1. Is First Friends an accredited center?
Yes we have been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 2005.
2. What does my child eat at school?
First Friends does not provide lunch; however we will heat lunches for you. We also provide a morning and an afternoon snack. Weekly menu’s are posted by the office and in each classroom. First Friends strives to provide healthy options; morning snack consists of fresh fruit and afternoon snack consists of some type of crackers etc.
3. Are your teachers certified in First Aid and CPR?
Yes all of our teachers are certified in both First Aid and CPR.
4. Who are the Board of Directors and what do they do?
The Board of Directors includes the Executive Committee (Executive Director, President, Vice President, Treasurer and Clerk) as well as other members. The Board is made up of approximately 15 people, including parents of current and former students, First Baptist Church members and other members of the community. The number of parents of current students is limited to balance the independence of the decisions made for the center. The Board meets monthly to review the operational and financial results of the center, as well as plan for the future.
5. Where do the profits of the center go?
First Friends is a non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3). which means that the center does not pay state or federal income taxes. Although the center is a non-profit organization, the center may run surpluses from year to year. Any surpluses earned in a particular year are held by the center to fund future operations or significant capital or other investments in the center.
6. What are the educational requirements for teachers?
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care requirements to be MA teacher certified are:
Must be 21 years of age or have a high school diploma and meet one of the following sets of requirements:
- Have successfully completed three credits in Child Growth and Development and have 9 months work experience
- Have a Child Development Associate (CDA)
- Have graduated from a two year high school vocational program in early childhood education and experience requirements have been evaluated and recommended by the program instructor.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children teacher requirements are:
- Have a minimum of CDA credential awarded by the council for Professional Recognition or equivalent
- Be working on an associate’s degree or higher degree in early childhood education, child development-family studies, early childhood special education, or elementary education with a concentration in early childhood or the equivalent.
- Have a degree (associate’s or higher) outside of the early childhood field and three or more years of work experience in an NAEYC-accredited program.
- Have a degree associate’s or higher outside of the early childhood field with three or more years of work experience in a non accredited program and at least 30 contact hours of relevant training during the past three years.
7. Do the teachers receive on-going professional development?
Yes all staff are required to receive 20 hours of professional development per year. This professional development is funded by First Friends.
8. Do you accept vouchers?
Yes. First Friends accepts vouchers from the state of Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. First Friends receives a state-regulated tuition rate for each voucher student. Child Care Resources will determine whether the parent will pay a portion of the tuition based on family size and income. Please visit www.sevenhills.org/programs/child-care-resources to determine eligibility.
9. What is the curriculum based on?
First Friends uses the MA Preschool Early Learning Guidelines and the MA Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers to plan daily curriculum. These guidelines are meant to guide curriculum and learning through play and meaningful activities.
First Friends uses Creative Curriculum as an on-going assessment tool. Teachers use assessment information to get to know children and to plan learning experiences that meet the strengths and needs of every child. The goals and objects of the Creative Curriculum are the starting point for assessment. The Creative Curriculum Assessment System is an on-going cycle which includes a four step process:
- Collecting facts
- Analyzing and responding
- Summarizing, planning, and communicating