Preschool Handbook

Overview
 

Mission

Children of Faith Preschool exists to serve families in the River Falls area by assisting parents in the training, teaching, and overall development of their children through a Christ-centered program of developmentally appropriate experiences designed to meet the needs of the whole child: spiritually, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically.

Objectives

God gives parents the primary responsibility to care for children and to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord,” {Ephesians 6:4b}. Children of Faith Preschool assists parents by striving to help each child to:

  • Know and love Jesus as their Savior.

  • Feel loved and cared for by Jesus and adults in their life.

  • Reflect God’s love by exhibiting care and respect for others through their words and actions.

  • Develop self-confidence and a sense of independence.

  • Develop intellectually.

  • Develop physical dexterity, strength, and coordination.

  • Develop creatively.

  • Develop the life skills necessary for success in school and beyond.

Administration

Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, through the Board of Education and president of the congregation, oversees the program of Children of Faith Preschool. The director answers to the Board of Education. The lead teacher answers to the director. The assistant teacher (if needed) answers to the lead teacher and director. The director oversees the day-to-day operations in keeping with the policies of Children of Faith Preschool and Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church. Questions and/or concerns should be brought to the director. Often one person will serve as both the director and the lead teacher.

 

Admission Policy
 

General Information

Children of Faith Preschool is licensed by the State of Wisconsin, Department of Children and Families. Inspections take place regularly to ensure that licensing standards are met. Our license and results of the latest monitoring visit are posted in the classroom. The Wisconsin Administrative Code for Group Child Care and the Children of Faith Policy Handbook are readily available for review.

Smoking is not permitted on the premises.

Children of Faith Preschool does not have pets on the premises. If a pet visits the classroom, parents will be notified in advance and asked for their written permission.

Children of Faith Preschool is covered by appropriate liability insurance underwritten by Church Mutual Insurance Company, Merrill, Wisconsin. This insurance meets group child care liability. Information will be provided upon request.

Eligibility

Parents may apply for admission to Children of Faith Preschool for a child who will be 3 years old by the first of September. Exceptions can be arranged with the director.

Our program serves children ages 3 through 6 years old.

Children of Faith Preschool will not discriminate based on race, color, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin.

Children with special needs are welcome to apply for admission and will be accepted on a trial basis to determine whether the needs of the child can be met by our program.

Dates & Times

Children of Faith Preschool operates September through May. A school year calendar will be published displaying days closed for holiday celebrations, breaks, teacher training, and so on. Our calendar roughly follows that of the River Falls School District. It will be included in the enrollment packet. It also can be found on the Children of Faith Preschool page as well as the Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church website.

Children of Faith Preschool offers sessions Monday through Friday mornings from 9:00 to 11:30 am. Parents may enroll their child(ren) in 2, 3, 4, or 5 sessions per week. Parents also may choose which days of the week they prefer their child to attend. Sessions will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

There will be a maximum of 14 children in each session, served by the appropriate number of staff as determined by state licensing requirements.

Enrollment Process

Parents are asked to complete and submit the Application for Admission form along with a nonrefundable registration fee.

Classes for the following September are filled first with members of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church or children currently enrolled in Children of Faith Preschool or Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church Sunday School. Remaining openings are filled in the order which applications are received.

The registration fee will only be refunded if all openings are filled. If parents wish to remain on a waiting list, the registration fee will be retained and nonrefundable. Parents will be notified by the director if a space becomes available.

When a child is admitted to our program, the parent will receive an enrollment packet containing forms and information concerning the upcoming school year. Some forms must be completed and returned prior to the start of school. Failure to turn in completed forms may prohibit the child’s participation in the program.

There will be a chance for families to attend an open house prior to the start of school. Forms may be turned in and the first tuition payment made at that time.

Tuition & Fees

A yearly registration fee will be charged in an amount set by the Board of Education. Annual tuition rates will also be set by the Board and will not change during a school year. The annual tuition rate will be prorated by month should a child enroll during the school year or should a child’s number of sessions in attendance change during the school year.

Payment may be made in full at the start of the school year, in 2 half payments September and January of the school year, or in 9 monthly payments due on or before the first session of the month. Consult the director if you desire to schedule a different payment plan.

