FAQ’s, Daily Activities, and Schedules
1. What time can I drop my child off? Our Center is open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
2. What is the latest time that I can pick up my child? We are open until 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
3. Are meals provided? We provide Breakfast, AM Snack, and PM Snack.This cost is included in your tuition. Parents are required to pack a lunch for their child daily. All the meals meet the State of Alaska Requirements for a balanced meal. A menu schedule is provided for you each month.
4. Are nap times provided? All children from toddler age to age 5 have one scheduled nap time per day. To protect your child’s health, we provide a sanitized mat for each child. You will need to furnish a small blanket with you’re child’s name clearly marked on it. Blankets should be taken home weekly to be washed. Rest time is a requirement of the state regulations, but as long as children do not disturb the other children, they are not required to fall asleep. Infants take as many naps as they need throughout the day.
5. Will my child go on field trips outside the facility? We do not currently offer any field trips at this time.
6. Is there an education curriculum? We start our educational curriculum at the toddler age beginning with simple shapes and colors. The program progressively becomes more detailed as the children get older with advancement to numbers and letters. In Preschool we build on the foundation we’ve laid in the toddler room, adding a more advanced Curriculum.
7. What activities will be available for my child? Every room has a kitchen set, craft tables, blocks, puzzles and other age-specific toys and activities to do during free time. Our playground has slides, jungle gyms and outdoor toys, such as cars and sand toys. There are also parts of the day that the activities are teacher-lead, for example, circle time, story time and art time.
School-age children attending Big Lake Elementary will be walked out to the bus stop in the morning, and a teacher will be there waiting for them to get off the bus in the afternoon.
1. Do you have an outdoor playground? Yes, the playground offers outdoor toys, such as cars and sand toys, basketball hoop, soccer net, and small climber with a slide.
2. Are there personal cribs for each infant? We do have cribs available for each child up to 1 year of age.
3. Are there separate rooms for each age group? Children are separated into age groups – Infant, Toddler, Preschool, and School Age
1. Can I visit the facility without an appointment? At Bright Minds Learning Center LLC, we have an open door policy. We welcome current and prospective parents to our center at any time.
2. Is there communication about what my child did during the day? Each child under the age of 1½ goes home with a daily sheet which records diaper changes, meals, nap time and daily activities. Children ages 2 ½ and older will be be informed about the child’s day by his or her teacher.
Safety and Illness
1. Is there a safety plan in place in case of an emergency? Each room has a layout of the building that shows where you are and how to get out in case of a fire. We practice these drills periodically with the children.
2. What is your sick policy? Our sick policy is written with the best interest of all children – sick and healthy. We ask that children with a fever of 100 degrees or higher stay at home until the fever is gone for 24 hours. We also request that children stay home if they have vomited or had more than 3 diarrhea stools. If these illnesses occur during the school day, we will call the parent to pick up the child.
3. What do I do if my child becomes sick at daycare? If a child becomes ill at school, we will make him or her as comfortable as we can until the parent is contacted and is able to pick up the child.
4. What is your policy for handling falls or incidents? If a child is injured at Bright Minds Learning Center LLC, our injury policy reflects that a parent will be notified as soon as possible. We can apply ice to bumps or wash open cuts with soap and water and apply bandages.
5. Are immunizations required? According to State of Alaska Regulations, we must follow an immunization schedule. If a parent chooses not to have his or her child immunized, they must have the immunization release form signed and dated by the child’s physician or public notary.
6. How do you discipline the children? When a child “makes a bad choice,” we first try to redirect the child to a different activity. If the child continues the behavior after redirection and distraction, we will put the child in a timeout. The child may only be in a timeout for 1 minute per year of their age (for example, a three-year-old receives 3 minutes).
7. Are there restrictions on who may pick up my child? We ask that parents list individuals other than themselves who are able to pick up their child on our registration form. If you know in advance that you are unable to pick up your child and will be sending someone else, we ask that you send a written notification of who will pick up your child and on what day. If an emergency occurs, please call the center to let them know who will be picking up your child. In either case, a picture I.D. will be required for the person to pick up your child.
Staff Training and Facility Licensing
1. Are you licensed and accredited? Bright Minds Learning Center LLC is a State of Alaska licensed daycare facility.
2. How long has your facility been providing daycare? Our facility opened in February of 2013.
3. What is the caregiver to child ratio? Each age group has a specific ratio we follow that meets State of Alaska regulations for a licensed facility: Teacher to child ratio Age 1 : 5 Birth to 18 months 1 : 6 19 months up to 36 months 1 : 10 36 months through 4 years 1 : 14 Kindergarten – 5 and 6 years 1 : 18 School age – 7 years up to 12 years
4. Does your staff have training in early childhood development? We follow the State of Alaska requirements of at least 20 hours of early childhood classes for our teachers each year. If the teacher is working with infants and toddlers, he or she is required to take an additional 15 hours.
5. Are teachers trained in first aid and CPR? All of Bright Minds Learning Center LLC teachers have first aid and CPR training every two years.
