Quick Facts


2023-2024 MCPK Parent Handbook




 What are your class sizes and ratios?

In our 3-year-old program we maintain a class size of 16, while our 4-year-old and 5-year-old classes have a maximum of 20 children. Each classroom has a teaching team of 3 consisting of a lead teacher, an associate teacher and an assistant teacher, all who help support each child's strengths and needs.

When does the school day begin and end?

Our full-day school program is 6 hours (8:30 am - 2:30 pm) with morning and afternoon Extended Care available from 7:00am - 6:00 pm for an additional charge. Our Half-Day Program is 4 hours (8:30 am - 12:30 pm). Please see our website for additional schedule options.

How does Extended Care work?

Families may register their children for Extended Care and may choose 2, 3, or 5 days per week, during the mornings, afternoons or both. Families can indicate their interest in Extended Care on their enrollment forms. Extended Care can be added or dropped as needed. MCPK provides income-based sliding scale tuition for Extended Care. Families can also purchase punch cards to extend their child’s day on demand.

Can I change my child’s schedule after enrollment?

Yes. Families may change their schedule at any time throughout the year (with two weeks’ notice for payment

What is the school year calendar for MCPK?

MCPK follows the Montclair Public Schools (MPS) 10 month calendar. Our school year starts in early September and concludes in late June. We observe the same holidays and closings as MPS, including delayed openings and early closings due to inclement weather.

What do MCPK students do during the summer and on days when schools are closed?

Many MCPK students attend the YMCA New Discoveries Summer Camp located at MCPK. Families can sign up by week or for the whole summer. On days that MCPK is closed, there are many “staycation” programs available to families.

What educational program does the school follow?

MCPK’s nationally recognized curriculum offers a joyous, child-emergent curriculum which fully prepares children for success in kindergarten and beyond.

  • Building from Dr. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Growth Mindset Theory, children engage in project-based learning utilizing the children's interests and natural curiosity.
  • Learning is play-based and tailored to each child’s unique personality.
  • A related arts program that offers classes in music/movement, visual arts, gym and gardening.
  • Adheres to the New Jersey State Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards as aligned to the Common Core Standards.
  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that focuses on managing emotions and promoting meaningful peer relationships.
  • MCPK's Anti-Bias Education Project “One Love” is a celebration of the rich diversity within our community and country. Through collaboration between teachers, families and community partners, we will teach our children to understand and appreciate the value in differences.

How is discipline handled?

MCPK Staff are trained in the Positive Discipline Approach, which is centered on children’s instinctive need to feel connected to others and their inner capability through teaching and learning rather than punishment. We discuss feelings, possible solutions to problems, and use logical consequences for behaviors.

Does my child have to be toilet-trained?

Yes. MCPK is designed for children who are completely toilet-trained and do not require diapers or pull-ups. Children who enter school in September must be able to take care of their own toileting needs, including wiping, flushing and re-adjusting clothing. Pull-up diapers are not permitted as underclothing.

Are children required to be Montclair residents to attend?

No. MCPK enrolls children from Montclair and from the surrounding communities. Tuition assistance is available to Montclair residents only.

What is the age requirement to enroll my child?

All children must turn 3 by October 1st of the current school year.

What is the Turning 5’s Program?

MCPK has 1-2 classrooms for children that will turn 5 between July 15th and December 31st. For some children, the 5’s room will be their third year of pre-k. The students in our 5’s classes are typically able to take a deeper dive into explorations and develop academic/school readiness skills to a more advanced stage. Children will still enter kindergarten at the completion of the Turning 5 year.

What documents are required for enrollment in MCPK?

Incoming students must submit the following to complete enrollment at MCPK
● a copy of the child’s birth certificate or equivalent proof of birth
● NJ universal health record
● proof of immunizations
No registration is complete until all paperwork has been received. A child’s enrollment will be in jeopardy if the enrollment packet is not complete by JULY 1.

Does MCPK offer financial assistance?

Financial assistance is available to Montclair residents only. Our sliding scale tuition is based on adjustedgross household income. To be eligible for Financial Assistance, you must fill out a Financial Assistance Application.

What are the vaccination requirements for my child?

State law requires that all children be up-to-date on their immunizations before they attend school, following the recommended schedule approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, children must receive a flu vaccine between October 1st and December 15th.

Do you have a nurse on staff?

MCPK has a full-time registered nurse during the school day who is experienced with pediatric and school health and acts as our on-site health coordinator. Staff training in infection control, food allergies, and child safety is conducted by the school nurse. The entire staff is certified in CPR and first aid as outlined by the American Red Cross. Prescribed medications such as asthma inhalers, antibiotics, epi-pen and others are given by the school nurse.

Are lunch and snack provided by families or the school?

School day snacks and lunch are sent in by families. MCPK provides a snack in Aftercare.

What is your policy for nuts and other potential allergens?

MCPK is an Allergy-Aware School. Parents submit Allergy Plans to the Nurse and teachers and families are made aware of any allergies in the classroom. Students are allowed to pack snacks and lunch foods without restriction, unless there is a life-threatening allergy in the classroom. We offer a nut-free/allergy sensitive seating arrangement at snack and lunchtime and ask that all food containing known allergens are labeled at home.

Do the children play outside every day?

Outdoor play is an essential aspect of our program and all children must be prepared to participate. The children play outside every day unless there is severe weather, i.e. extreme cold and wind, rain etc. The children should be dressed appropriately and ready for outdoor play each school day.

Will my child rest during the day?

The State of New Jersey mandates that any early childhood program open for more than four hours a day must offer a rest time lasting at least 30 minutes. Therefore, all of our students who are here for a full day must have a rest period. Many children sleep during rest time; many do not. Those who don’t sleep can rest quietly with a book or quiet activity.

How does Extended Care work?

Families may register their children for Extended Care and may choose 2, 3, or 5 days per week, during the mornings, afternoons or both. Families can indicate their interest in Extended Care on their enrollment forms. Extended Care can be added or dropped as needed. MCPK provides income-based sliding scale tuition for Extended Care.

What transportation, drop off and pick up options are available?

Busing is only available for students in our Inclusion and Public Pre-K programs. MCPK provides and encourages curbside drop-off service in the morning beginning at 8:20am and ending at 8:50am. Families may also choose to park their cars and walk their children directly to their designated drop-off area or classroom.