Camp Fire Fort Worth

 
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are Developmentally Appropriate Practices? 
Q: How do activities and classrooms look if they are using DAP? 
Q: Are the teachers certified? 
Q: How is class size determined?
Q: What if my child is ill? 
Q: Can we enter the school mid-year? 
Q: What if I’m late picking up my child? 

 

Q: What are Developmentally Appropriate Practices? 
A: Developmentally Appropriate Practices, or DAP, is a framework of principles and guidelines for best practice in the care and education of young children, birth through age 8. It is grounded both in the research on how young children develop and learn and what is known about education effectiveness. The principles and guidelines outline practice that promotes young children's optimal learning and development.

Effective early childhood educators take into consideration knowledge in three areas to determine the appropriateness of learning practices:
1. What is known about child development and learning
2. What is known about each child as an individual
3. What is known about the social and cultural contexts in which children live

Q: How do activities and classrooms look if they are using DAP? 
A: Developmentally appropriate practices include the following teaching strategies: 
Active Learning Experiences - Children manipulate real objects and learn through hands-on, direct experiences.
Varied Instructional Strategies - Such approaches may include process writing, skill instruction, guided reading, modeled writing, cooperative learning, independent learning activities, peer coaching and tutoring, teacher-led instruction, thematic instruction, projects, learning centers, problem-based learning and literature-based instruction.
Balance Between Teacher-Directed and Child-Directed Activities - encourages a mixture of teacher-directed and child-directed activities. Teacher-directed learning involves the teacher as a facilitator who models learning strategies and gives guided instruction. Child-directed learning allows the child to assume some responsibility for learning goals. 
Integrated Curriculum - combines many subject areas into a cohesive unit of study that is meaningful to students. often relates learning to real life and recognizes the importance of basic skills and the inclination to use them. One technique for integrating curricula is a thematic approach, which motivates students to investigate interesting ideas from multiple perspectives. The central theme becomes the catalyst for developing concepts, generalizations, skills and attitudes. 
Learning Centers - independent stations set up throughout the classroom where children can go to actually engage in some learning activity. Children choose the center they will go to and decide on the amount of time to spend there. Learning centers offer an opportunity for children to be responsible for their own learning; this responsibility is the foundation for lifelong learning (Stone, 1995).

Q: Are the teachers certified?
A: We strive to have CDA (Child Development Associate) teachers in our center. This ensures that the teacher has completed a minimum of 120 hours of training specifically in the area of child development and class instruction and must continue their education requirements at a higher level than mandated by the state.

In addition our teachers participate in a rigorous, purposeful professional development program to help ensure they are able to demonstrate best practices during curriculum implementation and teaching. This is essential as a demonstration school, but also for the children who benefit from high-quality experiences.

ALL teachers in our center are current and up-to-date with CPR and First Aid training and maintain a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education in early childhood and development classes annually.

Q: How is class size determined?
A: We keep our ratios lower than is state mandated. While that does determine how many children there can be cared for by one teacher, what many do not realize is that those ratios change when you add teachers to a group size.

We take ratios one step further keeping our overall classrooms smaller. By maintaining a smaller class size overall, it allows for more concentrated attention from the teacher and a more structured learning environment. This chart shows this equation comparison. *

 

 

 

 

 

*Ratios will vary by the ages of children in the classroom.

Q: What if my child is ill?
A: We will call and inform you of the situation and ask that you pick up your child. Your child must be symptom free and without medication for 24 hours prior to returning to the center or have a doctor’s note clearing your child's return to group care.

Q: Can we enter the school mid-year?
A: We have open enrollment and will enroll at any time provided there is an opening.

Q: What if I’m late picking up my child?
A: There is a $1 per minute, per child late fee.

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