Here are several of the most commonly asked questions we get. If this doesn’t meet your needs or give you a proper answer, please send us an email!
What's included with tuition?
At KidsCentre, we take pride in the fact that we provide three meals a day at no additional cost to the parent. Vegetarian and other special dietary and allergy options are offered as well. Further, diapers and wipes are provided but if you want to use a specific brand you must supply them.
How does the waitlist work? How long is it?
We maintain a list of families who are interested in joining the KidsCentre family. Families give us some basic information including: their contact information, age of their child, and the date they would like to enroll. We contact families on the wait list as spaces become available. If the opening is a good fit for the family, we begin the enrollment process. If the family asks us to do so, we keep them on our list for future openings when the timing might be better. Currently enrolled children do have priority status when it comes to an opening in each room.
What are your group sizes, and ratios of adults to children?
Our ratios depend on the age of the children in the group. They look like this:
Infant Room – ages 3 months to 12-months-old; child-to-teacher ratio: 3:1
Penguin/Guppy Rooms – ages 1 year to 2 years old; child-to-teacher ratio: 4:1
Turtle/Otter Rooms – ages 2 years to 2.5/3 years old; child-to-teacher ratio: 5:1
Raccoon Room – ages 2.5 years to 3 years old; child-to-teacher ratio: 5:1
Monkey/Seal Rooms – ages 3 years to 4 years old; child-to-teacher ratio: 7:1
Moose/Whale Rooms – ages 4 years to 5 years old; child-to-teacher ratio: 8:1
What will a typical day for my child look like?
Most of our children are here at the center for 8 to 10 hours each day. It is our goal to provide a relaxed pace, with a balance maintained between indoor and outdoor-time, quiet-time, and active-time, individual or small group activity and larger group occasions. We provide two full meals and two snacks every day. Each classroom has a schedule which is followed each day to provide children with a comforting routine. Teachers plan activities during the day based on the interests of children in their groups, taking care to provide a variety of choices to meet individual needs within the group. Of course, in the Infant room we work very hard to respect each baby’s individual schedule, allowing babies to eat, sleep, and play as their body dictates.
Do you follow a certain curriculum?
KidsCentre, Inc. utilizes a variety of standards from well-known teaching approaches such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf and The Creative Curriculum. Our teachers are given the creative space to prepare their monthly curriculum programs while incorporating appropriate standards from these teaching methods for early childhood education. The children are presented with activities and opportunities that will enable them to strongly develop their social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language abilities. Our programming directly meets the current needs of children while providing them with a solid early childhood foundation, equipping them to confidently enter elementary school.
We also align our program with the Washington State Kindergarten Standards, Common Core Standards (Pre-K), Washington State Department of Early Learning and National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education.
Our curriculum is presented so each child can experience a wide variety of developmentally appropriate activities and opportunities to enhance their growth and development. These activities include math and literacy, kinesthetic, creative art, fine and gross motor development, and project-based learning units.
What are the staff requirements?
We do have several requirements for our teachers here at KidsCentre:
- A minimum of one year of teaching experience with children 3 months to 5 years old
- A minimum of CDA credentials, AA in Early Childhood Education, or a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Early Childhood Education is preferred.
- Completion of 30 hours of STARS Child Care Basics Course
- Have or receive within 60 days of employment the following:
o CPR training
o First Aid training
o HIV/BBP training
- Have or receive within 30 days of employment the following:
o TB test
o Background check
What do you do about biting/hitting/aggression? What is your discipline policy?
It is KidCentre’s goal to assist children through adjustment periods, to help them develop social skills, and to learn appropriate behaviors. The following are guidance techniques most commonly used in our programs to help children develop self-control, self-esteem, and respect for others while promoting a positive environment and personal growth:
- A quick response to legitimate needs
- A positive response to positive behavior
- A focus on behavior that fosters self-confidence, cooperation, and individual expression
- To model appropriate behavior, especially mutual respect and problem solving
- To set clear limits and expectations for children’s behavior
- To redirect “negative” behavior
At no time is physical or verbal punishment used with a child. This means no slapping, hitting or spanking, name calling, embarrassing, or shaming of any child in any way. Children are not denied food, water, or access to the bathroom. Food is never used as a reward or a punishment. Whenever possible, we prefer to implement early intervention and to have the parent, child, and teacher work cooperatively toward a solution. Staff will closely coordinate with the family to resolve differences and meet each child’s needs.
