2021-2022 FAMILY HANDBOOK




The 2021-2022 school year is scheduled to begin on September 13, 2021 with online and onsite programming. Families can move between online and onsite without interruption or penalty. Read more in our Covid-19 response beginning on page 6. We are watching local numbers (cases, hospital, deaths) and rates of community spread and vaccination. Our plans will adapt as these numbers change. As a private non-profit preschool, we may require mandates more extreme than local, state and federal entities. While we are committed to enforcing as many mitigation practices as possible, they can not eliminate the risk of Covid-19 transmission during onsite programming.





Table of Contents:

ABOUT

ADMISSION PROCEDURES

ANTI BIAS ANTI RACISM

COVID-19 RESPONSE

CURRICULUM

DISCIPLINE APPROACH

HEALTH AND SAFETY

STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

WHAT TO BRING TO PRESCHOOL


ABOUT


PHILOSOPHY: New Creation Preschool’s philosophy is that early childhood is a time for exploration and discovery. Experiences in these early years foster competence in young children in all areas of their lives. Our purpose is to provide an atmosphere for young children where they can grow while preparing them for Kindergarten. We not only respect children, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest as a unique human being, not as an object. Our goal is an authentic child, one who feels secure, autonomous, and competent.

We view children as individuals and do not separate by category in conversation or practice. We believe that for children to develop a sense of belonging they must see themselves, their families and their communities represented throughout our school in books, posters, artwork, family sets, dolls, cooking utensils and environmental print in their languages.

HISTORY:  New Creation Preschool is a non-profit outreach of New Creation Fellowship Church, a lively Mennonite congregation of 50-70 who gather for worship, fellowship meals, congregational discernment, small groups and Sunday school.   ​At New Creation we seek to celebrate our differences as gifts and blessings – our differences in color, gender, sexual orientation, and the many other ways we are categorized by the world. You are welcome in this place as we journey together, discerning how to follow Jesus more faithfully.The preschool was founded and created by a group of people, including Kristin Neufeld Epp (current director/teacher), from New Creation Fellowship Church in 1994. In the first summer, New Creation Preschool operated as an all day childcare program known as New Creation Early Childhood Program. Starting in Fall 1995, we transitioned to a half day preschool program. We moved to Asbury Park Retirement Community in 2002 after fire destroyed our classroom at New Creation Fellowship Church. We were enriched by added intergenerational experiences with elders before moving back “home” to New Creation Fellowship Church 2009. 

WHO WE ARE NOW:  New Creation Preschool is licensed by the State of Kansas to care for up to 15 children 2.5 years of age and not yet enrolled in kindergarten. The choice was made to limit class size to 12 children at least 3 years of age for the 2021-2022 school year. Children attend one, two or three sessions per week. This program operates under regulations required by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Each class is guided by Ms. Kristin (lead teacher and director) and at least one additional teacher (Ms Brenda Mays for 2021-2022). Paid and volunteer teachers will be welcomed into our classroom after training, health assessments and background checks required by the State of Kansas. New Creation Preschool Serving Unit (a group of church and community members) meets to support and care for the needs of the preschool. Matters pertaining to New Creation Preschool will be processed with staff members and brought to Preschool Serving Unit meetings. 

LINE OF AUTHORITY: according to K.A.R. 28-4-426 (a): There shall be a written delegation of administrative authority designating the person in charge in the facility for all hours of operation.

It is the current practice of New Creation Preschool that the director/lead teacher, Kristin Neufeld Epp, will be onsite during all hours of operation and is the primary person in charge of the facility.  There will always be a minimum of one assistant teacher on site to assist in the care of children and facility.

Other facility contact persons (phone numbers posted onsite):

Derrick Ramer, New Creation Fellowship Church

Brenda Mays, NCP assistant teacher and NCFC office assistant

Kelven Mays, NCP volunteer and NCFC maintenance


ADMISSION PROCEDURES


ADMISSION POLICY: According to K.A.R. 28-4-426 (b) our Admission Policy is as follows:

(1) Children are eligible for admission into New Creation Preschool as spaces come available according to our license. Families are encouraged to sign up on our Waiting List after which point Ms Kristin will contact them with any openings. 

Once a child is enrolled and before attending, all forms required by KDHE and New Creation Preschool must be submitted and reviewed by the director:

  • Enrollment Agreement 
  • Financial Agreement
  • Medical Record* (including a list of people permitted to drop off/pick up)
  • History of Immunizations*
  • Child Health Assessment*
  • Emergency Medical Release*
  • Internet/Media Release
  • Allergy Response Form (if applicable) *KDHE required

(2) Each of our admission policies are non-discriminatory in regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, handicap or sex, in accordance with K.S.A. 44-1009 and our NCFC welcoming statement.

(3) Parents/guardians are given our Family Handbook which informs them on the following: the schedule available including drop off/pick up procedures, tuition options based on income/financial need, philosophy and methodology, discipline policy and safety procedures, daily routine and curriculum.

(4) Parents/guardians are informed that while New Creation Preschool is an outreach of New Creation Fellowship Church, a member of Mennonite Church USA, no specific theology or doctrine is taught or encouraged. 

CHILDREN’S RECORDS: Each child has a file containing a Registration Form completed by staff, the aforementioned enrollment forms and any Critical Incident Reports. A record of attendance will be kept for each child. Children’s records are available to parents/guardians and will be destroyed once a child is no longer enrolled.

