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.

How does H&M handle Allergies?

We take allergies very seriously and want to ensure your child’s safety while in our care. When you check your child into their room each day, our staff will place a bright yellow Allergy sticker on your child. Our staff is informed all of allergies and documentation and this is placed in each room describing the allergy and placement of medication (if necessary).

What if my child requires medication while in H&M care?

If your child needs to take any medication during program hours, the parent must complete a medicine permission slip with written permission. Please provide medicine to program staff in the original bottle, clearly labeled with the medicine name, dosage and time to be given to the child. Staff will document the dosages and the time the medication was given to the child. Medicine will be stored in a place that is inaccessible to children. We will not administer expired medication.

What if someone else needs to pick up my child?

We understand that circumstances come up throughout the day and you may need another parent/grandparent/friend pick up your child. We ask that you call us at 402-333-6120 and let us know. We will check ID’s on anyone we are not familiar with and we ask you disclose this to anyone picking up your child.

Can I bring special treats for my child’s birthday?

MDO: We will strive to make this day special in your child’s life. You are welcome to bring a special snack for your child to share with the class. We suggest cookies or fruit snacks (nothing with peanuts and peanut oil, please.) Front Desk Manager can give you the class size number the day your child attends.

Preschool: Your child is invited to share a birthday treat on his/her birthday or another date of your choice (half birthday). A sign up calendar is available in your child’s classroom or you may talk to the teacher about scheduling a date to celebrate your child’s birthday. Please remember we cannot serve treats with peanuts or peanut butter.

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

YES! Mom’s Day Out is available for a morning session (9-11:45 am) 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 an MDO session your child is here 9am-3pm.

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.

Do you have a cancellation policy?

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

If you do not contact us to withdraw your enrollment by August 1st (for the start of our fall session), you will be charged the first month’s tuition regardless if you child attends or not.

Why am I receiving a late pickup fee?

We have a 5 minute grace period at pickup time. If your child is not picked up within the 5 minute grace period, a $1 per minute late fee will be assessed. (i.e. if you arrive at 3:15 pm and pickup time was 3:00 pm pick up, you will be charged $15.00).

Will I be provided an End of the Year Tax Statement?

We will provide you with a year-end statement by request. Requests can be sent to inessa@westwoodchurch.net

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

Refer to our website (heartsandmindsomaha.com) to complete the on-line form.  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:  February 14th-24th

General Public: Starts February 25th

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.

Am I charged if my child can’t attend their scheduled day?

MDO: Yes you are billed a month in advance. We understand sickness, vacations and other circumstances will keep your little on from attending and that is why we offer 3 make-up days. In order to be eligible for a make-up, you must contact our Front Desk Manager by 8:30am the morning that your child will be absent.  We will make every effort to accommodate missed days; however, make-ups are not guaranteed. No make-ups are allowed for snow days. 

Preschool: While there is no way to do a make-up for Preschool, we appreciate knowing if your child will not be in attendance.

You may notify us by the following: parents.westwoodchurch.net, click on “When my child is out” tab and fill in the information. You may also call 402-333-6120 (ext. 29) or email hearts&minds@westwoodchurch.net.

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 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.

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 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.

Why am I being charged an Activity Fee for Preschool/High 5?

This is a one time charge on your first invoice. This fee helps cover the cost of special events including busing on field trips.

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.

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.

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!

What is Remind?

Remind is a tool that Preschool/high 5 uses to remind parents of upcoming events or special days. You will receive a text with the reminder. Our parents have found this extremely helpful!

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 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 can I arrange a tour of the Hearts & Minds program to learn more?

You can sign up for a tour through our website at www.heartsandmindsomaha.com and select About Us tab. 

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