Parent Handbook

A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center Parent Handbook

Please carefully read the parent handbook, and sign the attached form. You can also download the Parent Handbook by clicking below.

Ages served:

Handbook Sign-Off Sheet

Please fill out and sign the following form verifying that you have received, read, and understand the terms and conditions in the "A Joyful Noise Parent Handbook."
Handbook Sign-Off Sheet
Read by Parent(s)/Guardian(s)
I,
Parent/Guardian's Name
parent/guardian of
Student's Name
Have received, read, and understand the terms and conditions in the A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center Handbook.
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Infant, Toddler and Preschool (6 weeks to 6 years)

Hours of operation:

Monday – Friday 7:30am – 5:30 pm

Address

34 York Street & 169 Port Road

Kennebunk, ME 04043

(207) 985-4257

Web: www.ajoyfulnoisepreschool.org

Email: Rachel.chaisson@ajoyfulnoisepreschool.org

Table of Contents

  • Title
  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Enrollment Forms
  • Snow Days and Bad Weather
  • Field Trips
  • Parent and Teacher Conferences
  • Developmental Concerns
  • Parent Involvement
  • Child Discipline
  • Tuition Policy
  • Termination Notice
  • Termination/Expulsion policy
  • Arrival and Pick up Policy
  • Late Pick Up Policy
  • What to Bring
  • Toileting
  • Nap / Rest Time
  • Medical Policies  
  • Accident and Incident Reports
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Policy
  • Fire Drill and Emergency Policy
  • Holiday Schedule
  • Reporting Licensing Violations
  • Infant Curriculum
  • Waddler Curriculum
  • Toddler Curriculum
  • Three and Four Year Old Curriculum
  • Junior Kindergarten Curriculum
  • Tuition Schedule 
  • Waiting List
  • Addendum Coronavirus 2020
  • Rights of Children
  • Reporting Child Death
  • Reporting Licensing Violations
  • Safe Sleep
  • Interpreting for English Language learners
  • General Information and Contact Information
  • Parent /guardian handbook receipt sign off

Our Mission Statement

Nurturing the child and supporting the family

Our Vision Statement

Nurturing the child…

Designed to promote a sense of security and a love for learning, A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center is a place where children love to be! Friendships flourish within an environment of love, acceptance and encouragement. Preschool is a time to explore and experiment, a time to pretend, a time to be creative and enjoy making a mess!!! Laughter and music are the most common sounds here. Our imaginations can take us anywhere! 

The staff gives gentle guidance through the process of building character and social skills that will be valuable throughout their lives. 

Supporting the family…

A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center provides a supportive network for families. We see our role as a partner with you, the parents. We will encourage you as you navigate through the joys and challenges of raising young children.  

Enrollment forms 

Before a child can begin the program a COMPLETE enrollment packet must be filled out and reviewed with the Director. Each of these forms is required by the State of Maine for licensing standards. Please notify the program of any changes to your child’s information as soon as possible. Anytime your child goes to the doctor’s office and has shots, please bring an updates immunization record to add to your child’s file.

Snow Days and Bad Weather

Closures and opening delays will be based on the Kennebunk RSU21 School Department storm closure announcements. If school is cancelled or delayed in Kennebunk the program will make its best effort to open by 8:00am.

If we are forced to close for the entire day, open later than 8:00am or close earlier than 6:00pm, an announcement will be posted on WCSH Channel 6. We will be listed as A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center. 

We appreciate your patience. Our families and staff’s safety is our primary concern. Please contact A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare center with any questions or concerns at 985-4257.

Field Trips

On occasion we may schedule field trips to coincide with the curriculum. You will be notified separately for individual trips and asked to sign a permission slip. Transportation will be included in fee for trip, and may include the use of rented vans and/or buses. Parents will be required to provide child safety car seats for their child on field trip days. 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

The classroom teachers will observe and assess each child’s progress in the classroom throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to schedule meeting with their child’s classroom teacher at any time during the year to discuss how their child is doing or address any concerns. 

Developmental Concerns

A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center will make every effort to accommodate all children’s needs regardless of developmental delays and different abilities. Our dedicated staff continually monitors every child’s growth and learning and will work with each family to help promote your child’s optimal development. If we are unable to properly handle a child’s developmental issue, A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center staff will guide and direct parents to the appropriate resources to fully support the child. 

Parent involvement

We believe our students’ parents are the most important part of our their lives.  Communication between our parents and staff is vital to the success of every child.  You, as the parent are the first and most important teacher in your child’s life.  Thank you for choosing to share your child’s time with us, we are honored and consider this responsibility a great privilege. While we understand the demands on parents in today’s society, and are pleased to be in partnership with you as we guide your child through their earliest development, we also want to invite you to be an active part of our program. Some ideas for parent involvement at A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center:

  • Read a story to your child’s class.
  • Share a special talent or information about your job.
  • Share information about your culture, traditions or family.
  • Join us for arts and crafts time.
  • Sing songs with your child’s class!
  • Share a favorite sports skill, exercise or dance with your child’s class!

Child Discipline

At A Joyful Noise we respect each child and his or her level of development, individual personality, and their family and cultural influences. We create a positive environment (plenty of toys, activities, space, as well as area boundaries to divide activities) so as to influence behavior.

The teachers are fully trained in child development and how it relates to guidance (discipline) and the positive guidance strategies we will list below.  The program has a set daily routine but allows for flexibility. Clear guidelines are provided so that children know what is expected of them. Limits that relate to safety and protection of self, others, and the environment are clear and are enforced consistently in a positive way. Children are given time to respond to expectations. 

Teachers may use a variety of strategies depending on the child and the situation. 

All children will be treated with respect. Children will not be disciplined in a punitive manner.

Our goal is to encourage children to develop respect, self-control, self-confidence, and sensitivity in their social interactions during their time at preschool.