SCHOLARSHIP/TUITION: There is a standard tuition level of $56/month per number of sessions a child attends in a week (ex: 2 days a week = $112/month). As a non-profit outreach of New Creation Fellowship Church, we offer financial assistance in the form of free and reduced tuition levels. After a tuition level is determined, a Financial Agreement is made.  This is used to keep track of all payments received. Tuition is broken into 9 equal monthly payments for September-May. Checks, money orders, cash, should be deposited into the TUITION BOX located in the classroom.  Online payment options (ACH, Venmo and PayPal) are available and encouraged as well. You will be sent notification when a tuition payment is overdue.  In the event that you have missed 2 tuition payments, you will be contacted by a New Creation Preschool Serving Unit member to set up a Payment Plan/apply for further financial assistance.Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.49.38 AM.jpg

PARKING:  New Creation Preschool meets in the lower level of New Creation Fellowship Church. New Creation Preschool has an entrance on the north side of the building (turn in the drive to get to it). Parking is available in the parking lot off of Pine Street next to the playground, on Muse Street in front of the church or in the area at the end of the alley north of the church.  Please do not park along the drive in order to keep the lane free for driving in and out.


DROP OFF/PICK UP: Preschool drop off is between 9:45-10 and pick up is between 12-12:15. If families arrive before 9:45, they should plan to wait outside/on the playground. Teachers use the few minutes before class for planning together. Parents/guardians are welcome at New Creation Preschool at any time unannounced. Do not be alarmed if the door is locked. A doorbell/intercom is available during class time hours at the preschool door.

“POTTY TRAINING”/BATHROOM PLAN: As a preschool that welcomes children in any stage of their “toilet learning” journey, we are aware that some preschoolers will require more bathroom help than others. Staff will encourage children to do as much for themselves as possible. Parents/guardians are asked to communicate their preschooler’s bathroom needs with preschool staff including what terms are used for the toilet, urine and feces as well as how the child usually uses the bathroom (sitting, standing, forwards, backwards, help with wiping, etc). Staff usually use “potty, bathroom, pee, peepee, poop, etc”; staff will use your choice of words with your child. Staff will use the general term of “bottom” and more scientific terms of “penis, testicles, vagina, vulva, etc” as is appropriate and natural in conversation.

Parents/guardians will be notified whenever help is given during bathroom time (wiping, clothing, changing, etc).

If a child becomes agitated at using the bathroom alone or with staff near, parents will be notified. When a child has an accident, soiled clothes will be bagged up and sent home. According to state regulations, we are not able to wash or rinse soiled clothes. There is no shaming or disappointment expressed in cases of accidents, as we recognize the normalcy of them. The bathroom door will remain open when any staff is assisting a child in the bathroom.

Preschoolers use the bathroom connected to our classroom. With the door open, the toilet and sink are visible from the classroom. Preschoolers are allowed to keep the door open or closed when they are alone. Staff will not enter the bathroom unless a child has requested help and the staff helper will alert another staff member when entering the bathroom to help a child. 

Most preschoolers are still early in their toilet learning so please consider dressing your child in loose clothing that they are able to manage easily and independently (ex. pants or shorts with all-elastic waists). Consider avoiding overalls, jeans with snaps and zippers, shirts with snaps between the legs, belts, tie waistbands, tights, and tight-fitting clothing that they can’t manage on their own.


ANTI BIAS ANTI RACISM


New Creation Preschool recognizes that biases are inherent in our world. These can include biases for or against racial/ethnic backgrounds, culture, language, gender expression, sexual orientation, family structure, cognitive or physical ability, economic class, and religion. We recognize that every person at New Creation Preschool experiences privilege and oppression differently. We are committed to preparing our environment to provide an inclusive space for every member of our community and to take a proactive approach to eliminating biases and/or racism. We work to integrate an anti bias/anti racist approach at all levels and to uplift individuals to be proud of their uniqueness while honoring other individual’s differences.


In response to the murder of George Floyd, we simply say Black Lives Matter. As an outreach of New Creation Fellowship Church, a member of Mennonite Church USA, we share this from our executive director, Glen Guyton, from June 2020:This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is glen-guyton-mc-usa-shirt-official-e1589399464673.jpg

It does not happen often, but I am at a loss for words as cities across the United States burn, and as I have endured several weeks of seeing black bodies sacrificed in the name of order and discipline. I am torn between being an enraged black man and being a leader in a predominantly white institution, united by theology and, for many, a common ancestry.

The most recent names that have shredded my heart are George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. I watched in horror as a woman named Amy Cooper, walking her unleashed dog, attempted to weaponize the police against Christian Cooper, who simply wanted to peacefully watch birds in Central Park. Christian Cooper, like me, is an African American man. The language used on that call means that any black male, me or my son could have fit the description, giving the responding officers a license to kill with the qualified immunity that withholds justice. If I am honest, the Amy’s of the world scare me more than the white supremacist that I can easily identify and avoid.

It has taken me some time to draft this letter because I have been torn by my anger, my fear, my Christian faith and my Anabaptist commitment to peace. Systems of racial power would like nothing better than for leaders like me to lay my blackness and pain aside; they are part of what shapes my identity. But as a leader, I am called to push down my fear and sadness. I need to call upon the people of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA).

