The Child Development Center at Congregation Beth Israel
Parent Handbook 2018-19
3901 Shoal Creek Blvd. Austin, Texas 78756
|Personnel and Legal||Josh Bernstein|
|Curriculum and Policy||Kaitlin Bernell|
|House and Grounds (Facilities)||Ted Cera|
|Room Parent Liaison||Sara Ekesi|
|CDC Executive Director||Zoë Miller|
|CDC teacher representative||Melanie Herbert|
The mission of the CDC is to provide a high-quality, developmentally-appropriate early childhood education, in accordance with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation standards, with an emphasis on Jewish faith, values, and culture.
The Child Development Center at Congregation Beth Israel is a supportive community of children, educators, and families which provides a healthy, nurturing, safe, and developmentally appropriate environment for each child. We offer low teacher-student ratios, small group sizes, highly-trained educators, active parent involvement, spacious classrooms, a large shaded playground, and an outdoor classroom and garden.
The CDC offers an infant/toddler/pre-school program for children 2 months – 4 years, either 2,3, or 5 days a week. The Pre-Kindergarten program is available for children 4 – 5-year olds, 5 days a week. The CDC is open from 7:30am – 6:00pm, M-F.
The CDC is committed to providing a nurturing, play-based, and developmentally appropriate environment for each child. At the CDC children’s interests, questions, thoughts, and ideas are supported and encouraged in the classroom through a variety of play-based and emergent activities and experiences that promote growth in five major domains:
Physical development: gross and fine motor skills
Cognitive development: mathematical and scientific reasoning, problem-solving, and executive function skills such as organizing, planning, sorting, and role-taking
Language development: building vocabulary, pre-reading, and writing skills
Social/Emotional development: identifying and naming feelings, expressing and regulating emotions, cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-regulation skills
Spiritual development: creating a sense of self that includes the values, rituals, and holidays of Jewish faith and culture
Daily schedules provide for a balance between child directed and teacher directed activities, quiet and active time, and inside and outside play. Children have daily opportunities to read books, use a variety of art media, explore math and science materials, experience music, and work together with friends, or alone.
Each classroom offers activities in the following interest centers:
Block play, sensory (sand and water) art, music, science, puzzles and manipulatives, dramatic play, and library. Mobile infants and toddlers are also provided with an indoor gross motor play area.
Lead educators begin the year getting to know the children as individuals. They offer a variety of activities, materials, and provocations, while observing the children’s interests—incorporating math, science, music, movement, gross-motor, art, and fine-motor activities into their daily exploration/learning. Lead educators update you weekly with a lesson plan via email, keeping you informed of weekly learning goals, questions, and classroom research and curriculum.
Sample Learning Objectives:
-Physical Development: Children will practice gross motor skills in running, jumping, climbing, throwing, catching and balancing. Children will use child-safe tweezers to pick small dinosaurs out of the sand table to develop hand-eye coordination and pincer-grip, or eye-droppers to create a water color painting. Children will lace, button, and zip, lock and unlock, and manipulate progressively smaller blocks (going from large cardboard and foam blocks to wooden unit blocks, Duplo to Lego, etc.). Children will use paintbrushes and water to paint the sidewalks, help “wash” the trikes and play cars with oversized sponges, and similar activities that develop the muscles of the shoulders and arms in preparation for writing.
-Cognitive Development: Children will learn to disassemble, reassemble, manipulate, build, organize, and create with concrete materials. Children will discover cause and effect principles, develop and articulate plans for block constructions, and sort, order, and group objects.
-Language Development: Children will be exposed to a rich vocabulary through stories, rhymes, music, and social interactions. Children will listen to and interact with books, stories, and songs with meaningful, repetitive content that children are able to connect with and enjoy. Children will develop process-based writing skills to express ideas and tell stories long before they can shape what adults might recognize as letters, including opportunities for bookmaking, journaling, drawing and dictating thoughts and ideas to their educators. Children will participate in purposeful writing such as making lists, writing a prescription in the “Doctor’s office” or making a “do not touch” sign for a block construction.
-Social/Emotional Development: Children will have empathy modeled for them and concrete acts of empathy will be introduced (asking a child who bit to help the bitten child by placing an ice-pack on the bruise, for example). Children will be taught to self-regulate by visiting a calming, quiet corner when upset, using feeling charts, and learning how to practice patience like counting to ten when they must wait for a turn down the slide. Children will learn the facial expressions that go with feelings. Infants and toddlers will learn simple signs to assist with expressing wants and needs. Children will be taught to cooperate, to assert their wants, feelings and desires through gestures and verbal expression, and to care for their body, the classroom materials, and each other.
-Spiritual Development: Children will celebrate Jewish culture, learning about the stories and meaning of Jewish holidays, as well as how they are celebrated by different families and Jewish communities locally and globally. Children will participate in Jewish traditions and rituals at school, such as “preparing” a Shabbat meal in the home center, baking challah with their friends and teachers, singing songs, and collecting tzedakah (charity).
Please note: Our teachers all receive training in Jewish Education during Professional Development week at the beginning of the year, throughout the year, during staff meeting/trainings, as well as curriculum packets that align with our Scope and Sequence Judaic curriculum from the director. These curriculum packets contain information, activities, and provocations for specific Jewish holidays and rituals.
CDC Specials Educators/CDC Afternoon Specials
Our Specials Programs (Sportball, Science & Nature, Music, and Art), which are included in your tuition, will now be held in the afternoon between the hours of 3-5pm.
While this will mean that students with half-day schedules will not be present for the afternoon Specials sessions, we want to be clear that Music, Art, and Science & Nature will still be a large part of the children’s daily routine. Our Specials teachers will still be involved with the children during the day but will act as consultants to our Lead Classroom Educators, providing expertise, advice, and hands-on facilitation, based on the theme or topic the class is exploring. (For example, if a classroom is learning about insects, our art teacher, music teacher, and science & nature teacher, at the request of the lead teacher, will be available to join the classroom to teach a song about insects, or provide painting materials to create patterns for insects, or take the children on a guided nature walk to search for insects.)
Each group is assigned classroom staff who will have the primary responsibilities for working with that group from August until June, for twelve months. The teaching staff provide ongoing personal contact, meaningful learning activities, supervision, and immediate care as needed to protect children’s well-being.
Ratios and Group Sizes
We always meet or exceed NAEYC ratios. When our groups are mixed-age groups, the NAEYC group size for the predominant age group is used, but the ratio for the youngest child is maintained.
For brief times during nap, or in rare exceptions when a staff member is absent and substitute coverage is not available, we may temporarily use Texas Minimum Standards to guide our caregiver ratios. As the children age, the group size and ratio may change over the year prior to transitioning to the next class, as we are open continuously for twelve months and the children remain in their cohorts with their primary care team throughout the summer.
The CDC at CBI does not discriminate against any child based on the child’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion or disabilities. Reasonable accommodations will be made to provide services to persons with disabilities. All children are accepted on a probationary basis. The staff and parents will assess the child’s needs to ensure that the program is able to meet the needs of the child.
Our staff is selected based on teaching experience, interaction with children and the ability to implement classroom curriculums. Lead teachers at the CDC must have a bachelor’s degree to teach in the Preschool (4’s Room), and for our infants, toddlers, twos and threes program, a minimum of an Associate Degree or a Child Development Associate certificate. As a commitment to your child’s education and to our staff, we require that our teachers continuously sharpen their skills by attending workshops and seminars throughout the year and that they be certified in first aid and CPR. Many of our professional staff members have been a part of the CDC family for many years.
Priority Ranking for Enrollment
We give enrollment priority to siblings of currently enrolled students, Temple Members, CDC and CBI staff, alumni siblings, and members of the Austin Jewish Community.
