Privacy Policy

The following policies insure that Open Doors Preschool will have a good relationship with you and your child

ABSENTEEISM:
Student tuition will be charged for all absences less than one week. All absences over one week (for sickness, vacation or any other reason) will be charged on a 40% tuition basis or a readmission fee, whichever is less (provided space is available).
ADMISSIONS:
Children are accepted from the age of six weeks up until Kindergarten in the full day program and children up to 12 years old in the afterschool, holiday and summer programs. Open Doors Preschool does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, economic level, family structure, language, religion, sex, national origin or disability.
Names are placed on the waiting list by date of application. If a space becomes available for a child on the waiting list before he/she is ready to come to the center, the space can be held only if tuition is paid in full.
Any change in enrollment status (i.e. from 5-day to part time) must be approved in advance by an administrator. Modifications to enrollment status will be made on a space-available basis.
The following information will be completed prior to enrollment and will be updated as required by DCF regulations and/or requested by Open Doors Preschool administration or staff:
• Enrollment Form
• Student Information
• Physical Form signed by physician (gold)
• Copy of Child’s Birth Certificate
• Emergency Information/Release Form
• Allergy Information (by physician only)
• Food Program Application
• Child Participation Form
• Immunization Record (blue)
• Parent Agreement
COMPLAINT PROCEDURE:
The director is available upon request to talk to you about any concerns or complaints that you may have regarding the center and/or its policies and procedures. If the director is unable to address a parent’s concern in a satisfactory manner, the center can refer the parent to  other appropriate resources for resolution.
CURRICULUM:
Each classroom plans its daily routines and activities based on developmentally appropriate practices for young children. The learning experiences provided by the teachers enhance development in the children on all levels: socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically, and creatively. The curriculum includes daily plans that allow freedom of choice, interactions with adults and children, active and quiet activities, individual and small group activities, family-style meals, hands-on exploration of real materials, outdoor/active play, and creative problem solving. Lesson plans, daily schedule, menus and special events are posted in each classroom.
Open Doors Preschool uses the Creative Curriculum in conjunction with curriculum resources for reading readiness and literacy. For more specific information on how the Creative Curriculum meets mandated Florida Readiness Standards, please request the appropriate Creative Curriculum alignment pattern for your child’s specific age group. The alignment pattern is available in PDF format and can be e-mailed to you directly.
CURRICULUM FEES:
The curriculum and materials fee is $15.00 monthly per child. This fee is non-refundable and cannot be prorated. We use the Creative Curriculum  year-round in alignment with the Florida Readiness Standards
DISCIPLINE:
The goal of Open Doors Preschool’s child guidance policy is to build self-worth, increase social competence, and enhance the dignity of each child. All guidance and discipline techniques used at the center shall be in accordance with this positive emphasis. The purpose of any set of procedures should be to teach children to learn how to control themselves in various situations.
Positive approaches to guidance include:
• Staff will have a well-designed, developmentally appropriate learning environment and provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences.
• Staff will know and be sensitive to the developmental, cultural, and individual needs of each child.
• When inappropriate behavior occurs, the teacher shall examine the situation thoroughly to determine the cause; i.e., something in the classroom, stress at home, a physical problem with the child, or some other factor. The teacher shall be responsible for documenting patterns of inappropriate behavior and bringing such patterns to the attention of parents and administrators.
The goal of developmentally appropriate guidance is to help children learn to make socially acceptable choices. For that reason teachers strive to use mediation and guidance to assist children in making acceptable choices. Our goal is to give children the tools they need to become good friends and good citizens.
Open Doors Preschool follows procedures as outlined below in encouraging self-discipline:
 
Infants and Toddlers:
When working with infants and toddlers, teachers will use such strategies as: prevention, distraction, encouraging, modeling, and enticing the child to a new activity. Infants and toddlers should never be put in time out because it is developmentally inappropriate.
 
Three, Four, Five Year Olds, and Schoolagers:
Similar techniques will be used with preschoolers and schoolagers such as: prevention, redirecting, humor, reminding, encouraging, modeling, discussion, problem-solving, and conferencing.
