For Parents

To complete enrollment you will need a signed contract stating that a parent or legal guardian has read and agrees to the Academy of Little Learner’s policies and procedures and agrees to pay the weekly tuition rate set for their child. 

An up-to-date health form signed by a registered physician and listing the current appropriate immunizations for the age of the child. Your child cannot start without an immunization chart of records. For more information, visit our enrollment page.

Fees & Discounts

  • New Registration Fee - A registration of $100.00 will be required at the time of enrollment. A new registration fee will be due each February to secure a spot at ALL in the fall

  • Annual Enrollment Fee - New enrollment forms and registration fees will be required annually to assure us of current information on each child and to hold a spot for your child in our program in the fall. Parents are required to keep us informed of any changes to pertinent information.

  • Multiple Child Discounts A 10% discount for the second child and other subsequent children in a family, while children are regularly attending. Your child’s tuition is due on Thursday before the week begins. If the payment is not rendered by Friday a $10 late fee will be applied to the account and your child will be unable to attend school until your balance is paid in full

  • Payment Policies - Tuition fees are to be paid regardless of your child’s attendance. This will enable you to secure a place in our program and to ensure that our center meets its budget. Delinquency will result in a $50.00 re-enrollment fee providing your child’s space is still available. A service charge of $25 will be assessed on all checks returned by mail.

Academy of Little Learners is open Monday-Friday from 7:00-5:30. For your child’s well-being, we have adopted the policy that any child under 3 years old should not be in childcare for more than 9.5 hours per day. If your child is in our preschool program they should not be in school for more than 10.5 hours per day. Thank you.

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Family Responsibilities

Bedding

The center will provide a rest mat (crib for infants) for each child’s nap time. Parents need to provide their own crib sheet and blanket. On Friday all bedding must go home for laundering and be returned on Monday. Your child is allowed to bring in one “comfort” toy for nap. We request that no other toys be sent unless requested by teacher.

Snack/Lunch

All children should bring two snacks and a healthy and well-balanced lunch to school daily. ALL is a peanut/nut free school(suggestion list are available upon request.) Please pack a cold pack in your child’s lunch box as the lunch boxes will not be refrigerated. Heat-ups are permitted. Children also need a water bottle or sippy cup each day.  Water bottles and sippy cups will be refilled with cold water throughout the day.

Clothing

Due to the wide range of activities, it is recommended that children be dressed in washable, comfortable clothing. All children should have a complete change of clothing, marked with their name, to be left at the center in case of accidents. Sneakers are the preferred footwear to avoid unnecessary injuries. During cold weather, please provide your child with gloves or mittens, coats, hats, and boots.

Parent/Child Mailbox

Each family will have a mailbox/folder in their child’s classroom. Please check it daily for newsletters, updates and notices. A monthly newsletter will be e-mailed to you at the beginning of each month. It is important to read the newsletter as there is a lot of important information about holiday parties, day’s school may be closed and classroom monthly themes.

Late Pick Up

We ask parents to cooperate in picking up their children before 5:30 P.M. If for some emergency a parent should be delayed, please call the Center and inform the staff member in charge that you will be late.
While we understand emergencies do arise, we request parents to keep in mind that children and staff have had a long day. Continuous tardiness in picking up a child on the part of a parent will necessitate our requesting the child be withdrawn from the Center. A late fee of $3.00 per minute after 5:30 P.M. will be charged and payable immediately to the staff member in charge at the time of pickup.

Communications

During the time that your child is in our care, they must receive our undivided, uninterrupted and full attention. Therefore we ask that any communication beyond that which is necessary at the time of arrival be saved for a scheduled time so that adequate supervision can be arranged for the children.

Transitioning Your Child

Before a child begins school, we will have the child transition two to three days for a few hours to help acclimate a child to their new schedule, teachers, friends, and classrooms.  This is something that will be arranged with the director prior to a child’s start date.

Transitioning a child into a new classroom can be exciting, but also stressful for everyone involved.  Each child develops at their own pace.  When transitioning a child, we take into consideration all aspects of a child’s development.  If a teacher feels your child is ready to transition they will let the center director know and we will set up a time to go over the transition process with the family. Please keep in mind that there has to be a space available in the classroom for a child to transition.

Communication

As many of you know, pick up and drop off times can be quite hectic and is often not a good time to chat for more than a minute or so.  We strive to keep the children’s learning and wellbeing our top priority and it is hard to successfully manage a classroom full of children and hold a lengthy conversation at the same time.  It is important that your need gets 100% of our attention while also keeping individual child matters confidential. If you have a concern or question that may take up more than a few minutes of time, we suggest setting up a private conference with your child’s teacher or contacting the center director. Parents are always welcome to call if they would like to check in on a child who may have had a hard morning at home or at drop off. 

