Small Beginnings Childcare
Parent Handbook “You don’t have to be big to be bright!” 2013-2014
7124 Heatherwood Dr, Jenison MI 49428
Enrollment Checklist Required Paperwork All Items listed below are due 48 hours before childs first day of attendence. o
Child Care Contract and Enrollment Packet
Food Program Enrollment Forms
Child Information Record (BCAL-3731) *card
Health Appraisal including immunization record (within 30 days of enrollment)
Child In Care Statement/Receipt (BCAL3900)
Medication Permission (BCAL-1243)
Items Parents Need to Supply o o o o o o o
Diapers or pull-ups, to be restocked by parent as necessary Bottles and pacifiers (if applicable) 2 changes of clothing appropriate for the weather Shoes & socks Jacket or coat, hat mittens, etc (if needed) Any special comfort items child utilizes at nap times Diaper ointments or lotions, supplied as needed
Fees due at enrollment A deposit equal to one week of childcare at the base rate for families or $200 max if more than one child is enrolled. This tuition deposit is refundable upon withdrawing your child or can be applied to last week of care if you choose and if proper notice is given. Prior to your child starting, the first week’s tuition is also due. $_____________Enrollment Deposit (Child 1) $_____________Enrollment Deposit (Child 2) $_____________Enrollment Deposit (Multiple Children) $_____________TOTAL DUE AT ENROLLMENT
Days and Hours of Operation: Monday-‐Friday 6:00am-‐6:00pm
Small Beginnings Childcare 7124 Heatherwood Dr Jenison, MI 49428 (616) 929-‐7119 www.smallbeginningschildcare.com email@example.com
Welcome to Small Beginnings Childcare and I am so happy that you have chosen us to care for your child. We hope that this handbook will help introduce you to Small Beginnings and answer many of the questions that you are sure to have. At Small Beginnings, our mission is to provide child care that meets the needs of both the child and family in a safe, educational environment. We pride our home care’s focus on the developmental needs of each individual child, while providing quality, reliable and affordable child care. OUR PHILOSOPHY Small Beginnings Childcare offers the opportunity for each child to develop physically, socially, and cognitively according to his or her individual learning style. Each child is considered unique in temperament and rate of development. Curriculum is planned to enhance and challenge particular, distinct individual needs, interests, and abilities. I strive to maintain continuity and consistency throughout my program by conducting cooperative planning, training, and a variety of joint activities involving the various ages of children. Children learn best when their physical and psychological needs are met. Therefore, our programs goal is to create safe, secure environments where children have adequate supervision, and are respected as individuals. In turn, they are encouraged and guided to respect others. Your child is entrusted in my care during formative years when basic skills and feelings about self and the surrounding world are developed. Our common bond is your child, and I look forward to this special partnership. However, at Small Beginnings, we recognize that parents are their child‘s first teacher and we support parental teaching with exciting developmental activities and opportunities intertwined with age appropriate social interactions. We also realize that the child‘s primary relationship is with the parent(s). Therefore, we ensure that our program supports the family unit. We encourage frequent communication, web based viewing and visits to ease the stress between family and work responsibilities. I work hard to build strong partnerships with my families and hopefully help to ease any anxieties during the time parents and children are apart.
Guiding Principles of Small Beginnings Childcare:
Provide a child-inspired environment where child exploration guides programming
Believe that children are competent, active explorers who learn through hands on experience
Believe that children have the right to be respected, to make choices and to be heard
Believe that children learn through play
Believe that children need consistency, stimulation, structure, praise, affection, consequences and independence
Respect parents’ choices as they are the most important people in a child’s life and know what is best for their child
Celebrate diversity and the uniqueness of every child, parent and family
Value employees and support professional development
Are flexible and adapt to the changing needs of children, families and the community
House Rules There are certain house rules that all children will be taught and expected to follow. The following rules are enforced for the safety and well-being of everyone:
No leaving the yard without an adult.
Children must use good manners (e.g., “please, thank you, etc,), especially at the table.
Children must share all toys.
TV viewing will be monitored and be very limited.
No running, jumping, or screaming permitted inside the house.
No hitting, pushing, biting, grabbing, kicking, dragging, spitting, or pinching others.
No standing or climbing on toys, chairs, tables, or furniture.
No mistreatment of toys, e.g.., standing on, throwing, bashing, hitting with.
No mistreatment of our belongings and home.
No name calling, teasing, swearing, bad language, such as “shut up,” tattling, or potty talk.
No violent play or play fighting allowed.
No roughhousing, climbing, sitting on, dragging, pulling, or lifting/carrying other children.
No walking around the house with food, cups, or bottles.
Eating and drinking only at the dining table.
No going out the door at pick up time without an adult.
No Gum! No food brought from home unless pre-arranged.
No jewelry, small barrettes, coins, or other accessories that pose a choking hazard to any child in the daycare.
