|What are examples of supervising parent stations?||While at school during class, every other week you will be supervising a station. Stations include play areas with playdough, blocks, music, sandbox, patio area, art project, climber, loft, playhouse, snack, and so forth.|
|What are examples of observing parents' observation and discussion topics?||Every other class you will be an observing parent. Each time you will focus on a different topic. The first half of class is spent observing your child, and the second half you meet with the teacher and fellow observing parents for a discussion. Topics include: ages and stages of development, eating or sleeping patterns, limit setting and discipline.|
|How do the students fulfill their parent education hour requirements?||The parent education requirements are fulfilled by attending four required night classes (orientation, two classes with your teacher and classmates and one all school meeting) plus the weekly classes with the children. Any missed required class must be made up, either by attending an optional night class - - such as a class covering sibling relations or selecting a pre-school -- or completing a research report.|
|Can I follow my child and/or can s/he stay with me as I work?||As an observing parent you will usually be observing your child. At discussion time, children are welcome to sit down and do a quiet activity near you, but encouraged to play outside or in the other rooms, if appropriate. While supervising a station, you must remain at your station. Your child is welcome to stay with you.|
|What role do the teachers play?||Teachers welcome children and parents, facilitate the activities and interactions, model appropriate behavior for both children and parents, and lead the observing parent discussions. Finally, they close the class with music time.|
|I have another child. Can I bring him/her to class?||Very young babies that can be carried in front or back packs or asleep in a carrier (so that you can still do your supervising) are welcome in class. We ask that you make other arrangements when this no longer works. Your other (older) children are welcome to visit three times per year. For your convenience, Little Hands now provides on-site child care for older and younger siblings during class time. Our class and child care schedule can be found here.|
|Can other adults attend class with me or in my place?||You may bring an adult visitor to class with you, but please check with the teacher first. If the visitor is a prospective member of Little Hands, we ask that they schedule a regular visit through the Administrative Assistant instead. On occasion, if you are ill or out of town, another adult may attend class in your place with your child. Since Little Hands is funded by the Sequoia Adult School as a parent education program, however, it is essential that a family member be the primary attendee (participating parent).|
|How is snack time organized?||Midway through class, the children wash their hands and meet in the classroom for a snack. Snack is brought by a parent as her/his supervising duty for the day. In most classes, supervising and observing parents take turns going to the kitchen for a snack. Snack responsibility rotates, like all supervising parent stations. You usually have this job twice during the year.|
|The class interferes with my child's (current) nap time. What can I do?||We have arrived at this schedule after years of trying different class times for different ages. While it may not be perfect for all the children, we have found that most do adjust quite well. We suggest you try a few classes to see if your child can adjust to the class time. Keep in mind that your child's nap time may shift substantially between spring registration and the beginning of classes in the fall.|
|What if one of us is sick and we miss a class?||You are welcome (and encouraged) to make it up in another class (up
to three per semester). Please call the teacher to let her know you would like to do
a make-up so she can plan accordingly. Attend the make-up class with the
participating child only. Please no siblings. Remember the ages of the classes are as
of September 1 of the current school year.
Longer absences due to the birth of another baby are frequently made up by a father or a grand-parent.
|What happens if it rains?||When it rains, teachers will generally offer more indoor activities to keep the kids busy. The back classroom has an awning over part of the outdoor play area, and teachers in that classroom can fence off the covered area to allow for some outdoor play.|
|What is the class schedule, and who are the teachers this year?||Refer to the Classes page for information on when classes will be held. Refer to the Faculty page to learn about who teaches the classes, and to find teacher bios.|
|How do I get more information about the school and schedule a visit?||Call the school to schedule a visit at 650-595-4830.|
|How does the registration and enrollment process work?||Little Hands process all registrations online. Registration for each
term (Fall, Winter and Summer) opens at different times of the year. Please visit the
Registration page to see if registration
is currently open for the term you are interested in.
When registration is open, a non-refundable application fee reserves your place in the class. During registration, the classes and yearly jobs are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For the Fall term, tuition and the refundable $300 co-op deposit is due in July to secure your class placement.
An enrollment packet will be emailed to you after receipt of your tuition. It includes a confirmation of the registration information, the participating parent's medical form (TB test), the preadmission health evaluation (doctor's clearance), an emergency medical authorization, a list of parent co-op responsibilities, a photo release agreement, and a Sequoia Adult School (SAS) parent registration form. The completed forms are due no later than the day of the required parent orientation night, which is generally held the week prior to the start of Fall term classes.
Please make sure you keep copies of your forms for your records.
|There's a chance we may need to drop our class -- can I get a refund?||We understand that families sometimes have to drop their Little Hands
class due to conflicts or other commitments. To address these challenges, Little Hands
has implemented the following tuition reimbursement policy:
|What classes are full? How does the waitlist work?||If you've missed registration, don't despair! Class availability varies
periodically as families add, drop, and switch classes. Once you've reviewed the
written information and visited the school, you and the registrar can discuss the
class(es) that best meets your needs and current availability.
