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Parent Handbook (Gracepoint Location)

About The Preschool

Introduction

Ellerslie Road Preschool Grace Point is a provincially licensed program. We at ERPS have been providing a quality preschool experience for over 23 years. Our philosophy is Learning Through Play. We believe the best learning environment is done in small class sizes; therefore, the maximum number of children per room is 17.  Each class has a qualified teacher and assistant. We are also been a learning centre for  McEwan practicum students. There are no duty days; no fundraising and we provide snack.

Daily Routine

Arrival / free play (art, table and floor toys, dramatic play, blocks, sand & water and fine motor activities)
Clean up
Circle time (songs, stories, finger plays, calendar, and literacy awareness)
Gym/outside time (skill development, gross motor activities, song, games and use of equipment)
Bathroom and hand washing
Snack
Free play (another set up including: puzzles, play dough, new floor and table toys, art experience and sand and water)
Clean up
Goodbye Circle (hand out mail such as newsletter or art)

*On occasion, variations will be made due to special events*

Philosophy

We believe in a preschool program that allows each child to develop all facets of their person. We also believe all children deserve a program that encourages individuality. We recognize no two children are alike and we take pride in appreciating the things that make us unique.

An integral part of our program is play. Play allows children valuable learning opportunities. Learning through play should encourage and support the whole child. This can be done by remembering the acronym S.P.I.C.E.

S Is for the Social Development of the child. Preschool is often the first opportunity children have to interact with their peers in a group setting. The acquisitions of social and problem solving skill begins here. These important life skills are encouraged by providing opportunities to socialize at the many centers in our preschool room.

P Is for Physical. It is important to provide children with room to move and develop their gross motor skills. We meet this need by providing daily gym and/ or time outside.

IIs for Intellectual. Introduction to literacy is an important part of our program. By proving a daily circle time with stories, books, songs and finger plays and by providing a changing discovery or science centre, we are meeting the intellectual needs of the child and fostering a love for books and learning.

C Is for Creativity. It is important for children to have an opportunity to express their creativity. We provide many art mediums for children to explore with. Remember it is the process of art rather than the outcome.

E Is for Emotional. Encouraging a healthy self esteem is also one of the goals of our program. It is important for the emotional needs of children to be met. We provide a safe, clean and non judgmental environment for children to grow and learn in.

Information

Program

Tuesday / Thursday

Monday / Wednesday / Friday

School Hours

Morning classes     9:00 am – 11:00 am

Afternoon classes 12:45 pm – 2:45 pm
 

School Year

Our program runs from September though until the end of May. We do not hold classes on Statutory Holidays and we follow the same Christmas, Easter, Spring Break and Teacher's Convention as set by the Edmonton Public School Board.

Dropping Off and Picking Up

Prior to class, teachers are busy getting the classroom ready. We ask that you arrive no more that 5 minutes before the start of class.  Please park in the NE parking lot, and use the designated preschool doors only.  The doors will automatically unlock 7 minutes before class time, and will lock again 10 minutes after class begins.   (Please see Security).  Having your child stop for a bathroom break before school is recommended.

*Your child is your responsibility until class begins, please do not allow your child to run in the building, or climb on furnishings.  We want to be respectful of  the building, and those working there.*

Childcare Subsidy

The Alberta Government offers a child subsidy for children who attend a licensed Nursery (Pre-school) program. To see if you qualify, or for more information, please visit their website www.child.alberta.ca or call 1-866-714-5437.

Registration Process

For children already attending and who will be returning the following year, there is a pre-registration time in January Parents/Guardians will be notified of the date in the monthly newsletter, usually December's. After that allotted time, registration will be opened to the public.

Tuition and Fees:

Please click here for more information

Extra Fees

Third party letter - $25
Reprint receipts - $25

Withdrawal

We ask for at least a calendar months notice should you need to withdraw your child.

Clothing

Play clothes are essential to preschool. Please dress your child in comfortable clothes to play, paint and explore in. While we encourage the use of paint and water shirts, sometimes children do get dirty! Please send an extra set of clothing as spills happen. All articles must be labelled with your child's name. We do ask that shoes be clean when worn inside.

Toileting

Your child must be toilet trained to attend our program. You will be contacted if your child has an accident. Because independent use of the bathroom is encouraged, we ask that you ensure your child wears clothing that is easy for them to get in and out of. A few minutes at home practicing with buttons, zippers and snaps is helpful.