ClassDojo
See the story of your child’s day!  Any device, any language. Easily stay connected with your child’s classrooms on ClassDojo. You can see all your child’s feedback from teachers, hear important announcements and updates, and see photos and videos from class! You’ll also be able to see your child’s classwork on their own Student Story.  Safe for all! All your child’s information is kept safe on ClassDojo. Only they, their teachers, and you as their parents can see their information. ClassDojo is COPPA-compliant and fully support FERPA. If ever you’d like to review or remove your child’s information, please email the ClassDojo Parent Support team at parents@classdojo.com.

Your child’s teachers will need to invite you to join their class. They can either invite you by text, email or send home a parent code.

Policies and Procedures

Arrival/Dismissal: Our Center’s hours are from 7:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., Monday through Friday.  Children under 3 years old cannot be in school for more than 9.5 hours per day.

Sign-in/out:  All children are signed in upon arrival and signed out upon dismissal.   If there is an alternative pick-up person, we must be notified each time by phone, email or written note.  The person picking up will need to identify themselves with a photo ID before signing out the child.  Please take this opportunity to check in with your child’s teacher about your child’s day.

Late pick/up:  We ask parents to cooperate in picking up their children before 5:30 P.M.  If for some emergency a parent should be delayed, please call the Center and inform the staff member in charge that you will be late.  
While we understand emergencies do arise, we request parents to keep in mind that children and staff have had a long day.  Continuous tardiness in picking up a child on the part of a parent will necessitate our requesting the child be withdrawn from the Center.  A late fee of $3.00 per minute after 5:30 P.M. will be charged and payable immediately to the staff member in charge at the time of pickup. 

Early Intervention

Academy of Little Learners is a strong advocate of early intervention.  If your child needs special services including physical/occupational therapy or speech therapy, they may get those services here during school hours.  Our doors are always open to specialists working with children requiring additional services.  ALL will work with your child’s specialist to arrange accommodations necessary in meeting your child’s unique needs.  If you would like your child to be assessed for developmental you can contact Maine Child Development Services of York County at 985-7861.

Assessments

Academy of Little Learners assesses children at least 3 times each year.   We use assessments to gather and provide teachers, parents, and families with critical information about a child’s development and growth. Child assessments are a critical part of a high-quality, early learning program.  Observing and documenting a child’s work and performance over the course of a year allows teachers to accumulate a record of the child’s growth and development. We use this information to plan and implement appropriate curriculum and effective individualized instruction for each child.

What is childhood assessment? 

Childhood assessment is a process of gathering information about a child, reviewing the information, and then using the information to plan educational activities that are at a level the child can understand and is able to learn from. When educators do an assessment, they observe a child to get information about what he knows and what he can do.
This assessment record is also a great tool to share with parents, so they can follow their child’s progress at school, understand their child’s strengths and challenges, and plan how they can help extend the learning into their homes. 

Why is assessment important?

The assessment provides educators, parents, and families with critical information about a child’s development and growth. Assessment can:
Provide a record of growth in all developmental areas: cognitive, physical/motor, language, social-emotional, and approaches to learning.
Identify children who may need additional support and determine if there is a need for intervention or support services.
Help educators plan individualized instruction for a child or for a group of children that are at the same stage of development. 
Identify the strengths and weaknesses within a program and information on how well the program meets the goals and needs of the children.
Provide a common ground between educators and parents or families to use in collaborating on a strategy to support their child.

Academy of Little Learner’s Assessment Methods

 Academy of Little Learner’s observes and assesses children in many ways including taking anecdotal notes, observation checklists, journaling and child portfolios.  We make sure to follow important guidelines throughout the assessment process.  These guidelines include making sure:
Assessment aligns with instructional goals and approaches. Different types of assessments have different purposes. It is important to first determine what should be measured; then find the assessment program that best assesses those goals.
Assessor knows the child. The adult conducting the assessment should have a pre-existing relationship with the child. Ideally, the assessor is the educator.
Assessment is “authentic.” Assessment should take place in a child’s normal setting. The assessment should reflect every day relationships and experiences. It should be conducted in familiar contexts and settings (such as the classroom).
Observations are ongoing and diverse. For a comprehensive assessment, observations should be made at a variety of children’s activities and be ongoing to fully assess the progress of a child.
Communicating with families. Families will be notified prior to each assessment time.  Once your child’s assessment is complete a copy will be sent home and families will have the opportunity to sign up and meet with their child’s teacher.  During the meeting teacher and families will to go over the assessment and discuss the child’s progress and strengths in different areas of development.  Teachers and families will also discuss areas where children may need extra support.  Teachers and families will work together to develop and implement individual goals for the child.  

