When spaces become available in any classroom, the Director and/or Assistant Director will consult with the teachers after identifying children from the younger age group who are age-eligible to permanently transition to the group with the available space. A decision will be made primarily based on the age of the children, but if there are 2 or more children within days of each other in age, the teachers and director will decide based on the readiness of the children. All areas of the child’s development will be considered when making this decision, but more emphasis will be placed on social-emotional readiness than cognitive development. Once a decision has been made, the parents will be informed that their child is next in line to transition. If there are other eligible children, the parent may choose to wait on the transition. If not, the child will need to transition at that time to prevent a backlog from forming and to keep all spaces filled in order to maintain financial stability. Exceptions may be made in extenuating circumstances such as significant family instability or other significant life events that may already be contributing to instability within the child’s life.
After the decision is final, the child’s new teachers will meet with the child’s current teachers to gain information from the teacher’s perspective, and pass on the child’s records, including the classroom file and any emergency forms from the “go-bag”. Then, the child’s new teachers will meet with the parent or parents to welcome them to their classroom, and explain desired outcomes for the children of that class, changes in routine, and anything else that will be different from their previous class. Parents will have an opportunity express concerns and expectations for their child, share information about their child and their family, and ask any questions. Teachers will share the plan for the child’s “transition week” in which the child will spend increasing amounts of time in the older classroom. Teachers will gauge this time based on the child’s comfort level, and in some cases the child’s current teacher may go with the child for a period of time, provided ratios are maintained in each classroom.
When a child transitions in from the outside off of the waitlist, the child will also have a 5-day transition period. The transition schedule is as follows:
- Day 1: 8:45-12:30 with a parent (parent encouraged to eat lunch with child and rest of group)
- Day 2: First day without parent; child stays through lunch (12:30 pick-up)
- Day 3: Child stays through nap (3pm pick-up)
- Day 4: Child’s first full day (drop-off by 9:30 am; pick-up by 6:00 pm)
The first day (when the parent is there) should also be used as a great opportunity to learn about the child and his/her family through communication with the parents. It is also a great opportunity for teachers to share information about the classroom routine and curriculum philosophy. Parents are the child’s first teacher. Use this time to find out what techniques and approaches work best with the child. The information gained in the first day is invaluable, and is a supplement to the Developmental History Form, which should be read thoroughly by the child’s teaching team before the child’s first day.