Frequently Asked Questions:
How old does my child need to be to attend Brighten Academy?
Brighten Academy provides education and care for children ages 2 to 6 years old.
Children must have turned 2 on or before October 31 of the school year that they want to begin attendance in order to attend that year. If they have turned 2 after October 31, they are eligible to begin attendance with us the following June. This is to ensure that we keep our young 2 year-old class children close in age range for developmental and teaching purposes.
Our 2 year-old and 3 year-old classes are structured to keep children within a 6 month age range of each other. For example, our young 2 classrooms are for children ages 2 years – 2 years, 6 months, while our older 2 classrooms are for children ages 2 years, 6 months – 3 years, and so on. Placement into these ranges is determined based on the age the child is in August when the school year begins. The school year runs from August through July.
Does my child move to a new classroom once they have a birthday and turn a different age?
No. Children are transitioned into their new classrooms during the months of June – August. We are not able to move all children at one time so we have transition waves that begin at the end of June and are completed in the first weeks of August. Once they begin in their new classroom, they remain there for the entire school year. During the school year, all children in the class will age together and because we have them in age ranges, they will all remain within 6 months of each other to ensure children are developmentally similar for teaching purposes.
Does Brighten Academy offer tours to prospective parents?
Yes. You are welcome to stop by for a tour at your convenience. We do not require parents to schedule tours – we feel that you should be able to stop in when it works for you. The best time to come, to see the enrichment blocks in action, is either before 11:30am or after 2:30pm. You can still come mid-day, however, there is not as much to see during that time because it encompasses our lunch and nap time.
If I want to enroll at Brighten Academy, can I do that at any time?
Yes. You can enroll at Brighten Academy any time during the year as long as space is available at that time. If space is unavailable at that time, you may enroll for the next school year, or you can be placed on a waiting list and we will call you once space opens. If you decide to enroll for the next school year, the start date for your child can be any date you choose between mid-June and mid-August.
Is Brighten Academy open during the summer?
Yes. Brighten Academy is open year-round with the exception of thirteen major holidays which are outlined in your Admission Agreement.
Does Brighten Academy offer weekend care?
No. Brighten Academy is open Monday- Friday from 6:30 am- 6:00 pm.
Does my child need to be potty-trained to attend Brighten Academy?
Pre-K aged students (4 year-olds) are required to be potty-trained. Younger students (2 and 3 year-olds) are not required to be potty-trained and our Brighten team is happy to work with our younger friends to meet this milestone. Please note that we do require parents to provide diapers and wipes for their children.
What is the teacher/child ratio?
Licensing regulations for preschools require the child to teacher ratio to be 12 to 1, however, in most cases we keep our ratios much lower than this. Please note that napping ratios, while students are sleeping, is 24 to 1.
Are meals served to the students?
Brighten Academy provides breakfast which is served until 7:45 am, a mid-morning snack at 9:00 am, lunch at 11:45 am, and an afternoon snack at 4:00 pm. We do not charge extra for meals. Our menu is updated weekly with our daily meal offerings and is posted on our website as well as throughout the school.
Can my child bring their own snacks and lunch?
Yes. Brighten Academy allows snacks from home as we understand dietary restrictions and preferences. Unfortunately, Brighten Academy is not able to heat or prepare food brought from home, so please be sure to plan accordingly.
Can my child bring personal items from home?
Yes. Items from home are allowed, however, we ask that you keep the quantity to a reasonable amount. We also strongly recommend that you label all belongs. Please avoid bringing toys and any items of significant value to school. Be advised that any items left behind for more than 30 days will be donated.
What should I bring for my child’s first day of school?
We ask that you bring at least two changes of clothing for your child and leave them in their cubby so that your child can be changed in the event of spills or accidents. If your child naps with us, we also ask that you bring a fitted sheet and blanket from home.
Can I have my neighbor or friend pick up my child?
When you enroll with Brighten Academy, you will complete an emergency information form. On this form you will indicate the people you authorize to pick up your child in your absence. We will always ask for identification from anyone we do not recognize who comes in to pick up a child. Only approved adults will be permitted to take children. Any person picking a child up from Brighten Academy must be 18 years of age or older.
What is Brighten Academy’s holiday schedule when the school will be closed?
We are closed for thirteen holidays throughout the year. These include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, we will be closed the Friday before. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, we will be closed the Monday after.
Do I still have to pay if my child is sick or on vacation, and doesn’t attend?
Yes. Your contracted space must still be paid in order to secure your space for your child’s return. In the case of extended illness (a full week of your child’s contracted schedule), you will be credited 50% of that week’s tuition, as a “Sick Credit.” A pediatrician’s note is required to receive this credit. You may receive up to two Sick Credits per calendar year. A Sick Credit is not available to families who have more than one child in attendance since that family is already on a reduced rate.
Should I be concerned if my child does not immediately adjust to preschool?
Children adapt to new settings in their own way and at their own pace. As you may know, some children are very outgoing and social whereas other children may be more reserved and cautious when it comes to a new environment. For these reasons, starting preschool can be somewhat intimidating for a little person. Separating from their parents can be very upsetting and can take some time to overcome. At Brighten Academy, a child’s sense of security is of utmost importance. We provide a loving, nurturing, and supportive setting that helps children work through that separation anxiety some may experience. Please know that all of these feelings and reactions are normal, and it just takes time to become familiar with the smells, sounds, people, and surroundings. We like to let parents know that it usually takes 3-4 weeks for children to begin feeling comfortable in their new setting.
How can I help my child adjust to preschool?
Making an effort to have your child attend every session will help your child acclimate better. Having a consistent drop-off time will help your child feel more comfortable as they will be more likely to join their class during the same activity block every day. If your child is having a lot of separation anxiety at drop-off, it may help to drop your child off earlier when there are less students, or it may help to keep your good-bye brief and consistent. Children just want to know what to expect, so reassuring them that “I love you so much and I will be back to get you in a little while,” helps them know what will happen. Once that has happened multiple times, they feel secure in knowing and trusting it will happen. Unfortunately, if parents linger too long, it can be confusing because the children then think you should just be able to stay the whole time or not leave them at all. Transition periods are normal and regressions can happen even after your child has seemed to adjust. Separation is hard, but our teachers will provide tons of love and attention to help make this time easier. Parents can call us anytime for updates on their child.
Can parents visit anytime?
We have an open-door policy and parents are welcome in the center anytime.
Brighten Academy Offers…
- Schedule Flexibility
- Sibling Discount/Sibling Priority for Space Reservation
- Toilet Training
- Medication Administration upon Parent Authorization
- Daily Snacks and Lunch
Our research- and data-based academic programs focus on developing skills in the areas of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, as well as life skills. All strategies and activities are assessment-driven and are at the developmental level of each child. The core curriculum involves small group instruction with learning centers, limited class sizes, and qualified instructors in every room.