PROGRAM HISTORY Small Beginnings Childcare originally opened in 2007; a year after my middle child was born. I had just finished my degree and was contemplating whether to head straight into the work force or stay home with our daughter until she was ready to start school. With our first child we were fortunate enough to have family close by to care for our eldest while we worked, so looking into using an outside provider was a new experience. After interviewing several daycare’s and centers, putting our name on waitlists, and basically stressing over what program we felt fit all our families needs…I decided that I wanted to be the one to prepare her during such an influential time. That’s when Small Beginnings was started. I didn’t want my daughter to lose the benefit of socializing with other children which I felt was an important aspect in preparing her for school but I wanted the security of knowing she was in a safe, well cared for environment. When looking for care myself, I found there were many things I liked about larger center based care…. like online web viewing, and cultural diversity that the immersion programs offered, reliability. However the affordable tuition and personal home-like settings that a family care provider were also very important to us. By starting Small Beginnings I hoped to provide that mix of both worlds to other parents. I was so fortunate to have such wonderful families those three years and amazingly enough, almost every child enrolled in my care was within a month or two of my daughter’s age! It was such a wonderful experience for my entire family. When most the children in my care, including my daughter, reached preschool age, I decided that was probably the right time for me to head back to work. I spent the next five years working in patient care for Spectrum Health Butterworth and Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in their Emergency Departments. I worked with a wonderful group of people and gain a wealth of knowledge and experience, but when our last daughter was born in 2012 I knew that reopening the daycare was what I really wanted to do. So in August of this year we began the process of renewing my license and reopening our doors! Over the past few months we have been meticulous in our planning with what I hope will be an even greater program with several more options for the children and families involved!
Daily Schedule 6-8:00am
8:00am Breakfast- Those children who arrive after 8:45am will have to be fed before arriving 8:45am
Circle time- Children will be given an opportunity to share news, sing interactive songs as a group, such as “ABC’s,” “Wheels on the Bus” etc. We will discuss our letter of the week, weather, calendar components.
Free Play- Children can choose their own games and activities, toys to play with or books to read. During this time I will play along with the children but they are free to guide the activities.
Creatvie Movement- Children will participate in large moter skill activities and physically active play either inside or (weather permitting) outside.
Morning Nap for babies and young toddlers (if needed), morning snack for older toddlers
Group activity time- Children will participate in planned theme related activities. This may include arts and crafts, theme related toys and games, experiments or projects or work on skill sets.
Clean Up- Toys are put away, art projects cleaned up, hands washed and children prepare to have lunch.
12:45pm Clean Up- get ready for nap and story time Parent Handbook
Nap/Quite time- Children are required to either nap, rest or participate in quite activities.
Free Play/ Outside activities- Children can choose their own games and activities, toys to play with, or books to read. We will also spend this time outside if weather permits.
4:30 pm School age snack, Homework 5:00 pm Clean Up- Children pick up toys, belongings are packed 5:30-6pm Free play, TV time. Children are free to choose their activities during the time they wait for parents to arrive. Any toys used during this time are to be put back before child leaves for the day.
HOLIDAYS Please note that Small Beginnings will be closed New Years Eve and New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Families will not be charged for these holidays. Parents will be charged for all other federally observed holidays (Veterans’ Day, Election Day, Presidents’ Day, ect.) that fall on a regularly scheduled day of attendance for their child, regardless of their child’s attendance. Accurate information regarding planned attendance during holidays is essential to ensure appropriate staffing of the center. Therefore, the following procedures for scheduling a child’s attendance on federally observed holidays are in effect: 1. Parents will provide a schedule of attendance for their child by the deadline indicated on Holiday Forms, to be distributed or posted on the information center board prior to each holiday. 2. Attendance will not be permitted on holidays without the required registration for attendance. ENROLLMENT & TUITION PAYMENTS If you decide not to begin enrollment, or return from summer break, your registration fee and security deposit will not be refunded. Our billing period is from Monday to Friday. Payment is expected in full on Friday by closing time for the following week’s tuition. No exceptions to this deadline will be made for absences due to illness, vacation, or other reasons. A late fee of $15.00 will be charged to accounts not paid in full by the close of business on Friday. If payment is not received by the start of business on Monday of the following week, children may not attend care until payment is received. This includes payment of the late payment fee assessed to your child’s tuition account. Small Beginnings accepts cash, check, cashier’s check or money order and credit cards as acceptable forms of payment. Please make all tuition payable to Small Beginnings Childcare. Tuition payments can be made weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. When three month’s tuition is paid in full, a 5% discount credit will be applied to your child’s account. Any payments made for future care are nonrefundable. A $30.00 fee will be charged for any returned check. After 2 occurrences of a check being returned for nonsufficient funds, payments must be made by money order, cash or cashier's check. After Hours Fee: The center closes at 6:00pm sharp, unless otherwise indicated due to adjusted holiday hours. As a courtesy to myself and assistant caregivers, parents should arrive at least 5 minutes prior to Parent Handbook