We need to engage in more costly peacemaking, rooted in radical discipleship, which seeks to dismantle systems of oppression. The violence and unrest that is happening now is not an accident; it is what the system is designed to do, and it jeopardizes all of us, not just people of color. Stand with the marginalized in your communities. If you have the power of privilege, use it as a shield to protect people of color who don’t have it. Use your voice and your power to prompt action from local government officials. Create spaces for reconciliation, healing and hope.

I am determined not to allow the past and present circumstances of systemic oppression to make me feel powerless. For many in the white community, including our Mennonite family, my skin color is a barrier. It is a consideration that I can’t easily set aside. But for many of you in MC USA, your race is not a barrier but rather an advantage you can use to dismantle racial injustice in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need your voice. We need to #BringthePeace.

ON DIVERSITY AND INDIVIDUALS IN OUR CLASSROOM: We view children as individuals and do not separate by category in conversation or practice. We believe that for children to develop a sense of belonging they must see themselves, their families and their communities represented throughout our school in books, posters, artwork, family sets, dolls, cooking utensils and environmental print in their languages.

Representation will not just be reflective of classroom populations, it will be equal. If there are three children of color and 12 white children in the class, having a few books representing people of color isn’t adequate. Our equipment and books are intentionally chosen to better represent differences in skin color, hair type, body size, physical and cognitive disabilities, gender expression, etc.

Young children think in simple terms and tend to think in stereotypes. Thus, one of our tasks in supporting diversity is to continually challenge young children’s simple thinking about gender, race, ethnicity, culture, families, religion, income, language, etc. While we believe there is value in children feeling comfortable and around people who are like them, we must provide opportunities for investigating and exploring differences, newness and what is unfamiliar. One way we encourage this behavior is by modeling joy and enthusiasm in discovery, exploration and uncertainty.

From Francis Wardle: “Supporting diversity in early childhood programs is a two-pronged process: helping children to feel good about themselves, their families and their communities while also exposing children to differences, things that are unfamiliar and experiences beyond their immediate lives. In doing so we must make sure these experiences are real and concrete and that they continually challenge young children’s stereotypical thinking. We must insist on tolerance and respect toward all who are different. Finally, this process must be continuous and ongoing, not simply addressed on convenient occasions and implemented as an add-on to the curriculum.”


COVID-19 RESPONSE


The 2021-2022 school year is scheduled to begin on September 13, 2021 with online and onsite programming. Families can move between online and onsite without interruption or penalty. Read more in our Covid-19 response beginning on page 6. We are watching local numbers (cases, hospital, deaths) and rates of community spread and vaccination. Our plans will adapt as these numbers change. As a private non-profit preschool, we may require mandates more extreme than local, state and federal entities. While we are committed to enforcing as many mitigation practices as possible, they can not eliminate the risk of Covid-19 transmission during onsite programming.

ONLINE OPTION: Weekly instruction via YouTube with Ms Kristin is available for viewing at families’ convenience. Take home materials and all supplies are provided. Families can move between online and on-site programming as they like and as quarantine protocols require. If entire classes are online, there will also be Zoom meetings with staff during regular scheduled preschool hours in addition to recorded Circle Time, Journal Time, Project Time and Story Time. 

ONSITE OPTION: We plan to move the majority of our time outdoors. A permanent shelter will be installed summer of 2021 to make outdoor learning more feasible. All classes are limited to no more than 12 children no younger than 3 years of age. One group of children meets per day Monday-Friday from 10-12 (later to increase the chance for mild temperatures). Arrival and dismissal is staggered from 9:45-10 and 12-12:15. Windows are opened on both sides of the classroom to ensure cross ventilation. Even with open windows, the HVAC heat and cooling system will be used to maintain a comfortable temperature and increase air circulation.

FAMILY SUPPORT: Masks, hand sanitizer, disposable water bottles, labeling materials, vaccination and testing information are available at the preschool entrance. Transportation to/from vaccination and testing sites are available. Unvaccinated children have an added layer of support if living with vaccinated people so we encourage household members over the age of 11 to vaccinate.

MASKS: Masks are required without exception for all people 2 years of age and above regardless of vaccination/immunity status except when eating or drinking in designated areas. During our 20-21 Toy Store and Summer 2021 Play Days, we had first hand experience of preschoolers masking without issue.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Furniture/equipment is arranged and activities are planned to encourage natural physical distancing. Teachers will actively lead in creating physical distance between children. Snacks are eaten on individual picnic blankets outside (a minimum of 3 feet between households) or if outside isn’t possible, at designated snack spots in the classroom (a minimum of 6 feet between households) and distributed by teaching staff. Time indoors will be quick and staggered to limit crowding.

HAND HYGIENE: In addition to our indoor bathroom, we have an outdoor hand washing station available at all times. Hand washing will be monitored in situations of bathroom use, snack time, secretions (nose blowing, etc) and surfaces sanitized between children’s use. Staff will wear gloves during bathroom assistance, food and water bottle handling, cleaning and symptom check/first aid. 


 

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS: symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19 and are encouraged to mask up and get tested. Our community is fortunate to have free and quick testing available. New Creation Preschool can arrange transportation if needed. To make an appointment and get your results via text/email, visit gogettested.com or scan here:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

QUARANTINE: KDHE and Harvey County Health Department have the following guidance. In all scenarios, the local health department and local surveyor will be contacted if someone who is infected Covid-19 has been in the facility. While maintaining confidentiality, families will be notified of any possible Covid-19 exposure.