Before attending the CDC, parents must participate in a center tour and program orientation. All electronic paperwork is done on an annual basis. The following must be completed and submitted to the CDC prior to starting:
- Online Enrollment, Emergency Contact & Permission Forms
- Immunization records, and for children over 4, a hearing and vision screening
- Written documentation indicating that the child can take part in the program from licensed health
The director works with families individually to determine which room in our program would be the best fit for each child. Age, sex, sibling birth order, temperament, and developmental level can all help determine the placement of children in our classrooms, as well as consideration of which program and parent cohort will offer the best network of support to the family.
We want your child in a classroom where his or her needs will best be met, and interest level will be challenged. Occasionally children will be moved during the year to better meet their developmental goals or to provide access to an appropriate group of peers. Contact the director if you have questions regarding your child’s placement, or how children are grouped in the program. Continuity of care is important to your child’s development, so every effort is made to minimize any disruptions in care. We create cohorts and graduate children every twelve months as a group to provide stable, robust parent-teacher relationships and social support networks.
CDC Conference Cycle
August: Orientation Conferences
Meet the Teaching Team Classroom Orientation & Program Information
Finalize Enrollment Paperwork
Mid-Fall: Home Visits
Share about your family life, culture, traditions, and values Discuss hopes and dreams for your child
January Mid-year Conference
Discuss and celebrate milestones in development Set individualized goals for the spring
Mid-Winter: Director’s Developmental Info Sessions Learn about child development and the program Network with other families for support
May: End of Year Progress Conferences
Learn about areas of strength and growth for your child Discuss progress and development
Ages & Stages Developmental Questionnaires (“ASQ’s”)
Parent Involvement and Communication
We invite parents to visit the center and to volunteer at the school regularly. Parents are encouraged to participate in providing learning activities with the children, by sharing particular talents or interests. We communicate with parents through the Brightwheel app, email, texts, class meetings, parent teacher conferences, informal conversations, and on our bulletin boards that should be checked daily. Parents are encourage to email or call the school at any time if they have questions or concerns. Home visits are offered each fall. We invite families to join classrooms for holidays and special events, and host parent programs in partnership with community organizations each year, such as author visits, book clubs, workshops on modern parenting challenges, and social gatherings coordinated by our room parentsGovernance of CDC
The Committee is an eleven-member board that oversees the operation of the program. It comprises parents who are Congregation members, the immediate past chair and a Congregation member at large. Additionally, four ex-officio non-voting members serve on the committee. These members include the CDC Director, the Rabbi, and the Congregation’s Vice President for Education. Meetings of the Committee are open to parents for observation. Any parent wishing to speak should notify the Chair one week ahead of the scheduled meeting to appear on the agenda. Monthly meetings are held at the Temple the first Monday of each month, unless otherwise posted.
Licensing and Accreditation
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services are the Licensing Agency of Child Care Centers. CDC is required by law to comply with the Minimum Standard Rules that are set by TDFPS. If at any time you would like to review these rules you may come by the office and request to see a copy or you may also view them online at www.tdprs.state.tx.us/child-care/ .
Results of our most recent visit and out license are posted on the bulletin board inside the office.
You may also contact the licensing office by calling 834-3241. The child abuse hotline is 1-800-252-5400.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the largest professional organization of early childhood educators. To be accredited by NAEYC, early childhood programs voluntarily undergo a very comprehensive and intense review. We are proud to be one of the few centers which is fully accredited by the National Association of Young Children (NAEYC) and maintains the highest standards throughout its operations.
The staff maintains current certifications in First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Teachers will follow basic first-aid procedures for injuries and notify parents of any accidents requiring first aid at CDC through a written accident form. Injuries such as scrapes, cuts, and other wounds will be cleaned with soap and water, as the staff is not able to use hydrogen peroxide or antibiotic ointments as these require parental permission. Should further emergency action be needed beyond basic first aid, staff will provide immediate care; call EMS, call parents and the child’s physician as needed.
Parents will be notified of any accidents requiring first aid at CDC through a written accident/incident report, which they are asked to sign to verify that they have received the information about the accident.
- Minor injuries will be treated at CDC. Staff will contact you if it is an injury to the face or head. A written note will be sent home describing the cause of the injury and the
- For major injuries staff will provide immediate care, call EMS, call parents and
the child’s physician.
- Emergency Procedures: Fire and evacuation drills will be done monthly to acquaint your child with evacuation procedures. The evacuation routes are posted in each classroom. In case of a toxic fume release or if the building must be evacuated, the children will be taken to wherever local law enforcement deem safe. Parents and emergency contacts will be called. If necessary, your physician will be notified and 911 will be called.
- The CDC has written procedures for emergencies including bad weather, fire evacuations, unauthorized persons on campus, and relocations. Staff are required to practice evacuations monthly and other drills several times a year by licensing. Our school takes security and safety extremely seriously. All families are required to use a code to gain entrance to the locked facility, and we ask all families to leave the fire lanes always clear, including drop off and pick up. If you meet someone you do not know who follows you in, please stop and introduce yourself, and direct them to the office for assistance.
Address, Telephone, or Work Changes
Any changes in address, telephone number, or work location must be submitted promptly in writing. Emergency telephone numbers and individuals authorized to pick up the child also must be kept current.
Allergies and Nut Free Policy
We work with parents to protect children with food allergies from contact with the problem food. When a child has special health needs, food allergies, or special nutrition needs, the child’s health care provider must give the program an individualized care plan. The CDC is a peanut and nut-free environment. The aim is to maintain a nut free environment, for the safety of children who are anaphylactic to nuts and for those children who have unknown allergies to these products. All staff will receive training in the recognition, prevention, and necessary treatment of anaphylaxis in children under their care. In addition to this we ask that our CDC families observe the recommendation of the “nut-free” policy:
- Parents are requested to not provide food containing nut and nut products within the CDC
The CDC is a Nut & Tree- Nut Free Campus!
We do not allow nuts and tree nuts on campus.
Pine Nuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Peanuts, Pistachios
Please leave the following items at home that commonly contain nuts:
Spreads: Peanut Butter, Nutella, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter
Oils, Salad Dressing, Sauces: Peanut or Cashew Oil, Pesto, Tamari-Cashew Dressings
Cookies & Baked Goods: Biscotti, Macadamia Cookies, Pecan Pie
Candies: Peanut M&M’s, Snickers, Reese’s Cereals & Trail Mixes: Honey Nut Cheerios Chips, Crackers, Bread: Banana Bread, Nut thins
Please note: many packaged items will be marked that they are “made in plants that also process nuts”. Pretzels and most bakery items should be checked for the label, “made in a nut and tree-nut free facility.”
If you would like to send your child with a soy-butter or sunbutter sandwich, please label it accordingly, thank you!
Thank you for helping us keep every child safe and healthy at the CDC!!
- When reading labels, please be sure that a label does not state “may contain traces of nuts or peanut oil”
The CDC from time to time will host visitors, such as newborn chicks, turtles, and dogs. All animals on campus who are larger than a guinea pig are required to have up-to-date vaccines on record and a veterinarian’s health certificate. We ask parents to notify us of any allergies that would prevent a child from interacting with known animals. Children are not permitted to touch lizards or birds, and only to observe, to prevent the potential spread of salmonella.
Arrival and Departure Procedures/ Sign In-Out
Parents must sign in and out their child with Brightwheel Our staff must continue to assume supervision of all children until the parent and child leave the classroom or playground where staff members are on duty.
For the safety of all during arrival and departure, CDC requests that parents maintain stringent supervision of their child in and around the parking lots and the grassy area around the temple premises. Children should not be allowed in any classrooms until a parent has signed the child in, nor should they be allowed to wander the premises without an adult supervising them closely. Even though the parking lot can be seen from the building, parents must not leave any infant or child under the age of 10 in the car at any time of the year, even for a few minutes to drop off a sibling, since it is considered leaving a child in a potentially dangerous situation (especially due to extreme weather in Central Texas).