closing so that we can gather your child’s belongings and discuss your child’s day prior to closing the center. Whenever possible, in cases of emergencies causing late pick-up, the center must be notified by phone as soon as possible. The fee charged for late pick-up after the center’s indicated closing time will be $2.00 per minute per child, according to the center’s clock. Special Provisions Fee: When circumstances require special diets, equipment or staffing, there will be additional charges. This will be discussed with parents before implementation. In order to conserve paper, please let us know if you would like your weekly statement printed only in the event of account changes. We can also email your statement to you each week. Please note that all rate changes due to a child’s birthday will take effect on the Monday following the child’s birth date. RENEWAL APPLICATION After each year of your child’s enrollment, you will be required to update all of your child’s enrollment paperwork. Your child’s vacation days will also automatically renew at this time. ATTENDENCE POLICIES All parents are required to sign their child in upon arrival to the center each day and sign their child out when leaving the center each evening. Additionally, parents must make verbal contact with a staff person upon arrival and departure to assure that the transfer of responsibility for the child has taken place. Attendance will be monitored as part of compliance to State of MI regulations, as well as to determine compliance with enrollment contracts. Full-time enrollment is defined as 5 full days per week. Part-time contracts will be for specific days and times and may be for 2, 3 or 4 days. Part-time contracts will only be offered in such circumstances that it does not create an enrollment vacancy to do so and at the digression of the home care. Schedules and caregiver to child ratios are based directly upon the indicated pick-up and drop-off times of each child. Therefore, it is imperative that you notify me if your child will be arriving before, or leaving well after the times you have indicated for your child at the time of enrollment. Advance notice of early drop-off or late pick-up will help Small Beginnings ensure appropriate staffing. Adding and/or switching of days for a part-time child will be permitted if prior requests to do so are approved by Small Beginnings to ensure availability of space and staff. Please see the current fee schedule for extra attendance fees, and note that sibling discounts are not valid on added days. All fees for overuse of the center will be due at the end of the week that the service was provided. ABSENCES Please call by 8:30am if your child is going to be late or absent. Curriculum activities, as well as staff schedules and food preparation, are based upon the amount of children scheduled each day. If we do not receive a telephone call from you by 9:30am, your child will be marked absent for the day and will not be able to attend. VACATION DAYS Vacations days are given to families to use to waive tuition in the event that a child will not be attending childcare due to illness or vacation. Vacation days for newly enrolled families can be used after 60 days of care. Vacation day requests must given 1 month prior to the first day of the vacation. If proper notice is not give Small beginnings reserves the right to charge full tuition during the time your child is gone. Twelve month full-time children are given 10 days of vacation time that can be used within their child’s enrollment year to waive tuition. Part-time children will receive vacation days equal to the number of days the child is enrolled per week. Ten-month full time children who take advantage of our summer leave of absence policy will receive 4 days of Parent Handbook
vacation to be used between September 1st and June 30th each year. Vacation day credit installments automatically renew at the start of a new enrollment year, and do not carry over if unused. If you would like to use a vacation day, please submit a Vacation Credit Request Form, found in the information folders. Please note that Small Beginnings will prorate the number of vacation days when approved schedule changes occur. Vacation days will not be valid once a family’s two week withdrawal notice is given, and cannot be used during this time frame, even if submitted prior to giving notice.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY Any child is able to take a leave of absence from the center for up to eight weeks per enrollment period. This includes planned absences during a mother's maternity leave, absences over summer break or during a period of time where a parent may be seasonally laid off of work. The following policy will be in effect for long-term absences due to maternity and enrollment leave during the school year, and over summer break, in order to guarantee your child’s enrollment spot: Each family will be responsible for partial payment of the vacant portion of their child’s spot during a leave of absence. Families will be allowed up to eight weeks of leave from the center spanning over the course of 12 months. After the eight weeks have passed, regular tuition charges will apply and families will be required to resume regular tuition payments, regardless of their child’s physical return date. Each family will be required to pay 33% of the tuition for the days to be guaranteed. For example, if your child is fulltime and you are dropping him/her down to just three days a week, but want to guarantee full time care in the future, you would be required to pay 33% of tuition for two days, over the 8 week leave of absence. Additionally, your child’s enrollment spot may be filled with a temporary child until your child’s indicated return date. Your family’s tuition deposit charge will also remain on file. If you decide over your child’s leave of absence not to return to our program, all deposits, enrollment fees, and tuition charges will not be refunded. CAREGIVER LEAVE OF ABSENCE OR VACATIONS I reserve the right to take up to two weeks of vacation during the year and 3 conference days. Parent will receive at least 1 months written notification of any scheduled vacation time or leave of absence due to training or conferences. During this time I will have a familiar, state approved, assistant caregiver available at my home to substitute in my place. Parents are not required to use our services during this time and may find alternate care until I return. Regular tuition rates will be applied if care is provided during my absence by the assistant caregiver however if parents choose to find alternate care during this time, 33% of the normal weekly tuition will be still be due covering my absence. EMERGENCY RELOCATION In the event that we need to evacuate our building and move to a different location, all children will be moved all together to our evacuation site, Burger King, 1814 Baldwin St, Jenison, MI 49428, My cell phone will be with me and on at all times the children and I are off the home care premises. Parents/emergency contacts will be called after our arrival at Burger King. Parent Handbook
