Saint Jemuel Day Care Center is a Administration for Children Services (ACS) Daycare Center. St. Jemuel operated as a licensed group family day care in the Kingsbridge neighborhood for over 9 years before awarded ACS funded contract . With the downturn in the economy many of our families who were private paying were no longer able to afford the services and we experienced a declining enrollment, although the need for services in the community had not diminished.
In 2012, ACS provided an opportunity for both St. Jemuel and the families in the Kingsbridge community, and in 2014 we added a DOE UPK classroom that accommodates 17 pre-kindergarten children. We now have the capacity to accommodate 27 pre-K children. Our population is predominately Hispanic, but we have a diverse student population, with representation from Hispaniola, the English speaking Caribbean, Africa, and the United States.
Our staff is dedicated and highly trained. Each head teacher has at least a Bachelors degree, some with a Masters and Early Childhood Certification. Every teacher has an assistant and the infant toddler classroom has a head teacher and three assistants. We have four classrooms, one rooms for our four year olds, the Shining Stars, one class room for the three year olds, the Discovery Zone, a double room for the infants and toddlers, the Buds of Promise, and a double classroom for our DOE-UPK.
Everyone on the staff, including clerical, custodial and administrative members has had background checks, complete physicals, proper immunization, CPR & first Aid, disease control and child abuse training. The staff is required to participate in twelve professional development sessions each year covering safety, pedagogy, health, and personal goal setting.
Our Educational Director will assess every preschooler within two month of admittance for a baseline and again in May. Our program uses a comprehensive observational rating instrument that is aligned with the high scope curriculum and the head start outcomes framework. The COR assessment tool allows teachers to access their children in the domain area and to individualize activities for them based on the assessment. Teachers write anecdotal records daily and use the information in their planning. These anecdotal notes are objective rather than subjective and are based on what the children do and say. Then it is used to individualize the curriculum. Our parents are required to attend parent/teacher conferences each year to discuss their child’s academic, social and emotional growth. At the end of the year we have a Moving Up ceremony celebrating the accomplishment our children have made throughout the year.
The child’s safety is our primary concern therefore the Center has a a very sophisticate fire alarm system, conducts fire drills every month and has a state of the art security camera system.
Our children receive breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack with a full day attendance.
We screen our caterers, who must be approved by ACS. A typical menu and Daily schedule are posted on the site. Napping and rest time are enforced so that the children are re-energized for afternoon activities. Children who cannot sleep can read quietly or participate is a quiet activity, puzzles, coloring, etc. Weather permitting children go out every day.
At the end of the year we come together; staff & Parents to plan the: calendar, trips, activities, professional development training topics, and budgeting.
Ultimately, our goal is to make the child’s tenure at St. Jemuel’s a happy one so that learning becomes a positive experience.
Total # of children & families served 54
Average monthly enrollment 90%
Percentage of eligible children served 92%