Calm down time may be used as a behavior management technique to assist in solving an on-going or habitual behavioral problem for this age group. Calm down time will be no longer than one minute per year of the child’s age. Calm down time will be followed by redirection and positive encouragement.
Open Doors Preschool does not permit ANY FORM of corporal punishment.
 
These discipline techniques are NOT permitted:
• Corporal Punishment or physical force is NEVER allowed!
• A child is NEVER to be deprived of food, water, a nap or rest, a comfort item from home, or bathroom facilities!
• Unsupervised isolation of a child is NEVER allowed! “Time Out” shall rarely be used. Instead, teachers will use a calm down time to help children compose themselves before returning to play. Further, it is recommended that more appropriate methods of redirecting and/or guiding children, as described in Developmentally Appropriate Practices (Bredekamp & Copple; 1997), be used with four, five, and six year olds.
• Adults are expected to always show respect for children by NEVER addressing a child harshly with intimidation or ridicule. Also, center personnel will not discuss a child’s behavior with other adults, in the presence of other children, or with other parents. Written or verbal reports to parents regarding conflicts will guard confidentiality by not revealing the name of any other child involved.
Staff members will encourage parents to use these same approaches to guide and discipline their children.
All parents and staff are required to sign Open Doors Preschool’s Child Guidance & Discipline Procedures Agreement. A copy of this Agreement is included in this Handbook.
DISMISSAL:
We reserve the right to dismiss any child at any time. Some incidents leading to dismissal are exemplified as, but are not limited to the following: disrupts the class, undesirable language, physical abuse of self, teacher, or other children).
DROP OFF PROCEDURE:
A parent or another adult must accompany every child to the classroom and notify the teacher of their presence. Please recognize that for safety reasons children may not walk to their classrooms alone. Open Doors Preschool is not responsible for the child until the parent has signed the child in and a teacher recognizes the child as being present.
EMERGENCY PLAN:
In the event of an emergency situation that requires an evacuation of Open Doors Preschool, one of the following plans shall be implemented. In all situations, the caregiver in charge when evacuating shall:
  • Take an accurate attendee list;
  • Account for all children and staff as they board/depart vehicles;
  • Bring any necessary medications/supplies and emergency records;
  •  Take a cellular phone if available to be used for emergency notification of parents. If possible, the phone company will be contacted and asked to forward all calls to our main number (239-303-1944) through to the available cell phone.
For all types of emergencies where the children cannot stay on the premises, the children will be brought to Lehigh Regional Medical Center (1500 Lee Blvd.), by bus or automobile where they will remain accompanied by caregivers while family/guardian/emergency contacts are notified of the situation and arrangements are made for either the transporting home or care taking for the remainder of the day.
In the event of a major environmental hazard occurring during operation of the facility that necessitates a larger area evacuation such as several neighborhoods, a city/town or geographical area, due to a large non-confined hazard, e.g. earthquake, hurricane, etc., children will be transported to: a Red Cross designated mass shelter by bus where they will remain accompanied by caregiver(s) while family/guardian/emergency contacts are notified and arrangements are made for their pick up. Staff will remain with and care for the children at all times during an event. Attendance will be checked whenever children are moved. Staff will bring any necessary medications, supplies, and emergency records.
Medical Emergency:
Staff involved in the direct care of children maintain current certification in First Aid and CPR for infants and children.
The teacher will apply appropriate first aid measures for all medical emergencies and minor illnesses or injuries as outlined in approved First Aid training. The parent/guardian of a sick or injured child will be contacted by telephone as soon as possible. The center Director or a staff member will continue to try to reach a parent/ guardian or emergency contact. However, whether or not he or she is able to contact a parent/guardian, the child will still be taken to the hospital whenever a medical emergency exists.