When children are picked up from the center, be sure to sign them out and inform the assigned staff. Children will be asked to pick up materials they are using before they leave the classroom or playground. Please check cubbies and take-home folders for artwork and notes, and hooks for soiled clothing
The policy for release of children is as follows:
- A child is released only to a parent or an adult designated by the parent in writing (via enrollment form).
- If a person authorized to pick up a child is unknown to the staff, the staff will
require that the individual present a driver’s license and staff will record the license number or take a photo copy.
- If a parent calls to authorize the emergency release of a child, the center will
verify that the caller is actually the parent.
- The CDC is unable to accept or release children from/to older siblings under the age of
Please pick up your child promptly at his/her scheduled departure time. Children often become anxious and worried when they are not picked up on time. If you are running late, please call the school to inform the staff so the best care arrangements can be made. Late pick-ups after the center is closed will incur a flat $25 fee at 6:00 pm, and then charged at $1.00 per minute for each additional minute of care.
Children under three are just beginning to develop language and social-emotional skills. Biting at this age, while mistaken, is almost never premeditated or aggressive, but due to a temporary lack of the skills and physical abilities necessary to control their emotions and thoughts. It is not unusual for teachers and families alike to feel upset or to have big emotions when a child is bitten. By working together and communicating regularly, we can help the children get what they need and stay safe.
At the CDC we aim to teach children what TO do instead of biting, and to track patterns and trends to prevent biting behaviors. As one expert phrased it, biting is “unfortunately, to be expected”, and while not every child will bite, each year, a few will. NAEYC estimates that 1 in 10 Toddlers/Twos will engage in biting behavior.
At the CDC, we have highly trained staff who use advanced strategies and tools to prevent bites and help children move quickly through biting phases. We take data on when, where, and why bites occur, and then we make purposeful changes to the classroom environment and materials, daily schedule, and groupings of children to avoid identified triggers. The director or other teachers may observe the class briefly to notice any trends and make suggestions to support the staff.
We document every bite we witness on the incident report form, and make sure to tell both sets of families about what happened the same day.
If a child becomes temporarily “stuck” in a biting phase, we have the support of a play- therapist who works with the staff and families to come up with an appropriate plan. Like any behavior, it takes time to see changes, and our goal is to help the student learn the skills they need.
Some reasons children bite and possible solutions a staff member may use:
- Teething Relief – teething discomfort can be soothed by providing cold teething toys, washcloths, and chew
- Oral Exploration – we provide alternatives by giving children clean, safe items to chewand
- Frustration – Help children use words, sign language, gestures, and pictures to expresswants and needs. Teach children to express anger through stamping feet or ‘crashing’ on pillows in a calming
- Not Enough Space – Avoid Help protect children’s space. Play on floor interactively and stay close to children who easily feel crowded.
- Property disputes – Provide multiples of popular items. Intervene rapidly when childrengrab or tug toys. Redirect attention and offer to play with
- Sensorimotor- Provide crunchy foods frequently, allow child to gum apples or What a staff member will do when a child bites another child:
- Attend to the child who was bitten first. Bite will be cleaned with soap and water and an ice pack wrapped with a paper towel will be held against the bruise. The staff member will have the child who bit help comfort the child he/she has bitten if appropriate and say something like, “Ouch. Biting hurts. Look at our friend. They are sad. They have a sad face and are crying. Let’s help them and make them feel ”
- Call parent of bitten child if bite breaks the skin or is in a sensitive area, to make them aware of the incident and discuss care and action plan. Contact parent of the child who bit to describe the antecedent (what was happening right before the incident) and share possible reason for the bite and what we will implement to prevent another incident. If the bite was interrupted or minor, we will verbally share with both families this information at pick-up.
- The name of the biter will not be revealed to parent of bitten child per licensing regulations.
- Incident reports will be completed for both families with details about who helped, andthe first aid provided, as well as details about the
Biting ‘epidemics’ can occur when a group of children move through a developmental phase at or around the same time and several children are biting simultaneously. (For example, when most of our babies begin to walk together, this is one potential moment that biting can “break out”). The staff and director will notify parents of potential ‘high risk’ developmental phases, and when epidemics occur, communicate about environmental and staffing changes for the group.
Experts suggest that a diet of mostly soft foods and pureed convenience foods such as pouches of smoothies or yogurts may contribute to biting. We strongly encourage parents to provide crunchy, stimulating foods, even to older infants and toddlers. Goldfish crackers, pretzel bites, raisins, raw vegetables, crackers, dry cereal, and trail mix all provide valuable sensorimotor stimulation of the jaw, relieving stress and tension, and providing necessary exercise of the jaw muscle for young children. (Think about how grown-ups may chew gum to relieve stress and boredom; young children have the same needs!)
The CDC accepts glass bottles in the infant rooms but requires families to use a silicon sleeve on each to prevent accidental breakage. We highly recommend a brand like Lifefactory that are high quality, thermal shock resistant, and made of borosilicate glass.
Building Access and Security
The CDC is a secure building. Do not let anyone in as you are entering the building. If someone is standing at the door that you do not know, wait until you hear the door release indicating the person has clearance. If you see someone suspicious, inform the program director ASAP. If you see someone you do not know inside the building, do not hesitate to ask them if they need assistance and guide them to the CDC office. Please stay with them until they are assisted. You will receive a code number to be used on the key pad located at the front door to gain access into the building. To visit the preschool upstairs or the playground, a fob pass is required for re-access to the center. We keep fobs hanging in the hall right before the back-exit door and in the front office. Ask a staff member for assistance the first time you are looking for a fob!
Celebration of Birthdays, and Holidays
Birthdays are important to your child, and we like to celebrate with you. Please contact your child’s teacher several days in advance to make plans for a simple celebration at CDC. (We suggest sharing a snack of your child’s favorite food, such as a favorite fruit or muffin…or, everything in moderation, cupcake). If your child is having a party, you may send invitations to CDC families via the school email or pockets, but we request each child in the class is invited if you communicate this way.
A meaningful experience for your child is to donate a book for his or her classroom library. The birthday child will present the book to the class at circle time, and the teacher will place a special dedication label in the book. The teacher will read the book to the class, after which the birthday child will place the book on the room’s bookshelf. Your child will continue to feel good about himself or herself as he or she sees other children enjoying “his” or “her” gift to the CDC. It is also nice for the children to give something on a day when he or she is receiving so much.
Many holiday traditions will be observed during the year, with emphasis on family gatherings, traditional foods, songs, dance and symbols. Parents are encouraged to share their individual family traditions with the class by sending a traditional food for snack, reading a story, or visiting the class to share how holidays are celebrated in your home.
Child Abuse and Neglect
To protect the well-being and safety of children, the State of Texas requires anyone who suspects child abuse and neglect to report it to the proper authorities. The CDC staff has been trained to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect. All suspect indicators will be documented and reported. The CDC is required by law to cooperate with any investigation of child abuse and neglect. You will be notified if your child is questioned as part of the investigation.
Because of our continuing concern about the welfare of children, we have provided the following information for families. Parents are encouraged to discuss child abuse and neglect with the director and/or their child’s teacher. It is important for even suspected abuse or neglect to be reported (toll-free Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-252-5400) so that specialists can intervene before more harm is done.
Abuse includes the following acts or omissions:
- Physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child or genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the
- Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that
results in causing substantial harm to the child.
- Mental or emotional injury to a child, causing or permitting the child to be in a situation that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development or psychological
- Sexual conduct harmful to, or failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent, sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional or physical
- Leaving of a child in a situation where their child would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm, without arranging for necessary care for the
- Placing the child in or failing to remove the child from a situation that requires judgment or actions beyond the child’s level of maturity, physical condition or mental abilities and that result in injury or substantial risk of harm to the
- Failure to seek, obtains, or follows through with medical care for the child, with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development or functioning of the
- Failure to provide the child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain life or health of the child, excluding failure caused primarily by financial inability unless relief services had been offered and
Child Custody Issues
It is the center’s intent to meet the needs of children especially when the parents may be experiencing difficult situations such as divorce, separation or remarriage. Sharing information about such situations may be helpful to CDC staff and will be held in the strictest confidentiality. The center can send home 2 copies of any communication.
