Download a copy of the parent handbook here

PARENT HANDBOOK

Alphabet Soup Preschool will play an important role in your child’s development.  It is essential that parents be informed as to the goals, curriculum, and socialization process which will take place.  We hope you will lend us your support by adhering to the following guidelines in this hand book.

Philosophy

Our goal is to create a safe, supportive, and stimulating environment that encourages the social, emotional, physical, and mental development of young children through creative play, while nurturing each child’s sense of accomplishment and personal growth. Our daily activities are designed as a foundation for your child’s early development.  Children learn through interactive play, we provide an environment that is conducive to this goal.  Activities include art, science, pre-reading, math skills, dramatic play, music, language and writing development. We stress the utilization of all senses for the most efficient learning experience. We ensure that all children have the opportunity for small and large muscle development as well as individual and group interactions.

Admission Requirements

* Children will be accepted for care between ages 2 1/2-5 years

* Children must be potty trained to attend Alphabet Soup Preschool-Green Lake.

* Parents must submit all necessary forms including

Application/Registration

About Your Child

Health History

Vaccination Record

Certificate of Immunization Status (signed and dated)

Emergency Medical Consent

Sunscreen Form

Photo/Video Permission Form

Emergency Contact

Pick-up/drop-off Authorization

Parent Handbook Agreement Form (signed and dated)

* A one time non-refundable $75.00 registration fee is due when all forms are submitted.

* Alphabet Soup Preschool will provide care for any child regardless of color, race, sex, national origin, or religious affiliation and we celebrate/welcome diversity.

What to Bring? Parents/Guardians Will Supply

* A change of weather appropriate clothing to be kept in their cubby.

* Blankets and cots will be provided for nap time. Your child is welcome to bring a special nap time companion from home, such as a blanket or stuffed toy.

* A well balanced nutritious, ready to eat, lunch in a labeled container.

*Morning and Afternoon snacks are provided. Please inform us of any food allergies.

Daily Schedule & Activities

Our daily activities are designed as a foundation for your child’s early development. Children learn through interactive play, we provide an environment that is conducive to this goal. Activities include art, science, pre-reading, math skills, dramatic play, music, and language and writing development.
We stress the utilization of all senses for the most efficient learning experience. We ensure that all children have the opportunity for small and large muscle development as well as individual and group interactions.

FULL DAY
Opening
8:00
Centers
Art/Math/Science/Writing
8:00-9:30
Morning Snack
9:30-10:00  
Circle Time/Art
Music/Drama/Sharing 
10:00-11:00
Outside Time
Large muscle development 
11:00-12:00 
Lunch
12:00-12:30
Story Time
12:30-1:00
Quiet Activities/Nap
1:00-2:30
Afternoon Snack
2:30-3:00
Outside Time
Large muscle development 
3:00-3:30
Centers
Art/Math/Science/Writing
3:30-5:00
Clean-up/pick-up
5:00-5:30
SCHOOL DAY
Opening
8:30
Centers
Art/Math/Science/Writing
8:30-9:30
Morning Snack
9:30-10:00  
Circle Time/Art
Music/Drama/Sharing 
10:00-11:00
Outside Time
Large muscle development 
11:00-12:00 
Lunch
12:00-12:30
Story Time
12:30-1:00
Quiet Activities/Nap
1:00-2:30
Afternoon Snack
2:30-3:00
Outside Time
Large muscle development 
3:00-3:30
Pick-up
3:30

Curriculum

Adult-Child Interaction
Teachers and children are active partners in the learning process. This balanced approach to adult/child interaction – also called “intentional teaching” – is critical to the effectiveness of the program. It includes techniques for encouraging learning in specific content areas, as well as strategies for helping children resolve conflicts.

Classroom Arrangement, Materials, and Equipment
The space and materials are carefully arranged to promote active learning.
The center is divided into interest areas organized around specific kinds of play; for example, blocks/building, kitchen, dress-up, library, science, math & art area.

Daily Routine
Teachers give preschoolers a sense of control over the events of the day by planning a consistent daily routine, which enables the children to anticipate what happens next. Central elements of the preschool daily routine include the small- and large-group times, greeting time, center, circle time, meal/snack time, and outside time.

