FEEDING UTENSILS, BOWLS, BOTTLES AND CUPS
Children bringing lunch to school should have their own utensils. STEM Academy does have plastic spoons, forks, cups, napkins and paper plates if a child should forget, but we encourage parents to pack all that is necessary for your child in their lunch box. INFANTS and TODDLERS MUST provide all bowls, plates, eating utensils and enough sippy cups/bottles for the child for the course of a day. Please label everything! Bottles must be labeled with name and today’s date. We can not reuse any bottle or sippy cup after initial use. For children purchasing lunch or having school snack, utensils, napkins and cups will be provided.
STEM Academy for Young Kids serves whole milk to children under 2 years old and 1% milk to children over 2 years old, unless otherwise requested by the parent/guardian. We also provide Soy milk for children who may have allergies to regular cow milk. We serve water throughout the day. We DO NOT serve juice.
Here at STEM Academy, we feel it is our responsibility to encourage healthy eating (and drinking). Please help us as well and limit sugary and unhealthy snacks. Ask your child’s teacher for healthy alternatives for picky eaters. Please visit the website: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ for more information on portion sizes, food ideas, alternatives, etc.
MEALS AND SNACKS
We serve breakfast snack between 8:30-8:55 every morning. Children who arrive at 9:00am or later, should have already eaten at home. Lunch is served (depending on the class/age of children) at 11:30, 12:00 or 12:30. Lunch is catered into our center and can be PRE-PURCHASED for $6 per day. Infant formula (or breast milk for nursing infants) is provided by parents. Parents are also required to provide all food for their child until 18 months of age.
NAP TIME & REST TIME
Children in our Infant, Toddler, and Preschool rooms will be allowed to and given time to nap during the day. In our Infant rooms, infants nap according to their own individual schedules. We also practice “BACKS TO SLEEP” in our center. ALL children are required to be placed on their backs, initially to sleep. Once a child is old enough to roll/turn over, they will be allowed to sleep on their sides. In our Toddler and Preschool rooms, naptime is scheduled into the day’s routine. Children are not forced to sleep rather they are provided a cot. Parents MUST supply a fitted standard sized crib sheet and a small blanket for their child’s use during naptime. SHEETS AND BLANKETS are REQUIRED by licensing. Naptimes can range from 12 to 2:30 daily. Some children use all of it, some of it, and/or none of it. A child is required to have rest time on their cot for approximately 30 minutes. If your child does not fall asleep or makes it clear they will not sleep they will be given a book on their cot or placed at the table for quiet time activity. This allows napping friends to nap peacefully. Teachers will sit next to your child to provide comfort, when necessary.
Nap time is extended to our Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. Children are not forced to sleep, rather, they are provided a cot. Parents MUST supply a sheet and small blanket for their child to use at nap time. SHEETS AND BLANKETS are REQUIRED by licensing. Nap times range from 1 to 2:30 daily. Some children use all of it, some of it, and/or none of it. A child is required to have rest time on their cot for approximately 30 minutes. If your child does not fall asleep or makes it clear they will not sleep, they will be given a book on their cot or placed at the table for quiet time activity. This allows napping friends to nap peacefully. Teachers will sit next to your child to provide comfort, when necessary.
OUTSIDE TIME AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Children who come to STEM Academy for Young Kids are expected to be able to fully participate in the daily schedule. Outside time is part of this schedule; any child who comes to school at STEM Academy will be expected to play outside according to state childcare regulations. ANY child who is requested to not participate in outside activity due to weather or illness should remain home until they are able to fully participate. We go outside between temps of 35 degrees and 95 degrees. We monitor for air quality alerts and wind chill factors in making our decisions for outside time. Children are expected to get a minimum of 60 minutes a day of physical activity. We here at STEM Academy strive to help meet this expectation. Your child will have outside/gym time once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Children who stay after 5:00pm will get another opportunity for physical activity either outside or in the gym.
