Frequenty Asked Questions
Child care can be overwhelming, so maybe we can answer some of your questions on our FAQ page.
We strive to hire teachers who are happy, warm, accepting, well informed about how children learn and develop, and knowledgeable about how to establish a good emotional climate in the classroom. These committed teachers feel comfortable with the school philosophy and look upon it as a reflection of their own. They have a high regard for other staff members and see each person as contributing to the ongoing development of all the children.
In order to provide a safe and fulfilling environment for children attending our program, we have established a policy of screening staff through the State Central Registry on Child Abuse/Neglect as well as a mandatory criminal history check. This policy meets the requirements of the Department of Human Resources as well as the United Methodist Church’s Safe Sanctuaries plan.
Continuing education opportunities are an essential part of building an effective staff. Training can serve not only to provide education and the required continuing education experiences, but also to build rapport among the staff members. Training events help staff to develop a common understanding of the purpose and philosophy of the Weekday Ministry and can serve to open lines of communication.
Examples of Staff Training:
- First Aid & CPR
- Positive Discipline
- Children with Special Needs
- Exploring Math and Science with Preschoolers
- Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse
- Child Development
- Health & Safety
- Quality Child Care
Our program uses a scan card security system during our hours of operation. Returning families should have 2 cards that were issued last year. Our new families will have cards issued to them at orientation or Meet the Teacher.
- Initial cards – Each family will receive two cards upon enrollment.
- Additional/replacement cards – $25.00.
Toddler and Preschool Meals/Snacks
- All children over the age of 1 year will be provided a nutritious hot lunch to be served in their classroom.
- All families will provide a nutritious morning and afternoon snack for their child/children. For healthy snacks suggestions, please visit the following website http://www.parents.com/toddlers- preschoolers/feeding/healthy-snacks/ or visit the USDA.gov website for nutritional guidelines. . Snacks may be brought in on a daily or weekly basis. If brought in weekly, we will keep the snack supply here at school and each child will be allowed to choose ONE snack at a time. We will provide an afternoon snack for all After School Program (ASP) who come over from elementary schools.
- Please be mindful that some classrooms have a food allergy and this must be considered when packing a snack for your child. If a classroom has food allergy, a sign will be posted outside of the class. Any items containing food allergy ingredients will not be permitted to be opened in that classroom.
- While we do not provide breakfast, children arriving before 8:00 A.M. may bring a breakfast from home. All children arriving after 8:00 A.M. must have breakfast before arriving at school.
- The Department of Human Resources requires that children enrolled in our full-day program eat two snacks and a hot lunch. VDS will provide a hot lunch that meets all USDA nutritional guidelines.
- If your child has a special dietary need or restriction, you must provide a note from the child’s pediatrician stating the need or restriction. These are the only circumstances which you may provide alternate food for your child.
- If you wish to send a special snack/lunch for a special event, we ask that you consult your child’s teacher about possible food choices and best times. Be respectful of nut-free and/or other allergies in the classrooms. For the best interest of the health and safety of the children in our care, we recommend bringing food into the school to be shared with a class only commercially prepared food that clearly list all ingredients or that there is proof that the food is prepared in a kitchen that is inspected by local health officials.
- If your child has a dietary need or allergy restriction that we cannot accommodate, you can choose to provide a lunch for your child. However, we will need written and signed authorization from your child’s pediatrician stating that your child has dietary or nutritional allergy or restrictions.
Newborn and Infant Meals/Snacks
- All bottle-fed infants should come with an adequate supply of bottles for the day. Please send only plastic bottles and container. Please make sure everything is labeled. Clearly label all baby food jars (first name, last initial, no glass jars). Daily Infant Information Sheets provide space for you to tell your child’s teacher specific feeding instructions, including the amount to feed and exactly when to feed your baby.
- Please include the following in your child’s diaper bag: a day’s supply of diapers, a pacifier or lovie, if needed, and a complete change of clothes. All items must be labeled with child’s name.