If we are unable to evacuate to this location, our alternate location will be McDonalds, 160 Chicago Dr, Jenison, MI 49428. Small Beginnings Childcare emergency phone numbers are 616-633-4161 and/or the main number of 616929-7119. Please try to only use the main number to contact the center for general questions or items that are not time sensitive. Due to the fact that the main number is a landline, there will be times we are not near the phone. (i.e. playing outside, fieldtrips, nap times or after hours) If contact with me is time sensitive please call the emergency number which is my cell and will be on me at all times. If the center closes due to emergency situation, regular tuition charges will not apply until the center reopens. INCLEMENT WEATHER In the event of inclement weather, I will always keep the center open. If your child will not make it that day please make every effort to inform me in a timely fashion. In the event of a utility outage or heavy snow removal prior to 6:00 am, the opening of the center will not be delayed but I will notify you of the current conditions. If the center is still without utility service at 10:00am, the activities and care may be moved a more appropriate location for the rest of the day and parents will be contacted immediately. (i.e. in the event of power outage and heat loss we move to a location outside the power outage area.) FIRE DRILLS Our center, in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Dept. of Human Services, practices the proper evacuation of our facility through the use of fire drills on a monthly basis. All children, including infants, will be participating in fire drills year-round, as it is important for all staff and children to be aware of what to do in an emergency situation, regardless of the season. APPLICATION OF PESTICIDES You will be alerted of a pending pesticide application at least 48 hours prior to the application. All questions and comments concerning the products used should be directed to the front office. ALLERGENS Please be aware that Small Beginnings is a peanut-free environment. With this being said, our center cannot guarantee an environment that is free of any allergen. We do proactively try to minimize the risk of possible allergen exposures once we are aware that an allergy does exist. It is the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian at the time of enrollment to notify Small Beginnings of any allergies that your child may suffer from, so that an allergy action plan can be created. In order for staff to properly accommodate all children with allergies, all classroom snacks and treats brought into the center must be store bought and contain an ingredients label. ARRIVING AND LEAVING THE CENTER Entrance into my home is through the main door located next to the garage. Please feel free to come downstairs when you arrive and we are not currently playing upstairs or outside. When coming downstairs I only ask that shoes be removed in the upstairs entryway. It is required that all children be escorted inside the center, and that your child’s arrival time is recorded on the daily attendance sheet located on the clipboard in the information Center. When picking-up your child, please be sure to notify a staff person and properly record the departure time on the attendance sheet. Please be aware that Small Beginnings reserves the right to not release the child if at any point during pickup we feel the child may be in danger. This includes situations in which a parent appears intoxicated or under the influence of any other illegal substance. If this situation arises we will ask that they call another authorize individual to pick up the child or they may request the center to contact someone from the authorized list. If Parent Handbook
this is an unacceptable compromise or further action is necessary the authorities will be contacted to properly access the situation. AUTHORIZING INDIVIDUALS TO PICK-UP YOUR CHILD On the enrollment form you will find space asking for the names of the individuals who are authorized to pickup your child. You may authorize as many individuals as you wish in writing on your form. You must let me know, either in writing or verbally, if such a situation arises where an individual from your authorized list will be picking-up your child. We will not allow your child to leave with an unauthorized person. We will check the ID of the person listed to pick-up your child. A copy of the ID will also be taken and added to your child’s file. Please remember to keep this form updated with current phone number and address changes. In shared custody or divorce situations, parents should provide a mutually agreeable list of persons authorized to pick-up. If a mutually agreeable list is not provided, Small Beginnings must allow either parent to pick-up, unless otherwise prescribed by the court of jurisdiction. If there is safety concerns about individuals who are permitted or not permitted to pickup the child please contact me immediately and provide a written statement. In the event that a concern is expressed about another parent, written orders must come from the court of jurisdiction. AFTER HOURS CARE After 60 days, families that are enrolled in Small Beginnings may contact me for care outside normal business hours. This care may be for special events or date nights, and emergency care. I strongly believe that even parents need a free night or time to themselves and, schedule permitting, I try to be available to help out if needed. For emergency care, please contact me before arriving to make sure I am available and at my home for drop off. For special events or date nights please make arrangements with me at least 1 week prior, so that I can plan my family events accordingly, and to make sure I can accommodate your request. An hourly fee of $4.00 per hour is charged during these special times and will be due upon pickup of your child(ren). CHILD ACCIDENT FORM Our staff will take every effort to ensure the safety of your child. Unfortunately, accidents do occur. In any event where a child is injured, proper treatment, such as basic first- aid, will be administered and your child will be made to feel comfortable. An accident form will be filled out by Small Beginnings Childcare for every detected injury that occurs. A copy with your signature will be retained for your child's file. Small Beginnings will contact a child’s parent if the decision has been made that the child’s injury warrants a phone call. A child coming into Small Beginnings with injuries may also require an accident form to be completed, so that both the parent and center staff are aware that the injury occurred at home. CHILD INCIDENT FORM Small Beginnings Childcare will fill out an incident form if your child exhibits any behavior that is not acceptable and does not adhere to the classroom discipline policy. A copy of this form with your signature will also be kept in your child's file. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT Small Beginnings uses positive guidance techniques such as modeling and encouraging expected behavior, redirection, and setting clear limits. "Time Out" is used when necessary, with one minute per year of age used as the maximum time away from regular activities. Intentional property damage is a serious matter. Any cost for repair or replacement for damage done to the building, furniture, or toys will be discussed with parents and billed to the child and his/her parents. Incidents of aggressive behavior towards other children or staff will be reported to families in writing. After two incidents, I will call the family. After the third incident, a conference will be held with the family, and myself. If incidents continue, or when the child's behavior requires a 1:1 staff ratio for that child, to ensure safety of Parent Handbook