Children will only make one project.
The center cannot legally restrict the non-custodial parent from visiting the child, reviewing the child’s records, or picking the child up unless the CDC has been furnished with legally filed, executed and current documents. Copies of all court documents must be submitted to the center. In case of conflicts, the proper authorities will be contacted.
Clothing/Backpacks/Individual Daily Items
Children should be dressed in comfortable and washable clothing. Clothing which is easy to put on and take off encourages independence, especially during toilet time. Our program promotes exploration and direct experiences of many kinds. We want, and encourage, children to play with paint, dig in the dirt, and encourage families to choose school clothes that are easily cared for and ok to get messy! Label everything clearly.
- Rubber soled shoes are best for active young children on the playground; Shoes are required for all children including those not yet walking to wear on the playground.
- A complete change of clothing must be kept in a child’s cubby or back pack at all
- All articles of removable clothing (jackets, sweaters, hats, etc.) should be marked clearly with child’s
Dress your child in clothing that is durable and comfortable. We suggest girls wear shorts or leggings under their dresses. The children will go outside every day (unless it is raining) so dress them accordingly.
What Your Infant Will Need:
- Bottles, formula/breast milk
- Food (Homemade baby food or store bought in sealed containers is ok)
- Two changes of clothes
- Two crib sheets (Port-a-crib size, sold at Babis R Us)
- Sleep Sack
- Two boxes tissues
- Family photos to post for your child (i.e. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa,brothers, sisters, family pets).
Label all food and personal items you bring for your child!
The CDC supports breastfeeding. The Infant staff will work individually with moms who desire to come nurse their baby and/or send breast milk while in our care.
Bottles must be prepared. Children are fed on demand, therefore, please send slightly more than the amount normally consumed during the time your child is at school to allow for extra hunger or loss due to spillage.
We recommend toddlers, twos, and preschoolers bring a back pack with his/ her name clearly marked on the front or inside.
Sippy cups, water bottles, and lunch boxes should also all be clearly labeled. We do our best to help children keep track of personal belongings, but names will help. A lost and found bin is kept in the front office.
We take confidentiality seriously at the CDC, and all staff and board members abide by the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct. We will make every effort to protect the confidentiality of your child and family. Records are kept secure, and are only accessible to staff who directly work with your child. If other schools, therapists, or outside providers request records, we will require a signed authorization from the parent prior to releasing them.
The CDC welcomes all monetary contributions, as well as donations of suitable equipment and supplies. As a non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible, and the CDC will provide contributors with the appropriate forms. Two funds administered by Congregation Beth Israel also benefit the CDC. The Child Development Center Fund is a general fund to benefit the CDC program. The Dolly’s Playground Fund is dedicated to the upkeep of our playground. The CDC welcomes donations to either fund.
Children who wear diapers must bring an ample supply of disposable diapers. For disposable diapers it is best to bring a full package at a time, or families can opt to have diapers delivered directly to the school. Families should estimate that we use more diapers at school than at home, as we change children both as needed and at regularly scheduled intervals throughout the day.
Teachers will notify you when your supply is getting low. We ask that you replenish wipes when diapers are replenished. Diaper rash ointment, if desired, must be provided by the parent and clearly labeled with the child’s name. A medication form must be filled out for use of diaper creams.
Discipline and Guidance Techniques
We believe that discipline and guidance should be consistent and based on an understanding of individual needs and development. A positive guidance technique promotes self-discipline and acceptable behavior.
There must be no harsh, cruel, or unusual treatment of any child. The following types of discipline and guidance are prohibited:
- Corporal punishment or threats of corporal punishment;
- Punishment associated with food, naps, or toilet training;
- Pinching, shaking, or biting a child;
- Hitting a child with a hand or instrument;
- Putting anything in or on a child’s mouth;
- Humiliating, ridiculing, rejecting, or yelling at a child;
- Subjecting a child to harsh, abusive, or profane language;
- Placing a child in a locked or dark room, bathroom, or closet with the door closed; and requiring a child to remain silent or inactive for inappropriately long periods of time for the child’s
Positive guidance techniques used by the Child Development Center staff will include but are not limited to:
- recognizing and encouraging appropriate behavior
- developing reasonable and clear rules and expectations in each group
- explaining the consequences of inappropriate behaviors
- redirecting children into positive behaviors
- modeling pro-social behaviors
- enforcing limits and rules consistently and fairly
- helping children to identify and express feelings in acceptable ways
Please discuss with your child’s teacher specific guidance techniques that work best with your child. Changes at home can affect a child’s behavior at the school. The CDC staff is here to work with you regarding challenging behaviors observed at the center or at home. In case of continued behavior that is potentially harmful to your child, other children, or property, you will be notified immediately, and may be asked to come to the school to join or pick up your child from the program.
Fee Structure and Payment
- If there is an increase in rates, parents will be given one month’s notice regarding the new rates. At the end of each year, parents can request a report of all tuition and fees paid throughout the year to be used for income tax purposes.
- There is no credit for days absent due to illness, absences, vacation, or the center being closed for holidays or
- A non-refundable annual registration fee is due upon enrollment each This fee covers the cost of enrollment administration and secures your spot in the program.
- A deposit of one month’s tuition is required upon the child’s initial enrollment in the school. The deposit is equal to one month’s tuition and is refundable with thirty (30) days’ written notice of intent to withdraw. This deposit rolls from year to year and will be automatically credited to your final tuition
- There is a sibling discount of 10% off the lowest tuition
- There is a $25 late fee for tuition paid after the fifth working day of the month.
- Families can change their schedule once each year with no charge. After that, there is a $50.00 fee for further changes. Changes are honored based on availability.
- Families who pick up at 2:30 and occasionally require afternoon care can decide to stay with the director, if space is available. Drop-ins to the morning or afternoon flex program can also be arranged if needed from time to time. The fee is $10 an hour. Fees for early drop-off and late pick-ups will be billed at the end of the year to each individual account unless a family wishes to pre-pay for extra hours.
Children in the preschool participate in field trips as part of our curriculum each year. The Prek-3 class attends Crowe’s Nest Farm each spring, usually around the beginning of March. The Prek-4 class has visited the zoo, attended a theater performance, and visited local businesses, depending on the studies of the class and interests each year. We notify all families in writing of field trips and offer transportation on either a small bus (a partnership through ACE academy allows us to provide this option) or arranges transport by parents and chaperones. We always maintain NAEYC ratios. The volunteer bus driver must be certified in CPR and in Child Transportation Safety, and background checked. We carry cell phones and have extra adults on standby in case of transportation issues.
Walking field trips to Shoal Creek also occur throughout the year. Families must grant permission for each individual trip and all other ratios and policies are followed during trips.
Parents are encouraged to first talk with their child’s teacher and/or the director with any concerns or issues. Parents should request a time to speak with the teacher at a time when he/she is not responsible for the care of children. The director is available to families throughout the day, but it can be helpful to set a time to meet in advance. The goal will be to resolve the conflict at this initial level in a satisfactory manner for both the parent and the center.
If the director is not able to adequately resolve the difference with the parent, the parent may seek input from the CDC board chairperson. The chairperson may meet with the parent with or without the director. Additional executive CDC members may be present if desired by the parent. With some issues, a letter to the CDC board may be appropriate after the director and/or chairperson have attempted to resolve the conflict. If the above channels of communication do not resolve the issue, the parent may ask to meet with the board.
While some issues may not be able to be resolved in the manner requested by the parent, the CDC recognizes that all families should be given ample opportunities to voice their concerns. Throughout all levels, the goal will be to resolve the issue in a satisfactory manner for both parties.
