My name is Miss Mary. I have had an inhome daycare since October of 1992. Prior to operating my own daycare I taught at the Illinois Center for Autism. However, in January of 1994 my husband and I won custody of his three children. Daddy’s don’t get custody unless there is a good reason and we went from two to five children overnight. Three needed a stay at home mommy. Five weeks later our youngest was born and we became a family with a 9, 6, 5, 4, 2 year olds and a newborn. I decided to take my teaching credentials and do in my home what I had been doing in a school environment.
We have been licensed since 1992 and are currently almost done with the accreditation process. Accreditation is a federal process. Providers who choose to go through this process open themselves up to unannounced inspections from not only the state but also the federal government. However, providers who choose to become accredited have greater access to programs and funds to enhance their program.
We accept children from birth to twelve years old. Because of the varying ages there are a minimum of two staff members present at all times. The state requires that any provider with more than eight children have an assistant present. We have chosen to have 2 adults present at all times because of the extensive pre-school program we ue. All staff members have had a background check done by the state of Illinois, are First Aid and CPR certified and are required to have a minimum of 15 clock hours of continuing education/training per year. The state requires me to have the training but I have extended that requirement to all staff.
We have an extensive and fully accredited pre-school program that runs Monday through Friday. We start every morning at 900am sharp and run until 1130am. The children clean up after school , wash their hands and have about 20 minutes of TV time until lunch at noon. After lunch most of the children lay down for nap until 230pm. We have “free time” until 315pm when the big kids get back. After 345 the TV is shut off and we have indoor or outdoor free play time until 445 when we clean up our messes. We then do “table activities” which ranges from playdo, puzzles, coloring or reading until parents arrive.
Our pre-school program teaches the basics: shapes, colors, letters (with phonics) numbers and counting skills, self-help skills )buttoning, tying, zipping etc, personal hygiene skills such as brushing our teeth and washing hands, calendar etc. Additionally we have 3 themes a month. We always have a corresponding Bible theme. Examples would be: “All About Me”, “My Family”, Pumpkins, Harvest, Weather etc….our Bible theme usually corresponds with one of our monthly themes…for example, when we learn about weather we study Noah’s Ark. We do science 2 to 3 times a week and since it is very hands on the children love it. We have made volcanoes, crystals, icky smells, things to eat etc…..children learn best by doing and we get quite messy with some of our science experiments. We also cook on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday the adults announce that we feel lazy so the children must fix their own lunch….we always try to incorporate things we are learning in our lunch….pizza is the easiest example, it is round, pepperoni’s are round and the sauce and pepperonis are red. We have reinforced shapes and colors and the children don’t realize it. All children ages 2-5 (or six) come into the classroom for school. We frequently have younger children that want to come into the classroom as well and they are always welcome. While they may not understand the concept of shapes and colors they do understand the feeling of being included, and they do feel pride in the things they make, which is just as important as the learning aspects of being in the classroom. Since everything we use is non-toxic it is safe. When we use smaller objects that may prove tempting to taste we always have a second adult to make sure that beads or googlly eyes don’t get eaten. Our four and five year olds are encouraged to use the Hooked on Phonics program to start reading if they and their parents want to and if they are ready. Most children are excited to begin reading and when the phonic is taught along with the letter children quickly catch on.
Each child has their own individual cubby for their paper’s and projects to be placed in. They also have cubbies and hooks for shoes, coats and bags. Each child is asked to have an extra change of clothes as well as diapers and wipes if necessary. We let parents know in advance if we are going to be getting messy so that they can send their child in appropriate clothing…we get messy a lot!!!
We encourage an “open door” policy. We tell parents and prospective parents to walk in. There are two reasons for this. First…we get loud sometimes. You may knock on the door for quite a while before we know you are there. The second reason is based on personal experience. When my daughter Ashley, was 9 months old I put her into daycare. The first day when I went to pick her up I could hear her crying but the door was locked so I couldn’t get in. When the woman finally came to the door I could tell that my baby had been crying for quite a while. Her face was wet and red and her entire little body was shaking and sweaty. I had sent 5 bags of breast milk and four were still in the diaper bag. Additionally, I had sent 10 diapers and 9 were still there. I felt helpless when I could hear my daughter crying but couldn’t get to her. I was infuriated when I picked her up and she was poopy as well as wet. I changed her immediately and her little bottom was on fire. Needless to say she didn’t go back. I was fortunate enough to have Miss Peggy recommended to me. She told parents to walk on in. Ashley was with her for 3 years and loved it. I never want to make another parent feel the way I did that first day. We have a Facebook page Kings Kids Daycare for the same reason. I can tell you what we do all day but if you as a parent can see pictures and videos put up on a regular basis you (and grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) can see for yourself what your child’s days are like. We have many references available upon request. We do ask that prospective parents come over when no children are present the first time we meet. The reason is simple….if I am occupied with children I can’t sit down with you. If you as a parent want to come back a second and third time to observe that is always fine, but the first initial interview is best conducted when no little ones are present. We also ask that you bring your child or children over at least one time before they start. Imagine being 2 or 3 years old and having Mommy or Daddy drop you off with complete strangers. No matter how nice the strangers and how much fun the other children are having it is still scary for little ones. Even one meeting, where your child is the center of attention and is given a tour of the classroom, the indoor play areas and the outdoor play areas makes the transition easier on the child.
Provider First Licensed on 08/12/1996Night Care Available;
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