- Beginning at 12 months, all full-time children must provide two snacks, one for morning and one for afternoon. All part-time children must provide one snack for morning. VDS will provide nutritious hot lunch and milk for all full-time children.
- If your child has a medical need/condition such as a food allergy that will prevent your child from eating our lunch, parents will be responsible for providing a nutritional lunch that will meet USDA nutritional guidelines. Parents must also provide a doctor’s note stating that the child has special dietary needs.
Vestavia Day School provides a rich atmosphere where our children can learn and grow. Our physical facilities offer:
- Full-sized gymnasium
- Two outdoor playgrounds
- Nature area with picnic tables and an amphitheater
Hot lunch is prepared by VHUMC kitchen staff and is served in the classrooms to all full time and some participating preschoolers. Our Wednesday worship is held in our church chapel and is led by a minister or guest speaker. Our music and movement programs are held in large classrooms to allow for full movement and expression.
All children must be potty trained before entering any of our 3 and 4 year old classes, unless children have a medical condition that prohibits him/her from developing (doctor’s note is required). Potty trained is defined as completely accident free for 2-3 weeks and acknowledging or recognizing when an accident occurs. Potty trained children are required to wear underwear. Pull-ups are allowed only at nap time for children who need them.
We understand that an acclimation period may be necessary for some children. We also understand during this period, children may have up to three accidents a week. If after October 1, a student is not fully potty trained, he or she will be temporarily placed in a two year old classroom (if space permits) or temporarily dismissed from the preschool program.
We understand that transitions in a child’s life may cause a child to regress. If a child has been potty trained and begins to have frequent accidents, the teachers can ask the parents for a conference to determine if there is something going on that may cause the child to regress. We want to work with parents to make sure this is a partnership and we work together to make potty training successful! Please keep in mind that home and school are two very different environments. The activity level at school can distract your child from responding to an urge to use the potty more so than at home.
In order to help prevent the spread of infection or disease and to keep our children as healthy as possible, Vestavia Day School requires adherence to the following policies. If you fail to comply with these policies, after one warning, it could result in the removal of your child from our program.
- Each child/parent will be greeted as they enter the room. Teachers will ask about child’s evening/night. In the event the child was sick overnight, the child will not be permitted to stay at school.
- Teachers will also complete daily health checks of all children and look for signs and symptoms that doesn’t foster the well-being of each child (i.e. not feeling well, abuse, etc.)
- Parents agree to share with teachers any health or behavioral issues from home or other settings that will impact their care plan, caregivers, or other children. (i.e. febrile seizures, sensory processing, ADHD, speech delays, major life transitions)
- The Certificate of Immunization (Blue Form) should be on file with Day School prior to your child’s first day of attendance. These may be obtained from your Pediatrician. You will be notified in writing in advance of the form’s expiration date.
- Our program reserves the right to refuse admittance due to illness.
No child will be accepted and/or will be sent home if they are exhibiting:
- Fever 100.4 or higher, chronic or severe cough, colored nasal discharge, sore throat, breathing trouble, yellowish skin or eyes.
- Diarrhea (2 bouts or more in a day).
- Conjunctivitis (red, teary or crusted eyes/Pink Eye)
- Rash/Frequent scratching of the skin
- Vomiting unless the vomiting is determined to be caused by a non-communicable condition (such as reflux) and the child is not in danger of dehydration. A doctor’s note may be required.
- Symptoms of Strep Throat or Influenza
- Excessive irritability or unusual passivity/lethargy
If your child becomes sick at school, he or she will be separated from the other children and will have continuous supervision until an authorized person comes to pick up the child. The child must be picked up within one hour and must remain away from the school the following full business day. A doctor’s note cannot supersede our health policies. The administration will still have the right to send a child home at their discretion based on our policies.
Your child must be symptom free for 24 hours upon returning to the school without the aid of symptom reducing medications (For example: Fever reducing medication, anti-diarrheal medication, anti-nausea medication, etc.)