HEALTH RECORDS:
It is mandatory for each child to have on file in the school office an updated shot record (blue form 680), a Florida physician’s statement (yellow form 3040), and a copy of the child’s birth certificate. Please take care of this matter before admission. These records are checked periodically by county, state, and accrediting agency inspectors. It will be necessary to dismiss a child who does not have the above records on file.
HOLIDAYS:
Holidays during the year have been taken into consideration at the time prices were established. Therefore, no deduction can be taken for holiday absences. There will be no adjustments made in case of a hurricane or other national circumstances not controllable by us. We will follow the same operating procedures as the public school system under those circumstances.
Open Doors Preschool is closed for the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. We close early (3 P.M.) on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve.
ILLNESS:
We have to consider all the children in our school, and we wish to make sure that they are all protected from illness. Therefore, if your child becomes sick at school, we will inform you immediately. Please make sure that the phone numbers we have on file are current. We do want to notify you as soon as possible if your child is not feeling well.
To help prevent illness from spreading, children will be excluded from the classroom if any of the following symptoms or conditions occur:
1.    Fever of 100 degrees or above
2.    Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain,
3.    Diarrhea,
4.    Unusual drowsiness or tiredness,
5.    Sore throat, colored mucus, acute cold, or persistent cough (non allergic),
6.    Red, inflamed, or discharging eyes,
7.    Swollen glands around jaws, ears, or neck ,
8.    Impetigo, until 24 hours after an acceptable antibiotic treatment has been started and documented,
9.    Any skin sore oozing fluid, yellow pus in blisters, or pus which has an odor,
10.Other undiagnosed skin condition
If your child begins to exhibit these symptoms during the school day, he or she will be excluded from the classroom and brought to our rest area for ill children in the front office. You will be promptly notified and required to make arrangements for pick up immediately. When you pick up, you will be given a Medical FYI documenting the symptoms your child exhibited. You may also receive a Medical Referral if your child requires a pediatrician’s authorization before returning to care.
We will notify parents, in a written notice, of any contagious diseasesIf your child requires medication to be administered by prescription, it is your responsibility to make arrangement for the administration thereof. Open Doors Preschool DOES NOT administer medication of any kind (prescription or non-prescription), this includes any topical ointment such as diaper cream. Please do not ask our staff to administer medication as it is in direct violation of this policy.
Basic Rule of Thumb: If your child is not well enough to play outdoors, the child is not well enough to come to school. Please DO NOT bring your child to school if he/she has suffered from any of the symptoms listed above within the last 24 hours.
 INFANTS/TODDLERS:
Only infants six weeks or older may be accepted (some restrictions apply). Parents must provide supplies necessary for the day (diapers, powder, wipes, bottles, formula, food, etc.), and give the attendant any instructions on care for the child.
LATE FEES:
Tuition is due every Monday, but can be paid as late as Tuesday morning without a late fee. A late fee of $5.00 will be charged if tuition is paid Tuesday afternoon. If paid on Wednesday or thereafter, a $15.00 fee will be added to your account.
Closing time is 6 P.M.. A late fee will be charged after that time.   This fee will be added to your account.
LUNCHES/SNACKS:
Lunches, drinks, and snacks are provided by the school for all students through the Florida Child Care Food Program. It is necessary that each child have a completed Meal Application and Participation Form on file with Open Doors Preschool. These forms are updated annually each September. A weekly menu will be available for review each week. If your child has a food allergy, please be sure that we have a doctor’s note on file so that we may avoid serving your child that particular food. Additionally, please note that any food that is brought into Open Doors Preschool (i.e. for birthday and holiday parties) must be commercially prepared or prepared in a kitchen that is inspected by local health officials.
MATERIAL FEES:
There will be a $15.00 per month fee for the curriculum and materials that your child uses on a daily basis such as paper, pencils, glue, art and craft projects, etc. This fee is due with the last tuition payment each month.
MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION:
We are sorry, but Open Doors Preschool cannot administer medication of any kind. This includes topical ointments such as diaper cream and sunscreen. Please make arrangements for medication administration during out of school hours. Medication may never be brought from home in formula, milk, or juice in a cup or bottle.