Curriculum Content

Key Developmental Indicators
The curriculum is built around teacher and child-initiated learning activities in five main curriculum content areas: approaches to learning
1. Language (literacy and communication),
2. Social and Emotional Development
3. Physical Development (health and well-being),
4. Arts and Music, and 5. Sciences.

Active Learning

What is Active Participatory Learning?
Our educational approach is based on the belief that young children build or “construct” their knowledge of the world — they are “active learners.” This means learning is not simply a process of adults giving information to children. Rather, children discover things through direct experience with people, objects, events, and ideas. They learn best from pursuing their own interests, while being actively supported and challenged by adults.

Teachers are as active and involved as children in the classroom. The teachers provide materials, plan activities, and talk with children in ways that support and expand on what children are experiencing and thinking. Active Participatory Learning is a process in which teachers and children are partners.

Ingredients of Active Learning: Active learning has five ingredients which must be present:

Materials: Abundant supplies of interesting materials are readily available to children. Materials are appealing to all the senses and are open ended — that is, they lend themselves to being used in a variety of ways to expand children’s experiences and stimulate their thought.

Manipulation: Children handle, examine, combine, and transform materials and ideas. They make discoveries through direct, hands-on, and “minds-on” contact with these resources.

Choice: Children choose materials and play partners, change and build on their play ideas, and plan activities according to their interests and needs.

Child Language and Thought: Children describe what they are doing and understanding. They communicate verbally and nonverbally as they think about their actions and modify their thinking to take new learning into account.

Adult Scaffolding: “Scaffolding” means adults both support children’s current level of thinking and challenge them. Adults encourage children’s efforts and help them extend or build on their work by talking with them about what they are doing, joining in their play, and by helping them learn to solve problems that arise.

Teaching Practices

Adult-child interaction is the process of working alongside children and communicating with them, both verbally and nonverbally, to encourage learning. An important strategy for adult -child interaction is sharing control with children: creating a balanced climate where adults and children are partners in the learning process. Additional strategies include focusing on children’s strengths, forming authentic relationships with children, supporting children’s play, using encouragement instead of praise, and taking a problem-solving approach to conflict.

The classroom settings are divided into interest areas stocked with a stimulating range of materials designed for specific types of play. Materials are arranged in consistent places and the shelves are tagged with child -friendly labels so that children can get out and put away materials themselves. The classroom’s organization also helps children understand how the world is organized, and concepts like more, less, same, different, large, small, in, out, in front of, etc. The outdoor play area is considered part of the learning environment and is arranged and equipped to support all areas of child development including cognitive, social, emotional, and physical abilities.

The daily routine has consistent framework for the day that provides a balanced variety of experiences and learning opportunities. Children engage in both individual and social play, participate in small – and large- group activities, assist with cleanup, socialize during meals, develop self -care skills, and exercise their small and large muscles.

Program Policies

Discrimination/Anti-Bias Policy
Alphabet Soup Preschool does not discriminate in admissions, enrollment, or hiring on the
basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability. We provide an environment that
is bias free and culturally democratic.

Communication Policy & Parent Teacher Conferences
We strongly encourage open communication between our staff and our families. We conduct Parent/Teacher conferences twice a year and keep student binders with updated quarterly developmental assessments for parental review.

Parental Support/Community Board
Our community board is one of our avenues to assist with parenting needs. There is always helpful information posted from parenting classes to various support group schedules. It is also an opportunity for parents to share ideas and information.

Permission for Photography-Videotaping-Surveillance
Parents are required to submit the permission form for photo/video taping of their child with the entrance paperwork. Alphabet Soup maintains a private Instagram page that only our families have access to.

Smoking, Vaping, Cannabis, Illegal Drug and Alcohol Policy
Absolutely no smoking, vaping, cannabis, drugs or alcohol is permitted on the Alphabet Soup Preschool premises. We ask that you distinguish cigarettes at least 500 feet away from any entrance into the school.

Behavior Philosophy & Policy
We want to ensure that every child is safe while in our care. Our program provides an environment that encourages and promotes cooperative interaction, respect for others, and non -aggressive problem solving between children. We believe in a positive, proactive approach to discipline and behavior management. Elements of this belief include minimizing the opportunity for inappropriate behavior by re-directing the child’s attention and energy. When behavior problems or conflicts occur, each child involved will be given a chance to talk about what happened and produce a solution. For severe incidents where a child’s safety is at risk or harm has been done to another, that child may be excluded from the group with an adult until they are in a calm state and ready to rejoin the group.

