The Program

Will there be any changes to the teaching program and/or curriculum? If so, what are the benefits?

We will continue to implement  Creative Curriculum, a process that began last year. Teacher training on this new curriculum is on-going. The UNOW curriculum is evolving and will continue to do so in the new center. Its implementation is independent of the move itself. The Creative Curriculum is a nationally recognized, research based early childhood curriculum. It has been in existence for over 20 years.  The Creative Curriculum was selected as UNOW’s curriculum of choice because it is a play based and aligns with our current curriculum practices. Adopting a known curriculum provides continuous assessment and developmental tools for teachers and follows the children as they age through the program.

 

Will there be any changes to the administrative structure?

Yes. UNOW is adding new staff positions to accommodate our larger center.

  • Two program coordinators who will serve as the pulse of our day-to-day operations. One program coordinator will be responsible for the Infant/Toddler wing and the other for Preschool wing. They will provide support and guidance on curriculum development and staffing.
  • Jessie Bradley, who joined UNOW as an Assistant Director to support the transition to the new center, will become the Associate Director. The title change captures the increase of responsibilities with the operations of the new center.
  • Additional Human Resource support and Financial book keeping support will be hired or contracted out to assist with the labor laws and business of a much larger staff and program.
  • There will be a Receptionist/Administrative Assistant dedicated to our new reception area.
  • Additional Food Service help will be hired and trained to ensure quality and timely meals to all the children.

 

What are the number of classrooms, the age ranges for each classroom, and the number of children per classroom?

Our current plan calls for opening 12 classrooms in the first year and an additional 3 classrooms in the second year, for an expected total of 15 classrooms at full enrollment.

 

The age ranges of each class will remain the same but there will be between two and three rooms for each age group. At full enrollment, the proposed room sizes will be as follows:

 

Classroom

Age Range*

No of Children

No of Rooms**

Infant 1

3-11 months

8

3

Infant 2

12-17 months

8

3

A Class

18-25 months

12

2

B Class

26-35 months

12

2

C Class

3-4 years

18

2

D Class

4-5 years

18

2

 

*    Starting age range for each class

** Classrooms opening choices may change depending on age demand of the waitlist.

 

Will there be any change in the opening hours of the new center?

We are currently exploring providing an extended day option, pending demand. Our current application asks prospective parents to indicate interest in a 7am drop-off and an extended day till 7pm. There will be an additional fee for this before and after care option.

 

How are children assigned to a certain classroom year after year?

Children will be assigned to classrooms by age group, working back from the cut-off date for kindergarten entry. They will be assigned to specific rooms based on their relationships with other children in their cohort. Children will transition with their peers to the next appropriate age group whenever possible. There will be efforts to maintain peer relationships and teacher relationships as children age up through the program.

 

Will there be flex hours (i.e., options for number of days a week/partial day care)?

Our emphasis will be to continue providing full-time daycare, but we may allocate empty slots to part-time applicants if we are unable to fill them with full-time children.

 

Will the tuition decrease given the University’s objective to make the center available to all Princeton employees? 

Tuition will not decrease but is anticipated to increase minimally from year to year as in the past.  Quality in early childhood is expensive.  Quality in early childhood care requires well paid staff for retention and continuity of care. It also means professional development to stay abreast of best practices. Finally, quality is recognized by maintaining small group sizes and excellent child to adult ratios.  With the subsidy of the University we are able to offer the same quality if not improved quality of care without an absorbent increase in tuition.  However, the high cost of quality child care is recognized and we are investigating options for tuition assistance programs, either through grants or donations.

 

How much will our tuition be?

We haven’t yet finalized our 2017 budget. Tuition will likely increase in line with normal annual increases.

 

What is UNOW’s relationship with the university, and will it change? 

UNOW currently operates under an agreement with the University, however, revisions to the agreement have been evolved over the last few years with the opening of the new center. UNOW will be the child care service provider in the new center and our relationship with the University will be governed by a contract. Princeton University will own the new facility and we will not pay rent. UNOW and Princeton University are currently in the process of finalizing the details of the contract. UNOW and the University have worked closely together over the past two years to develop the plan for the new center and we are very excited about this exciting new chapter in our relationship with Princeton University.