PARENT CONFERENCES:
Parent conferences are held in the spring and again in the fall to track your child’s progress and overall development. Parent conferences will include information from teacher observations and written assessments. Your perspective as a parent concerning your child’s growth and development is heartily invited so that your child’s teacher may consider and integrate your perspective in classroom planning.
PART-TIME ENROLLMENT:
The amount of days per week signed up for upon enrollment must be paid for whether absenteeism occurs or not. For instance, you sign up for 3 days per week, you must pay for 3 days even if your child was here only 1 day. Also initial start-up fees are the same as for full-time students.
PERSONAL BELONGINGS:
We cannot be responsible for any personal belongings brought in by your child. However, we will do our best to protect them. Please label everything belonging to your child. This will assist us in returning lost items.
PHILOSOPHY & GOALS:
We believe that each child is a precious and unique gift, each with their own special qualities. Our major emphasis at Open Doors Preschool is to help children discover and develop these qualities in a loving environment. We believe that children learn best in an interactive, hands-on environment where they can discover the world around them at their own level of development. Since children need to feel secure before they will begin to explore their environment, we will give them love and respect, and help them to learn how to interact with adults and peers. The activities we provide will give them many opportunities to develop their cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual growth.
We feel that play is the most important aspect of young children’s lives… it is essential to their well-being and development. New concepts, new skills and new understanding come to children through play. In play, children learn to formulate and organize ideas and to become more flexible in problem solving. Children’s attention spans begin to lengthen when they play. Their imaginations can take them anywhere they want to go. Their senses can help them to see God’s creation in fascinating new ways. During play, children learn to communicate their thoughts, feelings and needs to others. Children’s work is play … that is how they prepare for the future.
We believe the family is the child’s first and best teacher. Our program involves the whole family including parent meetings, parent conferences, and parent participation in the classroom.
Goals For Children
·         Develop a healthy self-concept.
·         Develop positive trusting relationships with teachers and peers.
·         Develop security and a feeling of success.
·         Develop socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically through interactions with adults, children, and materials.
·         Develop independence and personal care skills.
·         Develop enjoyment of creative experiences.
 
Goals For Parents
·         Become familiar with the Open Doors Preschool philosophy, goals, policies, and procedures.
·         Seek information on age-appropriate expectations and methods to enhance each child’s optimal learning and development of self concept.
·         Explore methods for child guidance and for the progressive development of self control in children.
·         Become active in family-school partnerships to promote quality environments for children.
RE-ENROLLMENT:
To reenroll your child after a long absence due to illness, vacation or transfer, you will be charged $40.00 (some restrictions apply). This is to your benefit as you will not be charged for all the weeks of absence.
REFUND INFORMATION:
Refunds may be made after receipt of a written notice of withdrawal. This notice must be received in our office at least two weeks before the withdrawal date. At that time, any weekly tuition fees paid beyond the submitted withdrawal date will be processed and refunded by check.  Refunds usually take four weeks to process and mail. Please do not ask for a refund if you have not appropriately observed our withdrawal policy. We are sorry, but Open Doors Preschool cannot refund tuition for illness, dismissal, or partial attendance. Refunds are available for tuition only and do not apply to any other fees including curriculum or material fees.
REGISTRATION FEE:
There is a $40.00 registration fee to enroll your first child, and $20.00 for each additional child.
RELEASE OF CHILDREN:
A parent or another adult must accompany every child to the classroom and notify the teacher of their presence. Please recognize that for safety reasons children may not walk to their classrooms alone. Open Doors Preschool is not responsible for the child until the parent has signed the child in and a teacher recognizes the child as being present.
Teachers must be informed when a child leaves his/her care. Children must be logged out on the computer system every day. It is mandatory that persons picking up a child must log in using a four digit personal identification number (PIN) in the office before a child may be dismissed. Do not attempt to pick up a child from the playground. Children will be released only to those persons whose names are listed on the enrollment form, and have a valid PIN. Photo identification will still be required of persons who do not routinely pick up children, although they have a PIN. Parents should advise the office in writing, if possible, if a person not listed on the enrollment form is to pick up the child, so that a PIN may be assigned.
