The purpose of our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Program is to provide a secure and safe environment as well as a loving and stimulating atmosphere in which children can grow socially, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually through developmentally age-appropriate practices. We recognize that children learn through play, and we strive to create a climate that encourages exploration, experimentation, and creativity. Special attention is given to fostering a positive self-concept in each child through creative and structured learning opportunities. Children go on field trips so they may learn through hands-on experiences.
The goal of our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Program is to foster the early learning experiences of each child enrolled. Emphasis for the preschool class is on socialization - learning to interact appropriately with peers, resolving conflicts, and adapting to class routines. Projects and activities planned are designed to increase on-task time, develop small and large motor skills, and introduce pre-academic concepts. The pre-kindergarten classes continue with social development and increased emphasis is placed on Kindergarten readiness. Projects and activities continue to stretch the on-task time and increase the competency with small motor activities, writing, and cutting skills. Children are introduced to following teacher directions in a group setting. The overall goal is for each child to be prepared to be self-confident and have a positive experience for their later educational years.
The Early Learning Center uses Creative Curriculum which balances both teacher-directed and child- initiated learning, with an emphasis on responding to children"s learning styles and building on their strengths and interests. It is a research-based curriculum that applies the latest theory and research on best practices in teaching and learning. The curriculum clearly defines the teacher"s vital role in connecting content, teaching, and learning for preschool children. The classrooms are defined by interest areas, which include blocks, dramatic play, toys and games (manipulatives), art, library, writing, discovery, sand & water, music & movement, as well as including cooking, computers, and the outdoors.
CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
The Early Learning Center uses Conscious Discipline which is a comprehensive classroom management program and a social-emotional curriculum. It is based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices. Conscious Discipline has been specifically designed to make changes in the lives of adults first. The adults, in turn, change the lives of children.
Conscious Discipline is a way of organizing schools and classrooms around the concept of a School Family. Each member of the family—both adult and child— learns the skills needed to successfully manage life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, communicating effectively, being sensitive to others’ needs, and getting along with others.
Conscious Discipline is specifically designed to teach the following: - Anger management - Helpfulness (pro-social skills) - Assertiveness - Impulse Control - Cooperation - Empathy - and Problem Solving. Real-life conflict and challenging situations serve as character education curriculum for the Conscious Discipline classroom. Conflict is viewed as a teaching opportunity, and adults are empowered to transform it into a valuable lesson. Character education is part of everyday life, not an activity that occurs separately.
Conscious Discipline builds self-esteem by addressing children’s universal need to be generous and contributing members of a group. Each child holds a job and is responsible for the effective running of the classroom.
Conscious Discipline allows adults to teach by example. It operates on a basis of creating physical and psychological safety for children. Research shows that the brain functions optimally in a safe, stimulating environment. This principle is at the program’s core.
St. Matthew Early Learning Center is based in a religious environment. Religion is part of our program and is integrated into the daily curriculum. The Early Learning Center children attend Mass along with the grade school students at least twice a month, as well as any time the grade school celebrates a Holy Day of Obligation or special Mass.
We believe that our program is an extension of your home and your teachings. While we provide a time for Bible stories, songs, and activities, we are not and cannot be your child"s main center for religious training. We want to aid and support the family in the cultivation of your child"s spiritual development. We teach the children about God"s love by caring for one another in a loving and respectful manner.
Enrollment shall be granted to any child without discrimination in regards to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, and ancestry. Children must be three (3) and potty trained to enroll in our program. Enrollment in the Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Program is given to the previous year’s families first. If spots remain open, enrollment will be on a first come-first serve basis.
The following forms must be completed and on file with the Director BEFORE a child may attend:
• Enrollment Application
• Medical Record/Health Assessment & Immunization Records
• Authorization for Emergency Medical Care
• Contract for Fees
• Signed Discipline Policy
• Signed Illness/Exclusion Policy
Parents are requested to notify the Center of any changes in address, phone numbers, or emergency contacts/numbers.
HOURS & FEES
A $125 non-refundable enrollment fee (per child) must accompany the enrollment packet to officially enroll your child in the Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten Program.
Part-Time – (Effective August 21, 2012)
2 days per week 8am – 11:30 am $120 per month
3 days per week 8am – 11:30 am $140 per month
5 days per week 8am – 11am $250 per month
(Must be picked up no later than 11:30am.)
Preschool or Pre-Kindergarten 2–4 days per week 7am – 6pm $35 per day
(Must be picked up no later than 6pm.)
Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten Monday - Friday 7am – 6pm $130 per week
(Must be picked up no later than 6pm.)
Part-time mornings only is paid on a monthly basis. Part-time full day and full-time tuition are paid on a weekly basis.
MEALS & SNACKS
When St. Matthew Catholic School is in session, hot lunch is available for the preschool and pre-kindergarten students through the grade school for a cost of $2.00 per meal (2012/13 rates). Please turn in a separate check for payment of hot lunches. A nutritious sack lunch needs to be brought if parents choose not to purchase a hot lunch as well as during the summer time.
A nutritious sack lunch must include one item from each of the following:
1. Meat, poultry, fish, egg, cheese, cooked or dried peas or beans, or peanut butter;
2. Two vegetables, 2 fruits, or one vegetable and one fruit;
3. Bread, bread produce or cereal; and
4. Milk. (We will provide milk for the children.)
Effective January 11, 2010, children who are physically present at 8:45am will be included in the hot lunch count. If your child is not here by 8:45am, they will NOT be included in the count UNLESS you call the ELC and let a staff member know that your child needs to be included in the count. If you do not call by this time, you will need to bring a sack lunch for your child to eat. Parents will continue to sign up their child for lunch on the weekly lunch sheets, but will not be charged if their child is not physically here or they have not been called in.
At the Early Learning Center, families help keep snack costs down by providing a morning snack for their child’s classroom. We ask that each family donate a breakfast snack each month, enough for 24 children. Snacks may be store bought or homemade, however, we do ask that all snacks brought be nutritious in nature. Examples of acceptable snack are: fruit, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, cereal, animal crackers,frozen wafflles/pancakes, cereal bars etc. If you have any questions as to whether a specific snack would be acceptable, please ask your child’s teacher before the day you have signed up to bring snack. Afternoon snack will be provided by the ELC. Please notify staff of any food allergies your child has that may prohibit a certain snack from being served.
Snacks served to children must include at least two of the following:
1. Milk, milk product, or food made with milk;
2. Fruit, vegetable, or full strength fruit or vegetable juice;
3. Meat or a meal alternate; or
4. Bread, bread product, or cereal.
All children enrolled in the Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Program MUST have two (2) sets of seasonal clothes at the Center at all times (top/bottom/underwear/socks). This is a licensing requirement. Please mark the extra sets of clothing with your child’s name and bring them in a Ziploc bag.
Please dress children in play clothes that they can take care of themselves and that are appropriate for the weather. Sandals, flip-flops, and crocs should have backs, otherwise, we discourage children from wearing them, as it is hard to run and play. We ask that girls who wear dresses have shorts on underneath so that they can play and sit without having to worry about showing their underwear.