Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Center licensed by the State of Illinois?
Yes, The Academy of Creative Thinking, Inc., (ACT), is licensed under the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Why do tuition costs of child care centers continue to rise?
Tuition costs continue to rise as the cost of child care rises. The largest inputs to the cost of child care include payroll, rent and other occupancy costs, and food/milk. The costs of these items have continued to increase at a rate between 3-5% per year.
Why must I pay tuition for days/weeks that my child does not attend because of illness/vacation?
Tuition rates are based on the annual expense of the program and then divided evenly into weekly and/or monthly increments. The tuition rates are based on the expected enrollment throughout the year. Days/weeks in which your child does not attend does not significantly alter the expense of the program as the majority of the center’s expense is fixed (food purchase, supplies, rent, payroll).
Why must I pay full tuition for weeks that have holidays or days when the center is closed?
Tuition rates are based on the annual expense of the program and then divided evenly into weekly and/or monthly increments. This allows parents to have a consistent payment schedule that will not fluctuate based on the number of days open. If holidays and closed days were not considered paid days, then the remaining weekly/monthly rate would be higher to cover the annual cost of the program.
Why should I participate in fundraising activities when I pay tuition every week?
Fundraising activities are used to help maintain affordable tuition rates. All fundraising proceeds are pooled back into the program to help offset some of the expense.
Do the teachers have written plans for play and learning activities?
Yes, each teacher has a curriculum guide and written age-appropriate plans for play and learning activities. Children’s daily programs are educationally based and consist of a variety of subjects including language, science, art, social studies, math, and more.
Do the children have a place for their own belongings?
Yes, each child has their own ‘cubby’ or space for personal items and class projects.
Are meals and snacks provided by ACT? Are special diets available if necessary?
Nutritious and well-balanced meals for the children, including breakfast, lunch and snacks, are provided. Alternative meals may be available for any child who has medically determined dietary restrictions.
Are toys and materials used by the children, as well as the environment, clean and safe?
Yes, cleanliness and safety are very important at ACT. All toys and areas where children play, eat, and sleep are cleaned daily.
Do the children have individual cots on which to nap or rest?
Yes, all of the infants are provided with individual cribs and all of the children 5 years and under have individual cots on which to nap or rest. Cot/crib sheets & blankets are provided.
Do the teachers regularly meet with parents?
Yes, ACT teachers engage in daily contact with parents and regularly send communication home for each child. Teachers will schedule at least two annual conferences with parents in the spring and fall.
Do the teachers participate in ongoing training programs?
Yes, our teachers attend training programs in order to continue to learn more about children’s growth and development, the field of early childhood education, and other child-related topics. Each teacher is required to obtain a minimal of 15 hours of training annually.
Why do I have to complete the Food Form Application?
ACT participates in The Illinois Child Care Food Program, which helps to maintain affordable tuition rates by offsetting some of the expense of food service. It is a federally funded program that gives financial aid to licensed child care centers and day care homes. The financial aid awarded is based on our families’ information. We appreciate our families’ support and information in order to use this government program. The objectives of the program are: To improve the diets of children under 13 years of age by providing the children with nutritious, well-balanced meals and develop good eating habits in children that will last through later years.
**The form needs to be completed each fiscal year.
Does my child have to go outside for outdoor play time every day even in cooler weather?
Yes, in abiding by the guidelines set by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) children are expected to go outside daily for fresh air and exercise. It is not appropriate for children to stay inside an enclosed room all day long. Research shows that children do not get sick from cool or cold weather. ACT maintains its policy that if your child is healthy to come to school then your child is healthy to go outside. Please dress your child for the weather so that your child is comfortable while outdoors and label all belongings.
Illinois quality child care guidelines state that, “An outdoor area should be used daily for one hour for gross motor play, weather permitting”. In Illinois, the term “weather permitting” means temperatures between 25 and 90 degrees, taking into consideration the wind chill and heat index. For example: If the temperature is 30 degrees, but 18 degrees with the wind chill factored in, it is not expected that children have outdoor play time.
If you have additional questions please ask. We want our parents to be comfortable and involved in our program. Please communicate with us at all times.
Thank you for your support!