Parents are required to have a Preschool Payment Contract (included in the Enrollment Packet) on file before the first day of their child’s attendance.

Third party payments are accepted, but the parents are ultimately responsible for timely tuition payment.

Make checks payable to “Children of Faith Preschool.”

Should a child be withdrawn from the program, a written statement providing at least 2 weeks’ notice is necessary for unused tuition to be refunded. There will be no refund of tuition for a month the child has started attending. There are no refunds for a child’s absence due to illness, weather, or vacation.

Current registration fees and tuition amounts are included on an insert in this handbook.
 

Education Policy
 

Religion

Christ is the cornerstone of our curriculum and so Christian love and values create the atmosphere of our program. The staff strive to proclaim Christ crucified in all they do.

Every day there is a Bible time focused on the children learning the truths of God’s Word and his great love for them. This is accomplished through Bible stories, songs, rhymes, and activities.

We have a monthly chapel service conducted by the pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Cultural Diversity

As a Christian preschool, we have a message for all people. We are all created by God and equally precious in his sight. Because this is what we believe, we reach out to and respect all people and encourage this attitude in the families we serve.

We will explore the various cultures and ethnicities within our preschool class, our community, and our world through study, toys, art supplies, decorations, books, and music. The children will be encouraged to appreciate the differences & similarities between themselves and others.

Daily Schedule

The director is responsible for planning the preschool curriculum based on developmentally appropriate practices. Daily plans are adjusted by the lead teacher to meet the individual needs of each child. Each session will include both teacher-lead and child-lead activities, focusing on playful learning.

The daily routine is consistent in the sequence of activities while maintaining flexibility in the length of each activity. This allows the children to be comfortable in the predictability of the routine while allowing the teacher to adjust each day based on the children’s interests or other circumstances.

Our Daily Routine:

  • Arrival & Table Time – Backpacks and whatever outdoor gear seasonally appropriate are hung on each child’s hook in the entryway. Parent and child then sign in for the session at the sign-in station. Then children play at the tables.

  • Carpet Time – The teacher leads the children in active literacy experiences including reading books, performing finger plays, singing songs, reciting nursery rhymes, etc. We discuss upcoming events or any changes there may be to our routine that day. The children are encouraged to participate and even take the lead at times in these experiences. This is the time we share the Mystery Bag (our version of show & tell) as well.

  • Work Time – Children make plans for their play and then are allowed ample time to play. The teachers join in this active & playful learning. Teachers strive to encourage and extend the learning happening as the children work to achieve their goals. Children and teacher then work together to clean up the classroom. Children reflect on their plans and play.

  • Snack Time – Parents are responsible for sending a daily snack with their child. Parents are encouraged to choose healthy snack options from at least 2 food groups. Polite table manners will be modeled and encouraged in a social and appropriate way. Snack is eaten during Work Time.

  • Bible Time – Each week the teacher will focus on a story from God’s Word to learn and apply to our lives. This happens through Bible lessons, prayer, and singing religious songs. Once a month we will have chapel with Pastor.

  • Music Time – The children will have experiences singing and moving to music, using instruments, and playing musical games.

  • Outside Time – The class will have a daily time to play outdoors as often as weather permits. We will not go out in weather below 15 degrees wind chill or above 90 degrees heat index. We may use the playground or other areas of the campus.

  • Closing & Departure Time – After a closing prayer the children are given time to read books at the carpet. The teacher will use this time to read to the children or to visit with parents. Parents and children will sign out and then depart.

 

Preschool Routines
 

Arrival/Departure/Attendance

Please enter and exit through the double doors near the Children of Faith Preschool entrance sign.

An adult must accompany the child into the classroom and sign them into the session in the attendance book. Please do not arrive sooner than 10 minutes before the session begins. An authorized adult is also required to sign out the child from the classroom within 10 minutes of the session’s end.

If someone new is dropping off or picking up a child, the parent must notify the teacher in writing in advance. The new adult will be required to show a photo I.D. A child will only be released to leave with persons pre-authorized by their parents.

