Policies

Welcome

At Little Trotters, we have an open door policy, welcoming parental input and involvement. If you wish to spend some time with your child in the classroom, we would ask that you consider yourself a guest in their space. Please also be aware and take discreet, idle chatter out of the classroom in order to help us maintain a child focused environment.

To our newest recruits, these may be the first steps outside of the home environment. Despite the warm welcome of the activities waiting in the classroom, the animals needing to be fed and petted and the row of teachers itching to get going, so many new faces and a new environment can be very daunting and a few tears of separation are expected.

To help with this transition, we would encourage parents to attempt as brief a drop off as possible. Experience tends to show that settling is easier for the child this way. However, this is not cast in stone. If it is felt that settling would be assisted better if a parent were to stay for a while, this too can happen. All we want at this time is for your child’s first days at Little Trotters to be as calm and inviting as possible. These are big steps for these little people.

To parents of returning students, where possible may we request a swifter drop off. We hope by now to be encouraging skills of independence. Between us; teachers and parents, let’s work together in getting the children to put their own lunches in the fridge, putting their own fruit in the bowl, placing their own water bottle on the tray. This is especially pertinent in the oldest class. Ideally, parents…a little kiss farewell at the door and we’ll take over from there. This all contributes to a calmer, more productive start to the morning.

The teachers will be known on a first name basis. We endeavour to keep a high level of communication with parents on daily happenings, progress, funny anecdotes, and possible areas of concern. Where deeper concerns lay, requiring a little more time and privacy, please do not hesitate to arrange a meeting to discuss matters at length.On the subject of maximum communication, we would ask to be informed of any changes in home life as we can then be more appreciative and understanding to any possible behavioural changes at school. All matters concerning your child are confidential.

‘Sign In/Sign Out’ Sheet:
At the entrance of each classroom is a ‘Sign In/Sign Out’ sheet. It is imperative that every child is signed in upon arrival into the classroom, and signed out when departing the school premises. Please do so even in the middle of the day if your child leaves and then returns after a doctors’ visit or swimming class etc… Be informed that in cases of a fire or other emergency procedure, this is the list we will grab to be sure all are present. We do not call a daily register due to the broad period of drop off time throughout the day, so this is our only way of knowing exactly who is present in each class at any one time. Thus stressing the vital importance of signing your child in…AND out.

Contact details:
Please be reminded of your responsibility to let the school know if you are not available at the usual home or work number so that we can locate you otherwise. Also, please let us know if your contact information changes.

Emergency Procedure:
In the event of an emergency involving your child, Little Trotters will take appropriate measures including contacting the emergency medical services and transportation to George Town Hospital.

Alternative pick up arrangements:
In the event of somebody other than the usual parent/caregiver picking up your child we require you to let a member of staff know first, as well as write and initial this instruction on the daily ‘Sign In’ sheet.

Sickness:
Though we adopt every measure to upkeep excellent standards of hygiene, the exposure to germs is inevitable, especially for those who are new to a pre-school setting. It is of utmost importance that children who are carrying any illness in its contagious stage (and head lice) are not permitted to attend school. We maintain the right to send children home whom we feel are not well enough to be at school. We implore you to keep your child at home until he/she is 100% better. If your child returns to school too soon and is not fully healed from the prior illness, your child is susceptible to new germs and sickness. It is unacceptable for children to be sent in to school medicated with fever reducer. Fever reducing medication only masks the symptoms if your child is unwell. If your child has a fever, he/she most likely has some form of infection, and is therefore still contagious to others and unfit for a busy, stimulating day at school. We require that your child has been symptomless and without a fever for 24 hours before returning to school.

Medication:
We can, upon request, administer medication during the school day. Please write and initial instructions for administering medicine on the daily ‘Sign In’ sheet next to your child’s name in the ‘comments’ column. In addition, be sure also to draw attention to such a request verbally to one of the teachers. We ask that the medicine is handed over to a teacher so it can be stored in the medicine cabinet, not in lunch kits where it can be accessible to other children.

Food Matters:
We wish to promote healthful eating amongst these little people. Let’s nourish them well. They are, after all, what we feed them. We herald snack and meal times with great value and consider this an opportunity to be well nourished, well mannered and sociable. We implore therefore that sweets, chocolate, cookies and highly processed foods be replaced with healthy alternatives.

Nutrition expert; Dr. Alex Richardson of Oxford University explains,
‘’Too much sugar in children can lead to tiredness, ‘foggy brain’, inability to concentrate, irritability, nervousness, depression, allergies, intolerances and blood-pressure changes.’ He continues, “Poor control of blood sugar, caused by swinging from highs and lows and back again is frequently reported in connection with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”.
With regards to artificial food additives he mentions a particular investigation that looked at 277 three-year- olds and what happened when they stopped eating four particular colourings and a preservative, and then started again (tartrazine, sunset yellow, carmoisine, poneau and sodium benzoate). “Parents noticed a significant increase in their children’s hyperactivity and problem behaviours such as temper tantrums and poor concentration when they started having additives.”
Dr. Alex Richardson says of children, “Before you even start, make sure they eat a good breakfast every day and include a small amount of protein (such as fish, chicken, cheese, nuts, beans or milk) at this and every other meal. At the same time, feed them a well-balanced diet, using fruit and vegetables instead of sweets to satisfy sugar craving.”

