When selecting among available child care options, there are two main categories of information you will need to consider: planning and philosophy. The sections below offer a broad outline of topics to consider, and a brief overview of what Corning Children’s Center provides. As you explore your options, be sure to inquire about the specifics that affect your needs.
Planning includes topics like:
Your child’s age
Centers may provide care and/or education for various age levels.
Corning Children’s Center has programs for children aged 6 weeks through 5 years. Other centers and preschools are set up to serve different ages.
In-home care providers may be skilled or comfortable with one age group but not with others.
Full-time or part-time care
Some centers provide structured programs for groups of children who are together on a regular basis. These may be available on only a full-time basis or they may offer some part-time options.
Likewise, some in-home care providers are set up to care for the same group of children every day — either those of a single family or of the same few families.
Corning Children’s Center provides full-time and part-time options for families. We offer part-time enrollment for two or three full days each week; we do not offer a part-day option.
Regularly scheduled care or intermittent care on an as-needed basis
Some Centers and in-home providers provide care and/or education based on a set schedule; others make the option of drop-in care available for parents who do not have the need for a regular schedule of care.
Corning Children’s Center is committed to providing care and educational programs based on a consistent schedule; therefore we cannot accommodate drop-in care except on a space available basis.
Year-round or school-year services
Some Centers and in-home providers offer care year round; others may follow the local school calendar and do not offer care during summer school breaks, holidays, and vacation weeks.
Corning Children’s Center provides year-round care. We are closed to clients 11 days a year for eight holidays and three staff training days. Staff training days are held on Good Friday, Veterans Day, and the Friday before Labor Day in an effort to inconvenience as few of our families as possible. See our holiday schedule for more details.
Hours of service
Most Centers in the local area provide care within a particular daytime period and you must drop off and pick up your child within these hours. In-home providers may offer more flexibility. In this area, those who need evening or overnight child care have limited options. Some programs may offer weekend care; others do not.
Corning Children’s Center operates from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Special needs: physical, dietary, medical
Some facilities and providers are trained and equipped to deal with special needs your child may have; others are not.
Corning Children’s Center staff is trained to administer most non-injected medications, oversee diets, and work with children with mild physical disabilities. The administration of medicine, special diets and special care are carefully managed with close communication and written instructions from parents and their family healthcare providers. We are not equipped to serve children with profound physical, mental, or emotional problems. Our Executive Director, Program Director or one of our Age Level Specialists will be happy to discuss whether and how the Center may be able to meet your child’s individual needs. The Center is a smoke-free environment, and our staff members do not smoke at any time when they are with the Center’s children, whether at the Center, outdoors, or on field trips.
For those children with food allergies, we will work with parents to ensure that their child’s nutritional needs and concerns are addressed. In order to protect the health of children with allergies to nut oils, we prohibit nuts (in various forms, including peanut butter, cookies with nuts or nut oils, and other foods that include nut products) from being brought into the Center.
Care for sick children
You’ll probably want to consider this issue from two perspectives:
- Is the provider willing, trained, and equipped to give good care to my child when he or she is ill?
- If the provider does take care of ill children, what precautions are in place to help ensure that my child is not unduly exposed to contagious diseases?
At Corning Children’s Center, our goal is to keep all of our children healthy. We take care of children who have the sniffles or other minor illnesses, but we ask parents to keep their children home if they display any of a defined list of symptoms that characterize communicable diseases. More information is provided in our parent handbook.
Philosophical issues related to your beliefs or preferences:
External versus in-home care
Some parents see advantages in having their children in an environment that stimulates their learning and development through structured programs and supervised interaction with other children. Other parents prefer to keep their children in their own home and bring in a caregiver whom they encourage to adhere to their family rules and values.
At Corning Children’s Center, we are both caregivers and educators, and believe that these dual roles are intimately connected. We offer families the option of continuity of care as well as the more traditional option in which children transition between teachers and groups when they reach milestone birthdays. In all cases, children receive high-quality care and education in small groups with individualized attention by professional, knowledgeable staff.
Structured care and/or education versus casual care
Structured care and education comes in many forms, ranging from programs with a focus on a particular approach to learning, to more relaxed exploration. Even casual care can range from a diverse, stimulating curriculum of activities, to simply letting children play as they choose in a protected environment.
At Corning Children’s Center we believe that children learn through play so we provide a stimulating, planned environment with an increasingly structured curriculum based on the child’s stage of development. The classroom team develops the program plans, designing them to meet the individual needs and interests of the children in the group. This structure deliberately includes time to play, socialize, and explore the world.
Developmental learning versus fast-track education
Parents have a wide range of beliefs about the best approach to educating their children. Some focus on developing all aspects of their children’s abilities and personalities based on their given stage of development. Other parents prefer to focus on the growth of academic and/or physical skills. Still others are primarily seeking an opportunity to develop their child’s social skills and defer the building of academic skills to the elementary setting. Even programs that appear to have similar philosophies may differ considerably from one another.
Corning Children’s Center is committed to developing the whole child — intellectual, physical, social/emotional, and creative — based on the best current knowledge of child development. Learn more about our approach.
What children learn to believe — what shapes their values, attitudes, and behaviors — is certainly affected by their day-to-day environment. Some parents want a particular religious orientation to be part of their child’s daily environment. Others are more concerned with how children are taught to treat others and deal with their own emotions. Still others want to address spiritual or religious questions within their own homes.
At Corning Children’s Center diversity is embraced in all aspects of how we care for your child. We work with a wonderfully diverse group of families and also have a richly diverse staff. We deliberately create and sustain a culture that is positive, gentle, warm, diverse, inclusive, creative, stimulating, and genuine — a culture that recognizes and appreciates the uniqueness of each child.
We do not celebrate specific holidays at the Children’s Center, but rather explore the changes in seasons. It is our philosophy that holidays are best celebrated within the family. Throughout the varied holiday times celebrated by our families, we maintain predictable, familiar routines that help children to feel comfortable and secure even as family schedules may change.
There are nearly as many different approaches to discipline as there are parents! How this is handled at an early age has a great deal of influence in children’s growing ability to behave appropriately in a variety of situations as they learn to manage their own behavior.
Our approach to discipline at Corning Children’s Center, like our approach to all aspects of education, is based on children’s developmental abilities. We set clear, simple expectations for children — all fundamentally based on treating themselves, other individuals, living creatures, and objects in their environment with care, respect, and kindness. We then help them to fulfill these expectations by reinforcing appropriate behaviors, redirecting them from inappropriate ones, and identifying and sharing their emotions. Physical punishment of any kind is never used at the Center.