Frequently Asked Questions

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 Stepping Stones Program. Admission is rolling, and you may register when your child turns 2 years and 6 months, space permitting. Children that are 3 by October 1 may enroll in our Pre-K 3 program, and children who are 4 by October 1st may enroll in our Pre-K 4 program.

Does my child need to be toilet trained?

Yes, we 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 as we feel this maximizes everyone’s learning time while in school. Students enrolled in our Stepping Stones program that are almost fully independent in the potty training process may attend in pull-ups.

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!”

Are snacks/lunch provided?

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! We provide a small afternoon snack after rest time for our students in our extended day program.

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. 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.

I’ve noticed that some of your staff members wear masks. Why is that?

Some of our staff may be wearing masks as a personal preference to safeguard family members in their homes that have compromised immune systems. They may take the masks off during activities during which seeing the adults’ facial expressions is beneficial to children. Some of our staff may temporarily wear a
mask when fighting a low level cold to prevent the spread of germs in our community. Mask wearing is optional in our school community.

What other precautions are you taking to prevent the spread of covid-19 and other germs/viruses?

We follow the guidelines from the Bergen County Board of Health, CDC and our
licensing agency. Some of the measures we are implementing include:

  1. Handwashing of all staff and students when entering the building or
    playground (weather permitting).
  2. Room air filters and open windows to increase air flow in all of the
    classrooms.
  3. Frequently touched surfaces (doors, tables, chairs, sinks, etc.) are
    sanitized with Bioesque botanical disinfectant throughout the day.
  4. Students will have their own bin in each classroom for their own
    belongings. Their water bottles will also be stored here.
  5. Although infrequent, when we have multiple children with illness in
    one class we close our shared sensory bins/Play-Doh/sand centers
    and wash all dress-up and soft play items. These items/activities are
    only brought back into rotation when the rate of transmission has
    subsided.

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 through Brightwheel, our billing and communication app.

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. You will have access to these forms via Brightwheel upon
registration.

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:

  1. Vomiting in the last 24 hours
  2. Temperature exceeding 100.4
  3. Severe pain or discomfort
  4. Severe Coughing
  5. Eye Discharge
  6. Skin rashes, infections, or open sores
  7. Two or more episodes of diarrhea with the past 24 hours
  8. Heavy Nasal Discharge
  9. Symptoms of covid:
    • Temperature 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 5 days
    • Someone in the household with symptoms of (see c) or a diagnosis of covid unless child is able to remain quarantined from person with covid and has a negative rapid covid test daily.

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, most snacks are brought from home. Our teachers plan cooking projects to enhance our curriculum. We will make a time to speak with you about safe snacks/ingredients. Families work with teachers to identify and/or provide safe alternatives. 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.