ADVENTURES IN LEARNING
PHILOSOPHY AND CURRICULUM
AIL bases its philosophy on each child's total development. We provide an enriching atmosphere which enables the child to develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. We offer a learning environment which provides developmentally appropriate experiences designed to stimulate these areas of growth. The children are involved in first hand experiences and opportunities for self exploration and discovery. They are encouraged to explore the world around them through free play and directed activities. Learning through play is the heart of our curriculum. Daily lesson plans are introduced through structured themes with the children's interests in mind. Through individual and group activities children learn about themselves, others and the world around them.
Children develop and learn on an individual basis. Working with children in small groups enables them to receive the personalized attention they need to excel. AIL staff has the opportunity to observe and meet the individual needs of each child and to share those observations with parents. AIL offers each child the individual care, attention, nurturing and love, which is necessary for healthy growth. At AIL we value the individuality of each child by recognizing differences and offering personal care and attention in a group setting.
Involving families at AIL is a top priority. With parent involvement with our staff children understand and make the strong connection between home and center. We are an extension of the family, developing a partnership where sharing support, ideas and genuine love for children is of the utmost importance. At AIL we encourage parents to visit and participate in school activities. At AIL we have an open door policy; which means you are more than welcome to come and go as you please. Parents are free to drop off or pick up their child any time during the day. You are also welcome to come visit, eat lunch, and celebrate special events with your child's class.
If you would like to review information in your child's file at any time please speak with the director.
CURRICULUM GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE PRACTICE
The curriculum provides for all areas of a child's development including physical, social, emotional and cognitive. Curriculum planning is based on teacher's observations and recordings of each child's special needs, interests and developmental abilities. Classroom environments are designed for the children to learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, peers and materials. Learning activities and materials are concrete, real and relevant to the lives of children.
Each classroom teacher will provide a range of developmental activities of interest which encourage children of all abilities as they develop understanding and appropriate skills. Multicultural and nonsexist experiences, materials, activities and equipment are provided for children of all ages.
HISTORY, SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
ADVENTURES IN LEARNING is a new venture in learning based on over 20 years of childcare experience. Licensed by the State of Maine for 25 children aged 6 weeks to 8 years of age. Hours of Operation are 7:00 am to 6 pm.
INFANTS AND TODDLERS: 6 weeks - 2 years of age
Infants and toddlers begin to develop an understanding of the world around them through their senses and physical actions. To develop these skills our infant/toddler program is designed with various age appropriate experiences and exercises which will help your child develop at his/her own speed. These areas include sensory motor, psychomotor, language development, cognitive development, large and small motor skills and social and emotional development. The children are spoken, sung and read to frequently, have many different objects in their environment to see and touch and have many opportunities to develop their fine and gross motor skills.
At AIL we believe in communicating with all children and we introduce basic sign language, this helps the child and teacher communicate together.
TWO YEAR OLDS: 2-3 years of age
Two year olds are beginning to develop social skills, enlarge their vocabulary and test their independence. To develop these skills, our program for this age group offers a group experience and classroom which recognizes the special needs of each child. The children have many opportunities to explore and learn about the environment. The children are spoken to frequently and are encouraged to participate daily in individual and group conversations. Toilet training, dealing with frustration, encouraging self-help skills and providing successful age appropriate experiences to enhance the child's self-concept is part of the two-year-old curriculum.
PRESCHOOL: 3-4 years of age
Our preschool program offers a balance of free play and structured individual and group activities which gives the children a well balanced preschool education. At this age children are developing more intimate peer relationships, asking questions about the world around them and developing self-discipline and control. To enhance these skills our program offers activities and experiences in the areas of science, math, beginning reading and writing experiences, large and small motor skills, dramatic play, block play, creative and movement activities. Experiences are provided that meet children's needs and stimulate learning in all developmental areas - physical, social, emotional and intellectual. Each child is viewed as a unique person and activities are designed to develop children's self-esteem and positive feelings toward learning. Children are provided many opportunities to develop social skills such as cooperating, helping, negotiating and talking with each other to solve problems.
Each child is viewed as a unique person with an individual pattern and timing of growth and development. Different levels of ability, development and learning styles are considered when developing appropriate activities for this
Our staff uses the approach of positive guidance. The use of redirection, role modeling appropriate behavior and responses, natural consequences, elimination of potential problems and teaching children to resolve conflicts on their own and with the help of a teacher or peer facilitator in an appropriate way. It is the responsibility of teachers and parents to present a united front when dealing with children's behaviors. Children respond positively to adult's role modeling socially responsible behavior.