Outdoor experiences

We have many opportunities to explore the outdoor area around us. This includes playing on the grassy areas about the school and going on nature walks/hikes. During the Spring and Fall we try to be outside as much as we can. Please ensure your child come dressed for the weather!! During the winter months your child's teacher will schedule outside days. Boots, mitts, hats, snowpants and warm coats makes for pleasant experience.  All articles of clothing should be labelled.

Late fees

We expect parents to be on time; if parents are  late picking-up their child, there will be a charge of $25 after 10  minutes and $25 for every 15 minutes thereafter will be applied.  If parents are continuously late, a discussion will be held with the Director, as to how to remedy the situation.

 

Snack

Please note: We are a nut free centre.

Eating is an important social activity. We will provide a small child friendly snack:  apple or orange slices; gold fish crackers; crackers and cheese, pretzels; and water. While children will be encouraged to try snack, they will not be forced to eat if they choose not to.

Birthdays

At preschool, we recognize that each child's birthday is a special time. We will provide a Birthday crown, and a cookie for a birthday treat. Each child will also receive a small Birthday toy. We ask that parents do not send birthday snacks or treat bags.

 

Preparing for school

Some children do experience anxiety. We understand it can be hard for both parent and child to say good bye. It is our experience that a quick good bye at the door, leaving the trained staff to handle the situation, is best. Books such as Franklin Goes to School by Paulette Bourgeois or The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn can help. Consistent attendance, being on time both at the beginning and end of the day, and a positive attitude, can only help to easy anxiety.

Health and Safety

Guidance and Goals

At Ellerslie Road Preschool we view Child Guidance as a positive approach to supporting growth and development in children.
Self esteem is an important part of who we are as individuals. For positive self esteem, children need to be comfortable with who they are, feel empowered, and develop a healthy sense of self: a sense that they are worthy of being.We aim to provide an environment where each child feels supported and safe. It is in this environment where we guide children's behaviour using positive reinforcement and positive communication techniques. We are aware that children are unique individuals who react to feelings and stressors in different ways. It is our job to recognize this and encourage; exploration of feelings; ways to problem solve; and to continue to develop a healthy sense of self. When a child feels supported, safe and has developed a sense of self, they are more apt to try new things and feel comfortable exploring new ideas and places.We recognize that for many young children, preschool is one of their first opportunities to be in a group/social setting.  They are learning how to self-regulate and keep their hands/bodies to themselves.  This is a normal part of child development.  Parents can support this by encouraging their children to use gentle hands, and to keep their hands/bodies to themselves.  We encourage children to use their words when frustrated, and we work on developing confidence to speak up if something/someone is bothering them.  (“I don’t like that”).  The staff are always available to support and help facilitate problem solving.If we have any concerns regarding your child's development or behaviour we will certainly notify you so we can explore strategies and be consistent between preschool and home.
If a child is demonstrating aggression toward other children, we will incorporate some/all of the following strategies:
communicating with the parents
the parent might be contacted to take their child home
suggesting outside resources or referrals (health unit, CASA, Community Options, Over the Rainbow, Plai, etc.)
ask the parents or other caregivers to stay with the child to help support the child in the classroom
in circumstances where we have exhausted the above strategies, and if we are concerned about the health/wellness of other children, the child may be asked to leave the program.

Prevention of Problems

Unpredictability can cause stress which may manifest itself as anger or frustration. We aim to provide a program than is consistent and allows for children to know what to expect next. We have a predictable routine and we use a picture board to support it. We also recognize what is appropriate for a five year old may cause frustration in a three year old. We provide activities that are developmentally appropriate.

Communication

We value spending time and having real conversations with children. Talking with the child, rather than at, allows for opportunity to get to know them.
We state our expectations in specific ways and use positive statements to support them. Rather than saying the negative 'stop running' we state the positive 'use your walking feet'

We use active listening. Active listening is when we listen and respond to both what is being said and how. We need to be in tune with children and grasp their feelings and intent. This is a useful technique for helping children to learn to problem solve. 'It sure sounds like you are feeling frustrated. I wonder how we can work this out?' would be appropriate to say.