A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center is an environment of nourishment for all children. We strive to provide your child with the optimal environment to experience social growth. Children must learn that a certain amount of conflict in life is natural. We will teach your children the proper skills to help them handle conflict in appropriate ways. The following are techniques that can be used at home and school:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise your child for appropriate behaviors
  • Contingencies: “After we clean up the art table then we can have snack.”
  • Consequences: “Are you sure you are not hungry? If you don’t eat now you will be hungry later in the day.”
  • I Messages: “When you scream, it makes my ears hurt.”
  • Re-direction: “Let’s go play ball there are too many children on the slide.”
  • Limit Setting: “We can use our loud voices outside, inside we use our quiet voices.”
  • Peer Problem Solving: The children who are having a conflict work on the cause of the problem and the solution with the caregiver as the mediator.
  • You messages: “You are sad because your mom had to go to work. Lets draw a picture of how you feel.”
  • Take a Break: Sometimes a child just needs some time alone in order to regroup his/hers actions and feelings. When the child acknowledges that they are ready to return to the group they are encouraged to discuss what happened in an effort to work out the problem.

Tuition Policy

Weekly payments are due on the Friday before the week of service. Our fee schedule is available on our website and in the A Joyful Noise Preschool Childcare Center Brochure. Failure to pay fees result in suspension of services. A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center reserves the right to pursue actions allowed by the State of Maine for fees that remain unpaid. 

Payments must be set up as automated debit from a checking/savings account. A form to set up your automatic payment will be filled out as part of your enrollment application. If an automatic draft is returned for insufficient funds you will be notified in writing and assessed a $50.00 fee. We will attempt to draft the tuition amount plus the $50.00 fee 3 business days from the notification. If the draft is returned a second time there will be an additional $50.00 fee and your account will be placed on a “cash only” status. More than three returned payments in a 12-month period will also result in your account being placed on a “cash-only” status. After 3 months of consistent and timely payments your account may be eligible for automatic draft again.

The Conditions of your Enrollment Agreement provide protection for our parents as well as for our childcare center. The preschool runs on an annual budget based on an annual tuition rate that is broken into weekly payments. In order to do this, NO Credit can be given for absenteeism, vacations, snow days, closure due to global, federal or state mandates, pandemic, crisis or any other unforeseeable closure of A Joyful Noise.
It is essential that the financial status of A Joyful Noise Preschool be stable. A Joyful Noise’s salaries, licensing requirements, insurances, taxes and other overhead expenses cannot be reduced because of “Absentee Losses” in income. In Essence, our Enrollment Agreement is a parental guarantee to A Joyful Noise Preschool that you will financially support the enrollment space guaranteed to your child.

The financial form is a binding agreement between A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center and the listed parent/guardian who has elected to enroll the above listed child in the A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center.

Termination / Schedule Change notice

A 30 day written notice must be given to Rachel Chaisson, Director of A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center for all schedule changes (decrease in number of days of attendance) and termination of care.  Withdrawal or schedule changes with less than 30 days notice will still require 30 days paid in full. 

Deposit

The non-refundable deposit in the amount equal to the first and last MONTH tuition is due with the application to reserve your child’s spot. This is calculated by multiplying your weekly tuition by (8). This is applied toward your tuition but is non-refundable.

Termination / Expulsion Policy

Occasionally, a child will experience some difficulty in adapting to the program’s environment or abiding by the rules of behavior. A conference will be scheduled if your child should experience some difficulty. We will work closely with you to see if the problem can be resolved. If the child’s behavior continues to be disruptive to the group, we reserve the right to ask you to withdraw your child from our programs.

You must give a months notice when voluntarily withdrawing your child from A Joyful Noise. You will be responsible for all final payments through the end of the notice period, whether in attendance or not.

If the rules and policies set forth are not followed, we reserve the right to terminate the childcare contract agreement at anytime. In such an event, we will be paid in full through the end of the week in which such termination occurs.

The child care arrangements will be terminated immediately for any of the following reasons (but not limited to):

* Failure to comply with the policies set forth in the parent handbook.

* Failure to comply with the contract.

* Destructive or hurtful behavior of a child that persists even with parent cooperation in stopping the behavior.

* Non-payment of childcare or late fees and/or recurring late payment of fees.

* Repeated failure to pick up the child at scheduled times.

* Failure to show up for 5 consecutive days without any communication.

* Inability to meet the child’s needs without additional staff.

* Blatant disrespect towards the provider and staff.

* If a parent knowingly brings their child ill.

* Consistent child-rearing style differences between the parent and provider.

* False information given by a parent either verbally or in writing.

If for any reason legal services are needed, A Joyful Noise and Rachel Chaisson will not be responsible for any legal or court costs incurred.

Arrival/Pick-up/child release policy

Please ensure that your child’s daily schedule is outlined on the enrollment form. This schedule is used to determine staffing needs for the program and must be adhered to.   Your child will feel more secure with a predictable schedule. Separation anxiety is a common preschool/childcare issue. Parents shouldn’t stay too long as this prolongs the problem and can prevent progress towards independence. 

**All changes in your child’s schedule must be in advance and in writing.

**At drop off, please sign in with child’s name and time. Also indicate anticipated time of pick up. 

An adult must accompany your child into the building. Legally a child is not present unless they are signed into the program on the attendance sheet. Signing out is of equal importance. Records are required by the state-licensing bureau and are legal documents. 

We plan on your child being here by 10:00am. If for whatever reason your child will not be attending, or will be arriving late we ask that you call the program and report this. If you arrive after 10:00am and have not called by 8:00am or made prior arrangements your child will not be able to attend the program for that day.

Unauthorized Pick-Up: Parents must list on the registration form the names of all persons permitted to pick up their child. We require parents to notify our staff in writing if someone else will be picking up the child. We have a Parent Sign out Sheet for this purpose.