Restraint Policy-Corporal Punishment
Alphabet Soup staff members have not been professionally trained and do not use physical restraints. We do not use any form of corporal punishment.

Expulsion Policy
Alphabet Soup will only expel a student if all attempts have been made to rectify the situation with the staff and family. Incident reports and documentation of action taken to avoid expulsion will be kept in the child’s file. Resources will be provided to assist the family in finding alternate care.
Expulsion of a child is only if:
(a) The child exhibits behavior that presents a serious safety concern for that child or others; and
(b) The program is not able to reduce or eliminate the safety concern through reasonable modifications.
If a child is expelled, we will:
(a) Review the program’s expulsion policy with the parent or guardian of the child;
(b) Provide a record to the parent or guardian about the expulsion and the steps that were taken to avoid expulsion. The record must include the date, time, early learning program staff involved, and
details of each incident that led to expulsion; and
(c) Provide information to the parent or guardian of the child that includes, but is not limited to, community-based resources that may benefit the child.
We are required to report to the state when children are expelled. The information we will include:
(a) Child demographic data including, but not limited to, the age, race, ethnicity, and gender of the child;
(b) The reason the child was expelled; and
(c) The resources that were provided to the parent or guardian of the child.

Staff-to Child Ratio & Type of Classroom Offered
Alphabet Soup maintains the minimum Washington State staff-to-child ratios which are 1:10 but typically are much lower. We offer a preschool program that includes children age 3-5.5.

Child Supervision Policy
All students will be under direct supervision at all times by staff that have completed all required Washington State training and have current background checks on file.

Students with Special Needs
Reasonable accommodations will be made for students who need special services due to developmental or physical challenges.

Infants & Toddlers
Alphabet Soup does not offer Infant or Toddler care.

Diapering
Alphabet Soup requires that students be fully potty trained and capable of using the bathroom without the regular assistance of staff members.

Napping
The students that are at school all day as well as those who attend in the afternoon will have the opportunity to nap in our nap room. Each student gets their own cot and blanket that is sanitized daily by the lead teacher. If they choose not to nap they can sit quietly on their cots and read.

Dual Language Learning
The primary language used in our program is English, although we incorporate numerous other languages within our curriculum while promoting cultural diversity.

Holidays, Religious and Cultural Activities
Holidays are celebrated by exposing the students to a wide variety of cultural and religious beliefs celebrated throughout the world. No one belief will be taught. We strive to promote all religions and cultures throughout the world.

Transportation Policy
Alphabet Soup Preschools do NOT transport children.

Water Activities
Water play includes “sprinkler-time” in the summer and water activities in the sensory tables. Students will be supervised closely and given specific instructions when participating in any water activity.

Overnight Care
Alphabet Soup Preschools do NOT offer overnight care.

Weapons
Weapons of any kind are prohibited on Alphabet Soup property. There are no weapons stored anywhere on the premises.

Enrollment/Dis-enrollment Policies
Schedule changes will take effect at the beginning of the month with at least a two-week notice. All schedule changes are subject to availability. Alphabet Soup Preschool requires a 30-day written notice if your child needs to withdraw from the program completely.

Fees/Payment Policies
Enrollment and dis-enrollment policies are covered on our Tuition/Hours page.

Sign-In/Sign-Out Policy
All students must be signed in when dropped off and signed out when picked up. Signatures must include clearly written first and last names. The person picking the student up must be on drop off/pick up form in our enrollment packet.

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Policy
Your child cannot be picked up by anyone who is not on your pick-up authorization form. If there is someone that you would like to add to your list, it needs to be documented on your form. You must use your full signature when signing your child in and out. According to state law, any person picking up or dropping off your child must be 18 years of age or older. Please note the time your child was dropped off and picked up on the sign in and out sheet. After the designated pick-up time a $1.00 per minute charge will accrue and will be added to the following months bill.