Maintaining Confidentiality

Academy of Little Learners respects the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of personal or sensitive information disclosed by our families.  We will respect confidentiality in the following ways...

Parents/guardians will have ready access to files and records of their own children - but not any other child.
Staff will not discuss individual children with people other than the parents/guardians of that child.
Information given by parents/guardians to the Academy of Little Learners will not be passed on to third parties without parent/guardian consent.
Personnel issues will remain confidential to the people involved.  Confidential information will be kept in the child’s personal file in the administrator’s office and in each child’s personal portfolio to be seen only by teachers and the child’s family.

Family Relationships

Relationships between families and teachers are vital to the success and culture of our programs.  We value family input and suggestions and realize how important it is for the developmental success of all children to maintain and respect family involvement in our programs.  Academy of Little Learners is a school where all children and families are accepted.  We value information families wish to share about their socioeconomic, linguistic, racial, religious and cultural backgrounds.  We strive to create a diverse learning environment where families and teachers can share ideas and collaborate to meet the needs of each child.  We have an open-door policy, so families are welcome at any time.  We also encourage family involvement including volunteering or helping to plan school and community events. 

Volunteer/ Involvement Opportunities

Walking field trips
Guest readers
Special Events (holiday parties, planting gardens)
Apple Picking 
Ice Cream Social

Program Guidance and Discipline

As early education professionals, the teachers at ALL are committed to providing a supportive environment where children are encouraged to learn and grow in an environment where self-discipline, self-esteem and the awareness of self and others is an achievable and encouraged part of each and every day. Our commitment to these practices and our basic respect for children is reflected in our discipline policies and procedures enhancing the probability that children will develop effective behaviors that are personally self-fulfilling, productive and socially acceptable. The following guidelines enable us to create a consistent and caring environment that teaches children to interact and behave in responsible ways while feeling good about themselves and their choices.

What we do:

  • Set realistic expectations for children’s behaviors recognizing that oppositional behavior is normative for children at this early stage in their development. 

  • Limit your expectations to what is realistic --- "small expectations for small children." 

  • Clarify your expectations for children, so that they clearly understand what it is that you expect. 

  • Involve children in the process of developing rules for classroom behavior.  

  • Create an environment that enhances the probability that children behave in inappropriate ways. 

  • Offer a well-planned curriculum that actively involves children in the learning process by including a wide array of developmentally appropriate activities. 

  • Give hugs and caring to communicate your affection for children. 

  • Pay close attention to the feelings that children express, and show your acceptance and understanding of their feeling by using "active listening" 

  • Observe children carefully to determine any patterns or reasons for their misbehavior. 

  • Provide alternatives so that children are given an opportunity to learn more acceptable ways of behaving in the situation.  Provide children with "renewal" time when they and/or you need time and space for calming rather than "time out" as a punishment. 

  • Use natural and logical consequences to motivate and to empower children to make responsible decisions about their behavior.

  • Help children to see the consequences of their behavior for other people. When children misbehave, they allow them to experience the natural and logical consequences which are related to their actions, instead of using punishment to control their behavior. 

  • Sometimes allow natural consequences to help children learn from the natural order of the physical world (e.g., a child who chooses not to eat lunch may experience hunger later, or a child who misused a toy may find it breaks).  

  • Administer logical consequences to help children learn from the social order of their world (e.g., a child who spills paint on the floor is responsible for helping to clean it up, or a toy is removed when a child is misusing it.)  

  • Avoid the use of punishment that is inconsistent with the principles of positive discipline. In particular, the following uses of punishment are absolutely prohibited: 

    • corporal punishment 

    • spanking 

    • cruel or severe punishment,

    • humiliation or verbal abuse  

    • denial of food as a form of punishment  

    • punishment for soiling, wetting or not using the toilet 

  • All teachers are aware to speak on the same level as the child in a calm and quiet manner.  They will pay close attention to the feelings being expressed by the child.

  • Screaming at children, derogatory statements, insults, or corporal punishment is strictly prohibited and grounds for dismissal.

  • Conferences will be scheduled with parents if particular disciplinary problems occur.  If a child’s behavior consistently endangers the safety of the children and or teachers around him/her, then the Director has the right, after the meeting with the parents and documenting behavior problems and interventions, to terminate childcare services for that particular child.

Chronic Disruptive Behavior

The safety and welfare of all the children and staff at our center are very important to us. While the staff will make every effort to work with children and their parents to promote appropriate behaviors, unfortunately, there are sometimes reasons we must ask that a child be removed from our program either on a short term or permanent basis. 

