As a publicly funded institution, New Mexico Tech must be exceptionally careful in not appearing to promote a religion. However, because of the diversity of the families we serve, we try to recognize all kinds of holidays at the Children’s Center. We believe that this teaches children tolerance and a better understanding of different people’s culture and way of life. We also encourage each family to celebrate their holidays at home in the way that is most appropriate for their children. We encourage children to engage in discussions related to a holiday they observe, we listen respectfully and provide time and space for an activity if necessary.
Birthdays are a special time in our programs. We are always happy to celebrate your child’s birthday. If you have a birthday tradition that you would like to share with us, please make arrangements with your child’s teacher. An idea we recommend for celebrating this special occasion is to have your child donate a book to the Children’s Center library. We will write your child’s name and birth date on the inside cover. Each time the book is read your child’s contribution to the program is remembered.
The Children’s Center does not participate in any field trips off of the New Mexico Tech campus. All field trips in which children and staff do participate are "walking" field trips on campus. At no time will children be transported in any vehicle for a field trip.
To improve the quality of early childhood care and education, New Mexico Tech Children’s Center cooperates with qualified child development training programs.
We strive to facilitate training in ways that are the least disruptive to children’s experiences in our programs. We will not permit or participate in training programs that could in any way hinder the education, development, or well-being of children. Family’s rights to confidentiality will be upheld at all times.
All visitors are required to sign our Visitor Registry.
In our Early Childhood Program, we have a rest time from approximately 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Children’s Center provides children with a mat for rest time. To make your child more comfortable, you are asked to bring a crib-size fitted sheet, small blanket, and pillow. All items should be marked with your child’s name. The Children’s Center will launder bedding weekly.
During this quiet time, children are read stories and listen to quiet music. Children who do not sleep will rest for 45 minutes and then be allowed to get up and do quiet activities, such as puzzles, books, etc., for the remainder of the rest time. We determine which children must nap according to the individual needs of the child and the guidelines set by New Mexico State Child Care licensing regulations.
Our Children’s Center’s families and staff are encouraged to participate in a variety of service learning projects throughout the year. These projects vary in scope, including individual commitments of staff to serve on community agency advisory boards, our annual Giving Tree in December, and clothing and food drives.
The Children’s Center is fortunate to have access to New Mexico Tech Swim Center’s facilities. We routinely schedule recreational Swim Days for the children. When weather permits, staff members take children in the older pre-k/k class swimming at the Swim Center. Parents/guardians will be notified of Swim Days. We ask that you provide advance notice if you do not want your child to participate. Please be sure that your child keeps a swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen at the Children’s Center for our Swim Days.
Water safety is a top priority and concern. Therefore, children enrolled in our program, who participate in Swim Days, are required to attend a Water Safety Awareness class taught by the Swim Center lifeguards
Use of the New Mexico Tech Swim Center is a privilege. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the children to follow Swim Center rules and be respectful to employees.
If a child does not abide by Swim Center rules and/or is disrespectful to Swim Center staff the following will take place:
Our younger preschool class enjoys water play in a wading pool on hot summer days. Please provide a swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen for these splish-splashy days.
All children must have a current immunization record on file with the Children’s Center before they can attend. If you request to be exempt for religious or conscientious reasons, the Children’s Center must have a certificate verifying that fact. This certificate must be renewed every nine months. Exemption forms are available from the Children’s Center manager. A Recommendation for Immunizations Schedule is available from the manager or your health care provider.
Our program serves a nourishing breakfast and afternoon snack. We participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Family Nutrition Bureau monitors our menus. All children will be offered the same meals without physical segregation or other discriminatory action against any child because of race, color, age, national origin, sex, or handicap. A monthly menu is posted at the Children’s Center and is provided in the monthly newsletter. In the event that your child has a documented allergy, an alternative can be provided or other arrangements can be made with the family.
Food Guidelines for Lunch
Guidelines are provided by the New Mexico Child and Adult Food Program
Meal Pattern Requirements for Children
Lunch Maker – Suggested Foods for Lunch
For a well-balanced meal you need to select a bread, 2 fruits/vegetables, meat and/or meat alternate, and a beverage using the suggested portions from the Meal Pattern Requirements for Children located in the table above.
Fruits and Vegetables
Meat and Meat Alternatives
Cheese and Meat Alternatives
Open Door Policy
We encourage parents/guardians to drop by the Children’s Center for a visit. We want to share with you the exciting educational programs your child participates in and we also want you to know how well your child is cared for. All visitors must sign our Visitor Registry at the Children’s Center office. Additionally, if you or anyone is not yet well-known to our staff, we will ask for picture identification. It is an important security measure for your child and our staff.
Releasing Child/Children to Authorized Persons
If anyone other than the parent/guardian is to pick up your child, even if his or her name appears on the emergency pick-up list, a Pick-Up Pass must be completed by a parent/guardian and given to your child’s teacher prior to release of the child. In case of an emergency, a phone call will be accepted before the adult arrives. If we do not recognize your voice, you must identify yourself with your "Code Word" before we will confirm anyone else picking up your child. All visitors are required to see the Children’s Center manager at the Early Childhood Program before signing a child out. The adult must present picture identification. We will not release a child to anyone who has not been authorized to pick him or her up.
