Parent Handbook

Below is our Parent Handbook, which is intended to provide helpful information for our families. To enable quick reference, each section is expandable by clicking the “Click to read more/less” link.

For additional questions and information, we invite you to speak with our staff.

Typical Daily Schedule

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7:00 Center Opens
8:30 Breakfast/Free Choice/Mystery Question
9:00 All children have arrived and the front door is locked, Tools of the Mind curriculum begins with Opening Group time
9:15-10:15 Make Believe Play
10:15-10:30 Large Group Literacy (Buddy Reading/Graphics Practice)
10:30-11:30 Outdoor Play includes climbing equipment, riding bikes, ball play
11:30-11:45 Story Time
11:45-12:30 Lunch and tooth-brushing
12:30-1:30 Rest
1:30-2:35 Afternoon Learning Center activities including a healthy snack
2:35-2:50 Small group Math (puzzles/blocks/manipulatives) and Science Activities (Remember & Replicate) Alternately
2:50-3:00 Closing Group–Preschool program ends and children who are not staying for the After Care program are dismissed.
3:00 After Care program incorporates indoor (story, table toys, blocks, puzzles, books, group games) and outdoor play.  Parents start to arrive and pick children up.
6:00 Center Closes

Childcare is a new experience for many children and parents. It is understandable that it will take time to adjust to this new situation.

Please speak to your child’s teacher or family activity coordinator about any concerns you may have. We are here because we want to provide the best experience that we are able to for you and your child.

Admission Policy

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Children are welcomed at Community Day Nursery regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, or national origin of parents. 

Children entering Community Day Nursery must be East Orange residents between the ages of three and five. (Children must be three or four by October 1st.)

Children must be registered at the East Orange Board of Education Enrollment Center at The Edmonson Center, 74 Halsted Street where proof of residence will be established. Following the enrollment process, the family will complete paperwork and orientation at Community Day Nursery.


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The center is open Monday through Friday, from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, 12 months of the year. We will be closed when the East Orange School District is closed and for building maintenance and staff development, as required. Please review this year’s calendar and school closings. We will remind you of school closings during the year.


Children not enrolled in the afterschool program must be picked up at 3:00 PM.

If you are going to arrive late or pick up early, please call the center at 973-673-3710.

Attendance Policy

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Community Day Nursery is providing the East Orange Public School preschool program from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily and preschool wraparound childcare from 7:00 to 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

If your child is absent two consecutive days, please return to school with a note from a parent, guardian or doctor explaining the reason for the absence.

If your child is absent more than three consecutive days, he/she cannot return without a doctor’s note.

After ten days of absence, Community Day Nursery will notify the East Orange School District and the child will be dropped from our enrollment.The parent or guardian must then consult with the Early Childhood Department in order to request re-enrollment in the East Orange

Pick Up Policy

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At enrollment we request written authorization for at least two people other than parents who may pick up your child. We require any person other than legal guardians to have written authorization before we will release your child. You may add people to your list of those who are authorized to pick up your child at any time. Our minimum is two for emergency purposes however you may add as many as you like in order to prepare for unforeseen emergencies.

If there is going to be a pick-up change and we do not have written authorization, you may fax us permission to release your child. In order to be sure that the fax is from you, please include a photo-copy of your driver’s license. Our fax number is 973-673-5415.

This policy is required by the State of New Jersey, Bureau of Licensing and the New Jersey Administrative Code 10:122-6.8(a)3.

Late Policy

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The children who attend the public preschool program must be picked up by 3:00 PM. Children picked up after 3:00 PM will incur a $15 late fee for any part of any 15 minutes. Fines are due by the following morning.

Our teachers and assistants will be meeting each day at 3:10 to plan the activities for the following days. They will also be tracking your child’s progress and writing the reports that they will share with you at the parent conferences during the year.

Our After Care Program has changed dramatically. We no longer have staff that is able to look after children who are picked up late. We understand that any family could experience an emergency. If you cannot get to the school on time to pick up your child, please call to let us know.

All children in the After Care program must be picked up by 5:45 PM.

At 6:00 PM the center closes. Any child picked up after 6:00 PM will incur a $15 late fee for any part of any 15 minutes. Fines are due by the following morning.

