Frequently Asked Questions
Every decision we make right now has risk for our children. To socialize or not to socialize. To send them to school, to not send them to school. To let them play outside, or keep them indoors. There is no perfect answer. No clear right or wrong solution. Every child is different. Each family's concerns are different.
In light our our current situation, we want to offer options for children and families during this challenging time. We also want be transparent about what our current programs look like so you can make the best decision for your family.
We believe the design and nature of TerraTime programs are ideal for reconnecting children with nature and their peers. These include:
Small program size (26 max children in each program)
Adult-to-child ratio of 1:8
Safety, hygiene, and hand washing protocols are taught to children and practiced by staff
We monitor and enforce our sick child policy
ALL of our programs are held outdoors
Our outdoor classroom is located on 9.5 acres with plenty of space
Equipment and supplies are sanitized daily when our classroom is in use
Hand sanitizer is available throughout our outdoor classroom
Even with all of these safeguards in place, there are two areas that are a challenge to adhere to CDC guidelines when working with children: masks and social distancing.
Concerning masks... There are mandates and there are also exemptions. Therefore, we will assume that guests, children, and team members not wearing a facial covering have a reason for it. We will continue to serve and welcome all.
Social Distancing: We realize social distancing is not possible for children while engaged in meaningful play with their peers. We also understand parent's concerns. If you want your child to wear a mask while they are at TerraTime, please let us know and we will do our best to ensure full compliance. Understand that even though your child may be wearing a mask, other children may not be.
Finally, we understand that things could change at any moment. We will be providing a100% refund if any of our programs are canceled due to COVID-19. Programs that are booked per session will be refunded by the amount of sessions not used. We will keep this page updated with changes as they occur.
Children participating in our drop-off programs are expected to be able to:
Cooperate with transitions in activities and locations
Stay within the activity area and not wander away from the group
Use positive language
Follow leaders directions
Treat others with respect
Play cooperatively with other children
Behave in a manner that does not pose an unsafe situation for themselves, other children, or team members
Be independent for personal care needs such as washing hands, toileting, and changing clothes
What happens if it's raining?
There is a lot to learn and much fun to be had in the rain, therefore most programs still run if it rains. This same policy holds true if the weather is hot, cold, snowy, or windy. With the right clothing, children will typically have a great experience learning outside. There are, however, certain conditions that are not conducive to safe, productive learning. If weather is dangerously hot or cold, or if there is a threat of lightning, Site Directors are trained to postpone or cancel the session.
In the rare case that a session is canceled due to extreme weather, the Site Director will alert all parents by email. If the decision is made within 1.5 hours of session start time, those enrolled will be alerted by text as well. A makeup date will be established and communicated, typically by adding an extra session. If this is not possible due to TerraTime’s program schedule, a refund will be pro-rated based on the amount of time missed.
How much does it cost?
There are many factors involved in determining the cost of our programs, such as the geographical area, number of sessions, and length of each session. As a result, the cost of our programs can vary. Pricing information is provided within each individual program description.
For most programs, the first child you enroll in a TerraTime program pays the full price. Any additional siblings enrolled at the same time receive a 10% discount. A sibling is considered a child in the same family unit, validated by a legal document (birth certificate, marriage, adoption, etc.). Please see the details for each program to see if a sibling discount is available. When a bundle discount is offered, the sibling discount is already included.
Online payment is available on our website, or you can mail in your payment with the Registration and Medical Release Form.
Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis according to the date tuition is paid in full and registration forms are received. The tuition payment must accompany the Registration, Medical Release, and Waiver forms in order to hold a child’s spot. Your child will not be able to participate if these are not on file.
What happens if a program is already full?
If programs are filled when a parent inquires, the child’s name will be placed on a waiting list. As vacancies occur, they will be filled from the waiting list first. You will also be notified if another program opens up that your child is eligible to attend.
A $50 non-refundable registration fee is included with the tuition payment.
What forms need to be filled out for my child to attend drop-off programs?
· Registration & Medical Release Form
· Wavier of Liability Form
· Parent Handbook with Signature Page
Please take the time to review these documents carefully and complete them in full.
Food & Snacks
Children will need to pack a snack each day. We will occasionally make a snack as part of our curriculum. Let us know on the registration form if your child has any allergies.
For programs lasting longer than 3 hours, children will need to bring a packed lunch. Small cooler style lunch boxes are recommended, as we do not provide refrigeration. Please include utensils, if needed.
