Classroom News

Parent Information: 

Please look over the following Standard Enrollment Documents at your convenience.  Thank you. 

First Step Learning Centers

School Calendar

September 2014-June 2015 


September 2nd                            First Day of School

November 27th  – 28th             Closed for Thanksgiving

December 23rd                           Open Only 7am-4pm

December 24th – Jan 1st           Closed for Winter Break

January 2nd                                School Reopens

February 16th                            Closed for Presidents Weekend

April 3rd                                     Closed for Spring Break       

May 25th                                    Closed for Memorial Day

June 26th                                   School Year Ends

July 3rd                                      Independence Day

Sept 4th – Sept 7th                   Labor Day Long Weekend



First Step Learning Centers believe that all children should be provided a loving environment that challenges to stimulate cognitive development, curiosity, learning through play, problem solving while promoting positive self image. The teaching staff provides the children of all ages developmentally appropriate hands on learning experiences to meet each child’s individual goals. 

The learning experiences include centers and activities in sensory, music, art, creative movement, language arts, math, science, Legos, dramatic play and fine and gross motor.

The centers and activities have age appropriate materials to meet developmental goals including social, emotional, physical and cognitive. Teacher-child interaction allows the staff to monitor independence, creative thinking, problem solving, emergent literacy development, cognitive growth and fine and gross motor.  We aligned our preschool curriculum with state and local standards to provide our students a positive start to their social academic development. 

Our ultimate goal in your child’s preschool experience is to develop a love of school and a positive self image as they prepare for kindergarten. 


Department of Children and Families
Office of Licensing
Under provisions of the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers (N.J.A.C. 10:122), every
licensed child care center in New Jersey must provide to parents of enrolled children written
information on parent visitation rights, State licensing requirements, child abuse/neglect reporting
requirements and other child care matters. The center must comply with this requirement by
reproducing and distributing to parents this written statement, prepared by the Office of Licensing,
Child Care & Youth Residential Licensing, in the Department of Children and Families (DCF). In
keeping with this requirement, the center must secure every parent’s signature attesting to his/her
receipt of the information.
* * * * *
Our center is required by the State Child Care Center Licensing law to be licensed by the Office of
Licensing, Child Care & Youth Residential Licensing, in the Department of Children and Families
(DCF). A copy of our current license must be posted in a prominent location at our center. Look
for it when you’re in the center.
To be licensed, our center must comply with the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers
(the official licensing regulations). The regulations cover such areas as: physical environment/lifesafety;
staff qualifications, supervision, and staff/child ratios; program activities and equipment;
health, food and nutrition; rest and sleep requirements; parent/community participation;
administrative and record keeping requirements; and others.
Our center must have on the premises a copy of the Manual of Requirements for Child Care
Centers and make it available to interested parents for review. If you would like to review our
copy, just ask any staff member. Parents may secure a copy of the Manual of Requirements by
sending a check or money order for $5 made payable to the “Treasurer, State of New Jersey”, and
mailing it to: NJ Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing, Publication Fees, PO
Box 657, Trenton, NJ 08646-0657.
We encourage parents to discuss with us any questions or concerns about the policies and
program of the center or the meaning, application or alleged violations of the Manual of
Requirements for Child Care Centers. We will be happy to arrange a convenient opportunity for
you to review and discuss these matters with us. If you suspect our center may be in violation of
licensing requirements, you are entitled to report them to the Office of Licensing toll free at 1 (877)
667-9845. Of course, we would appreciate your bringing these concerns to our attention too.
Our center must have a policy concerning the release of children to parents or people authorized
by parents to be responsible for the child. Please discuss with us your plans for your child’s
departure from the center.
Our center must have a policy about administering medicine and health care procedures and the
management of communicable diseases. Please talk to us about these policies so we can work
together to keep our children healthy.
Our center must have a policy concerning the expulsion of children from enrollment at the center.
Please review this policy so we can work together to keep your child in our center.
Parents are entitled to review the center’s copy of the Office of Licensing’s Inspection/Violation
Reports on the center, which are issued after every State licensing inspection of our center. If
there is a licensing complaint investigation, you are also entitled to review the Office’s Complaint
Investigation Summary Report, as well as any letters of enforcement or other actions taken against
the center during the current licensing period. Let us know if you wish to review them and we will
make them available for your review.
Our center must cooperate with all DCF inspections/investigations. DCF staff may interview both
staff members and children.
Our center must post its written statement of philosophy on child discipline in a prominent location
and make a copy of it available to parents upon request. We encourage you to review it and to
discuss with us any questions you may have about it.
Our center must post a listing or diagram of those rooms and areas approved by the Office for the
children’s use. Please talk to us if you have any questions about the center’s space.
Our center must offer parents of enrolled children ample opportunity to assist the center in
complying with licensing requirements; and to participate in and observe the activities of the
center. Parents wishing to participate in the activities or operations of the center should discuss
their interest with the center director, who can advise them of what opportunities are available.
Parents of enrolled children may visit our center at any time without having to secure prior
approval from the director or any staff member. Please feel free to do so when you can. We
welcome visits from our parents.
Our center must inform parents in advance of every field trip, outing, or special event away from
the center, and must obtain prior written consent from parents before taking a child on each such
Our center is required to comply with the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), P.L.
1945, c. 169 (N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), P.L. 101-336
(42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.). Anyone who believes the center is not in compliance with these laws
may contact the Division on Civil Rights in the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety
for information about filing an LAD claim at (609) 292-4605 (TTY users may dial 711 to reach the
New Jersey Relay Operator and ask for (609) 292-7701), or may contact the United States
Department of Justice for information about filing an ADA claim at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800)
514-0383 (TTY).
Our center is required to periodically review the Department of Law and Public Safety (DLPS),
Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA), unsafe children’s products list, make the list accessible to
staff and parents, and ensure that items on the list are not at the center. The list is available at Internet access may be available at your local library.
For more information call the DLPS, DCA, toll-free at 1(800) 242-5846.
Anyone who has reasonable cause to believe that an enrolled child has been or is being subjected
to any form of hitting, corporal punishment, abusive language, ridicule, harsh, humiliating or
frightening treatment, or any other kind of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation by any adult,
whether working at the center or not, is required by State law to report the concern immediately to
the State Child Abuse Hotline, toll free at 1 (877) NJ ABUSE. Such reports may be made
anonymously. Parents may secure information about child abuse and neglect by contacting:
DCF, Office of Communications and Legislation at (609) 292-0422 or go to and
select Publications.