Scenario #1: If a fully vaccinated person (all staff/volunteers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19) is exposed to Covid-19 and has no symptoms, they do not need to quarantine and will mask in public for 14 days following exposure. They will get tested 3-5 days after their exposure and again at 7-10 days after exposure. If they test positive, they will voluntarily quarantine for 10 days (this is not required by state or county).

Scenario #2: If an unvaccinated person (all children in our program) is exposed to a positive person, they must quarantine for 10 days whether they have symptoms or not. During this time, supplies can be picked up or delivered from preschool and children can participate immediately in online programming. If symptoms develop, protocols in Scenario #4 must be followed.

Scenario #3: If there is a Covid-19 positive case in a class, the entire class of children must quarantine for 10 days. Teaching staff (who are vaccinated) will follow the protocols in Scenario #1. In the event that an entire class is quarantined, Ms Kristin, Ms Brenda and available volunteers will meet with them via Zoom during their regular class time in addition to the other online programming and take home supplies. 

Scenario #4: People who are Covid-19 positive with symptoms (regardless of vaccination status) must isolate 10 days from the beginning of symptoms OR 72 hours after fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine, whichever is longer.


CURRICULUM


PROGRAM PLAN: Per K.A.R. 28-4-427 (c), there shall be a written program plan which includes daily learning experiences appropriate to the developmental level of the children. Experiences shall be designed to develop: Self-esteem/positive self-image, social interaction skills, self-expression/communication skills, creative expression, large/small muscle skills and intellectual growth. The program schedule shall be planned to provide a balance of active, quiet, individual and group activities.

New Creation Preschool’s program works to enhance a child’s feelings of being competent and cared for. Our play-based curriculum has influences from the Montessori, Regio-Emilia and Waldorf methods and favors the development of a child’s physical, emotional, social, creative, and intellectual selves. There is a fine balance between following a schedule and independent times. We offer activities and experiences that revolve around our Letter of the Week, Color of the Month and other holidays/significant days along with a Social Emotional Learning topic each week.  

CURRICULUM ELEMENTS: All children enrolled in online and onsite programming will be guided through a Letter of the Week project, a Journal activity and a Social Emotional Learning activity each week. There is a Book of the Week and accompanying song or poem as well as additional materials and activities offered. 

Each child will have a box of materials (crayons, glue, scissors, journals, snacks, playdough, etc) for use onsite or at home. It is labeled with their name/photo and can be transferred between home and preschool at any point depending on the learning mode (onsite or online).

DAILY ELEMENTS AND ROUTINE: While the order may change, here are the things we do each day:

Work Time: this is the time of day when preschoolers play and hone the skill of making choices! Teachers are available to guide activities and offer suggestions as needed. Indoors and out, some activities are always available while  others change with the themes.

Circle Time: this is the time of day when we sit together and engage in conversation. Our Social Emotional Learning topic is introduced here with books, songs, drawings and more. We practice many of the school skills that will be found in a traditional Kindergarten classroom: calendar work, alphabet sounds/recognition, name reading, color recognition, patterning, etc. This is also the time of day when we sing songs, play instruments, recite poems and act out fingerplays and rhymes. 

Project/Journal Time: this is the time of day when we create something. We ask that children come in clothes that they can get messy in believing it is important for there to be freedom to participate fully. We use lots of paint and lots of glue during the year!  Our 2021-2022 curriculum includes an Alphabet Project, Guided Journal Time and extra art project each week.

Story Time: this is the time of day when the teacher is reading to the children. Through our stories we are able to introduce new concepts while having children experience the security of being read to. Our books are chosen based on the theme of the day and are connected to the other activities of the day. 


Book Time: this is the time of day when we gather together to read books independently with quiet music in the background. Children have access to battery operated candles and practice the skill of taking “picture walks” through books. Children also experience teachers reading alongside them during this restful time. 

Snack Time: All snacks are provided and are individually packaged and served on individual trays/disposable napkins. Each child has their own water bottle and individual picnic blanket (both labeled with child’s name). A child’s leftover snack is sent home or thrown away, water bottles are sent home daily and individual picnic blankets are washed at least weekly by preschool staff according to KAR 28-4-423 (c) (7). Teachers monitor picnic blankets to maintain at least 3 feet (outdoors)/6 feet (indoors) of distance  between households. Children have access to their water bottles at all times.  Children are monitored to wash hands before eating (indoor and outdoor hand washing is available for use anytime). Families are invited to purchase individually packaged snacks for their child’s class.

Group Time: this is the time of day when a teacher guides an activity for the whole class or small groups…science experiments, alphabet work, math readiness, yoga, mindfulness, etc.

Show and Tell Time: this is the time of day we look at what preschoolers brought to show and tell us about. Our Show and Tell time is based on our Letter of the Week and children can bring something every day. There is a basket available for show and tell items or children can leave things in their backpacks/cubbies if they’d rather.

Big Body Time: this is the time of day children are invited to use their large muscles. In addition to the natural opportunities, each day there are special “Big Body” activities planned. Specifically designed for preschool aged children, examples include a variety of swings, balancing beams, wiggle boards, a variety of ride-on devices, yoga poses, etc.

Clean Up Time: this is the time of day we help put things away in the classroom and playground. We play music and remind preschoolers that we aren’t cleaning up just what we played with, but whatever our classroom and playground needs!  

