Friendship Garden Nursery School



Find our Parent Handbook 05-21-16 here. 


Nature and Nurture

Hand in Hand


At the Friendship Garden Nursery School we believe that young children’s needs are best met in a loving, supportive, and home like environment. Our natural rural setting provides a safe, peaceful backdrop for wholesome early learning experiences. All of our programs are designed to foster the spirit of community where each child is a member but can still retain their individuality. Since we are all members of an extended family we will not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, cultural heritage, marital status, political beliefs, disabilities, national origin, sexual orientation or toilet training status.


Our curriculum is designed to meet and exceed the Massachusetts Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences, Infant and Toddler Guidelines, Program Standards, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation Standards. We achieve these goals by providing an inspirational learning environment and experienced educator’s who balance children’s interests with activities designed to foster learning, self esteem and creativity. They support education by providing a variety of age appropriate activities and materials for manipulation and exploration in the following areas: language arts, social science, technology, science, engineering, health education, math, and the arts. Our curriculum is guided by both formal and informal child assessments as well as family input. It is our intention to include all children in the learning process regardless of their abilities, family structure/needs, and/or developmental stage. Adaptations and modifications are provided for every child as needed.

 Teacher’s Qualifications

Our educators are qualified Early Education and Care (EEC) certified professional teachers with considerable experience in the field. All are required to be certified in pediatric first aid, CPR, and 20 hours of professional training per year.


We are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), 1 Washington Street, Taunton, MA 02780-3960. EEC can be reached at 508-828-5025 or  Our compliance history is available from EEC. We provide educational programs for children between the ages of 6 weeks and 8 years. All children attend a minimum of two mornings per week. Children are separated into age groups in which the instruction is carefully monitored to encourage a well balanced experience for each child. The school is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday, year round. A calendar of school holidays is distributed and posted yearly.

Family Communications

We hope to play a major role in the learning experiences of your child. Families will receive daily verbal communication at drop-off and pick-up to ensure continuity in care between home and school. We will also send out newsletters and post our curriculum plans on the calendar in the front room, as well as the calendar on our website at Families are encouraged to attend conferences and participate in occasional school events. We hope that family members with special skills, hobbies, interests, and heritages (that is all of you) will share them with us. This kind of participation will enrich the program and make it a unique family experience.

Families are required to come with their children and settle them in for the day. Any change in your child’s well being should be reported to the teacher at drop off. If a conference is needed to discuss the well being of your child please schedule this in advance. It is expected that you will touch base with your child’s educator at the end of each day.


Unannounced visits by family are permitted.  Educators are available by e-mail and phone during specific times. You will receive written notification five business days before a change in your child’s primary educator, introduction of a pet, a change in policy/procedure, or before the use of pesticides/herbicides.

If family problems arise, please notify the director immediately. All court documents concerning your child or family structure should be presented to us as soon as possible so we can comply with legal arrangements.


Formal and informal systems of assessment are used in the classroom. An informal checklist is used as a pre-assessment in the fall (or within 3 months of attendance) with information we gather on intake. We will arrange for a developmental screening and/or referral if warranted. We use the Work Sampling System as our written formal system of assessment twice a year. Assessment is used to identify your child’s strengths, challenges, interests and progress. Mid-year conferences are offered to discuss your child’s progress.  Family input is welcomed and appreciated.  If your child is in the pre-kindergarten year a transition to kindergarten form is available in May to help facilitate your child’s transition to public school. Year end conferences are also offered. Assessments are used for future program planning and improvement as well as to help guide, improve and adapt the current year’s curriculum. Information in your child’s file is kept confidential.

Behavior Management

Rules and directions are clearly stated and explained for all children. Redirection, friendly reminders and gentle guidance are our primary methods of providing a safe nurturing environment. When disciplining a child, the teacher will offer alternate solutions and suggest appropriate behavior. As a last resort the child will be supervised for a period of quiet time. The teacher will sit with the child during this period of quiet time to ensure they understand why they are there as well as how they can play safe and stay out of trouble. When it is possible, the child will be involved in forming the rules.

Repeated offenses or certain behaviors such as biting, excessive physical aggression, or unsafe physical behavior will result in the educator assessing via checklist, tally mark, and/or anecdotal record, antecedents to the behavior in an effort to modify the behavior by using positive supports.

If this fails educators will meet with the family to discuss options for a change of behavior. An intervention plan will be developed and documented by the family and educator. If all efforts of change are exhausted referrals will be provided for behavior evaluation and services. As required the staff will be trained to accommodate the child.

The teacher will not use threats or physical punishment. No child will be subjected to cruel or severe punishment, humiliation, or verbal abuse. No child will be denied food as a form of punishment. No child will be punished for soiling or wetting.