First Step Learning Centers

State of New Jersey Expulsion Policy


Regretfully, there are certain instances in which we are required to expel a child from our program, either on a short term or permanent basis. We want you to know we will do everything possible to work with the family of the child in order to prevent this policy from being enforced. The following are reasons we may have to expel or suspend a child from this center: 


  • The child is at risk of causing serious injury to other children or himself/herself.
  • Parent threatens physical or intimidating actions toward staff members.
  • Parent exhibits verbal abuse to staff in front of enrolled children. 


  • Failure to pay or habitual lateness in payments.
  • Failure to complete required forms, including the child’s immunization records.
  • Habitual tardiness when picking up your child.
  • Verbal abuse to staff.
  • Other (explain) 


  • If after the remedial actions above have not worked, the child’s parent/guardian will be advised verbally, and in writing, about the child’s or parent’s behavior warranting an expulsion.
  • The parent/guardian will be informed regarding the length of the expulsion period.
  • The parent/guardian will be informed about the expected behavioral changes required in order for the child or parent to return to the center.
  • The parent/guardian will be given a specific expulsion date that allows the parent/guardian sufficient time to seek alternate child care (approximately one to two weeks notice depending on the risk to other children’s welfare or safety). Failure of the child/parent to satisfy the terms of the plan may result in permanent expulsion from the center.


           If a child’s parent/guardian:

  • Made a complaint to the Office of Licensing regarding a center’s alleged violations of the licensing requirements.
  • Reported abuse or neglect occurring at the center.
  • Questioned the center regarding policies and procedures. 


  • Staff will try to redirect child from negative behavior.
  • Staff will reassess classroom environment, appropriate of activities, supervision.
  • Staff will always use positive methods and language while disciplining children.
  • Staff will praise appropriate behaviors.
  • Staff will consistently apply consequences for rules.
  • Child will be given verbal warnings.
  • Child will be given time to regain control.
  • Child’s disruptive behavior will be documented and maintained in confidentiality.
  • Parent/guardian will be notified verbally.
  • Parent/guardian will be given written copies of the disruptive behaviors that might lead to expulsion.
  • The director, classroom staff and parent/guardian will have a conference(s) to discuss how to promote positive behaviors.
  • The parent/guardian will be given literature or other resources regarding methods of improving behavior.
  • Recommendation of evaluation by professional consultation on premises.
  • Recommendation of evaluation by local school district child study team.