INDOOR LEARNING AREAS: Our classroom is carefully arranged with areas/centers clearly defined, each housing a variety of materials. Tables and chairs are available in each area. We have a large carpeted area for “Circle Time” designated as a space for the whole class to gather. Our areas/centers include:

Cubbies: each child has an open “locker” style cubby for personal items that can also serve as their own “quiet space” if they are ever looking to retreat to their own space. Name recognition of self and peers is naturally encouraged due to labels and photos of each child. 

Block Center: our block area houses a full set of wooden unit blocks, toy vehicles, plastic animals, and a dollhouse with furniture and people in low open shelving. 

Puzzle Corner: this is a math/manipulative area that offers a variety of materials including puzzles, small blocks, Legos, games, tiles, geoboards, attribute blocks, and other hands-on materials that foster children’s thinking and problem-solving skills and support the development of the big ideas of math that are appropriate for young children


Book Corner: we have a book display shelf that contains a variety of books arranged by areas of interest and difficulty level. Books are rotated at least monthly according to children’s interest/curriculum themes. Children have access to battery operated candles and practice the skill of taking “picture walks” through books. 

Project Shelf: this is a writing/drawing/creating area that provides different types of paper, writing/drawing materials (crayons, markers, pencils), stamps, stencils, alphabet charts as well as glue, scissors, stamps, paint and brushes. We have designated tables for messy art work and easels for vertical writing/drawing/painting.

Nature Corner: this is a science area that includes magnifying glasses, scales, books and other items from the natural world (such as plants, rocks, shells, leaves, bones, etc.). 

Family Corner: this is a dramatic play area that is used most often to play “house.” There is a fully equipped play kitchen, table and chairs, a variety of dolls, dress up clothes, books and stuffed animals.  

Loft: we set up this area to relive and reflect the ideas and understandings of the particular curriculum focus of the class by turning it into a store, post office, train station, doctor’s office, etc.

Sensory Play: we have a table designated as a play dough table where assorted materials and tools (rolling pins, play dough scissors, cutters, etc) are available for children’s use. We incorporate other sensory experiences in our Tub Tables (water, sand, rice, etc.) and tools (cups, tongs, funnels, etc).

Tiny Things: we have a table that holds hundreds of tiny things for each Color of the Month. Children use their fine motor muscles in manipulating them and sorting them, gaining strength and dexterity.

Swing: we have a 2000+ pound weight bearing indoor adaptor for a variety of swings that help meet the physical/sensory needs of many children.

OUTDOOR PROGRAM: We have a large outdoor area known in the community as the New Creation Memorial Park. Over the years many donations have created this space that we simply call our “playground.” It has served as an extension of our indoor classroom even before the pandemic. We spend time outside in most kinds of weather believing that a connection to nature is essential to a whole early childhood experience! It is enclosed by a fence with play structures, climbing logs, benches, water play, a permanent open air shelter (installed summer 2021) and many trees. The ground cover under play structures is KDHE approved pea gravel (rather than sand or plastic) and the majority of our space is grass. The playground and shelter are fully accessible via sidewalk. We maintain compliance with all regulations according to K.A.R. 28-4-437 including:

  • Staff is equipped with a megaphone, walkie-talkies, cell phones and a first aid kit while outdoors
  • We shelter indoors during extreme temperatures or lightning/storms in the area
  • The fence gates are monitored at all times by teaching staff 
  • Children are accompanied to the indoor bathroom as needed by Ms Kristin or Ms Brenda


LEARNING: The New Creation Preschool environment (indoors and out) is carefully prepared for each child to move at their own pace, always encouraging growth. To better facilitate outdoor learning during the pandemic and thanks to a generous donor, a shelter is being installed for the 2021-2022 school year during which we will move the majority of any onsite learning outdoors including Circle Time, Project Time, Snack Time, etc.

CLOTHING: Given our year-round outdoor learning, it is essential that children have weather appropriate clothing. Children are encouraged to monitor their own clothing if they get too warm or too cold (shoes and jackets, etc) within reason. There are many services we can access to help provide clothing should you need that. Outerwear suggestions for the year:

  • light jacket/sweatshirt/sweater
  • rain jacket
  • water friendly shoes/boots 
  • winter boots
  • winter coat
  • hats/mittens/scarves
  • extra outfit to change into 
  • sun hat/ball cap/sunglasses

DISCIPLINE APPROACH


Our classroom management style is a fundamental pillar of our program. Children at New Creation Preschool are helped to not hurt themselves, others or things while we act from the belief that all behavior is either an act of love or a call for love. Incorporating a deep respect and appreciation of the young child we trust the child’s ability to learn to problem solve and embrace their ability for self-discovery. Our discipline approach is influenced by Conscious Discipline® and the Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach.

THE BASIS OF OUR APPROACH:  Respect is the basis of our philosophy. We respect children and demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest as a unique human being, not as an object.

AN AUTHENTIC CHILD: An authentic child is one who feels secure, autonomous, and competent. We work to help a child to feel secure, appreciated and that “somebody is deeply, truly interested in me.” 

TRUST IN THE CHILD’S COMPETENCE: We have basic trust in the child to be an initiator and an explorer eager to learn what they are ready for. We provide the child with only enough help necessary to allow the child to enjoy mastery of their own actions.

SENSITIVE OBSERVATION: Our method, guided by respect for the child’s competence, is observation. We observe carefully to understand the child’s communications and their needs. The more we observe, the more we understand and appreciate the enormous amount and speed of learning that happens during the first few years of life. 

