LHLCA FAQs

Click on the FAQ tab to learn about the following:

 

 

1) General FAQs about operations, hours, tuition

2) Homework Questions

3) Birthday Party Policy at LHLC

4) Parent Distribution of flyers, invitations, free samples, etc.

5) Rental of LHLC Facilities for special events, Parties, Book Clubs, etc.

6) End of the Year Spring Production Questions

7) Hiring and Recruitment Practices of LHLC - How long are staff here?, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the hours of operation?   (back to top of page)

Monday through Friday  -- 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

 

What schools do students attend when they graduate from the LHLCA preschool class?

Upon graduating from LHLCA, many of our preschool students are accepted into gifted programs, classical schools, magnet programs & academies. Some of the top programs that have accepted LHLCA Pre-K students are Lenart  Regional Gifted Center, Keller Gifted, Skinner Classical School, McDade Classical School, and Poe Classical  --just to name a few. 

 

What do I need to submit in order to enroll my child for the school year & when is the due date?

The Intent To Register Form along with the registration fee and enrollment fees (Curriculum and Activity) are due at the time of enrollment in order to secure a space for your child this upcoming School Year. Once the enrollment fees and Intent to Register Form are received, LHLCA will provide an enrollment packet to the parent which must be completed at least 72 hours prior to their child’s start date. LHLCA can only reserve a child’s slot for two weeks unless the start date is mutually agreed upon by both the Director & Parent and is indicated on the Intent To Register Form.

 

Does LHLCA have a Spring Production, Graduation and Fine Arts Program?

Yes. The LHLCA (Beverly Site) has an annual Spring Production and Preschool Graduation every year at the end of the school year. LHLCA offers a Fine Arts Program which includes Dance Class, Music and Movement and a variety of other components.

 

When will the field trip forms be distributed and how will parents sign up for field trips?

Parents will receive one field trip form at the beginning of the school year which grants LHLCA permission for all field trips. As an additional effort to reduce administrative costs, LHLCA will no longer distribute and collect field trip forms and fees for each and every field trip. A parent chaperone sign-up sheet will be placed in the front lobby on the sign-up desk prior to field trips. Parent will be provided a fall semester calendar of events at the beginning of the school year. 

 

Does LHLCA have an open door policy?

Yes. Please see Parents handbook regarding our open door policy vs the volunteering policy.

 

Does LHLCA have an orientation for new parents?

Yes. Please check the “Calendar” tab online at www.littlehandspreschool.com to discuss the upcoming Academic School Year and to answer questions from new and existing parents. We encourage everyone to attend. Note: LHLCA usually schedules another Parent Orientation Night shortly after the beginning of each fall semester. LHLCA will send out a notice and a reminder once the second date has been determined.

 

When is tuition due?

Tuition is due on by 9:00am on the 1st of every month. If the 1st of the month falls on a weekend, Tuition is due the following Monday. Parents have the option to choose an installment payment plan, where they can pay tuition in two installments on selected months (excluding December and June), on the 1st and the 15th of each month at no additional charge. See Handbook. 

 

What time must students be at school?

The drop-off cut-off time is 9:00am.  Children should arrive no later than 9:00am in the morning.  Late arrivals may be a disruption to the classroom routine and to your child. Our core curriculum is started in the morning and we asked that all students arrive on time which allows for a smooth transition into the morning program to help us stay on schedule.

 

Is their a sibling discount?

Yes. 10% - Sibling Discount. Please contact the administration for additional information regarding a reduction in tuition and other benefits when there is more than one child per family enrolled at the same time.

 

Does LHLCA have a required fundraiser?

Yes. Please ask a Director for the current requirement & selected fundraiser for the year, or refer to Parent Handbook. Note: For the past five years the minimum fundrasier requirement has been set at $600 per year. The fundaraiser is not meant to be tuition but is in place to help defray the cost of tuition and minimize increases annually. Typically the school does a raffle in the fall and an adbook in the spring for the end of the year production. Note: The type of fundraisers are subject to change.

 

Does LHLCA have a calendar of events?