Student File-Required Information
It is essential that all information within the student’s files are kept up to date. The administrator will review all student files once a quarter to ensure that the files are maintained.
-Application/Registration
-About Your Child
-Health History
-Vaccination Record
-Certificate of Immunization Status (signed and dated)
-Emergency Medical Consent
-Sunscreen Form
-Photo/Video Permission Form
-Emergency Contact
-Pick-up/drop-off Authorization
-Parent Handbook Agreement Form (signed and dated)

Student Files Confidential-Access Policy
Student files are kept in the school office. Only Alphabet Soup staff and approved persons will have access to the files. All information is to be considered confidential.

Parents/Guardians must Supply
-A change of weather appropriate clothing to be kept in their cubby.
-Blankets and cots will be provided for nap time. Your child is welcome to bring a special nap time blanket or stuffy from home that is machine washable. All nap items will be washed every Friday.
-A well balanced nutritious, ready to eat, lunch in a labeled container.
-Morning and Afternoon snacks are provided. Please inform us of any food allergies.

Parental Access
Parents have complete access to their child at any time throughout the day during operating hours.

Termination/Changes of Services Policy
Schedule changes will take effect at the beginning of the month with at least a two-week notice.
All schedule changes are subject to availability. We will need a 30-day notice if your child needs to withdraw from the program completely.

Child Abuse & Neglect Policy
Washington State law, WAC 388-150-480, requires that any suspected child abuse,
neglect, or exploitation be reported to Child Protective Services immediately.

Mandatory Reporting Policy
As a child care provider Washington State law, WAC 388-150-480, requires that any suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation be reported to Child Protective Services immediately. The incident must be documented and kept in the students file.

Mixed Age Group Policy
Our preschool classrooms have mixed ages from 3 years old to 5.5 years of age, with a maximum Washington State required staff to child ratio of 1:10, although our ratios are typically well below the state required standard.

Health Records & Immunizations
Student files include health histories, date of last exam, name and phone number of healthcare provider and dentist, allergy information, individualized health care plan for children with special healthcare needs, medical authorization forms, consent for emergency care and the preferred hospital. Files will be reviewed by the licensee once a quarter to ensure that all children are up to date with their current immunizations. The parents will be notified if there are immunizations needed. If students are not fully immunized when an outbreak occurs, they will be required to stay home from school until their immunizations are up to date.

Staff Policies
A complete copy of our staff policies and procedures can be requested from a staff member.

Consistent Care Policy
Alphabet Soup promotes the consistent care of children. We assigned teachers to work with a consistent group of children for much of the day with a goal of building long-term, trusting relationships.

Food Service/Food Handling/Menus
Students bring a well-balanced nutritious, ready to eat, lunch in a labeled container that will be kept in the refrigerator. We request that all candy be left at home. Snacks are served twice a day, morning snack at 9:30 and afternoon snack at 3:30. Snacks meet all USDA requirements and will be prepared by the lead teacher before the school opens. We offer healthful choices, such as cheese cubes and organic fruits and vegetables. Filtered water is always available to students. Snacks are served family style. No home canned food will be served. All staff members are required to have current food handlers permits and are required to use protective gloves whenever food is handled. Snack Menus are posted daily on the “Highlights of the Day Board” located next to sign in.

Liability Insurance
Alphabet Soup carries full liability insurance.

Inspection Reports/Notices of Enforcement
All State required inspection reports and notices of enforcement are available for review. Please submit a request to any staff member.

Unlicensed Space
Students are not allowed in space that is unlicensed. There are gates/doors that must remain securely closed during operating hours.

Pet Policy
Any pets that will have access to the classroom will be up to date on all shots if required. Shot records from the vet will be kept in a file in the office and will be available upon request. No aggressive pets will be allowed access to the classroom or students. The lead teacher will be responsible for overseeing and any maintenance required to care for the pet. Anyone who has any physical contact with the pet will be required to wash their hands immediately following the interaction.

Health Care Plan

In case of accident or emergency:

Minor injuries will be treated, and the child will be allowed to stay for the remainder of the day. All minor injuries will be recorded in the Accident Log book found in the office. Parents will receive an accident report form with relevant information to inform them of the incident.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, staff will call 911. Parents will be notified immediately. They will be instructed as to the course of action taken. A staff member will remain with the child until a parent or an authorized emergency contact person can assume responsibility.

In the event of an illness or injury that is not life threatening, first aid will be given by attending staff. Parents will be notified and we will follow parent instructions as to the best course of action in order to provide medical care.

