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FAQs and Answers About Our Preschool

Caregiver Information

How many full-time caregivers do you have?
There are six full time caregivers at our preschool.

How many are part-time?
There are two part time caregivers who are working on other careers or continuing their education.

What’s the caregiver-child ratio in each group?
For infants 1:4, Toddlers 1:6, 2 year olds 1:11, 3 year olds 1:15, 4 year olds 1:20, and 5 years and older 1:25

How do you screen the caregivers?
All of our caregivers have successfully passed a level two background screening, which includes fingerprinting.

Are the caregivers trained in first aid and CPR?
Yes, all of our caregivers are certified in infant and child first aid and CPR.

What are the caregiver’s credentials and training?
All of our lead preschool teachers are CDA trained, all of the other caregivers have their 45 hour child care training course or they are currently taking their classes.

Do caregivers wash their hands after changing diapers and before feeding the children?
Yes, all caregivers are required to frequently wash their hands throughout the day.

Preschool Information

How long has your center been in business?
Suncoast Academy has been standing strong for 37 years.

What are the center’s accreditations?
Quality Counts for Kids

What is the center’s licensed capacity?
Our capacity here at Suncoast Academy is 66 children.

Do you have space for my child?
Spaces are normally limited. Contact Suncoast Academy to check availability for your child.

What are your hours?
Our child care center is open from 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. You can also check our website for Summer Camp times.

How flexible are you with pickup and drop-off times?
You can pickup and drop-off your child any time during our business hours.

Is there a late-pickup fee?
Yes, there is a fee. $1.00 per minute after 6:00 p.m.

What’s your holiday schedule?
Suncoast Academy is closed major holidays (New Year’s Day, ML King, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Day before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day)

What are the fees?
You can view the tuition fees here.

Do I pay when my child is ill or we’re on vacation?
Yes. After 6 months, you get a 2 week vacation time to be used weekly, other than that, your payment is due each week whether your child attends or not.

How and when would you bill us?
Your payment is due each Monday, or the first day into the center each week. There is a $5.00 late fee applied on the first day and another $5.00 late fee applied the second day (total of $10). We accept cash, card, check or a money order as a form of payment, you can also pay online now.

Do you have a sign-in and sign-out sheet?
Yes, your child must be signed in when they are being dropped off, and signed out when they are being picked up.

Are the doors secure so strangers can’t just walk in?
Yes, for the safety of your children and our staff, our doors are secure so strangers cannot enter our center.

What is your release policy?
Only the people listed on the child’s enrollment form are allowed to pick up your child. If you do choose to have someone else pick up your child, you must notify us ahead of time. If we have not seen the person before, we will ask for a driver’s license or other form of I.D. to confirm who they are.

Must children be immunized in order to attend?
Yes, all children must have an up to date physical and shot record before attending Suncoast Academy.

What is your sick-child policy?
For the health of the other children, your child may not attend if they have any of the following conditions:

  • A fever of 101 or higher
  • Diarrhea
  • Thick mucus
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Head lice (and your child may not return until all nits are removed)

What if my child needs medication during the day?
We will administer medication once during the day (at lunch time). Medication must be in the original package with the correct dosage for that child stated on it.

What is the procedure if my child gets sick or injured while at your school?
You will be notified by phone, if we cannot reach you we will attempt to reach one of your emergency contacts. If it is an emergency and we are unable to reach you or the person(s) designated, we will contact your child’s physician and/or arrange for immediate medical treatment for your child.

What We Offer Your Child

Infant care/Toddler/Twos

Do you feed infants on demand or on a schedule?
We keep infants on the same schedule the parents provide for us.

Do you have a refrigerator for storing bottles of breast milk or formula?
Yes, we have a refrigerator in the infant room to keep your child’s formula or breast milk fresh.

Do you follow safe sleeping practices to reduce the risk of SIDS?
Yes, we place each infant on their back to sleep to make sure your child is completely safe during their nap time.