Yes. All parents are given a School Calendar for the entire academic year (September – June) which lists all field trips, holidays, parent/teacher conference dates, productions, & other additional special events throughout the school year.

 

What forms of payment do you accept?

Cash, Check, Money Order, Cashier’s Check, Mastercard, Visa, & American Express, Discover Card. (Note: AMEX 3% fee)

 

 


Questions about a Birthday Party?   (back to top of page)

 

LHLC welcomes our parents to have a small birthday party hosted at the school at 3:15pm during afternoon snack time. Parents are welcome to bring or send any store bought items (birthday cake/cupcake/ice cream etc.) to be shared with your child's classmates.   If the parent is attending they are welcomed to bring up to 4 guests. Please note that No homemade items are allowed which is an Illinois State regulation and food and Sanitary requirement.

 

If you would like to rent one of our locations to host a large birthday celebration, please contact one of the Executive Directors - Catherine Griffin or Michelle Brent for more information. LHLC & LHLCA rents our space at an affordable rate for specific events to our parents and other partners for social gatherings, birthday parties, special events, book club meetings,etc. Please request pricing information for evening or Weekend rentals.

 

Parents may videotape or take pictures during the birthday party event or special events listing by LHLCA but they are not allowed to share the footage with the public or publish (on youtube/facebook etc.) or distribute the tape or pictures without the permission of the school. If there is any uncertainty, please check with the administration first prior to videotaping and photographing or prior to sharing the picture or the tape. 

 

If a parent does not celebrate birthdays, that parent may requests that the child be placed in another class during a birthday party celebration as LHLC/LHLCA wants to be respectful of our parent's wishes and religious beliefs.

 

Want to distribute invitations to your child's party?

Parents are not allowed to place items directly in the child's bin. All materials for distribution must be approved by a Site Director. Please show the birthday invitation to the Director or Lead Classroom teacher. Same day approvals are given and once approved please provide the invitations to the teacher and she will distribute into all the students bins.  Note: This is to prevent any undesirable or inappropriate materials from circulating to our students or parents. The bins are strictly used as a means for distributing materials from the school to the parent so we need to give approval for any additional items that parent's wish to circulate which includes special promotions from their company, advertisements, Garage sales etc, (Note: Typically we allow parents to post items at the front desk or bulletin board and those items are not circulated in the bins. Birthday invitations will be placed in the bins by the teachers however after approval.

 

Would you like to Distribute something to the parents?  Cards, Garage Sale Flyers, Etc, (back to top of page)

Parents are not allowed to distribute anything to our parents on school ground directly to parents or via placement in bins without approval from the Director. Generally the school allows parents to post flyers on our bulletin board in the front or on the front desk upon approval from the Director.  Note: This is to prevent any undesirable or inappropriate materials from circulating to our students or parents. The bins are strictly used as a means for distributing materials from the school or the Director or Teachers to the parents so we need to give approval for any additional items that parent's wish to circulate which includes special promotions from their company, advertisements, Garage sales etc, (Note: Typically we allow parents to post items at the front desk or bulletin board and those items are not circulated in the bins. Birthday invitations will be placed in the bins by the teachers however after approval.  Parents may also rent a small booth space during drop-off or pickup time for a nominal fee (upon approval) or during one of the LHLC expos to promote something or distribute materials for their company, organizations or special event. Please check with a Director for additional information.

 

Would your like to rent a booth in the LOBBY during drop off or pickup or at one of our LHLC expos?

Parents may also rent a small booth space during drop-off or pickup time for a nominal fee (upon approval) or during one of the LHLC expos to promote something or distribute materials or Free Samples for their company, organizations or special event. Please check with a Director for additional information.

 

Want to Rent one of LHLC's Facilities?   (back to top of page)

If you would like to rent one of our locations to host a large birthday celebration, special event, book club meetings, business meetings social gatherings, etc., please contact one of the Executive Directors - Catherine Griffin or Michelle Brent for more information. LHLC & LHLCA rents our space at an affordable rate for specific events to our parents and other partners. Please request pricing information for evening or Weekend rentals.

