or field trips?  Is there a cost?

An annual summer fee will be charged to those families attending the center during the summer program, to cover the cost of special programs, projects, field trip admissions and transportation.

5.  What are the qualifications for the educators?

Director:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field with 45 semester hours in child development or early childhood education, including 300 hours of supervised teaching experience in an early childhood program. 
  • Fifteen semester hours in any of the following areas:  human resource management; legal issues, licensing, and regulations; program evaluation; financial management; proposal writing; public policy and child advocacy; or organization and administration of early childhood programs.
  • Three years of successful teaching experience.

Program Director:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field with 45 semester hours in child development or early childhood education, including 300 hours of supervised teaching experience in an early childhood program.
  • Fifteen semester hours of course work in any of the following areas:  group dynamics; child, family, and community; curriculum development; curriculum evaluation; supervision and staff development; or program evaluation.
  • Three years of successful teaching experience.

Teacher:

  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field, with 30 semester hours of professional studies in child development/early childhood education.  300 hours of supervised teaching experience in an early childhood program.

Assistant Teacher:

  • Eighty hours of Early Childhood and Infant and Toddler training (if applicable).  *Assistant Teachers without early childhood education experience will enroll in classes or correspondence class within 6 months of beginning employment.  CDA/NAEYC approved CDA equivalent (or willingness to complete) preferred.

6.  What is the student / educator ratio? 

Minimum Number of Child Care Workers and Maximum Group Size
in Group Child Care Centers
Age of Children Minimum Number of Child Care Workers to Children Maximum Number of Children in a Group
Birth to 2 Years 1:4 8
2 Years to 2 1/2 Years 1:6 12
2 1/2 Years to 3 Years 1:8 16
3 Years to 4 Years 1:10 20
4 Years to 5 Years 1:13 24
5 Years to 6 Years 1:17 34
6 Years and Over 1:18 36
     
     
Bridges Child Enrichment Center
Minimum Number of Child Care Workers to Children
and Maximum Group Size
Classroom Minimum Number of Child Care Workers to Children Maximum Number of Children in Classroom
Acorn 1:3/4 7/8
Cedar 1:4 8
Poplar 1:7 14
Maple 1:11 22
Willow 1:11 22

7.  Is there interactive media used by the children?

The children use computers and tablets to play interactive games and watch educational videos.

8.  Is there testing done to measure learning / curriculum-based outcomes?

We use Teaching Strategies GOLD® assessment system.  “This is an authentic, observational assessment system for children from birth through kindergarten.  The system may be implemented with any developmentally appropriate curriculum. It blends ongoing observational assessment for all areas of development and learning with performance tasks for selected predictors of school success in the areas of literacy and numeracy.  Teaching Strategies GOLD® is inclusive of children with disabilities, children who are English-language learners, and children who demonstrate competencies beyond typical developmental expectations.”  “Teaching Strategies GOLD® focuses educators’ time by measuring the knowledge, skills, and behaviors most predictive of school success.  The tool has a total of 38 objectives, including 2 objectives related specifically to English language acquisition.  Thirty-six objectives are organized into nine areas of development and content-area learning:

  • Social-Emotional
  • Physical
  • Language
  • Cognitive
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies
  • The “Arts”
  • English Language Acquisition

 For additional information, please see the attached website at:  www.teachingstrategies.com

TUITION, ELIGIBILITY AND REGISTRATION

1.  Who is eligible to enroll in the center; what ages are served by the center?

We are dedicated to providing high quality care for children of diverse needs, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.  Children ages 6 weeks through 6 years of age are eligible to enroll in our program.

2.  What is the enrollment fee / process?

Parents seeking enrollment for their child are invited to visit the Center. The Director or Program Director will explain the mission and background of the organization, give a tour of the facility, introduce the staff, explain the curriculum and answer any questions the family may have. At that time, if the parent chooses to enroll their child, they will pay the required $50 / family registration fee and receive enrollment paperwork. The parent or child will then choose an "identification symbol" for the child to use while enrolled at the Center.

3.  Do you offer sliding scale fees?

Sliding Fee program funds may be available to those families who qualify based on income, and when funds are available.

4.  What are the payment options?

Payments are accepted in the form of cash in the exact amount, checks, money orders, electronic fund transfers, and online banking payments.

5.  Is there a discount for families with more than one child attending the center?

A 10% discount is offered off of the oldest child(ren)'s tuition, when a family has more than one child enrolled at the center.

6.  Is there a charge if a child is ill and unable to attend the center?

Each child has a reserved spot in our center. Our costs remain fixed even if a child is absent. If a child is absent for any reason, the parent is responsible for the full fee.

7.  Do families pay for days the center is closed, due to holidays, trainings, or emergency closures, etc?

Regular fees will be charged to families for holidays and trainings planned on the yearly calendar, as well as unplanned snow days.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

1. What kinds of meals are provided; is there a menu available for viewing on a regular basis?

We participate in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program. This program is offered through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Bureau of Food and Nutrition Services.

A variety of nourishing foods will be offered to each child, including foods from each food group, according to the child's developmental level and the parent's feeding schedule.

