What age does POPPS serve?
Our license if for children ages 2 years 6 months – 5 years of age. Children who are 2 years 6 months and older may enroll in our Pre-K 3 year program and children that are 4 by October 1 may enroll in our
Pre-K 4 program.
Does my child need to be toilet trained?
Yes, during the covid pandemic we do ask that children are independent in the toilet training process. We will help/guide a child to get changed if they have an accident or get wet/muddy/dirty during play but would like children to be as independent as possible.
I see that children need to be independent with toileting. Will my child be escorted to the bathroom?
Yes, children will always be supervised, and a staff member will walk with children to our indoor restrooms from the classroom or playground. The hallway door to the bathrooms is always left open for supervision and the bathrooms have stall doors for your child’s privacy.
What happens when it rains, snows, etc?
POPPS is lucky to have large playground and outdoor classroom, Chipmunk Hollow, and engaging indoor classrooms with learning centers. Our large and small group instruction, which follow our curriculum from Teaching Strategies, Creative Curriculum, will take place in our classrooms balanced with daily time spent on our outdoor playground. We are a rain, snow and shine program, so we will spend some time each day outside. We recommend you purchase a rain suit for your child to keep them toasty warm and dry. See our gear list for more information. When the temperatures dip low we will shorten the time outside. We will use our indoor classrooms for the entire day when there is severe inclement weather (thunder and lighting, high winds, or heavy rain). As the Norwegians say, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing!”
What happened to your Playmates and Stepping Stones programs?
Due to the enhanced regulations during the Covid pandemic, we have had to make some changes to these programs. We are excited to offer our Playmates Program for two year olds and their grown ups out of doors this fall in Chipmunk Hollow, our outdoor classroom, and again in the spring.
Are snacks/lunch provided?
Not while we are operating under enhanced regulations due to the covid pandemic. Students will have access to their own refillable water bottle that will travel back and forth to school each day. Students in our morning programs should bring a small nutritious snack each day. Students in our extended day program should bring a lunch with a cooler pack to school each day. Please remember that we are an allergy friendly school, no peanuts or nut products, please!
What about bug spray/sun block?
Our Nature playground has many of the same inhabitants that your backyard does and that could include ticks or mosquitoes. We recommend that you apply a bug repellant/sunscreen of your choosing before your child attends school each day. There is a form under our forms tab if you would like us to apply a tick repellant before they go outside.
Do I need to make a full year commitment to this program/what if I need to withdraw my child?
Our operating expenses require that families maintain tuition payments, and this is especially important during this time. Due to enhanced regulations to lower the risk of covid-19 transmission, our class sizes are small, and we have doubled the number of staff required. Our tuition policy states that, “one month written notice is required if your child will be leaving the program. You are responsible for the entire month’s tuition whether your child is in attendance or not and 25% for each additional month of each monthly payment must be paid whether child is ill or not attending”.
Please know that as a not for profit operation, our goal is not to make a profit, but to cover expenses.
Will my child be required to wear a mask?
Our students and experience this past year have shown us that masks are no problem for our preschoolers! Usually, they only need gentle reminders to, “cover your nose” when their mask slips due to petite faces. Yes, while NJ is under enhanced covid-19 regulations in early childhood settings, while indoors our students will be asked to wear masks and when playing closely with another child or working with a teacher. When outside and playing independently students may remove their masks and of course masks will be removed while eating or resting/napping. Our staff will wear masks at all times.
If a child removes their mask, they will be gently reminded to replace it and staff will help children adjust or replace their mask as needed.
What other precautions are you taking to prevent the spread of covid-19?
We are operating under the enhanced regulations which can be found here: COVID_guidance_reopening_childcare.pdf (nj.gov)
Some of the measures we are implementing include:
- Health screening and temperature check of all staff and students when entering the building
- Room air filters and open windows to increase air flow in all of the classrooms
- Staff are wearing masks at all times
- Frequently touched surfaces (doors, tables, chairs, sinks, etc.) are sanitized with Bioesque botanical disinfectant throughout the day.