other children, the parent may pay the wages of the extra staff person, or child care services will be terminated. BITING Biting, although unpleasant, is a common behavior among young children that occasionally occurs while children are in child care. Biting can occur for numerous reasons, some of which include teething, cause and effect, attention, imitation, stress, frustration, and independence. We know that this can be a very uncomfortable experience for both parties that are involved, thus a high level of confidentiality surrounding the parties involved will be maintained. When a child gets bit we will do our best to properly address the situation. An incident form will be filled out for the biter and an accident form will be filled out for the injured. The biter may also help comfort the injured by holding the ice pack on the bite mark. This often teaches the biter that biting hurts and is an unacceptable behavior. If biting occurs frequently and seems to get out of control, the biting child may be placed in an area away from the situation. If the biting occurs at times when the caregiver is busy preparing meals or tending to other children, it will be required that the child will be shadowed by an assistant caregiver. This means that all addition caregivers will closely monitor the child if available or an additional assistant caregiver may need to be scheduled while the child is present or during the hours that our schedule is hectic. This preventative measure will be adapted according to the child’s age group and will help cut down on unexpected happenings. Meetings with parents and caregivers will also occur so that discussion on how to best deal with a child who frequently bites can take place. Further steps, such as requiring a child to have a 1:1 personal aide to closely monitor behaviors, may also need to be discussed and a decision made of when to implement so that the occurrences of these incidents can decrease. If biting behaviors do not improve within a reasonable amount of time, termination of enrollment may have to take place. MANDATORY CHILD ABUSE REPORTING All caregivers in a licensed child care setting are mandatory reporters of child abuse, neglect and maltreatment. Every employee is required to immediately report any suspected child abuse, neglect or maltreatment by telephone to the State of Michigan Department of Human Services at 855-444-3911. ASSISTANT CAREGIVERS All additional assistant caregivers will be required to meet the State of Michigan Licensing guidelines before being allowed care for any child on my premises. A complete list of guidelines are located on the centers website under the link for licensing rules. POTTY TRAINING Upon the arrival of potty training time, we will assist in helping with this, provided the child is showing signs of readiness (able to indicate the need to use the bathroom, is interested in staying dry, is dry for long periods of the day, etc). The parents must initiate the process at home first, either over a weekend or during a vacation. We will follow through and encourage your child while in our care. Your child will need to remain in diapers or “Pull-Ups” during daycare hours until he/she has shown the ability to remain accident-free for at least two weeks. During potty training, the child needs to be dressed in user-friendly clothing as much as possible, e.g., elastic waistbands. This makes getting to the potty fast a lot easier. ASSESSMENT AND TRANSITION At the time of enrollment, your child activities will be based upon his or her chronological age. Developmental Parent Handbook
capabilities and readiness will also be taken into account when a child’s daily activities are planned. Daily observation of your child's developmental growth is additionally documented by assistant caregivers and myself and evaluated every 2 months as a means of assessing progress. These checklists also assist me when preparing children for transitions into an older age groups schedule and activities. If concerns are raised surrounding your child not reaching age appropriate milestones, a meeting will be set up to address these concerns. Small Beginnings can refer families to many outside resources that can assist children with early childhood education and development. Transitions are an exciting time and occur when a child becomes ready to engage in older activities or schedule changes. Transitions are always a process, taking place in the weeks ahead of the transition date. This special time allows the child to get to know his or her new schedule and routines. I will often notify parents when we feel the child is ready for a transition to start. Please note that Small Beginnings makes every effort to transition your child’s activities and schedule based upon developmental readiness and age, however, no child will be forced to transition until they show signs of individual readiness. TOUCH POLICY It is the policy to inform parents of the nature and type of routine physical contact their child(ren) will experience while in my care. There is NO physical punishment at my daycare at any time. It is my belief and practice that children need nurturing, adult physical contact for their care and healthy development. This contact can be described in three ways: 1. 2. 3.
Nurturing: This includes hugs and non-‐intimate kisses, hand holding, gentle tickling, caring and cuddling. This type of contact is never made against the expressed wishes of the children. Safety and Guidance: This includes restraining children from harmful situations, separating physically conflicting children, directing children by leading or guiding them and administering first aid to injuries. Hygienic: This includes face and hand washing, assisting with bathroom duties (as appropriate to the age of the child), diaper changes, examining rashes or unusual marks, nose blowing, applying sun screen and assisting with or conducting necessary clothing changes.