6. Are background checks completed on staff members? The State of Alaska background check policy protects your child by requiring licensed daycare centers, such as Bright Minds Learning Center LLC, to perform a background check through the state on all employees.
Registration and Fees
1. How do I register my child? Once you have decided on Bright Minds Learning Center LLC as the childcare center that best fits your needs and the needs of your child or children, you simply need to complete our Enrollment Application and submit it with the registration fee of $50 per child.
2. What are your daycare fees? Our fees include an annual registration fee and material fee, and a Monthly or Daily tuition based on age and length of time at the center.
3. Do you have a list of references that I can call? Please visit our references and review page.
4. I am pregnant. How do I reserve a space for my infant? If you are new to Bright Minds Learning Center LLC, call us to inquire about availability for your expected due date. If we have availability for your date, drop off or mail your completed Enrollment Application with the Registration Fee. If we do not have any availabilities for your date, you will be placed on a waiting list and called as soon as openings become available.
ENROLLMENT Bright Minds Learning Center LLC is licensed to accept 59 children between the ages of birth through 12 years. A registration form, an emergency medical release form, proof of immunization, and a signed parental agreement form are required for each child. A registration fee of $50.00, and a material fee of $50 per child is to be paid annually. Every child enrolling in Bright Minds Learning Center LLC must pay the $50 registration fee and the $50 material fee. An initial conference between the Administrator and parents is required to discuss policies and to provide the parents with an opportunity to share information about their child. Parents are encouraged to visit the facility together with their child before enrollment. Once a child is enrolled and an attendance schedule and payment plan is arranged, it is important that the parents understand that changes can not be casually made. Infants will be accepted on a limited, space-available basis so as to best meet your child’s individual needs. Diapers, baby wipes, formula, and baby food are to be supplied by the parents. There is a $1.00 per diaper charge if Bright Minds Learning Center LLC has to provide any diapers. Special needs children will be accepted if we can adequately provide for their care. Please meet with the administrator to discuss the strengths and limitations of your child so we can determine if Bright Minds Learning Center LLC will be an appropriate facility for your child.
NO SMOKING IS ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING OR ON THE CHILD CARE PREMISES.
LEGAL FACTORS Liability insurance is carried by our facility. We will not deny services on account of “sexual orientation, gender, physical or mental disability, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, race, religion, color, or nation origin.” Any suspected child abuse is required to be reported to: The Office of Children’s Services (OCS), Wasilla, Alaska 99654 ; (907) 357-9797. Statewide hotline for abuse is 1-800-478-4444. If you have any concerns or complaints, we would appreciate it if you would first speak with the Administrator. We will do our best to solve any conflict. You may choose, of course, to report directly to the OCS, which will investigate all complaints. All information regarding a child or his family will be treated confidentially except as required by facility staff to work with the child or by licensing representatives, and child protective services.
FEES AND PAYMENTS Payment will be due no later than the 5th of every month for full and part time care. If payment is not received on time, we reserve the right to terminate care until payments are made. Past due accounts will be assessed a 10% monthly finance charge on the balance of all late payments. Unpaid balances will be sent to Valley Collection Services after 60 days, and childcare services will stop until payment is made in full. A new contract will then need to be signed at the time of re-entry. Drop-ins are expected to pay at the time service is received. A $50.00 annual registration fee is collected at the time of enrollment. Absences will not be pro-rated for monthly payment agreements. Two-week notice is required prior to a child leaving the facility, otherwise you will be held responsible for a two-week fee whether our services are used or not.
Multi-family Discounts: Families with more than one full-time child enrolled will receive an additional 25% discount on the lowest priced child. NSF checks have a $25.00 fee.
AFTER HOUR RATES Our rates are valid for a ten-hour schedule. After 10 hours, there is an extra charge of $7.50 per hour, per child! After closing time there will be a $7.50 per child, per minute late charge. All charges for times will be based on the clock located in the front reception area only. Late charges will be due when you pick your child up. If the balance is not paid within one week, the amount will double and be subject to finance charges of 10% per month. We understand that certain circumstances may arise which cause a parent to be late. Such circumstances will be taken into consideration when the administrator does billing.
POLICY CHANGES All policy changes will be posted in the front entry on the Parent Information board. If policy changes do occur, parents will be required to complete a signed form acknowledging that they have read the new changes. This form will need to be completed in a timely fashion.
ILLNESS AND MEDICATION Children with any communicable disease or illness besides a cold will not be admitted into the facility. If a child has been vomiting, they must have gone 24 hours without vomiting in order to return. If your child becomes ill while in our care, he/she will be separated from the other children and made as comfortable as possible until you can arrange for your child to be picked up. Please make certain that you have provided us with the names and numbers of those who are authorize to pick up your ill child if you are not available. If your child becomes ill and requires medication, they must be on the medication for at least 24 hours before returning. If medication is brought to the center to be dispensed, the parent must sign a medication sheet. Medication must be provided by the parent and be carefully labeled. All medication must have an original label. We will post information about any communicable disease that we are aware of. In cases where the children are sent home with a fever, they will be accepted back at the facility only after a 24-hour non-medicated, fever free period.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT Parents are always welcome and are encouraged to drop in at any time to observe, or just spend time with your child. Volunteers are welcome, but must meet the same requirements as employees. Parent/teacher conferences will be arranged if requested.
