Ann Arbor Preschool and Child Care title.gif Ann Arbor Preschool and Child Care

1. What is the daily schedule?

7:00-8:30AM Childcare. Includes scheduled children across age groups (2 1/2 to 5 years old) and those enrolled either for morning school or for all day. Play and breakfast available.
9:00-12:00PM Morning school for morning only or all day children. Until midmorning and after snack, children are in a combined age environment. Based on interests and guidance from teachers, each child selects activities that include hands-on science (sensory experiences like play dough, water play, magnets, sorting sea shells, etc.), Spanish activity or crafts on Mon. and Tues., guided play with blocks and toys, drawing, and listening to books read in a small group. Next, snack and drink are offered followed by a classroom clean-up. Separate class time for 3 and 4 year-olds begins. Class Circletime for song, story, discussion or Spanish lesson; all-class or small group learning activity; preparing to play outside including help with toilet use and getting on outdoor clothing before outside play; art, writing practice or math activity.
12:00-4:30PM Childcare for all-day or half-day AM or PM children. Includes lunch (brought from home), quiet play with puzzles and table games or drawing, nap for those who benefit from a rest, and outside play. After 2:000PM we serve snack and offer learning activities in science, fitness, games and Kindermusik on Fridays. Children enjoy free play with friends inside and out.
1:00PM-3:30PM M/W/F Afternoon School for group of 6 three and four year-olds on Mon., Wed. and Friday. Activities similar to 9-12 morning school with difference that Art or Spanish or all class learning activity takes place first. Kindermusik on Fri. Session ends with outside play. All Day School children have guided play and construction activities, snack, afternoon Circletime with a story, and late afternoon outdoor play.
4:30-6:00PM Childcare for Afternoon School and All Day School children. Outdoor play, table games, puzzles, drawing, and listening to books.

2. How many children are enrolled in each class?

There are about 45 children enrolled during the school year and about 25 enrolled during summer day camp. During the school year, there are 12 children with two teachers in the 3 year old class (may include up to four 2 1/2 year olds) and 14 children with two teachers in the 4 year-old class. During the afternoon, there are 6 to 12 children from the morning classes who stay all day. On Mon., Wed., and Fri., there are 6 children enrolled in the Afternoon School class.

3. Is Sunshine Special accredited?

We are accredited by NAEYC. This means that Sunshine's practices meet a higher standard than State licensing requires. To show that we maintain those standards, we file an annual report and are inspected at least once every 5 years. We are fully licensed with the State of Michigan as a childcare center and renew the license every other year.

4. Are children required to be toilet trained?

No. Although most children are toilet trained when they start, a few are not. We are happy to work with the family to determine when the child is ready to use the toilet. Our staff has experience with this important developmental step and is happy to serve as a resource for families who request it.

5. Are children required to nap if they attend in the afternoon?

No. If a child would benefit from a rest whether regularly or on occasion he or she has the opportunity between 12:30 and 2:30. Children who rest on a cot nap from 45 minutes to two hours. Children who do not rest play in an adjoining room or play outside during naptime.

6. Do you go on field trips?

Occasionally, with the help of parents, we take 2 or 3 trips a school year. We use private cars with a child car seat. Generally, we have 1 adult chaperone for every two children. Parents are informed of field trip plans in advance.

7. May parents visit the school at any time?

Yes. We request that parents attend the first day or more when the child begins school or day camp to help the child adjust to school. Afterwards, we ask that parents upon each arrival greet a teacher who can help the child start an activity or say good-bye to the parent. The parent may then feel comfortable to leave for awhile or until the end of the session. Parents are welcome as volunteers or to share a special talent or custom of the family. Parents may arrive unannounced to visit or pick up the child for home.

8. Do you use time out for behavior problems?

Sometimes, although it is not called time out. On occasion, a child may be asked to leave an activity when upset or disruptive in order to calm down. He or she may be asked to stay near the teacher or to sit in a quiet place within view near-by. After a few minutes, a teacher will help the child talk about the problem and find words to express feelings or what he or she wants. Depending on the situation, he or she may be redirected to an alternative activity, often soothing such as playdough, puppets, or books. At other times, the child will be assisted in talking to playmates and in rejoining the play after some problem-solving to work out the dispute.

9. Does the word special in your school name of Sunshine Special imply that your school serves mainly a special needs student population?

No, but we include children with learning delays or physical limitations when our program would benefit the child. Although it varies by year, no more than 10 percent of our enrollment receives supplemental learning or specialized help. We welcome children (and adults) of varying abilities and tailor our program to meet the needs of each child. We do not have special education services on-site but we collaborate with the Intermediate School District and local school districts when special needs services are considered helpful to a child.

10.Do you have a culturally diverse school population?

No, most of our families and teachers are white although we are becoming more culturally diverse as the housing patterns in our area continue to experience a growth in suburban housing in an area that until recently was rural. We have families from African-American, African, Asian, Latino, Native American, Jewish, Indian, and Middle Eastern-American backgrounds enrolled. Most of our families are two-parent and married. We welcome and encourage enrollment from all families of all ethnic, religious or non-religious backgrounds, marital status and sexual orientation.

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