Social Services Referral

If special needs are observed during assessment, the teacher will discuss the situation with the Director and a conference will be scheduled with the parents. The parents will be informed of their rights under chapter 766 and will be given referral information. The Director and Teacher are responsible for the documentation, implementation and follow up conference regarding the referral plan.

Abuse and Neglect

All staff members will immediately report suspected child abuse/neglect as required by law. The report will be made either to the Director or to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) (508-760-0200) pursuant to M.G.L.c.119 51A. All children will be protected from abuse and neglect while in the center’s care and custody. If an allegation of abuse is made against a staff member, that staff member will remain out of the classroom pending the completion of a DCF investigation and such further time as EEC requires.


The enrollment contract is for a full academic year. Circumstances may occur which necessitate the early withdrawal of a child. In this event the family will notify the school at least two weeks prior to the child being withdrawn.

The center will notify the parent of pending suspension if there is a:

  1. failure to supply medical records
  2. lapse of payment, there is no guarantee that the slot will be available after the bill has been paid
  3. unruly behavior, where reassessment is necessary

The family will have an opportunity to meet with the educator in an effort to avoid a two week suspension. During this time the educator and the parent will discuss the child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development and any necessary referrals will be made. Support services/ training for the program and educators will be sought. A written plan for behavioral intervention at home/school will be written and signed. The family will commit to, in writing, a remedy for the pending suspension within two days of notification. If the conditions of pending suspension are not met there will be a two week suspension prior to termination. The child will be prepared for the transition in a manner consistent with his/her ability to understand.

The school may terminate the contract for the following reasons:

  1. the health and safety of the child cannot be assured (see referral policy)
  2. chronic absenteeism
  3. the child’s developmental needs cannot be met (see referral policy)
  4. failure to make payments
  5. the inability to alleviate a grievance between families and educators

The Director will notify the parent of the specific reason in writing and in person when possible, at least two weeks prior to termination. Documentation of these events will be kept in the child’s file. Fees are to be paid through the child’s last week of school.


The health of all children in the school is very important to us. Please keep your child home if he/she has any signs of a contagious illness. It is your responsibility to notify the school of any absence. A doctor’s note may be required for a chronically ill child. Any child taking antibiotics must stay home for 48 hours from the 1st dose. After two unexcused absences the school will call you to check on your child. If your child becomes ill during the school day, you will be called to take him/her home. Emergency medical transportation will be sought if necessary. Every effort will be made to reach parents in the case of a medical emergency. FGNS does not commit to any financial responsibility resulting from medical services required due to an accident or injury that occurred while in care at FGNS.


In order to administer prescription medication, it must be in an original container and a written order from a parent is required. Non-prescription medication must include the signature of the physician and a written order from the parent.

Fire and/or Potential Emergencies

The fire alarm system is inspected regularly and fire drills are held monthly. Pull stations are located at each external door and fire extinguishers are in all rooms. In the event of a center evacuation, children may be transported as allowed by law to: Falmouth High School or the Lawrence School as outlined in the contingency plan. Signs will be posted. Parents will be notified as soon as possible by phone. Parents should contact 508-451-6070.


Your child’s file will be kept confidential in a locked file cabinet. The administrator and current educators have access to these files. The information is used for educational purposes. Contents of the file are immediately available to parents, legal guardians and regulatory authorities upon request. A written log of access is kept. Records are updated at least quarterly. We will not release any information without your written consent. Additionally, you will see and hear things while at FGNS about the business or other children. This information is confidential and protected by privacy laws.

Negotiating differences

Difficulties or differences should be addressed to the classroom teachers. If necessary a conference will be initiated by either the family or the classroom teacher. The Director will help negotiate if necessary.

Toilet Training

Parents are requested to provide several changes of pants with elastic waists and training pants for those not yet fully trained. Your child should wear regular diapers (not pull-ups) until they are fully potty trained. Our teachers will work closely with you to continue your program of toilet training and to ensure continuity in training between home and school.


Families or authorized adults are responsible for transporting the child to and from school. If an authorized adult is unable to transport a child, a written note and an ID must be provided prior to the release of the child. All children need to be checked in and out with a staff member.  In case of an emergency where medical treatment is required, 911 emergency services will be contacted. The child(ren) will be transported by ambulance. Each child’s parent will be responsible to arrange field trip transportation. Educators will not transport children.