If we are not able to contact you, or your emergency contacts, by 7:00 PM, the Department of Children Protection and Permanency (DCPP) (formerly known as DYFS will be contacted). The Division considers a child left at the center for an hour or more without contact from the legal guardians a case of child abandonment and they will investigate as required by law

Late Fees

Schedule of Fees:

3:00 – 3:15 $15
3:16 – 3:30 $30
3:31 – 3:45 $45
3:46 – 5:00 $60
5:01 – 5:15 $75
5:16 – 5:30 $90
5:31 – 5:45 $115
5:46 – 6:00 $130
6:01 – 6:15 $145
6:16 – 6:30 $160

Emergency Closing

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In the event of bad weather (hurricane, snow storms, etc.) the Center will close if the East Orange Public Schools are closed. Listen to your radio for school closing announcements before leaving home.

We also have an emergency text process. Please sign up with a family activity coordinator if you wish to receive text alerts

In the event that we need to close school because of a problem in the building (plumbing, no electricity, etc.) we will contact you. It is very important that you leave a number where you can be reached each day on the sign-in sheet. We must also have at least two numbers of people whom we can contact in case of an emergency when we are not able to get in touch with you.

Discipline Policy

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The word discipline comes from the same source as the word disciple. It suggests that the child being disciplined is learning to copy the adult doing the disciplining.

At Community Day Nursery we provide methods of positive discipline so that children may develop their own problem solving and choice making skills. Our aim is to convey through the disciplinary methods we use such basic values as respect, trust, honesty and caring for others.

Our methods of discipline include:

  • Verbalizing children’s feelings and behavior to them
  • Redirecting a child to another area of play
  • Providing a “time out” period
  • Offering understanding and emotional support

Health Policy

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Our Health Policies are taken directly from the State of New Jersey Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers.

Illness/ Communicable Diseases

Under no circumstances shall Community Day Nursery serve or admit a child who has any illness, symptoms or disease that a physician has determined the child to be:

  • Confined to home under a physician’s care or
  • Admitted to a hospital for medical care and treatment

Community Day Nursery shall not permit a child who has any illnesses or symptoms of illness below to be admitted to the center on a given day unless diagnosis from a health care provider, which has been communicated to the center in writing or verbally with a written follow up, indicates that the child poses no serious health risk to himself or herself or to other children. Such illness or symptoms of illness shall include, but not limited to, any of the following:

  • Severe pain or discomfort
  • Acute diarrhea
  • Two or more episodes of acute vomiting within a period of 24 hours
  • Elevated oral temperature of 101.5° Fahrenheit
  • Difficult rapid breathing or severe coughing
  • Yellow eyes or jaundiced skin
  • Red eyes with discharge
  • Infected, untreated skin patches
  • Skin rashes in conjunction with fever or behavior changes
  • Weeping or bleeding skin lesions that have not been treated by a physician or nurse
  • Mouth sores with drooling
  • Stiff neck

Once the child is symptom-free or a licensed physician indicates that the child poses no serious health risk to him or herself or to other children, the child may return to the center.

If your child has already been admitted to the center and manifests any of the illnesses or symptoms of illnesses specified above, the center shall remove your child from the group of well children to a separate room or area and we will call you at home or work so that you can make the necessary arrangements to have your child picked up immediately.

The center shall not permit a child with an excludable communicable disease, as specified in the table below, to be admitted to or remain at the center until:

  • A note from the child’s or staff member’s health care provider states that the child has been diagnosed and presents no risk to himself, herself, or to others;
  • The center has contacted the Communicable Disease Program in the State Department of Health and Senior Services, or the local health department pediatric health consultant, and is told the child poses no health risk to others; or
  • If the child has chicken pox, the center obtains a note from the parent stating either that at least six days have elapsed since the onset of the rash, or that all sores have dried and crusted.