Here at STEM Academy for Young Kids, we will aid in potty-training for your child. Parents are strongly encouraged to follow up with training children at home. It is crucial for parents and teachers to be on the same page for ultimate success! Potty-training formally begins with children who are 2 years old. A child will begin to have their diaper changed inside the bathroom standing up. At this time they will be asked/encouraged to sit on the potty (even if they just sit for a moment we will praise their efforts). Children in our 2’s room will be asked every 45 minutes or so to come to the potty and “try”. Their diaper will be removed and they will be assisted to sit on the potty. After each attempt, children will be asked to wash their hands to promote and associate proper hygiene. As your child begins to be successful, the time will be lengthened to 1 hour, 1 hour 15 minutes, etc. until they can reach 2 hours. If your child is able to stay dry for 2 hours and successfully use the potty when asked for 5 straight days, at this point, we will consider your child “toilet/potty-trained”. When your child’s teacher and you have this conversation, the teacher will then (with you) decide when diapers should be discarded and “underwear” can be attempted through the day. Several sets of underwear, pants, socks and shoes should be in their cubby or backpack for accidents. Two (2) accidents by your child in underwear will require them to be placed back into a diaper for classroom hygiene purposes. This is a simple guide - parents may discuss potty-training with the teacher or administration on a case by case basis.
Children (barring developmental/physical delays or issues) MUST be fully potty-trained and 3 years old to enter our preschool program. Naptime diapers are allowed, and we are aware that an occasional accident will occur. Children who are not fully potty-trained however, will remain in our Young Preschool room until full success at potty-ing is achieved. We discourage the use of pull-ups during the training process. If a parent chooses to use pull ups, STEM Academy requires them to be the kind with the velcro sides. Please continue to use diapers throughout this time. Children need to be able to freely pull their pants up and down to encourage independence, so please, NO one piece out?ts, overalls, button pants, etc.
CHECKING IN AND OUT ELECTRONICALLY
It is required for the parent/guardian of each child to check their child in and out on a daily basis, using the parent computer located in the front hallway. Each parent will be given a code to process their child’s attendance in the center. This system helps us determine attendance in the center and classroom lists for emergency evacuations. Repeat offenders NOT complying with this rule can and will be ?ned $5 each time the child is not checked in/out.
DAILY HEALTH CHECKS
Our staff is required to perform a daily health check of each child upon drop off. This is a simple process of giving a child the “once over” look. We want to make sure your child is free from skin rashes, unusual spots, scrapes, bumps, or bruises and/or fever. Any marks discovered on your child will be will be re?ected on the daily sheet.
HEALTH IMMUNIZATIONS AND FLU SHOTS
ALL children MUST be immunized to enroll and attend STEM Academy. You will be required to submit a copy of your child’s immunization record to the center upon enrollment and a completed Universal Health Form by your child’s health provider/doctor. EVERY CHILD 6 MONTHS TO 5 YEARS OF AGE MUST GET A FLU SHOT EVERY WINTER; documentation from the physician is required. Not providing proper documentation for completed immunizations and ?u vaccinations will result in suspended care for your child. Remember to update your child’s immunization chart as they are completed throughout the year. See the following link for more information: http://www.state.nj.us/health/forms/imm.pdf.
CHILD WILL BE ABSENT
If your child will be absent, please call the main phone number at STEM Academy, 732-243-9793 to report their absence. This allows us to account for every child, any sicknesses that are going around, be aware of children on vacation, or children who are just spending the day at home. Reporting your child’s absence assists us on continuing the successful flow to the structure of our program. Remember, attendance is important to your child’s success at STEM.
UPDATING PARENT INFORMATION
It is vital to our program and the safety of your child to update your personal information whenever the need arises. Your cell, home and work phone numbers must be updated and current at all times in addition to your home and work addresses, emails, and emergency contacts.