Menus are posted, and extras available for taking, on the large bulletin board located in the hallway on the way to the classrooms. Menus are also posted outside of each classroom, and on Bridges CEC’s Facebook page.

2. Do you provide formula and infant cereal / food for infants? Are families allowed to bring their own formula, breast milk or food?

Bridges CEC offers:
•  Iron fortified oatmeal and rice cereal
•  Iron fortified infant formula
•  Jars of commercial baby food: fruits and vegetables

Families may bring in their own infant formula, cereal and food. Any items brought from home shall be in un-opened, factory-sealed container labeled with the child’s complete name and date on which they were brought. Preparation will be according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Breast milk needs to be brought in in ready-to-feed sanitary containers labeled with the child’s complete name and date.

3. Are special needs menus offered?

Special diets, including food related allergies, nutrient concentrates and supplements, and types of food/ingredients needing to be avoided may be served only upon written request of a child’s physician and upon request of the parent.

Cheese and soy nut butter sandwiches, as well as other situationally appropriate items, are always available to those children on a vegetarian, kosher, etc. diet.

4. Who handles meal preparation?

Meals are prepared in the kitchen in the lower level. The kitchen manager plans menus weekly (which are repeated on a six-week rotation), orders food, shops for food and prepares meals according to the USDA Food Program Guidelines. Two hired cook staff prepare and serve all meals.

5.  Do children eat lunch in classrooms or in an open cafeteria?

Children eat meals in their classrooms. Meals are served family style and the children are given the opportunity to serve themselves and pour their own drink.

6. Can I bring a birthday treat for my child’s class?

Birthday treats are welcome, but not necessary. Nutritious snacks or non-food items (stickers, etc.) are suggested. All treats brought in for children must be purchased and not homemade. Many young children have food allergies so it is necessary to monitor ingredients for all items served at the center. We ask that the classroom teacher be notified, at least one day in advance, of when food items will be brought in. Treats will be served at lunch or snack time to all of the children in your child's class. Please check to see how many servings will be needed.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

1.  Do you conduct background checks for all employees?

The Department of Health and Family Services requires that every employee fill out a "Background Information Disclosure" upon hire.

The State of Wisconsin Department of Justice requires that "Criminal History Record Requests" be obtained from the state every year, for every employee.

The State of Wisconsin Department of Justice requires that "Fieldprint® LiveScan" fingerprint-based criminal background checks be obtained from the state upon hire.

2.  Is training provided to staff on how to handle evacuations and emergencies?

Contingency plans and other emergency policies are reviewed throughout the year. Evacuation and tornado safety procedures are practiced on a monthly basis.

CPR / AED and Pediatric First Aid workshops are conducted on a yearly basis.

3.  What are the security measures for releasing children?

Our office maintains files of names, addresses and phone numbers of persons authorized to pick up each child in our care. Staff must check an ID of any person who they are unfamiliar with. We will only release a child to a person from whom we have written consent by the custodial parents. Parents are responsible to keep this file current and must notify the office of changes in work places and new phone numbers.

4.  If it’s too warm / cold outside, are the children kept inside?

Children are scheduled to go outside every morning and afternoon. Depending upon weather conditions, children may remain indoors for large motor time.

  • If the temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit actual temperature or with the wind chill, children ages 2 and older will go outside.
  • If the temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit actual temperature or with the wind chill, children age 1 will go outside.
  • If the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher with the heat index, children of all ages will remain indoors.

If children stay inside, they will use the gym for large motor activities.

5.  Do you close for inclement weather?

In the event that Appleton Area School District announces a delay or closure due to severe weather, Bridges CEC will also be delayed or closed. Any delays or closings will be announced, as early in the morning as possible, on the following stations (Please note that some stations post child care centers on their website ONLY):

Radio Television
WHBY – 1150 AM WBAY (wbay.com) – ABC #2 or #3
WSCO – 1570 AM WFRV (wfrv.com) – CBS #5
WAPL – 105.7 FM WGBA (nbc26.com or wgba.com) – NBC #26
WKSZ – 95.9 FM WLUK (fox11online.com or wluk.com) – FOX11 #12
WZOR – 94.7 FM  
WECB – 104.3 FM  

 Again, if the Appleton Area School District is delayed or closed, BRIDGES CEC WILL ALSO BE DELAYED OR CLOSED per that announcement!! All partners in the CELC building will be following this protocol as well.

Should Appleton Area School District dismiss children early due to inclement weather, Bridges CEC office staff will contact all parents by phone to inform them of the situation. We ask that all children are then picked up as soon as it is safely possible.

For convenience, some stations offer email or text notification in the event of closings.

For example, the address below will take you to the required information on how to sign up for SMS text alerts on your cell phone. Please note: Text charges may apply for certain service carriers and are the sole responsibility of the cellular service plan subscriber. Bridges CEC shall not be held responsible for any charges you may incur for signing up for these types of alerts.

http://fox11online.com/sms-text-alerts/

6.  What is your child illness policy?

If a child is observed to have one or more of the following symptoms, the child will be sent home:

  • The child has a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or above. (Temperatures are taken under the arm or on the forehead with a Temporal Scanner, and one degree is added to the initial reading, when taken under the arm, to get final result)
  • The child is unusually fussy and/or not themselves
  • The child has had two or more episodes of diarrhea
  • The child is vomiting

When an ill child is sent home from the Center, s/he may not return to the Center for a minimum of 24 hours after symptoms have stopped. If a parent is called to pick up an ill child, arrangements should be made to be here within 60 minutes.

