Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does it mean to be on the ‘waitlist’?
Any family, both Bowdoin and Community, who are waiting to enroll their child at the center are put on the waitlist. There is a separate waitlist for Bowdoin Families and for Community Waitlist and also one for each classroom. The age of your child determines which room you are waiting to enroll in and we use October 15th as a general cut off rule to match with the public school system. No matter where a family is on the waitlist, there is no guarantee of a space until you have signed a contract with BCCC.
2. Do you enroll community families?
Yes. BCCC enrolls children on a first come first serve basis with a priority given to families who have at least one parent who is employed by Bowdoin College. When there are spaces open in rooms and no more Bowdoin families who are interested, Community Families are offered the slot. Community families are offered a one year contract to enroll, at the end of that year if there is still no Bowdoin Families interested, they keep their space for another year and so on. However, if there is a Bowdoin family who is now interested, the community family’s contract will not be renewed.
3. I want to apply but I want to see the center first, what do I do?
On our website, open the Perspective Families tab. On the first page there is information about applying as well as the applications. If you are employed by the college please use the Bowdoin Family application and if you are not, please use Community Family application. Simply fill out the form and mail it in with $25.00 enrollment fee. You will receive an email confirmation when your application is received.
In an effort to minimize the disruption to our rooms and children, BCCC does not offer tours or visits to families on our waitlist until there is an available slot. You can see pictures of the physical space, read about curriculum & programming and also see the staff in each room on our website. We encourage perspective families to read all this material, as well as the hand book and if there are still more questions feel free to give the administration a call. An open house for perspective families is held each year on the first Saturday of November. This is a time when families can tour the building and meet with staff without disrupting the current programming.
4. What are your tuition rates and schedule?
There are different monthly tuition rates for each room and each enrollment schedule (part time vs. full time). To view these please go to Perspective Families tab on our website and choose Tuition Rate link on the right hand side of the page.
5. What schedule options do you offer for families?
BCCC is open 5 days a week from 7:45-5:30 with minimal closings in a year. Families can choose from a 5 day slot, 3 day slot or 2 day slot. The part time slots are usually flexible in what days a family can choose but do depend on other part time families and do lock in for a year once the schedule is chosen. When families choose to keep their children home or when the center is closed there is no tuition refund. Part time families can choose to add in days that they don’t typically come for an additional per day fee. These requests are handled on an individual basis and can only be granted when there is an open slot in a room.
Currently Enrolled Families
1. How do I find out the days that the center is closed?
The holiday & professional development closing calendar is set at the beginning of each school year and is available 24 hours a day on our website. Families should go to the Current Families tab, enter the login information and the calendar will be displayed on the opening page of that tab. Parents can scroll through the entire year and see when the center will be closed.
When there is a weather emergency, a full closing, early closing or delay will be announced in two ways. An email will go out to the center wide email list serve announcing it with details. The parent information line will also be updated with the current information. The parent information line number is 725-3700 x6
For an early closing due to weather, Community Families will also receive a phone call to alert them to the closing since they are not a part of the Bowdoin Communication system.
2. Are there babysitting services available for families?
A babysitting list is generated at the beginning of each semester and emailed out to families. This list is made up of student employees, casual substitutes and full time staff who wish to be available for babysitting outside of their normal hours at the center. The list will hold names, email addresses, phone numbers, transportation, and which rooms or ages they prefer to babysit for. This list does not act as a reference for any of the names listed, it is simply a list of available sitters. For specific references, BCCC administration can be contacted.
3. What is the best way to communicate with my teacher?
BCCC educators and administrators take parent/teacher communication very seriously and the many ways in which parents can communicate with the center, other parents, administrators and educators are outlined in the hand book (can be found on Resource Page of website).
Parents in all rooms will receive a daily note from their primary educator in regards to what their child’s day was like. This includes eating, sleeping, specific interests and anything out of the ordinary for your child. Educators will do their best to communicate with parents at drop off and pick up times as well about this information however often these are busy times in the room and an educators priority will always be with the children in the room.
This means that in depth conversations are better left for phone calls or scheduled discussions outside of the room. Parents can email, call or tell their teacher or an administrator that they would like to schedule a time for a conversation at any time they wish and we will always accommodate. Phone conversations with your teacher can take place mid day or meetings can be schedule. Parent teacher conferences also take place and this is another time parents will have an opportunity to have a deeper conversation with their teacher. Less serious communications can always take place through email as well. Each educator’s email address is listed on the staff bio page under the Current Families tab on the website.
4. How much time is my child spending outside and how can I best prepare them for outdoor play?
Each classroom has a daily schedule (that is posted on the website) which allows for children to get outside at least twice a day with a goal of 1 hour for each time outside. During the seasons when the weather is more tolerable (spring, summer, fall) children are outside for much longer than this, often starting their day outside, having meals outside and participating in extended outdoor projects. During the winter months, the time outside may decrease some but children still go outside every day. BCCC uses a temperature and age grid which determines how long children of certain ages can be outside depending on what the temperature is. We include the wind chill in our temperature readings and this information is posted in the front lobby every day during the winter months. Teachers use this Weather Board to plan their day but parents can also use it to know what to expect for their child’s day.
Your child will be more comfortable and be able to engage in more activities if they are properly prepared for the weather that day. Having a variety of options and layers in their cubby is the best way for teachers to be able to help children dress appropriately for outdoors at any given time of the day. These items should always include a change of clothes, a sweater, sneakers, rain boots, and a hat. Depending on the season these items should also include rain pants, rain jacket, snow pants, snow jacket, mittens, long underwear, wool socks, bathing suit, towel and sun hat.
5. What are some ideas for packing lunches?
Parents are responsible for packing their child’s lunch each day and BCCC provides the morning and afternoon snack. Some things to keep in mind when packing lunches are:
- We don’t heat up food, nor do we keep lunch boxes refrigerated. This means if there is something hot to send, it should be in a thermos or if something needs to be kept cool there should be an ice pack in the lunch box.
- Educators set out lunches for children before they sit down. Educators unpack all the food that you pack with no preference for healthy or unhealthy options. This means that your child will have a cookie and a sandwich next to each other on the plate (if they were packed) and they get to choose.
- We are a nut restricted environment which means that we will not serve nuts, nut butters or nut related items. If they are sent by accident they will remain in the lunch box.
- BCCC also adheres to the USDA’s list of chokeable foods not recommended for children 3 and under. Because we have mixed ages, we don’t serve this list of foods in any of the rooms. This list can be found under the quick links on our home page.
- For specific food item suggestions or ideas, see the list that is on the Resource Page of our website.