Choose the Best Childcare
for Your Family’s Needs
Review Your Family’s Priorities | Define What is Most Important
Do you picture your child in a busy, active place with lots of other children, or are you looking for a small, nurturing environment with just a few kids? Are you looking for a particular educational philosophy? What kinds of specific needs does your young child have: toilet training, napping, socializing? Do you want a school located near your workplace or your home? What kinds of needs do you have regarding your schedule?
Choosing the right childcare center or first school experience for your child is both an exciting and daunting prospect. Regardless of the qualities you’re looking for, it’s wise to start researching early and apply to multiple programs, because space is often limited. Here are questions to ask and things to look for to ensure that our program is right for your child and meets your families needs. It is also recommended that you call to schedule a tour.
Mission + Curriculum | Most childcare centers or preschools will have a specific philosophy regarding their curriculum. Which one is right for your child?
First Lutheran Children’s Programs provides a safe, creative environment for children and youth, ages 12 months to 12 years. Through diverse programs provided by trained staff, FLCP seeks to help each child achieve his/her potential in terms of emotional development, physical wellbeing, and social and spiritual growth. Together, families and teachers work together to ensure that each child is seen as an individual. It is believed that children learn best when they are involved, experiencing and having fun. The programs at FLCP provide fun, varied experiences that are developmentally appropriate for their ages.
“FLCP has been trusted by generations of families since 1970!”
Staff | Who will your children be learning from? What training have they had?
The quality of the programs at FLCP is the direct result of its committed staff; many hold degrees in early childhood education or related fields. Most of them have been teaching at First Lutheran Children’s Programs for over 5 years and each staff member is certified in CPR and First Aid. These experienced teachers are continually involved in professional development trainings throughout the year. With a passion for teaching, the staff treats each child as an individual and work with families in doing what’s best for the child.
Staff Turnover | Any program with a high staff turnover means the staff is unhappy. Typically these programs are best avoided.
FLCP prides itself on its history and longevity, especially its staff. Most of the staff have been teaching at First Lutheran for over 5 years. The staff at FLCP has been described by parents as “committed, compassionate, nurturing, and professional…” You can tell that the teachers there genuinely love what they do … it is their true calling.”
Teacher/Child Ratio | How individualized is the care your child will be receiving? Are the children in large groups or smaller groups?
At FLCP, the teacher/child ratios are known to be lower than the state requirements. This allows for more individualized attention.
“I know that my child is well cared for at FLCP.“
Hours and Location | Is the childcare center or preschool conveniently located?
Will the hours fit your family schedule? Will your child feel secure?
FLCP is conveniently located on Auburn Street in Portland, close to the Allen Avenue and Washington Avenue Junction. For many working parents, this offers an easy drop off during their work commute to and from Portland. Lyseth Elementary school is located across the street from FLCP which allows FLCP to offer its accredited Before and After School Programs where its staff is able to drop off and pick up children from school and safely transfer them to and from the center. Aside from providing convenience for working parents of school age children, it gives parents peace of mind knowing their children are secure and cared for in a safe place with caring staff during the work day hours. FLCP also offers a very flexible schedule for its preschool programs.
“I heard about FLCP through the Lyseth School. The staff is there to greet my child when she gets out of school. I know she is safe and in good hands.”
Behavior Expectations | Ask for specifics about how problems are solved and consider if they will be right for your child.
FLCP helps children manage their behavior by providing clear expectations in a nurturing and caring way. The staff at FLCP promote positive social interactions with the children and youth; offering guidance on how to problem solve, working with the children to negotiate and communicate with their friends in the group setting. Clear communication by staff about expectations and boundaries helps children understand what the rules are and what is the expected behavior while at FLCP. This provides for healthy and enriching social development. With most staff having several years of experience under their belts, they are often able to anticipate when issues will arise and use a variety of approaches to redirect children. Through their respectful daily interactions with the children and other adults, the teachers serve as models for how to respect others.
Communication with Parents | How do teachers and the administration keep parents informed?
The administration and staff are always available for questions about the day’s activities. Parents see a lead teacher at drop off and again at pick up time. In addition, each classroom provides monthly newsletters and a calendar of daily activities. Parents are also kept up-to-date through the classroom bulletin boards and daily notes.
References | There are a number of childcare options available in the Portland area. What is the word on the street for your choices?
FLCP has a well-established program with an outstanding reputation for providing quality care to toddlers, preschoolers, and school age care youth. The Church itself, as well as the Lyseth Elementary School, are both strong references for our programs and reputation.
Go With Your Gut | Make sure to take a tour of all the places you are considering for childcare. What does your gut tell you?
Jackie and Beth at First Lutheran Children’s Programs are available to give you a tour and answer any questions or concerns you might have about their programs, staff and the facility.
CALL FOR A TOUR!
See for yourself what FLCP has to offer
Jackie Nelson, Director
Beth Rovnak, Business Manager
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ENROLL YOUR CHILD!
You have done your research and have taken a tour of First Lutheran Children’s Programs and now have decided to enroll your child.
In order to enroll your child, please call Jackie or Beth to notify them of your decision. They will request that you print and complete these PDF forms. You will need to mail or deliver them to FLCP to ensure that your child is properly enrolled. Your child is not officially enrolled until these documents have been completed and received by FLCP.