Little Friends is a personalized Center in Freeport. We offer care for children ages 12 months to 5 years. The center supports two classrooms, a toddler room and a preschool classroom. The preschool room is attended by 14 students and the toddler room will have up to 8 students daily. Our goal is to help every child to experience the joy of learning. We strive to teach the whole child by fostering social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth. We treat children as individuals and try to help them reach their fullest potential. Children learn through play and social interaction with peers and adults. Age appropriate, teacher directed early learning activities are supplemental. The program is designed to help each child achieve age appropriate development by kindergarten entrance.
My name is Jane Purdy and I have worked as a child care professional for two decades. This includes two years as an elementary school teacher and 24 years as the owner and director of Little Friends. I hold a Bachelor's degree in education and have two sons of my own. I am also greatly involved in my community, both in school and in sports. I have been committed to volunteer work in the school classrooms as well as a little league coach and team coordinator for local football teams. I strive to be current and well trained in the early childhood education field.
Little Friends has shown a history of long-term relationships with staff. The center supports four full-time teachers and one part-time afternoon aide. Two cooperating teachers work in unison in each classroom (preschool and toddler). The lead teacher has a degree in the field of Education. The assistant teachers have experience, training, some college courses, and a love for children! The staff is trained yearly in CPR and First Aid. Staff do participate in staff meetings, take courses, and keep updated in current research in the field of early childhood education. Staff achieve at least 30 hours of training time yearly.
Little Friends staff understands child development and the various ways children learn and process information. This information was used to help create the teaching and learning environment at Little Friends. The staff recognizes and responds to age- appropriateness and individual differences. The indoor setting is clean, organized and varied. The furniture and environment is child friendly and organized thematically. Toys and books are rotated and also frequently cleaned. There is opportunity for both active and quiet play as well as group and individual play areas.
The Center's country setting offers ample opportunity for outdoor play. The children play in a spacious natural play-yard. This setting includes open outdoor space with grassy fields and a gentle rolling slope. Trees provide areas of shade. The students test their skills on the large wooden play system that is specifically designed for children under the age of five. The play system from Cedar Works of Maine boasts natural, splinter free wood. The play-yard also offers an indoor play house. This indoor arena is filled with beach sand and a variety of toys, sporting goods, and dramatic play opportunities.
Meals and Snacks
Little Friends provides an afternoon snack daily. Snacks do include fresh fruits and vegetables. Families are asked to provide a healthy lunch for their child to bring to school. Staff can heat up items and provide a hot lunch to a child as needed. Candy and soda are not allowed at the center; healthy choices are encouraged. The children sit at tables family style. The staff role model and teach table manners as well as encourage positive social interactions. Allergies and dietary restrictions are closely monitored with an individual plan in place for every child.
All children will be provided with an opportunity for a minimum of one hour of rest. Sleepers are offered ample time to follow the needs of their sleep cycle. Non-nappers do have a quiet time with books and/or rest time comfort toy. Rest time follows the lunch routine. Children rest from 1-2, but many fall asleep before and stay sleeping for longer times. The individual needs of children are respected. Children are offered comfortable rest mats. Families do supply a cotton crib sheet and blanket from home. Rest time is quiet and peaceful with classical music playing in the background. Staff will provide comfort and assist children to provide a positive, safe setting.
Little Friend's fees include full time or part time care as well as special classes, celebrations, snacks, and the majority of a child's daily needs. Special classes include such activities as music and cooking classes. Celebrations include any themed special days and in the year end, a center-wide gathering highlighting a musician. The center serves (provides) an afternoon snack daily as well as daily needs with the exception of diapers. FEES - please go to the Information Guide section of this website to see current Fees.
Yearly Schedule and Hours of Operation
Little Friends operates daily Monday-Friday from 7:30 to 5:30. Children ages 12 months to five years may attend fulltime, daily, or half days. The part-time schedule is generally on a Tuesday/Thursday basis or a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule. A half day student would come in for the morning Early Learning time and leave after lunch at 12:15. Little Friends offers both full-time care as well as a complete curriculum for half day learners. Little Friends operates year round with vacation weeks and holidays. Vacation weeks include school vacation weeks as set forth on the Freeport Public school calendar. This will include a holiday vacation in December/January, February and April school vacation weeks. The first week in August is always reserved as a summer week off. Two vacations are paid and two have no pay required. Days off will also include Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Break, Martin Luther King, Memorial Day, and two Staff Training days.