Child Development Center for Learning & Research

Frequently Asked Questions

How many classrooms does your school have?
Our school has three classrooms: toddler room, young preschool room and older preschool room. 

What is the tuition?
Enrollment is for twelve months.  A one-month deposit is due when the child is accepted into the program.  The deposit is non-refundable and counts as the 12th month’s payment.  Tuition for 2011-2012 is $815 per month for the toddler room and $790 per month for the young and older preschool rooms.  Tuition is assessed annually.

If  you must withdraw your child from our school for any reason, you must give a minimum of a four week notice IN WRITING to at the Director, Karen Gallagher, 140A Wallace Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0416.  You are obligated to pay for the tuition during these four weeks, even if you do not use the service.  Additional notice is greatly appreciated.

How do I get on the waiting list?
The CDCLR’s priority is to serve families of Virginia Tech faculty, staff and students.  With a few exceptions, enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Parents can put their child’s name on our wait list by filling out an application form and returning it to our school during pregnancy or anytime thereafter.  You will be notified by the Director when a spot becomes available for your child. 

Does your school offer a part-time program?
The CDCLR is a full-time, full-year school program.  We do not offer a half-day program.

What is the teacher-child ratio?
Our school adheres to state licensing and NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) guidelines for teacher/child ratio (whichever is lower for each classroom.)  There are six classroom teachers; two in each classroom.  We use university students as support staff and substitute teachers.

Can a sick child attend school?
We are not equipped to care for sick children and ask that if your child is not well enough to participate in the normal school day, including outdoor play and walks, that he/she be kept home.  It is state regulation that children will be excluded from the school with the symptoms as noted on the Parent Handbook.  According to regulation and good practice if your child has any of the symptoms listed in the handbook or if for other reasons the staff feels your child is too ill or potentially contagious to remain at school, you will be called to come and pick up your child.  It is expected that parents will come immediately to take children out of school if called by staff.  If you are unavailable, we will call your emergency contact to come and pick up your child.  Young children occasionally do not register a fever, but are too sick to cope with group care.  We are not staffed to provide one-on-one care.

What are the school’s hours and calendar?
The CDCLR is open from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
We operate full-time, full-year with the exception of being closed:

  • Thanksgiving Break
  • Winter break
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • One week in the summer including Independence Day
  • Transition Days between school years
  • Days for professional development

Our policy states children must arrive to school no later than 9:00 a.m. each day with the exceptions of doctor’s appointments or when arrangements have been made ahead of time.  Children and families must be ready to leave the school by 5:30 when we close; therefore we encourage families to pick up their children at 5:15 to allow time to talk with the teachers and gather belongings.  When this is an on-going problem, teachers feel a lack of respect because either time to themselves or time to plan has been lost.

What is your policy for inclement weather?
The CDCLR will decide in the early morning whether to have a delayed opening or a closing due to inclement weather.  Parents will be notified through:  WSLS news channel 10 television; the WSLS news channel 10 website; Scholar announcement; and by listening to the CDCLR voicemail message.  Note:  Our inclement weather policy is not the same as the university’s policy.  We encourage families to have a back-up plan for inclement weather situations.

What are the qualifications of your classroom teachers and what professional development do teachers undertake? 
The CDCLR’s teachers are committed to growing with our school’s philosophy of teaching and learning as teacher researchers.  Our teachers are highly trained and dedicated to providing the best in early childhood practice.  All teachers have a four year degree or higher.  They regularly attend outside training, aide in training of assistant teachers and students at the university and participate in giving workshops at the local and state levels (many have presented at national levels too.)  We recognize that professional development is essential in developing and maintaining a quality early childhood preschool program and make great efforts to provide our teachers with many opportunities to grow.  You will see this reflected in our school calendar. 

How will I know what my child is learning and how he/she is progressing?
Twice a year we have Parent-Teacher-Child conferences where you will meet with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s learning.  A portfolio will be kept with documentation of growth and learning in these development areas:  social/emotional, cognitive, language, physical and sensory.  In addition to the parent teacher child conferences, you will see documentation inside and outside your child’s classroom that show the projects and investigations taking place in the classroom.  You will be able to view the ‘Curriculum Notebook’ and the ‘Reflections on our Day Notebook’ located in the observation booths outside each classroom.  Also, there are monthly classroom newsletters which teachers post on the CDCLR scholar site.

What is your school’s policy on discipline?
The CDCLR specifically addresses providing an environment that guides children towards the development of self-discipline and respect for each other in two ways.  One:  Providing a safe and secure learning environment; encouraging growth of autonomy, independence, social competence and self-discipline to the degree appropriate to one’s age level.  Two:  Utilizing constructive guidance and discipline (i.e. the provision of consequences, alternatives and reasons; the teaching of desirable behavior through example; the demonstration of caring and compassion; the use of effective communication techniques; and the application of problem solving strategies), as opposed to punishment or directive methods; and supporting the development of self as a responsible member of a learning community.

Does your school provide field trip opportunities?
Yes, we provide field trip opportunities for our classrooms both on campus with the wonderful resources in walking distance as well as off campus.  Some examples of places classrooms take field trips to on campus are:  the Duck Pond, the Horticulture Gardens, the Geology Museum, VT Airport, VT Agriculture farms and Athletic fields.  Some examples of places classrooms take field trips to off campus are:  Sinkland Farms, blueberry picking, zoo, art museums, post office and grocery stores.  Field trips are possible with the help of parent volunteers. 

Will I get information on study results from my child’s participation in research projects?
Every year we communicate research findings to parents, using a variety of formats including updates at school-wide parent meetings, a research newsletter that is distributed once per semester, and more individualized results at parent-teacher conferences.  Many years we distribute research newsletters, but twice we have hosted research fairs, where parents and other community members can view posters highlighting the research and talk with faculty and students conducting the studies.