The Elm Tree Newsletter† ††††† March 2009
†††††† We would like to welcome all of the families who are new to The Elm Tree since our last newsletter.† We are excited to get to know you and grateful for the opportunity to provide care for your little ones.
†††††† We would like to announce that Sarah has accepted the position of Assistant Director.† We welcome her creativity and enthusiasm for this role.† She will be heading up the Parent Partnerships aspect of the program in the areas of communication, service hours and family-related events.† Ariana will be the main contact person for enrollment, schedules and tuition related questions.
†††††† Monday, March 16th we will be hosting a parent community night at The Elm Tree from 6:30 Ė 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 Qualistar rating process.†††††††† A short presentation about Qualistar will be given by Jane Nelson, our Qualistar coach and a Child Health Liaison consultant.†
†††††† In addition, we would like your input on fundraising ideas, enrollment and any other issues anyone may want to discuss. If able, please bring an appetizer or dessert to share. We are hoping that at least one parent from each family will be able to attend this adult only evening.
†††††† Remember that keeping your child home if they arenít feeling well will go a long way towards keeping the other children, their families and the teachers from getting sick.† It will also significantly cut down on their recovery time if they can just rest away from the busy pace of the classroom.† Please review the sick policy in the handbook and ask us if you have any questions about it.† Also keep in mind that reducing the fever with medicine does not make the child less contagious to others.
We are running out of pants!!!
†††††† We are quickly approaching another one of Coloradoís muddy seasons, and whenever we look into the Elm Treeís spare clothes basket (or your individual childís basket), we get a little bit worried.† We always like to go outside for some fresh air and fun, but many of our children donít have back-up clothes if they come in wet and muddy and need to be changed.† Please take the opportunity to check your childís basket (located in the changing room) to make sure they have extra clothes.† Bear in mind that Colorado will go from 70 degrees and sunshine to 20 degrees and snow throughout the spring.† Also, if your family has pants that have been outgrown or no longer used, we would love to have them for our spare clothes basket.
†††††† Some of our families who have been here for a while know that we have been operating with a very low enrollment for the past 6 months.† We canít predict what the economy is going to do but we want to do everything we can to bring our numbers up.† To this end, we are going to offer a $50 incentive to current families for referring families to us that end up enrolling their children here.† Weíll have some flyers available in the office if you want to have some literature to hand out.† Now that we have a website it will be easy to refer interested families to the website for more information as well.†††††
†††††† We are also going to offer a reduction in our drop-in rate for the next three months.† The new drop-in rate of $8 per hour instead of $10 will be available any time we have space.† It can be for an entire day, a morning or afternoon slot or even just for a few hours.† Please check in advance to make sure we have space available before bringing in your child.
Our afternoon slots are particularly low and in order to increase afternoon enrollment we are now offering an introductory rate to new families of 10% off afternoon-only time slots for the first three months.† We will also be waiving the registration fee for new families who enroll before June 1st. Pass the word!
Good Health Practices
†††††† These warm days have us all thinking of spring, but Colorado winters can be tricky.† March is typically our snowiest month of the year so be sure your child has enough winter-type gear here as we go outside nearly every day.
†††††† The cold and flu season really hit hard this year.† While we hope it is winding down, here are a few reminders to help keep everyone healthy and well.† Please be sure to wash your childís hands at arrival and again at departure.† If you plan to stay for more than a few minutes, please wash your own hands as well.† We do everything we can to keep the environment germ-free, but the best way to assure good health is to keep the immune system strong.† Lack of sleep, stress and unhealthy eating habits are all ways to weaken the immune system.† Letís be sure to get enough rest and take care of ourselves and we may yet be able to stave off these winter germs.
††††††††† Another thing that would be helpful is if you could apply at home the same health practices that we work on at school.† Remind your child to cough and sneeze into their elbows, use tissues for runny noses and wash hands after coughing or sneezing or wiping their noses with their hands.† This would help us out greatly and be easier for the children to remember if these routines were reinforced at home. (And it may spare your family from a cold or two as well.)
Website and Online Photos††
†††††† We want to share some exciting news with all of you, The Elm Tree now has a website!† We have been developing it over the past few months and the final touches are now ready to be put on.† To finish this process we could use a little help from you.† We are asking all of our families to sign a new photo release that includes language specifically relevant to the website.† In addition to this, we will be giving you a survey to fill out.† We are very interested to hear your thoughts and comments and we would like to also use some of the feedback on our website as parent testimonials.†
†††††† We feel that the website will be a valuable communication tool for our families.† It will have regularly updated announcements, a school calendar and some forms that can be printed at home.† As we get it up and running we would love to get feedback on how this website can best serve your family.†
††††††††† There are so many priceless moments in an Elm Tree day and we manage to capture some of these on camera.† Until now we havenít had a good way to share these with you so weíve decided to utilize Snapfish, the online photo-sharing tool, as a way to allow our families to share in some of these moments.† We will be uploading new photos every few months and sending families a link to the online album via email.† The albums will be private and in order to view them you will need to set up a Snapfish account, which only takes a few minutes.† The photos can then be viewed and printed from home and prints can even be ordered in varying sizes for a very reasonable price.†
Upcoming Dates to Remember
March 16th- Parentís Night
March 23-March 27-Spring Break
Professional Development Day
(Elm Tree will be closed)