 

Sample Events

 

  • Brithday Parties

  • Book Club Meetings

  • Sorority/Fraternity Meetings

  • Home-Based Business Launch

  • Business Meeting

  • Presentations

  • Social Gatherings

 

 

 

Spring/End of Year Spring Production - Frequently Asked Questions   (back to top of page)

Listed below are FAQ's about the End of the Year Production Event, Ticket Cost and our LHLC Special Event.  Hope this helps and please feel free to shoot me a 

e-mail with any additional questions about the event.  I would be happy to pass them along to our LHLC Family..

 

 

Why does LHLC do a Spring Production Event for the entire school versus just the Graduating Class?  

For the past ten years, Little Hands Learning Center prides our program on the development of the entire child.  We focus not only on the academics of our students but we have a fine arts and dance component of our program as well.  Participation in an event such as our Spring Production helps build our students self esteem and self confidence.  It is truly a learning experience for all of our students to get on stage, perform for their parents and families and feel the warm reception and confidence boost as their families proudly watch them be recognized for the work during the entire school year.  All of our students work extremely hard from September - July and our Spring Production is an event where our 2010-2011 Academic School year comes full circle and our students are recognized for their accomplishments throughout the year. 

 

 

How come the event is at a off site location versus at the LHLC School?

At LHLC we strive to provide the most comfortable, aesthetically  pleasing environment for a large group of families and our LHLC Centers are not able to comfortably accommodate our LHLC Productions, family members and guests due to the magnitude of the event and our high attendance.  Our centers are not able to logistically provide adequate seating and viewing for all  guest and families.  Please know that we have attempted to do that in our beginning years and there simply was not enough seating and viewing for the guest that want to see their little one.  Also, our space does not have the audio/visual equipment that is required for our Spring Production Events

 

 

What exactly does the $20.00 Ticket Price Cost Cover?    

Have you ever planned a birthday party, Anniversary Party or Special Event for a Sorority or Fraternity?  If you have ever planned a Special Event, then you will know that the $20.00 Ticket cost only defrays the cost of the LHLC Spring Production.  Special Event's  cost a lot of money and in order to produce a high quality event for you and your family,  LHLC must charge this $20.00 Ticket Price for this event.   The cost for each ticket only partially pays for this event and it does notcover the entire cost of the LHLC Production.   Although this price may seem high to some of our LHLC Family members that do not participate in off site Dance Classes or other performances at Studio One or Mayfair Academy,etc. --(which charge $35 to $50 per ticket for a similar event (where the child is only on stage for 5 minutes...& their event does not include food & keepsakes,etc).... Note that the memories that you are going to create at this event are priceless.  Taking Pictures of your child on stage singing and dancing while you and your family are smiling and laughing in the audience are worth so much more than the cost of the ticket.  :)  

 

 

But....just so you know what your ticket cost covers......Please read below for details!!

 

  1. Hot Food will be served at the event. 

  2. Beverages will be available

  3. Stage and Lobby Decorations

  4. Theatre Rental Cost

  5. Gallery Rental Cost

  6. Tables/Chairs available in Gallery 

  7. Sound Technician Cost

  8. Lightning Technical Cost

  9. Employee Overtime - Teachers must work the event with their class and Employees receive overtime for working over 8 hours

  10. Additional Extra Help Required to work the Event (Set Up & Clean Up)

  11. Liability Insurance Cost - LHLC purchased  an additional Insurance Policy in order to host our event at the off-site location

  12. Additional Dance Instruction Classes - LHLC Dance Teacher will be working overtime this Entire Week to help put on the Best Show for you!!

  13. Transportation Cost is Chartered when necessary -- if rains, or for other Campuses if necessary 

  14. Front Lobby Decoration (Table Clothes, Balloons, Center Pieces) and other Decorating Items to help make our event aesthetically pleasing

  15. Printing Cost for Spring Production Materials

  16. Additional Costumes for Students Participating in the Event

  17.  Audience Keepsakes

  18. LHLC Student Certificates and Keepsakes

  19. Additional Temporary Staff to assist with Production Preparations.  You may have noticed additional team members at our LHLC school over the past week. These staff members are hired to assist with Spring Production Preparation or help sub in the classroom so the teachers can prepare our students for the Spring Production Event.  

