Frequently Asked Questions
Is the center licensed by a governing body?
Brighter Babies opened in December 2011, and is licensed through the New York City Department of Health (NYC DOH) Bureau of Childcare. Brighter Babies is in the process of getting accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
What are your hours of operation?
We are open from 8AM – 6PM, Mondays – Fridays. Some of our teachers are available to babysit outside Brighter Babies hours of operation. Arrangements can be made between the parent and teacher directly.
What ages do you accept?
Brighter Babies offers childcare programs for children between 3 months and 5 years of age.
What kinds of programs do you offer?
We currently offer Infant, Toddler and Preschool programs. In September 2016, Brighter Babies will offer a PreKindergarten program.
Do you offer part time options?
We offer partial week and full week options in all of our classrooms. Families can choose to enroll their child for 2 days per week, 3 days per week, or 5 days per week.
Does the center have an open door policy?
Yes, Brighter Babies has an open door policy and we welcome parents to visit unannounced as often as they would like. We have cameras in all the rooms and parents are welcome to drop in and peek at the cameras or look inside the classroom.
When is the center closed?
Brighter Babies is closed for all federal holidays and for 4 week-long recesses throughout the calendar year. The week-long recesses are used for staff development and to conduct larger maintenance projects. All tuitions are based on 4 weeks of service and children always receive 4 full weeks of child care despite any school recesses.
What is the monthly tuition?
Tuition is based on the child’s age and schedule. Tuition payments can be made by cash or check only. We do not accept credit cards.
How much is the security deposit? Is the security deposit refundable?
The security deposit amount is equal to one month’s tuition. The security deposit is refundable provided the center is given at least 30 days’ notice. Deposits are applied to the child’s last month of tuition.
Does Brighter Babies provide food for the children?
Brighter Babies provides a morning snack, afternoon snack and a catered lunch to all children enrolled in our Toddler and Preschool programs. Tuition pricing is inclusive of snacks and meals. We serve healthy and organic options as often as possible. There is a daily fresh fruit snack along with cheese and crackers, dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, and blueberries), pretzels and dry whole grain cereal. Lunch is freshly made and delivered daily by our partner “Little Green Gourmets”. Please refer to our website for a copy of the current menu. Families can send in additional/alternate items for snack or lunch.
We ask that parents supply milk/formula/breast milk, infant food/snacks, diapers and wipes. A detailed list is provided during the enrollment process.
Does Brighter Babies provide enrichment activities?
Enrichment activities are included in your child’s tuition and are provided every afternoon, Monday – Friday. The curriculum is geared toward infant/toddler through to preschool development. Our enrichment activities include, but are not limited to Music Appreciation, Music and Movement, Yoga, Dance, Spanish Immersion and Intro to Piano.
If a child is sick or the family is on vacation, are parents reimbursed for missed days?
Brighter Babies does not pro-rate for missed days or provide make up days. We recommend that parents try to schedule their vacations around the center’s closings.
What is your sick policy?
We follow the sick policy outlined by the NYC DOH. If your child has a fever of 100.4 F, is vomiting, has diarrhea, or is unable to participate due to illness, a parent will be called to pick up the child. Your child must be fever-free or symptom free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication before they may return to school. This is to lessen the spread of infectious diseases.
What is your inclement weather policy?
We notify families via email as soon as a decision is made to close the center or change the hours of operation. We try to give parents enough notification to make alternate care arrangements but sometimes may not make a decision until the “day of.”
Can we add/remove authorized escorts?
All enrolled children have an emergency card on file. This card contains contact information for the child’s parents/guardians and any other emergency contacts. We also ask for the names of any and all authorized escorts. When picking up a child for the first time, authorized escorts will be asked for photo identification.
Do you offer stroller storage?
Yes, we offer stroller storage for all of our children. Due to space constraints, we ask that families only store umbrella strollers that fold up and can easily be hung up.
How will I know that my child is safe while I am at work?