CONSISTENCY: We establish clearly defined limits and communicate our expectations to develop discipline. When a child is outside of the limits, we meet them with immediate goals of safety for all children and an understanding of why/how. Instead of using “Time Out” in our program, children may be redirected to new activities if their behavior isn’t deemed safe for people and things around them. 

CAREGIVING TIMES: During care activities (bathroom, snack time, shoes/jackets/etc.), we encourage all children to become active participants rather than passive recipients of the activities. We create opportunities for interaction, cooperation, intimacy and mutual enjoyment by being wholeheartedly with the child during the time we spend together anyway. 

THE ENVIRONMENT: Our role is to create an environment in which the child can best do all the things that the child would do naturally. The more predictable an environment is, the easier it is for them to learn.  We give the children plenty of time for uninterrupted play. Instead of trying to teach new skills, we offer opportunities for them to learn those skills through play.


PROHIBITED PUNISHMENT FOR ALL LICENSED DAY CARE HOMES, CENTERS AND PRESCHOOLS: According to K.A.R. 28-4-427 (d) (2), punishment which is humiliating, frightening or physically harmful to the child shall be prohibited. Prohibited methods of punishment include: corporal punishment such as spanking with the hand or any implement, slapping, swatting, pulling hair, yanking the arm, or any similar activity; verbal abuse, threats, or derogatory remarks about the child or the child’s family; binding or tying to restrict movement, or enclosing in a confined space such as a closet, locked room, box, or similar cubicle; withholding or forcing foods; and placing substances which sting or burn on the child’s mouth or tongue or other parts of the body. 


HEALTH AND SAFETY


New Creation Preschool has 2 exits approved by the Kansas State Fire Marshal; one of them includes a hallway that also serves as our “Shelter Hallway” for severe weather or lock down situations. All of the windows in our preschool are equipped with quick-release screens also suitable for evacuation.  Staff are equipped with cell phones, a land line and walkie-talkies. Local emergency personnel are aware of our preschool’s location and hours. 

All preschool activities take place in the designated classroom space. The sanctuary, pastor’s office, storage rooms, closets, nursery/Ms Kristin’s office and Sunday school room are not used by preschool other than storage, storm shelter and access to exits. The closet doors adjacent to New Creation Preschool’s classroom are locked and off limits. The basement Sunday School room remains unlocked due to fire code and our needed access to the Shelter Hallway and exit. The nursery/office remains unlocked due to it being a secondary storm shelter. Both the Sunday School room and nursery have window doors providing us with visual access at all times. A baby gate may be put in place at the base of the stairs when staff feel it is necessary. All windows are free from adornment and all areas are available for parent/guardian/surveyors to view at any time.

ALLERGIC REACTION: If a mild reaction is suspected, parent/guardian is called immediately and Benadryl may be administered per parent/guardian approval. If more than one mild symptom or one severe symptom is observed: epinephrine is administered immediately, then 911called, then parent/guardian contacted. Every child with a known allergy has an Action Plan located on file in the kitchen.

COVID-19: Please see our COVID-19 RESPONSE section on p 6-7.

EVACUATION: In the case of an emergency that requires evacuation of the building, staff takes children’s records and assists children through the nearest available exit. Our “Meeting Place” is along the fence of our playground (nearest intersection is SE 3rd and Pine Street). Should we need to evacuate the property within walking distance, we would gather on the main floor of the office building at 215 S Pine Street. Should emergency dictate evacuation beyond walking distance, children would be transported by staff/emergency personnel to Newton Medical Center, 600 Medical Center Dr. In all cases, staff ensure that all children are accounted for and families are notified.

EXPOSURE: The local health department and local surveyor will be contacted if someone who is infected with any communicable disease (chicken pox, COVID-19, streptococcal pharyngitis, rubella, pertussis, mumps, measles, hepatitis A) has been in the facility and will help determine a course of action. While maintaining the confidentiality of any ill child or staff member, families will be notified of any possible disease exposure. See our COVID-19 RESPONSE section on p 6-7.

FIRST AID/CPR/AED: The lead staff (Ms Kristin and Ms Brenda for 2021-2022) of all classes are fully certified in First Aid, Adult and Pediatric CPR and AED. A First Aid kit and CPR shields are on site and taken with us when we go outdoors. Families are notified when any First Aid action is taken and in the case that a critical incident* jeopardizes the safety of any child in care. In the case of injury, first aid will be started, 911 will be called with any severe bleeding or loss of consciousness and parent/guardian will be called. Any action taken by preschool staff will be recorded on the child’s Registration Form and families will be given written notification. In the case that a critical incident* jeopardizes the safety of any child in care, the KDHE Critical Incident Report will be filed and families notified. 

FOOD SERVICE:  All snacks are provided and are individually packaged and served on individual trays/disposable napkins. Each child has their own water bottle and individual picnic blanket (both labeled with child’s name). A child’s leftover snack is sent home or thrown away, water bottles are sent home daily and individual picnic blankets are washed at least weekly by preschool staff according to KAR 28-4-423 (c) (7). Teachers monitor picnic blankets to maintain at least 3 feet (outdoors)/6 feet (indoors) of distance  between households. Children have access to their water bottles at all times.  Children are monitored to wash hands before eating (indoor and outdoor hand washing is available for use anytime). Families are invited to purchase individually packaged snacks for their child’s class.


