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Frequently Asked Questions

What time can I drop my child off?

The Giving Tree is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Half-day care is good for 4 hours for either 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Unfortunately, we do not offer half-day or part time care for infants.

What is the latest time that I can pick up my child?

We are open until 6:00 p.m.

Are meals provided?

We provide snacks, breakfast, and lunch for your child. The cost is included in your tuition. All the meals & snacks meet the State of Illinois requirements for a balanced meal. A meal schedule is provided to you each month.

Will my child go on field trips outside the facility?

During the school year, our Preschool and Pre-K classes may attend different types of field trips. The Giving Tree is always looking for parents that have time to volunteer on one of these trips.  

Is there an education curriculum?

Kate Cozzani, our Owner and Founder developed the Giving Tree curriculum, not found at any other preschool or child care center. She uses the Illinois Early Learning Standards and developmental goals in our individualized lesson planning.  

What activities will be available for my child?

Every room has a kitchen set, craft tables, blocks, puzzles, and other age-specific toys and activities to do during free time. Our playground has swings, slides, jungle gyms and outdoor toys, such as cars and sand toys. There are also parts of the day that the activities are teacher-lead, for example, circle time, story time, art time and music time.   

Do you offer transportation? If so, from what schools or locations?

Transportation is provided to and from area schools dependent on campus location.  

Forest Park:


Betsy Ross

Grant White

Lagrange Park

Lincoln in Oak Park

Lincoln in River Forest


Do you have an outdoor playground?

We have a large outdoor playground. The playgrounds offer swings, slides, jungle gyms, and outdoor toys, such as cars and sand toys.

Are there personal cribs for each infant?

Yes, we do have cribs available for each infant from the ages of 6 weeks up to 15 months. We invite parents to bring in a few things to decorate their infant's crib to their liking.

Are there separate rooms for each age group?

Yes, children are separated into age groups - 6 weeks to 15 months; 15 months to 2 years; 2 years to 4 years; 4 years to 6 years these are the standards set by DCFS; however, if a child is developing rapidly and needs to move up to the next size classroom, we may make accommodations.

Can I visit the facility without an appointment?

We have an open door policy for current parents. However, if you are a prospective parent interested in visiting our campus location we ask you to call us at (708) 209-1555 to schedule an appointment.

Is there communication about what my child did during the day?

Each child has a journal in their mailbox with a daily sheet which records diaper changes, meals, nap time, and daily activities. . All teachers fill out a "What we did today" sheet that summarizes the activities of the day. Please take time at pick up to read their journal. It offers a lot of insight about your child's day.

Is there a safety plan in place in case of an emergency?

Yes, we have a risk management plan all teachers are trained on. Each classroom also has an “Emergency Bag.” These bags have all the contact info for all children and their parents. It also has a list of all children in the class and a first aid kit. In case of an emergency, the teachers will have the ability to contact parents.

What is your sick policy?

Our sick policy is written with the best interest of all children-sick and healthy. We ask that children with a fever of 101 degrees or higher stay at home until the fever is gone for 24 hours. We also request that children stay home if they have vomited or had more than four diarrhea bowel movements. If these illnesses occur during the school day, we will call the parent to pick up the child.

What do I do if my child becomes sick at daycare?

If a child becomes ill at school, we will make him or her as comfortable as we can until the parent is contacted and is able to pick up the child.

What is your policy for handling falls or incidents?

If a child is injured at The Giving Tree, our injury policy reflects that a parent will be notified as soon as possible. We can apply ice to bumps or wash open cuts with soap and water and apply bandages. All staff is trained in CPR and First Aid, and an Accident Report will be filed for your review.

Are immunizations required?

We will follow an immunization schedule according to Illinois DCFS regulations. If a parent chooses not to have his or her child immunized, they must have the immunization release form signed and dated by the child's physician.

How do you discipline the children?

When a child makes a bad choice, we will redirect the child to a different activity. Typically redirection helps the child as well as communication about good choices. Many times we will talk through the problem and help the child make a better choice. Please see full discipline policy in the parent handbook.

Are there restrictions on who may pick up my child?

We ask that parents list individuals other than themselves who are able to pick up their child on our registration form. At the time of registration we also ask you for a list of authorized people that are allowed to pick up the child. They will need a Photo ID, and we require you to call ahead to inform us of the person who is going to do the pickup.

Are you licensed and accredited?

The Giving Tree Family of Schools is licensed Children’s Early Learning Center in the State of Illinois.

How long has your facility been providing daycare?

The owner, Kate Cozzani has overseen all aspects of The Giving Tree Family of schools. Our Forest Park location was the first to open in 1999.

What is the caregiver to child ratio?

Each age group has a specific ratio we follow that meets the State of Illinois guidelines for a licensed facility. We will adjust the teachers as required by the needs of the children in the classroom.

Infants 1:4

Toddlers 1:5

Preschool 1:8

Pre-K 1:10

Does your staff have training in early childhood development?

Yes, all of our teachers at minimum have their Associates in Early Childhood Education; some have their Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. DCFS requires all teachers to have at least 15-hour classes in Early Childhood Education a year; our requirement is 30-hours in Early Childhood Education per year.  

Are teachers trained in first aid and CPR?

All of the Giving Tree Family of Schools teachers have first aid and CPR training every two years.

What is your staff turnover?

It should come as no surprise that staff turnover rates at Early Learning Center are high. While 30 to 40 percent is the average annual turnover, it doesn't mean that is the rate at your preferred day care. The Giving Tree Family of Schools has an average of 23% turnover. Please keep in mind a majority of our staff have been with us for 2+ years. An important aspect of our staff individual goal setting is education. We have teachers who go on to become certified teachers and now teach in public and private elementary schools.

Are background checks completed on staff members?

DCFS has a mandatory background check process that the Giving Tree Family of Schools maintains. We do run these background checks for the safety of your children.

What is your policy on child and food allergies?

If your child has an allergy or a food allergy we will do the best to accommodate your child. For food allergies we can make food changes for your child as long as it follows the USDA nutritional guidelines. We will require a doctor’s note of said allergies, so that we may keep it on file. We are also a peanut free campus.

How do I register my child?

Once you have decided on the Giving Tree Family of Schools as your child’s Early Learning Center you will need to fill out our enrollment packet which you can receive from the campus Director during your tour or the paperwork is available online.  

What are your daycare fees?

Our fees include a one-time registration fee a security deposit worth 2 weeks of tuition. Since our tuition varies by campus and class type it would be best to contact your campus locations Director.

I only need childcare 2 days of the week. Is that possible?

We are a full time program, there is some availability for part time schedules but is based on availability, this is not an option in the infant room.

If my child attends daycare part-time, do I need a set schedule?

Yes, we require a set schedule, but if you have a job that has a fluctuating schedule and are able to give your schedule to us one month in advance, we will work with you to the best of our ability. 

Is there a reduction in fees if my child takes vacation?

No we do not provide a reduction in fees if you and your child decide to take a vacation.

I am pregnant. How do I reserve a space for my infant?

We can make a reservation up to a month in advance or when we know there will be a space available. You would need to pay the $75 registration fee and a 2 week security deposit in advance to hold your spot for a class.

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