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Top Questions

Are your staff all EEC certified? What is EEC certification? What else can you tell me about staff qualifications and experience?

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (also referred to as the EEC) maintains state-wide standards and regulations as they relate to early childhood education and care, including teacher certification. All BHOTC classrooms are supervised by certified staff with years of teaching experience, and all BHOTC programs are taught by one or more certified teachers. The majority of our support staff are certified by the EEC or in the process of becoming certified.  If you have a specific question about EEC certification, or EEC programming and regulations, please contact The Commissioner's Office at the EEC.


The average staff member at BHOTC offers 5 years experience working with children in a professional context. Their background reflects a diversity of experience that may include: nanny or au pair experience, private or public school teaching experience, early childhood program experience, and of course- many of our staff have their own children. 

I'm interested in applying for a job at this center. Is there someone I can contact?

For job listings and to complete the application process, please visit www.brighthorizons.com/careers.

What is The World At Their Fingertips?

Bright Horizons curriculum, The World at Their Fingertips, is our unique curriculum designed to engage children in active learning that prepares them for school while helping them achieve their individual potential and fostering a spirit of community. It includes curriculum elements such as Language Works, Math Counts, Science Rocks, ArtSmart, Our World and Well Aware that cross all age groups. For more on information on our curriculum, click here.

What is the enrollment process for Bright Horizons on the Charles?

 

 

Visiting the Center

 

 

If you are interested in visiting our center please contact us at  (617) 336-4494.

 

 

 

 

 

Registration and Space Availability

 

 

If you are interested in registering with our center you will need to fill out the pre-registration forms and pay the annual registration fee.  If we are at our capacity for the age group you are registering for, you will be put in a waiting pool. When the space becomes available you will be promptly notified.

 

 

Bright Horizons on the Charles Pre-Enrollment/Registration Form – If you are interested in enrolling your child into Bright Horizons on the Charles, please complete The PreEnrollment and Registration Form available here, and mail it along with your payment, to:

 

 

Bright Horizons on the Charles

 

400 Talcott Ave

 

Watertown, MA 02472

 

 

 

 

Enrollment

 

 

Once you have officially registered at our center (by submitting your Pre-Enrollment/Registration form and payment, as indicated above) and have been offered a space for your child, you will receive a Welcome Packet with the neccessary Enrollment paperwork and a Family Guide. All enrollment paperwork is due on or before your first day of care. You will also receive information regarding the security of the center and "how to" information on signing in and out.

 

 

 

 

 

Parents as Partners

We believe our long standing in the community has stemmed from the positive and nurturing relationships that we create with the families that we serve. Our open door policy, transparency and availability, and our family events and opportunities all invite parents and caregivers to participate in all aspects of the program.

 

 

 

 

 

Transition into the Center

 

 

We encourage the family and their child(ren) to transition the week before your official start date. What this means is, you can come in a couple of times the week before your official start day so you and your child(ren) can get acclimated to your home base, and get to know your teachers. You are more than welcome to stay with your child(ren) or you can leave them for a little while so they may become comfortable and familiar with your departure. We also recommend using this transition to bring in the items your child(ren) will need at the center. These items will differ depending on your child(ren)’s specific program, as well as your child(ren)’s specific needs. This will make your first day of drop off a little bit easier.

 

 

 

 

 



Transitions within the Center

 

 

We encourage your family and child(ren) to transition if and when you are ready. There are no hard and fast rules or specifics that will apply. What this means is, as a team, you, your child, and our staff will determine when your child is ready to move on to the next program level. Naturally, our staff will make appropriate recommendations and share with you their insights and opinions- however- just as each child is different and special, each child’s readiness for transition is also different and special. The procedure for transition within the Center is similar to as when they first begin at Bright Horizons on the Charles. We do recommend a ‘transition meeting’ with either the incoming (new) teacher/s and/or the exit (former) teacher/s. We will work with your child to ensure they have the healthiest, smoothest, and least stressful transition possible within our center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is The World at Home?

The World at Home offers parents opportunities to extend their child's learning through brief activities that are voluntary, fun, and fit into the busy lives of families. The World at Home recognizes 3 fundamental assumptions:









  • Children learn all the time, everywhere; at the center, at home, and all points between.

  • Parents are children's first and most influential teachers

  • We are all in this together, preparing children for success in school and life
  • The World at Home provides a database of activities for infants through school age children to do at home with parents, many that naturally flow from everyday life. The activities cover the curriculum spectrum - language, science, math, social skills and so on. You will be able to draw off of this database to extend what is happening in your homebase. You may also submit activity ideas to share with all of our faculty and families around the world.

    Can you please give me directions to the center?