INTRUDERS/”LOCK DOWN”: Should someone enter New Creation Preschool and staff deems it necessary, children will be escorted by preschool staff into the SHELTER HALLWAY (our primary safety exit which is locked from the outside) and call 911 while at least other staff remain engaged as appropriate with the intruder. Families will be notified. 

LOSS OF SERVICES: If New Creation Preschool loses the use of heat, water or electricity at any time during the day, we will evaluate to see whether care can be provided without undue loss of quality. If safe, quality care cannot be provided under the circumstances, we will notify each family and will remain closed until safe, quality care can be provided.

MEDICATION/TOPICAL PRODUCT: Other than pre-approved emergency use of Benadryl, medication of any kind is not administered during preschool hours. Sunscreen and bug spray must be applied by families prior to preschool arrival.

MISSING CHILD: No child is ever left alone and staff do regular checks to make sure all children are accounted for at all times. If a child is unaccounted for, staff quickly checks all areas of the building and property. If the child cannot be found, 911 is called immediately and then the child’s parent/guardian are notified.

OUTDOOR SAFETY: We maintain compliance with all regulations according to K.A.R. 28-4-437 including staff equipped with walkie-talkies, cell phones and a first aid kit while outdoors, sheltering indoors during extreme temperatures or lightning/storms in the area and fence gates monitored at all times by teaching staff. 

RELEASE: In order to keep your child safe, staff only release a child to persons listed on the enrollment form. If anyone other than the people listed on the enrollment form is to pick up a child, we need to be notified in advance in person, in writing or by a phone call. 

SEVERE WEATHER: In the event of extreme temperatures or lightning, we shelter indoors. In the event of a tornado or severe thunderstorm, staff assist the children to the SHELTER HALLWAY while listening for the ‘all clear’ signal. As always, families are welcome to come to us.

ILLNESS: Teaching staff are training to recognize signs and symptoms of illness. Staff will take temperatures when they deem necessary wearing gloves in addition to a mask. A fresh pair of gloves for each individual will be worn and the thermometer is thoroughly cleaned in between each check. Families will be contacted with any symptoms of concern. Children should not attend preschool when:

1) The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in facility activities; 

2) The illness results in a greater care need than the child care staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of the other children; or 


3) The child has any of the following conditions and poses a risk of spread of harmful diseases to others: 

• An acute change in behavior including lethargy/lack of responsiveness, irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing, uncontrolled coughing, noticeable (spreading) rash, or other signs or symptoms of illness until medical evaluation indicates inclusion in the facility. 

• Fever (temperature above 100 degrees or higher)

• Uncontrolled diarrhea

• Vomiting 

• Abdominal pain that continues for more than two hours or intermittent pain associated with fever 

•  Rash with fever or behavior change

•  Purulent conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) until 24 hours after treatment has been initiated

• Untreated scabies, head lice, or other infestation

• Untreated Tuberculosis, until a health care provider or health official states that the child can attend child care 

• Known contagious diseases while still in the communicable stage (Covid-19, chicken pox, strep, rubella, pertussis, mumps, measles, hepatitis A)

VEHICULAR SAFETY: Preschoolers are instructed by staff to stay close to a teacher until dismissed to their parent/guardian. With the parking lots being busy and crowded, we work to make sure that preschoolers do not run out to their ride without staff’s permission. We know this is a hard rule for young children to follow, so parents can help communicate this plan ahead of time. Please drive mindfully and stay alert for children.

.                               —

*K.A.R. 28-4-133. Reporting critical incidents. This regulation shall apply to all day care homes, group day care homes, preschools, and child care centers. (a) Reports to parents and legal guardians. In addition to meeting the reporting requirements in K.A.R. 28-4-127, each primary care provider and each program director shall ensure that each of the following critical incidents is immediately reported to the parent or legal guardian of any child affected by the critical incident: (1) Fire damage or other damage to the facility, or any damage to the property that affects the structure of the facility or the safety of the children in care; (2) a vehicle collision involving any child in care; (3) a missing child; (4) an injury to a child that requires treatment by a health care professional; (5) the death of any of the following: (A) A child; (B) a provider in a day care home or group day care home; (C) an employee in a preschool or child care center; or (D) a volunteer in a day care home, group day care home, preschool, or child care center; and (6) any other occurrence that jeopardizes the safety of any child in care.


STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS


If you ask a preschooler of New Creation Preschool what the teacher’s job is, they are likely to say, “to keep us safe!” We take this call seriously. Our love of children prompts us to help provide the best possible life experiences for them. All New Creation Preschool staff are employees of New Creation Fellowship Church and complete training, health assessments and background checks required by the State of Kansas. Individuals who have been convicted of physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect may not work at or be present in the building.  Parents/guardians, Bethel College and Newton High School observers/interns will only be on site in conjunction with at least two current New Creation Preschool teachers after signing Code of Conduct and undergoing background checks.

2021-2022 TEACHER FRIENDS: According to KDHE, the minimum adult/child ratio is 1:12. We are enrolling no more than 12 children per class with Ms Kristin and Ms Brenda as teachers of all classes. Volunteers listed below have undergone training and background checks and been with New Creation Preschool for years. 

SUBSTITUTE PLAN: According to state guidelines, at least 2 substitutes must be on file and meet training/First Aid/CPR guidelines. Families are notified any time that Ms Kristin is not able to be in attendance (it has only happened a few times in the last 25 years!). In the case that Ms Kristin and Ms Brenda are both unable to be in attendance, preschool is postponed, canceled, rescheduled or refunded. 