All children are encouraged to wash their hands upon arrival to the program. Throughout the day, children and staff will wash their hands before all snacks and meal, after toileting/diaper changes, after playing outside, before and after water play and other times as needed.
Health & Wellness Policy
For infants and other children in their first year at the school, expect your child to get sick, far more frequently than you might think possible. Some studies put it at 7 total weeks (35 days!) a year that children will miss school due to illness. That’s just an average, but we typically see that building immunity takes time, and for some families, the first year of school can lead to a lot of missed work for parents, which can be frustrating.
The good news is, after that, the children become far more resilient. Most alumni parents say that they notice that their children are healthier in the long run and miss far less days of elementary school than the children who were home until kindergarten with parents or nannies.
When we call to let you know your child isn’t feeling well and needs to go home, we are worried about them, and we know taking a temperature is a hit-or-miss diagnostic tool. We always err on the side of caution to prevent the spread of germs and make sure your child gets the care they need. Every now and then, it might be a false alarm, or short- lived. But usually, when a child is miserable, not eating and drinking regularly, or appears physically uncomfortable, they are indeed ill. Children are required to stay home for 24 hours if they have contagious symptoms, like a fever and a rash, and one way to help speed up healthy immunity is to let them rest and recover completely before bringing them back to school.
The staff takes extensive precautions to prevent the unnecessary spread of illness; toys are washed and sanitized regularly in the preschool rooms, and after each individual child uses and mouths them in the infant and toddler program. Changing tables are disinfected between children, and staff washes hands and wears gloves to protect children. We clean, sanitize, and disinfect the rooms daily.
If your child shows signs of illness, such as not drinking or eating, inability to sleep, and/ or fatigue, listlessness, repeated vomiting or multiple episodes of diarrhea, or any indication of unusual discomfort or pain, we will take their temperature and check for rashes, runny noses, and other possible symptoms.
If their illness prevents them from participating comfortably in the usual classroom activities or creates a greater need for care than the staff can provide, we will contact the family to come pick-up the child.
If a child’s condition is suspected to be contagious and requires exclusion as identified by public health authorities, then the child is made comfortable in a location where he or she is supervised by a familiar caregiver until their parents arrive.
After your child has been ill, it is important to adhere to the following guidelines when determining whether your child is ready to return to school:
- no fever for 24 hours or more (without fever-reducing medication)
- antibiotics (if prescribed) have been used for a full 24 hours
- no vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
- frequent coughing, excessive nasal discharge has been resolved
- pain (earache, cramps, headache, etc.) resolved
- has not had an upset stomach within the last 24 hours
Parents will be notified if their child is exposed to a potentially contagious disease while at school. Likewise, parents should notify the CDC if their child has been exposed to or has a diagnosis of a contagious illness such as pink eye, head lice, ringworm, chicken pox, etc.
If a vaccine-preventable disease to which children are susceptible occurs in the facility, children lacking immunity will be excluded for the duration of possible exposure or until the age-appropriate immunizations have been complete (whichever comes first).
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease is to have strictly enforced standards regarding the exclusion of ill children. We need your help with this. Do not bring ill children to the CDC and if your child becomes ill at the CDC, please pick the child up as soon as possible. We recommend hand washing when entering classrooms, particularly in the infant program.
Within 10 days of being enrolled each child in the program must have current immunizations according to the immunization schedules of the Austin Metropolitan Health Department and TDFPS Minimum Standards and documented on his/her medical record. Parents must bring in a statement by their physician certifying that all immunizations are up to date and that the child has been seen by the physician within the past year and is physically able to take part in the CDC’s program. If the CDC is not furnished with either documentation within two weeks of the request, the child may not return until the documents are on file.
We require all students and staff to comply with recommended vaccine schedules, and each adult caregiver must have proof of a negative TB test, current Dtap booster, and receive the flu vaccine annually.
Lost and Found
Labeling all your child’s belongings (coats, sweaters, gloves, hats, lunch boxes, etc.) is a great asset in loss prevention. Children and adults should turn in any items they find and inquire about any things they have lost in the office.
Occasionally an item belonging to another child may be accidentally sent home with your child. If you find an item not belonging to your child, please send it back to your child’s class. If you are missing an item belonging to your child, check with your child’s teacher as well as the lost and found.
The CDC prefers not to administer medication to children and will not give the first dose of any prescription medications. (children with a temperature over 100.4 degrees can receive a fever-reducer to ease discomfort while waiting to go home with signed permission on record). When it is necessary for a child to receive medication during the day, the staff will strictly adhere to the following guidelines for administration of medication set by the TDFPS Minimum Standards:
- Prescription medications will be administered only when it is in the original container labeled with the child’s first and last name, date prescription filled, name and strength of prescription, name of manufacturer expiration date of medication or the period of use, directions on how to administer and how to store and prescribing physician’s name. The medication will be administered only as stated on the label directions and only with written permission from parent or a signed medication authorization form (obtained from the teacher or in the office).
- Any prescribed, sample, etc. medication without a specified dosage, such as “as
prescribed” or “consult a physician” must be accompanied by a signed note from the physician indicating the appropriate dosage.
If your child requires medication during the day you should deliver the medication directly to the teacher, along with a completed medication form (which may be obtained in your child’s classroom or the front office). To insure the safety of all children, never leave medication in your child’s back pack or lunch box.
No medication will be administered to a child without a completed medication authorization form. Teachers will document each dose of medication given and will keep all medications inaccessible to children at all times. It is the parent’s responsibility to retrieve the medication at the end of the day.
It is prohibited by licensing for staff to add medicine to bottles, cups or food, or to provide dosed bottles, cups, or food to children. Do not send medicine pre-mixed in bottles, cups, or food.
Media & Technology Policy
Children under the age of two will not be permitted regular screen time as per NAEYC and the recommendation of the American Pediatric Association.
- To briefly find and discuss with a caregiver images of their families, friends, animals, or diverse images of children and people they might not otherwise encounter (from other countries, for example).
- To take photos with and of the children, or to use the camera feature as a mirror to interact and discuss with the
- To make an audio or video recording to document a child’s progress and learning.
- To listen to audio/video recordings of sounds and music, such as using Pandora to play lullaby songs, to play the sound of ocean waves, or other digital recordings that support the
- To communicate with a parent over a live video conference, such as to capture the first steps, first words, or other developmental milestones, or to consult on the health and well-being of the
Children who are three and four can and should use interactive technology and digital media on a regular basis while interacting with other peers and teachers:
*To freely explore touch screens loaded with developmentally appropriate technology
- To explore and feel comfortable using the keyboard and mouse
*To look up information or websites to answer questions and find photographs and videos of animals, places, people, and objects not readily available in the classroom.
- To capture photos of creations, developmental progress, and to document accomplishments with audio and visual
- To provide assistive technology to children with special needs and/or developmental
*To explore digital storytelling, listen to music and audio/visual clips of music, watch short videos demonstrating concepts and ideas, and apps designed to promote social interaction and pretend and play planning.
*To communicate with others, such as by co-authoring an email with a teacher, or using live video chat to contact family members, or interact with children at other schools.
*To create artworks, alter images, and explore interactive visual media.
Teachers are responsible for monitoring and supervising all technology and digital media used in the classroom. Any website or program that is “passive” or is a digitally formatted worksheet is prohibited. All apps and programs used at the school must have meaningful content, promote investigation and inquiry, facilitate active engagement and be user- friendly for children (free of inappropriate content and advertisements). Children should always be partnered with a peer or utilizing technology with a teacher.
Nap/ Rest Time
A napping child is a growing child!
Per licensing regulations, we are required to provide a 45-minutes quiet/rest time to all children in care, and no punishments can be associated with nap time.
The benefits of sleep for young children immediately following learning periods has been presented in many studies. Children who learn and then nap remember more of what they learned from the morning AND perform better on tasks they try later in the afternoon!