  1. In a rare emergency situation, arrangements can be made verbally.
  2. If the person picking up the child is not known to the teacher, information about the person    must be provided, including the following: name, phone number, and physical description. This person will be required to show picture ID.
  3. If an unauthorized person arrives to pick up a child, the child will not be released and will remain under the supervision of the teacher at the preschool. The teacher will speak to the individual and explain the policy.
  4. If difficulties arise, all reasonable efforts will be made by the staff to ensure the safety of the child and the other children. If necessary the police will be called for assistance.

Alleged Impaired Pick-Up: The teachers at A Joyful Noise will not release a child to an authorized person who is deemed unable to adequately care for the child. The staff will offer to call a relative or friend to pick up the person and child. 

If the person is driving a vehicle, the teacher will explain that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law and that the teacher is obligated to ensure the safety of the child. If this person chooses to get in the car, the teacher will immediately notify police and provide a description of the car and location headed. The child will not be released. If the teacher believes that the child is in need of protection, the Dept. of Protective Services will be notified.

Custody and Related Court Orders: If a custody or court order exists, a copy of the order must be placed in the child’s file. The guardian is responsible for providing accurate and up to date information concerning the legal guardianship of the child. Without a custody or court order on file, the teacher cannot deny access to the non-enrolling parent. If the non-enrolling parent is not listed on the authorized pick up list, the policy of unauthorized persons will be implemented. The guardian will provide all consents.

Late pick up policy

Late pick-ups are emotionally difficult for children and staff. The time spent waiting to be picked-up can seem like an eternity to a child who is wondering why her/his parent or caregiver hasn’t arrived. Our dedicated staff may have family responsibilities or children of their own waiting for them, and thus by picking up your child late, you may be making another parent late for their child. Please call 985-4257 if you find yourself in a situation where you will be late. (See late fee pick up schedule)

Our late policy is as follows:  A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center closes promptly at 5:30pm.

10-15 minutes late $10

15-30 minutes late $15

Anything over 30 minutes is $30

LATE FEES ARE PAYABLE TO A JOYFUL NOISE PRESCHOOL AND CHILDCARE CENTER

Payments must be given to a staff member on duty at the time of pick-up or they will be automatically billed to your account and must be paid within five business days in order for your child to continue the program.

What to Bring 

Snack and Lunch. Please send an adequate and healthy snack each day with your child that they will need little assistance opening and eating. For the safety of those children with specific food allergies, please help your child understand that we can’t share food. Toddlers love the independence of self-feeding; parents are advised to send in finger foods to support their child’s growing abilities.

Full day students will also need a lunch. Please do not send soda, candy or food that needs to be prepared. We do NOT have cold storage space or the ability to warm up children’s food. 

Clothing. Children need to wear comfortable clothing that they can paint and play in. Dress your child in clothes that are easy to pull down for the child to use the toilet. Provide hats and mittens for your child in cool weather and sunhats and sunscreen in warmer weather.

Running shoes We find that sneakers are safe and comfortable for play. They are safer for play in the gym and on climbing apparatus than other kinds of shoes.

Boots. When the weather gets muddy and when there is snow, we ask you bring a pair of boots for your child to wear outside.

Coat or jacket Please send a coat or jacket every day regardless of the weather.

Extra clothes Send extra clothes in a zip lock bag with your child’s name on it to keep in their cubby. Keep in mind that as the season & their size changes, you will need to replace them.

WINTER: Snow clothes are a must!

Sunscreen. Please apply unscented sunscreen before your child comes to preschool during warm weather.

PLEASE LABEL ALL YOUR CHILDREN’S CLOTHING, BOOTS, AND SHOES TO AVOID CONFUSION!

Toileting 

Teachers at A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center are trained and fully expecting to assist each family in the toilet training process for their students. A Toilet Training Policy and Procedure Handout will be provided for each family. 

Nap / Rest Time

All of our classrooms have a scheduled nap / rest time every day, with the exception of our infant room that sleeps according to their needs.  Specific times vary by classroom and last at least an hour or longer depending on the children. Please bring a labeled blanket and pillow for your child. Your child may bring a small stuffed animal or comfort item to leave in their cubby until nap time. Label, Label, Label!

Medical Policies

Illness

All children must have up to date immunizations and a recent physical on file. 

You will be called to pick up your child if they become ill during school. Please do not send your child to school is she/he seems unwell – has a sore throat, a fever, a rash, has been vomiting or had diarrhea within the last 72 hours.

Notify us if your child will not be in school. You can leave a message with the school voicemail 207-985-4257 or send an email to the email address rachel.chaisson@ajoyfulnoisepreschool.org. We would especially appreciate knowing of any contagious illnesses so that we may let other families know as well.

Children must be kept home or sent home for the following

  • Temperature of 100 degrees or higher
  • Lice and/or Nits )please see or Lice Policy)
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, rashes or other symptoms
  • Any weeping sores
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Thick nasal discharge (with elevated temp)
  • Cough (with elevated temp)
  • Scabies, ringworm, impetigo, etc…
  • Chicken Pox and Coxsackie’s Virus

A child may return when:

  • Antibiotics have been taken for at least 24 hours
  • A doctor’s note stating the illness or rash is not contagious
  • Child’s head is clear of lice and/or nits 
  • All sores are crusted over, no temperature, and a doctor’s note
  • Fever, vomiting and diarrhea have been gone for 72 hours

If your child is absent due to illness please adhere to the following sick policy, effective immediately.

– If you have not had a test to determine if you are contagious with Covid-19, you can return to school after these three things have happened:

– You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) 

AND

–  at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first   appeared

Medication

Medications will be administered only when the required “Permission to Administer

Medications” form has been filled out and signed, including when the last dosage was given.

Medications cannot be administered without the correct information and a signed form. A new form is required for each medication. The medication must be handed to the lead teacher who will place it in the medication box and be responsible for its administration. Do not place any medication in the child’s backpack.

Medications for allergic reactions can be kept at the preschool. These medications require a separate permission form to be kept with the medication. Please be sure the staff is aware of procedure for use.

Accidents and incident Policies

Safety is a high priority at A Joyful Noise Preschool. Our staff is trained in CPR and first aid and we have a physician on call at all times. Every effort is made to be sure your child is safe at all times, however accidents do happen.

