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Early Childhood Center
Early Childhood Center
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ANSWERS TO PARENTS' MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Upon initial enrollment, families are provided with a copy of our "Family Handbook." It's purpose is to acquaint you with the policies and procedures of the Center. When you have questions, the answers will be most thoroughly addressed in that handbook. To assist you in quickly finding answers, we have developed this synopsis of answers to the questions parents most frequently ask. If you require more information, PLEASE do not hesitate to speak with the Director and/or e-mail: rdabbsk@siue.edu.

STAFF

How are staff qualified and trained?

Lead Teachers have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, hold a current Illinois Early Childhood (type 4) Teacher Certificate and have at least three years experience with children.

Assistant Teachers have 60 hours of college credit (18 credits in courses related to child development) or completion of Child Development (CDA) credentialing. Assistant Teachers also hold a Food Sanitation Certificate.

The Director must have a Masters Degree.

All professional staff also are certified in CPR and First Aid.

How are staff screened prior to employment?

According to position qualification requirements, staff are screened in a variety of ways, including: criminal background checks (fingerprinting), college transcripts, letters of recommendation and medical reports.

How do staff stay current in appropriate practice with children?

Each staff member completes a minimum of 15 hours per year of in service training on a wide variety of topics, ECC staff acquire many more hours beyond that and frequently provide training for other early childhood professionals.

BILLING

How often will I be billed?

Once a month.

Where do I pay my bill?

If you will pay by cash or check, your child care bill can be paid at the Office of the Bursar, located in the first floor of Rendleman Hall. Additionally, you now have the option of making a payment by e-check, credit or debit card, through our payment web site: https://commerce.cashnet.com/siuemisc

What if there is a mistake in my bill?

Please speak to the office staff.

Do I pay for days my child is absent due to illness?

Yes.

Do I pay for days my child is absent for a family vacation or simply a day off?

Yes, when those are days when the Center normally operates.

What if I can't pay my bill by the due date?

See Director to plan an alternate payment date BEFORE the due date. See the "Tuition" section in the family handbook for more information.

Do I pay for holidays?

Yes, if they fall within the university calendar (Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day). However, you do NOT pay for Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks. Break Weeks are optional, so you will not be billed for them unless you have indicated on your parent school agreement that your child will attend.

Will the Center accept payment from a subsidizing agency, such CHASI ?

Yes. Please arrange this with us in the office. You will be expected to pay for any charges that any agency will not reimburse, i.e. full daily cost of care, late fees, materials charges, registration charges.

ELIGIBILITY AND SCHEDULING

Do I have to reapply each semester to keep my child's space?

No. You are automatically given a space once enrolled. At the end of each semester you will be asked to complete a Parent School Agreement for the next semester.

How many credit hours must I carry to be eligible for the student rate?

You must be enrolled in 9 undergraduate hours or 6 graduate hours during the Fall and Spring semesters. You must be enrolled in 6 undergraduate hours or 3 graduate hours during the summer semester.

If I don't attend summer school can I still have a space held for the upcoming fall semester?

Yes, if you have completed a Fall Parent School Agreement prior to leaving for the summer.

If my child who is enrolled for part-time child care comes in late or misses a day, can my child stay later or come another day to make it up?

No. Time can not be traded or banked for future use. If you need extra time beyond your regular schedule you may contact the Director. If there is room for your child you can add extra time with an extra charge added to your bill.

What are the current child care rates?

Please refer to your tuition section on this web site for the most recent rates.

END OF THE DAY CHILD PICK-UP

Can I call the Center when someone else is going to pick-up my child?

No. You must fill out the necessary forms BEFORE anyone else can take your child.

What happens if I am late picking up my child?

You are charged a late fee. If a parent is repeatedly late, he/she may be asked to find alternate care for their child. Please see your handbook for our policies.

MEALS AND TREATS

Do I pay for the food my child receives at the center?

No. Meal and snacks are included in your child care rates. The Child Care Food Program covers part of that cost.

How will I know what my child eats during the day?

Menus of all meals and snacks are posted throughout the center and sent home monthly. You are welcome to speak with a Lead Teacher about your child's eating habits.

May I bring birthday treats for my child?

Yes, but only store or bakery purchased treats. Please try to make them nutritious. Let a Lead Teacher know when you plan to bring a treat.

CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES

Does the Center have a curriculum?

See our curriculum section on this web site to learn more.

How will I know what my child does during the day?

The daily schedule is posted outside each classroom. In addition, the teachers will also be pleased to talk with you about the activities that are planned.

Will my child play outside in the winter?

Yes, almost every day that weather permits. Please bring mittens, hats, and boots so your child can enjoy the healthful outdoors.

HEALTH CONCERNS

May child come to school when he/she is ill?

No. Home is the best place for children when they are contagious or recuperating. Your handbook lists contagious illnesses that require a child's absence.

Will the Center give my child medicine?

Yes, but only if you fill out a Medication Consent form and give it to the Lead Teacher.