Clothing and Personal Items

All parents are asked to provide an extra change of clothing for their child. Please dress your child appropriately for the season/weather. We have an outside playtime daily except in very inclement weather. Children should arrive at school in clothes appropriate for hands-on and active learning activities. All clothing and personal items should be clearly labelled to avoid confusion. All toys and anything special or irreplaceable should be left at home. FGNS is not responsible for lost or damaged clothing or personal items. If your child borrows clothes from FGNS, please wash and return them promptly. School toys are not allowed to leave the building and should be returned promptly if they are discovered. Your child may bring a comfort item for rest time.

Lunch and Snack

We encourage children to eat a variety of wholesome fresh foods. If your child will be eating lunch at school please prepare a nutritious lunch in a labeled lunchbox with a cold pack. We are not allowed to microwave or prepare meals.

Each family is required to bring in one snack for the center each month. You should bring in 1-2 nutritious items for approximately 25 children. Check off your name on our snack list when you bring in your snack each month to avoid a $5.00 snack charge.


Please provide a light blanket (and comfort item if needed) if your child stays for rest. We will provide sheets for our rest mats. There will be no scheduled dismissals during rest between 1:00 and 2:30.


The school opens at 7:30 and closes promptly at 5:30 pm. The school’s responsibility begins when the parent or guardian leaves the center and ends when the parent or guardian arrives in the building or designated playspace. If your child is in the pre-kindergarten program they should arrive before 9:00 am. If your child is in our full day program they should not remain in our care for longer than 8 hours unless your work schedule prohibits you from picking up within and 8 hour time period. Pick up for full day children begins at 3:00 pm. We encourage you to pick up by 4:00 pm so children do not get overtired.


Children will be assisted in transitioning from one classroom to another or from our program to another program in a manner consistent to the way the child can understand. Each spring children and families in our younger classes will begin visiting the Pre-K classroom. Pre-K families will be informed of any activities that the town is offering for Kindergarten Transition. If possible the current teacher will visit the new classroom/program with the child. Information will be shared between programs with the parents’ permission. Families will be involved in transition activities at FGNS such as graduation, play dates and visitation days.


Please do not block the driveway, drive slowly and watch for young children entering and exiting vehicles. Please enter the driveway on the right that says “one way” with arrow pointing in, and exit around to the left.


The enrollment contract is for a full year. It is expected per your contract that each week the same weekly tuition is due. If you need to suspend or discontinue services for any reason, the Director should be notified immediately.

The deposit consists of the first and last week’s tuition, and the $50 registration fee.

Weekly payments per contract are due the first day of the week. If a payment has not been made by Friday, it is considered late and will be subject to applicable late fees.  If a payment is more than two weeks late, you must make financial arrangements to avoid termination. Reference your invoice for collection details.

Debit or credit payments can be made online. You may also pay by check or cash. A check box is kept by the front door. Please hand all cash to one of our staff members so they can write you a receipt.

Your weekly tuition is due regardless of holidays, illness, public school in-service days, travel conditions, snow days, emergencies, domestic problems or school closure.

During sign up days, we ask that you let us know if your child will attend so we can staff appropriately. In case of extended absences, special arrangements must be made in order to maintain enrollment.

To Enroll

**Make a preliminary visit if you can

**Complete and sign enrollment forms (parent-school contract)

**Enclose a deposit of two weeks tuition plus a $50 registration fee ( non refundable)

 Rates and Fees

A 2% increase in rates is to be expected yearly.

Rates Effective July 20, 2016

  1. Half day (3 hours)

Pre-school     2 yrs 9 months – 8 yrs                      8:30-11:45                       $22.00/day

Toddler   1 yr 3 mos – 2 yrs 9 mos                         8:30-11:30                       $27.00/day

Infant      6 wks – 1 yr 3 mos                                  8:30-11:30                       $32.00/day

  1. Half day with lunch hour (4 hours)

Preschool    2 yrs 9 months – 8 yrs                        8:30-12:45                       $28.00/day

Toddler   1 yr 3 mos – 2 yrs 9 mos                         8:30-12:30                       $33.00/day

Infant      6 wks – 1 yr 3 mos                                   8:30-12:30                       $38.00/day

  1. Full day

Preschool 2 yrs 9 months – 8 yrs                           8 hours                            $47.00/day

Toddler   1 yr 3 mos – 2 yrs 9 mos                         8 hours                            $52.00/day

Infant      6 wks – 1 yr 3 mos                                   8 hours                            $67.00/day

  1. Hourly Rate / Early Drop-Off Rate

Preschool – $7.00 / hour

Toddler – $8.50 / hour

Infant – $10.00 / hour


  1. Late fee $10.00/10 minutes $2.00/minute thereafter


  1. Bounced check fee                                                     $25.00


  1. Forgotten Lunch Fee                                                      $5.00/day


  1. Missing Diapers or Wipes Fee $3.00/day


Parent Handbook 05-21-16

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