What Does An Average Day Look Like At Blackbird?
Children attending Blackbird will have the opportunity to try out many activities typical of a preschool environment. In a 3 hour period, children will typically participate in an art, literacy, numeracy, and music/movement activity. We are proud to provide a range of activities appropriate to the ages of all of the children we serve.
Our daily schedule is not 'set in stone'; rather, our teachers will have about 20 activities planned each week and will select the most appropriate activity for the group of children booked in each hour. For example, the teachers might choose fingerpainting for a group of children who are mostly under 2 years old, but when a group of mostly 4-5 year olds is attending, the teachers might choose a clay figurine building activity instead.
What are the fees?
Blackbird time is $15 per hour. We offer some discount packages (which may be purchased on our website). In addition, there is a monthly membership fee of $50.
You must pay the Membership fee for each month in which your child attends. We will send you an email invoice to pay each month via PayPal or credit card. If your child will not be attending for a month or two, please let us know!
In the month you attend your orientation session, you may try out Blackbird without paying the membership fee. For example, if you attend an orientation on January 14th, your child may attend from January 15th - 31st before you have to pay February's membership fee.
Note that two siblings attending at once are always eligible for a discount ($25 per hour rather than $30 - you can enter the coupon code SIBSAVE when booking to get this discount). Families pay one monthly membership fee (not one for each child).
How do I book time at Blackbird?
You may book time at Blackbird using our website; payment must be received through PayPal or Credit Card. After your orientation, you will receive a Booking Guide by email that outlines this process in detail.
What if I need to cancel or change hours?
We do not issue refunds, but will give a full credit for paid hours IF changes or cancellations are made with 24 hours notice (this is a firm policy). If your cancellation comes with fewer than 24 hours notice, a credit will not be granted.
Using our booking system, you will be able to log in and change your appointment times on your own as long as it is more than 24 hours before your appointment.
Please email us at email@example.com to make cancellations.
Can my child attend Blackbird if he or she is sick?
If your child has had a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea within 24 hours, please do not bring him to Blackbird. We also reserve the right to send home or refuse children who are too sick to attend.
Does my child need to be toilet trained to attend?
No, your child needn't be toilet trained to attend Blackbird. Please send diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes each time.
Can my child nap at Blackbird?
Naps are not part of our daily schedule. Most children who are still napping attend before or after their nap. However, if your child needs to attend during their usual naptime, we can provide them with a quiet, dim place to rest, with a cozy mat, pillow, and blanket.
Do you provide food?
No, we do not provide food. Please send a snack with your child. We schedule snack time at 10:30am and 2:30pm each day (and lunch at noon). No peanuts, please! Our staff will help with opening containers, but please send things your child can feed herself.
Please label all containers with your child's name.
How do you handle conflict between children?
At Blackbird, we never use punitive behavioural correction. We use research-validated techniques to help children learn appropriate behaviours for a classroom setting. The most important technique is what we call 'talking up': teachers notice children engaging in appropriate behaviour and commend them on it! In addition, we use modelling of appropriate behaviour (both by adults and peers) and communicate clear expectations to the children.
In general, we experience little conflict between children. Of course, you will be informed immediately if your child has any troubles at Blackbird that should be brought to your attention.
What sort of training do the staff have?
All of our staff have a degree in a related field and years of experience working with children. They all have first aid and safety training, and we conduct regular inservice training as well. We feel that their varied interests and backgrounds give a great variety to children attending Blackbird! Visit our Staff Wall at our entrance to learn more about our teachers.
Is there anything I should know about pick-up and drop-off?
Yes, a few important points:
- Your child may only be picked up by individuals identified on their registration form. Staff will ask unfamiliar people for identification.
- Please ensure you sign your child in and out.
- You must drop off and pick up your child within 5 minutes of the hour they're scheduled. If you're running late, please call immediately.
- If you arrive to drop your child off more than 5 minutes early, staff will ask you to come back at your booking time. Due to licensing restrictions related to the ratio of children to staff, it is very important that we maintain the correct numbers at all times, and thus must be quite particular about drop-off and pick-up times.
What schedule do you recommend for attendance?
If Blackbird will be your child's first experience in a care setting, we strongly recommend booking him/her in for a few short and frequent visits (i.e., 1 to 2 hours for about 3 days per week). Generally, booking at 8:00am or 4:00pm will ensure a quieter environment and more one-to-one time with staff, which we find helps many children adjust more easily.
Typically, we recommend a quick goodbye! Most children do their best if their parents walk them in, help them get settled with an activity, and then make a quick exit. If your child is upset for a while after you leave, we will call you and invite you to come back to check in with them. However, we find that most kids who are upsetseem to calm down and engage within just a few minutes of their parents leaving.
How far in advance can I book?
You can book as little as an hour in advance as long as we have space! That said, time at Blackbird fills up pretty quickly. We strongly recommend booking at least a week or two in advance.
How do I register my child?
The steps to registration are:
- Attend an orientation session.
- Drop off your child's registration forms, or scan and email them to us (Note: you may bring these to the tour already filled out if you like)
- Create an account on our website for booking.
- Book your child in for his/her first visit!
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we have busy days at Blackbird and don't always have an extra person on hand to field phone calls. In general, email is the best way to get in touch.