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Child Study Center

Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Learning & Development

Center Policies

infants rolling cookie tin

Program Options

The Child Study Center currently offers 3 program options. The infant Program serves children ages 3 to 18 months, the Toddler Program serves children ages19 to 36 months, and Early Learning program serves children ages 3 to 5 years. Applications to the Infant, Toddler, or Early Learning Programs will be notified of their acceptance on a space availability basis.

Days/Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Safety and Center Security

The CSC administration, teaching staff, and University are in a collaborative effort to keep the children and staff as safe as possible while at work and play. The main entrance door has a magnetic opening system with buttons on the inside and outside (out of reach of children) that must be pushed to release the door for opening.

Children at Risk Release

Sometimes situations present themselves when teachers or student assistants feel that a child would be at risk if released to a person that is suspected of not being in full command of their facilities. If this situation were to arise at the CSC, that staff member is required to contact Public Safety. The family member or designated person coming to get the child would be detained on the premises while waiting on the arrival of the Public Safety officer. If necessary, the Public Safety officer can then contact emergency personnel. This policy is to ensure the well-being and safety of both the child and the adult. Some examples include but are not limited to:a family member or designated person comes to pick up his/her child and is complaining of severe headache and blurring of vision;

  • a family member or designated person comes to pick up his/her child and the teacher smells alcohol or drugs on his/her breath or person;
  • a family member or designated person comes to pick up his/her child and does not have the proper safety restraint to transport that child in a safe manner;
  • a family member or designated person comes to pick up his/her child and seems confused of unsteady on his/her feet.

Health Policies

Immunizations/Health Record:Regulations and precautions for protecting children's health are required in any group care setting licensed by the State of Tennessee. All parents are required to complete a health history for their child before the child's entry to a program. Before an infant or toddler is accepted for care, the parent shall have proof of the child's physical examination within three months prior to admission, signed or stamped by a physician or health care provider. These forms are included in a family packet.

Immunizations must be kept up-to-date. Inform the Child Study Center when this occurs. Exceptions to this are made only upon written medical release. Tennessee Department of Human Services Licensing Standards prohibits us from serving children whose immunizations are not current.

The following immunizations are required before children may attend childcare:
Hepatitis B Measles/Mumps/Rubella
Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertusis Varicella (for children born on or after 9/1/98)
Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)

Attendance of Sick Children

Families are our first defense in preventing the spread of infectious diseases in the Center. Because the CSC recognizes that there is a range of acceptable care and that health care providers may differ in their recommendation for attendance of sick children, we have based our attendance policy on the recommendations of Caring for Our Children; National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Program, and in consultation with local pediatricians

Parental Grievance

The grievance policy for parents is designed to help resolve conflicts in an effective, direct, and professional way. We would like to use the resolution of any grievance as an opportunity to communicate clearly and openly with each other in a professional manner. On a rare occasion when a problem cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all persons involved, and it is apparent there is not a good match between the family's needs and the program goals and operation, the parents may be asked to withdraw their child from the program. Parents will receive counseling and support from staff members if they are asked to seek alternative child care.

Special Policies

Being associated with East Tennessee State University provides many advantages to the Child Study Center. Some of these include having access to a wide range of resource personnel, having the use of the University swimming pool, and being able to take advantage of the campus for "field trip purposes."

Research and Field Work

Because the CSC programs are affiliated with East Tennessee State University, children in our programs may be observed by students (graduate and undergraduate) from early childhood education, nursing, communicative disorders, special education, pediatric residents, and other related classes. The specific requirements for these field experiences may vary, but may include participation in Center activities and/or writing case studies.

The CSC, as part of the Center for Early Childhood Learning and Development, has a commitment to supporting research conducted by the teachers of the Infant Program, Toddler Program, and Early Learning Program, the Clemmer College of Education, and the Center for Early Childhood Learning and Development faculty members.

