Frequently Asked Questions
- What do I need to do in order to enroll my child?
The first step in enrolling a new child is to have the Health Inventory Form completed; a Health Inventory Form can be picked up at the center or mailed to the parent. The parent needs to complete Part 1 and the pediatrician needs to complete Part 2. Once the Health Inventory Form is completed, an intake appointment must be set up at the center. Once the intake appointment is completed, the child is placed on the "Qualified Waiting List," and the parent is informed about how long (approximately) the waiting list is for a space in the child development classroom.
- How long is the "Qualified Waiting List" for your program?
The Qualified Waiting List varies throughout the year; it can range from 2 weeks up to approximately 6 months. If your child is placed on the Qualified Waiting List, the parent will receive a phone call approximately 2 weeks before there is an opening in the classroom so that the parent has advance notice of the child's start date at the center.
- Does your program operate year-round? Is the center closed for holidays?
The center is open year-round and follows Cecil College's schedule for holiday closings. The center is open from 7:15 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., Monday - Friday.
- Does the center provide any meals or snacks?
The center provides a nutritious breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack for each child. The center follows the USDA Child Care and Adult Food Program Requirements and the MD State Office of Child Care Licensing requirements when planning the menus and preparing the food; all food is prepared in the center's kitchen. Menus are posted in each classroom and throughout the center and copies are provided per parent's request.
- When will my child transition to the next classroom?
Transitions are based on the educational and social/emotional development of the child and the child's age. Once a child is ready to transition, the parent will be notified by the Child Development Specialist with an approximate start date for the new classroom. The parent will be given the opportunity to meet with the child's new teacher to answer any questions and/or address any concerns. The children in the Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms are grouped according to the year that they will attend Kindergarten.
- How often do the children go outside? Are the playgrounds fenced in?
Each class is scheduled to go outside twice a day, weather permitting. The center follows the guidelines established by the Office of Head Start; if the temperature or wind chill factor is below 32 degrees, or above 95 degrees, then the children stay inside and participate in age-appropriate gross motor activities in the classroom. The center has two fenced in playgrounds with developmentally appropriate equipment; the younger children (ages 0 - 3) are separated from the older children (ages 4 and 5) on the playground.
- Do you have to live in Cecil County to enroll in a program at the center?
In order to qualify for our Early Head Start program, the participant must live in Cecil County. Private Pay child care participants do not have to live in Cecil County, nor even the state of Maryland. We provide childcare for private pay participants from Maryland as well as surrounding states.
- Are the teachers at the center certified?
All of the Lead Teachers at the center have, at the minimum, an AA degree in Early Childhood Education. Many of the Lead Teachers have a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. All of the staff, including the Child Development Assistants, is credentialed through the Maryland State Department of Education Credentialing Program, and all staff are approved through the Maryland Office of Child Care Licensing Branch. Also, the center is also accredited through the Maryland State Department of Education, and is currently in the process of obtaining NAEYC (National Association for Education of the Young Child) Accreditation.
- What is the tuition for the program? When are payments due?
The tuition for each classroom varies, and is based on the number of hours per week that the child attends the center. The Child Care Subsidy is accepted for those participants who qualify. The Preschool classroom also has a sliding scale fee based on the family's income. Current tuition rates can be obtained by calling the center at 410-287-1100. Payments are due on the first and the fifteenth of each month; the center accepts cash and credit/debit cards.
- What kinds of educational activities do the children participate in during the day?
Each child development classroom for children ages 0-3 has a daily schedule that includes language and literacy activities, cognitive and social/emotional experiences, and opportunities for physical development. The Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten children also have daily experiences with math, science and social studies activities. All classrooms follow weekly lesson plans that are developed to meet the educational and social/emotional needs of each child in the classroom.