- All toys and manipulatives are disinfected daily, and shared spaces (playground/bathrooms) are disinfected between classes
- Students will have their own bin in each classroom with their own scissors, glue sticks, crayons etc. Their water bottles will also be stored here.
Are you a licensed program?
Yes, we are licensed by the state of New Jersey Department of Children and Families. We also receive annual inspections from the local Department of Health and Bureau of Fire Prevention.
What are the costs of the program and how do I register?
Please find our costs under the Hours and Fees tab. Our annual tuition is divided into 10 monthly payments. To register, please pay the $100 registration fee and your last month’s payment. Payments are made by check and can be mailed with your completed application or can be made in person at the church office.
What forms do I need to complete the registration process?
You will need a registration form, emergency contact form, personal history form, universal medical form with vaccine history, and a hold harmless agreement. These forms can be found under the Forms tab.
What is your sick policy?
State licensing mandates that no ill children may come to school. Parents are required to keep their children home if they observe any of the following symptoms and staff are authorized to contact parents to take a child home if any of these conditions are observed during class:
- Vomiting in the last 24 hours
- Temperature exceeding 100.4
- Severe pain or discomfort
- Severe Coughing
- Eye Discharge
- Skin rashes, infections, or open sores
- Two or more episodes of diarrhea with the past 24 hours
- Heavy Nasal Discharge
- Symptoms of covid:
- of 100.4 or higher
- Administration of medicine to reduce a fever
- Two of the following symptoms: Chills, shivers, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea/Vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion/runny nose
- One of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell.
- Close contact with a person with confirmed case of covid-19 in the past 14 days
- Someone in the household with symptoms of (see c) or a diagnosis of covid
- Travel to an area of high transmission (NJ’s current restrictions can be found here: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-and-transportation/are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey#direct-link)
What is your policy regarding peanuts and other allergies?
We are an allergy friendly school, and our staff is trained annually on how to deal with food allergies and an allergic reaction. Parents of children with food allergies are asked to complete a Food Allergy Action Plan from FARE and review it with your child’s teachers. At this time, all snacks are brought from home and cooking projects are suspended until safety conditions related to the covid-19 pandemic improve. When these conditions change, we will make a time to speak with you about safe snacks/ingredients. We kindly ask that you alert the classroom teacher to any allergies your child develops during the year so that we may avoid inadvertently exposing your child to foods and other materials that may cause allergic reactions. In addition, we are a peanut/tree nut free school and do not serve nuts or anything make with nuts and children are not permitted to bring nut containing products for snack or lunch. However, as the preschool utilizes a shared space, there is a chance that some residual nut products used by the church may be in our space.
I am curious about your name, Prince of Peace. Are you religious?
Yes, we are a ministry of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and welcome all.
Our mission and purpose statement reads:
“Prince of Peace Lutheran Church of Old Tappan is a welcoming Christian community. The church has established the Prince of Peace Preschool (POPPS) as an extension of our Christian Education Ministry. As a Christian Preschool our curriculum incorporates the message of Jesus’ love and care through an age-appropriate state licensed curriculum that incorporates music, stories, food and art that celebrate our Christian heritage.
The purpose of Prince of Peace Preschool is to nurture the children and help them develop in a positive manner, to be caring, creative and responsible members of our school, families, and society. With the cooperation of each family and the teaching staff, we will have the joy of sharing in each child’s success.”
We share God’s love by recognizing the every individual is a unique child of God, celebrating the seasons of the church, singing grace before snack, hosting a family Christmas program in December and visits from Pastor Holiday to read stories and visit the worship space.
We welcome all faiths to our program and invite everyone to share their faith, family and cultural traditions. We have had families visit us and share stories, traditions, games, crafts, and food included in the celebration of Hanukkah, Ramadan, Lunar New Year, Children’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Three Kings Day, and St. Lucia’s Day. We would love to learn about, celebrate and share your traditions with our students!
In addition, we celebrate the diversity of our students with portrayals of many types of families, genders, faiths, languages, and cultural heritages in our multicultural dolls, play food, dress up, musical instruments, classroom displays, books in our classroom and lending libraries, and the continuing education of our staff.