Enrollment Policy

Enrollment Contracts:

Contracts for the academic year enrollment (August 15 – June 14) and summer enrollment (June 15 – August 14) are due by March 31 of that year. During this enrollment period parents can negotiate new weekly schedules as slots become available and submit their sabbatical plans (in February). Contracts are written to reflect the enrollment requests each family makes. These are binding contracts so please refer to their wording and terms.

Infants who are enrolled to arrive for August 15 of the following academic year may enroll during the summer program (June 15 – August 14) if there is a space available and they are at least 6 weeks old.

Group Ages/Staffing Rooms

In order to provide the highest quality care children enter each room cooperative as a group at the end of August (no younger than the youngest age listed for the group) and remain in that suite for one year. This offers them a continuous relationship with their peers and a deep connection to their educators. We offer these group sizes and maintain these staff/child ratios all the time in our room:

  • Infants/ 6 weeks: 10 months (as of August)

7 children/4 educators (at least 3 with the group)

  • Young Toddlers: 13–21 months (as of August)

9 children/4 educators (at least 3 with the group)

  • Older Toddlers: 23 - 34 months (as of August)

9 children/4 educators (at least 3 with the group)

  • Preschool: 2.10 – 4.9 years (as of August)

18 preschoolers/3 educators (at least 2 with the group)

Enrolling community children:

The Children’s Center values and appreciates a strong relationship with community families. Contracts with community families will be considered annually in light of the Bowdoin demand for slots in the Center. Preference for a slot will be given to all faculty and staff of Bowdoin first, returning community families, siblings of present community families, siblings of past community families, and then new community families. If a community member’s contract is not renewed they will have the option to place their name at the top of the wait list for the next year.

Enrolling children in full time or part time slots

Each room offers full and part time slots for enrollment. After enrolling the children who are currently in the Center, we move to enrolling children on the waiting list. Families may choose to enroll their child in a part time slot if there is one available that compliments the remaining days of a full-time slot. The following is an outline of the number and types of part time slots that can be available for parents to choose on a first come first serve basis.

  • Infants: 1, 3-day slot and 1, 2-day slot
  • YT /OT: 2, 3-day slots and 2, 2-day slots
  • PS: 3, 3-day and 3, 2-day slots

Because the 2 and 3-day slots compliment each other we suggest that

· 3 day slots could be: M,W,F; M,T,W; T, Th, F; or M, T, Th

· 2 day slots could be: T, Th; Th, Fri, M, W; or W, F

Summer enrollment:

Families may choose to reduce the number of days they wish to enroll their child/ren during the period from June 15 – August 14. In order to take advantage of this benefit they must:

· Sign a summer contract indicating that their days will be reduced for this 2-month period. Parents may keep their current schedules, withdraw their child/ren for the summer, or reduce the number of scheduled days.

· In the event that parents withdraw their child for the summer, they will place a $200 retainer fee to hold of the slot for this period.

Sabbatical policy:

Faculty who are on sabbatical may leave the Center for up to one year and return to their slot. In order to engage in this benefit, families must:

· Notify the Center Director by February of the next enrollment year, (This is at least 6

months notice so that a space can be filled by another child for this year).

· Place a signed sabbatical contract agreeing to its terms in their file. If a parent would like to enroll for the summer program after an academic sabbatical, they may have that opportunity as a slot becomes available.

· Pay 25% of their monthly tuition each month to hold their slot while on sabbatical.

· Return to pay tuition to the Center at the beginning of the next academic calendar year at the latest. If a family has an extended sabbatical (beyond 12 months), they can discuss arrangements with the administrator.

· Each Bowdoin family in the Center is able to use this benefit regardless of their affiliation to the College. (If a spouse is taking sabbatical from a different institution and the other spouse is a Bowdoin staff employee, this would apply to them as well). Community members are not offered this benefit.

New Family enrollment:

If you are new to the Center, you will already have toured the facility with the Director, received the Center handbook, reviewed some of the important policies, signed contracts and determined billing information. Prior to your child’s first day you and your child will visit the new room cooperative. This offers you an opportunity to find a place to be with your child, get to explore the room together, and develop a “goodbye” ritual for you to use.

When parents feel comfortable in their child’s space and when they share it with their children, everyone begins to see the room cooperative as an extension of home life and an experience with their family. When a child has this opportunity with their family it can shift their feelings of the group experience. We invite parents to speak with us about this in order to understand this practice more.

During the initial enrollment period, co-lead educators will provide families with a home visit. This is an opportunity to become more familiar with the routines and expectations of the program, to review your enrollment materials, and to have your questions answered about the room cooperative. Often children enjoy seeing an educator at their home so that they can share their things and experiences with them.

Including all children

The Children’s Center welcomes all children to our inclusive environment. Our program’s philosophy embraces our work with children with disabilities as well as children who are typically developing. We have skills in working in trans-disciplinary relationships with therapists and support staff who work with children when there are concerns. The Center, in conjunction with the parent’s input and the child’s IEP or IFSP team, will strive to offer specific accommodations, if any are necessary, to support the child’s participation at the Center. This may include making accommodations to daily activities or room furnishings and materials that will enhance the child’s experience at the Center. Through these discussions we can determine how to design a childcare opportunity for an individual child.

When therapies beyond what can be offered through consultation are required or the accommodations required present an unreasonable or undue burden to the program, the Center, the team and the parents we would make an alternative recommendation. When considering this we look at the nature and cost, impact on the program, financial resources of the program and availability of funding or services elsewhere.