If your child is hurt during school, one of the staff will assess the injury and care for your child. If the injury is serious in nature, 9-1-1 may be called, you will be contacted and an accident report filed. In all cases, you will be notified at time of pick-up.

Child Abuse and neglect Policies

Anyone who works with children is legally required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect. If a teacher becomes aware of a questionable situation, the director will be notified and a report filed immediately with Child Protective Services. All information is considered extremely confidential and will not be discussed with anyone else.

Fire Drill and emergency medical Policies

Fire drills will be scheduled monthly and documented on the form provided for this purpose.

During fire drill or IN CASE OF FIRE:

  • Staff will escort children out nearest door and take them to a designated location (church entrance). Be familiar with exit maps to know which exit to use from any given location within the facility.
  • Be sure to close all windows and doors as you leave the room and the building. Someone will be designated to close bathroom, kitchen and gym doors and windows.
  • Count Children before leaving, and again outside to ensure safety. (Role-call)
  • Director to Call 9-1-1

If one child is injured, one staff member will remain with the child and attend to his/her needs. This should be someone with CPR/First Aid training and be designated for this job. The other staff will notify the director and supervise the class. The director will make the necessary phone calls to parents and 9-1-1 and assist wherever needed most.

In the event of multiple injuries, the designated staff will remain with the injured children while the other staff notifies the director and supervises the class. The director will make the necessary calls to parents and 9-1-1 and then assist with the injured.

In either event, an accident report will be filed and the parents notified on the same day as the occurrence.

Holiday Schedule

A Holiday Schedule and School Calendar will be provided each year.

Non Solicitation and Non-compete Restrictions 

A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center invests significant time, money and resources in screening, educating and training our employees. Employees have access to confidential business information and proprietary methods that are the sole and exclusive property of A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center Consequently, each A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center employee has signed an “Employment Non-Compete & Non-Solicitation Agreement”. This agreement specifically prohibits employees from solicitation daycare opportunities or acting as nannies for A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center clients for a period of one year after leaving the employment of A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center.

While employees may provide occasional babysitting services during non-business hours, employees are specifically forbidden from:

  1. Opening home daycares/childcares or preschools

2.  Accepting nanny positions from current clients of A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center or parents who have been clients of A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center during their employment

3.  Soliciting A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center clients for any other daycare/childcare provider or preschool

Reporting Licensing Violations 

Administrators, staff, volunteers and parents are required to report all cases of suspected licensing violations to the Department of Human Services in Augusta (207) 287-9300.

In compliance with the Mandated Reporting Law, the person filing the report will call the Licensing Bureau and write a written report within 48 hours. The report will be filed with the school and with the state.

The Infant’s curriculum 

Infant Program(6 weeks – 12 months) 

The beginning of wonderful pre-school memories starts in our infant room. 

Our babies are cared for by friendly, enthusiastic, and nurturing caregivers in a peaceful, soothing, and joyful environment. Each baby’s daily needs are addressed with smiles and frequent eye contact. Loving interaction between baby and caregiver is given during diaper changes, feedings, rest time, and playtime indoors and outdoors. 

Our early childhood educators talk to each baby about what they are seeing and experiencing thus encouraging their vocabulary development. Giggles, singing, poetry reading, book-reading and classical music are all the wonderful sounds that can be heard in our nursery. There is loving and nurturing cuddle time for each baby and important individualized attention is given. 

Parents are kept up to date with a daily sheet that reports feeding times/amounts, diaper changes, nap times, and activities that occurred each day. The staff is responsive to each parent’s concerns and suggestions and baby’s achievements are joyfully shared. 

Our room resembles a relaxing home atmosphere with cribs, age appropriate toys, bouncers, high chairs and a comfy rocking chair. Each child has their own cubby for personal items. There is adequate space for the staff to sit on the floor with baby during play. Your child’s happiness and comfort is our first priority as we provide you with a safe and secure program. 

the waddler’s curriculum

Waddler Program (12 months – 24 months)

Walking, Dancing, Singing, and Sharing!

Our teachers are excited to see our infants now walking, or as we say waddling.  It’s so exciting to watch how an 18-month old child uses objects to act out familiar activities like eating, drinking, and telephoning.  This special program allows our waddlers to explore, walk, and use different kinds of play things.

The Waddler Room offers children, ages 12 months – 24 months, a (very) hands-on curriculum with a variety of activities to stay busy and develop fine and gross skills, social skills and vocabulary growth. We know your child will love this room and have a lot of fun during his/her time here.

Any new item is an instant interest of this age group, so we seek out new textures and sounds in order to develop the five senses. We play music throughout the day and teach sign language to go along with popular tunes. There is always a lot of clapping, bouncing, rocking and screeching when you pop into the Waddler Room!

In the WaddlerRoom, in addition to learning how to walk, your child will also learn how to use spoons, forks and sippy cups. We help parents with all of the major transitions ahead as they are sure to see a large increase in motor-skills and language development during their child’s time in the Waddler Room.

Due to this age group’s tendency to develop stranger anxiety, we intentionally ask other teachers in the center to stop by throughout the day and help in the room. Your child will learn every face at the center, making their transition into future programs very smooth. Also, children entering this room are about to begin to understand the concept of sharing, so we highly encourage developing the ability to pass items back and forth, as well as provide a large variety of toys to ensure each child can play independently. 

The Toddler Curriculum

Overview

Our Toddler Program is designed for 15 – 36 month old children.  Toddlers are introduced to age appropriate materials and they are invited to make choices from a variety of activities designed to support their growth and needs.  With toddlers, we focus on the development of basic trust while supporting their emerging sense of self. Independence and order are encouraged, and self-confidence is enhanced through social and learning experiences. Music, movement, toilet-training, art, circle time, choices and outdoor play are all part of the daily routine for toddlers at AJN.