  20. Additional Miscellaneous expenses that are required to produce a safe, fun and happy event!

 

 

Why are we not able to purchase the tickets at the front desk versus do a on-line purchase ticket?  

As we are moving toward a technology driven environment, LHLC has created a simple, easy way to purchase tickets to this event.   With the on-line ticketing system, LHLC Parents can purchase the tickets at their convenience 24 hours a day.  They can also forward the link to other family members and allow them to purchase their tickets at their convenience as well.  With the online ticket system, it allows our guest to purchase their tickets fast, easy and right away.  LHLC parents do not have to worry about carrying around hard copy tickets, or losing tickets and pre-purchasing hard copy tickets for friends and families who may not be able to attend.  Also, one of the main reasons for the on-line ticketing system is for tracking and security purposes.  Safety and Security is our primary concern, and with this system, it safely allows us to track each guest who purchases a ticket as well as audit our ticket roster on the day of the event in order to prevent any unwelcome guest.  

 

 

Am I able to hold and reserve seats for my family...They always run late?

No.  Seats may not be reserved or held as a courtesy to our other parents.  LHLC's event's typically sell out and we have limited seating.  

 

Can we buy tickets at the door or do we have to buy them on line?

Unfortunately, we are not able to allow guests to purchase tickets at the door for security reasons and for tracking purposes.  All guests MUST pre-purchase their Spring Production Ticket.  LHLC values the safety of our LHLC Students, Teacher and LHLC Family members and in order to ensure the safest environment at our event, all guest must pre-purchase their ticket and then present it at the Check In Desk prior to coming into the Theatre.   LHLC is not able to hold tickets at the door for guest or sell any tickets at the door for this event.

 

 

 

Hiring and Recruitment of Teachers.    (back to top of page)

Two commonly asked questions from new and existing parents and answers below.

 

One of the most commonly asked questions from New parents during tours is "What is your turn-over like? Is it High? My child has had four teachers at her last school in one year and this is a concern." The reason this question is asked is because many daycare centers and preschools have traditionally been known for high turnover because this field/industry is known to have a fast/high burn out level. -- So what about LHLC?

 

Another question that is asked by existing families is "Who will my child's teacher be in the Fall?" or "When will it be announced who my child's teacher will be & will it be the current teacher that was their the previous school year?"

 

Both Questions Are Answered Below. 

 

LHLC is happy to say that we do not have a high turnover rate throughout the school year. On average, many of our teachers have been with us anywhere from 3 to 6 years. Some though have been with us only one year and others have been with us ten years. It really just depends on the staff member.

 

To minimize high turn-over throughout the school year, LHLC has our new teachers that we hire agree to a one-year contract. We believe this is a good timeframe because we want them to  commit to our students and our parents for the duration of the school year. Note: Since the students traditionally transition and advance up to the next classroom the following year anyway with a new teacher at the next level, the one year contract policy has worked out extremely well.  

 

It truly takes a village...

Our school genuine cares about our students and so our school promotes a strong team work model and a "Togetherness - Village" atmosphere. All the teachers in the school are familiar and work with all the students in some capacity and are collectively responsible for knowing all the students names, allergies, dietary restrictions, discipline methods, general academic level abilities and more.  Each teacher has to work with each student in some capacity whether during drop off and pick up times (if they have not been rotated out to their main homeroom classroom depending on what time they arrive), or when the teacher is substituting for another staff member, during field trips,etc.  This is beneficial to both the student and the school because the child has more than just their teacher and teacher assistant looking out for them.  They become familiar with other staff members and directors and therefore have a smoother transition in the event change occurs if their teacher is off a particular day, comes in late, or if they have a substitute.   All the staff members of LHLC are your child's teacher which also promotes a smooth transition when advancing to their next classroom or in the event of a teacher change. As a result they know they have many people looking out for them, rooting for their success and have multiple people to listen to their needs.