How often does my child need a physical?

DCFS requires that a current physical be on file prior to your child's start date. The designated form is provided in your registration packet. This form must be completed within six months of initial enrollment and indicate a current immunization history, TB skin test (unless waived by physician), and lead risk assessment or lead screening. Physical examinations are valid for two years, and must be updated as such for the duration of your child's enrollment at the ECC.

What happens if my child becomes ill or is hurt while in the center?

We will use your emergency form to find you so you can be with your child. See emergency procedures in the parent handbook.

FUNDING

Where does the Center get funds to operate?

The fees that parents pay only cover a portion of the cost of child care services provided! ECC's budget is subsidized by Student Affairs and grant funds. The CCAMPIS ( Childcare Access Means Parents In School) grant also provides monetary support for eligible student families receiving the Pell Grant. The university provides the facility and general upkeep free of charge. These extra monies help to keep our parent fees as low as possible.

PARENT & FAMILY INVOLVEMENT

How can I help my child to adjust at the center?

By keeping a very predictable schedule and discussing Center activities you will be helping your child to adjust. Attending Center family events also helps children feel more comfortable. If your child has separation issues, please ask for parenting resources from our staff. We have them about lots of different topics, including morning routines and separation anxiety.

May I come visit my child at the Center?

Yes! You are also welcome on field trips and during family events. You are welcome to observe your child in our observation booth, too. Please see the Director to schedule observation time in the booth.

In what ways can I be involved in my child's program?

Classroom visits; enjoying classroom activities (story time, outdoor play, music time, lunch, snacks- anything you choose); attend family events, parent workshops; chaperone field trips; schedule a parent-teacher conference; share a talent or skill as a classroom activity; or partake in classroom celebrations, such as Chinese New Year; assist with fund-raising efforts.

Does the Center have parenting books or resources I can borrow?

Yes. We have a Family lending library with books that can be checked out. The staff also has a wealth of handouts that can be of help to parents of young children, ranging from toilet training to building self esteem.

How do I request a parent conference?

We provide parent conferences twice a year AND upon request. Feel free to request one from a Lead Teacher or the Director.

If I have a concern about the services my child is receiving what can I do?

Speak with the Director or Violations in licensing laws should be reported to the Department of Children and Family Services.

Can my child's relatives visit the Center?

Yes, we would love to have them; but please accompany them on their first visit so we can be introduced.

Do I have to attend parent orientation meetings?

Yes, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Should I notify the Center if there are questions surrounding custody issues?

Yes. Unless otherwise notified on your child's enrollment application, we assume both parents have legal custody and both have full rights to leave our Center premises with their child.

Will you include non-custodial parents in the program?

Yes, if the custodial parent agrees. Non-custodial parents will also be given parent conferences upon request.

HOLIDAYS AND SCHOOL VACATIONS

Is the Center open during semester breaks?

Yes, the center is open on semester breaks with the exception of Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and Professional Development Week, which occurs the second week in August each year.

Does the Center celebrate holidays?

The staff and children acknowledge holidays; however, they do not participate in elaborate celebrations of them. For example, there will be no elaborate Halloween celebration, but there will be a celebration of the harvest season.

DISCIPLINE

What will the Center personnel do if my child acts inappropriately?

We use positive discipline techniques and try to prevent most behavior problems. Please see our "Discipline" section in the parent handbook for more details.

Will the Center tell me if my child has special problems?

If we are not able to correct them in a reasonable time, yes, we will ask for your input and assistance. In such cases, teachers or the Director will like request a parent-teacher conference.

Should I punish my child at home if he/she acts inappropriately at the Center?

No! It is best if the teachers deal with the child care behaviors and parents handle the home behaviors. We would like to share strategies with each other for dealing with inappropriate behavior so we can all be as consistent as possible for your child.

FIELD TRIPS

Will I be notified of field trips?

Absolutely. Please feel free to attend field trips when your schedule allows.

How are children transported during field trips?

SIUE University vehicles. All drivers must be 21 years of age and have been cleared to drive by SIUE transportation services.

COLLEGE STUDENTS, OBSERVERS AND RESEARCHERS

Will college students interact with my child?

Yes. College students are employed as teaching assistants. The Center also serves as a practicum site for graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Education and other related departments (i.e. Psychology or Nursing).

How do people get permission to observe or conduct research in the program?

College students or faculty wanting to complete observations, participation hours, research or special projects must complete an application to be approved by applicable University offices (Institutional Review Board) and the Center Director.

Can anyone from campus drop in to observe a classroom without an appointment?

No, only child care staff, parents of enrolled children, and emergency personnel have open door access to the Center.

WITHDRAWAL AND DISMISSAL PROCEDURES

How much notice should I give before withdrawing my child?

Two weeks notice is required.

Can the Center dismiss my child?

Yes, but it is very, very rare. Please refer to our dismissal procedures in the parent handbook.

*Adopted from Illinois State University Child Care Center.

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