It is also my belief that it is normal and healthy for children to express affection with their peers. This includes hugs and non-intimate kisses and handholding. This type of contact is never made against the expressed wishes of the children. If I become aware of a situation in which a child is expressing any inappropriate touching with another child or causing any other child to become uncomfortable in any way, the children’s attention will be diverted to avoid drawing attention to the behavior at that time. I will notify the childs parents of the behavior at pickup, so that they may address the behaviors with the child with the approach they feel comfortable with. If a second instance occurs pertaining to the same behavior, the child will then be separated and privately asked to stop the behavior by myself and a meeting with the parents to discuss the problem will be scheduled. NAP/REST TIME All children are required to lie down for a rest period in the afternoon. All children must nap, rest or read quietly during this period. Although our naptime may vary depending on our activities on a particular day, we schedule this time typically around 1:00pm - 2:45pm. Rest gives everyone a much-needed break during the day. If your child has a special blanket or stuffed animal he/she sleeps with please feel free to send it along. I would ask that you please avoid picking up or dropping off your child during nap time, as it disturbs the other children's rest period. If you cannot avoid coming at naptime, please be quiet and considerate of the children who are resting. A morning naptime for smaller babies is scheduled for approximately 10:45am but may be adjusted according the individual child’s needs and schedule. Due to the fact that babies may adjust their Parent Handbook
sleep/wake schedule several times over the first year, parents will be supplied a daily report during pickup of their infants schedule for that day. MEALS Meals and an afternoon snack, which are prepared within our center’s kitchen, are served daily. Monthly menus will be posted on the bulletin board in the front hallway, as well as online. Children arriving at the center between 6:00am and 8:30am will be served breakfast around 8:00am. A hot nutritious meal will be served for lunch between 11:30am and 12:00pm. Afternoon snack will be served at 3:00pm. Please be aware that we do not believe in requiring children to eat particular foods should they decline, nor do we believe in withholding food as a punishment. Birthday, holiday treats, or special treats are permitted. Please check with me so you know how much to bring, and what is considered an acceptable treat. Remember that we strive to be an allergy-friendly center. SPECIAL DIETARY CONCERNS At Small Beginnings, we understand and are sensitive to certain dietary concerns parents may have due medical issues, cultural or personal food beliefs, and allergies. We also believe that a healthy and nutritious diet plays a very important role in a child’s development and establishing healthy eating habits now will promote healthy lifestyle choices later in life. At Small Beginnings we strive to provide a fresh, well balanced diet by supplying homemade meals that contain fresh wholesome ingredients and promote the children to try new varieties of food. At every meal we also offer vegetarian/vegan friendly options for families cultural or personal concerns. Please address any special dietary needs or concerns you may have at any point during the time your child will be in my care. During enrollment we will decide on a meal plan that fits the needs of your child(ren). In some cases, to comply with the Food Program standards, a food substitution form may need to be filled out and provided to the center to keep on file. I will address and provide these forms to you during enrollment if needed. CLOTHING AND OUTDOOR PLAY Please dress your child in appropriate clothing daily so that he/she feels free to participate in all activities. Remember, children learn from their environments. They get messy! Also, outdoor play is an integral part of your child’s daily agenda, so please make sure that he or she is ready to have some fun! During winter months, please be sure to dress your child according to the weather with appropriate hats, mittens, and coats. On warmer winter days, children will take short walks around the neighborhood and play in the snow. During the summer months, please include a bathing suit for water related activities. Please mark all items with your child's first and last name or bring items in a belongings bag so that we can try to keep everyone’s items separate. Small Beginnings is not responsible for lost, misplaced or damaged clothing but will use our best effort to return things home as they came. DONATIONS Small Beginnings opens its doors to donations of toys, books, etc. so long as the items are clean, and in complete working condition. Any items that are donated must not have any recalls listed for the items or any of its parts to meet licensing standards. All donations will be noted and appreciated. TOYS Please do not send toys from home as they may get lost or broken. Books and CDs/tapes that a child wishes to share with the class should be marked with the child's name and given to the teacher. If your child's class has a "sharing day" you will be notified. Toy guns and weapons are never allowed at Small Beginnings at any time.
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND FIREARMS POLICY Reason this policy is important: Young children’s natural curiosity may result in experimentation with harmful substances or use dangerous materials or objects.
Procedure and Practices, including responsible person(s):
The use of tobacco in any form, alcohol, or illegal drugs is prohibited on the premises.
Possession of illegal substances or unauthorized and potentially toxic substances is prohibited.
All individuals will maintain sobriety while providing child care. Any individual that is inebriated, intoxicated, or otherwise under the influence of mind-altering or polluting substances will be required to leave the premises immediately and will be subject to discipline.
No guns or other lethal weapons will be allowed in the child care setting. Parents required to carry firearms as a function of their job will lock firearms in their vehicle before entering the child care setting.
Small Beginnings currently has one firearm onsite. Any firearm onsite will be stored unloaded, with a trigger lock in place at all times. Ammunition and gun will be stored separately from one another, in an area inaccessible to children and securely locked in a safe. Parents will be required to sign a consent form noting that they have been alerted that a firearm is kept onsite.
WHEN THE POLICY APPLIES: The policy is effective at all times, both on the program premises and vehicles used by the program. It is also enforced when away from the program if on child care business (i.e. field trips and training).
ADULT/CHILD RATIO Age Groups of Children
*Please note that due to staffing arrangements, child drop-‐off and pick-‐up times very crucial. It is very important to notify me of any schedule changes promptly.