Releasing Child/Children into Potentially Dangerous Situations
In accordance with the Public Health Licensing Authority and the Children’s Code of the State of New Mexico, all staff at the New Mexico Tech Children's Center are required to report any incidents that may fall within the definition of child abuse and neglect. We are therefore mandated to use discretion and precaution in releasing a child into the custody of an adult who exhibits physical impairment due to the influence of alcohol or other substance. Our first obligation is to the safety of all children in our care. Releasing a child into a potentially hazardous situation would constitute child endangerment. Therefore, it is our policy that we will not release any child to a person whom we deem too impaired to safely transport and/or care for that child. We will make every effort to locate an alternate person to pick up the child from the emergency numbers provided by the parents/guardians. If an angry or hostile situation occurs we reserve the right to contact the New Mexico Tech Campus Police to ensure the well being of our staff and children.
For the safety of the children arriving and departing, please use the designated parking areas. You may park in the small parking area in front (east) of the building. If that area is full, please park in the lower north parking lot.
Children are not allowed in the parking lot or in cars unattended. Do not leave your keys in the ignition. It is important that your child be secured in a child safety seat or seat belt when being transported to and from our programs. Failure to provide for your child’s safe arrival and departure may cause us to deny you the opportunity to continue in our program.
*Handicap parking is available.
All clothing should be labeled with your child’s first name or initials, including hats, mittens, and boots. Always dress your child/children for the weather, as the children participate in outdoor activities daily. Clothing should fit properly. Clothes that are too tight or too long many inhibit or obstruct play. Shoes should fit well. We recommend comfortable close-toed shoes. Sunscreen, when provided, will be use to protect children when they are outdoors.
New Mexico Tech Children's Center is not responsible for personal items brought to our programs. Personal items such as coats and backpacks should be labeled with the child’s name. We discourage children from bringing toys from home. Toys from home are unwelcome at our program. We have an ample supply of play equipment and materials that belong to all of us. Toy weapons (guns, knives, swords, etc.) are not allowed in our program. Any such toys brought to the Children’s Center will be placed in the office and can be claimed by parents/guardian at the end of the day.
Our staff views child guidance as a means of teaching children what is acceptable behavior and helping the child to develop the self-control needed to function as positive productive individuals. We also emphasize that the behavior, not the child, is unacceptable or inappropriate.
Rules and limits are established for the safety and well-being of the children. The rules are few and simple and are followed by both children and adults.
Enforcement of rules and limits is done in a positive manner. Child guidance is always used with the goal of self-discipline in mind. An effective technique of positive guidance is telling children what to do instead of what not to do. Saying "no" constantly loses its effectiveness. We believe in being gentle, yet clear and firm.
Consistency is a must and allows children to know what is appropriate and expected. Redirection, logical consequences, and problem solving are techniques we use to guide children. Acknowledging children’s feelings and giving them acceptable ways of expressing negative emotion helps children learn appropriate social skills.
A supervised separation apart from the group is used as a last resort when a child is out of control or hurting people or equipment. We try to allow children to regulate themselves whenever possible by letting them decide when to rejoin the other children. We will help the child regroup positively and make sure he/she knows what is expected of him/her. Each separation will be documented in the child’s record. If there is a situation where several separations apart have had no effect on changing or modifying the undesirable behavior, we will call the parent/guardian for a conference to develop a plan to help the child.
Management of Disruptive and Aggressive Behavior
When disruptive or aggressive behavior persists and we can find no effective way to modify the behavior, we will take one or more of the following steps:
Children may be suspended or withdrawn from the program immediately for major infractions where the safety of the aggressor, the staff, or other children is compromised. A major infraction is recognized as the following:
Our staff makes every effort through the physical arrangement of our indoor and outdoor learning environments and through the supervision of children to prevent accidents and injuries. In the event that your child has a minor injury, the adult in charge will take one or more of the following actions:
The adult in charge will notify parents of the injury and complete an Injury Report. One copy will be placed in your child’s daily file for your retrieval and one will be kept on file in the office. If your child arrives at his/her program with an injury that happened at home or away from the Children’s Center, please inform us or we will be contacting you to inquire.
If your child has a serious injury, requiring immediate medical care, we will first call 911 and then contact the parent/guardian.
Your child may experience or witness an event that leaves no physical signs but may have a psychological impact (e.g. witnessing a traffic accident). If this occurs while your child is at the Children’s Center, you will be notified in writing of the incident. If this occurs when your child is not in attendance at the Children’s Center, please notify us of the incident.
Allergy and Sensitivity
Please let us know if your child has an allergy or sensitivity to food or other substance. Furthermore, we must be informed if your child has a history of allergic reactions. We should be aware of the situation so we may take appropriate precautions to protect your child’s/children’s health.
Our goal is to ensure that every child and staff member has a safe and healthy environment. Because of this, we have developed the following policies:
The New Mexico Tech Children’s Center will not dispense or store any prescription or non-prescription medication, including over-the-counter, naturopathic, homeopathic, or herbal supplement for any child enrolled in our programs.
If a child requires any of the above medication during the day, the parent/guardian must come to the Children’s Center and administer the medication to the child.
In the event that a child should become missing, while in our care, the following policy has been developed:
This procedure does not apply to children who fail to show up or whose parent/guardian fails to notify us that their child will be absent from the program that day.
Recommendations on Exclusion from Care
Recommendations are provided by the New Mexico Health Department.
Exclusion from Care List