FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
Q: What are your hours of operation?
A: We are open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Q: Do you have partial-day hours available?
A: Yes. Children may be picked up at 12:15 p.m., 4 p.m., or 6 p.m.
Q: What age children does Beginnings serve?
A: Children may enroll starting at age 3 months. Because babies are born ready to learn, we accept infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners through the age of 6. Neuroscience tells us that learning begins at birth, and research confirms that 90 percent of the brain is already developed within the first three years of life. At Beginnings, we make the most of this critical period of “neuroplasticity” to provide our students with a strong foundation that will serve them throughout their lives.
Q: What is Beginnings’ educational philosophy?
A: We believe, and neuroscience has proven, that children are better able to explore new areas of learning and engage more fully with the world around them when they have positive feelings of self-worth and are able to express, understand, and cope with their own emotions and those of others.
The heart of Beginnings’ teaching philosophy is to foster the skills of emotional intelligence, which are critical for promoting academic, social, and personal success. We focus on instilling a love of learning in each child, allowing the seeds of curiosity and wonder to take root, blossom, and continue to grow for a lifetime.
Q: Does Beginnings provide meals?
A: We provide healthy snacks; children bring their lunches from home.
Q: What are your dates of operation?
A: Beginnings is open throughout the year and is closed only during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We are also closed on standard holidays such as Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, etc.
Q: How many children can the center accommodate?
A: We have eight classrooms where children are grouped by age. In our lower school (infants/toddlers), there are 10-12 students and 3-4 teachers per classroom. In our upper school, there are up to 14-16 students per classroom, with two teachers.
Q: Does the Beginnings School building have secured entrances?
A: Yes. We take security very seriously. Our entrances are locked at all times, and parents receive custom codes to enter.
Q: What is the enrollment process?
A: Parents may fill out an enrollment form after touring the school and meeting with an administrator, who will answer questions and discuss availability of openings.
Q: Is there a specific enrollment period?
A: Families typically enroll their child for the start of the school year program, which begins in September. However, we also offer rolling admissions. This allows children to join a classroom at any point during the year if space is available.
Q: What is the educational level of Beginnings teachers?
A: At Beginnings, we hire only the most experienced, qualified, and well-educated teachers. Our hiring requirements surpass those set by the state—all of our teachers have bachelor’s degrees or higher, as well as an in-depth understanding of early childhood development and experience in the field. After they are hired, teachers participate in an in-depth training on Beginnings’ ECSEL curriculum, and receive ongoing professional development and weekly clinical training sessions with our founder, Dr. Donna Housman.
Q: Is Beginnings licensed and accredited?
A: Yes. Beginnings is fully licensed by the State of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). It is also fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Q: Does Beginnings offer kindergarten?
A: Yes. We offer the SPARK full-day kindergarten program. SPARK is a unique program that offers a comprehensive approach to learning within a full academic curriculum of language arts, writing, math, science, social studies, and creative arts, and in addition integrates Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, art, journalism, physical education, and field trips.
Q: Do you have a summer program?
A: Yes. From mid-June through August, Beginnings offers summer programs for children ages 3 months to 7 years. Programs are managed by our experienced and creative teachers and fully utilize the school’s beautiful surroundings and Nature Center/Outdoor Classroom. Local partnerships also allow us to offer swimming and other fun summer activities.
Q: Do you have an after school program?
A: Yes. Beginnings offers an enriching after school program, My Clubhouse, for children in kindergarten through third grade. The after school program provides a safe and caring program where boys and girls come together for fun educational experiences to take them beyond their school day. The Weston Public School System provides transportation to Beginnings from area elementary schools, or parents my use private transportation services.
Q: How are parents made aware of their children’s progress at Beginnings?
A: Teachers communicate with parents on a daily basis at drop-off and pick-up. We also schedule regular parent-teacher conferences during which we review and discuss children’s progress. Communication with parents is an important part of our program. Our teachers and our founder, Dr. Donna Housman, are always available to talk with parents.
Q: Is Beginnings a diverse community?
A: Yes. We value and celebrate diversity and benefit from a culturally diverse student and family community. In addition to our own curriculum, where we teach about many countries, we invite our families to share their unique customs and heritages with their child’s classroom community, fostering an appreciation for traditions spanning the globe.