Do you frequently have children that arrive later than the other children? Are late arrivals interrupting your routine? Does your staff complain about children arriving in the middle of nap time circle time or lunch?
I have always opted to have a cut-off time in my program. In fact, I believe that children need a schedule and if you do not have a cut-off time on arrivals; it could be difficult to schedule staff or to keep the children on a regular routine.
Also if you have a daily circle time, this is a great time to get all the children to together to discuss daily activities, go over class rules and review vital educational skills.
Furthermore, if all of your children are not in attendance by your Circle time, they will be missing out on a vital part of their day.
Are you afraid to enforce rules? If so, you can simply tell the parents that your class time begins at 9:00am and you don’t want their children to miss out on morning class time.
Parents want their children to be in an educational program and if you place an emphasis on the fact that the cut-off time benefits their children, you will have a higher level of compliance.
Three ways to encourage parents to bring their children by your cut-off time:
- Reward the children with stickers for coming to school on time
- Tell the parents, thank you for making sure that (say the child’s name) made it on time for class or circle time.
- Post a notice that indicates your arrival cut-off time, where parents can see it.
Should there be an exception?
Yes! Require that parents report late arrivals before the cut-off time and consider only allowing late arrivals in the event of an emergency, part-time enrollment, the parent called to report the late arrival or in the event of a Doctor appointments.
My cut-off time has always been 9:00am and 98% of the children arrive on time daily. We tend to have at least 1 or 2 parents that arrive shortly after 9:00am. I don’t make a big deal if they are late, I just remind the parents of the cut-off time.
Cut-off times bring a sense of order in your program and it helps the children to have consistency in their day. How do you feel about a cut-off time? Do you have a cut-off time in your program?
For more information on policies or program management, be sure to grab a copy of my Parent Handbook template.
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