If there is a court order prohibiting any individual from having access to a child, Open Doors Preschool must have a copy of the documentation ordering such prohibition.
Parents need to call Open Doors Preschool immediately should an emergency arise that keeps them from picking up their child on time. Parents will receive a late notice and will be charged a $15.00 late fee for every 5 minutes, even if they have called the staff to let them know of their late arrival. This is a per child fee.  It is important to call, however, because it is comforting for children and staff to know a parent is on the way. If a child has not been picked up by 7:30 pm and no word or directions have been received from the parent or other authorized adult, a protective service worker or law enforcement officer will be notified to pick up the child. In such cases, the administrator on duty will stay with the child until he or she is united with his/her family.
Should you incur a late fee of more than $100.00 (picking up at 6:20 pm or later), it is required that payment of the late pick up fee be made in guaranteed funds (cash or money order only) before your student(s) may return to care. Please DO NOT pick up late.
ROLE OF PARENTS:
We believe the family is the child’s first and best teacher. Our program involves the whole family including parent meetings, parent conferences, and parent participation in the classroom. The relationship that evolves between parents and teachers contributes tremendously to the sense of trust that is developing in each child. Parents and teachers have important complimentary roles and responsibilities in making a young child’s experience in-group care of the highest possible quality. Therefore, Open Doors Preschool will provide developmentally appropriate care and instruction for all students.
SCHOOL HOURS:
School hours are 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday.
SUMMER:
Summer is spent in fun and play, taking a break from the usual school routine using special theme weeks, like Outer Space, Carnival, Western, etc. During the summer, school age children may be accepted (depending upon space availability) for a full day program.
SUPPLIES:
Parents will need to provide the following supplies for their children upon enrollment:
1. A rest mat of at least 1 thickness. It is the parent’s responsibility to care for this mat. If a mat is torn, it needs to be taped or replaced.
2. A change of clothing in a plastic bag labeled with the child’s name. Parents need to replace the clothing if it has been used or is no longer large enough for the child.
3. For infants, all supplies needed for the day–diapers, wipes, powder, food, etc. Formula is provided by the school.
TEACHER TRAINING:
Open Doors Preschool conducts background screening on every member of our staff as required by state law. This includes fingerprinting, background checks, and physical exams. Our teachers also complete CPR and first aid courses as well as continuing to advance in their academic education.
TUITION PAYMENT:
The first week’s tuition must be paid in advance before admission. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card (Visa or Mastercard). The weekly tuition is due each Monday thereafter. A $25.00 late fee will be charged to all who do not make their full tuition payment by the following Tuesday morning. If a payment is not received by the next Monday morning, the child cannot attend school that day or thereafter until payment is made. If a payment is made for an amount less than the payment required, a $5.00 low payment fee will be charged. You will be charged the weekly fee even though your child was absent, because the seat must be reserved for his return. No deduction can be made for the few holiday absences when our school is closed. We will not accept post dated checks. All checks must have your name, address, phone no., and driver’s license number on it. We cannot accept blank checks for a new account. If your check bounces, we cannot redeposit it, there will be a $35.00 service fee automatically billed to your account. Returned checks may be replaced by CASH ONLY for reimbursement.
If a coupon or discount from advertising is used for tuition, it is limited to new full-time students and one per family. It must be used for consecutive weeks. The coupon discount may not be combined with any other advertising. If a parent is late making the tuition payment or bounces a check, the coupon discount is rescinded and full payment will be required.
WAITING LISTS:
To put your name on our waiting list, simply pay the first week’s tuition in advance (non-refundable) and fill out an application form. You usually will not be required to wait long.
WITHDRAWALS:
A child may be withdrawn with a two week written notice to the office. If notice is not received in advance, charges for that time will be assessed. Please make sure your balance is fully paid. Please do not ask us to transfer academic or medical records if your bill is not fully paid.

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