Bernice E. Lavin Children's Care Center

Preschool in Chicago, IL 60611

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240 E Ontario St Lbby 100
Chicago, IL 60611
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The Bernice E. Lavin Children’s Care Center is open to children of full-time or part-time employees of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Corporation, house staff enrolled in the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University and medical staff of Northwestern Memorial hospital. The NMH employee must be the parent, step-parent, grandparent or legal guardian of the child(ren). Children of domestic partners of NMH employees are also eligible. Children enrolled in the Bernice E. Lavin Center remain enrolled from year to year without reapplying provided their parents, grandparents or legal guardians continue to meet the NMH employee eligibility requirement. Generally, a child(ren) of an NMH employee may remain in the center for up to 30 days from an employee’s termination date. Siblings will be offered priority enrollment before an offer is extended to a new family from the wait pool. Enrollment will be drawn from the sibling priority list (if one exists) and then from the new family pool. Children with special needs are eligible and welcome to enroll. The Center staff will work in collaboration with the child’s parents and other resources to ensure that we can provide an experience that is positive for the child and their family. Programs Core Program: Infants through Junior Kindergarten: This program serves children from 6 weeks of age through Jr. K – age (approximately 5 years of age or until eligible for entry into kindergarten). Kindergarten Program: We offer a full-day Kindergarten program. Children that will be 5 years of age by December 1st, are eligible for this program.

School’sOUT!: The SchoolsOUT! Program is designed for children kindergarten through age 12. The program is open during Winter Break, Spring Break, Summer Months (Mid-June through August) and various other school holidays during the year. We have selected dates that reflect the Chicago Public Schools calendar year. Days / Hours of Operation The center operates Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year round. The Center is closed on all NMH observed holidays.

Child Ages:
6 weeks - 12 years
Children per Teacher:
Infant: 4/1, Toddler: 5/1, Pre k: 10/1, Afterschool: 15/1
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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Philosophy Excellent child care and early education replicates many of the aspects of a good and loving home situation, where caring adults nurture children to grow and learn. Our role is to supplement, but not supplant, the primary role of parents in providing care and education for their children. By establishing and maintaining open and ongoing communication with families, we are able to strengthen the ties that connect the home with our center and enhance the development of the children in our care. When parents entrust their children to us, we are challenged to have a significant and positive influence on their children by providing a program of the highest quality designed to help give children the foundation they need to build self-esteem, to develop school competence, and to reach for higher levels of learning. School Readiness “By the year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn.” So states the first of the six National Education Goals established by the nation’s governors and the President. This significant statement acknowledges the critical importance of early childhood experiences to later success in school. at the Family Center, we agree that learning does not begin at the school door, but in the first five years of life. We are committed to working in partnership with parents to achieve our nation’s readiness goals by Bright Horizons “Ready For School” initiative. As children grow closer to kindergarten, or “school-age” the classroom teachers will dedicate more time during your child’s day to experiencing more frequent teacher-directed activities for longer periods of time. Teachers may also practice routines they may encounter in elementary school such as lining up or eating cafeteria style lunch. Primary Caregiving Each child at the Bernice E. Lavin Center is assigned a primary caregiver who assumes responsibility for that particular child and for communication with that child’s family, especially during parent-teacher conferences. Primary caregiving strengthens the link between families, children, and teachers. By assigning a primary caregiver to each child, we are encouraging families to establish a relationship with a particular faculty member who will be especially focused on their child’s needs and development. As your child’s primary caregiver, we are asking that individual to assume primary responsibility, not total responsibility, for your child. All teachers on the team interact with and provide learning experiences for every child in the homebase. Family Involvment The Bernice E. Lavin Center has an open-door policy. Families are invited and welcome to come any time to watch their child in action, have lunch with their child, nurse their baby, or just drop-in for a quick visit. The more comfortable you are at the center the more comfortable your child will feel. The center features a Family Resource Library that we hope will provide great benefits to families looking for ideas, resources, or a good book to read. Books are available to check out and can be done so in the either lobby. There is a Parent Group that works together with the center administration to help create a sense of community and partnership. The Parent Leadership Team is an opportunity for parent involvement in center events, assisting with review of policies/procedures, and helps provide the center leadership team with various perspectives and ways of working together.

Meals NMH Food Service provides breakfast, hot lunch and a nutritious afternoon snack to the children each day. Parents of infants not yet eating table foods will be responsible for providing cereals, baby foods, formulas or expressed breast milk. As table foods are introduced, the children are offered foods from the kitchen. All meals are prepared with children’s nutritional needs in mind. The cooking staff work to ensure that meals are low in sugar, sodium, fat, etc., reflect the diversity of tastes and cultures served in the program, and are varied. If a family so chooses due to specific dietary concerns, they can provide their own meals, but no reduction in tuition will be made To download our menu, please see the Documents section under Parent Resources.

Safety and Security The Center has been designed with many safety and security features. The front entries are locked and will require card-key access. All secondary exit doors are alarmed and NMH security will provide support to the Center. Faculty and families are required to utilize their card-key to gain access to the facility. The center will arrange the provision of card-keys for spouses, family members, or significant others of NMH employees enrolled in the center as identified by the family.

Child Centered Rooms All classrooms have been designed to provide large amounts of natural light. The floors are a combination of carpet for comfortable floor work and linoleum where art projects can be done. Lunches are eaten family style around large tables. Sinks, drinking fountains, paper towels, even windows are down at the children’s level. These are designed to be child-centered rooms where state-of-the-art learning tools can be put to use. Each classroom has been designed to meet the specific needs of the children being served. The Infant / Toddler rooms have specially designed diaper changing areas to provide maximum efficiency and allow continued supervision of other children by the caregivers as well as nap areas for the babies with dimmed lighting.


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