If the class you want is available, you may hold a place by paying the non-refundable application fee. If the class you want is full, the application fee holds your place on the wait list. You can be in one class and still be waitlisted for another.
|What if my child is a few weeks too old or too young for the class that I think is appropriate or convenient?||After years of experimentation, Little Hands has arrived at the
specified age ranges and cut-off dates. We will consider slight age differences after
classes commence, if space allows. This will be done on a case-by-case basis.
|I never received any email from Little Hands. What should I do?||The Little Hands registration process is online, and most communication with families is via email. If you haven't received an expected email, please check your spam folder, which may have filtered out Little Hands communication. Additionally, try adding the email address email@example.com to your address book, and allowing all email originating from the domain "littlehands.org". If you cannot find the expected email, call us at 650-595-4830 or email the registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|What is a co-op school?||A co-op school is a non-profit organization where parents play an active role in the school operations.
This creates a sense of community, through parent involvement, and also keeps tuition low.
The Director and Teachers are responsible for curriculum, while parents are responsible for maintaining the school. Each parent attends class with their child, where they spend half the time supervising class and the other half as students. After each class, several parents will stay to clean the school and set it up for the next class. Depending on the size of the class, each parent can expect to work after class approximately 15-20 minues, 6-8 times throughout the year.
Outside of class, parents participate in one 3-hour maintenance "cleaning" day each year, and perform a specific job that supports school operations. The Jobs board member does his/her best to assign family jobs based on experience and interest. Each job typically takes approximately 20 hours over the course of the school year.
|What is the Sequoia Adult School (SAS)?||SAS is state-supported and offers reasonably priced adult education classes, including vocational training, computers, and parent education. Little Hands is one of seven parent education/parent participation programs which are partially funded by SAS. To qualify for those funds, all Little Hand parents (students) must complete a certain number of parent education hours.|
|How do the students fulfill their parent education hour requirements?||The parent education requirements are fulfilled by attending four required night classes plus the weekly classes with the children. The required night classes include an orientation, two night classes with your own class (one in the Fall and one in the Spring), and an all-school meting. Any missed required class must be made up, either by attending an optional night class at Little Hands or in the community, or completing a paper on a parenting topic.|
|What are the teachers' backgrounds?||Among child-related programs, Little Hands is one of the few schools that requires its teachers to have a 4-year degree and credential. All Little Hands teachers hold a California teaching credential, adult education credential, or a masters degree in a related field (e.g., child growth and development). All of our teachers have had extensive experience working with children and parents, and most of our teachers have also been parents at Little Hands!|
|What are examples of yearly jobs, and how much time should I expect to spend on my job?||There is a wide variety of jobs so choosing one that works for you is important.
The Jobs board member does his/her best to assign jobs
based on experience and interest, and we encourage
parents to communicate with the Jobs board member to
help in this determination. Typically a job will take approximately 20 hours for the year. There are some that
might be less, and some that are definitely more. Board members may spend 10-20
hours/month or more. We hope you will catch the co-op spirit and do what you can for
Examples of jobs are:
|How does the job buyout program work?||Parents who have a specific need have the opportunity to buyout their 20 hour job for $300. A limited number of buyouts will be granted each year (based on enrollment and need). All buyout applications will be treated confidentially by the school director and board president, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.|
|What are maintenance days?||Each family is required to perform one three-hour maintenance day during the year. Maintenance days are usually scheduled on one Saturday each month and assigned to a specific class. You may attend with your class (a fun social time!) or another class if it meets your schedule better (in this case, you will have to schedule this with the maintenance chair). Either you or your spouse may attend, but children are not allowed.|
|What fundraising participation is required or requested?||Little Hands holds fundraising events throughout the year, including Talbots Toy
Night and a school auction, and participates in
programs such as eScrip (an easy way to contribute money without spending extra). As a non-profit, Little Hands also qualifies for your United Way
While fundraising is not required, we strongly encourage each family to help in this area. Fundraising is what keeps our non-profit co-op going. We use these funds to make significant improvements to the school. In the past we have used our fundraising money to remodel the bathrooms, install the trough sink, remodel the art room, and install new vinyl and carpet in the music and playdough rooms.
|Why do I have to take a TB test? What if I am pregnant and my O.B. told me not to?||Because young children are highly susceptible to contracting tuberculosis, a TB test (PPD) is required by the State Health Department for every adult in the school (parents and teachers). Pregnant and/or nursing mothers may be excused, but we request a doctor's confirming note in lieu of the test. Little Hands requires that this test be current within the past 12 months.|