It is recommended children bring a water bottle with them to have during the day, regardless of the length of the program. Lunch box and water bottle should be labeled with the child’s name where it is easily seen.
What to Bring
One of our goals is to encourage children to be self-sufficient. You can help by sending your child in clothes that allow for a child to say, "I can do it!" Please dress your child in comfortable clothes that will handle outdoor activities, art projects, and bathroom breaks. Play clothes and tennis shoes are recommended (no open toe shoes).
We will get dirty. Please pack an extra pair of clothes labeled with your child’s first and last name and a plastic bag for soiled clothing. Bring your child in clothing appropriate for the current weather conditions. In the summer, be sure to include sunscreen, sunhats and clothing to protect skin. In the winter, it is important that you send them with a heavy coat, hat, snowsuit, boots, and gloves.
TerraTime does not allow your child to bring money, toys, cell phones, CD or DVD players, IPods/MP3 players, radios, video games, electronics of any kind, etc.
Who will be working with my child?
Our team members are carefully selected, trained and have a wide variety of child-development experiences. We complete background checks on all adults working with children. In addition, Site Directors and Lead Teachers are certified in CPR and First Aid. More information about individual team members can be found on the "Our Team" page of our website.
Will my child be safe?
Although team members work hard to give children all of the space they need to direct their own play, they are also there to help remind children when their play is getting dangerous. Team members are trained to allow safe risk taking. A few, simple rules help us address most situations:
Children can explore on their own as long as they can still see or hear their leader and stay within boundaries.
If children are taking physical risks, we check in to make sure that they feel sturdy and safe in their risk taking.
Team members encourage children to engage in risky play, but give clear direction about how to do so in a way that preserves their safety and the safety of other children.
Team members are provided with extensive suggestions about how to manage common risks associated with play in outdoor spaces and someone trained in First Aid and CPR is always onsite.
Because enrollment without attendance takes a spot that another child might have filled, and program costs are incurred for each enrolled child (including materials, processing fees, and compensation for our team members), we are unable to provide refunds or adjustments for unattended sessions. This includes absences related to illness, vacations, inclement weather days, or failure to fill out necessary forms.
In the rare case that a session is canceled due to extreme weather, a makeup date will be established and communicated, typically by adding an extra session. If this is not possible due to TerraTime’s program schedule, a refund will be pro-rated based on the amount of time missed.
If circumstances arise where your child cannot attend a weeklong program, we will try to fill your child’s spot. The more notice you give, the more likely it will be filled. If we are able to fill your child’s spot, a refund minus the $50 registration fee will be given. A refund will not be provided if we are unable to fill your child’s spot.
Full refunds are given if TerraTime cancels the program. Please understand that TerraTime operates on the funds generated from tuition. This makes it crucial that we receive payment in order to pay team members and purchase supplies.
TerraTime does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, creed, color, national origin, or source of payment. All children are welcome here.
Children with Varied Abilities
Children with varied abilities may be enrolled into our programs upon the collaborative planning and agreement between the family and Site Director. Each child’s unique needs will be considered on a child-by-child basis. To support inclusion, specific adaptations and logical accommodation solutions will be examined and reasonable alternatives explored. Modifications to policies and procedures can be made if they do not fundamentally alter the nature of the program and services the program provides or adversely affects the operation of the program. Services will be offered in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the child. It is the practice of the TerraTime to do a pre-screening as deemed necessary for children with special needs in an effort to establish if the program is able to meet the needs of the child. Interested parents will be asked to submit written permission, allowing the Site Director permission to observe their child in either their home or current childcare environment. Occasionally more than one observation is necessary.
For the safety of the children and team members, TerraTime is a closed program. All visits during our programs must be scheduled and approved by the Site Director in advance. If you would like to tour our location with your child before they attend, please contact our main office to make an appointment. If an adult guest (18 or older) is interested in observing one of our programs, please make arrangements with our main office. Unregistered children and child guests are not allowed to attend our programs.
Photographs & Promotional Materials
Occasionally, TerraTime takes photos or videos of program activities for marketing purposes. Photos are not used without parental permission as indicated on the registration form. If you need to modify this release, please notify your Site Director or the main office in writing.
Parents often choose to share pictures of their kids at play during our programs across social media, as they do with many other kids activities. Before posting, you must get permission from other parents when their child is in the picture.