What about potty training?
Children usually begin the process of potty training here at around two years of age. Our bathrooms have child-sized toilets, which seem to make the process a bit less threatening. We believe very strongly that this is an area where adults must let each child take the lead as they work toward this milestone of development. Our role is to support and encourage, and to allow the child to be in control. Staff members work with parents to monitor readiness regarding different stages of the process.
The main door at both of KidCentre’s locations is locked with a coded door to which only the staff members and our families have access. Both of our locations have onsite security personal provided by our landlords.
What is your illness policy? What if my child is sick?
KidsCentre is not licensed to care for ill children. Although we are allowed to admit children who are mildly ill with perhaps a cold or an ear infection which is being monitored, there are many illnesses which we must exclude to protect the health and safety of all. It is important that our parents have a backup plan for those times when their child is ill. Our illness policy was developed in compliance with county and state regulations. Please see our Covid-19 policies under the Health and Safety section for more guidance pertaining to this specifically.
Absences/Vacations/Tuition reimbursement or Prorating Tuition?
KidsCentre prides itself in offering amazing benefits and great pay for our employees, this helps ensure that we are able to obtain and retain some of the best teachers in Seattle. To offer competitive benefit packages and maintain a stable income, we must charge parents for care, including absences due to illness or for vacations. KidsCentre does not prorate tuition for children’s absences or illnesses.
Does KidsCentre provide part-time childcare?
At this time KidsCenter is limited to full-time care due to the increased demand, as well as the inability to match with family’s who also want part-time care
Is there an outdoor area in which children are allowed to play?
Yes! At KidsCentre we consider the outdoors to be a classroom in and of itself. In addition to daily walks throughout the downtown area close to our facilities, we have exclusive access to our very own rooftop playground just steps away from both of our locations. Our private playground is designed with a high exterior fence, locked gates, and a coded door for added security. Very spacious, it includes a covered area as well as an open area to accommodate for all seasons and all types of weather. Age appropriate play structures are located in all areas of the playground.
Special diets and allergies?
Good nutrition is vital to children’s physical and cognitive development. Breakfast and an afternoon snack are prepared daily onsite. Lunch is provided by a local catering company and features high quality seasonal organic, natural and sustainable farmed ingredients, sourced primarily from the Pacific Northwest.
Our menus have been carefully designed to fulfill USDA guidelines, Washington State Department of Early Learning requirements, and to promote good nutrition while encouraging the development of good eating habits that will last a lifetime. We have focused on creating a menu that offers children a wide variety of nutritional options.
If your child has a special nutritional need or requires adaption to the menu, we will offer a substitute that fulfills that particular food group off our alternate menu, or we can work with your family to bring a substitute food from home. Please always alert the administration team if your child presents with an allergy or intolerance to foods. If there is a known allergy, please fill out the Individual Health Care Plan form for our records.
What's the policy on inclement weather?
When inclement weather is approaching, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (206) 623-5437 to gather information regarding a late opening or early closure! Additionally, our Facebook page and HiMama will be updated with any important weather news. If severe weather is expected on the morning of a school day, we will certainly attempt to decide about closures, or any schedule changes the evening before or as early as possible. Our goal is to make the best decision while considering the safety of our students and our staff. If weather conditions deteriorate throughout the day and an early dismissal is required, we will contact our families by phone, e-mail, and HiMama. It’s good to make sure your emergency card stays updated with current information so we can easily get in touch with our families in this scenario or with any other urgent news!
What's your policy on outside food?
At KidsCentre we like to celebrate special holidays and/or birthdays. Food items brought from outside must be store bought with a list of ingredients on the label. Additionally, all foods brought from the outside must be nut and nut oil free. In order for KidsCentre to communicate all special outside food items to all families, please inform the KidsCentre administration prior to bringing any outside food items in.