Table Of Excludable Communicable Diseases

Respiratory Illness Gastro-Intestinal Illness Contact Illness
  • Chicken Pox
  • German Measles*
  • Hemophilus Influenzae*
  • Measles*
  • Meningococcus*
  • Mumps*
  • Strep Throat
  • Tuberculosis*
  • Whooping Cough*
  • Campylobacter*
  • Escherichia coli*
  • Giardia Lamblia*
  • Hepatitis A*
  • Salmonella*
  • Shigella*
  • Impetigo
  • Lice
  • Scabies


If a child is involved in an accident at the Center and in need of a doctor’s care, parents will be notified and the child will be taken to the University of Medicine and Dentistry Emergency Room for immediate care.

Policy in Regard to Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect

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All incidents of suspected child abuse and neglect will be reported to the Department of Children Protection and Permanency (DCPP) (1-800-792-8610). Such reports may be made anonymously.

Family Activity Coordinators

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The family activity coordinators arrange services for children and their families. Look for them as you enter the building; their offices are off of the lobby. [Contact Family Activity Coordinators]

The primary responsibility of the family activity coordinators is to establish healthy, positive relationships with parents and children, and serve as a liaison between the center and the home.

The family activity coordinator works with the family from the time of the initial intake to provide the necessary understanding and support which will enable the child to experience the greatest benefit from the program.

Family activity coordinator services include the interview and admissions process, home visits, providing monthly parent meetings, parent counseling, referral services, parent support groups and any further assistance needed to aid parent and child.

Please welcome our family activity coordinator into your home for a brief introductory visit. We want to work with you in every way we can to get your child’s academic career off to great start!

Education Program

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The center’s educational program is developmentally appropriate. The East Orange Board of Education has chosen to implement the “Tools of the Mind” curriculum during the school day. Fifteen children are placed in each classroom. Our teachers have bachelor’s degrees and are certified by the State of New Jersey Department of Education to teach preschool through grade three. Our teacher assistants either have a Child Development Associate certificate, an Associate’s Degree in early childhood education, or are completing a degree.

The preschool program fosters cognitive, social, physical and emotional development in a combined classroom of three and four year olds. Tools of the Mind places a strong emphasis on language development and self regulation.

Children learn through a daily structure of thematic activities that include:

  • Books, tabletop toys and thinking/ guessing activities that engage and motivate
  • Songs, finger plays and dramatizations of nursery rhymes and poems that stimulate movement and phonemic awareness
  • Learning Activities that develop language, mathematics, science and creative abilities
  • Interactive story experiences to enhance language development and higher-level thinking skills
  • Writing experiences that help children make the connection between the spoken and written word and encourage the children to begin attempts at letter formation to convey information
  • Outside play to develop gross motor skills
  • Meals served “family-style” help children learn interpersonal skills, manners and the fundamentals of diet and hygiene

Health Program

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The health program provides services for your child’s physical and mental health.

Twice a year the school nurse from the East Orange School District checks each child’s eyes, ears and teeth. In cases where it is thought helpful, a referral to an appropriate agency will be made. Parents are invited to be with their child during the screenings.

Scheduling includes a balance of active and quiet periods throughout the day. Meals and snacks are served to provide the nutrients for sound growth. Parents are made aware of community resources if specific treatment is recommended.


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In May 2003, New Jersey launched its Healthy Choices, Healthy Kids campaign to combat childhood obesity and Type II diabetes and to ensure children access to healthy and nutritious food. Additionally, all schools participating in the Child Nutrition Program had to adopt a school nutrition policy that addressed providing students with healthy and nutritious foods. The East Orange Board of Education adopted its policy in June 2006. A copy of this policy is on file in each school building as well as in the Board of Education Office at 715 Park Avenue.

The policy states that the following items may not be served, sold or given out by members of the Foodservice Management Company, any staff member of the East Orange School District or by anyone else anywhere on school property at any time before the end of the school day:

Foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) as defined by the U.S.

Department of Agriculture regulations, for example, soda, water ices, chewing gum, hard candies (sour balls, fruit balls, candy sticks, lollipops, starlight mints, after dinner mints, sugar wafers, rock candy, cinnamon candies, breath mints, jaw breakers), gum drops, jelly beans, jellied and fruit-flavored slices, marshmallow candies, candy corn, licorice, spun candy, candy-coated popcorn.

All food and beverage items listing sugar, in any form, as the first ingredient; and all forms of candy.

At Community Day Nursery we provide a healthy breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack daily. All meals are served family style with teaching staff monitoring the children’s safety and encouraging appropriate conversation.

