Smart Beginnings FAQ
Below are the most common questions and answers that we receive. The majority of these questions are answered in greater depth in our Parent handbook. As a requirement before you sign up for care at Smart Beginnings we require a signed form stating you have read and understood our policies and procedures provided in the handbook.
Q: What are the child to teacher ratios in each classroom?
A: Bright Beginners> Birth- 7 Months (1:4)
Little Movers> 7 Months- 13 Months (1:4)
Creative Learners> 13 Months- 24 Months (1:4)
Discoverers> 15 Months- 24 Months (1:4)
Explorers> 2 years (1:8)
Adventurers> 3- 4 years (1:10)
Pathfinders> 4-5 years (1:10)
It should be noted that many of our classrooms have lower child to staff ratios on a daily basis due to the size of the classroom. No classroom in our facility has more than 16 kids at any given time with most holding no more than 8. These maximize the individual attention each child gets and ensures a safe environment.
Q: What are your prices?
A: *Current Tuition rates:
* Prices are subject to change. Please call or come in to confirm the rate for your child or children
Q: What are your hours?
A: We are open Monday through Friday 6:30am to 6:30pm.
Q: In what event will the center be closed? Do you close for weather?
A: We are closed for common holidays used in the traditional corporate world. We have our calendar up on our calendars page which shows our closing dates. For weather, we close if Park University is closed. We try to stay open in inclement weather when possible but don’t want to put our customers or staff at risk. We reserve the right to close for weather at our discretion. In the event we make the decision to close we will do our absolute best to give parents as much time as possible to find alternative care.
Q: Are you licensed and do you accept state assistance?
A: Yes we are licensed by the state of Missouri and are licensed for up to 72 kids, currently.
Q: How often are the children involved in physical activity?
A: The children get to go outside and play two times per day, weather permitting. They are typically given 45 minutes of play for each occurrence. Smart Beginnings is also a Move Smart certified program. We are one of the very few facilities in the entire Northland that can say this.
Q: Can I bring outside food for my child?
A: After your child’s first birthday, you are no longer allowed to bring in food for your child. Your child must adhere to the menu and food that Smart Beginnings is providing. The ONLY exceptions are that of religious beliefs or allergies. With all exceptions a variance is required. We wish that we could manage each child’s preferences but with over 60 kids to serve each day keeping track of each child’s breakfast lunch and snacks is simply not an option.
Q: What is your sick policy?
A: If your child/children are going to be late or absent please call or email by 8:30am. We take final count for the day at 10:00am; if your child is not in attendance and notice has not been given care will be denied for that day. Tuition is due in full regardless of illness or absences. Smart Beginning is a licensed facility and must follow all licensing rules and regulation in regards to any illness. If a child exhibits any of the following symptoms they must be sent home:
Fever (100f. or higher) – child needs to be fever free for 24 hours
Diarrhea – child must be symptom-free for 24 hours
Vomiting – child must be symptom-free for 24 hours
Runny nose with colored discharge –check with doctor
Rash –check with doctor
Discharge from eyes or ears
Lice – child needs to be completely treated and lice/nit free before returning
Communicable diseases – chicken pox, measles, mumps, conjunctivitis (pink eye), influenza etc. The child may return when the incubation and contagious period is passed and the child is well enough to resume normal childcare activities.
Q: What safety practices and security measures are at Smart Beginnings?
A: Safety and security are of the utmost importance here at Smart Beginnings. All teachers have trained annually in first aid and CPR. We do the best to minimize safety incidents and this begins with attentive and caring staff. For security, we have cameras at each of the entry and exit points recording at all times. We also have our computer check in utilizing our ProCare software. It is imperative that this is used properly to keep track of all children in and out of the facility. Again, nothing can replace an attentive and caring staff. It is a full team effort.
Q: What is the discipline policy?
A: While in our care we focus on positive encouragement and reinforcement. Children will NOT be subject to any restraint, verbal, emotional, or physical punishment. We believe the most effective ways of enforcing positive behaviors are: Praise, Respect, Re-Direction, and Positive Re-Enforcement. This is enforced using Conscious Discipline, an evidence-based discipline approach, which helps create an environment where everyone can develop in a way best for them. Conscious Discipline is the only program that integrates classroom management with social-emotional learning, uses everyday events as part of a school’s curriculum, and addresses the adult as well as the child. Conscious Discipline empowers teachers and other adults with the Seven Powers for Self-Control.
Q: What curriculum do you use?
A: Smart Beginnings Early Learning Center is based on the child development model which incorporates the theories of Piaget, Montessori, Reggio, and others. Learning through play is viewed as the cornerstone of the curriculum. Adults provide protection, security, stimulation, support, limits, and affection. Children are respected as individuals within a child-oriented rather than teacher-directed program.
Q: What enrichment programs do you offer?
A: We offer a variety of enrichment programs including, sign language, music and dance, and foreign language. We are always looking for other programs to add further enrichment opportunities. We also occasionally offer additional programs such as a soccer program that is at an additional fee.
Q: How do you encourage healthy food habits?
A: We offer a variety of nutritious food for your child at each meal. We try to expose children to new tastes from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Please refer to our monthly food calendars for additional details.
Q: What is the visitation policy?
A: We have an open door policy for parental visits. Our program allows families to visit any area of the facility during regular operating hours. We do ask that they are mindful of our nap time, typically 12:30 to 3:00
Q: How often are the carpets and toys cleaned?
A: Toys are cleaned daily, and carpets are cleaned weekly with the exception of immediate cleaning needed. A child in a daycare facility is exposed to more germs on average and while this is good to build their immune system we realize that it is our duty to provide the cleanest facility we can and minimize that exposure. We follow all state required cleaning processes and are routinely spot checking each classroom.
Q: Are your teachers trained in first aid and CPR?
A: Our teachers complete annual training in first aid and CPR and are certified or re-certified at that time. You can feel confident that your child’s safety is the utmost important to us and we take safety very seriously.