If the adult picking up a child appears to be impaired, reasonable steps will be taken to protect the child; up to and including calling the local authorities.

The preschool responsibility for the child begins as soon as the parent leaves the premises and ends as soon as the parent returns to pick up the child.

Communication & Conferences

A monthly calendar is distributed. It contains information such as the month’s Bible stories, classroom news, no-school days, and other items of interest.

The teacher is available at the start and end of the session for short discussions. If a longer discussion, or a more private setting, is desired; please contact the teacher for scheduling.

Information is displayed at the sign-in station including license certification, inspection results, announcements, etc.

Parent/Teacher conferences are offered in the fall and spring of each school year.

Confidentiality

To protect each family’s confidentiality, Children of Faith Preschool will only share information about a child or child’s family with those authorized to receive it.

Parents may review their child’s records and medical log entries pertinent to their child upon request.

The Division of Early Care and Education staff may also review records upon request.

Parent Access

Parents are welcome to observe our classroom any time their child is in attendance.

If there is a court order prohibiting a parental visit, a copy must be on file at school.

Visitors are welcome to call and plan a visit with the teacher or director. Visitors will need to check in and will be accompanied by staff during their visit.

Volunteers

Parents and other adults are welcome to lend their talents to enrich our program. Volunteer opportunities should be arranged with the teacher. Volunteers who work regularly in the classroom will have an orientation session and need to fill out a Background Information Disclosure form.

School Supplies

Most supplies are provided by Children of Faith Preschool. Parents wishing to donate items to the classroom may do so in consultation with the director to determine current needs.

Parents should provide a bag containing a complete change of clothes for the child. This needs to be brought to school daily. Children should be dressed in seasonally appropriate clothing, including outdoor wear, which is comfortable & safe for the child to move & play both indoors and outdoors. Clothing also should allow the child to complete toileting and self-care activities independently.

 

Absences/Cancellations
 

Student Absence

If there is a preplanned absence, please notify the teacher in writing in advance.

If a child is ill on a school day, please notify the teacher in a timely manner. Email, phone call, or text message are all acceptable forms of communication.

Teacher Absence

Should there be an emergency that requires the teacher’s immediate attention during class time; the assistant teacher, substitute teacher, or Pastor will stay with the children to meet adult-child ratios. Parents will be called to pick up their children if there is more than 1 hour left of the session.

For any preplanned teacher absences, a qualified substitute teacher will conduct class. Families will be notified in advance of any such absence.

Cancelling Class

In case of inclement weather, such as snow or extreme cold, we will follow the lead of the School District of River Falls. If River Falls closes, Children of Faith Preschool will also be closed. If River Falls calls a late start, the morning session at Children of Faith Preschool will be cancelled. In case of extremely hot weather, the classroom is air conditioned and is kept between 67 and 80 degrees during preschool sessions.

Families will be notified if a preschool session is cancelled for other events (funeral, building maintenance issue, emergency, etc.).

 

Nutrition Policy
 

Snack Time Routine

Parents are required to provide a daily snack for their child. Children are encouraged to eat their food, but they will never be forced to eat, nor will food be used as a reward or a punishment.

Menus

Parents are encouraged to provide 2 choices of food from 2 different food groups: dairy, vegetable, fruit, grain, protein.

Children of Faith Preschool provides napkins, utensils, cups, and plates as needed.

Each child’s Health Report form should note any food allergies. A list of foods to avoid will then be distributed as needed to aid in snack planning.

Birthday treats are welcome. Please consult the teacher in advance. Children with summer birthdays are invited to celebrate their half birthday date.

 

Health Care Policy
 

Abuse & Neglect

Staff are mandated by Wisconsin Statute 48.981 to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to social services or local law enforcement. Teachers will observe and record any signs of abuse or neglect including documenting injuries in the medical log book. Suspicions of abuse or neglect will be reported to the authorities.

Emergency Medical Source

If a child requires emergency medical care due to illness or injury, staff will call 911 and the child will be transported to the River Falls Area Hospital. Parents will be contacted. Parents are responsible for the cost of emergency service fees. Our liability insurance policy with Church Mutual is available for review upon request.