Parents are expected to support appropriate tone of voice and behavior at AIL. A child's removal from the group will be used in severe situations (hurting someone, persistent disruptiveness) or when the child needs to gain control and observe the positive interactions of others. If a child displays an unprovoked act of aggression (biting, hitting, kicking, etc.) toward another child or staff member, s/he must be picked up within 30 minutes of our phone call.
If a child demonstrates consistent aggressive behavior or discipline problems there will be documented observations done by the teachers and communication with parents will be a priority. If behavior does not improve or has gotten worse, and if the teacher and director feel it is necessary, a professional referral or alternative childcare arrangements may be made based on the communication of Director and parent.
ADVENTURES IN LEARNING believes in partnering with the community. This includes communication with the public school and Agency resources that provide aid and support to families. The Parents and children who attend AIL will be provided information that can help all of us face the uncertainties of the future of our children with insight and knowledge and integrity.
Services that we offer our students to use in their education
ADVENTURES IN LEARNING offers diversity within our program. We offer an anti-bias curriculum and encourage families to share their cultures with the children. Books, dolls, posters and foods provide the children with a chance to experience different cultures. The teachers include multicultural materials and activities naturally within the curriculum so it does not appear to be "different" Children with barriers to learning will find activities that help include them in the play of other children, differences in abilities will be embraced and offer all children an opportunity of acceptance and inclusion.
ADMISSION POLICY :
ADVENTURES IN LEARNING is a for-profit childcare center. We accept all children regardless of race, sex, creed or color. Our program serves children ages six weeks through 8 years of age. Upon enrollment, several forms MUST be completed. Those forms include a parent child application information packet, medical information and or inoculation record and a contract based on parent and child needs. At any time a parent may request to see a copy of State of Maine Licensing Rules for Child Day Care Centers.
Tuition payments may be made in advance of service. Paying the tuition in advance allows us to prepare for the month through meal and activity planning and paying our staff on time. Our center is funded solely by tuition so it is imperative that tuition payments be made on time. A 5% discount will be offered to parents who pay a month in advance.
If your child is sick or stays home for any reason there will be no credit given and he/she will not be allowed to "make-up" the days missed. Our staff planning is based on your contracted hours and we plan to have all staff here even if your child does not attend.
All contracts are individualized and offer parents the best opportunity to meet their families personal childcare needs.
SNACKS AND LUNCHES:
Meals and snacks often are a personal choice. For busy parents enrolling for the first time in September of 2013 all meals and snacks will be provided by Adventures in Learning.
REMOVING YOUR CHILD FROM CARE:
Two weeks’ notice is required prior to withdrawal of your child from ADVENTURES IN LEARNING. If we do not receive written notification, the parent is responsible for two weeks tuition to cover costs. We at ADVENTURES IN LEARNING are sympathetic to extreme circumstances but encourage parents to recognize their responsibility to the best of their knowledge and ability to communicate needs as they arise. All our actions as parents and teachers affect our children. The ADVENTURES IN LEARNING TEAM wants to minimize the stress of a child losing the opportunity to attend AIL and will work with parents to meet these goals.
We offer discounts for families with more than one child enrolled at our center. The discount is 5% off the second child's tuition rate. This information will be addressed in your contract with AIL.
At times ADVENTURES IN LEARNING will offer special programs and activities. When these opportunities arise you have the option for a small fee to have your child sign up for these Adventures. These activities may be provided by Music, Computer or Art Specialists from our community who will offer a monthly activity fee that enhances learning options.
LATE FEE POLICY:
There will be a late charge of $35.00 if your child is picked up after 6.00. The late fee will be paid directly to the teacher who stayed late with your child. If there is an emergency and you cannot pick up your child before closing you need to contact us immediately any waiver of the late fee will be determined by the director. Things such as running errands, going to the bank or running late will incur a late fee. The clock near the sign-in/out sheet will be used to determine late charges.
RETURNED CHECK FEE:
Any tuition checks returned for insufficient funds will incur a $25 fee.
Our center is open year round except for the following holidays. There is no discount for these days which we are closed.
