We at Pusteblume want the best experience for your child. To ensure the best possible success–academically and socially–we believe that daily attendance and punctuality are essential for the positive experience of your child. It also helps us to keep our daily schedule and routines on track. Please call our office at 212-206-1137 when your child will be absent.
Arrival and departure procedure
Children are to arrive clean and fed, and picked up according to your enrollment contract. In the beginning, it is normal for children to be hesitant and sometimes even cry when being dropped off. Please be brief during drop-off times. The longer parents prolong the departure, the harder it is for your child, as well as the other children in the class room, to separate from their parents. A smile, cheerful good-bye kiss, and a reassuring word that you will be back is all you need to do. Rest assured the staff will do everything to ensure that your children enjoy their day at Pusteblume.
Mealtimes and Food
Parents are responsible for providing a nutritional lunch for their child. We provide a healthy morning and afternoon snack. For example, fresh fruit, cut vegetable, nuts, fruit bread or crackers. Pusteblume is a nut-friendly preschool. Please alert us if your child is allergic to nuts. Children with nut allergies will be sitting on separate (nut-free) tables.
Our first snack time is at 9:30 am; lunch at 12:30 pm; our afternoon snack time is at 3:30 pm.
Parents are welcome to contribute to snack time by donating snacks!
We are happy to help with potty training provided that parents support the process at home. We require that that your children wear clothing that they can handle successfully on their own; no overalls, belts or jeans with buttons or snaps. Elastic waist pants are the most appropriate. Parents will be asked to supply an extra set of spare clothes and/or pull-ups during the training period.
We believe that children are young explorers trying to understand their place in a mysterious world. Part of a young child’s development is learning independence and self-control. A way for your child to accomplish this is by experimenting and testing the limits of their social environment and seeing and feeling the effects of their actions. This can sometimes result in conflicts with their environment. Thus, the children are explained the rules of the school frequently so that all are aware of the limits and guidelines. Our top concern is to maintaining a safe and supportive environment for all while protecting the self-esteem of each and every child. If a child breaks a rule, we apply the methods of redirection, refocusing, and temporarily removing minor privileges to solve the problem. We do not view this as punishment but realize that this is an important teaching moment for your child. We keep those interactions positive, friendly but firm and consistent. By setting comprehensive guidelines, limits and expectations, we provide a supportive loving social environment.
Health and Immunizations and Records
On the first day a child begins the program parents must submit health records that show the child is current for routine screening tests and immunizations. These forms can be obtained by the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene / Department of Education or you can pick up one at our front desk. When a child is overdue for any routine health services, parents, legal guardians, or both provide must provide evidence of an appointment for those services before the child’s entry into the program and as a condition of remaining enrolled in the program, except for immunization for which parents are using a religious exemption. Health and safety information collected from families will be maintained on file for each child in Pusteblume’s office. Files must be kept current and are updated annually. The content of the file is confidential.
In order to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all children and families, please be aware that children with a fever, flu-like symptoms, including runny nose, sore throat and cough, or skin rashes may be restricted from Pusteblume care until recovery. In case a contagious disease (for example Pink Eye or Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease) is detected in one of our children, we will take measures to prevent the disease from spreading. Most importantly the infected child cannot attend Pusteblume care until we receive a note from a pediatrician that the child is not contagious anymore. As part of our transparency policy, we will send an information flyer about the case (without mentioning which child was affected). The school will inform the parents with the description of the disease, venues of contagion, and treatment and medical management. We also adhere to our “washing hands” policy. This includes starting the day by washing hands before entering the class room.
Pusteblume staff cannot administer any medications.
Minor bumps and scratches are inevitable and can occur anywhere or anytime in a child’s daily life, but we make every effort to keep the children safe through close supervision and childproofing. Minor injuries receive appropriate first aid, and if an emergency injury or illness occurs, you will be contacted immediately. In extreme emergencies, or if in doubt, we will call 911. Pusteblume will not be held liable for any sickness/injury of either parent/guardian or child while on the premises, or while the child is in the company of the provider during field trips or outdoor play.
Child Abuse and Neglect
New York City and State law require teachers to report all cases of suspected child abuse and neglect to the Department of Human Services. All staff members at Pusteblume have been trained to recognize the signs and will report any suspected child abuse and/or neglect. The Department of Human Services decides if the information provided is sufficient for further investigation.
Emergency Evacuation Procedure (Drills)
Our emergency evacuation procedures are approved by the NYC Fire Safety Officer. They are clearly displayed on the premises, are explained to all new members of staff, volunteers and parents and are practiced regularly, at least once every four weeks. Records are kept of all fire drills and of the servicing of fire safety equipment.
Outdoor Play and Excursions
Pusteblume is using the public playground on 16th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues (Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly Playground). Please dress your children appropriately for the season and mark all clothes with the first and last name of the child. Appropriate shoes for outdoor play are mandatory to prevent injury (please see our guidelines below). All children will go outside so they will benefit from exercise and to give them an opportunity to be physically active outside the classroom. Unless local Weather Advisories warn of too much heat, arctic cold, snow, or ice on the playground, we believe in outdoor play. Seasonally high or low temperatures are no barrier to outside play. Hence, please dress your children seasonally appropriately. In the summer, we’ll ask parents to apply sunscreen before coming to Pusteblume and to provide a sun hat.
Please make sure to follow these guidelines regarding dressing your child:
Summer: Your child should wear clothing according to summer temperatures. Please be aware that:
- Your child should wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible (for skin protection against sun).
- Your child should wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect the neck, face, ears and nose.
- Please apply SPF 30+ water resistant sunscreen before the start of each school day. We will reapply as necessary. (Please, put your child’s sunscreen in his or her knapsack.)
- The Pusteblume staff will be taking advantage of shaded areas within the playground.
Winter: Your child should wear clothing according to winter temperatures. Please be aware that:
- Your child should wear layers, so that she is comfortable inside and outside the classroom.
- Undershirt, heavy socks, tights, T-shirt, sweater or pullover, heavy pants, winter jacket/coat, scarf, gloves or mittens, hat, etc. are essential layers for winter.
Shoes: In order for your child to be safe on climbing equipment on the playground, it is important that each child has proper shoes:
- No flip flops, Crocs, or light sandals.
- Only rubber soled, securely fastened shoes. Sneakers are best.
- Slip-on boots are not preferred because the foot cannot get a firm grip on the ground below.
- Be sure your child wears socks as well as to avoid blisters.
Excursions and Field Trips
Depending on our curriculum and calendar we will organize excursions and field trips such as visiting the zoo, botanical garden, museum or other cultural organizations. We will inform parents in our monthly Director’s newsletter and weekly Elternbrief accordingly. An Excursion and Field Trip Release Form needs to be signed upon entering the program. If parents don’t wish to have their child participate in the Pusteblume excursion program, they are responsible for providing back-up care. There are not tuition refunds in this situation.
In the event of snow storms or severely inclement weather, we will inform you about closings via email and/or text message.