Communicable Disease

Parents will please notify the teacher should their child be absent due to illness. In the case of a communicable disease transmitted through normal contact, staff will notify other parents that their child may have been exposed. The identity of the ill child will be kept confidential. Examples of communicable diseases are influenza, strep throat, pink eye, chicken pox, head lice, and other illnesses with symptoms including fevers over 100 degrees, diarrhea, rash, or skin lesions.

When required, communicable disease will be reported to the local health department.

If required by the Department of Health, a child may not be allowed to return unless accompanied by a statement of health from the child’s doctor, or if a child has been absent from school for a period of time equal to the longest incubation period for the disease as specified by the Department.

Children should remain at home if they have fever, diarrhea, vomiting, unidentified rash, significant respiratory distress, constant & thick nasal discharge, unexplained lethargy, or any other contagious illness. And then wait 24 hours after the end of contagious symptoms before returning to school. Also, children should be on antibiotics for a full 24 hours before returning to school. Children should be able to participate comfortably in both indoor and outdoor preschool activities upon their return to class sessions.

Health & Safety

Each child must have a Physical Examination form, Immunization Record, and Child Enrollment & Health History form submitted per the schedule listed in the Enrollment section of this handbook. Noncompliance will result in exclusion from our program.

Information provided on health forms will be kept in the child’s personal file and will be shared with staff caring for the child. Parents may view their child’s file.

Parents should update their child’s health forms regularly by notifying staff of changes. Children are required to have another physical exam 2 years after the initial exam.

If a child becomes ill at school, they will be made comfortable and remain safely in sight & hearing of staff but away from the other children. Parents will be called to pick up their child immediately. If parents cannot be reached or are delayed longer than 1 hour, the emergency contact person will be called.

Medications, both prescriptive and nonprescriptive products, will be administered only in circumstances when it is unavoidable and parents have completed the authorization form provided. All medicine must be in its original container bearing the label with the child’s name, dosage, and administration instructions. It will be stored in a marked container in the workroom refrigerator or other designated shelf out of reach of children. The medication will only be dispensed according to label instructions unless staff are given a written authorization from a doctor detailing other dosage & administration instruction.

If a child has a severe allergy, a detailed plan on what to do in the case of a possible allergic reaction must be submitted to the director, along with any supplies needed to accomplish the plan.

Accidents & Injuries

Superficial injuries will be washed with soap & water and covered with a bandage or treated with an ice pack. Parents will be told about minor injuries when picking up their child.

If a child requires emergency medical care due to illness or injury, staff will call 911 and the child will be transported to the River Falls Area Hospital. Parents will be contacted. Parents are responsible for the cost of emergency service fees. Our liability insurance policy with Church Mutual is available for review upon request.

Toileting

Children are encouraged to be responsible for their toileting needs. Staff will assist children as needed without reprimand or punishment for toileting accidents. Parents should send a full change of clothes in the child’s bag for toileting or other accidents requiring clean clothes.

Contact staff with any concerns about your child’s toileting needs.

Emergency Procedures

Evacuation procedures have been developed. Exit routes are posted should the classroom be evacuated due to fire, tornado, or another emergency. Staff is trained in these procedures. If needed, children will be sheltered at the parsonage.

Fire and tornado drills are practiced monthly with the children. Detailed emergency procedure plans are in the Policy Handbook and available for review.

 

Field Trips
 

Children of Faith Preschool may occasionally sponsor extracurricular field trips and special events for children and families. These may include a suggested donation request to cover expenses.

If an event is held off-site and transportation is by car, parents are responsible for accompanying and transporting their own child; or a parent may give written permission for another parent to transport their child. All child safety seat rules must be followed.

A School District of River Falls bus may be used for transportation. Procedures to ensure the safety of the children will be followed.

Should a field trip include a swimming pool, parents are strongly advised to accompany their child.

Staff will occasionally lead the class in walks around the neighborhood. Emergency information cards for each child and a cell phone will be taken whenever leaving the premises.