Brighter Babies is committed to the safety and security of the children and teachers. Along with a state of the art security system, we provide the most effective security – personal attention. The center’s vestibule is always locked from the outside and parents/authorized escorts need to be buzzed in to enter the school. Typically, the front desk is manned for all open hours. All outside visitors must be announced or scheduled. Any person who visits the center is given a “visitor tag” so staff and teachers know that this person has been approved to be in the center. Additionally, Brighter Babies is fully equipped with security cameras throughout the center. In order to protect the privacy of the children, these cameras are not accessible outside the center. Parents are welcome to view the footage or watch the live feed while at the center.
Questions Regarding Your Child’s Day
How will I know what is happening during my child’s day?
Parents are welcome to check in on their child at any time during the day. At pickup, parents are provided a Daily Activity Report that highlights the activities and curriculum covered that day. The teacher will also provide an update on how long your child napped, what portion of lunch your child ate and how well your child is doing with potty-training (Preschool Class). Additionally, there will always be a little note from the teacher to you regarding a special moment of your child’s day. Parents are emailed the lesson plan on a monthly or bimonthly basis. The lesson plan details the activities the children will participate in throughout the month(s).
Do children go outside every day?
Weather permitting, we take the children out at least once per day. They visit the neighborhood fields, take nature walks, picnics and other learning opportunities to take advantage of the outdoors. When the weather does not permit outdoor walks/play, children are welcome to use the indoor Brighter Babies gym for gross motor play.
Does the school provide progress reports?
The teachers complete progress reports twice per year. Parent-teacher conferences are hosted at that time to discuss any areas of concern, growth and further development.
How is discipline handled?
We talk to our older children and do not believe in punishment or time outs. If a behavior is increasingly difficult, we hold a conference with parents to discuss details and action steps. We are of the opinion that the teachers need to create a classroom that is safe and fun for all children. Children really cannot do anything wrong or “bad,” and our teachers are creative in their teaching in order or promote positive behaviors.
What are your teacher-to-child ratios?
We exceed the staffing requirements put forth by the NYC DOH.
|Infants||1 teacher : 4 infants||3 teachers : 8 infants|
|Toddlers||1 teacher : 6 toddlers||3 teachers : 10/12 toddlers|
|Preschoolers||1 teacher : 10 preschoolers||2 teachers : 14/16 preschoolers|
What are the credentials of your teachers?
Many of our head teachers have a degree in Education or related field or are finishing up their degrees. The majority of our assistant teachers hold Bachelor’s degrees in education, psychology, history or art. All teachers must have at least 3 years of experience working with infants/young children. Every staff member is trained in CPR and First Aid for Infants and Children. Brighter Babies strongly encourages staff professional development throughout the year. Teachers are trained in various areas (Early childhood education curriculum development, appropriate supervision of children, classroom management, behavior managment, etc.) All staff is also trained in NYC Mandated Reporter for Child Abuse, Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and Identifying and Controlling Infectious Diseases.
Are the teachers/staff screened and are background checks performed?
For all eligible employees, references are contacted. Staff is screened by the Office of Children and Family Services for child abuse (as well as everyone who lives in their household). Additionally, all staff are fingerprinted by the Department of Investigation for any criminal record/background. We reserve the right to perform background checks on our employees and do so during the hiring process at our discretion.
Questions Regarding Enrollment
How do I enroll?
Please fill out a Pre-Enrollment Registration form and return back to the center with the Registration Fee. The fee is only deposited once we can guarantee a spot for your child and a start date is confirmed.
Is enrollment rolling?
Yes, enrollment is rolling throughout the year and is based on availability in the class.
What if I’d like to enroll but the center doesn’t have space available?
We suggest you fill out a Pre-Enrollment Registration Form. By registering, you are confirming your strong interest in our center. We will add you to our wait list and you will be offered a space as soon as one becomes available. We are unable to guarantee a specific start date when placed on the waiting list. Our goal is to accommodate families as soon as space allows. During the entire process, we will keep in touch with you regarding your status.