From birth through three years of age, young children are characterized by the ability to learn ‘unconsciously’. Our teachers are aware of the developmental needs of toddlers and we provide activities designed to support the learning of sequence & ordering, basic language concepts and fine motor control.

Order & Sequence Development

Sequence and order are important in establishing a sense of routine, developing more advanced organizational skills, and even in developing reading skills (for example: reading and word formation is done left to right). We use activities that help toddlers develop a sense of sequence and order such as “stacking cups” which is an activity involving size comparison and arrangement by size. Snack is also presented in such a way as to incorporate order and sequence. New toddlers begin a few steps at a time, with the teacher offering only as much help as is necessary, encouraging independence. 

Language Development

Language is extremely important to toddlers; it helps them build a link to their environment and the people around them.  Toddlers want to know the names of everything and, for this reason; we include many concrete and abstract language activities throughout their classrooms.  

When introducing language to toddlers, teachers use the ‘three period lesson’. At first, teachers simply name objects for the child. Later, teachers ask the child to show us the previously named object.  And finally, teachers ask the child “What is this?” In addition to the above technique, we also place a strong emphasis on conversation, songs, rhymes, poetry and books to help develop language skill.

Fine Motor Development

Development of fine motor skill is another area of emphasis in the toddler classroom. Puzzles are a great tool to help children learn how to manipulate objects and we have a large selection available so children always have something new to try as their interests change. In addition to puzzles, many practical life activities are promoted in this development area such as learning to control scissors and learning to hold writing utensils in the “pincer grasp.”

Gross Motor Development

AJN lovely outside playgrounds, walking trails and sports fields to encourage even our youngest student’s large motor skill development. With tumbling mats, riding push toys, small basketball hoops, swings, a small climbing wall and exceptional teachers, each child will find his/her favorite activities and strengthen the toddler’s natural propensity to active learning.

Social/Emotional Development

The significance of social and emotional development is seen in every area of a child’s life. A child will have a strong foundation for later development if he or she can manage personal feelings, understand others’ feelings and needs, and interact positively with others. Differences in social and emotional development result from a child’s inborn temperament, cultural influences, disabilities, behaviors modeled by adults, the level of security felt in a child’s relationships with adults, and the opportunities provided for social interaction. At AJN we foster each child’s natural temperament while building trusting relationships. Offering consistent care, gentle guidance, plenty of opportunity to socialize with peers and the freedom to work independently is AJN’s formula for a successful introduction to school.

AJN offers young children a safe, nurturing environment with trusted teachers who respect each child. We partner with parents to give children as much support and positive growth as possible during their first school experience and it is our sincere hope that your child finds joy in their growing independence and a life-long love of learning. Contact us today to schedule a visit!

Preschool ( 3 and 4 year olds) 

Our three and four year old program focuses on the five components of Early Childhood development – Social, emotional, cognitive, fine motor and gross motor skills. By understanding and leveraging a child’s natural desire to comprehend the world around them, we are able to maximize their learning opportunities while keeping the process enjoyable.

There is no one like your child!  Every child’s development is unique and complex.  Although children develop through a generally predictable sequence of steps and milestones, they may not proceed through these steps in the same way or at the same time. A child’s development is also greatly influenced by factors in his or her environment and the experiences he or she has. Three and four year-olds learn primarily through exploring, using all the senses. While playing, they are better able to ignore distractions and focus on the task at hand. They will even persist in completing something that is a bit difficult and can think more creatively and methodically when solving problems.

Development of independence is fine-tuned as children become more self-reliant and are able to “do it themselves”. This is done through life skills such as pouring their own juice, cleaning up after an art project and taking care of their own things. Social skills play a big part in our three and four year old program as our caring and warm staff are always there to give children that extra big hug in the morning.  Developing problem solving skills are incorporated into the daily routine as the children work on settling their differences, being a good share friend and making decisions as to which learning center to visit next.

This Preschool program will serve three and four year olds.  In order to work independently in this age group, children are taught the rules of the classroom and how to move and work successfully within it. Exercises in grace and courtesy are presented daily during “circle time” and in small informal group lessons. Our children learn how to behave correctly based on the situation and acquire the skills essential for everyday living. By helping the children learn independence, social skills (such as conflict resolution) and language skills they are able to engage positively in the classroom, community and beyond.

Exercises in the area of sensory awareness help to develop skills in thinking, judging, concentrating, comparing and sequencing. The materials offer unlimited opportunities for the development of vocabulary and dexterity that will lead to writing and reading. The exercises in this area of study are designed to prepare our students for more complex learning in Language and Math. 

Oral and Written Language Curriculum

Language in A Joyful Noise Preschool curriculum focuses on oral and written language development. Our oral language curriculum is designed to meet young children’s innate need to acquire language. Significant emphasis is placed on building vocabulary and oral competency. Using a variety of materials, children acquire a rich vocabulary for labeling, describing, comparing and contrasting their environment and the people in it. Precise terminology is used.

Once speech becomes acute and the basics are understood, children move on to letter recognition & reading. Literacy skills develop rapidly as the inner drive to learn motivates children and teachers provide the appropriate level of support to take advantage of this natural stage of heightened awareness.

Mathematics Curriculum

Our Math curriculum is firmly based on learning through experience. Children use a wide variety of carefully constructed materials that lead them to an understanding of the value and sequence of the numbers 1 to 10. From there they are introduced to larger numbers and the concept of grouping numbers into tens, hundreds and thousands. They may be introduced to the basic mathematic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) at a concrete level in real life scenarios to help them understand why these concepts are useful and what they really mean. Measuring, comparison, and patterns are incorporated into the student’s daily activities.

Cultural Studies / Geography Curriculum

Our Cultural Studies program is based on an integrated study of Science, Social Science and the Arts. Children first experience general rules of the universe, such as, the division of land and water, and gradually break them down into smaller parts, continents, oceans, countries, etc.