1.    When a child becomes ill at the Center the following procedures shall apply:

A.    Children with a sore throat, inflammation of eyes, fever, rash, lice, ringworm, diarrhea, or other illnesses or conditions shall be isolated.

1.    Isolation shall be in an area separated from space used by other children by partition, screen or other means.

2.    The child shall be provided with a bed, crib or cot with blanket in isolation area within sight and hearing of a staff person.

3.    Isolation shall be used until the child can be removed from the Center.

2.    The child’s parent or authorized person (when parent cannot be reached,) shall be contacted as soon as possible after the child is isolated. The child should be picked up from the Center within 60 minutes.

7.  How are medications administered / handled?

Prescription medication or nonprescription medication may be given to a child under the following conditions:

  • Parent has signed and dated an Authorization to Administer Medication form.
  • Prescription medication is in the original container and labeled with the child’s first and last name, name of drug, dosage, directions, date and physician’s name.
  • Non-prescription medication is labeled with child’s first and last name and the dosage and directions for administration.
  • A written report including medication, dosage, time, date and name of person administering the medication shall be kept in the Center’s medical log. Parents shall have access to their child’s entries in the medical log.
  • Any non-prescription medication, which states, “Consult a physician” for dosage, must be accompanied by a signed statement by the physician about the correct dosage, or the proper box is marked on the authorization sheet.

Medication is kept in a locked area, inaccessible to children, in a covered, labeled container.

Medication requiring refrigeration shall be kept in a refrigerator in a designated separate covered container clearly labeled ‘Medication’.

A sticker is placed on the child’s back, notifying staff of the date and time the medication is to be administered.

8.  How does a teacher handle a child / children being bullied or bitten; is there a disciplinary policy in place?

Bridges CEC recognizes that positive discipline teaches and encourages the healthy development of a child’s self-esteem, self-control, and respect for the rights of others. For children under three years of age, the redirection approach will be taken for all behavior problems. For children over three years of age, the following steps will be followed:

  1. We will redirect the behaviors that are not appropriate.
  2. When a problem occurs that cannot be handled through redirection, or in the event that a child is involved in causing physical or emotional harm to him/herself or others (bites), or continually misuses equipment, he/she will be removed from the group/situation in order to calm down and discuss with the teacher alternate and appropriate behaviors.
  3. Communication between parents and staff is essential. It is very important that all adults are consistent in their approach to solving behavior “problems”. Staff will make every effort to provide both positive and negative feedback about children to their parents. We ask parents to do this as well.
  4. We will try to key into your child’s feelings (why are you angry?, why are you sad?, etc.) and get them to express what made them react negatively so we can go on from there. We do not force a child to apologize. We do encourage him/her to do something to make the injured child feel better.
  5. If continuous disruption to other children in the classroom and constant staff attention is required, enrollment may be terminated. Every effort will be made to avoid this from occurring.
  6. Teachers will never raise their voices to the children. Whenever they need to discipline a child, they will talk one-on-one to the child in a calm voice on the child’s level. They will never yell across a room.
  7. A positive approach will be used at all times. Children will be told what to do rather than what not to do.
  8. The three basic rules of the center are:

   1. Be Kind
   2. Be Safe
   3. Be Helpful

The Director may require a child's parent to meet for a conference. The problem will be defined on paper. Goals will be established and the parent will be involved in creating approaches toward solving the problem.

If the initial plan for helping the child fails, the parent will again be required to meet with the Director. Another attempt will be made to identify the problem, outline new approaches to the problem, and discuss the consequences if progress is not apparent.

When a child bites, the staff will go down to their level, look them in their eyes and firmly say, “No Biting, that hurts!” and redirect the child to something else. The child that was bitten will be comforted, their wound will be washed with soap and water, and an ice pack will be applied. The incident will be recorded in the medical log book, and a written accident report will be filled out for the parents of the child that was bitten, and an observation sheet may be written on the biter.

9.  Can I bring cloth diapers for use at the center?

Cloth diapers may be used. A waterproof carry bag needs to be at the center on a daily basis for soiled diaper storage and transportation home.

GENERAL CENTER QUESTIONS

1.  How do I arrange to tour the center?

Tours will be conducted by the center director. Please call ahead at 920-739-3840 to schedule a time to visit.

2.  Are parents/guardians required to supply any materials or supplies, i.e. diapers, wipes, formulas, school supplies, etc?

Each classroom has a list of items that should be at the center at all times. 

Typical items include:
   •   A blanket for children over one year of age who nap, a seasonally appropriate spare change of clothes, and a refillable water bottle.
   •   Diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment are required when appropriate.
   •   Formula and infant foods, if using other than what’s provided by the center.

3.  What is the center’s capacity?

We are licensed to serve 116 children at any given time.

 

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