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Parent/Guardian Participation


Parent involvement is an important aspect of our child development program. Young children thrive when their families are part of their daily learning. All parents and caregivers benefit from the parent/school/staff interactions and activities that take place at AITC. Because we believe in the importance of staying connected and value parental feedback, a suggestion box is located in the lobby for parents to share ideas, concerns, or suggestions to improve our program. You can also download our mobile application on your phone in order to submit suggestions and access other important information.

Communication

      Notes, artwork, newsletters, etc. will be left in your child’s mailbox in their classroom. Please check your mailbox daily. A prompt response to office communications is requested. If you do not see your child’s teacher upon arrival or departure and would like to speak to them, please feel free to leave a message in their mailbox along with home numbers and the best time to contact you. Every effort will be made to respond promptly.

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Complaints

Parent complaints or concerns should be brought to the attention of the child’s classroom teacher. If the parent feels that the concern has not been addressed by the teacher in a timely manner, then it should be brought to the attention of the Assistant Director, Director or AITC's corporate team. You can reach the corporate team by emailing info@allisonschildcare.org.

Workshops

Group parent workshops are held on a regular basis, planned as a collaborative effort between parents and staff. Topics vary depending on interest and suggestions. Advance notice is given, and childcare is always provided for these meetings.

Conferences

 

Parent conferences are held at least twice  per year for all children in our program. In addition to regular conferences, parents and teachers can request a special conference at any time. Parents and teachers will review the child’s progress, learning strategy, interests, as well as any challenges or difficulties the child may be experiencing either inside or outside of the classroom. During the conference, parents and teachers will collaborate to develop an individualized approach to further the child’s development. 

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Policy Committee

      All parents are invited to participate in the Parent Committee meetings, which are held on the first Wednesday of every month. Two parents from each classroom may volunteer to represent their child’s classroom on the committee each school year. Subcommittees are then assembled from other interested parents in order to assist with developing program plans, evaluating classroom projects and much more. 

Two parents are also eligible for election or re-election to the Parent Policy Council for the Head Start Program on an annual basis. These council members will participate in monthly Policy Council meetings with the Ounce of Prevention Fund. They will attend local parent committee meetings each month to report on the minutes of the policy council meeting, and meet with other parents to discuss how the Head Start Program operates. This is an excellent opportunity for parents to be involved in decisions about their child’s school.

Late Fees

A.I.T.C. closes at 6pm.  Any parent who arrives after 6pm will be charged the following late fees:
 

$2.00 per minute up to 7:00 p.m.
At 7 p.m., Chicago Police Department will be notified that a child has been left at the center.


Our center reserves the right to take the child(ren) to the nearest police station if center staff are unable to reach a parent or designee. Outside authorities, such as DCFS, will also be made aware of the situation.

Home Visits

      

Home visits play a valuable part in building respectful relationships between parents and the AITC staff. They allow us to develop a broader understanding of every child in the program. 

Two home visits per program year are required for each enrolled child. In addition, a home visit will be conducted before the child begins school. This initial home visit allows the child to meet their new teachers in an environment in which they are already familiar. During this home visit, the teacher will explain their expectations. They will also ask the child (depending on age) about what they are looking forward to, or what they may fear about attending school. This will form a positive connection from the outset.

The teacher will pose for a picture with the child (this picture will be taken with a Polaroid camera) and the picture will be left with the child so they can become more familiar with their teacher. The teacher will then take a second picture of the child with their parent or caregiver and display this picture on the child’s cubby. On their first day of school, the child will have positive recognition amidst entering a new environment. 

Home visits will be scheduled at times which best fit the needs of the child and the staff conducting the visit.

Our program does not permit the use of abusive disciplinary methods, under any circumstances.

        

When a child is having difficulty exhibiting self-control on a regular basis (more than one week duration), a meeting will be scheduled with the parents or caregivers. If the child still displays similar behavior after three meetings between the teacher and parents, the teacher will request an interdisciplinary team meeting. This team includes, but is not limited to: the teachers, the parents/caregivers, the Director, an Assistant Director, nurse, and outside consultants if necessary. This team will discuss the development of the child, the identified issues, and what intervention is in the best interest of the child. The parent/guardian is always invited to partner with staff in supporting change and a deeper understanding of the child’s struggles. 

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Class Visits

Our center has an open-door policy. We invite parents to come into the classroom at any time in order to observe their child and volunteer - we just ask that the parents do not visit during nap time, so that all children are afforded the opportunity to rest without disturbance.      

Field Trips/Excursions​


Field trips are a part of our curriculum. No child will be permitted to go on a field trip without a signed permission slip that is returned to the teacher by the specified deadline. Parents will be notified in advance of upcoming field trips - they happen monthly and will be focused on that month’s classroom “theme.”  All parents and family members are encouraged to attend all field trips.

Confidentiality

We recognize that as you participate in our program, you share very confidential and private information with AITC. All forms and information we collect are considered confidential. They can only be viewed by appropriate staff and designated external consultants and reviewers, including our funders and legal regulatory bodies. These records are secured in locked file cabinets, as well as in our management information system on the computer. Persons will NOT be given access to the information without your written consent, unless it becomes necessary in order to ensure you or your child’s safety and welfare.

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Discipline

The need for disciplinary action seldom occurs in an environment where reasonable limitations exist. Children are usually focused on activities that they find challenging and enjoyable. The teachers keep the children involved in exploration by offering new and exciting activities daily. However, occasional problems requiring the use of positive guidance do arise. Teachers will use non-physical guidance techniques that help children learn to solve problems, talk about their feelings, and use their developing language and negotiating skills in helpful ways.


At times, it may be appropriate to ignore some behaviors or to redirect a child to a more appropriate activity. A brief period of quiet time may be used so that the child can calm down and the teacher can delve deeper into what occurred. This aids a child in establishing a self-regulation of their feelings. Teachers help children to rejoin the group slowly with a calming, one-to-one or small group activity.

 

A child’s redirection time will be based on their age, one minute per year of life. (Example: 1 year = 1 minute. 2 years = 2 minutes, etc.)