What is a natural playground? Simply stated, a natural playground is an area where kids can play with natural elements such as sand, water, wood and living plants. Natural playgrounds encourage children to use their imaginations while simultaneously experiencing the smells, textures and wonders of the natural world. A natural play area is a learning landscape where kids learn through play.
Children lack the free, self-directed playtime needed to invent their own activities and games. Planned, adult-coordinated activities during and after school, as well as electronic games and television, limit a child's ability to engage in exploration and free expression. Research indicates that this ability, along with access to natural settings, is critical to children's development in every major way: intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically. Benefits of increased free play time and access to natural areas include improved concentration & impulse control, emotional coping & stress reduction, stimulation of creativity, reduced symptoms ADD and ADHD, and improved motor coordination.
Natural playgrounds look very different from conventional playgrounds. Most playgrounds we see today are comprised of pre-manufactured play equipment selected from catalogs, typically constructed of steel tubing and plastic elements and emphasizing active, or 'gross motor' play. In contrast, natural playgrounds focus on creating settings to enable the type of play most important to our youngest children: social play (pretending) and constructive play (building).
Does Bright Horizons at Rockville offer a summer program?
Yes! Our center is open year-round and we offer a fun and enriching summer camp experience which includes:
Action-packed program that’s both fun and educational
Age-appropriate, engaging investigative topics that incorporate children’s interests
Virtual field trips & special guests, and daily fitness activities
Health, safety, and security policies that meet or exceed local, state, and national standards
Contact us to learn more. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged!
Can I register my Preschooler at any time during the year?
Yes, you are welcome to register your child at any time during the year. Please indicate your preferred start date when you complete the registration process and then an Enrollment Manager will work with you to confirm your child's enrollment. New preschoolers can begin their enrollment at any time throughout the year, not just in September.
Are you conducting health screening for those who are entering the center?
Yes, all employees, parents and children will have to pass a daily health screening. The health screening includes a temperature check and a series of COVID-19 related questions that pertain to the individual and their households.
What is your current COVID-19 center policy?
The health and well-being of our families and staff are our highest priorities. In the interest of limiting the opportunity for transmission to our vulnerable community, we are taking the following precautionary measures:
Your household must remain out of the center if any member of your household has (or has been in close contact with anyone who has):
(a) A suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (for example – close contact at school, work, religious service, social gathering); or
(b) Traveled: internationally; or domestically, from any area which is the subject of travel restrictions under applicable state and local guidance.
14 days after the last potential exposure, your household may return provided these three things have happened:
(a) At least 10 days have passed since any household member first experienced symptoms; and
(b) Symptoms have improved for any household member that experienced symptoms (for example, cough or shortness of breath has improved); and
(c) The household has been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
Please note, depending on the circumstances we may require you to obtain medical clearance before return to the center will be allowed.
Do Bright Horizons daycare centers follow state/local requirements for masking and vaccinations?
Where there are additional state or local requirements, for example around vaccination/masking, Bright Horizons also complies with applicable legal requirements in each jurisdiction in which we operate.
What enhanced safety measures have you implemented?
Bright Horizons is trusted by parents around the country – including many doctors and nurses on the frontlines of COVID-19 -- to care for their children. We’ve partnered with pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Kristin Moffitt of Boston Children’s Hospital to implement enhanced safety protocols for all areas including daily health screening, distancing, cleaning, and disinfecting. Our goal is to ensure that all of our health and safety practices in every center are in line with recommendations provided by the CDC and requirements of state and local municipalities, and have the well-being of children, families, and staff at their core. For more detailed information, visit: https://www.brighthorizons.com/health-safety
Are children required or allowed to wear masks or face coverings while at the center?
Where mandated by local state authorities children do wear face coverings or masks. In other locations Bright Horizons does not require the use of masks for children, however, at a parent’s discretion, children ages 2 older are permitted to wear face coverings while in our center. Teachers will work with these children to become comfortable putting on, wearing, and taking off their face coverings. For more information about our center’s policy, please contact us.
Are all staff required to wear face coverings and gloves during the day?
All employees will be in face coverings while working.Those conducting health screenings will wear gloves while conducting the screenings. Those undertaking disinfection activities will be wearing gloves while disinfecting. Teachers will wear gloves for activities that they wore gloves for in the past; diaper changing and bathroom help, wiping noses, first aid and cleaning. They also wear gloves for preparing and serving food. They will not be required to wear gloves all day.
Are you allowing prospective parents to visit centers?
Prospective parents are being encouraged to visit via a virtual meeting with the center director.
How does Bright Horizons ensure the cleanliness of centers?
At all of our centers, rigorous health and safety practices are a foundation of the way we care for children.
Both staff and children are frequently washing hands throughout the day, including when entering and leaving classrooms.
