Frequently Asked Questions

What are the daily hours for the program?

Morning Preschool is 9:00 a.m.- 11:30 p.m. (Afternoon Mom’s Day Out is 11:45-3:00 with lunch pal option in between)

Afternoon Preschool is 12:30 p.m.-3:00p.m. (Morning Mom’s Day Out is 9:00am-12:15p.m.)

What is the age cut off?

Your child must be the age of the program by July 31st for preschool. We cannot make any exceptions.

High 5 is October 1st with previous preschool experience otherwise age 5 by the start of the school year.

How will I know when H&M is closed?

We follow the Millard School Calendar for scheduled days off and snow days. You will receive a calendar with our scheduled days off at Open House. We also have days off listed on the website calendar.

Is there a check-in/check-out procedure?

Yes! The state requires that each child be checked in and out each day. We have clipboards located at the front desk for MDO attendees and a separate table for Preschool attendees. Simply sign that who is checking in the child, a phone number you can be reached at and who will be picking up that day.

*If you child is in the Infant or Cruiser Rooms, we ask you fill out the colored half sheet about your child. At the end of the day you will receive this sheet back filled out by our teachers on what your child did that day. 

 

Can my child attend Mom’s Day Out before/after Preschool?

YES! Mom’s Day Out is available for a morning session (9-11:45am) or afternoon session (12:15-3pm).  You will need to provide a cold lunch and we’ll get your child transferred to the appropriate class.   By adding a MDO session your child is here 9am-3pm.

What is Lunch Pals

Lunch Pals is from 11:45am-12:15pm. You will need to provide a cold lunch while we provide milk and utensils. This a great opportunity for the kids to gain independence by opening their own lunch items this also works with their fine motor skills. Not only is this a time that kids can become social but this intimate setting allows children to speak freely with their peers and teachers helping them gain self-confidence. They also gain life skills such as manners, patience as they wait their turn to be helped, clearing their plates, and healthy habits of hand washing. 

Can I have my Preschooler just do lunch pals and when is drop off/pick up time?

Yes. Lunch pals is from 11:45-12:15pm.  You provide a cold lunch and we supply the milk and staffing. Cost is $5 per lunch pal session.

What should I know about the enrollment process? When is enrollment?

The registration form is located under our Register tab.  Applications will be dated and processed only if they are complete and accompanied by a registration fee.

In- house families (current families and Westwood Church families) will get the first priority consideration to enroll.  Then we open it up to the General Public.  Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis,

Additional consideration for enrollment is given to children who have been on the waiting list for the program and availability of slots in each age group.

In house:  January 14th

General Public: Starts January 21st

Do you have a cancellation policy?

Yes. We require a 30-day notice. Please submit an email to hearts&minds@westwoodchurch.net. You will be invoiced for 30 days from the notice.

How do you determine which child will be in which classroom?

Mom’s Day Out classrooms are divided into age groupings.   We have birthday cut offs for a reason and try to not place kids too early in a classroom as our curriculum/ activities reflect the age developments.

Preschool has two classrooms for each age group.  They are exactly the same in curriculum and structure. We try to maintain a gender balance in each group and maintain a specific balance of children with special needs in our classrooms. We do not take special requests for room/teacher preference.

When will I know if my child has been accepted?

Enrollment for each program year is generally determined by the middle of April. You will be notified by letter /email if your child is enrolled or if he/she has been placed on a waiting list.

An open house for all enrolled families will be held in August.

What is the difference between Hearts & Minds Preschool and Mom’s Day Out Program?

Both programs are very similar in classroom management, discipline and structure. This is by design as we have families that utilize both programs.  We use similar language in how we talk to your child. For example, instead of saying “No running!” We use “Walking feet, please!” The structure of the day includes social, emotional, physical and intellectual development in both programs.