New Years Day (If New Year's Day falls on Saturday, we will be closed on Friday. If New Year's Day falls on Sunday, we will be closed on Monday. In 2016 we will reopen on Tuesday January 3rd. (Please note that this is preceded by a December recess commencing on Friday, December 23rd at 3pm.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Fourth of July (If the fourth falls on Saturday, we will be closed on Friday. If the fourth falls on Sunday, we will be closed on Monday.)
Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday) (In lieu of closing on Veterans Day we will be closed on Friday Following Thanksgiving so all our staff may enjoy their families)
Christmas Eve closing at 4:00 and remaining closed until January 2nd.
If you have a comment or concern about any of our policies, procedures, staff or child concerns please bring those concerns immediately to the director. The ADVENTURE IN LEARNING TEAM values your opinion and takes all comments and concerns seriously. Our Team is here to work with parents as partners in creating a better, safer environment for your child.
ARRIVAL AND PICK-UP:
We do not allow any child to leave the center with anyone other than the child's parent or persons listed on the enrollment form. If others are to pick-up your child the center must be notified. When dropping off your child, personally bring him/her into the building, please be sure to communicate with a teacher at each pick up and drop off time.
PLEASE HOLD YOUR CHILDS HAND IN THE PARKING LOT. PLEASE do not lift your child over the playground fence but rather go through the building for pick up and dismissal.
Please check your child's cubby every day. Information from teachers, the director, newsletters and children's work are placed in the cubby. Children take pride in every project they work on. Please take these home daily.
As a safety matter: If your child will not be in attendance please call and let your child's teacher know. As a Team we will call to be sure your child is healthy, safe and not forgotten. Our calling takes time away from our program, therefore parents should please text or call center to let us know when your child is absent and for what reason. This ensures the health and safety of all our children.
PLEASE ENTER AND EXIT PARKING LOT WITH THE THOUGHT THAT THERE MAY BE A CHILD PRESENT. Inclement weather may provide slippery surfaces that prevent vehicles from stopping. A sliding vehicle could easily crash into and through the walls of our school. Staff takes a serious approach to violations regarding the safety of the children.
Our center is kept clean and sanitized on a daily basis to help control germs and bacteria. Our staff practices good hygiene as well as teaching this to the children. To help us maintain a healthy environment for your children, please follow the health rules listed below which are in the best interests of all children.
Each child will be assessed each day they arrive as to their health. If any of the symptoms below are present let us know.
We require children with the following symptoms remain at home:
1. Any signs of a Fever over 99 degrees.
3. Bad colds: discolored nasal discharge, persistent cough
4. Vomiting, stomach flu
5. Ear infections or discharge from the ear
6. Eye discharge, bloodshot or swollen eyes
7. Skin rashes
8. Head lice
9. Hacking or persistent cough this sends sputum and germs to everyone
Children exhibiting any of the above symptoms will be sent home and may not return until symptoms have been absent for a full 24 hours (Tylenol-free and medication free). An ill child needs to be kept at home where s/he can rest and receive the necessary attention. This is strictly enforced. Maine State law expects that children who are ill not be exposed to others in a child environment.
All children enrolled must have an up-to-date immunization record on file at the center. Children two and under must have an Infant/Toddler form on file and children not enrolled in public school must have a physical examination by a doctor on file.
Please notify the center if your child has a contagious illness so other parents can be notified. If your child is too sick to participate in our full program, including going outside, please keep him/her home. It is much better for your child to be fully recovered before returning. If your child becomes ill at our center you will be contacted immediately. You will need to pick-up your child or arrange for another person to collect your child within one hour of our call.
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT POLICY:
Any staff member that suspects a child in his/her care has been the victim of child abuse or neglect is required by law to report our suspicions. All childcare workers and teachers in the state of Maine are mandated reporters.
Only one assigned Team member at ADVENTURES IN LEARNNING will administer medication. All medication must be labeled and stored in the original container. A medication authorization form, indicating the dosage and time of administration, needs to be filled out by the parents. Your child's teacher will initial the chart and indicate the time the medicine was given.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL PLAN:
If your child needs immediate medical assistance our ADVENTURES IN LEARNING Team member will call 911. If possible, we will request your child be taken to the hospital listed on his/her enrollment form, however, the final decision will be made by the paramedics.
If your child is injured at the center the teacher who is supervising your child will fill out an accident report in detail about what happened, the first aid received (ice pack, band-aid) and you will receive a phone call if we feel it is necessary. If you receive an injury report please be sure to sign it so we can keep it on file and you will receive a copy as well.