 

During the summer the LHLC Directors meet with the teacher's to re-evaluate the teacher's position and speak with the staff members to determine if they will be returning the upcoming school year. Also we discuss classroom placement for the upcoming year based off the teacher's request, past performance, or if they are looking to be challenged in a different room and we are confident that it will be a good fit. We discuss the disadvantages and advantages to the options and ultimately do what is best for the school and the children. 

 

The new line up is named by mid-to- late August (best case scenario) or by the first day of school on September 6th.  In the event a new teacher is named, they receive training prior to their first day and are traditionally partnered with a experience LHLC staff member (teacher or TA) which already knows the routine, LHLC policy, expectations,curriculum etc. In addition, the new staff member is placed on a probationary period where the directors monitor performance, attendance, attitude, customer service, execution of the curriculum, how they discipline the children, their tone when speaking to the children, time management, classroom management among other things.  The new and existing teachers have one-on-one training with the Director to check-in with the staff member and provide additional professional development, ideas, suggestions and feedback. 

 

At times the new teachers can not be named immediately over the summer because the administration may not know if they are returning. Although we begin recruiting if needed, at times we are waiting to see if a teacher will be returning based on other factors-- relocations, new job position etc. Some of our teachers want to transition into Chicago Public Schools and may be awaiting to here from a principal to see if they have been selected for the upcoming year. If the teacher is a good teacher and has a great performance history with LHLC we give them additional time before replacing their position to see if they would like to renew their contract. Note: Since LHLC is a small private school our compensation and benefits can not compete with some of the larger schools, so we understand that even if a teacher wants to stay, sometimes they financially are not able to based on salary requirements and their financial needs.

 

Note that in any field staff members/people are sometimes the most unpredictable variable because of life circumstances. In the past some of the reasons staff members are not able to complete the school year are because they become pregnant, need to relocate due to a spouse, have an ailment, get accepted into a unique academic program, have a change in priorities, have been with the program several years and hit a burn out level and are not able to give 100% to the students, have a change in life circumstances, get married and decide to be a stay at home mom,  are unable to perform at the expectation level of LHLC, etc.  However,  with that said LHLC has traditionally had very low turn over mid-year (I'm knocking on wood now as I type this because I do not want to jinks us :).

 

Traditionally the new teacher/TAs are recruited during the summer or at the start of the Fall year with the new class that enters. Once the teachers are named, the Directors will notify the parents and the staffed is introduced the first day of Fall or on their start date.

 

The Directors Guarantee -- One thing that we can guarantee is that the Directors are committed 110% to getting you qualified teachers that give their best. We have on-going professional development days and one-on-one trainings with the staff (new and existing) to maintain our high standard. In addition, we perform evening trainings (done once a month with all staff at all schools) to ensure that processes and procedures are streamlined and everything is consistent at all school locations. We are committed to giving you our best at all times and in the event something is not being done at the LHLC standard, we are committed to responding immediately to your concerns, address the issue and maintain our high standard of excellence. LHLC has a track record of recruiting great teachers that our students and parents enjoy and providing them with excellent training to reach the LHLC standard. Please trust that we are in your corner at all times and that we treat your babies/children as if they our own.  We thank you for your trust and are truly honored that you have selected Little Hands Learning Center to educate and nurture your child which is why we are dedicated to a high standard of excellence. 

 

We hope that this helps explains the answers to those questions mentioned above and also puts things into perspective with our recruitment practices. 

 

If you have a question at anytime regarding a matter that need to be escalated, a compliment, a complaint or if something that a staff member said didn't make sense and you have additional questions, please email griffin@littlehandspreschool.com or contact the Executive Directors voicemail box directly at 773-245-7184.  

Thank you. 


  

 

Homework   (back to top of page)

 

Homework is given throughout the school year from September through June.  Homework is traditionally not given during the summer. Students/Parents are encouraged to have their child use the Razkids software which helps with their reading. (See below)  During the summer, occasionally packets may be posted online and parents will be notified via email or may also check online. Homework is available online and parents may log into the parent section and click on homework link. Parent may print all the sheets or only the sheets they wish to do. 

 

During the school year, homework is generally posted by Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. The administration tries to post by Saturday before 2pm. Best case scenario it is posted Friday afternoon.(Note: a couple of factors may prevent it from being delayed at times.)  Homework may be turned in between Monday and Wednesday of the following week and should be submitted to your child's teacher.