The menu for the month is posted on our lobby bulletin board. Children should not bring any food into the school. Any allergies or food restrictions due to health or religious reasons should be reported to the family activity coordinators so that accommodations may be made.

      Community Day Nursery is a peanut-free building.

No food products of any kind should be brought into the building. Please help us keep all of our children safe.

Parent Involvement

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Community Day Nursery believes that parents are the most important people in a child’s life. It is therefore important that the parents be involved in the center’s program to learn how we can all work together to assist the child in his development. Parents are requested to participate at Community Day Nursery in the following ways:

  • Invite the family activity coordinators to visit your home, we have gifts that will help you to support your child’s learning
  • Each month there are two Parent Meetings. They are held on the third Friday of each month, one from 10:00-11:00AM and one from 5:00-6:00PM. Try to attend one and make an effort to take advantage of the other special programs during the year
  • Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences and discuss your child’s progress!
  • Speak to a family activity coordinator if you need any type of support as they have the names and phone numbers of many local agencies that may be able to help you

Parental Responsibilities

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  • Parents should inform the teacher or the family activity coordinator of events which may have happened at home that could excite or worry the child during the day, such as moving into a new home, a death in the family, absence of a parent, etc.
  • Parents must bring the child into the building, sign the child in, and bring the child to his/her teacher. Children must NEVER be left unattended in the building. This includes walking to and from the classroom.
  • Parents must speak to the teacher to let her know when they are taking a child from the classroom or playground.
  • The name of the person picking your child up is recorded. Your child will not be released to anyone other than the persons you have on our list unless we have directions from you in writing to do so. Keep your pick-up list and emergency numbers up-to-date.
  • Parents must notify the center immediately of any change of address, phone number or place of business. In the event of an emergency, we will need to contact you.
  • Parents may request to review the Manual of Standards for Child Care Centers at the Center’s office. Parents may request a copy by writing or calling the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) at 609-292-1021.
  • Parents must provide their child’s transportation. Staff is not permitted to transport parents or children.


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Children should wear comfortable clothing that can be laundered. Our curriculum encourages learning through exploration. The children will be playing with messy materials such as paint, clay, and sand.

Although we provide smocks for every child, there are occasions when clothing may not be completely protected.

We encourage our children to put on and take off their own clothing. Self esteem comes from a growing sense of accomplishment. Fancy buckles, snaps and buttons are difficult for little fingers to manage. Please help your child to succeed by dressing him in clothing that he will be able to put on and remove by himself.

All blankets and outer clothing (such as coats, sweaters, hats, shoes and boots) must be marked with the child’s name. (We have 120 children enrolled and they all wear virtually the same size.)

Children should dress according to the weather. We go outside whenever the temperature is above 35° and the weather is pleasant.

Children must come to school with one complete change of clothing (extra pants, shirt, underwear, socks and sweater). Accidents happen. Please replace this spare clothing as needed. Please launder any center clothing that has been loaned to your child and return it promptly.


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Our children rest on cots every day after lunch. The school provides a sheet for each cot; it is the parent’s responsibility to provide a small blanket. Please be sure your child’s name is on the blanket as there will be many duplicates within the building. If your child’s blanket is accidentally sent out with the laundry, we will not be able to return it if it isn’t labeled.

The Center cannot assume responsibility for children’s belongings. Please do not send children to school with money, watches, necklaces, bracelets, toys, keys or other items of special value. Community Day Nursery is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

A (Healthful) Happy Birthday

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We recognize that birthdays are very important in our children’s lives. Your child’s teachers will plan an activity that will make your child feel special on his or her birthday but we cannot allow cakes, ice cream, goodie bags etc. to be brought into the classrooms.


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Community Day Nursery is administered by a professional staff which includes: Executive Director, Office Administrator, Family Activity Coordinators, Certified Teachers, Teacher Assistants, office staff, a cook and assistant cook and maintenance staff. [View our Staff Directory]

Community Day Nursery is licensed by the NJ Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing.

Community Day Nursery is a  

peanut-free building

No food products of any kind should be brought into the building. Help us keep all of our children safe.


Tel: 973-673-3710

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