When a Child is Having Behavior Problems in the Classroom

Staff will try to redirect the child from negative behavior. 
Staff will reassess the classroom environment, appropriateness of activities, supervision.
Staff will always use positive methods and language while disciplining children.
Staff will praise appropriate behaviors. 
Staff will consistently apply consequences for rules. 
The child will be given verbal warnings. 
The child will be given time to regain control.
A child’s disruptive behavior will be documented and maintained in confidentiality.
The parent/guardian will be notified verbally. 
The parent/guardian will be given written copies of the disruptive behaviors that might lead to expulsion.
Administration and staff will recommend evaluation by professional consultation

The director, classroom staff and parent/guardian will have a conference(s) to discuss how to promote positive behaviors. If a child’s extreme, uncontrollable behavior, continues to physically or emotionally endanger staff or other children at the center, a parent meeting will be requested by the management staff and the child’s teacher. The problem behavior will be discussed and recorded, and goals for correction will be established.

Suspension/Dismissal: If no progress occurs within the established timeline, suspension or dismissal will result. Academy of Little Learners reserves the right to send a child home if his or her behavior disrupts the classroom or becomes a safety concern.  Parents will be responsible for payment during the length of any suspension or dismissal.   Permanent dismissal of a child may occur after three suspensions, or immediately if the child’s behavior severely injures a staff member or another child.

Toilet Training Policy

We will be very happy to help in toilet training your child. However, we do have certain rules that we follow for the health and safety of the other children in our programs. When you feel your child is ready to begin potty training please let your child’s teacher know so you can discuss the process and work as a team in making the process as easy as possible for the child.  After two accidents in one day, the child will be put in diapers or pull-ups for the rest of the day.  Please have your child wear clothes that can be removed quickly and easily.  Long pants with no snaps are difficult to remove when nature calls.  Our teachers only use a reward system for training.  No punishment will be given for accidents.

Field Trips

Field trips and nature walks are considered an important part of the educational program.  Older children will be taking periodic field trips. Parents will be notified of trips in advance and will be requested to sign a written permission slip.  No child can participate without a signed permission slip.
Some trips cost a fee, please pay the fee with cash only.

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Health & Safety

  • Current medical records will be kept on each child while actively enrolled in ALL. These records are to include a child’s identification record and medical release form to be kept in a central file for easy access to Center staff. An up to date immunization record appropriate to the child’s age (unless child has a certified medical exemption); to be kept in the child’s file.

  • Office staff or teachers may review your child’s medical records monthly and inform parents when medical examination or immunizations need to be updated. The Center’s Director will review all medical records on a quarterly basis.

  • A written record will be kept of any accidental injuries to your child and kept in the child’s file. In case of accident the child’s parent or guardian will be notified immediately by the Center’s Director or designated staff member in charge.

  • A written record will be kept of any incidents relating to your child regarding their health and safety or issues that concern them physically or mentally. It is this Center’s legal responsibility to report to the State of Maine any indications of suspected child abuse or neglect and we will do so.

  • All parents will be notified in if a contagious condition such as pinworms, chicken pox, a Staphylococcal infection or a Streptococcal infection has been identified in the Center. A child with such a condition will be kept out of the Center until the physician states that the child can return. In case of lesions they must be completely dried up.

Medical Emergencies
In the event of a medical emergency or accident, we will contact the parents and/or the child’s physician. Should it become impossible to reach either the parents or physician and emergency treatment is required, the City Emergency Medical Services will be contacted.

Illness
For the protection of all children, your child must be kept at home if he/she has a fever of 100 degrees or more, diarrhea, or vomiting, discharging eyes or ears, dark green mucus draining from their nose, a communicable disease, unknown rash or a persistent cough. Children must be on medication for 24 hours and away from the childcare center 24 hours before returning to school. Children shall not return to our facility until the signs and symptoms of a communicable illness have disappeared.
If your child arrives at school is showing signs of having a communicable disease, fever or rash they will need to be sent home. If the child has been exposed to a contagious disease he/she should be kept home and the fact of his condition is reported to the Center. Conditions considered highly contagious would include strep throat, pinworms, viral infection, infected ears and/or glands, measles, mumps, chickenpox, scarlet fever, lice, conjunctivitis, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If a child becomes ill during the day the parents will be notified with the request to take the child home immediately.

Prescription Medication
The facility shall administer prescription medication only upon written order from a physician or according to the labeled instructions on the original medicine container and with written, signed and dated request from the parent or legal guardian.

Nonprescription Medication
The facility must not administer any nonprescription medications to a child without written, signed and dated parental permission naming the medications and dosage. Verbal permission is allowed in emergencies if the provider makes a written note and then gets written permission from the parent as soon as possible.

Record Keeping for Medication
The facility must record the administration of all medications, including the amount, time, date, and signature of the administrator of the medication.