Q: Are you only open to Rutgers employees?
A: R-LDCC was created as a not for profit organization, by Rutgers University, to care for children of its faculty, staff and students, and therefore they are afforded enrollment priority. The Center also accepts children from the surrounding community as space allows.
Q: Everyone says it is impossible to get into R-LDCC! How long is the waiting list?
A: Our waiting list is maintained by the child’s date of birth, so it depends on how many other families with children that age are waiting. Getting in is not impossible! A number of factors influence the wait including timing, the age of your child and how many other children we have waiting. Typically, we have openings during the summer months, although there are occasional enrollment opportunities during the school year (September through May).
Q: What makes R-LDCC different from other early childhood programs?
A: Our specially trained teachers, who understand child development and value and respect children and childhood, are the underpinnings of our program. R-LDCC allows children to be children in a nurturing, homelike environment.
Q: Are the teachers specially trained?
A: The lead teacher in each classroom is highly qualified, having earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and New Jersey Preschool-Grade 3 Teacher Certification. The two classroom assistant teachers have earned or are working toward the Child Development Associate credential or an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
Q: Do the teachers have first aid training?
A: Yes! Earning and maintaining current Pediatric First Aid and Infant/Child CPR certification is a requirement for employment.
Q: How are the teachers screened?
A: All employees are carefully interviewed and spend time in a classroom where we can observe how they interact with the children, before they are offered employment. In addition they provide professional and/or character references, and a criminal history background check with fingerprinting and a child abuse record check is completed.
Q: Is there a lot of staff turnover?
A: R-LDCC has employees with 5, 10, 15 and 30 years of service! Likewise, there are several others who have joined us much more recently.
Q: Are meals included?
A: Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are prepared on site by our own cook. The children’s nutrition is important to us and we participate in the federal Child and Adult Food Program. All meals are served family style with the children and teachers sitting together for conversation while enjoying meals. [Click here for this month’s menu.]
Q: What is a typical day like?
A: Each class has a predictable daily schedule that allows the children the security of knowing what to expect; meals and rest times never vary. However, our schedules can readily be adjusted to accommodate the weather, unexpected learning opportunities and the uniqueness each day with young children presents.
Q: How often do you take the children outdoors?
A: Our children play outside every day, unless it is raining heavily. Yes, that means we bundle them up and take them out all through the winter! The children love playing and learning outdoors regardless of the season. We have two playgrounds and our teachers plan for two extended periods of outdoor play every day; most days that’s exactly what happens!
Q: How much TV or screen time do the children have?
A: Television viewing is not a scheduled activity for our children. In fact, R-LDCC doesn’t own a TV. Each classroom has a laptop computer for the teachers to use with the children.
Q: Do children have to be potty trained?
A: No. We will work with each family when the time is right for their child to learn to use the toilet. We have child sized toilets and sinks that are perfect for encouraging independent toileting.
Q: Do the children go on field trips?
A: Occasionally, we take the Ducklings and Sunbeams to an orchard to pick apples, and just the Sunbeams to a show at the State Theatre, the Zimmerli Art Museum or a visit to RWJ Children’s Hospital. There is lots to see and do right on Livingston Campus, too!
Q: Can children attend part time?
A: We offer only full time enrollment but each family has the flexibility to decide the schedule which best meets its needs. While most children attend 5 full days a week, others attend half days or 3-4 days each week.
Q: Do you take infants?
A: Children between 20 months and 6 years old are enrolled.