Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Parent's Night Out: FAQ's

Hey Everyone!
We've had some questions regarding Parent's Night Out come up a few times. So, we thought it would be a good idea to make a frequently asked questions post in case you are wondering some of the same things other parents are. If any of your questions are not addressed below, please feel free to
email In Stepps for more information.

-I keep seeing PNO all over the blog and Facebook page. What does it stand for?
*Parent's Night Out! :)

-What exactly is PNO?
*Parent's Night Out is a chance for parents to drop off their kids at In Stepps while they go and enjoy a night on the town. We understand that when you have a child with special needs that finding time for yourself seems nearly impossible. However, we believe nurturing your other relationships and taking a break is crucial to maintaining a healthy family dynamic. We also understand that finding qualified and trustworthy child care can be a challenge. Your child is your most precious gift, and leaving them for even a few hours can be a stressful decision.
Whether you want to grab a coffee and enjoy some quiet time, have a date night with your spouse, enjoy happy hour with friends, or just get some errands done....You can drop your child off with peace of mind knowing our highly trained staff will make your child's safety and well-being a priority while also creating a fun and enriching environment. Our staff is highly skilled in:
facilitating play interactions, developing motivating and creative activities, working with children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

-How much does PNO cost?
*$30, plus $15 for every additional child

-That seems expensive. Why so much? I can find a babysitter cheaper.
*In Stepps is more than just a sitter! We offer a chance to facilitate play interactions such as turn taking, responding to peer initiations, social games, and more. We also hand pick a theme for the night and plan games, activities, movies, and snacks based on the theme. In Stepps guarantees a ratio of 2:1; this means that for every 2 children attending PNO, there is 1 adult to watch over them. So if we have 10 kids, 5 adults will be there to supervise. This ensures the safety and well being of every child that walks in the door. It also means that if your child, or any other child, is having difficulty during the evening, a well qualified In Stepps staff member will be able to give your child the attention they need to make PNO successful. Our staff is trained in ABA principles, behavior management, peer/social facilitation, play skills, working with children with disabilities, and more. There is nothing we can't handle! (Please note, there will ALWAYS be at least 2 In Stepps staff members on site at all times during PNO, even if only one child is present.)

-Where is the location of PNO?
*We host PNO at the In Stepps office. Our address is 18008 Sky Park Circle in Irvine. Cross streets are Main and McArthur; right by the John Wayne Airport.

-What time does PNO start?
*Drop your kids off at 6:30 and come back to pick up at 9:30.

-What should my child bring?
*Your child should be dressed in comfortable clothes (pajamas are great) since many kiddos get sleepy around 8 o'clock. We have a movie room full of over sized pillow and stuffed animals, so it gives them a chance to rest and relax. The more comfortable they are dressed the better. Please send your kids in closed toed shoes, no slippers. Feel free to send favorite blankets, stuffed animals, and special snacks in a back pack. Please label all items that belong to your child.

-My child is not potty trained. Can he/she still come?
*Of course! Please inform In Stepps staff of any toileting schedule or needs prior to drop off. Plan to send your child with all necessary toileting materials including: diapers/pull ups, wipes, a change of clothes, reinforcers, etc.

-What will my child do during PNO?
*We will have a packed night! All activities will be planned according to the amount of children, ages, skills, interests, etc. So each PNO will be individualized with a theme. Activities include: arts & crafts, social games, movies, board games, dancing and singing, snack time, and more. Plus, we have a HUGE toy closet and lego chest full of good stuff. Your child will have access to any toys we have on site.

-What if my child has a tantrum or other behaviors during the evening?
*It is no problem! Our staff is highly trained in behavior management and you can be assured that we will handle all behaviors following ABA principles. We have several quiet spaces in the office to use for relaxing, handling behaviors, taking a break, etc. Every child's safety and dignity is our priority.

-Can I call to check up on my child during the night?
*Of course you can! You can call the In Stepps office or the supervisor on duty will give you their personal cell phone number.

-The door is locked every time we drop off or pick up! What gives?
*For safety purposes, the office building In Stepps is located in automatically locks nightly. For PNO we put some sort of toy in the doorway to allow parents and children in and out approximately 5 minutes before drop off and pick up. If for some reason you are dropping off early/late or picking up early and the door is locked, please call the office and we will be right out to let you in! Our staff will also lock the In Stepps door once all children have arrived. Please feel free to ring the bell if you arrive that the door is locked (we may be having so much fun and not hear you knock).

-Will you take pictures of my child? I do/don't want you to.
*Only with your written permission. We take privacy very seriously at In Stepps. Your child's photo will not be taken or featured on our blog, website, or Facebook page unless you have given us consent. If you would like your child's picture taken and sent to you or put on our websites, we will ask that you sign a consent form and leave it with us.

-Why do you take pictures and post them on the blog and Facebook page?
*We are so proud of PNO and the families that attend love it. It gives us a chance to share the events of the evening with parents, friends, staff, and supporters. Plus, who doesn't love to see pictures of kids having a blast? :)

-I/We want to go out with friends/family but they have kids and no sitter. Can they come?
*The more the merrier! Please let us know in advance if any additional children will be coming with your family.

-My family does not receive services from In Stepps. Can we still come?
*You bet! Any child is welcome to come!

-What forms of payment do you take?
*Check or cash is fine! Checks can be made out to: In Stepps

-How often do you host PNO?
*Currently we offer PNO once a month. However, if there is a need/interest in more nights, please let us know so we can take it into consideration.

-Why do we have to RSVP a week in advance?
*We want to be sure that the night is planned accordingly. This includes making sure we have enough staff and supplies. As previously stated, each PNO is individualized based on the number of children, ages, skill level, and interests. The more time we have to plan, the more fun your child will have!

-We don't live in Irvine/It is too far from our house/We aren't familiar with the area. What is there to do around the In Stepps office?
*In Stepps staff have created a blog post full of local restaurants, entertainment, shopping and more. We are centrally located to some of the best that OC has to offer! Please click here to see personal recommendations and locations (including miles from the office).

-How do I sign up?
*Let your In Stepps supervisor or PC know you would like to join the next PNO. They will supply you with all the detailed information for that month. Or you can email Lindsey at (our PNO supervisor) or In Stepps directly. Or you can call us at (949) 474-1493

-Any other information you need?
*If you are attending for the first time you will need to fill out a registration form. Please include any allergies, diet information, special concerns, etc.

-Our kids had a blast at PNO! Can we come every month?
*Yes, yes, yes! We love our "PNO Regulars!" One of the reasons we love PNO so much is not only is it so fun to see parents dressed up and excited to head out, but we get to spend quality time with kids that we hold so dear to our hearts!

-I'd like to share our PNO experience/gratitude/concerns/feedback. Who do I contact?
*Email In Stepps or Lindsey directly. We love any feedback from our families!

Hope to see you at our next PNO!!

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