Children should be dressed in comfortable, easy to care for clothes. Layering your child's clothes helps us keep your child comfortable throughout the day as weather is ever changing on the coast of Maine. Clothing should be easy to play in and appropriate for the particular weather conditions. We do provide paint smocks for activities which are messy, however, children will get dirty. Comfortable play clothes are most appropriate. Sneakers are best. Open sandals are discouraged as they expose the child to unnecessary injury and are prone to slips, splinters and stubbed toes. Sandals with toe coverings are preferred.
We are required by the state licensing rules to provide at least one hour of outside time per day, weather permitting, even when it is cold. We will go outside when the temperature, including wind chill, is 20 degrees or above. Children will need boots when it is muddy or cold. Please label all hats, mittens and boots.
Your child will also need a complete change of clothing which will be kept in your child's backpack. All clothing should be labeled.
All children have the opportunity to rest each day after lunch. Each child should bring his/her own rest material. Every Friday we will send linens home to be laundered. They must be returned the following Monday. We encourage children to rest at least one hour each day. Older children have options for quiet activities or reading on their mats or in quiet areas. A quiet rest time is required by the State of Maine Licensing for all children.
Breakfast will be served each morning from 7:00 -7:45. Please make the morning teacher aware if your child needs breakfast, remembering that it must be before 7:45.
For children who are enrolled and have chosen our meal program, we serve two daily snacks (one a.m. & one p.m. snack) plus lunch. Our snacks and lunches are nutritious and are with the children's tastes in mind. We try to offer a wide variety of nutritious foods. If your child has any food allergies please let us know as you will be required to bring all meals and snacks that are required for nutritional support in lieu of the meal offerings at the center. If you have chosen not to utilize our meal plans please be sure to have a lunch box with enough nutritious foods, snacks and drinks to provide for your child's daily stay. REMINDER: We do not microwave foods. Microwaving foods has been proven to affect the nutrient value of foods. Microwaves are not healthful for our environment and it's use is avoided as much as possible.
If desired, birthday treats may be provided by the parents for the child's birthday. Please speak with your child's teacher regarding the criteria for food products brought into the center by parents. All food items should come in a sealed, dated, package which includes ingredients from a local grocery store only. Homemade foods unfortunately may not be given to other children.
TOYS BROUGHT FROM HOME:
In general we ask that all children's toys be kept at home if they are valued by the parent. We cannot be responsible for lost or broken toys. We do not allow toy guns, knives, toy swords or any toys of destruction which encourage violence or aggressive play. A small toy or game that fits in your child's cubby is allowed. However, communication with your child about the concept of sharing is encouraged. If a toy cannot be shared at any point in a child's day it should be kept home. Please do not allow your child to bring in valuable items that cannot be replaced if damaged.
Conferences are available at any time. Communication about your child with the teacher in charge should occur daily or be addresses in the daily note home. AIL encourages letting parents know how their child's day went. If you feel there is a problem which needs attention please feel free to arrange a meeting with the director.
MOVING CHILDREN TO DIFFERENT CLASSES:
When moving children from class to class we will notify the parents and provide the information of what the parents and children can expect from the new class. Parent-teacher talks can also be held. Class changes are not always made by a change in age (birthday) but rather when developmental changes and advances occur and the child is comfortable developmentally and emotionally with the changes. I have chosen to create a small center that specifically has the ability to meet the needs of children. A change from class to class happens gradually and well before a child actually is assigned to a class the child has an opportunity to know the group s/he will be joining. The integration is more of a child into a bigger space with a different care giver assigned to your child. Every child will know every teacher and every child within a 30 day period.
If you have any question, comments or concerns, please feel free to bring them to our attention. We want to keep in close contact with our families to better serve you and your children.
Schedules vary by age group
Basic Daily Schedule
7:00 Open and arrival time
7:00-7:45 Breakfast Free play/outside time
8:30 Morning programs begin: Learning Centers, teacher initiated activities and children's choice adventures.
9:30 Morning snack
10-11:00 Nap (as needed for infants) Learning Centers for toddlers and preschool
1:00- Nap/Rest time as appropriate to age and ability
2:00-3:00 Children awake and/or engage in child directed and teacher supported activities.
3-3:30 Afternoon Snack
3:45-5:45 Outside Play, child originated and teacher inspired activities.
5:45 – 6:00 Departure time activities include putting toys in their spaces and organizing play areas to revisit the next day.