The Elm Tree Newsletter
We would like to extend an official welcome to all of the families new to the Elm Tree since our last newsletter went out this summer. As sad as it is each fall to say goodbye to all of our friends who are moving on, it always presents an exciting opportunity to begin again with a new group of little ones.
Also, most of you have likely had the chance to meet the newest member of our staff, Jillian Frazin. Although she has only been at Elm Tree for a few short weeks, her warm and nurturing energy has been a welcome asset to our program. Jillian currently works on Monday mornings and Tues/Th afternoons.
Thanks to everyone for trying to accommodate your scheduled conference times. It takes a fair amount of planning for us to put together a schedule that matches the children’s regular days with their regular caregivers, as well as any special requests that have been made. Therefore it is extremely helpful and appreciated for you to come at your scheduled time.
Also, due to the minimal response we have received to our Family Partnership Agreements, we will be asking everyone to sign an agreement at their conference. We will also be posting a list of projects we currently have available for you to sign up for. If you choose not to participate in a project, you have the option of paying a $25 per month fee in place of your monthly service hour. We will be billing these fees quarterly beginning at your child’s enrollment date.
Due to current budget considerations as well as more families requesting that their children wear disposables while in our care, we have decided to terminate our cloth diaper service beginning next week. This was not an easy decision, as we have provided this service as part of our program for many years. Please be sure that your child has an adequate supply of diapers for each week, or bring in a package to store in our back closet. Thanks for your understanding and support.
Our family tree is still looking quite bare; if you haven’t already done so, please bring in a photo or two of your family, pets, grandparents, etc., to hang on our tree in the front room. The children love to look at pictures of each other’s families and they also provide a lot of comfort during sad moments. If you will bring in the photos, we will laminate them and attach the Velcro to hang them.
Please be reminded that The Elm Tree closes at 5:30pm. We ask that you allow enough time at the end of the day to collect your child’s belongings and your child in a relaxed manner, and be ready to leave the center by 5:30. We realize that we have been fairly lenient with this policy in the past and feel that in order to be respectful of our staff’s personal commitments, we will need to begin enforcing it. The charge for late pick up is $1 per minute after 5:30 pm and is payable at that time to the teacher(s) staying late. Thanks for your understanding.
Parent Community Night
We would like to host a parent community night at The Elm Tree on Wednesday, November 5th, from 6:30 – 8:30pm. This is an opportunity for parents and staff to come together and get to know one another in an informal setting, as well as for us to share information with you about our upcoming rating process, brainstorm fundraising ideas, recruit volunteers to form a “parent board”, and address any other issues anyone may want to discuss. If able, please bring an appetizer or dessert to share. We are hopeful that many of you will be able to attend this adult only evening.
Winter Gear: As we head into the cool weather seasons we would like to remind everyone to check their child’s supply of winter gear and bring in any missing items since we usually go outside every day in all sorts of weather conditions. Please make sure your child has the following items available to use if needed: warm, waterproof shoes such as snow boots, a hat, mittens, a warm jacket and snow pants.
Hand washing: Colder weather also marks the return of the cold and flu season and we should all be extra vigilant about hand washing. After you arrive in the morning and before leaving at the end of the day, please be sure to wash your hands as well as your child’s. Please review the posted materials above the sink to be sure we are all following the same procedures. To help us maintain consistency in hand washing routines, please do not allow your children to turn the water on and off. You can remind them that the faucet is for teachers, mommies and daddies to use. This is a licensing requirement for us but it also helps us all learn good hygiene practices.
As most of you know, we have had several openings at the Elm Tree since this summer. In addition to word of mouth, we have done extensive advertising, yet our enrollment is still significantly lower than is typical for this time of year. If you know of anyone looking for toddler care, please encourage them to come and visit our program. We are currently waiving the registration fee for anyone who enrolls by January 1st.
Thanks to all of you for continuing to entrust us with the care of your precious children.