    Bright Horizons on the Charles is located within The Arsenal On the Charles Office Park. Our address is: 400 Talcott Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472.   Please visit The Arsenal On the Charles Office Park weblink above for a printable map.

    For Those Who Drive: 
    Below are directions from Mass Pike East and Mass Pike West.  Bright Horizons on the Charles offers convenient and free parking, located just in front of our main entry. If it's your first time visiting, you'll see a buzzer at the front door.  Please buzz and someone will gladly let you in.  Feel free to call ahead if this is more convienent.  Once you are enrolled, we'll coordinate a keypad code for your usage.

    For Those Who Take Public Transportation: 
    The nearest subway stations are Central Square and Harvard Square, both on the Red Line. Harvard Square station is fully handicapped accessible.

    There is a free shuttle service which runs between The Arsenal on the Charles Office Park and Harvard Square. The shuttle runs three (3) times each hour beginning from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  There is a pick-up/drop-off stop located about 30 feet from the front of our school. Just let the driver know where you’re headed.  If it's your first time visiting, you'll see a buzzer at the front door.  Please buzz and someone will gladly let you in.  Feel free to call ahead if this is more convienent.  Once you are enrolled, we'll coordinate a keypad code for your usage.

    From Mass Pike East




    • Take Mass Pike Exit 17 (Newton/Watertown).

    • Turn LEFT back over Mass Pike and continue straight on Galen Street (to Watertown Sq.).

    • Continue on Galen Street for approx 1 mile.

    • At the five-way intersection, bear RIGHT onto North Beacon St. (Do not take a hard right onto Charles River Road).

    • Continue for approx 100 yards and then stay LEFT at the fork onto Arsenal St.

    • Continue on Arsenal street for approx another mile.

    • The Arsenal on the Charles entrance is on the RIGHT- The Talcott Avenue entrance is located across the street from Roma Tile and Grainger's.

    • Bright Horizons on the Charles is located ACROSS from the Bright Horizons World Headquarters (Corporate Offices).


    From Mass Pike West




    • Take Mass Pike Exit 17 (Newton/Watertown).

    • Turn RIGHT onto Galen Street (to Watertown Square).

    • Continue on Galen Street for approx 1 mile. At the five-way intersection, bear RIGHT onto North Beacon Street (Do not take a hard right onto Charles River Road).

    • Continue for approx 100 yards and then stay LEFT at the fork onto Arsenal Street. Continue on Arsenal street for approx another mile.

    • The Arsenal on the Charles entrance is on the RIGHT; The Talcott Avenue entrance is located across the street from Roma Tile and Grainger's.

    • Bright Horizons on the Charles is located ACROSS from the Bright Horizons World Headquarters (Corporate Offices).

    What are the educational goals of Bright Horizons?

    Comprehensive, optimum development
    of each child: mind, body, social self, and character.


    Preparation for Success in Life



    • Approaching life as an invitation to learn
    • Becoming a confident and competent lifelong learner
    • Becoming a confident and competent user of technology
    • Developing emotional intelligence: personal power and social skills

    Preparation for Academic Excellence



    • Developing the social and cognitive skills necessary for school success
    • Achieving excellence in language and literacy
    • Developing an engaged, reflective, inquisitive mind and appreciation of science
    • Achieving excellence in logical/mathematical understanding

    A Rich and Rewarding Childhood



    • Happy days
    • Wonderful relationships
    • A World of experience

    How can I obtain information about tuition?

    Tuition varies by center, schedule and by individual classroom. To find out more information about tuition, please contact the center directly.

    Where can I learn more about other Bright Horizons locations?

    To find other locations, please visit www.brighthorizons.com/locator.

    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.

    Can I visit my child at the center anytime I’d like to?

    Yes, Bright Horizons has an open door policy.  You are encouraged to visit your child anytime.

    What is the relationship between Bright Horizons and The Partnership for a Healthier America?

    For more information about this relationship, click here.

    What is Bright Horizons' process on checking the background of their employees?

    Bright Horizons conducts a comprehensive background check on all prospective employees and frequent visitors. The background check consists of a county criminal record check for the past seven years performed in all counties that a person has lived, worked or attended school. In addition to the county criminal search , a sex offender search, OFAC search and a social security verification trace are also conducted. For all location employees, program licensing background checks required by the state are also performed.

    What if I’d like to enroll but the center doesn’t have space available?

    We suggest you register with Bright Horizons.  You can select up to 3 locations to be registered at, including the center you are most interested in.  By registering, you are confirming your strong interest in all 3 centers.  We will add you to our wait list and you will be offered a space as soon as one becomes available.  While waiting for a space to become available at your first choice location, many families will choose to enroll at their 2nd or 3rd choice temporarily until space becomes available at the center they are most interested in.  In many centers, a child currently enrolled at a Bright Horizons location has priority over the general community so enrolling at another location will not only solve your care needs but will also give you additional priority in getting into your 1st preference.  Our goal is to accommodate families as soon as space allows.  During the entire process, we will keep in touch with you regarding your status.

