Our Learning Environment
We Adhere to the Highest Standards
At Play and Learn, We take your child’s development and safety seriously. That’s why we adhere to the highest standards in child-directed education, safety and security, nutrition, and cleanliness. We know it makes a difference.
Play and Learn is licensed by the Department of Human Services and Pennsylvania Department of Education and follows the state’s early learning standards. We use the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards for Infants and Toddlers, Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards for Pre-Kindergarten, and Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards for Kindergarten to guide curriculum and lesson planning decisions. We also participate in the Keystone STARS Certification Program, designed to evaluate and improve the quality of child care. The program offers Standards, Training, Assistance, Resources and Support (STARS) to child care providers and recognizes the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania.
Our educational philosophy is age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate and child-directed. Your child will learn through play and will be given the freedom to make choices that help to foster independence. Activities like sports and music are included in your tuition, while other enrichment programs are available for an optional fee.
Our preschool and certified Kindergarten program are aligned with the curriculum of public school Kindergarten programs and are designed to prepare your child to transition easily to a public or private school environment.
Your child’s health and safety is our highest priority. It’s our promise to ourselves and the families we serve. Our Safe Play Pledge is a daily reminder of the importance of implementing and following the highest safety standards.
As part of our Safe Play Pledge, we vow to:
- Assign families a personal identification number (PIN), which must be entered into an electronic keypad to gain access to any Play and Learn Center. We also have 24-hour camera surveillance at every Center.
- Require visitors to identify themselves and sign in before entering a Play and Learn Center.
- Update an emergency contact form for your child every six months. Here, parents can identify family members or family friends who are authorized to pick up your child. We require ID before we release a child to authorized friends and family members.
- Post teachers at strategic locations on each playground at all times while children are at play to provide supervision.
- Require each teacher to successfully pass CPR, First Aid and fire safety training.
- Hold regular fire and evacuation drills at every Center and post emergency evacuation plans in each Center’s classrooms.
- Ensure that our playground equipment is fenced in, age-appropriate and meets the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Take weather and temperature into consideration before allowing children to play outside.
- Keep regularly updated medical and allergy logs easily accessible at each Center for every child in our care.
- Utilize various tools to maintain constant supervision of children in our teachers’ care.
Cleanliness and Hygiene Standards
Cleanliness and hygiene require constant vigilance from all staff. From our professional attire to our cleaning products and methods, everything at Play and Learn is kept neat and tidy.
We work with a professional cleaning staff to ensure that the cleaning products and daily cleaning techniques used are both safe and effective, in keeping with Play and Learn’s high standards. We hold regular in-session cleaning days for deep-cleaning. All cleaning products are stored in locked cabinets for extra security.
Germs have no place to hide in our classrooms. That’s why we stress regular hand washing throughout the day for everyone: children, teachers, staff, and families. We regularly sanitize toys and even segregate toys that children put in their mouths into a “Wash Me” bin, which is placed in a separate area to be cleaned. Our teachers use gloves and hands-free containers for trash disposal, and they wear shoe covers inside infant classrooms. Diapering is conducted away from eating areas, and each child’s bedding is stored individually to avoid cross-contamination.
We pay special attention to germ control during cold and flu season. Our teachers are extra-vigilant during this time and pay close attention to each child to assess their health. We keep track of illnesses and sickness through a symptom log report, which is reviewed on a monthly basis. We also help parents by providing resources and tips for keeping your kids healthy in our e-newsletter. If your child falls ill during the school day, we will notify you to make you aware of the situation so that you and the Center can decide on the best course of action.
While good, old-fashioned hand washing is one of the best things you and your children can do to keep from getting sick, we also use the latest technology. All of our Centers are equipped with Sterilight air filtration units in every classroom. These units help eliminate airborne bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms thanks to filters that trap harmful particles and gases and an innovative ultraviolet light chamber that disrupts the harmful nature of microorganisms.
Healthy Eating, Healthy Living
At Play and Learn, we teach kids the importance of making healthy food choices themselves. And we stress the role that exercise and physical activity play in staying healthy and fit, setting your child up for a lifetime of good habits.
To help us toward that goal, Play and Learn looks to national programs for guidance. The Let’s Move initiative that puts children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years, has provided us with a wealth of resources to provide our children and families with key nutrition and physical activity goals.
Our focus on healthy nutrition doesn’t stop when children leave our care at the end of the day. That’s why we developed “Yummy Tummy,” a series of nutrition-focused articles you’ll receive as part of Play and Learn’s monthly e-newsletter. Here, you’ll find fun and nutritious recipes you and your children can prepare together, along with healthy meal plan ideas and even tips for picky eaters.