- Orientation meetings are held in July during which parents are given general information about the CDL and talk with their children’s teachers about the expectations and procedures for their classroom and opportunities for parent involvement.
- An Open House is held before the first day of school so that children can see the facility and meet their teachers.
- In order to make the start of school as smooth as possible and give each child the individual attention he/she will need to feel comfortable, gradual entry is arranged for children in the infant classrooms.
- Start days for individual children in these classrooms differ by days/weeks to gradually increase the class size and allow the children to become slowly accustomed to their environment. For example, in the infant rooms, four children start the first week and four children join them the second week. Tuition is pro-rated for children starting the second week.
- Transitions are a year-long process that is embedded into the curriculum. Children visit other classrooms, both older and younger, and in both buildings, throughout the year as we work on building a CDL community. This becomes a main focus during the Spring semester and into the summer months.
- Once classroom assignments for the upcoming year have been made, individual teachers will do observations and go visit children in their current classrooms. The children also visit and play in their new classrooms, providing the opportunity for them to establish relationships and begin to take ownership of their new environment.
- Separation anxiety is a developmental issue that can be difficult for both children and parents. Often, when infants are between eight and ten months of age, they are distressed when they are separated from their caregivers. It is also common for older children who have never been in a group setting, who are changing from one care setting to another, or who have been away from school for a period of time, to experience separation anxiety. Sometimes this behavior will surface for any number of reasons at unexpected times throughout the year as children grow and change.
- Typical reactions associated with separation anxiety are crying, clinging, and trying to follow.
- Every child is unique and responds to separations differently.
- However, children take cues from their parents. If a parent responds positively when dropping their child off, their child will pick up on this.
The following is a list of helpful hints to make the separation process go smoother:
- Prepare your child and talk to them about what is going to happen beforehand, such as “Today is a school day!”
- Maintain a good relationship with your child’s teachers and communicate with them on a daily basis. This will make you more comfortable with leaving and your child will sense this.
- Be sure to say good-bye to your child when you leave. Saying good-bye helps your child know what to expect and establish a healthy routine.
- Make your good-bye(s) definite. Do not come back if you hear your child crying. It can make the separation process even more difficult. Children typically regain their composure and start their daily routine shortly after their parent(s) leaves.
- Take advantage of the observation booths and galleries. You can monitor your child’s progress and give them an opportunity to develop coping mechanisms that will sustain them throughout their lives.