Stories of animals and children from other lands help our students understand our fundamental needs and how these needs are influenced by climate, environment and lifestyle. Science experiments that demonstrate the properties of matter (sink/float, magnetic/non-magnetic, solid/liquid and living/non-living, etc…) are made by the children as part of the study of their environment.

Gross Motor Development

AJN lovely outside playgrounds, walking trails and sports fields to encourage even our youngest student’s large motor skill development. With tumbling mats, riding push toys, small basketball hoops, swings, a small climbing wall and exceptional teachers, each child will find his/her favorite activities and strengthen their natural propensity to active learning.

All in all our Preschoolers are building the social, physical and cognitive foundation so necessary for the more academic years to follow.

AJN offers young children a safe, nurturing environment with trusted teachers who respect each child. We partner with parents to give children as much support and positive growth as possible during their first school experience and it is our sincere hope that your child finds joy in their growing independence and a life-long love of learning. Contact us today to schedule a visit!

Junior kindergarten program 

Please read the 3 and 4 year old  program description for complete curriculum description

INTRODUCE, TEACH, MASTER AND BUILD

A Joyful Noise Preschool’s Junior Kindergarten is a special pre-kindergarten program where students can begin the exciting process of building a foundation for learning that will stay with them throughout their lifetime. Junior Kindergarten is specifically designed for children who have missed the Kindergarten birthday cut-off or do not intend to start Kindergarten until six years of age, are four years of age by October 15th and have successfully demonstrated emotional, social and academic readiness for the program.  Students in the Junior Kindergarten program will need to be enrolled 5 days a week.

A Joyful Noise Preschool’s exceptional Junior Kindergarten program is designed to develop children’s self-esteem and sense of responsibility as they learn to work more independently to become good citizens. Our Junior Kindergarteners are taught, loved, nourished and gently guided by our highly experienced and caring staff.  Adult/child ratios are intentionally kept low in order to provide individual attention for each student. Introduce, teach, master and build are the teaching strategies on which this program is based.  AJN teachers implement the Maine State Common Core sequencing to provide a foundation of strong Social, emotional, cognitive, fine motor and gross motor skill development to support the children as they transition to Kindergarten. In November, after extensive observation and assessment, an Education Plan will be developed for each student. This EP will act as a blueprint for the teachers, parents and other adults in each child’s life to follow in order to help the child reach his or her developmental potential.

The educational focus in A Joyful Noise Preschool’s unique, high-quality Junior Kindergarten class is on establishing a variety of important early childhood education skills including:

  • Beginning reading
  • Writing
  • Basic math

Differences with Pre-Kindergarten

In addition to exploring all the objectives outlined in the regular Preschool program he Junior Kindergarten class is introduced to a more formalized reading and math readiness program. Of course, plenty of time to learn through independent play is apportioned. Some formal classes included in the Junior Kindergarten instruction are physical education, art and music. Computers are used to further enhance their academic skills as well as beginning their journey toward technological knowledge and experience.

During the early part of the day, the children meet together in a larger group setting. The balance of the morning is then spent working in small groups and learning centers. The use of manipulatives enhances their understanding of basic mathematical concepts and an exciting phonics program sets them going on the road to reading. Along with the arts and theme-based activities, the Junior Kindergarten students are a very busy group of children and will readily tell you that learning is fun!

Requirements for Enrollment

  • Open to students who will celebrate their 4th birthday by October 15th
  • Students who demonstrate emotional, social, and academic readiness based upon an interview and teacher recommendation
  • Students must be enrolled 5 days a week 
  • Limited enrollment

Areas of Development

  • Language: A Beka (phonics program), upper and lower case alphabet recognition, letter sounds and blending, sequencing and story-telling, pre-reading, reading one-vowel words, reading two vowel words, sight words, basic sentence structure
  • Math: Count 0-100, count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s, recognize and write numbers 1-20. Patterning, classifying, every day math opportunities, equations and sequencing.
  • Writing: Journal keeping, storytelling and map making are utilized in the progression of student’s writing skills through the school year.
  • Science: Emphasis on day-to-day science projects including planting flowers and vegetables, photosynthesis, the five senses, experiments with snow and ice, developing hypothesis,  live animal visits, experiments with water and wind, and much more.
  • Field Trips: Visits to the library, 3-4 special trips (i.e. pumpkin patch, plays/musical performances, Huntington Commons); one trip p/month including the whole school field trips.
  • Special Events: Christmas Musical and other opportunities to perform in dance, poetry reading, singing and other talents and disciplines, and visits from Community Leaders.

How to sign up

To register your child for the Junior Kindergarten or for additional information about this program, please Contact A Joyful Noise Preschool to arrange a visit to our beautiful and expansive Kennebunk preschool campus and to schedule an Entrance Interview with the Director of AJN. 

All enrollment is done electronically. Enrollment forms can be found online at http://www.ajoyfulnoisepreschool.org.

Waiting List

Demand typically exceeds capacity for spaces in A Joyful Noise. As a result, you are likely to experience a wait before we are able to offer you an enrollment opportunity.

When a space becomes available

Most AJN vacancies occur June through August, though they may occur at any time of year, and we will extend an offer to you as soon as we are aware of an opening. We do our best to give you as much time as possible to plan for your enrollment—often we are able to notify you a month or more in advance.

You may decline our offer and/or change your preferred start date and choose to remain on the waiting list. However, if you decline a second offer and/or change your preferred start date a second time, your name will be removed from the waiting list.

ADDENDUM

Coronavirus 2020

Out of an abundance of caution,  A Joyful Noise has updated the previously implemented action plan to address evolving circumstances involving the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We believe this action plan aligns with our commitment to ensure the health and safety of our staff, children and their families. I will communicate any updates to this plan as well as concerns about the spread of the virus to staff and children on an ongoing basis. Along with this action plan a liability waiver will need to be signed by ALL A Joyful Noise families prior to returning to school.

A Joyful Noise CHANGES To Covid 19 Policies (12/02/2021)

Effective Immediately:

– Quarantine time will change from 14 days to 10 days from last known exposure to a covid positive person or a positive covid test.