Cheers to good health in mind and body!

Nuts and Other Allergies:
Each new school year, we assess to find out if any children attending Little Trotters are allergic to any of foods. You will be informed of banned foods accordingly.

Fruit:
Along with a packed lunch each day, please provide your child with a piece of fruit. Upon arrival, your child will place his/her fruit in the fruit basket. This will be used to create a mixed fruit salad to be served at mid-morning snack time.

Water Bottles:
We ask all parents to provide their child with a named, refillable drinking bottle containing water. Upon arrival, your child will place his/her bottle in the ‘drinks tray’. This follows them outside during playtime so that there is water available whenever your child is thirsty.

Birthdays:
We love the occasion of birthdays and welcome children to bring in a birthday cake or individual cupcakes to celebrate the occasion. There is no need to provide a huge cake. We shall keep portion sizes minimal; in fact teaspoon size portions are quite sufficient.

Baking:
We bake regularly here at school with the children. What we bake will either be eaten at school at snack time or sent home. We pledge to bake with healthy ingredients introducing a wide variety of flavours and goodness.

Project Themes:
Each week we will cover a different project theme. There will be signs posted on each classroom door detailing this. At the beginning of the school year, we will use the first week as a settling time to get to know one another, our environment, and to implement classroom ground rules. A weekly newsletter will be emailed to you containing up-to-date information and photographs. We have found this to be the most effective method for keeping you well informed with all that is happening throughout your child’s day.

Getting Messy:
At Little Trotters, we pull up our sleeves and get stuck in! When doing arts & crafts, baking, planting seeds, toiling earth, tending to the animals and the rest… we are very likely to get a bit messy! Can we please ask parents to select clothes for their children with consideration to the amount of mucky stuff we’ll be getting up to. ‘Sunday best’ may not always be appropriate as we are unable to guarantee they’ll stay splodge free. Can we also request that children are dressed in clothes that they can easily and independently take on and off. We ask for your child to have a change of clothes at school too, just in case.

Discipline:
The teachers approach at Little Trotters is one of kindness and understanding. Whilst adopting a calm, yet assertive, manner, discipline is always fair and consistent. In the case of antisocial or aggressive behaviour, we will initially manage the situation using explanation whilst anchoring the child’s attention through assuring eye contact and hand holding, with closure of apology and hugs.
Where anti-social behaviour continues, our next approach will be to physically remove the child from the scene or activity he or she is involved in, discuss again how to positively shape behaviour in that situation and at an appropriate time interval, invite the individual to re-join the group or activity.
If negative behaviour persists, we may feel the need to invite the child’s parents in for discussion in the hope that as a team we can work together through different ideas to move past such behaviours. We do not use such words as ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’. Our approach is always in the best interest of the child.

Nappies/Diapers and Wipes:
Parents of children who are not yet potty trained are required to bring nappies in to school. You will be alerted by a teacher when nappy your nappy supplies are running low. Furthermore, at the beginning of each term, we ask you to bring in the equivalent of three tubs of Huggies wet wipes. From an environmental stand point, the substantial plastic tubs are not necessary.

Potty Training:
In accordance with your child’s needs, it is chronologically and cognitively appropriate that this skill must first be achieved within the closed, familiar and unfettered environment of the home, long before taking on the wider environment of visits to the park, the supermarket or the busy, stimulating environment of the classroom.
We will do our best to work with you and your child to make this a positive, stress free transition from nappies to underwear. In order to facilitate this, we do require that your child is fully potty trained at home the extent of being in underwear for the whole weekend without accidents. We greatly understand the fact that there will be occasional accidents. Soiled clothes and underwear are secured in a plastic bag to be returned home. We do not wash the soiled clothing.
Lastly, there are the occasions when, with all the good will and encouragement in the world, your child might just not be ready yet. If this is the case, we will require that your child remains in nappies or pull ups for a bit longer.

Nap Time:
If your child requires a nap, we do provide individual beds with sheets. If you so wish, you are more than welcome to bring a blanket, snuggly or milk to help your child to sleep. Please take home washable items over the weekend to be cleaned.

Toys:
We prefer that all children’s toys are left at home and not brought to school. This is not written in stone and where great comfort is brought from bringing in a favourite toy, especially during the settling period, this may be allowed. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that these items from home will be found at the end of the day. If a special item comes in, it should be handed to a teacher for safe keeping.

Fire Safety Procedures:
We have quarterly ‘Fire Drills’ with the children so all are familiar with the procedure. Fire alarms and extinguishers are checked regularly by the Fire Department.

Bad Weather Procedures:
In the onset of poor weather to the degree of heavy rain fall, Tropical Storm Watch or Hurricane Warning, the school maintains the right to close in the interest of the safety of the children. We take a very sensible line in these decisions and are never rash to close. However, we tend to follow the updated advice from the National Hurricane Committee and the Department of Education.

Notice Period:
One month’s notice is required should parents wish to withdraw their child from Little Trotters.

School Fees:
School fees are payable at the beginning of each month. School fees not paid by the 10th of each month will incur a $25 late fee. Fees are payable year round regardless of student absence or school closure.



©2011 Little Trotters • 39 Columbus Close PO Box 1046 • Grand Cayman KY1-1102 • Cayman Islands • Tel: (345) 949-4080 • E: littletrotters@candw.ky