Child Abuse Issues

The staff of the Child Study Center is advised and knowledgeable concerning the signs of suspected child abuse and/or neglect. According to Tennessee Department of Human services, our staff is under obligation to report any suspicions of possible child abuse and/or neglect to their department. If a staff member suspects possible child abuse and/or neglect, the Director is advised and it is indeed reported to the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Gifts to the Child Study Center

If you would like to make a gift to the Child Study Center, which could be used for the purchase of educational materials and/or equipment or for enhancement of the facility, we ask that you do this through our Child Study Center Foundation Account. Contributions to this discretionary fund allow us to make purchases, which are beneficial to the entire Child Study Center. You may do this by making checks payable to ETSU Child Study Center Foundation Account.


Transition into the Infant Program and Toddler Program

We are confident that the transitions into the Infant and Toddler programs at the CSC can be almost stress free. Much thought and preparation has gone into developing procedures for introducing new families into these programs. The teaching staff is receiving ongoing training in Responsive Caregiving techniques and has developed procedures that allow children and families to enter group care as gently as possible! The specific transition strategies will be discussed individually with families as you are accepted into the Infant or Toddler program. To keep you informed about the day your child is experiencing, a bi-weekly overview with details about the daily routine and special activities will be provided. This overview is sent home to you and also posted in the classroom.

Transition into the Early Learning Program (Preschool: Ages 3 to 5)

Many of the children who attend the Early Learning program have also attended the Infant and/or Toddler program. Although many aspects about the Early Learning program are the same as those of the Toddler program, there are a few differences. Enrollment of children and transition of children into the Early Learning program is based on several assumptions about their development. Some of the assumptions are that the children have:

  1. the ability and desire to participate in group activities as well as individual activities,
  2. the ability to consistently take care of personal needs fairly independently; and
  3. the ability to understand and observe safety limits within the Center.

We encourage families to read the posted Daily Reflections so you are aware of what has happened during the day or what your children have been experiencing. You will gain important information from that chart so you will be able to have conversations with your child about his/her day.

A classroom newsletter (in addition to a quarterly Center-wide newsletter) will be provided to parents with information about ongoing projects and Center activities. This is to be used as a general overview of the months happenings. For special events, a separate note will be provided. The Center will be using e-mail and a website to further facilitate communication with our families.

Transitioning from the Child Study Center to other Programs

Each year when it is time for our 4-years old children to leave the Center family and go on to big school or kindergarten, we ask one of our local kindergarten teachers to come to the Center to have a discussion with the families. This person gives an overview of what the child and family can expect to see, hear, and do when entering most kindergarten classrooms in the area. Descriptions of the kindergarten experience help the families understand the progression of learning that takes place as the kindergarten year passes.

If your family is planning a move to another town, state, or even just to another center within the area, we want to work with you to make this a positive move for your child. Please let your child's teacher know as soon as you are sure about your moving plans and he/she will begin talking with and helping your child begin the transition to another early childhood environment.

Morning Arrival

In scheduling our daily program, we have found that having a predictable routine promotes the child's smooth transition from home to school. Your child's early arrival at the Center ensures that he/she will have time to get individual attention from the teacher; a chance to choose the activity that helps him/her readjust to the Center; a chance to reestablish rapport with peers and the adults who care for them; a chance for parents to share pertinent information about their child with the teacher; and an opportunity for the children to think about the days activities that lie ahead. We have deliberately planned this time to be less structured in order to help make the transition easier.

The Center has provided mailboxes for families enrolled in the Early learning Program and Toddler Program. The Infant Program attaches information to the child's clipboard. Please check these for tuition receipts, newsletters, and/or special notices.


While your child is enrolled at the Center, his/her development will be evaluated primarily through the use of authentic portfolio assessment. This is a method of looking at children's development using their work as indicators of growth. Pictures and anecdotal records are used to document all aspects of your child's experience at the Center and then presented as part of family conferences to help you understand your child's amazing growth and development throughout the year. With the family's permission and assistance from trained and qualified personnel from our campus community, we will screen the children within the first few months of their enrollment in the CSC. The screening tool used will be a more formal instrument such as the Denver Developmental Screening or the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. The results will then be used to make referrals to appropriate professionals, if needed.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled twice yearly to enable you and your child's teacher to have an opportunity to discuss in depth your child's progress. Please inform your child's teacher if you would like to schedule a conference in addition to the ones already planned. Conference scheduling will be announced far enough in advance to give families the opportunity to "juggle" their schedules. Teachers are willing to come in a little early to stay late in order to accommodate family work schedules.