The Directors reserve the right to alter this policy as deemed necessary to ensure the health and safety of all children and staff members.




Each child may be released only to the child’s parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s) to take the child from the center and to assume responsibility for the child in an emergency if the parent(s) cannot be reached. 

If a non-custodial parent has been denied access, or granted limited access, to a child by court order, the center shall secure documentation to that effect, maintain a copy on file, and comply with the terms of the court order. 

If the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s) fails to pick up a child at the time of the center’s daily closing, the center shall ensure that:

1)      The child is supervised at all times;

2)      Staff members attempt to contact the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s); and

3)      An hour or more after closing time, and provided that other arrangements for releasing the child to his/her parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s), have failed and the staff member(s) cannot continue to supervise the child at the center, the staff member shall call the Division’s 24 hour Child Abuse Hotline (1-877-NJ-ABUSE) [1-877-652-2873] to seek assistance in caring for the child until the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the child’s parent(s) is able to pick up the child.

If the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s) appears to be physically and/or emotionally impaired to the extent that, in the judgment of the director and/or staff member, the child would be placed at risk of harm if released to such an individual, the center shall ensure that:

1)      The child may not be released to such an impaired individual;

2)      Staff members attempt to contact the child’s other parent or an alternative person(s) authorized by the parent(s); and

3)      If the center is unable to make alternative arrangements, a staff member shall call the Division’s 24 hour Child Abuse Hotline (1-877-NJ-ABUSE) [1-877-652-2873] to seek assistance in caring for the child.

For school-age child care programs, no child shall be released from the program unsupervised except upon written instruction from the child’s parent(s).




If a child exhibits any of the following symptoms, the child should not attend the center.  If such symptoms occur at the center, the child will be removed from the group, and parents will be called to take the child home.

            Severe pain

            Acute diarrhea

            Episodes of acute vomiting

            Elevated oral temperature of 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit


            Severe coughing

            Yellow eyes or jaundice skin

            Red eyes with discharge

            Infected, untreated skin patches

            Difficult or rapid breathing

            Skin rashes in conjunction with fever or behavior changes

            Skin lesions that are weeping or bleeding

            Mouth sores with drooling

            Stiff neck 

Once the child is symptom-free, or has a heath care provider’s note stating that the child no longer possesses a serious health risk to himself/herself or others, the child may return to the center. 


A child who contracts any of the following diseases may not return to the center without a health care provider’s note stating that the child presents no risk to himself/herself or others: 

                  Respiratory Illnesses       Gastrointestinal Illnesses      Contact Illnesses

                  Chicken Pox **                 Campylobacter*                      Impetigo

                  German Measles*              Escherichia coli*                     Lice

                  Hemophilus Influenzae*   Giardia Lamblia*                    Scabies

                  Measles*                           Hepatitis A*                            Shingles

                  Meningococcus*               Salmonella*

                  Mumps*                            Shingella*

                  Strep Throat


                  Whooping Cough* 

*Reportable diseases that must be reported to the health department by the center. 

**Note:     If a child has chicken pox, a health care provider’s note is not required for re-admitting the child to the center.  A note from the parent is required, stating either that at least six days has elapsed since the onset of the rash, or that all sores have dried and crusted. 

If a child is exposed to any excludable disease at the center, parents will be notified in writing. 




The Discipline Policy is in the direct compliance with the State of New Jersey Department of Human Services Manual of Standards for Child Care Centers, section 10:122-6.8:A-E (see below) 

Our discipline policy will be handled in the following manner: 

1)     The first time the behavior is exhibited, the child will be spoken to and given an explanation as to why their behavior is unacceptable and how they are expected to behave. 

2)     The second time the behavior is exhibited, the child will be given a verbal warning.  If the behavior warrants, the child will be removed from the activity or area. 

3)     The third time the child is spoken to, they will sit in a quiet area.  This will enable the child to think about their behavior and why it is unacceptable. 

If the behavior persists, the parents will be notified. 

  • Methods of guidance and discipline used shall be positive, consistent with the developmental needs of the children, and applied with the full knowledge, understanding, and approval of the parent(s).
  • There shall be no use of hitting, corporal punishment, abusive language, ridicule or harsh, humiliating or frightening treatment.
  • Discipline shall not be associated with the behavior of children in regard to rest, toilet training, or food.
  • Children shall not be isolated without supervision, and are within direct view of the teacher at all times.
  • Discipline shall not be associated with the withholding of emotional responses or stimulation, and shall not require the child to remain silent for long periods of time. 


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