 

Child Guidance Policy
 

Guidance Techniques

Children of Faith Preschool seeks to provide children with a caring and nurturing Christ-centered environment. Our goal is to lead children to monitor their own behavior. To that end, God-pleasing behavior and attitudes will be modeled by staff, explained to, and expected from the children. The children will be guided in self-discipline through encouragement to display loving, helpful behavior. Children needing assistance will be redirected from harmful behavior to helpful behavior, will have their choices narrowed, or will be offered a succinct list of alternative behavior options. This approach encourages respect of self and others.

Developmentally appropriate programming, activities, and room arrangement will be used to prevent placing unrealistic behavioral expectations upon the children. Also, staff will daily work to build healthy relationships, based on God’s love, with the children. Such relationships have a positive influence on behavior.

If a child is distraught every effort will be made to comfort the child. Methods used may include holding the child, giving them a quiet location, minimizing stimulation, or reading books with the child. At no times will staff act in a punitive, humiliating, or injurious way toward the child.

Staff will work to anticipate harmful behaviors, such as hitting or yelling, by noticing signs of frustration in a child. Intervention in advance by diversion, discussion, or redirection can often prevent such behavior from happening.

When harmful behavior does occur, the child will be guided to understand how that choice was harmful (physically or emotionally) to others. Once the child is fully aware of their guilt, they will be assured of the full forgiveness Jesus has given them. Then the child and staff will discuss how to prevent the behavior from happening again as well as how to make amends if appropriate.

Parental Involvement

Parents and staff will work together to help a child correct persistent harmful behavior. If the behavior continues, the staff will refer parents to appropriate sources for help.

Prohibited Actions

Guided by God’s love and in accordance with Wisconsin Rules for Licensing Group Child Care Centers, staff are forbidden to use cruel, humiliating, painful, or dangerous actions in attempts to control children’s behavior.

The children will be protected from any actions that are physically, psychologically or emotionally harmful. Such actions include hitting, pinching, shaking, slapping, twisting, or inflicting any other form of corporal punishment on the child; verbal abuse, threats or derogatory remarks; physical restraint, binding or tying the child to restrict the child’s movement or enclosing the child in a confined space; withholding or forcing meals, naps, or punishing a child for lapses in toilet training. These actions will never be used, even at the request of the parent.

 

Discharge of Enrolled Child
 

Cause for Dismissal

A child may be dropped from enrollment for reasons such as but not limited to:

  • The needs of the child cannot be met.

  • Tuition is not paid promptly.

  • Required forms are not submitted.

  • Lack of parental cooperation.

  • Noncompliance with Children of Faith Preschool policies.

  • Parent or child verbally or physically abuses another person.

  • Repeated failure to drop off and/or pick up the child at the scheduled time.

  • A child is absent 4 consecutive sessions without parental notice given to Children of Faith Preschool.

Procedure for Termination

In the event of an issue possibly leading to termination, the following procedure will be used:

  • Parent is given a verbal warning of the problem and possible dismissal of the child.

  • Written notice is given to the parent, detailing a specific deadline for the resolution of the problem.

  • Staff and parent meet to seek resolution of the problem.

  • Pastor and/or Board of Education may be consulted.

Children of Faith Preschool reserves the right to dismiss a child from the preschool program without advance notice. Refunds of tuition are the same as outlined in the Tuition section of this book.

Grievance Procedure

If a parent wishes to dispute a decision of termination, the grievance must be submitted in writing within 10 days of the decision. The Board of Education will review the grievance within 7 days and reply within 3 business days of the meeting. The Board reserves the right to consult with state licensing and/or county officials if needed during the grievance process.

 

Church Affiliation
 

Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The WELS has developed a large private school system. Individual congregations and associations of WELS congregations maintain and support early childhood programs, elementary schools, and high schools throughout the United States of America. The WELS also has a college and seminary specifically for training men & women to serve as teachers, pastors, and staff ministers in our Synod schools.

We invite you to worship with us. Services are held Sunday mornings at 8:00 and 10:30 with spiritual growth hour in between including classes for those ages 3 years to adult.

We also offer Bible Information Class for those wishing to become members. We welcome your questions about our teaching of God’s Word.

Christian education is important to us at all stages of life.


Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! ~ Luke 24:5-6