Small Beginnings Childcare Discipline Policy: BACKGROUND: Discipline is a teaching process that helps a child learn to develop, and maintain self-control, self-reliance, self-esteem and orderly conduct. The purpose of discipline is to educate. Discipline should not stifle creativity or learning. At Small Beginnings discipline shall be used to help a child learn acceptable behavior. Discipline shall not be used as punishment or retribution. Any caregivers, including myself, shall maintain consistent reasonable rules that set the limits of acceptable behavior. The rules should be clearly explained to the child(ren) and parent(s)/guardian(s). ACCEPTABLE DISCIPLINE METHODS: Individual children will respond to different methods based on age, personality and life experiences. Disciplinary measures used shall be appropriate to the child’s age, intellectual development, emotional makeup and the provider’s past experience in disciplining the child. Some acceptable discipline methods, which may be used, are as follows: Role Modeling. Showing by example the behavior the provider expects from the child. (When one shows respect for the child’s property and privacy, the child will learn to respect the property and privacy of others.)
Redirecting. Substituting an acceptable behavior for an unacceptable one. (“Vickie, don’t play with the stereo. Let’s get your crayons and paper so that you can color.”)
Any person, while on child care premises, shall not engage in any of the following actions toward children:
Rewards. Providing short term incentives that help the child focus on desired behavior. (“When you finish putting away all your toys, we can read the new story book together.”) Positive Communication. Using language in positive terms to describe what you want, rather than what you don’t want. (“Lets be safe and walk to the door,” rather than, “Stop that running!”) Encouragement/Praise. Identifying specific behaviors and strengths that encourage the child to develop and increase self-‐esteem. (“That picture is very special. I really like the colors you chose.”)
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Time-‐Out. Removing a child over the age of three (3) from the situation (usually one or two minutes for each year of age, no more than a total of 10 minutes). The child should be within sight for supervision . The acceptable discipline methods listed above are suggestions
Inflict corporal punishment in any manner upon a child’s body. Hit, spank, beat, shake, pinch, or any other measure that produces physical discomfort. Cruel, harsh, unusual, humiliating, or frightening methods of discipline, including threatening the use of physical punishment. Placement in a locked or dark room. Public or private humiliation, yelling, or abusive or profane language. Staff shall not associate disciplinary action or rewards with rest, food or toileting. Child shall not be disciplined by anyone other than licensed provider or approved back-‐up provider.
that are to be used as guidelines.
ILLNESS Small Beginnings Childcare can only care for mildly ill children. Please use the following guidelines when deciding if your child should attend child care. We strive to prevent the spread of illness; therefore, your Parent Handbook
cooperation with our policies will be of great help.
Please keep your child home if your child has:
A fever of 100 or greater before child care, accompanied by behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of illness, until medical evaluation indicates inclusion in the center
Symptoms or signs of possible severe illness, such as, uncontrolled coughing, irritability, persistent crying, unusual lethargy, wheezing, or other unusual signs
Strep throat until 24 hours after an antibiotic is started
Diarrhea; runny, watery, or bloody stools within the last 12 hours
Vomiting two or more times in the last 24 hours
Rash with fever or behavior change
Scabies or other infestations
Impetigo or other skin infection until 24 hours after treatment has begun
Chicken pox until 5-7 days after blisters appear
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) mumps, rubella, shingles, herpetic gingivostomatitis (Mouth Sores)
Hepatitis A- until 1 week after onset
Sore throat with fever
Eye discharge (white or yellow) or pink eye; until 24 hours after starting treatment; if treatment is not sought then when the discharge clears
Head lice, bed bugs or fleas at any stage
Respiratory illness, or probable flu-like symptoms
YOUR CHILD MAY RETURN WHEN: The above conditions are met
The child is fever or symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to the center.
The child has been treated by a doctor or a doctor permits the child to return to the center.
You can provide a Doctors note stating that the child can return.
If your child becomes ill while at the center, you will be called to pick-up your child. It is expected that you will pick-up your child as soon as possible. If you are unable to be reached, the center will then call the first person on your child’s emergency contact list. Exposure to communicable diseases and any infectious illness should be reported promptly to the center so that staff can look for any early symptoms among all children. The center will notify parents when a child has been exposed to an infectious disease. Parents will also be required to update immunization records when a new vaccine is given to their child. Failure to update immunization records within one month of required immunizations may result in temporary Parent Handbook
suspension of child care services. MEDICATION AND TOPICAL OINTMENT ADMINISTRATION Small Beginnings is licensed to administer over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, as well as topical ointments. Over-the-counter topical ointments such as diaper rash or first aid creams, sunscreen or insect repellent may be applied to your child with written parent permission. All other medications will be administered to your child only when the following procedures have been fulfilled.
Completed Written Medication Consent form is filled out in its entirety by both the parent and child’s physician, and submitted to the center for review. Please note that a separate form is needed for each individual medication. All medication, both prescribed and over-the-counter, must be supplied in the original packaging and must be accompanied by the original package insert or printed pharmacy instructions. These instructions must indicate the correct method of administering the medication, dosage limitations, possible side effects, and any other significant warnings. Issued Written Medication Consent Forms must be updated at least every six months. It is the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian to update your child's Written Medication Consent Forms. You may not receive a reminder notice from the Director that you child’s form will be expiring.
