Welcome to Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare and thank you for your interest. This handbook describes Little Explorers policies and procedures. If there are any questions regarding any of the policies or procedures please do not hesitate to contact a teacher or the director.
Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare is very dedicated to being an excellent, very high quality preschool and childcare. Registration is open to all children on a non-discriminatory basis. We are licensed by the Department of Social Services in Washoe County and are NAEYC accredited.
Little Explorers Mission
Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare’s mission is to provide a warm, loving and safe environment as well as an age-appropriate educational and developmental program where infants, toddlers and preschoolers can learn and develop to their fullest potential.
Little Explorers Philosophy
At Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare we believe that all children should be treated with love and respect. We believe that all children can learn and grow to their fullest potential when given the right opportunities thru experience and play. Therefore, we teach intellectually, physical, socially and emotionally through hands on experience and observation. Some of our daily activities include curriculum based circle time, story time, art and science exploration, free choice, and group play. The children get outside play every day unless severe weather prohibits.
We believe that children need structure and consistency, as well as a lot of free choice play. Structure helps children understand what is expected of them and helps them learn that there are consequences, good and bad, for your actions. We believe that children grow, develop and learn essentially through play and free choice. Play not only promotes physical development and creativity, children learn how to handle and solve problems through play. Children learn socialization skills through their interactions with their peers. Free choice requires decision making and working together.
Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare’s Goals
To provide a program dedicated to helping children develop to their fullest potential intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally.
To provide activities that encourages children’s creativity, independence and self-control.
To make learning fun and exciting, encouraging children to want to learn more and to be excited about school, helping to ensure future school success.
To provide an environment that promotes self-esteem and the knowledge that they can do anything they set their mind to.
To provide children the best possible care at all times
Days and Hours of Operation & Services
Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare is open from 7:45am to 6:00pm, Monday through Friday. Pick up time for morning half-day students is 12 noon. Afternoon half-day students should arrive at 1:00. Both full time and afternoon students must be picked up by 6:00pm.
We offer two different programs, a preschool and childcare. The childcare or infant/toddler class is for children 6 weeks through 36 months of age. The Preschool is broken into two classes; the preschool class is children 24 months of age through pre-K and the Pre-K class is for children 1-2 years away from graduating.
At the time of enrollment we will discuss which class your child will be enrolled into. If necessary we will develop a plan of care (infants). Any questions or concerns you have may be addressed at this time.
For a description of the classes, please see the class description handout in your “Parent Package”. The children are kept with their graduating class, unless circumstances require a different arrangement. These programs offer the option of full or half day, 2-5 days per week.
For tuition rates please check the tuition form in your “Parent Package”. Tuition will be billed at the end of each month, and is due by the 5th of the next month. For students enrolling in the middle of the month, tuition will be billed the first week your child attends Little Explorers and is based on the drop-in rate. After the initial bill you will be billed for the days enrolled for the following month. Parents will be billed a flat rate each month, based on the length and number of days enrolled. If your child attends any extra days those days will be added to the following bill or are to be paid that day. If you need an invoice or receipt each month please let the director know and one will be provided for you.
Registration Fee ~ A $75.00 registration fee is due at time of enrollment. If a child withdrawals from the program (doesn’t pay monthly fee) they must re-register and may attend if space allows. However, if you withdraw from the program you willingly give up your child's spot in his/her classroom
Late Tuition Fee ~ Tuition is due by the 5th of each month; a $30 late fee will be assessed after the 5th. Continued failure to pay the full amount due by the due date will result in termination of services.
Late Pick-Up Fee ~ It is imperative that you pick up your child on time; therefore, a late charge of $5.00/for the first five minutes late and an additional $5.00 for every five minute period thereafter will be applied if you are late picking up your child. The amount due will be paid at time of picking up your child, if not; it will be added to your next month’s bill.
Return Check Fee ~ Tuition, and other checks, returned for insufficient funds are subject to a $35 return charge fee, in addition to what your bank may chanrge. If returned three times, cash or a cashier’s check will be needed to pay tuition.
Drop-In & Extra Day Fees ~ Please see the Tuition handout for the rates in your “Parent Package”
If any fee is left unpaid for one month the child may be dismissed from Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare.