PreK3/PreK4 (VPK)

Do you provide breakfast, lunch, and/or snack?
At Suncoast Academy we do not serve breakfast, but your child may bring something in and eat it here. We do however provide morning and afternoon snack every day, and lunch Monday – Thursday. On Friday’s children bring their own lunch.

What types of things will my child learn while attending Suncoast Academy?
At Suncoast Academy we help your child learn a variety of things like:

  • Making smart choices
  • Help develop problem solving skills
  • Expand oral language
  • Develop social skills
  • Pre-math and pre-literacy

 

Are there field trips or do kids remain in the center at all times?
Yes. During summer, children 4 years old and up go on a variety of field trips each week if they attend Camp Suncoast. For more information visit Camp Suncoast.

If my child has homework, will his/her teacher provide with assistance if they need it?
Yes. We want your child to do well in school as well as take their education seriously, so we will assist your child and help them learn and understand their school work.

Are any special programs or enrichment opportunities available?
Yes, for an additional fee, we offer dance classes for boys and girls ages 3-5 at Bay Area School of Dance Arts. Children are transported to the studio once a week and are included in the recital at the end of the year.

Do kids play outside and is there outdoor equipment or organized activities?
Of Course! The children play outside twice each day (if the weather is nice). Our playgrounds offer equipment that is developmentally appropriate for the age groups that use them. Our teachers play games and do fun activities while they are outside to make outdoors even more exciting.

What is the curriculum provided for my child?
Infants, Toddlers, PreK2 and PreK3 classes use an educational program called, Funshine Online. The VPK/PreK4 class uses the DLM early learning express.

Will you help potty train my child?
Yes. We begin potty training in the PreK2 class. We ask that you bring 5 pairs of cloth training pants, extra clothes, socks and shoes in case of any accidents.

What is the nap schedule?
Nap time is approximately two hours long, from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where do the children sleep?
Children sleep on mats that we provide for them in their age appropriate classroom.

 

General Preschool Information

Do you provide supplies for my child, and what supplies would I need to bring for my child?
Parents are responsible for supplying a small blanket for infants, a small blanket and a fitted crib sheet for preschool children over 1 year and an extra set of clothes. For potty trainers we will need 5 pairs of training pants (no pull ups), and a couple of extra outfits, socks and an extra pair of shoes. Also, for infants, parents must supply their own bottles (individually mixed with name on it), baby food (unopened jars only), diapers, and wipes.

Do you encourage visits from parents?
As long as your child is not traumatized when you leave, you are more than welcome to come and visit your child.

How do you communicate with parents?
Infants and toddlers will have a daily report that is sent home with them each day, and preschool children have a weekly letter sent home with them.

Do you have a calendar that will tell me what my child will be doing, eating, or special events planned throughout the week or month?
Our lunch and snack menu is posted on the front bulletin board. We also provide this information on our website, as well as a calendar of activities and special events.

Are the kids grouped by age or are the ages mixed?
Kids are grouped by age. The only time the age groups will be combined is during the arrival and departure times, depending on how many children are in attendance.

How do you discipline children?
We use the guidelines from Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing which state:
The goal of discipline is to help children see the sense in acting a certain way. Of course, this is a time consuming task and it is important that we remain realistic in the expectation of the behavior of each child. His/her developmental age and stage must be taken into consideration.

At our facility we encourage positive behavior in the following ways:
Allowing the child choices of activities, equipment, and materials, giving him a feeling of control over his environment so that conflict with others can be avoided. Guidance in developing language skills which will help them resolve conflicts with words and not with inappropriate behaviors such as biting, hitting, kicking, etc.

If a child is experiencing difficulty controlling his/her behavior:
He/she will be redirected to another play area which may prevent escalation of the problem. If a problem still exists, the child will be removed from the play area and given time away from the group to regain control. The time limits for this personal time are determined by the child. He/she may return to the group when he is ready. If continued unacceptable behavior occurs, the parent will be scheduled to discuss a team approach to remedy the problem.