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Frequently Asked Questions about The Mead School Child Care Program

Our goal is to help you fully understand the vibrant learning community that is The Mead School. We welcome all inquiries, but our FAQ section provides answers to questions most commonly asked by applicant families.

Should you seek additional information, please contact Aneceia Forbes, Child Care Coordinator, at 203-595-9500 x24 or at

What is your program philosophy?

The Early Learning Program is a play-based, hands-on, socially interactive learning environment committed to nurturing the development of the whole child. From our youngest infant to our oldest preschooler, we see each child as a developing human being, a life long learner, and an active participant in the learning process. We understand that each child develops at his or her own unique pace and we work to create an environment that addresses each child’s emotional, social and intellectual needs.

Is the program accredited?

We have been accredited by the Connecticut Association for Independent Schools since our inception in 1985.

Do student to teacher ratios meet or exceed state standards?

We staff each center with three full time teachers. As a result, our ratios not only meet, but often exceed standards set by the Department of Public Health and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC.)

What is your approach to grouping children in each center?

Children benefit from being in groups of diverse developmental stages and skills. When placing children into groups, we carefully look at each child’s development and chronological age. We assess individual needs as well as the needs of the entire group to make sure we reach an optimal balance.

Does each center have a consistent team of designated teachers?

Each center is staffed with a designated teaching team. Each teaching team is comprised of three full time teachers: One Center Director and two Curriculum Teachers. Floaters (full time substitutes) provide coverage for teacher absences.

Are there opportunities to communicate with teachers?

At Mead, we believe in establishing and maintaining open lines of communication with parents as a vital part of our approach to nurturing and educating the whole child. We communicate continuously with parents in a variety of ways, including daily conversations, weekly letters and e-notes, informational bulletin boards, parenting workshops, parent association meetings, family events and goals conferences. Our responsive staff is always willing to set up a mutually convenient time to discuss questions and comments about your child’s experience.

Where do children spend time throughout their day at Mead?

In addition to our spacious classrooms, children have an entire campus to explore. When ready, children make good use of our developmentally appropriate outdoor play spaces, sharing room, gymnasium and stage.

Is there a particular time for arrivals and departures?

Our program opens each day at 6:15 AM and closes promptly at 6:00 PM. We find that most families fall into a fairly consistent routine with regard to drop off and pick up times. When planning for your routine, please keep in mind that each center maintains a specific schedule of activities.
In the morning, it is important to leave plenty of time for children to separate from their parents, transition into the center and create shared experiences with their peers before moving into the more structured part of the day. Ideally, this means that most children arrive no later than 9:00 AM, especially those ranging in age from two to five.

In the afternoon/evening, it is important to leave time for children to finish up whatever they might be working on before heading home.
We fully understand the need for a late arrival or early pick up from time to time. When times like this arise, we ask that you be in touch with your child’s teaching team. Together, you can put a plan in place to support a change in schedule.

What kind of supplies are parents expected to provide?

Parents must provide lunch, snacks, diapers, wipes, extra clothes weather-appropriate outerwear, shoes and supplies for nap/rest time. A complete list of provisions and supplies can be found in our family handbook.

What is your policy for sick children attending The Mead School Early Learning Center ?

With symptoms such as vomiting, fever and diarrhea, we ask that children be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to Mead. We do not have a policy regarding runny noses or the common cold. We look at the whole child (symptoms and behavior) and ask for clearance from a health care practitioner when needed. Our complete policy can be found in our family handbook.

Are teachers trained in CPR and first aid?

Our Early Learning Center teachers are trained in infant/child CPR and first aid through the CT Red Cross. Additionally, they receive training in the administration of epi-pens and mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect.

What is your policy for closure due to inclement weather?

Our goal is to keep everyone safe. When making the decision to close or delay we work with a variety of resources to make the best decision we can with the information we have.

Do you offer a payment plan?

We offer several payment plans to fit the needs of individual families. Please contact our ELC Coordinator at or 203-595-9500 x24 for information about payment plans and which might work best for you.

What is your discipline approach?

We understand that young children are learning how to be pro-social and for many, this is their first experience interacting with a group of peers. Rather than discipline, we support this process by using a wide variety of positive guidance techniques that enable children to develop a repertoire of strategies to use whenever they are feeling stuck. Among other things, we want children to learn how to understand, express and advocate for their needs and wants, respect the needs and wants of others, learn how to negotiate, compromise and problem solve.

How often do children go outside during the day?

Weather permitting, we head outdoors at least twice each day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. In the warmer months, we often spend more time outdoors, bringing materials or activities from inside to the outside space.

Your contract requires families to commit to the entire program year. What happens if we decide to withdraw?

Tuition reimbursement insurance is required of most contracts unless paying for tuition in full and up front. If you decide to withdraw, the insurance company will cover a percentage of the tuition for any unused time.

Is there an Open-Door Policy?

Parents are welcome visitors and often participate in their child’s experience in a variety of ways. We often have nursing mothers in the Infant Center. Family members are encouraged to share books, stories, activities or important traditions with their child’s class. The best way to do this is to work with your child’s teaching team so that everyone can plan accordingly.

Is there a difference between full and part-time enrollment?

Children enrolled 5 days per week for a total of 50 weeks are considered full time.

Any other enrollment is considered part time.

Do you have a list of parent references?

We have a list of current and past parents who would be happy to discuss the program with prospective families

Can we visit the campus?

We hope you do! We encourage you to visit while the program is in session to get the full Mead experience. We offer individual tours during the day as well as three Open Houses and weekly Take-A-Look Thursday tours throughout the year so that you have a chance to speak directly with staff and parents. Many parents like the Open House and Take-A-Look Thursday as an extra opportunity to observe their child in the center with their teachers.