What do I need to bring with me on the first day?
On your first day, you will need to bring a few changes of clothes for your child to keep in his/her cubby. You may also bring a “lovie” if your child has a special item from home that will help him/her through the first few days. You will also need to bring sunscreen and, if applicable, diaper cream. For babies that are not yet on table food, you will need to bring a three-day supply of emergency formula to keep at school.
Is it better to start with short days?
If you have the flexibility in your schedule, it is a good idea to start your child out with short days and build him or her up to a full day. This will help your child become oriented to the center at a slower pace. We recommend that you schedule an appointment a few days prior to your child’s start date to meet the teachers and the children. This usually helps the child to adapt as he or she sees familiar faces when he or she returns for the first day.
Is there a limit on how many hours a day a child can be in care?
There is no strict limit on the number of hours a child can be in care; however, we do recommend that a child not spend longer than 10 hours a day in care.
Can I visit the Center during the day when my child is in care?
Yes! We have an Open Door policy and you are welcome to visit at any time. Please know that some children have a difficult time when they see their parents during the day but are not being picked up. You will have to use your judgment on what is best for your child.
Are there opportunities for parents to be involved?
Yes! We have several center-wide activities throughout the year in which parents are asked to participate. You are also welcome to schedule other activities with your child’s teacher. We have had parents share stories about their careers, culture, and family traditions and the children love having parents as special guests.
What are the tuition rates?
Please click here for the rates.
When is payment due?
Payment is due on Monday for families on a weekly payment schedule and on the 1st or the 15th of the month (or next business day) for families on a monthly payment schedule.
Is payment required if a family goes on vacation?
Yes, since the space is being held for your child while you’re on vacation. Normal payment is due.
Do you participate in the Alexandria Childcare Subsidy program?
No, at this time, we do not participate in this program.
Is there any priority given for enrollment?
Enrollment priority is given to siblings of currently enrolled children.
What is the sick policy?
When a child has a fever of 100 or above, or has had recurrent vomiting or diarrhea, or has a yellow/green discharge from his or her eyes or nose, we ask that your child stays home on that day(s) in order to prevent others from getting sick. If any of these symptoms begin at school, parents will be called and asked to pick up their child. In case of infectious diseases, such as pink eye or chickenpox, parents will be called and asked to pick up their child immediately. Children need to be fever and symptom-free for at least 24 hours before returning to the center.
How do I get on the waitlist?
Complete the waitlist application and submit a $100 application fee. The application fee is nonrefundable.
When are you closed?
Bright Start is closed for all federal holidays. We also may be closed during inclement weather, as outlined in our snow policy. In addition, we close on the Friday before Labor Day so our teachers can prepare their classrooms for the new school year and participate in professional development. Lastly, we operate on a modified schedule (from 8:30 to 5:30) for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Does Bright Start report suspicions of child abuse or neglect?
As mandated reporters, we are required by Virginia Law to report to Child Protective Services if we suspect that a child in our care is being or has been abused or neglected. As provided by our requirements, we will not notify parents that such a call has been made. We will always do what is in the best interest of the child.
Who do I call if I have a concern or complaint?
Please reach out to your child’s teacher or our Director if you have any concerns or complaints. We need your feedback to continuously improve our program and we would like to address any concerns promptly.
Does Bright Start take field trips?
The children in the preschool classes take field trips in the Spring and Fall. We do not take children that are in the Main Building on field trips. We do, however, bring fun activities to the center for our younger children to enjoy.