TRAINING: All volunteers and staff who are not included in adult/child ratio receive training on the following topics (any adult who is included in adult/child ratio will also complete Foundations for Safe and Healthy Early Care Facilities Module via KCCTO in addition):

Health and Safety Training including and not limited to:

Recognizing the signs of child abuse or neglect

Prevention of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma

Reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect


Basic child development, including supervision of children

Prevention and control of infectious diseases, including immunizations

Prevention of and response to emergencies due to food and allergic reactions*

Building and premises safety

Emergency preparedness and response planning for emergencies

Handling and storage of hazardous materials and the appropriate disposal of bio-contaminants

New Creation Preschool Policies and Practices including and not limited to:

Review of Family Handbook

Licensing regulations

Schedule of daily activities

Confidentiality and professionalism

Basic first aid/CPR procedures

Curriculum overview

Accommodations and modifications*

Snack procedures*

Bathroom procedures*

Discipline plan/behavior management techniques

Drop off/pick up procedures

Family involvement opportunities

Covid-19 response

Early Education Philosophies and how they are represented at New Creation Preschool

Play-based

Montessori

Waldorf

Reggio Emilia

Cognitive Based

*will include plans for individual children as applicable


WHAT TO BRING TO PRESCHOOL


BACKPACK: A backpack or bag of some sort can be a helpful tool in transporting items back and forth between home and preschool but is not required. If you bring one, please label it with your child’s name.

EASY SHOES and CLOTHES: Consider sending your child in “get messy” outfits and shoes that can easily be taken on and off. We allow children to go barefoot as they like and lace/buckle free shoes fosters independence. Bathroom work can be facilitated by clothing they can navigate quickly and successfully. 

EXTRA CLOTHES:  It is not unusual for otherwise bathroom independent children to have accidents in a new place (along with other spills, messes, etc). We have a stash of extra clothes or you can send a change of clothing with your child. If you bring extra clothes, plan to leave them in your child’s backpack and we’ll access them as we need to. A note will be sent home anytime we’ve assisted in changing clothes.

FORMS: KDHE requires each child to have on file a Medical Record, Immunization Record, Health Assessment and Emergency Release Form. All of these are available on our website or from Kristin. 

MASKS: Face masks are required for all people 2 years of age and older regardless of vaccination/immunity status. Masks are available at preschool if you don’t bring your own.

SAFE SNACKS IF YOUR CHILD HAS FOOD ALLERGIES: If your child has food allergies, please provide a non-perishable safe snack that we can keep on hand for them. Safe snacks are labeled with your child’s name and served only to them. You will need to have a completed Allergy Form on site as well. 

SPECIAL TOY/LOVEY: Yes, your child can bring a special toy/lovey/blanket/etc. There will not be an expectation for them to share it. Our experience is that a tangible item can make the transition from home to preschool more enjoyable. 

SUNSCREEN/BUG SPRAY: Apply sunscreen and bug spray as you see necessary before arrival. We do not have authority to apply or reapply during preschool.

WATER BOTTLE: Due to ongoing pandemic precautions, each child uses their own water bottle. If your child brings one, these will be sent home at the end of each session. If your child does not come with their own, they will be given a disposable water bottle to use. Teachers will refill water bottles as needed.

WIPES/DIAPERS/PULL UPS: Please let us know about any bathroom supplies your child uses. If you choose, you can send them along from home or preschool can provide supplies. We send notes home anytime we’ve assisted in bathroom work. 

QUESTIONS and OPEN HEARTS: Some of the most important work we do at New Creation Preschool is supporting families in this time of transition. You are welcome to stay as long as you like. If you would like assistance in separating from your child (it’s quite common), let me know. We are comfortable supporting children in distress and stay in close communication with you. Separation anxiety is normal and typical. There is no question too small, silly or unnecessary. Ask anything anytime! We are here as a safe space for all feelings! 


OPTIONAL SCHOOL SUPPLIES: One of our most important beliefs is that you don’t need to do anything extra to be a full participant in this program. All supplies and needs are covered…your job is to just show up! Sometimes folks are able to donate supplies or their time and we welcome that. 

We have plenty of hand sanitizer and paper towels thanks to Covid relief funds. Should those supplies run low, we will let you know. We have a list on Amazon of specific items including the following list of things we collectively use a lot of during the school year:

  • individually packaged snacks (crackers, pretzels, goldfish, fruit snacks, etc)
  • white Elmers glue bottles (smaller sizes are best for little hands)
  • black Sharpies (fine tip, regular, thick)
  • washable tempera/poster paint (all containers are fine)
  • hand sanitizer wipes
  • Clorox wipes (other brands are welcome)
  • play dough (any colors-any size container)
  • stickers (any!)
  • Kleenex

Something new for the 2021-2022 school year is that each child has a box (like a big “pencil box”) of their own supplies. You are welcome to bring these or gather these things from our supply stash. These boxes are with children whether they are learning onsite or online.

  • Elmer’s glue sticks (we’ll keep one at a time in the boxes and put extras in a basket)
  • blunt tip Fiskars scissors (they are superior in how they cut)
  • small package of crayons (either 8 or 16)
  • small package of markers (usually 8 or 10)
  • watercolor paint set (8 colors)

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