Even for those that stop napping by preschool age, it remains beneficial to relax in a quiet, dark room, engage in calm, restful breathing, and to stretch and relax the major muscles. Removing excess stimulation and the demands of socializing and learning is especially important following a busy, active morning.
As some children naturally give up napping sooner than others, we never make children who are not tired feel like they are being bad or disobedient or attempt to “force” naps. However, we do ask children to remain on their mats, and to be quiet out of respect for the children who do need to sleep.
-All touches must adhere to the outlined acceptable forms of touch policy above and should be accompanied by explanations to the child (“I’m going to pat your back now to help you relax.”)
-Rooms will be dim but never made so dark that caregivers can no longer see children.
-Teachers may rub or pat backs. For infants and toddlers, a percussive pat may be used if that is enjoyable to the child. We may gently hold or rock children in our lap as well. Family preference should always be respected in helping children to sleep.
The goal is to calm children and make them feel safe and secure. We know each child is different and may have varying preferences about what kind of touch, if any, they find soothing.
Teachers may sit or lay close by on the floor and place a hand gently on a child’s back to apply supportive, positive pressure. Some children like to snuggle in with blankets, pillows, and loveys, and we will tuck them in and encourage them to cuddle up.
Teachers might sing or use a repetitive “shh shh” sound, or choose to play quiet, soothing music, or a book on tape. They may read to a child or speak to them continuously in a calm, monotonous tone.
Teachers are required to stay awake and actively supervise during nap; they may quietly read (including on devices like a kindle) or do work in the room but are always required to remain alert to the children.
Early risers and non-nappers will be provided quiet activities, such as books, puzzles, drawing, etc., after a 45-minute rest time. When available, auxiliary staff may play and interact with children in the social spaces of the CDC after the 45-minute rest time.
Children who are still sleeping at the end of nap time will be placed in a safe spot and allowed to continue to sleep until they naturally arise.
We schedule nap time after lunch and a short calm activity period, when children tend to be sleepy. We plan quiet activities immediately after nap time, so sleepy children can continue to rest while others are up and able to play. Going home immediately after nap can be hard for children, so we schedule play time in the room to close the day.
All children (except those sleeping in cribs) must furnish their own nap mats, which can be purchased by parents on their own or through the CDC. Blankets, “snuggles” and/or
travel size pillows may also be included for the child’s comfort and warmth. Mats, sheets and blankets will be sent home at the end of the week for laundering.
Infants, unless otherwise ordered by a physician, are placed on their backs to sleep in a crib with a firm surface. After being placed down for sleep on their backs, infants may then be allowed to assume any comfortable position when they can easily turn themselves from the back position. Sleep sacks are required for infants under 12 months. Pillows, quilts, comforters, blankets, stuffed toys or any other soft products, such as pacifiers with stuffed animals attached, are not permitted in the crib with any child.
We may ask children keep their shoes on during nap time if they are not easily slipped on and off. This is due to the need to be prepared in case of an emergency evacuation during nap time and is at the discretion of the supervising teacher.
All children will be required to rest for a period of time as required by TDFPS Minimum Standards. The children have participated in a busy morning filled with numerous activities and all ages need time to relax their bodies. Early risers and non-nappers will be provided quiet activities, such as books, puzzles, drawing, etc. after a 45-minute rest time. The children will play outdoors or inside following nap/rest time. All children (except those sleeping in cribs) must furnish their own nap mats, which can be purchased by parents on their own or through the CDC. Blankets, “snuggles” and/or travel size pillows may also be included for the child’s comfort and warmth. Mats, sheets and blankets will be sent home at the end of the week for laundering.
Infants, unless otherwise ordered by a physician, are placed on their backs to sleep in a crib with a firm surface. After being placed down for sleep on their backs, infants may then be allowed to assume any comfortable position when they can easily turn themselves from the back position. Sleep sacks are required for infants under 12 months. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys or any other soft products are not permitted in the crib with any child younger than 12 months. All staff who work with children under 24 months old are required to undergo annual training on infant safe sleep practices and prevention of SIDS.
Notification of Absences
If your child is ill or not attending school, email email@example.com, or call 512-371-0224 so we know not to expect them.
Outdoor play is an integral part of the day’s program. All classes play outside daily, weather permitting, on the playground and/or take walks around the temple grounds. In extremely hot weather (over 95 or heat index above 95 degrees) or extremely cold temperatures (under 35 degrees or on cold days that are wet and windy), the children will go outside briefly for no more than 15-minutes at a time, typically on a walk. Classes will not go outside when there are high levels of air pollution from smog or heavy traffic, and we follow air quality alerts as recommended by local health authorities.
Personal Items from Home
Children may bring personal items from home which are necessary for their security during special times of the day such as separation from parent and nap time. They will be asked to keep such items in their cubby when no longer necessary for their sense of security.
Please leave personal toys at home, as it is difficult to share favorite toys, and it is sad when they are broken or lost. However, we encourage children to bring books, pictures or other items which have educational value, especially those things related to the current theme. Money, candy, iPad/tablets, and gum are not allowed at school with the children at any time.
We encourage families to use pacifiers and comfort objects to ease the stress and transition from home to school environment. Children in the infant, toddler, and twos programs will be given access to all such items throughout the day as needed, and older children will be encouraged to seek comfort to self-soothe as needed.
Private Arrangements (between parents and staff)
The CDC is not responsible and disclaims any liability for the acts or omissions of CDC staff members in conjunction with arrangements that parents may choose to make with CDC staff members to care for their children or perform any other duties during staff member non-working hours.
No refunds are given of registration fees or tuition. If you know your child will be withdrawing mid-month, arrange in advance for a prorated fee.
For the health and safety of children, families and staff, we ask your help with the following:
- The CDC does not allow smoking, drugs, firearms or weapons of any kind in the classrooms, playgrounds or the temple premises and parking
- For the safety of the children, parents should not bring cups of coffee or hot
beverages without a lid into the classrooms or playgrounds.
Good-byes and Hellos
We will work with you to make your child feel safe, comfortable, and secure during transitions.
If you can, spend a few minutes in the classroom with your child when you drop-off and pick up. Your presence for a brief period will help ease you child into the room, however, we do not recommend staying too long or you child will think you are spending the entire time with them.
Always say good-bye before you go, even when your child is deeply engaged in interacting and playing. If you disappear without warning, it can be frightening.
Work with our teachers to create a fun and loving hello and goodbye ritual. Whether it’s a simple kiss and “see you later alligator”, or as is tradition in our Wise Owl preschool room, a gentle “shove” out the door, a ritual can help your child know what to expect and feel in control during transition.
Every day is different. Some days, saying goodbye will be harder than others. Lack of sleep, illness, changes in schedule, returning from trips, and having house guests can cause separation anxiety. This is all very normal developmental behavior. Reassuring your child is the best thing you can do. Typically, they are distracted and comforted by their caregivers, and calm down within moments, and at most, minutes, after you leave.
Bring photos and loves from home. They help your child feel connected to you throughout the day.
The CDC encourages
parents to follow all car safety guidelines by using seat belts for all passengers, appropriate car seats and/or booster seats for young children and not transporting children in the front seat of any vehicle. The CDC office has additional resources on car safety guidelines for parents in the office.
- The staff uses latex and
non-latex gloves in changing diapers, first aid for cuts that have blood, and as needed
throughout the day. Please let the office staff and teachers know if your child has an allergy to latex products and/or band-aids.
- All toys, paints and other materials used at the CDC are lead-free.
Save and Send
When you clean your house, remember that we can re-use: used toys and books in good condition, dramatic play props (phones, dress up costumes, jewelry, purses), good kitchen equipment, collage materials, (spools, yarn, buttons, ribbons, etc.), and other items that may be requested during the year.