The main difference between the two programs is that Preschool has a more formal academic focus. The preschool program follows a curriculum focused on letter and number recognition, early phonetics, and intentional fine-motor practice which leads to early writing skills. Formal evaluation of these emerging skills happens at regular intervals and parent-teacher conferences occur mid-year. Independence is also a focus in preschool. The kids will learn to independently play, use the restroom, dress and undress for the weather, use craft supplies, etc.

Mom’s Day Out uses a theme of the week rather than a formal curriculum. Most of the learning happens through and during play. Our teachers are intentional about exposing children to colors, counting, small motor skills, etc. by playing with the children and engaging them in daily circle time.

What is the appropriate age to start preschool?

Our preschool starts at 3 years of age. Generally speaking, three years of age is a good time for children to start preschool.  However, readiness for preschool has more to do with where your child is developmentally. Is he/she socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively ready to participate in a daily, structured, educational program with a group of other children?

Though it’s tempting to look for a quick answer to this question, to read a list of skills for instance, and say, “Yes, my child can do these things, he’s ready,” that method isn’t foolproof. The best way to decide is to spend time thinking about your child and to talk to other people who know him well, such as your spouse, your child’s doctor, and your child’s caregiver

 It is up to your discretion if you want your child to attend 1 or 2 years of preschool.

By age four, it is increasingly important for children to attend preschool so that they can develop social, academic and behavioral skills before starting kindergarten.

What will my child learn at Hearts & Minds Preschool/High 5?

This young age is a time of tremendous social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. Our rooms may look like all fun and games, but there is an intense amount of brain work happening with play and creative activity; problem solving, science, math etc. However, some of the most important things a child gains in the classroom are self-regulation, listening skills, and flexibility. Good social and emotional skills are crucial to the first years of academic learning.

Most importantly, your child will know that God loves them!  We strongly advocate and support the Christian values of sharing, caring and loving. The Christian aspect of our program is visible daily through our simple prayers, songs, and yearly walkthrough of the Bible from beginning to end.  Children are instructed that God created them, Jesus loves them, and they are important and unique because a loving God created them.  Your child will know that he/she is loved, welcomed and appreciated the moment he/she walks through our doors.

Do you have any potty training requirements?

The preschool classes require that children be potty trained by the time they start the program. If this is a concern, please inform us before your child starts the program.

Does my child need to know how to count or recognize letters before coming to Preschool?

No, we will introduce and work on that throughout the school year.  That’s what we love to do!

How do I know if my child is ready for Kindergarten or should attend High 5?

There is not a list that can tell you whether your child is ready for Kindergarten or not. Each child is different and each parent is different. You know your child the best. Whether your child just missed the age cut-off for Kindergarten, or you feel like your child needs more time, or if you want your child to be the oldest in the class, or your child is shy and needs time to grow confidence – whatever your reason – giving your child an extra year before Kindergarten is setting your child up for success.

Our High 5 program is designed to give students an extra year of preparation toward independent learning. In High 5 we are working on skills of independence, building confidence, building focus, following multi-step directions along with building your child’s academic and social skills. By the end of High 5, we are seeing an amazing amount of growth in our kids. Most children are starting to read and are beginning to write phonetically and most children are able to use their voice confidently with their peers and teachers.

 

How do I know if my child is ready for Preschool?

Is your child fairly independent?

If your child is potty trained, can independently wash their own hands, eat lunch, follow simple two-step directions (go wash your hands then go to the circle rug), they are likely independent enough to begin preschool.

Has he spent time away from you?

If your child has been cared for by a babysitter or a relative, or has attended MDO, he’ll more likely be better prepared to separate from you when he’s at preschool. Kids who are used to being apart from their parents often bounce right into preschool with hardly a backward glance. If your child hasn’t had many opportunities to be away from you, you might want to schedule some — a weekend with grandma, for instance, or a day with your sister and her kids.

But even if you can’t work out your separation concerns, don’t worry too much. Many children leave Mom or Dad for the first time to go to preschool and they do just fine. We are equipped to handle these types of situations.

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