*We will never accept verbal consent to administer any medication. If your child becomes ill while in care, our office will contact you and you will be required to email a written note so that we can administer your child’s medication. OUR WEBSITE Please visit our website, www.smallbeginningschildcare.com for complete access to Small Beginnings information, Updates, Family Newsletters, special links, Monthly Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Menus, Care Cam viewing as well as important forms. INFORMATION CHANGES Parents are required to notify the center immediately of any pertinent information changes regarding the enrolled child. This includes the addition or deletion of individuals authorized to pick-up your child. WAITING LIST In the event that an age group should be full at any time, your child's name will be placed on a waiting list. As vacancies occur, pre-registered children would have first priority. In an event that an expectant mother is preregistered and there is an opening prior to her child starting, if the estimated starting date is no longer than two months after the date of the opening, the option to place a deposit to hold the opening will be offered. If a deposit is not placed then the offer will be extended the next family on the list.
TRANSPORTATION We do not provide transportation children on a daily basis. Transportation will only be provided during fieldtrips and emergencies. Before transporting any children, parents will be notified and if applicable a written permission form must be signed.
While your Children are being transported:
A current copy of their information cards are carried with us at all times while off the premises.
All chidren must be in an approved child restraint safety device appropriate for thier age and size.
The vehical will be well maintianed and in safe working condition and must contain a complete first aid kit, valid registration and current auto insurance and driver must have a valid drivers license. FIELD TRIPS There are many times during the warmer months that we may talk neighborhood walks or excursions to the local park. Parents will be notified of these smaller outings in the mornings during drop off and are able to contact me at any time on my cell phone. Anytime we are off location, a first aid kit and child information cards will be carried with us. For any major field trips that require transporting the children by vehicle, Parents will be notified at least two weeks in advance and permission slips will be sent home for parents to review. Notices will include departure time from the home, arrival time back to the home, schedule of the event, and all assistant caregivers that will be attending. Written parental authorization for field trips is required by the Center before children can participate. All children are encouraged to participate in all field trips as this is an important part of the learning experience but attendance will not be required. The Center will work with parents in regard to participation on field trips and any special accommodations necessary. A staff member or chaperone will be present with the child(ren) at all times while on the field trip. Staff will maintain an attendance log, first aid supplies, each child’s emergency information and other needed items while on every field trip. When 4 or more children are on a field trip, at least 2 adults must accompany the children. Staff to child ratios as listed in the State licensing regulations will be maintained. Parents will be invited to chaperone for any major field trips but are required to provide their own transportation. I attempt to schedule field trips on days that everyone may be present to attend however if a field trip is scheduled for a day when your child is not typically in our care, you are more than welcome to attend with us, however you will be required to transport and cover any admission and trip cost on your own. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES Although the center makes every attempt to offer the highest quality of care to all children and families, there may be occasions when parents have concerns about particular events, situations, or staff. In this event, parents are encouraged to contact me at anytime. We may schedule meetings, or discuss things over the phone as necessary with all appropriate parties to gather relevant information before deciding on a course of action. Parents will be informed, as appropriate within confidentiality requirements, as to the result of the inquiry and actions that planned to be taken. OPEN DOOR POLICY FOR ENROLLED FAMILIES We are committed to you as your child's most important resource, and we value your daily input. We welcome and encourage your visits at anytime; as good communication between parents and caregivers is important Parent Handbook
for a superior parent/caregiver relationship. Parents and guardians are welcomed, and encouraged, to visit with their child throughout the course of the day and to join in on classroom activities or take a peak at what going on during our day through the care cam’s set up in the playroom. We additionally welcome phone calls throughout the day however I do ask that you be courteous in remembering that certain times of the day, such as breakfast, lunch and before and after nap, are likely very busy times. Your child’s teacher will be able to give you her undivided attention during nap time (1:00pm-2:45pm), so if it is not an emergency situation, please call at this time to talk. If you need to discuss additional matters, please ask your child’s teacher for a list of available times when a conference meeting with you and your child’s teacher can be scheduled. NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY Children will be admitted to the center regardless of race, gender, religion, or national origin and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To best ensure that their needs are met, when children with special needs are enrolled, there will be consultations with the parents and, as needed, the center’s medical advisor, the staff who will be involved, and any other appropriate individuals. Additionally, an assessment to determine the full scope of needs and appropriate services may be required. Assessments may be made on a periodic basis after a child with special needs is enrolled to ensure that the child is continuing to have his/her needs adequately met. TERMINATION Small Beginnings Childcare reserves the right to terminate a child’s enrollment at anytime and without notice in the event of (but not solely limited to):
The parent fails to comply with the policies set forth in the policy handbook or childcare agreement,
The parent is verbally abusive/threatening/disrespectful to the caregiver or other children, the parent or child is being destructive and/or violent,
My ability to meet the child’s needs safely or without additional staff in the daycare
in the case of delinquent fees.
Your security deposit will not be refunded if termination takes place under any of previous circumstance (exception – if care is terminated due to the fact I am no longer able to meet the child’s needs at that time). WITHDRAWAL If you desire to cancel enrollment you must give two weeks written notice. Once giving notice, your child’s tuition deposit charge will be applied to the last two weeks of tuition or reimbursed to you in a check that will be available on the last day of care.