Separation: Healthy Goodbyes
Separation anxiety is very common among young children, particularly younger toddlers and 2-year olds. Time, routine, and getting comfortable with caregivers at the school will help ease this anxiety. Our recommendations for most families in helping their child adjust to school is to:
- Talk with the child about school, the activities, the teachers, the other children prior to coming to
- Bring the child into his/her classroom, as matter of fact as possible, with a positive attitude. Children are very tuned into their parent’s feelings of
- Reassure him/her that you will return, stating a time in terms of activity such as after nap or
- Kiss him/her good-bye…then leave. Lingering can be as upsetting to your child as much as hastily leaving. Do not sneak out on your child as it is frightening for all children. Be sure to tell your child good-bye. The teacher will comfort the child if needed and help them get involved in an
Feel free to telephone the center or email anytime during the day to check on how your child is doing. Sometimes the anxiety continues for a few weeks. Sometimes it does not begin until after the child has been in school for some time. But, it always ends…even in extreme cases!
Snack and Lunch Guidelines
The CDC provides AM and PM snacks. A calendar will be posted each month on the parent information board for your reference. Our snacks feature fresh fruits and vegetables. On Friday morning, children have grape juice and challah for snack.
Parents should send servings of foods for their own child’s lunch that meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) daily recommendations for young children and offer a balanced diet. We do not serve sugary snacks and ask parents to refrain from regularly sending desserts in lunches.
The staff may at times supplement children’s lunches with food the CDC keeps on hand if they do not meet nutritional requirements. The staff will work individually with families as needed on the nutritional needs of their child.
The following are licensing guidelines that we must adhere to for infants under 13 months:
- Bottles and feeding schedules provided to the teacher will need to be updated at
- Formula or human milk is warmed in water at no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than 5 minutes; a microwave is not allowed for warming bottles or infant
- Cow’s milk should not be sent for children under 12 months; whole milk or reduced fat milk should be sent for children 12 – 24 months of age. Written dietary instructions from the child’s doctor must be provided if the child is to continue formula or other alternatives to milk after 12 months of age.
- All extra formula and baby food should be sent in factory-sealed containers and
will be prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Bottles can not contain any medication or solid foods, unless the child’s doctor provides written instructions to do
- The teachers will discard after one hour any formula or human milk that is served but not completely consumed or not
- Teachers do not offer solid food or fruit juices to infants younger than six months, unless that practice is recommended by the child’s health care provider and approved by families
- The CDC supports breastfeeding. Infant Teachers will work individually with parents who desire to send breast milk and/or desire to come nurse their child while in our
- We accept, store, and serve expressed human milk for feedings; accepting milk in ready to feed sanitary containers. The containers must be labeled with the child’s name and the date. It can be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than 48 hours (or more than 24 hours if the breast milk was previously frozen) or in a freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below no longer than 3 months. Staff gently mixes, not shakes, the milk before feeding to preserve special infection-fighting and nutritional components in human milk. The staff provides a comfortable place for breastfeeding. The staff also coordinates feedings with the infant’s
The following foods present a choking hazard and should not be sent at any time for children under the age of 2:
- Whole Hot dogs or large pieces of meat
- Whole grapes
- Raw peas Hard pretzels
- Raw chunks of carrots, or other vegetables
All lunch boxes must be labeled clearly with the child’s name. Teachers will check expiration dates on pre-packaged foods and will not serve if the expiration date has already passed. The expired food will be returned home, and the parent notified.
Children are not permitted to crawl or walk around with food, bottles or sippy cups, and will be asked to sit at a table to finish their food or drink even if they arrive with food or a sippy cup in hand in the morning.
We will inform you if your child needs more food for lunch. Uneaten portions of lunch (that can be easily repackaged) are returned in the lunch box so that parents will be aware of their child’s dislikes or changing appetites. Please send “blue ice” in the child’s lunch box to keep foods from spoiling. Send lunches which do not require extensive heating, though we will warm foods in the microwave when staffing allows.
Please be sure to clean all parts of the sippy cup each day.
The CDC offers splash day to all groups of children. These splash days occur between the beginnings of June through the end of August. Wading pools and sprinklers are used. The staff – child ratios remain the same as in the classrooms. Water is changed between each class and anytime it turns cloudy/ visibly unclean.
If the program staff suspect that a child has a developmental delay or other special need, this possibility will be communicated to families in a sensitive, supportive, and confidential manner and will provide documentation and an explanation for the concern, suggested next steps and information about resources for assessments.
Parents of children with identified disabilities or special learning needs are encouraged to share the Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP’s)/Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s,), and/or any specialized learning plans or recommendations from the doctor, therapist or school district. This information along with input from the parents will be used to help us plan individualized learning activities and assess the needs of your child while in our care so that we can better meet the special needs of your child.
Likewise, the CDC director and/or teachers will also provide information to therapists, doctors, school districts and/or private schools about the behavior and abilities demonstrated by a child while in our care and/or copies from the child’s assessment portfolio when requested with written parental permission.
Specialized consultants, including speech, occupational, and physical therapists and other professionals as needed are welcome to arrange with the director a time to observe the child while at the program and the use of a classroom or meeting room to provide therapy for the child on site at the CDC only with written parental permission and payment made directly to the therapist by the child’s parents. The therapist would need to sign the child out and back in to the classroom after therapy sessions. The therapists or specialized consultant may obtain information from the teacher about the child and/or review their assessment portfolio only with parental permission. In addition, teachers and/or the director will meet with the parent and therapist to determine the needs of the child while in our care. The CDC staff welcomes the input of specialized consultants in helping us meet the special needs of a child under their care. The director has the contact information of several agencies, consultants and therapists in the Austin area that the center has worked with in the past as well as others that can provide support services for children with special needs.
The CDC does not discriminate on the basis of abilities and attempts to be inclusive of all children. The program will work as best as possible with families with children with identified disabilities and special learning or developmental needs by making developmental placement, adjustment in staffing patterns or schedule, additional staff training, and/or modification within the physical environment within reasonable limits.
The reasonableness of the adjustments needed for the specialized needs of the individual child in addition to meeting the needs of all the children enrolled will be seriously considered by the director before making any final decision. The CDC may request that the parent share or fully cover the cost of any additional staff, specialized training, modifications to the environment or other adjustments needed to accommodate their child.
All children who turn four years of age by September of each school year are required by the State Health Department to have a hearing and vision screening by a licensed physician, qualified professional or certified screener. The CDC will arrange an on-site screening annually for eligible children.
Staffing- Roles & Descriptions:
Responsible for setting the educational program and ensuring all classrooms implement NAEYC guidelines and high-quality curriculum, the Director oversees all aspects of daily operations, including creating and maintaining the annual budget, financial management of both staff payroll and accounts payable and receivable, and all licensing and accreditation compliance, inspection visits, and preparing all required documentation and reports. The Director works closely with the Board, is responsible for hiring, training, supervising and evaluating staff, communicating with families about individual students, special events, school policies, and procedures. The Director recruits and enrolls new families, and represents the school in the greater CBI, Reform Judaism, and Austin community. The Director reports to the Board. BA required, MA preferred.
Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the assistant supports daily school operations and tasks as assigned, including managing time cards and preparing payroll, helping staff with time off requests and arranging coverage and substitutes, coordinating staff training in CPR and Food Handler’s certification, assisting families and staff with day-to-day needs (forgotten lunches, relaying messages, ordering supplies, reporting of facility needs, etc.) answering phones, maintaining student and employee files, greeting parents and school visitors, and organizing the school snack program.
Reporting directly to the Director, Lead teachers are responsible for working with their team to maintain a safe and healthy classroom environment, to plan and implement developmental play-based lessons, centers, and activities, to assess and communicate student progress and needs to families, and to design the educational environment to meet the needs of all learners. Lead teachers are required to follow NAEYC guidelines and school curriculum, and to communicate regularly with families about individual students, the philosophy of the program, special events, and their classroom activities. Lead teachers serve as mentors and collaborators for Associates and Teaching Assistants, providing support as their colleagues gain experience and develop their knowledge of the field. BA required for 4’s, preferred for preschool, CDA or AA required for infants and toddlers.