- Please notify us if your child obtains a communicable disease so that we may notify parents of the other children. These include, but are not limited to: head lice, scabies, chicken pox, ringworm, strep throat, impetigo, pink eye, mollescum, Fifth’s disease & flu.
- Lice: If lice is detected, your child must be picked up from school and remain out of school, following treatment, until he or she is lice and nit free. We will recheck your child upon returning to school.
- Please notify us of any special condition your child may have which requires special attention such as food allergies, insect sting reactions, asthma, hearing loss, visual impairment, etc.
The overall health and well-being of all our VDS teachers and children is of utmost importance, therefore, the school reserves the right to refuse care due to illness.
Vestavia Day School follows the Vestavia Hill City Schools closing decisions. We reserve the right to make an independent decision too close should we deem it to be necessary. You will be notified by School Cast of the school closing. We will pick up our after school children from all schools and bring them back to VHUMC. We ask that you pick up your after-school child here at VHUMC. Please call the Vestavia Day School office and your child’s school office if they are NOT to be picked up by VHUMC vans for early dismissal.
If severe weather or unsafe driving conditions prevent our staff from traveling safely to the schools, you will be notified immediately so you can make other arrangements to have your child picked up from East, West or Central.
Full Time Arrival:
- The Full Time Program serves children ages 6 weeks through 12 years of age during the hours of 7:00 am – 5:45 pm Monday through Friday.
- If you drop off or pick up your child on the bottom floor, please park in a parking space near or around the portico doors. DO NOT park underneath the portico! This is a fire and safety issue.
- Parents will use a specified PIN number and password to sign each child in the specified locations electronically.
- Parents must sign their child in and out each day. Please sign your first and last name instead of initials. All parents must walk their child to/from their designated drop off/pick up point. Please do not send your child in alone!
- Items brought from home must be put away prior to entering the classroom. We encourage the children to bring comfort items for rest time, if needed (i.e. stuffed animal, lovie, etc.).
- While we do not provide breakfast, children arriving before 8:00 am may bring a breakfast from home. Planned group activities will begin promptly at 8:00 am, so we ask that all children arriving after 8:00 am have breakfast before arriving at school.
- Please do not park in the handicapped parking unless you have the proper tag or sticker.
- This 11-hour schedule has been set to provide a range of drop off and pick up times to accommodate various full time work schedules. However, it should be noted that much over 9 hours is considered inappropriate for very young children to be cared for in group settings. Therefore, please do not view the full 11-hour schedule as appropriate for a child on a daily basis.
CDO and Part Time Arrival:
- All children attending the 9:00 – 1:00 Preschool & CDO will be dropped off no earlier than 8:50. Each child must be walked to and signed in by a parent or guardian in their classroom. Dismissal will begin at 1:00 pm. Parents are required to sign their child out each day.
- Parents will use a specific PIN number and password to sign each child in at the specific locations electronically.
- Pick up begins promptly at 1:00 pm. Call the Day School Office and leave a message if you are detained for any reason. Please see our late pick up policy below.
- Please do not park in the handicapped parking unless you have the proper tag or sticker.
- Your child will not be released to anyone not listed on your information form or who does not show proper identification. Please keep these names current. Written permission must be sent if someone not on your list will pick up your child. In extreme emergencies, we can accept verbal messages or confirmation.
- Part time children must be picked up by 1:00. Full time parents should arrive by 5:45 pm to pick up children and have enough time to collect their belongings and speak with the teachers. All persons should leave the building by 6:00 pm. A late fee of $25 per 15-minute increment after 6:00 pm will automatically be charged if you are late in picking up your child. Please remember that our school closes at 6:00 pm.
Your child must be picked up by 5:45 pm (Full Time Care).
A late fee of $25.00 per 15 minutes after 6:00 pm will automatically be charged if you are late in picking up your child. Please remember that our program closes at 5:45 pm, and all families need to be out of the school by 6:00 pm. Repeated late pick-ups after a warning can result in the removal or your child from our program.