    Do you have a playground? How much outside time is provided daily? What are the available outdoor activities and spaces like? What do you do in the event of inclement weather?

     

     



    We aim to go outside twice daily for about 40-45 minutes. On "red" days, our groups do not go outside, but make use of our Gross Motor Room to exercise. On "yellow" days, groups use caution and can stay outside for 10-20 minutes depending on the weather. On "green" days, groups can go outside for their entire 40-45 minute period.  The Gross Motor Room is a room designed for children to move freely, but safely, with structured choice activities such as an obstacle course or a “foam block” jungle gym. 

    We have a beautiful playground, which was completely renovated during the summer of 2009. Our playground serves both our Toddler and Preschool Programs, allowing siblings to play together. We have separate climbing structures for Toddlers and Preschoolers, a water trough for exploration, a play house, and two large play platforms. There is a separate but adjacent outdoor play space for Infants as well. 

    Our playground includes the Bright Horizons on the Charles Community Garden.  We grow our own blueberries, basil, zucchini, and sunflowers. 

    We offer children choices, from building a choo-choo train out of large blocks for everyone to ride to the zoo, to riding a bike, to climbing, to water play, to a cool grassy place for contemplation. 

    Our campus is adjacent to a large wooded path, which provides the children the opportunity to safely view a variety of wildlife: squirrels, geese, rabbits, woodchucks, robins and even a hawk are all regularly sighted. 

    Our families also love to enjoy the large lawns which flank our playground, a space they will utilize during pick-up and drop-off, where children may enjoy a quick game of tag together before their car trips home.  Some families have even been known to pack picnics for a quick snack al fresco.

    In addition, our center is located within the same complex as the Arsenal Center for the Arts, and children are able to go on supervised walks with the teachers to observe up close and personal some amazing outdoor art installations. 

    BHOTC is also just a few minutes walk from the lovely Arsenal Park.  Arsenal Park features a climber/swing area as well as a water play area.  This makes a great change of pace for our Preschool children, and gives them something to look forward to on hot summer days.

    What are your policies regarding photographs of my child(ren)?

    Decisions by parents/caregivers to allow for their child(ren)’s pictures to be taken are at the discretion of the family. Some families allow pictures to be used strictly within the classroom (i.e. to label cubbies), some allow pictures to be used both internally and externally (i.e. for our center-wide website), and still others do not allow pictures of their children- no exceptions. In any case, we will respect your rights and your decision. To learn more about our policy, please see our Photography & Walking Permission Slip.

    Are all staff trained in CPR and First Aid?

    All Bright Horizons staff are trained regularly in CPR, even if not required by the state. First Aid is taught as required by state licensing agency/regulations so that you can feel confident that your child is safe and receiving the best care possible at our center.

    Are Bright Horizons child care centers open?

    While many of our centers are temporarily closed, we have shifted our focus to providing child care in the areas where our help is most needed. Because of this, we have established hub centers to support critical workers who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19, including healthcare workers, scientists and researchers, and first responders. Our hub centers are serving our enrolled families and welcoming new ones who are supporting these critical needs. If you’d like to learn more about where our hubs are located, simply call our Family Support team at: 833-224-7078.

    When will you reopen closed centers?

    It is our true privilege to care for and educate children, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back into our center again as soon as we are able. We will follow the direction of local health departments, state authorities, and the CDC to make those decisions for each center and each community.

    Where have you established your new childcare hubs?

    Our hubs are in Massachusetts, where Bright Horizons is headquartered, and several other cities across the country, including New York, Seattle, and Northern California. They are in areas close to hospitals and healthcare systems where there is tremendous need for child care for parents are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Our hub centers are serving our enrolled families and welcoming new ones who are supporting these critical needs. If you’d like to learn more about where our hubs are located, simply call our Family Support team at: 833-224-7078.

    What is your current COVID-19 center policy?

    Bright Horizons’ priority continues to be the health and safety of the children and staff at our centers. Each decision, policy, and procedure is based on recommendations from our panel of medical experts, guidance from the CDC, and direction from local health authorities.

    We have put in place multiple precautionary measures. First and foremost, a household member must remain out of the center for 14 days following the last potential exposure, if any member of your household has (or has been in close contact with anyone who has):

    • a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (for example – close contact at school, work, religious service, social gathering); or
    • recently returned from a Level 3 area, as designated by the CDC

    If, at the end of this 14-day period, no household member has experienced any symptoms, their return to the center is allowed. Depending on the circumstances, we may require you to obtain medical clearance before returning to the center will be allowed.