– Siblings of students identified as close contact may continue to attend school as long as the close contact remains asymptomatic and has not tested positive for Covid19.  If either the close contact or the sibling of a close contact begins exhibiting symptoms our Sick Policy will take effect which does require the sibling of a sick child to stay home from school.  A negative Covid test will be required for a sibling of a close contact before they can attend school, this can be a rapid, home or PCR test.

As of June 1st, 2020 we have resumed our normal operating hours 7:30 – 5:30, Monday – Friday.

Preventative Actions

Parents and visitors will not be allowed in the building unless scheduled for a time the children are not on campus and proper cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting protocols along with social distancing can implemented. One parent of an infant may enter the building at drop off and pickup. The parent must sanitize upon entering the building, wear a mask/face covering and stay 6 feet from all students and staff. No toys or extra items will be allowed in building. Sleep stuff and 2 sets of extra clothing need to be delivered on first day back to school in sealed ziplock bags, labeled with your child’s name. These items will be return to parents for weekly cleaning.

Cleaning: AN hourly cleaning schedule with CDC recommended products has been implemented for all spaces used by children and staff, this includes outside play areas. Our team will diligently clean and sanitize high touch places such as doorknobs, tables, faucets, baby gates, iPads, and children’s toys frequently throughout each day. Daily deep cleaning of the entire school building and outdoor space, paying special attention to high touch areas. Sanitizer stations throughout the school in every classroom and common area. An additional ten hours a week while school is closed will be dedicated to sanitization protocols.

Children will wash their hands upon arrival, before eating snacks, after using the restroom, before leaving for the day and after sneezing or coughing in them. Teachers will direct children to clean their hands with soap and water often. A hand washing station has been added to the outside play area.

Children’s learning areas will be supplied with hand sanitizer.  In addition, their tables and learning materials will be wiped down and/or sprayed before and after each day and after each use with antibacterial CDC recommended cleaners.  For our little learners who like to mouth items, bins will be placed around the center for any item that has come in contact with their mouth, to ensure that it is sanitized before another child is able to access it.  

To ensure they are clean and disinfected, all kitchen and eating utensils will continue to be washed in the hottest possible water, in either the dishwasher or by hand-washing, whichever is first available.  

All Staff will be required to wear face masks at all times. A child sized mask will be provided for each child 2 years and older, they will be encouraged to wear mask, however it will not be required if child shows distress upon request. 

As fundamental as this information is, it bears repeating that to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, staff and children should remember to:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • See your doctor if you have a fever, cough, body aches and fatigue
  • Stay home and limit contact with others if you are sick

Notification of Travel

Families and team members must notify me directly if you have plans to travel out of state.  We will follow all state guidelines for traveling domestically and internationally.

Information for travelers can be found on the CDC website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Absences/Sick Policy

We will continue to enforce our sick policy regardless of the symptoms presented. A doctors note will be required before returning to school for all absences due to illness.

Your child may return to school with a negative Covid-19 test AND a Doctor’s note stating your child’s symptoms are NOT contagious.

If your child is absent due to illness please adhere to the following sick policy, effective immediately.

– If you have not had a test to determine if you’re child is contagious with Covid-19, you can return to school after these three things have happened:

– You have had no fever of 99.9 or higher for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) 

AND

–  at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

If a teacher is absent, it is because they are not on the schedule, if a child is absent it is because families are able to keep them home to minimize risk of exposure, do not assume they are sick. I will share all pertinent information regarding illness with our AJN Family.

Closings

A Joyful Noise will remain vigilant in staying up to date with all local and national recommendations regarding business closures. In the event that a child, school family or staff member contracts COVID-19, all parents and staff members will be contacted immediately, and the center will close for a minimum of 7 business days to ensure that the space can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.  Tuition will continue to be paid during this time. Any child or staff member who reports a diagnosis of COVID-19 will be required to stay home for a minimum of 14 days or until notice that there is no risk of contracting the virus is provided by a medical official.  Tuition will continue to be paid by families should quarantine be needed. 

Drop Off/ Pick Up

Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up

  • Hand hygiene stations are set up in the playground of the facility, so that children can clean their hands before they enter. 
  • Contactless sign in and out through our Brightwheel App is in effect as of July 20, 2020.
  • We will limit direct contact with parents as much as possible.
    • A teacher will greet children outside as they arrive.
    • At the end of the day, a teacher will deliver child to parent outside on playground.
  • Ideally, the same parent or designated person should drop off and pick up the child every day. If possible, older people such as grandparents or those with serious underlying medical conditions should not drop off or pick up children, because they are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Parents/guardian will maintain a distance of 6 feet from all children and staff
  • Face masks MUST be worn by all adults during pick up and drop off.

Children will be Screened upon Arrival

Persons who have a fever of 100 F or above or other signs of illness will not be admitted to the facility. Parents must be on the alert for signs of illness in their children, family members and anybody the child had contact with and  keep child home when they are sick or a known exposure has occurred.

Parents will fill out a Daily Health Screening Questionnaire prior to child entering building.

Children’s temperature will be taken at drop off and recorded in the Brightwheel app.

Honor System

We need your help in keeping students’, families and staff healthy. It is the responsibility of the parents to be open and honest with staff about any illnesses the child or parent may be experiencing. If we find that this is not the case, students will be asked to not attend school.

We ask that all families practice social distancing and wear face mask when in public according to CDC recommendations.  Any violation in this matter will require the child to be placed on a leave of school until the pandemic is over.

We understand this situation is stressful for our families and want to ensure you that your family’s health is our first priority.  We will continue to keep you informed of any updates.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or additional concerns.

Tuition

The Conditions of your Enrollment Agreement provide protection for our parents as well as for our childcare center. The preschool runs on an annual budget based on an annual tuition rate that is broken into weekly payments. In order to do this, NO Credit can be given for absenteeism, vacations, snow days, closure due to global, federal or state mandates, pandemic, crisis or any other unforeseeable closure of A Joyful Noise.