Health & Illness

It is our goal to keep all of our children as healthy as possible. It is of the utmost importance that parents adhere to our health and illness policies, not only to protect the ill child, but also to protect those children that are well.
Any child who is experiencing the following symptoms should have arrangements for alternate care until the symptoms have disappeared for at least 24 hours.

FEVER – VOMITING – DIARRHEA – EARACHE
Please let us now if your child will absent due to illness and inform us if they were ill.

Contagious Diseases

The King County Health Department will be notified if any contagious diseases are diagnosed. If a student is not fully immunized they are required to stay home during an out-break.

Hand Washing

All staff and students are required to wash their hands after using the bathroom as well as before and after all meal times using soap and water, drying with a single use paper towel.

Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting

All surfaces will be sanitized after use, using the 3-step method as outlined by the King County Health Department. 1. CLEAN-Clean with soap and water, wipe with a paper towel. 2. RINSE-Rinse with water and wipe dry with a paper towel. 3. SANITIZE/DISINFECT-Sanitize/Disinfect with bleach solution. Using all-purpose bleach solution (1TSP Bleach/QT Water) for food surfaces, kitchen, and classrooms. Using bodily fluids solution (1TBS Bleach/1 QT Water) for body fluids and bathrooms.
The bathroom and nap cots will be bleached daily and bedding will be washed every Friday.

Allergies

Parents are required to inform the school of any allergies, food or environmental, that their child may have. If the student requires special medication including an epi pen a medical authorization form must be signed by their doctor. All staff have been trained in the use of epi pens.

Blood Borne Pathogens

All staff will have annual training that covers the correct method of dealing with situations where there has been any type of exposure to blood. A description of this training is kept in all staff binders and is available for review.

Medication

Teachers will only disburse prescription medication if it is in the original container with the physician’s instructions for administration on the label. Medication will be placed in the Locked Medication Container and/or in the refrigerator if needed. Do not leave medication in lunch boxes, backpacks or anywhere that may be accessible to children. A medication form must be completed indicating time, dosage, and duration of medication.

There are certain groups of non-prescription medications that can be administered. Parents must provide all over the counter medications.

-Antihistamines
-Non-aspirin pain relievers/fever reducers
-Cough Medicine
-Decongestants

Parents must sign all medication authorization forms, both prescription and non-prescription, for medication to be administered.

Emergency Policies

Emergency Contact information is posted at sign in.
All staff have been trained in emergency preparedness in case of fire, evacuation and general disasters and have current updated First Aid and CPR training. Teachers have also been trained how to properly use the fire extinguishers.

Fire & Evacuation
We conduct monthly fire drills with the students and staff. The fire drill log and evacuation plan are posted next to the main entrance. Fire extinguishers are checked monthly and fire alarm batteries are replaced annually. Safety checks are conducted daily by the opening teacher. If a fire is suspected the lead teacher will blow a whistle which is located on the side of the refrigerator to alert the student of an emergency/fire. The secondary teacher is responsible for attempting to extinguish the fire with the fire extinguisher and call 911. The lead teacher and children exit through the play yard door and meet at NE corner in the playground. If there is a child that is unable to walk at the time of the fire the lead teacher will carry them to the designated location. The lead teacher is responsible for taking the classroom clip board with the daily roster and current parent contact information. All teachers have working cell phones. If there is an actual fire parents will be contacted once the students evacuate and the fire department is called. The alternative exit is through the front door, the students will be led a lead in a line to the sidewalk on street outside of the school. All classrooms and nap rooms have emergency exits to the outside with no more than a 48-inch drop to a safety platform if the exit is a window. There are extra batteries for flashlights and smoke detectors.

Lock Down/Shelter in Place
We also conduct lock down and shelter in place drills annually. Once we are made aware of a threat we immediately move the children inside if they are outside. The lead teacher will have the classroom clip board with the daily roster to ensure that all children would be accounted for as well as the current parent contact information. All teachers have working cell phones. All exits will be locked, and the students are moved into the nap room where the blinds are drawn, and the lights are lowered. The teachers will then contact the parents to inform them of the situation. We ask that parents wait to pick up their children until the treat is lifted.

First Aid Kit
An approved first aid kit is located in the emergency back pack located in the emergency closet. It is stocked with all of the required contents and is checked on a weekly basis by the lead opening teacher on Monday mornings