TOILET TRAINING We are very willing to assist your child with the important step of accomplishing toilet training. We do ask that when you feel that your child is ready for this big step, you keep us informed of your preferred techniques and that you remain consistent in your efforts. We will be glad to share our tips and successes with you. Due to health concerns, we must insist that your child wear suitable undergarments until he/she is completely toilet trained. Again, we do not supply diapers/pull-ups for children.
CLOTHING/PERSONAL ITEMS Children are required to arrive at the daycare dressed and ready to learn and play. This means they should be dressed, diaper changed, hair brushed, etc. The staff here at Bright Minds Learning Center is not responsible for the personal hygiene of the children when they arrive at the center. We understand that circumstances arise that cause a parent to run late from time to time, and as such, you may be unable to get the child ready for daycare. We understand this, and are willing to work with you during these occasional incidents. Children are asked to have slippers, or indoor shoes to wear while in the facility. You may leave a pair in the child’s cubby if you wish. An extra change of weather-appropriate clothes is required for each child. Although individual blankets and cots will be provided for every child, children may bring a blanket or special item from home if they wish, but understand that damage and/or loss is a possibility. Please mark all personal items with the child’s name, especially coats, hats, and gloves. Please use discretion and leave at home toys that encourage antisocial behavior; such as weapons, (guns, knives, etc) or action figures that promote fighting such as Power Rangers.
WEATHER & OUTDOOR PLAY Always send outdoor wear, taking into account Alaska ’s unpredictable weather. We go outside daily, unless the weather is too severe (below +15۫ , extreme wind, heavy rain, or dust/smoke suspension). Due to ratio requirements we do not always have enough staff to provide care for those who have requested to stay indoors. If you child is too ill to go outside, then they are too ill to be at the facility.
TRANSPORTATION At this time, we will not be able to take field trips away from the facility. We do provide before and after school care, and as such, the children are escorted from the bus stop to the daycare.
MEALS AND SNACKS A well-balanced breakfast, as well as morning and afternoon snacks will be provided at the facility. Parent’s are responsible for packing their child a lunch daily. Please check your daily schedules to make sure your child does not miss one of these meal times. Additional meals, snacks, and special diets are to be supplied by the parents. Please check the monthly food calendar for each day’s menu.
DISCIPLINE To ensure pleasant, safe surrounding for your child, positive behavior is encouraged and reinforced. If negative behavior occurs, we will use redirection, verbal instruction, and “timeouts”. Timeouts will not exceed 1 minute for each year of the child’s age, and will be used only when other option have first been tried and exhausted. They will in no way be used to humiliate a child. Age, temperament, and the individual situation will be taken into consideration. No corporal punishment will be allowed on the premises. No discipline action is taken for infants. If the child is crying or upset, special attention will be given to the child to check for any area that may be causing discomfort. We are in total support of the school district’s “zero tolerance for violence” policy. We will not accept school aged children during the time they are suspended or expelled from public school. Any child whose behavior creates an ongoing safety hazard for either the staff or the other children at the facility will be given a two week written notice of termination of care at the facility.
CAREGIVERS Caregivers are required to have a deep love and concern for children. All personnel must meet the requirements of the State of Alaska Department of Education Administrative code (4AAC 62.210). These include, but are not limited to: submitting “a criminal justice information report to a licensing representative before becoming employed or otherwise coming in contact with children in a child care facility; the report must contain criminal justice information at the level available to an interested person under AS 12.62.160(b)(c); submit two fingerprint cards to a licensing representative; and must be able to:
(1) demonstrate respect for a child and the child’s family;
(2) support behavior of children with positive guidance and set clear and consistent limits to promote the children’s ability for self discipline;
(3) provide children with a variety of age-appropriate learning and social experiences;
(4) demonstrate a positive attitude toward bottle weaning, diapering, toilet learning, and special needs of children;
(5) respond appropriately to a child’s needs, including responding to a baby’s cry as promptly and effectively as possible;
(6) prevent hazards and encounters with individuals and animals posing a possible danger;
(7) use strategies to prevent aggressive behavior and to deescalate volatile situations; and
(8) act as a positive role model for children”. They are also required to complete CPR and First AID classes, and to attend 20 hours of childcare related workshops each year. Substitute caregivers will be qualified to meet your child’s needs.
PARENT INFORMATION We can provide basic information on available child care assistance programs and welcome parents receiving assistance. However, parents must be aware that they are responsible for any charges not covered by their assistance program. Family contributions of daycare charges are due on the 5th of the month. Parents must also assume the full responsibility for maintaining a current contract. LABEL ALL BELONGINGS CLEARLY!