We also use I-messages. I-message is another communication technique. It allows caregivers to state their feelings without placing blame.. An effective I-message would be 'I'm scared when I can't see you'

Positive Reinforcement

Our aim is to foster a sense of success in children. Children need to be encouraged for their efforts, rather than the product. Little Sally has been building in the block centre for a long time. Too often we hear the words 'good girl' or 'good job'. These words do not recognize the effort Sally has put forth. Our focus is on positive reinforcement: 'Wow Sally, you have been building a long time. Can you tell me what you have been busy building?' With this statement, Sally feels her efforts have been acknowledged, which is important in building self esteem.

Recognizing Feelings

We recognize children experience an array of emotions; anger, happiness, sadness, frustration, fear and excitement. All of which are a part of who children are. Our goal is for children to learn to recognize their emotions, understand they are healthy feelings, and learn constructive ways to handle them. We validate their feelings by saying 'I can see you are feeling angry' (or which ever emotion they display). With positive communication techniques we have the opportunity to model and teach problem solving skills.

Communication with parents

We believe that communication between home and school is an important element for a positive preschool experience. Monthly newsletters will be sent home explaining the activities of the up-coming month. Please feel free to talk with any of the teachers, before or after class, about any questions or concerns you may have. If there have been any changes in your child's life, please let us know. Even the slightest of change can affect them.

Security

The doors will automatically unlock 7 minutes prior to the commencement of classes and they will be locked 10 minutes after classes have begun.  If you need to access the building once the doors are locked, you can enter through the main front doors, advising the church staff that you are with the preschool.  Please use only the designated preschool doors.
Your child's safety is a primary concern to us. It is important for your child's teacher to know who will be picking up your child each day. If alternate arrangements are made, please ensure that your child's teacher is aware. We appreciate this information in writing. We ask that you drive slowly in the parking lot.

Code of Conduct Policy

Staff and parents shall:

a) at all times be professional and responsible for their own behaviour
b) treat all others (children, staff, church staff and other families) with respect
If these can not be met the supervisor or director may implement any of:
a) verbal reprimand
b) written reprimand
c) suspension or expulsion from the premises

Allergies and Medical

Allergies can be very severe. Please remember we are a NUT FREE centre. If a child has a serious allergy we require an EPIPEN to be kept on site. We will have you sign a medical form allowing us to administer medication. In case of a medical emergency the teacher will contact 911 and then the parents. Parents shall be responsible for any cost incurred.

Fire Drills

We are required to have fire drills. The teachers, in advance, will explain to the children the procedure. When the alarm rings we will practice leaving the building in a safe manor: lining up at the door and following the teacher outside. We encourage you to talk fire safety at home.
We have a safety plan in place to cover any other emergencies.

Emergency Plan

It is required that we have a designated meeting place in the event we need to evacuate the building. In case of such an emergency, the teachers and children will gather on the west side of the building, and proceed to Ellerslie Primary School.  Parents will be contacted.

If a child is suspected missing staff will remain calm and inform other staff onsite, including church staff. It will be decided who will stay with the remaining children and a brief search of the premises, both indoor and outdoor, will occur. If needed, a staff member will be designated to call the police and the child’s parents/guardian as a more detailed search occurs. The incident will be documented and signed by the parents and Child Care Services will be informed of the incident as required.

 

Closure

If the preschool needs to be closed for any reason, we will contact you by phone.

Health Regulations:

If your child is ill please keep them at home until they are better. This lessens the chance of making others, including the teachers, sick! If your child has a communicable disease, you must observe quarantine regulations, as set by Capital Health: 24 hours since the last symptom. The following are signs that indicate a communicable disease: earache, vomiting, fever, cough, unusual drowsiness, loss of appetite, sore throat, red or runny eyes, headache, irritability, rash, runny nose of yellow or green, and diarrhoea. If a child displays any of these symptoms, we will call you to come and pick them up.
If a child in our care displays symptoms of, or we have been made aware of, head lice, chicken pox, impetigo and pink eye, your child's teacher will send home a letter (as per Capital Health's requirement).
Please ensure that you are regularly checking your child’s hair for evidence of head lice, or nits.   If you discover lice or nits, please let us know.  Your child will be able to return to school after the hair has been treated and the nits removed.   We understand that this is a difficult topic, but happens in many childcare and school environments.

*All matters regarding your child will be handled in confidence*