Parent Participation in Classes

Parent visits to the classroom are welcomed events. Parent participation during specific events is also very helpful. If you would enjoy helping during these activities, please let your child's teacher know.

Field Trips

Field trips of the early Learning Program may include both on-and off campus trips. Details will be sent to the parents as individual field trips are planned. When the children participate in off-campus field trips, parent participation is needed, strongly encouraged, and truly appreciated.


The CSC serves morning/afternoon snacks and a lunch each day. The Center does not serve breakfast. Lunches for the Infant, Toddler, and Early Learning programs are catered by local food services. Menus are sent out by e-mail and posted in each department/classroom in the family sign-in area

Outdoor Play

Outdoor play is an important part of our curriculum and we plan to take all children outdoors each day. Please dress your child appropriately. Our intent is to follow the rules as stated by the TN Department of Human Services, licensing division: Children shall be provided an opportunity for outdoor play when the temperature range, after adjustment for wind chill and heat index, is between thirty-two (32) degrees and ninety-five (95) degrees Fahrenheit and not raining. Even when weather conditions are not ideal, the teachers use their good judgment in making arrangements for the children to get fresh air and a change of scenery. On days when the children are not able to go outside, we plan appropriate indoor activities that encourage motor development.

Programs Activities

Your child's teacher plans daily or weekly activities/projects/provocations based on the curriculum goals and objectives that have been developed by the staff to the Child Study Center. The teachers will make these goals and objectives available to you at your request. If you visit the classroom, these are some of the activities you might see:

  • Family Group Time: Welcome, fine muscle activities; circle time, oral language activities, and individual planning for the day.
  • Small Group Time: Child-initiated activities in the areas of language, math, science, music, art, and movement.
  • Cooking: Participation in a cooking activity designed to develop math and science abilities, to expose children to a variety of foods and to just have fun cooking!
  • Center Time: Individual selection of Center choices which will include art, housekeeping, sand and water tables, large blocks, manipulative center, and the ever-changing sociodramatic center.
  • Outdoor Play: Large muscle development, cooperative play, and imaginative play.
  • Story Time: Unique presentation of children's literature, such as flannel board stories, puppetry, and creative dramatics.
  • Snack Time: Nutritious snacks served so that children can choose if/when to eat.
  • Psychomotor Activities: Activities designed to develop balance, spatial orientation, strength, agility, and eye/hand coordination.
  • Art Activities: Group and individual projects to develop creativity.
  • Reclining: Rest Time Required by Tennessee State Department of Human Services.

Family Access to the Child Study Center

Family members have access to, and are welcome at the Center any time of the day. We strongly encourage you to visit your child's classroom, go outside to play with him/her, visit the library to read a book, eat lunch together, etc. These visits and interactions will help you become better acquainted with our staff and Center as well as facilitate your child's feelings of comfort and confidence in his/her teachers and auxiliary staff.

Family Resources

We desire to communicate with you about all aspects of your child's experience at the Center. We are interested in becoming a partner with you in the early learning and development of your child. Our staff has many combined years of early childhood educational experiences and would like to share the benefit of this storehouse of early childhood knowledge with your family.

We encourage you to schedule conferences in which you can discuss your child's development or any issues your child may be experiencing. The teachers can recommend services through the University and community-at-large that could be beneficial to your child and/or family. If, in the course of working with your child, the teacher perceives there may be a problem with your child's development, vision, speech, hearing, etc., he/she will inform you and work with you to find services within the University or community that would be beneficial to your child and/or family.

To enhance your family's knowledge of early childhood development and learning, we also have an extensive Family Resources Library that contains books, articles, brochures, and videos which cover many topics that could be of interest to your family

Family Advisory Board

The Center has an Advisory Board made up of the CSC staff, ETSU Early Childhood faculty, and family members. This body meets once a quarter to discuss ways and means of improving and/or expanding our Family/Center communications and raising funds for projects that are not necessarily included in the yearly budget.

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