It is essential that the financial status of A Joyful Noise Preschool be stable. A Joyful Noise’s salaries, licensing requirements, insurances, taxes and other overhead expenses cannot be reduced because of “Absentee Losses” in income. In Essence, our Enrollment Agreement is a parental guarantee to A Joyful Noise Preschool that you will financially support the enrollment space guaranteed to your child.
The financial form is a binding agreement between A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center and the listed parent/guardian who has elected to enroll the above listed child in the A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center.

RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN IN CHILD CARE FACILITIES 

  • Right to freedom from abuse and neglect. Children shall be free from mental,
    verbal, physical and/or sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • Right to confidentiality. Children’s records and information kept by the Child Care Facility are confidential. Child Care Facilities must follow the rules regarding confidentiality in Section 9.14 of these rules.
  • Right to freedom from harmful actions or practices. Each child has the right to freedom from harmful actions or practices that are detrimental to the child’s welfare, and to practices that are potentially harmful to the child.
  • Right to a safe and healthy environment. Each child has a right to an environment that meets the health and safety standards in these rules.
  • 10.5.  Right to be free from discrimination. A child shall be provided child care services without regard to race, age, national origin, religion, disability, sex or family composition.
  • Right to consideration and respect. Children shall be treated with dignity, consideration and respect in full recognition of their individuality. This includes the use of developmentally appropriate practices by the Child Care Facility.
  • Right to be informed of services provided by the Child Care Facility. A child’s legal guardian shall be fully informed of items or services which are included in the rate they pay for childcare services.
  • Right to information regarding the Child Care Facility’s deficiencies. A child’s legal guardian has the right to be fully informed of findings of the most recent licensing review conducted by the department. The Child Care Facility must inform children’s legal guardians that the licensing review results are public information and available for examination upon request. Legal guardians shall be notified in a timely manner by the Child Care Facility of any actions proposed or taken against the Child Care Facility by the department, including but not limited to, decisions to issue conditional licenses, refusal to renew a license or to impose fines or other sanctions.
  • Right to a service plan. Each child has the right to expect the licensee to assist him/her in implementing any reasonable plan of service developed with community or state agencies.
  • Right to a variety of appropriate activities, materials and equipment. Each child has a right to a variety of activities, materials, and equipment that meets the child’s interests and capabilities. 

Mandatory report of rights violations. Any person or professional who provides health care, social services or mental health services or who administers a Child Care Facility or program who reasonably believes that the rules pertaining to children’s rights, and the conduct of childcare have been violated, must report this information to the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services. Any person reporting suspected abuse and neglect shall report this information to Child Protective Intake Services, pursuant to Title 22 M.R.S.A chapter 1071 and Section 21of these rules. Documentation must be maintained in the facility that a report has been made

Reasonable modifications and accommodations. To afford individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a childcare program, the Child Care Facility must act as follows: 

The Child Care Facility must make reasonable modifications to their policies and practices to include children, parents and guardians with disabilities, unless to do so would be a fundamental alteration of their program. 

The Child Care Facility must make the facility accessible to people with disabilities. Existing facilities must remove any readily achievable barriers, while newly constructed facilities and any altered portions of existing facilities must be fully accessible. If existing barriers can be easily removed without much difficulty or expense, licensees must remove those barriers immediately even if there are no children with disabilities using the program. (Installing offset hinges to widen a door opening, installing grab bars in toilet stalls, or rearranging tables, chairs or other furniture are all examples of readily achievable barrier removal.) 

Reporting Child Death and Serious Injury Injury Policy

As a licensed facility childcare facility we must report any serious injury or child death to our DHHS license worker. 

All Staff may report licensing violations without concern of disciplinary action.

A Is For Alone

Share the room, not the bed. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in your room, but NOT in your bed.

Sleeping in the same room is encouraged, but sleeping in the same bed is not. Sleeping with another person is dangerous for babies. 

A baby should always sleep alone in their own crib, bassinet, or portable crib.

B Is For Back

Whether at night or during nap time, a baby should always sleep on their back. Back-sleeping on a firm mattress in a crib or portable crib decreases the risk for SIDS. It does NOT increase the risk for choking or affect baby’s sleep quality.

It is not safe to place babies on their stomach or side to sleep. Make sure all caregivers know Back to Sleep is best.

C Is For Crib

A firm mattress in a crib, bassinet, or portable crib should be free of clutter. Toys, pillows, blankets, or bumper pads can suffocate the baby and should not be placed in the crib. 

The most common sleep-related risk factor identified was an infant being placed on a surface not designed for infant sleep. A baby should never sleep on a couch, a swing, an adult bed, or on an adult’s chest while lying down. These places are not designed for a baby and could cause the child to suffocate. A baby sleeping in a car seat should be moved to a crib, bassinet, or play yard as soon as you get out of the car.

D Is For Drug-Free

Be aware, not impaired. Drinking and drug use can impair your ability to care for a baby, making bed-sharing and other unsafe sleep even more dangerous for the baby.

Avoid smoking around your baby. Secondhand smoke weakens babies’ lungs and can increase the risk of SIDS.

English Language Learners Policy 

At A Joyful Noise  we accept learners from all ethnic backgrounds.  The primary language we communicate in is English.  If you communicate more comfortably in another language, please let us know.  We will make every effort to make our materials and communications accessible for you in your home language.  We will also incorporate your child’s language and culture into our visuals and communications as much as possible.  

Handbook Sign-Off Sheet

Please fill out and sign the following form verifying that you have received, read, and understand the terms and conditions in the "A Joyful Noise Parent Handbook."
Handbook Sign-Off Sheet
Read by Parent(s)/Guardian(s)
I,
Parent/Guardian's Name
parent/guardian of
Student's Name
Have received, read, and understand the terms and conditions in the A Joyful Noise Preschool and Childcare Center Handbook.
MM slash DD slash YYYY

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