Transitioning Into School
Each child transitions to a new environment differently. Some children cry for ten minutes at drop-off the first day and are fine from then on, while other children take up to six weeks to fully adjust to the new environment and routine.
With that in mind, we have established a transitional “play date” for all new students. Each child is invited to visit his new classroom one morning during the week prior to his official date of enrollment. We encourage parents to stay for a few minutes to meet the teachers and discuss their child’s transition, but we ask that parents then leave the classroom and allow their child to make friends and explore the learning environment on his own.
Our infant parents are also given the option of meeting with their child’s Lead Teacher on a separate day, usually before the “play date.” These meetings provide time for uninterrupted conversation between new parents and their child’s teacher. Important information regarding feeding schedules, sleep habits, and developmental abilities is easily shared during these discussions.
To give you an idea of how this process works, we’d like to share with you a note we received from the parents of a newly enrolled infant:
As you are aware, our daughter Makenzie, started in the Infant Program on August 19 and our son, Caleb, will start in the 2A classroom on September 3. We are writing to offer feedback on our first few weeks as parents of All Starz enrollees.
All too often, we are quick to point out weaknesses of the organizations and people with whom we interact, but we do not take the time to acknowledge the situations in which things are going well. With that thought in mind, we want you to know that our first few weeks with All Starz have been great!
Our First Visit
On the day we first visited the center, the employees were informative, helpful and understanding. Laura gave us a great tour, Robin was friendly and welcoming in the Infant classroom and all of the teachers and staff members we encountered made us feel welcome and comfortable. We visited several centers in an effort to find the right match for our family, and returned to All Starz on the same day we had taken our tour so we could enroll our children before the spots were no longer available. Laura clearly explained the amount we needed to pay and how it would be applied so we felt comfortable with the transaction. We were also allowed the flexibility to pay the next month’s fees when we returned with Makenzie for her initial visit, which we appreciated. Finally, we thought it was useful to have all the paperwork provided in advance of Makenzie’s visit, so we could work on it while I was on maternity leave. In completing this paperwork, we appreciated all the information provided about All Starz as well as the opportunity to share insights about our children and their needs prior to starting.
Makenzie’s Welcome Meeting
During our welcome meeting for the Infant classroom, we met with Robin to review information about the Infant Program. We appreciated having a quiet, private space in which to have the meeting and we were very impressed with the professional yet friendly way in which Robin handled the meeting. We appreciate that All Starz has milestone sheets to guide the teachers and to help us know what we can work on at home to reinforce what is being taught at school and are looking forward to seeing/working on the portfolio that will stay with our children throughout their time at All Starz. We left the meeting feeling comfortable leaving Makenzie in the classroom to visit with the teachers and other infants. Makenzie seemed to do well during her visit, even taking a bottle from the teachers without much of a problem, which is a skill on which we are still working. We appreciated the teachers’ feedback when we picked her up, and left the visit feeling ready for Makenzie’s first day.
Makenzie’s First Two Weeks
We were obviously a little nervous about putting our three month old in daycare, but the first two weeks have gone well. We received a lot of helpful feedback from the teachers and we were pleased with the support we received, especially given that Robin had to be out a few days for personal reasons. During this week we met Jamie and felt comfortable with her from the start. We continue to be impressed by how quickly she has learned about Makenzie. The “floater” teachers have been friendly and helpful. Robin is obviously very gifted, too (as we had heard from several of our colleagues with children at All Starz), and has quickly gotten to know Makenzie. Robin and Jamie (and the floater teachers) really seem to care about Makenzie, and it makes us feel great to know that she is in such good hands while we are at work.
In addition to the comments above (sorry, this is getting really long!), we want to make sure you know that we really appreciate Joe’s presence at the center. Having him open the door is certainly helpful, but what is even better is the fact that he obviously knows every single person who comes through the doors of All Starz, even having our car seat on the counter and ready for us when we walk in the door. He recognized us from the day we came for our first visit and we are amazed at how quickly he has learned all of our names, our cars and even our car seat! Joe is professional and helpful and it gives us a lot of comfort that he is watching people coming in and out of the facility so closely.
Finally, because [our older child] Caleb was so excited about coming to his “new school,” we asked on Wednesday if it would be possible for him to start on Thursday of this week instead of waiting until next Tuesday. Katie politely took our request and called us back within twenty minutes to let us know it would be fine for Caleb to start on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, he was not feeling well so we decided not to bring him in to avoid spreading germs, etc. but we still appreciated that All Starz was willing to accommodate our request.
Because of all of the efforts of the All Starz team to date, we are really looking forward to Caleb’s first day on Tuesday and to continuing to bring Makenzie to the Infant classroom.
Thank you for all the help and support thus far. We hope you will be able to share our gratitude with your team.
Kerryn and Brad