Where is Children & Company located?

Children & Company is located at 5355 Phelps Luck Drive in the Phelps Luck Community Center in Columbia, Maryland. Our telephone number is 443-741-2436. Voicemail is checked regularly. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 1364, Columbia, MD 21044

How does the application process work?

The membership process typically begins in the fall when applications for the following school year become available. For more information, please see the Membership page.

Can I stop by and visit the school before applying for membership?

We offer classroom tours and observations only by appointment when there are openings in the school or places available on the waiting list. Families interested in membership are encouraged to begin exploring our school by attending one of the open house events. Please see the EnrollmentĀ page for more information.

Does my son/daughter need to be potty trained to attend?

Children do not need to be potty trained to attend. Diaper changes or toileting assistance are handled only by the teachers.

How many children are in each class?

The 2-year old class has a maximum of 12 students. The 3-year old class has a maximum of 16 students. The four-year old class has a maximum of 17 students. All classes are led by a team of two teachers and have daily assistance from a co-op member.

What is a typical day at school like?

Each class begins with a free play period when children choose their own activities, using the resources of our classroom including a variety of toys, books, puzzles, manipulative play objects such as playdough, art supplies, and educational games. Each day also includes a circle time, teacher-planned crafts and activities, snack, and outdoor time on the playground when weather permits.

Do you serve snacks? What are the policies for responding to food allergies?

Snack is served in each class every school day. Families have a rotating responsibility for bringing snack supplies on the days they are scheduled to co-op. Children & Company is a nut-free school and we have procedures in place for protecting children with food allergies and other dietary concerns. Each year, an approved snack list is developed based on the needs of the students and the snacks brought to school must conform to this list.

Which school calendar do you follow?

We follow the Howard County Public School Calendar with a few exceptions. Our school year usually starts the day after Labor Day.

How will I learn about my child's progress in school?

Teachers distribute progress reports for each child twice per year. After the progress reports are distributed, the teachers meet with each family during regular school hours on special conference days.

How is the curriculum developed and who plans the daily activities?

Our dynamic and highly qualified teachers develop the curriculum and plan classroom activities. Having essentially accepted the school's philosophy by joining, the members give the teachers the sole right and responsibility to run the classroom on a day-to-day basis. We encourage active discussion of the school's philosophy and activities and comments or suggestions can be brought to the attention of the teachers, or the chair appointed for each class.

What if my child has problems adjusting to separation from me?

For children first coming to preschool, we try to gradually let the child become familiar with the people and the room. Leaving should proceed at a pace that the child, Teachers, and parent are all comfortable with--this will be different for each child. Before your child comes to school, familiarize him/her with where the school is (drive by a few times on your way somewhere else), who s/he will meet, who will take your child to school and back, how long s/he will stay, and some of the things that are there (blocks, toys, climbing equipment, sandbox, etc.).

What are co-op and setup duties?

Parents in each class have a rotating responsibility for acting as the co-op and setup person. On your scheduled day, you must arrive early enough (at least 30 minutes before morning classes and 15 minutes before afternoon classes) to ensure that the classroom is prepared, paints mixed, art projects set up, etc. The co-op person stays for the entire class and is responsible for bringing the snack. The co-op person will spend the majority of his/her time in the classroom playing with the children and assisting the teachers with class activities. The setup person assists the co-op person with the preparation of the classroom and also returns early to the classroom to help clean or pack up classroom furniture and supplies. The process of packing up the classroom on Fridays and in the afternoon classes can require that a parent stay up to 15 minutes beyond the end of class.

Can older or younger siblings attend the school occasionally? Can I bring my older/younger child on days when I am the setup or co-op person?

When you are the co-oping parent, you may not bring other children to the classroom unless they are younger than 6 months of age. We have found that this is in the best interest of all parties. As the co-oping parent you will be more availableĀ to address the needs of the classroom if you do not have to attend to your other child(ren). We encourage you to coordinate babysitting with other members. When you are the setup parent, you may bring other children, but you must be able to perform the duties of setting up and packing up the classroom.

Do the children go on field trips? Are there special enrichment activities?

Yes, the 3- and 4-year-old classes participate in monthly field trips and enrichment activities. More information is available on the Field Trips page.

What kind of job will I be assigned?

We have a variety of co-op jobs and try to match jobs to our members' skills and preferences. You can view the list of co-op jobs and details about job requirements.