We have an open door policy (for enrolled) families. Here at STEM Academy for Young Kids, parents/guardians are welcome to come and go without notice to visit the center and their child. Please see our Info To Parents Letter. We encourage family participation in STEM Academy. For example, if you would like to volunteer your time to read a story, share a family tradition, celebrate a birthday – please communicate with your child’s teacher for details on how to make this a successful interaction. If you find it necessary to check in on your child, you may also contact the office.
HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS
We look forward to celebrating with our multicultural and international families. We will do our best to teach and celebrate all calendar holidays. Cultures, holidays, celebrations are taught matter-of-factly. “Some families (not all) celebrate this, and this is what it entails...” is one example of our approach. With this said, children look forward to celebrations and it makes the school year more fun! Teachers will provide sign-up sheets for parents to participate in these celebrations when the time approaches. Your school calendar will re?ect these celebrations.
STEM Academy for Young Kids always enjoys recognizing all of our children, every day, and especially more-so on their very own special day, their birthday! We look forward to celebrating your child’s special milestone in a fun and creative way in school with all their friends and teachers where they spend most of their days. Our STEM birthday celebrations will not include food or edible treats, instead, they will include a variety of special ways to make your birthday child feel more incredible on their birthday. Each classroom may vary its non-food birthday celebration practices. The class will sing Happy Birthday and parents are welcome to join us. If you would like to bring other family members, they may join you as well. We will have some time set aside for a special class activity, game, craft, and you can bring your child’s favorite book to read to the class. If you would like to bring something in for your child’s friends such as pencils, erasers, anything small and age appropriate as a non-edible treat, you may do so as well. Please communicate with your child’s teacher if you will be joining us for a few minutes or bringing in any non-edible treats to share. We will create an extremely enjoyable day surrounding your child’s birthday as Student of the Day!
Listed are some examples that may be used in our classrooms to celebrate your birthday child:
• Enjoy class lesson or reading time outside
• Allow child to choose class activity or game
• Present certificate of “achievement”
• Have a class sing-along
• Create class coupons with special privileges (line leader, helper,...)
• Allow child to choose music to play for the class
• Child, parent, or teacher can read a favorite book to the class
• Allow child to choose a theme to wear something fun for their special day: pajama day, hat day, sports day, color day, pattern day
MONTHLY CALENDAR AND THEMES
STEM Academy for Young Kids will post online and in the classroom monthly calendar. This calendar will re?ect the theme of the month of which the curriculum will be based around. The calendar will have important reminders for holidays, days off, celebrations, birthdays, etc.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
STEM Academy offers a wide variety of extra activities. Many activities are included in your tuition and others are parent-paid activities. Activities can vary from semester to semester to ensure children are being introduced to a wide range of activities.
TUITION AND FEES
Kindergarten tuition is based on 4 weeks in the month and for a school year from September to June. Infant/Toddler/Preschool/Pre-K tuition is a year round tuition with an open enrollment, based on a 4 week month. See the center director for tuition details. There is a registration fee for every family and a deposit required upon enrollment. Deposits will be deducted from your last tuition payment upon withdrawal. Registration is non-refundable.
LATE PICK-UP & FEES
STEM Academy for Young Kids closes every evening at 7:00pm. There is a LATE PICK UP FEE of $15 up to the first 15 minutes and an additional $15 for the next 15 minutes. For each additional minute after 7:30pm, the fee is $1.00 per minute. Late fees are charged to your account with the time of pick-up posted in the comment section. We understand inclement weather, traffic & broken down trains. These “occurrences” are the exception, not the norm. If you need to adjust your pick up time, please contact the office.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
If your family needs to take an extended leave period during the school year, we can make arrangements with the individual family. Parents who leave for 3 full weeks or longer can pay a Leave of Absence Fee. This fee is 50% of the tuition fee and is non-refundable. This fee is intended to hold your child’s spot in the classroom while they are away with the understanding of their return to school. Your deposit remains in your account. If you choose not to return to STEM Academy for Young Kids, you are in violation of our Withdrawal Policy and a 1 month tuition is back charged to your account in which you are responsible for paying. Your deposit will be used to clear any outstanding balances.