Food preparation surfaces, eating utensils, tables, highchairs, computer keyboards, mixed use surfaces, changing tables, and potties are all sanitized after each use by staff wearing gloves. Floors, diaper pails, countertops, sinks, fountains, door and cabinet handles, and plastic toys are all sanitized daily. Certain high-touch toys such as play-doh are not currently in use.
Sanitizing measures will also be applied to our playground equipment. Centers and are receiving special cleanings as needed.
Parents are not allowed to enter the classrooms at pick-up and drop-off. A teacher will meet parents at the door to bring the child into and out of the center. Designated staff wash or disinfect hands after escorting each child, before meeting next child.
What are the educational goals of Bright Horizons?
During your search for the perfect child care partner, this is among the most important questions you can ask. For over 30 years, we’ve been a company that is guided by our HEART Principles and an unerring belief in putting children first.
At Bright Horizons, we know that childhood is a treasured time. We believe it is our responsibility to provide environments and experiences that capture the joys of childhood, nurture each child’s individual growth and development, and pave the way for success in school and life. We promise to:
Nurture and care for the whole child
Craft and integrated curriculum based on expert research
Support and develop each teacher
Implement an emergent, inquiry-based approach to learning
Cultivate curiosity and creativity through projects, exploration, and play
Encourage children to be confident experimenters and problem solvers
Build an inclusive and respectful community
Create joyful places for childhood
Can children with special needs enroll in a Bright Horizons center?
Yes! Bright Horizons strives to and has successfully accommodated a wide range of special needs and individual differences in our group programs. We believe in inclusive programs that attempt to meet the needs of a wide range of children and which focus on each child’s strengths. We support a collaborative team approach – the teacher, director, specialists, and parents. The team will work closely together to try to maximize each child’s opportunities for learning, growth, and development, and to attempt to eliminate any barriers or safety issues which a group program may present.
Does Bright Horizons perform background checks on its employees?
The safety of the children in our care is our highest concern. Bright Horizons maintains stringent hiring practices and conducts criminal background checks on all teachers and caregivers in our centers. This check includes a criminal record search and a cross-reference check to determine prior convictions or other records of criminal activity that would call into question an employee’s’ suitability to care for children. Additional elements of our required background checks include verification through the Office of Foreign Asset Control and Sexual Offender Database Search. The frequency for updating criminal background checks for employees depends on state or other center-specific requirements.
What is The World At Their Fingertips?
Our research-based World at Their Fingertips® curriculum meets children where they are developmentally, with Signature Practices that build confidence and excitement about learning at every age and stage. In every classroom, our goal is to help children do more than learn; it’s to cultivate the joy of learning. And our emergent approach — teaching skills by leveraging a child’s own interests — enables teachers to tailor activities and projects for the specific talents and needs of each child in the class. Learn more about our specialized programs for babies, toddlers and preschool children, and how we prepare children for schooland life beyond.
Are all staff trained in CPR and First Aid?
All Bright Horizons center staff are trained in CPR and first aid. Once an employee is hired, they are required to fulfill 16 hours of training through our new employee orientation. This training takes place over a two-day period, where the employee spends time observing each age group in the center. Teachers must successfully complete first aid and CPR training, in addition to local licensing and/or Department of Health requirements (e.g., food handler safety card.)
I'm interested in applying for a job at this center. Is there someone I can contact?
Where can I learn more about other Bright Horizons locations?
We have many centers across the US, and each center reflects the unique personality of its leadership and community. To find the best fit for you and your familyfind a child care center near you.
I'm not quite ready to enroll in the center but I am interested in continuing to hear about what is happening at the center. How can I get information more regularly?
We encourage any family interested in center information, regular updates and invitations to the many events we are planning, to contact us.
What is NAEYC accreditation?
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed standards to define and recognize quality child care programs. In order to be accredited, a child care program must meet a variety of strict criteria, including having a well-trained faculty, good staff-child ratios and group sizes, and a comprehensive curriculum, as well as meet stringent health and safety standards. The program must also provide meaningful opportunities for family involvement.
What if I’d like to enroll but the center doesn’t have space available?
Finding the right daycare and early education solution can be a lengthy process. Our best recommendation is to start early! Even if your preferred Bright Horizons center doesn’t currently have space available, we still recommend registration for your first choice center. At Bright Horizons, you can register at up to three locations. Once registered, we will add you to our wait list and you will be offered a space as soon as one is available. For many families on a wait list, Bright Horizons offers the ability to enroll a nearby center on a temporary basis, or until your first choice center becomes available. If you’d like further advice on how to find the best preschool for your family, take a listen to our webinar on finding a quality preschool program.
Take the Next Step
Ready to get started? Schedule a one-on-one Zoom meeting with Bright Horizons to get a personalized tour. See our classrooms, ask questions about tuition, openings and our enrollment process. Find out how we’ll help your family thrive!