The Young Children's Program provides an environment designed to help families
- Participate meaningfully in their children's educational experience
- Grow in their understanding of child development and appropriate early education
- Develop a support network with other families in the program
- Become more familiar with family support resources within the community
Because the YCP views early education as the shared responsibility of home and school, it is critical that we communicate often and well about all aspects of a child's school experience. Communication during the year is verbal and written, informal and formal, and may be initiated by family members and school personnel. In an effort to promote environmental responsibility, communication will be electronic as much as possible. Parents are encouraged to contact a teacher or the YCP coordinator if the family is unable to receive electronic communication (via the web and email) or needs to communicate in a language other than English.
Communication initiated by the YCP is in the following forms:
Handbook for Families
This publication is posted on the YCP web site and sent to new families prior to the opening of school. It contains information about program goals, curriculum, assessment, policies, and emergency procedures, as well as a school calendar, tuition payment schedule, communicable disease chart, and descriptions of licensing and accreditation standards. Returning families receive a list of new handbook information and revisions since the previous year.
At their initial conference with the teacher, all parents are given the opportunity to ask questions about information in the handbook and are asked to sign a contract indicating commitment to abide by program policies. Teachers continue to share program information and classroom expectations when appropriate throughout the year. Questions are always welcome.
Notes on special activities for each day are written on the message board in the entrance hall. Adults are encouraged to read this daily message with their children upon arrival.
Each teacher creates a one-page newsletter with information about special activities and the snack calendar for the upcoming week. These documents are posted on the individual class pages of the YCP web site and on the bulletin board in the entrance hall. Individual weekly communication with each family occurs in ways that meet the needs of personal schedules.
Monthly Event Calendars
Each teacher creates a monthly calendar of events that includes information about upcoming field trips, special activities, and birthdays. These are posted on the individual class pages of the YCP web site and on the bulletin board in the entrance hall.
Conferences are a time for parents and teachers to share information. They may be as informal as a short discussion at the end of a school day, a phone call, or in a more formal scheduled meeting for private conversation and sharing. Conference days are scheduled before school begins in September, as well as in November, February, and at the end of the school year in May. Parents or teachers may initiate a conference at any time during the year.
Families are given a detailed summary of their child's developmental progress toward program and individual goals during two formal conferences each school year.
Monthly newsletters from the YCP Coordinator provide program updates, details of family meetings, and information related to program accreditation and licensing.
Program Web Site
Program information, announcements, forms, and updates are posted on the YCP website at www.jmu.edu/coe/ycp.
Handbook for Familes
1. Emergency Procedures (updated 7/12) Procedures are developed in consultation with the JMU Department of Police and Public Safety.
2. Field Trip Policies and Procedures (updated 7/11).
Excerpt from the Handbook for Families:
Parents are always welcome at the Young Children's Program. It is our desire to work in partnership with families to provide the best possible experience for each child. We want you to understand the curriculum, learn to know the class routines, and be comfortable with the guidance techniques that are used. Let your child's teacher know how and when you would like to be involved in the classroom so a schedule that is mutually accommodating can be developed.