Holiday & Snow Schedule
A list of holiday school closings will be provided to you at the beginning of each school year (September 1st).
We do live in an area where heavy snowfall is possible and most days we will remain open. However, if the Incline Elementary school is closed or delayed we too will be closed or delayed, as the safety of your children is of the upmost importance. School closings are announced on radio and local television stations and you may also call 775-337-7509 for closings. Little Explorers reserves the right to close the center in the event of power outages or if we feel conditions would put our staff or your children in danger. We will notify you as quickly as possible if we need to close.
Vacations, Illnesses and Refund Policy
Tuition is based on a 48 month school year (September – August), the holidays and breaks are already calculated into the tuition. No additional breaks in tuition will be given. No switching days.
If a child must miss school due to vacation, sick days, or other circumstances, your child’s place is held by the regular month’s tuition payment, regardless of the days missed during that period. If a parent/guardian instead wishes to withdrawal the child from the program a one month’s (30 day) written notice is required. By willingly withdrawing your child from the program or not paying your child’s regular month tuition you are relinquishing your child’s place and allowing Little Explorers to fill the space with a child on the waiting list. There will be no reimbursement unless a formal withdraw notice has been given one month in advance and tuition has been paid beyond that.
Sign-In and Sign-Out Procedures
It is mandatory per Washoe County Social Services that EVERY TIME your child enters or leaves Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare you must sign your child in or out. You must sign your name, and time; do not use mom/dad. You may be asked to return to the school to sign your child in. We become responsible when your child is signed in and you resume responsibility when you sign your child out, so please keep your child with you when in your care. Continued failure to comply may result in termination of services.
Release of Child(ren)
Only parents/legal guardians and those listed on the child’s Registration or Emergency Form may pick up a child. If someone other than yourself will be picking up your child please notify a teacher or the director even if the person is on the “Registration or Emergency Form”. If the person is not on one of these forms a written, signed and dated note must be given to the child’s teacher or the director. Please notify whoever is picking up your child a photo ID will be required.
Food (lunch and snacks)
You are responsible for providing your child’s food. For full time students two snacks and a healthy lunch are required. Half day students need a snack and healthy lunch if at Little Explorers for lunch time (12:00-1:00). Please make sure you pack plenty of food, it is better for children to bring food home than to run out. Please consider nutrition when packaging your child’s lunch.
Birthdays are very special occasions for children. Treats for birthdays and such occasions are welcome and encouraged, which will be served after a healthy snack. Please check with your child’s teacher or director for any food allergies.
Parents may be asked to help provide food for special events, such as holiday parties.
Naptime or rest time takes place every day. For toddlers and preschool class naptime is about 1:00-3:00. For Pre-K naptime is approximately 1:30-3:00. Children will be allowed to sleep until 3:30 if needed. Children do not have to sleep but they must remain quietly resting on their mat/cot letting children who nap fall asleep. Infants, each having their own crib, sleep when needed. No child can or will be forced to sleep or forced to stay awake.
Only the director or a lead teacher may administer medications at Little Explorers. Whether the medication is a prescription or non-prescription it must be in the original container and must be accompanied by a doctor’s note with dosage amount and reason for taking. Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare reserves the right to not give medication if we feel necessary.
Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare must have a medical statement and immunization certification before your child is enrolled. As your children receive immunizations, please bring a copy to the director as these must be kept current. You will also need a statement of good health (Washoe County paper in “Parent Package”) signed by a Doctor or RN within the first 30 days of enrollment.
To help keep our staff and children healthy and per Washoe County Health Department, your child MUST remain or be sent home if they have any of the following symptoms:
Have or have had within the past 24 hours a temperature of 100F or above
Has been taking antibiotics for less than a full 24 hours
Has vomited or has had diarrhea with in past 24 hours
Has swollen glands
Very sore throat (indicated by refusing to eat)
Constant or chronic cough
Nasal discharge that is green in color (may be indicating infection)
Any undiagnosed or contagious rash
Any abnormal discharge of eyes or ears
If your child is too sick to participate in ALL of the daily activities they are too sick to be at school (IE going outside).
If your child displays any of the above symptoms or is feeling sick in any way, your child will be isolated and you will be called to pick up your child. If we cannot contact you, a person on the Emergency Contact will be notified and your child must be picked up and remain home until completely symptom free for a full 24 hours or has been on antibiotics for a full 24 hours.
At Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare students are taught to work thru their problems by talking through them and asking for a teacher’s assistance. There are, of course, certain stages that all children may go through and will be properly handled when a problem arises. We do follow a process if an inappropriate behavior arises.
The child will be redirected to a different activity and an explanation why, making sure the child understands the inappropriate behavior.
If behavior reoccurs, timeout will be used. Timeout is 1 minute for every year of age. After timeout we will discuss what happened, making sure they understand
If behavior reoccurs, another timeout and talk or note to parents
If a behavior reoccurs a parent may be notified and speak with both teacher and child. Possible pick-up for the day.
If problem persist a meeting will be scheduled and possible suspension or termination of services.
If the behavior poses a threat to themselves, another child or teacher, parent may have to pick up child after first occurrence. Corporal punishment, humiliating or frightening techniques and labeling children as “good” or “bad” or any other unusual punishment are prohibited by anyone at Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare.
All parents/legal guardians are welcome to visit Little Explorers for observation at any time, provided the visit is non-obstructive. A parent/legal guardian may request a meeting with teacher or director at any time and one will be scheduled. If a teacher or director request a meeting with you, you are responsible for scheduling a meeting at your earliest opportunity.
Field trips and nature walks are an important part of education and will be taken throughout the year, especially in the summer time. Most of our field trips are within walking distance. Parent/legal guardian must sign the permission slip in “Parent Package”; another permission slip may be required on the day of trip. If we do take a fieldtrip that requires transportation parents may be asked to help.
Children should be dressed in comfortable clothing. All clothing should be labeled with your child’s name. The children do have t-shirts or smocks for painting and other messy projects, but clothes may still get messy. We do use water based, non-toxic materials that are represented to wash out.
Unless severe weather, or unhealthy conditions, everyone will go outside every day. Clothes can get dirty when children play. Please make sure your child has appropriate clothing and shoes. During the wintery months please make sure your child has a heavy coat, snow clothes, gloves, boots, etc. as we do play in the snow. In the summer we have beach and water days, provide your child with a swimsuit, sunscreen, towel, shoes that may get wet, and water diapers if needed.
Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare is not responsible for lost or damaged items. Please do not allow your children to bring toys from home as they may get lost or broken. Children are to keep personal property in their cubbies or on their coat hangers, unless it is the appropriate time for it.
What to Bring
A month supply of diapers and wipes (rash cream if desired) for children in diapers
An extra set of clothing, possibly two.Please make sure you keep clothing for appropriate season.
Sunscreen, preferably spray if your child isn’t sensitive to it.(We use face sunscreen for faces)
Lunch and snacks
A blanket and/or lovey for naptime
Snow clothes or bathing suit & towel, depending on season
In Case of Emergency
In the event of an emergency the scene and child will first be made safe. If emergency aid is needed, they will be the first notified. Then parent/guardian will immediately be notified. Parent/Guardian will meet child and teacher at Little Explorers, hospital or doctor’s office depending on situation. Licensing will then be notified of the emergency.
A note to parent/guardians
Your concerns, ideas and input are very important to us and our quality program, so please feel free to talk to a teacher, the director or leave a note in the tuition box at any time throughout the year.
Notice of changes
Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare reserves the right to make policy and/or rate changes as the need may arise. Parents will be given AT LEAST a 30-day notice of any changes.
Please read and sign the additional forms in the “Parent Package”. Please make sure to include a copy of your child’s most recent immunizations. The Washoe County Physical is due within the first 30 days of attendance.
Once you have chosen Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare for your child(ren) you must register and fill out required paperwork for your child The registration fee ($75) is due in full at the time of enrollment and is a one-time, nontransferable, nonrefundable fee. Once all of the necessary paper work is completed and the registration fee is turned in, if space allows your child may begin at this time. However, if we are at full capacity your child will be placed on the waiting list.
Please sign and return – To be kept in child’s file
I ________________________, the parent/legal guardian of ___________________________ have read and understand the policies and procedures in the “Parent Handbook”. I agree to adhere to the policies and procedures and understand that failure to comply will result in dismissal from Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare.
Parent Signature Date
Schedule a Visit or Call us Today 775.833.3801