    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. Food preparation surfaces, eating utensils and dishes, tables & highchairs, computer keyboards, mixed use surfaces, changing tables, and potties are all sanitized after each use. Floors, diaper pails, countertops, sinks, fountains, door and cabinet handles and plastic toys are all sanitized daily. Sanitizing measures are also be applied to our playground equipment. Centers and playgrounds are receiving special cleanings as needed. At the heart of it all is a rigorous support of handwashing practices for our staff and the children in our care.

    We have also established enhanced safety protocols for families to follow during this time:

    • At both pick-up and drop-off, parents must use provided hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes outside each classroom door to clean their hands and their child’s hands.
    • 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.
    • Parents must wipe down the check-in kiosk after checking their child in and out of the center.

    How are you supporting teachers at centers that are closing?

    Our teachers have our full support always. We want our teachers to know how important their work is, and many will be encouraged to work in our hub centers and our back-up child care network. We have also enhanced sick time and, during these temporary closures, we expect to pay teachers who cannot work in hub centers or back-up care through a transition notice period while we develop additional support systems for them. Teachers will also continue to have access to our free teacher degree program during this time so they can pursue their associate and bachelor’s degree online at no cost to them.

    What if one of the center staff is suspected as having COVID-19 or are under self-isolation after a family withdraws from the center, will they be notified?

    We will continue to follow CDC protocol, which indicates that information will be shared with families who may have been exposed to a potential COVID-19 risk. Should we determine that a staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19 and was exposed to children or parents during the 14-day incubation period, we will notify our families at that center.

    Are center teachers considered essential workers?

    Those working in child care have been designated essential in nearly every state with a Stay at Home order, particularly if they are providing care for the children of other essential employees.

    How will center directors be affected by these changes?

    All of our center staff will benefit from our new Bridge program, designed to support directors and center staff through this temporary closure.  Through the Bridge program, directors will have access to work opportunities and will remain employees of Bright Horizons.

    How can I work with my child to practice good hygiene?

    Our regular health and hygiene practices provide some of the best defenses against the spread of most contagious illnesses. In addition to regular and thorough cleaning of classrooms, surfaces and toys, we teach children good hand-washing practices and ensure that children and staff take important precautions against the spread of germs. You can work with your children to practice some of these same steps at home:

    • Wash hands often with soap and water – use this step-by-step guide to help
    • Sneeze or cough into your elbow; or cover mouth and nose with a tissue before sneezing or coughing, then immediately discard the tissue. Print out this handy visual to show children how.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are ill
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially if someone is sick

    Does Bright Horizons offer at home learning and educational activities for children?

    With many of our centers temporarily closed, we’ve created Bright Horizons® World at Home, a new way to keep children learning and to support families in these times. Designed by our education team to bring some of the very best learning from our centers right into your homes, the World at Home will feature videos and activities for every age group and for each of our curriculum areas. We’ll also have resources just for parents, including 30-minute live Q&A webinars. Check back for new World at Home content weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It’s all to give you the tools, inspiration, and structure you need to create learning experiences for your family right at home.

    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

    What is your policy regarding pictures/videos of my child(ren)?

    The decision to allow for a child’s picture to be taken at a Bright Horizons facility is at the discretion of the family. Some families allow pictures to be used strictly within the classroom (i.e. to label cubbies), some allow pictures to be used both internally and externally (i.e. for our center-wide website), and still others do not allow pictures of their children to be taken at any time - no exceptions. In any case, we will respect your rights and your decision. To learn more about our policy, please see our Bright Horizons Photography & Walking Permission Slip.

    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.

    What is Bright Horizons' process on checking the background of their employees?

    Bright Horizons conducts a comprehensive background check on all prospective employees and frequent visitors. The background check consists of a county criminal record check for the past seven years performed in all counties that a person has lived, worked or attended school. In addition to the county criminal search, a sex offender search, OFAC search and a social security verification trace are also conducted. For all location employees, program licensing background checks required by the state are also performed.

    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.

    Can I visit my child at the center anytime I’d like to?

    Yes, you are welcome to visit your child at the center whenever you’d like!  Whether your child is an infant new to group care or a thriving preschooler, anxious to show off their latest project, Bright Horizons has an open door policy for parents. We encourage you to stop by and get involved in your child’s day.

    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 school and 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?

    Absolutely!  Named one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”  18 times, we are proud of the environment we create for our educators.  We are always looking for great teachers, and offer competitive benefits  and innovative programs. like our Horizons Teacher Degree program.  For job listings and to complete the application process, please visit the Bright Horizons jobs and careers page at www.brighthorizons.com/careers . 

    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 family find 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 is the relationship between Bright Horizons and The Partnership for a Healthier America?

    Read more information about this relationship.

    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.

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