 

Also students are expected to spend time on RazKids weekly. LHLC purchases a license for all of our students to utilize this software at home. The program has over 27 levels of readers and about 20 books in each level along with other program features. It is fun for the students and they get to earn points to decorate their spaceship and this software really helps develop their reading.  

 

Each class is asked to spend time a certain amount on Razkids. Look at specific timelength on the homework page. We encourage you to use this through the summertime as well. Note: Razkids passwords are distributed in the Fall during parent orientation night. If you start at a later date, please see the Director or Assistant Director to receive a password. Please allow sometime for setup. (Approximately one week.)

 

Please Do not attempt to have your child do the homework all at once. Break it up over the weekend and be sure to have fun with it! Allow them to complete the work themselves with your help, but do not do the homework for them. Have them do as much as they can. Homework is generally due on Mondays but parents are able to submit it throughout the week so that the child may receive a sticker and review sections with each child during one-on-one time. Have a Great Weekend!

 

 

Volunteer - Fingerprint Form (Click Below For Link)

 

http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/library/com_communications_forms.shtml

 

CFS 718-E Authorization For Background Check For Employees/Volunteers of Child Care Facilities

 

http://www.state.il.us/DCFS/docs/cfs718e.pdf

 

 

 

How is tuition calculated and do we have to pay if the child is absent of for closure date?

 

The tuition is annualized & includes non-closures dates. Note: The accounting team adds up the total costs it takes to educate one child for a 12 month period (including closure dates), deducts the fundraiser amount (to offset the cost of tuition) and then divides that  amount by twelve months to calculate the monthly set tuition for each child. If the school didn't charge tuition during the week of spring break (or closure dates) or provided a credit during that week then the monthly tuition would be slightly higher to offset the loss of that week for basic costs for each child.

 

Note: Many private schools and Catholic schools operate that way. They have a fixed Tuition for the year or monthly tuition and do not issue credits for  spring break or winter break or holidays because that is already factored into the overall cost. Tuition is set expense regardless of school closures or students absences/vacations and/or illness because the cost is required due to the set/fixed expenses that are incurred at and by the facility...fixed lease cost for the building, teacher salaries and vacation pay when applicable, utilities, fixed insurance costs and equipment leases, and other fixed expenses.  

 

Note: Many private schools and Catholic schools operate that way. They have a fixed Tuition for the year or monthly tuition and do not issue credits for  spring break or winter break because that is already factored into the overall cost. Tuition is set regardless of school closures or students absences/vacations and/or illness because the cost is required due to the set expenses that are incurred at  and by the facility...fixed lease cost for the building, teacher salaries and vacation pay when applicable, utilities, fixed insurance costs and equipment leases, and other fixed expenses.  

 

 

 

Fundraiser:

 

The LHLC fundraiser is a mandatory LHLC requirement which was designed to offset the annual tuition. This amount is already pre-factored into the annual costs of each child and the costs required of the school. The amount is deducted from the annualized tuition cost for each child.  If a parent chooses to opt out, please remember to add the required fundraser amount to your tuition. The total requirement for the school year is  $600.  ($300 is due in the Fall and $300 is due in the spring. The Fall fundraiser is usually a raffle and the spring is an ad-book which is distributed to parents, relatives and community residents at the end of the year.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

If you have any additional questions,    

  please don’t hesitate to contact the  

  LHLCA administration at: 

  • 773-445-1900 (101st/Western), 

  • 773-445-9000(111th/Western) 

  • 773-324-6500 (SouthShore).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Something Doesn't make sense, 

Compliments or Complaint?

Contact the Executive Director's   

  via email Catherine Griffin or Michelle Brent at

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Little Hands Learning Center Academy

10126 South Western Avenue

Chicago, IL 60643
Tel:  (773) 445.1900
Fax: (773) 445.4820
M – F:  7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

LHLC's Ma-Mere Institute

2324 West 111th Street

Chicago, IL 60643
Tel:  (773) 445.9000
Fax: (773) 445.4820
M – F:  7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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