Reporting to the Director, with day to day supervision from their Lead teacher, Associates and Assistants provide responsive care to the individual students in the program.
Associates and Teaching Assistants always maintain the safety and health of students and supervise children by sight and sound. Associates and Teaching Assistants support Lead teachers by assisting during lessons, activities, and while children play in centers. Associates and Teaching Assistants may be assigned some light administrative tasks in the classroom such as assisting with filing of student work, changing classroom displays, and rotating toys and materials. Associates and Teaching Assistants are supported by the program as they gain experience and pursue education in our field.
Associates require a CDA or ten years of experience, a Teaching Assistant must have a HS diploma or equivalent.
Sunscreen/Sun Protection, and/or Insect Repellant for Outside Play
Since the classes play outside each day in the morning and afternoon, weather permitting, and given the intensity of the Central Texas sun, parents are encouraged to send their child with protective clothing for the sun, such as sun hats, and/or apply sunscreen on their child before school. For children staying in the later afternoon program, teachers will reapply sunscreen after nap if parents provide the sun block or sunscreen with at least a SPF of 15 or higher. The sunscreen must be labeled with the child’s name and written permission/request to reapply must be given on a medication request form.
If desired, parents may also want to apply insect repellant to their child prior to arriving to school. Teachers will reapply repellant only if the parent provides the repellant labeled with the child’s name and given written permission/request to reapply on a medication form. Insect repellants with DEET should be sent if recommended to be used by the local health authorities because of a high risk of insect-borne disease. Telephone/Messages/E-mail
Due to the physical layout and hands-on approach of the administrators, it is sometimes difficult to ensure that someone is always available to answer the telephone, especially after 9:30 am. A telephone answering system will take messages when no one is able to answer the telephone or if the line is already in use. Messages are checked first thing at 7:30 when the office manager gets in. Calls are returned as soon as possible. The teachers are generally able to talk with parents over the phone in the afternoon from 1:00 – 2:30.
In an emergency or matters needing immediate attention and the CDC office staff is not available, parents may call the Temple office at 512-454-6806 (open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) to reach the receptionist and the CDC. Parents should make note of this number in their records in case they should need it in an emergency.
The center’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Since the children are our priority, the email is at times only checked at the end of the day so it should be used only for information or needs that do not require immediate attention.
Termination of Enrollment
Complete Withdrawal from the CDC:
A thirty-day written notice, given to the Director, is required for complete withdrawal from the program. The parent is responsible for 30 days of tuition after such date. As budget and staff decisions are greatly impacted by enrollment changes, we would very much appreciate notice of complete withdrawal as early as possible, so we can attempt to fill the slot.
In extreme situations, a child’s enrollment may be terminated by the Director and/or CDC Board after informing the parents of the problem through conferences over time, trying to work with the family to resolve the issue through various efforts, and giving adequate notice and suggestions for other arrangements or referrals. A child’s enrollment may also be terminated if the parent’s account is 90 days or more delinquent.
Teachers will work with parents whose children seem ready to learn to use the toilet. The staff prefers children remain in diapers until they can achieve significant daytime control and will encourage children showing signs of readiness to use the toilet, especially if his or her diaper is dry. Children newly in underwear should bring several extra pairs of underwear as well as two complete changes of clothing including socks and shoes. Accidents will be dealt with in a calm, pleasant, and casual manner, and children will be reassured that it is part of the process.
Children vary widely in the age for toilet learning, with some starting around 18 months, and 2 and ½ being an average. Some will show interest at school and not at home and vice versa. The staff will work individually with each child and their family when the child is showing clear signs of readiness.
Some of the typical signs of toilet learning readiness include:
- Interest in using the toilet
- Ability to indicate need or desire to use the toilet
- Awareness of physical cues prior to using the toilet
- Can stay dry for at least two hours at a time
- Often wakes up dry after nap
- Wants diaper dry; dislikes soiled or wet diaper
- Some interest and ability in dressing
Touch and Nurturing (of children)
Physical touching is an important part of the care and nurturing of young children. Children feel loved, accepted, and supported through the sense of touch by nurturing adults and peers. However, physical touch should be respectful of children’s body cues and only occur with their permission. Staff members will be sensitive to children’s responses and requests for physical interaction, and model appropriate nurturing touches. Except for safety and cleansing, children always have the right to refuse to be touched.
Children are taught to respect adults’ and other children’s touch preferences. It is our place to inform parents of the nature and type of routine physical contact that their child will experience.
Nurturing-touch is necessary for every child’s emotional growth. Affectionate nurturing touch includes: hugging, holding on lap, rocking, carrying, rubbing or patting backs, cuddling and hand holding. Children always have the right to refuse these touches. While tickling may be an appropriate form of playful touch, it is kept to a minimum because of its potential for getting out-of-hand.
Personal-care-touch includes cleaning, dressing, and naptime routine and is done in a gentle and respectful manner. It also includes face- and hand-washing, assisting with going to the restroom, examining rashes and unusual marks, nose-blowing, and assisting with necessary clothing changes. Genital areas are touched gently for purposes of cleansing only, first administered as gently as possible an always accompanied by a verbal explanation and appropriate comforting.
Physical interaction is used only to protect the safety of children and staff to provide the least restrictive guidance necessary in each situation. Children are taught through modeling and verbal guidance to use words rather than physical interaction to settle their differences with others.
Nurturing touches (spontaneous)
- Hugging: i.e., when welcoming to the
- Holding on laps; i.e., when reading a book or during group time
- Rocking; i.e., when reading a story, giving an infant a bottle
- Rubbing and patting backs; i.e., when saying “thanks” or “I’m proud of you”
All the touches listed above plus:
Holding or carrying in arms; i.e., when a child is injured Kissing; i.e., kissing an injured finger, head, etc.
To protect the child and any others from injury; i.e., from an angry child To facilitate separation from parent at arrival
Holding tightly in arms Carrying in arms Rubbing backs
Parents are always welcomed visitors at the CDC to observe, to eat lunch with your child, to volunteer to help in the classroom, or to share a special talent with the children. Please arrange visits in advance so classroom staff can plan accordingly and support good-byes.
Weather Related Center Cancellations
The CDC program will follow any closing for inclement weather which the Austin School District follows. Listen to local radio or T.V. stations for school closing reports.
We believe that direct, effective communications are at the heart of a stimulating, safe, caring program for young children. If you have concerns about day to day operations, the program, or your child’s care specifically, please feel free to discuss them with your child’s teachers or the CDC Director. If the situation concerns the director, or you feel it has not been handled appropriately, please feel free to contact a board member (names and numbers are listed in the directory).
The CDC shares the Congregation Beth Israel website and information can be found at www.bethisrael.org. Brightwheel is our PRIMARY communication tool; school-wide messages will be sent through this format, and the calendar will be kept up to date with events.
Messages from Home
All important messages (a change in schedule, a different person picking up your child, child going with a friend, etc.) is very helpful to have in writing, dated, signed and given to the teacher. Please let the center know when something is happening which may have bearing on your child such as: a projected move, birth, death, separation, etc. Having this information will enable our staff to help the child deal with his/her feelings.
Parent Bulletin Boards
Parent information will be posted inside your child’s classroom and have copies of important notices and forms.
At least annually, families are involved in a comprehensive program evaluation
That will measure our progress toward our program’s goal and objectives. The annual evaluation processes include gathering evidence on all areas of program functioning,
including policies and procedures, program quality, children’s progress and learning, family involvement and satisfaction, and community awareness and satisfaction. Survey monkey will gather the data from your answers and we will report the findings to you. The other survey is through the NAEYC will be done to measure the overall effectiveness of the program.
Room parents assist in communicating information to parents within the class, help with special activities and center events, and any other services requested by the classroom teacher. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the office.
All lead teachers have office hours during their planning time to meet with families. Please contact your teacher to schedule a time to discuss your individual child, the classroom, and any questions you may have.