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Top Questions

Will the center’s name change?

Yes, the center’s name will change to the Early Learning Center of Brookings. The decision to change the name stems largely from the Larson Foundation’s sponsorship of the center, but it also reflects the Foundation’s commitment to the community of Brookings.

What other operational changes should I expect?

As noted previously, the intent is to build upon the center's inherent strengths. Throughout the past month, Bright Horizons has worked closely with the Larson Foundation to identify administrative and operational changes to be made. You will see change immediately in some areas, while other policies and procedures may be implemented over time after Bright Horizons has had the opportunity to become familiar with the needs of the children, families, and staff members as well as those of the center’s overall operating practices. Changes that will occur right away are:

  • Facility renovations
  • An equipment upgrade to enhance children’s educational experiences
  • Technology upgrades to improve the center’s administrative record keeping
  • Staff members’ access to Bright Horizons’ online resources, including the Bright Horizons University for staff training
  • Families’ and teachers’ access to Bright Horizons Early Learner systems and resources to support evaluation of and goal setting for children’s developmental progress
We are especially excited about these changes and look forward to hearing your reactions to the enhancements.

How can I be assured that my child will be ready for school?

Bright Horizons regularly conducts systematic studies to assess children’s preparedness for entering elementary school as perceived by the children’s parents and elementary school teachers. Through child-directed (emergent) and teacher-guided choices, the emphasis is on reading, writing, math, science, art, social skills, and creative movement. The program helps children approach school and academics with skills, confidence, and the drive for excellence.

What resources does Bright Horizons offer to families?

Center-based resources:

  • Family partnership group that serves as representatives of enrolled families
  • Family lending library and parenting workshops focused on supporting families’ development
  • Special family events: curriculum nights, health and safety fairs, and Ready for School events
  • Volunteer opportunities such as sharing family traditions or expertise, classroom reading, field trips
  • Family feedback forums and surveys to gather insights into families’ experiences
  • Daily experience sheets and children’s journals that highlight children’s activities and development
  • Open door policy that supports families’ visits throughout the day
  • Monthly center newsletters showcasing recent/upcoming events and classroom activities
  • Collaborative partnerships between families and teachers for planning and evaluation
  • Documentation boards and digital portfolios that demonstrate children’s growth and learning
Electronic resources:

Will my child’s teacher change? Will there be any changes among the management team?

Our goal throughout the upcoming weeks and months is to minimize change and ensure stability throughout the center - particularly within the classrooms. All the center staff have been encouraged to apply for employment with Bright Horizons, so that the transition will be as seamless as possible.

Will there be any changes to the tuition rates?

On January 1, 2015, the center will implement its annual tuition increase as it has in years past. The new tuition rates reflect rates charged by high-quality centers in the area. To find out more information about tuition, please contact the center directly.

Additionally, sibling discounts will remain in effect for children who are enrolled at the center today, but these discounts will not be an option for new enrollments.

What can my family expect from the Larson Foundation’s partnership with Bright Horizons?

The partnership between the Larson Foundation and Bright Horizons brings together two organizations with a shared commitment to helping families achieve a better quality of life through education and well-being. As such, Bright Horizons is fully committed to adhering to quality standards that represent excellence in early care and education. For example, accreditation standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) are followed in all of the centers we manage. NAEYC accreditation is widely recognized as the nation’s leading “mark of quality.” As a consumer of child care services, you can have confidence in the standards we follow as we deliver high quality care for your child.

We believe that achieving a better quality of life is influenced by wellness. As such, we strive to help children develop positive attitudes toward physical, activity, nutrition, and healthy living through an educational program that incorporates daily physical activities and nutritious meals. We are proud to be the first national child care company to commit to public evaluation of our health practices and play an active role in The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).

A sense of heritage is also important to Bright Horizons, just as it is for the Larson Foundation. Bright Horizons is deeply committed to building upon the center’s culture and legacies, while looking for ways to improve its services. We have a unique understanding of the requirements of providing child care services in partnership with more than 120 non-profit organizations across the U.S. and currently operate 22 child care programs on behalf of organizations in the tri-state region of South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota. Each center has its own unique culture and relationship with the local community, but they all share a common commitment: providing high quality child care and early education services that respond to the changing needs of families and the expectations of their sponsoring organizations.

Another commonality between Bright Horizons and the Larson Foundation is the value we place on achieving results. Bright Horizons emphasizes supporting centers’ success by providing extensive training programs for center staff and proven operating practices that ensure high performance and program excellence. We are confident that our 28 years of experience in the field of child care will enhance the center’s existing best practices. In turn, the children, families, center staff, and the community of Brookings will reap the benefits.

What ratios will be used in the classrooms?

The following classroom ratios, which meet NAEYC standards, will be implemented. These ratios ensure high-quality care and support the center’s achievement of NAEYC accreditation.

  • Infants - 1:4
  • Toddlers - 1:5
  • Twos - 1:5
  • Preschool - 1:10
  • Pre-Kindergarten - 1:10

What are the goals of Bright Horizons’ educational programs?

Bright Horizons’ approach to early care and education challenges and supports all areas of children’s development, with a heightened emphasis on individualizing their care and learning in the context of their unique families and cultures. Planned, developmentally appropriate learning environments and “school” content elements will be incorporated to emphasize the acquisition of skills across all age groups.

Bright Horizons’ goals include:

  • Comprehensive, optimum development of each child: mind, body, social, self, and character
  • Preparation for success in life, by helping children to:
    - Approach life as an invitation to learn
    - Become a confident lifelong learner
    - Learn skills necessary for school success
    - Develop a strong, healthy body and understanding of wellness
    - Become a competent user of technology
    - Develop emotional intelligence: personal power and social skills
  • Preparation for academic excellence, by helping children to:
    - Develop the social and cognitive skills necessary for school success
    - Achieve excellence in language and literacy
    - Develop an engaged, reflective, inquisitive mind and appreciation of science
    - Achieve excellence in logical/mathematical understanding
  • A rich and rewarding childhood, filled with happy days, wonderful relationships, and positive experiences with the surrounding world

Will the food service change? Will there be a charge?

No changes to the food services are anticipated at this time, and we look forward to working with the ULC to provide high-quality, delicious meals to the children. Costs for children’s meals are included in the tuition.

What is Bright Horizons’ commitment to the intergenerational education program component of the center?

Bright Horizons is committed to the continuation of this rich and unique educational offering. Taking the center’s current best practices, we will add appropriate program offerings utilized in our other centers to enhance this experience for the children of the Early Learning Center of Brookings and the adults at the United Living Community.

Who is Bright Horizons and where are their other locations?

Bright Horizons is a mission-driven organization, whose primary focus is providing high-quality child care centers on behalf of organizations throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, and India. To learn about our other locations, please find a child care center near you.

No two Bright Horizons-managed centers are alike; each center is customized to reflect the values, cultures, and heritage of their communities and the business goals of their sponsors. And, while each center is unique, their operating practices align with NAEYC accreditation standards and they all operate with the same commitment to excellence.

Will the center seek NAEYC accreditation under Bright Horizons’ management?

Bright Horizons will employ NAEYC accreditation standards at the center, with the goal of seeking accreditation after fulfilling all of the mandatory prerequisites. Bright Horizons has extensive success with achieving NAEYC accreditation, and we are confident that we will achieve similar results for the center.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Where can I learn more about other Bright Horizons locations?

To learn about our other locations, please 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?

For more information about this relationship, click here.

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 three locations to be registered at, including the center you are most interested in. By registering, you are confirming your strong interest in all three 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.

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