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Parent Handbook~Information, Rules, and Policies

 

WELCOME TO CERES CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOL


Contents:
Introduction
Daily Schedule
Learning Experiences and Playtime
Clothing and Personal Possessions
Meals
Parent/Provider Communication
Holidays
Toilet Learning
Discipline
Absenteeism and Illness
Exclusion Policy
Miscellaneous
Late/Early Fees
Trial Period and Withdrawal
 

INTRODUCTION

As a family child care provider since 1991, my goal is to provide a safe and happy environment for each child that will stimulate their physical, intellectual, social and emotional growth at their own pace. I offer loving care and education that focusí on each child as a unique and wonderful individual and in doing so, builds self-esteem and respect for others.
I believe that young children learn best when provided with a safe, nurturing, and rich environment in which they are free to explore. Our program offers a happy, loving, family environment. The children are constantly learning through everyday living, as well as through age appropriate learning methods.
Dedicated to the childcare industry for the past 16 years with an A.S. degree in early child development as well as many hours of childcare trainings and workshops on early childhood education, I believe that it is important to continue my education in order to capture new insights to early childcare practices and incorporate new and appropriate concepts into my program.
I have chosen to be an early childhood educator and child care provider for the wonderful opportunity to be an important person in the lives of many children at an age when they need a positive role model with strong values, who makes an effort to partner with their parents and family. I believe that communication with the families is an integral part of joining our program; parents receive monthly newsletters, daily oral reports, and invitations to special events. My personal relationship with each child encourages them to feel safe to try new ideas and skills.
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Daily Schedule:
Times are flexible to accommodate the needs of the children.

7:00 - 8:00 Children arriving: free playtime.

8:00 Breakfast: no breakfast will be served after 8:30 am

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast clean up: children have free playtime

9:00-10:00 Planned activities such as, art, play dough, cooking, crafts, music, story-time, games.

10:00-11:00 Outdoor time

11:00-11:30 Group Time / Circle Time: Music and movement, Story time, Learning basics such as Name, Color, Letter and Number Recognition, Early Math, etc.
Circle Time

11:30-12:00 Hand washing and lunch: No lunch will be served after 12:00

12:00 - 12:30 Lunch clean up: settling down for quiet time.

12:30 - 2:30 Rest/Nap: Parents please avoid pick ups/drop offs if possible to allow children to rest during this time.

2:30-3:00 Snack time

2:30 - 5:00 Free play time: outdoor play, stories, etc.


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LEARNING EXPERIENCES AND PLAYTIME

While enrolled in our program your child will be exposed to many kinds of learning experiences including: *Literacy
*Math
*Science
*The Arts
*Technology
*Process Skills
Interest areas include: Blocks, Dramatic Play, Toys and Games, Art, Library, Sand and Water, Music and Movement, Cooking, Computers, and Outdoor Play.

All children will be encouraged to use their manners (please, thank you, no thank you, excuse me, etc.!) as their age permits! They will also learn many activities that will help them develop responsibilities, such as, setting the table, clearing the table, proper hygiene, clean up of toys and activities, respect of others, and many more! Parents can be confident their children are being well cared for in a cheerful environment. Parent involvement is encouraged and maintained through an open door policy.
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CLOTHING AND PERSONAL POSSESSIONS
Your child must be fully dressed each morning, including shoes in clothing appropriate for the season. Please remember to keep your child's cubby stocked with extra clothes. For the comfort of the children and sanitary reasons, children are required to wear clothes at all times. If your child soils their clothes and we do not have extras you may be called to bring them. Please do not send toys or other items from home other than those requested.
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MEALS

In order to meet the nutritional needs of your child, we serve well-balanced meals and snacks that meet the guidelines of the Federal Government Food Program. Our meals are served on a schedule. If your child cannot be here by the time a meal is served, please remember to feed them before they arrive. We believe mealtime should be a pleasant time; therefore, children are always offered food but are not forced to eat. Children, who choose not to eat, will not be served food until the next meal or snack.
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PARENT/PROVIDER COMMUNICATION
Good communication is of the utmost importance to us. We welcome questions, feedback, or discussions of any kind that are oriented towards a positive outcome for your child. Sensitive issues will be discussed in private outside of regular hours. Please share information with me that will help me better care for your child. For example: Child complaining of tummy ache, throwing up over weekend, traumatic incidents, etc. E-mail me anytime. Visit us on the web at www.cereschildcare.com Posted on the Website are our contract, handbook, newsletters, themes and craft projects, parent handouts, pictures and more.
Email link:
sherilv@cereschildcare.com
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HOLIDAYS
Parent(s) understand the following are paid holidays and we will be closed New Year's Day, MLK Day, Presidents Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day After Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. If a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday the holiday will be taken on either the Friday before or on the following Monday. I will post a reminder of each holiday in advance. You must have a backup for occasions when I must close due to illness or personal reasons.
I take 5 paid sick/personal days per year. In some instances I may need parents to drop off late or pick up early instead of taking a full day off, but there are sure to be times when I must close entirely and you may need to find alternate care with little or no notice. Be certain that I will always try to provide as much notice as possible, and I'm sorry for the inconvenience. Children enrolled in morning sessions of 3 days per week or less may be rescheduled if regular days fall on a holiday or personal day but no compensation will be given if children are unable to attend on the rescheduled day of the week.
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TOILET LEARNING
Children should begin toilet-learning no sooner than 18 m. To force your child before he/she is ready can result in bed wetting, frequent accidents, constipation or regression. Most children are ready to begin toilet learning around 2 years of age but of course, all children are different. While some may be ready at 18 m, others are not ready until 2 1/2. Some readiness signs to look for are: (1) Language skills, the ability to say "Potty" or some other term which indicates that your child needs to use the toilet.
(2) An interest in staying dry or clean.
(3) Self-help skills, the ability to dress and undress themselves.
(4) Staying dry for longer periods of time throughout the day.
It is not a good idea to dress your child in overalls, pants with difficult fasteners, belts, or "onesies". This will be frustrating for your child. Your child's readiness is something we can discuss because consistency between our homes will be very important. This is a special time for your child, a sign that he/she is growing up. Toilet learning should be a good experience, punishments for accidents are very inappropriate.
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DISCIPLINE
The following methods of discipline will be used at childcare:

Encourage children to solve the problems themselves.
Intervention and discussion.
Re-direction to another play area.
Loss of privileges.
Child-time out.

Time out is used as the last form of discipline unless the child just needs some quiet self-time for settling down. If I feel there is a chronic behavioral issue that needs attention, I will let you know so that you and I are handling it in the same way and the child then has continuity in their discipline towards the unfavorable behavior. These types of behavior might include such things as biting, use of bad words, chronic hitting, etc..
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ABSENTEEISM AND ILLNESS

If a child or parent is ill, or for any other reason the child will not be here for the day, please call in the morning to let us know. If you know the night before please call before 8:00 p.m. We appreciate this courtesy. There will be no refunds or adjustments made for days missed due to illness, holidays, or days off. A place has been reserved for each child that cannot be filled on a short-term basis.
Please call if your child will be absent or dropped off late. It is the parentís responsibility to inform us of any schedule changes. If the child does not arrive by the scheduled time, then we may consider them absent for the entire day.
If you are having someone else pick up your child, please let us know in advance (in writing or name needs to be on file). We will need to know the name of the person picking up your child and please let them know we will be asking for a photo ID. We will not let a child leave without the parentís permission. Remember to remove persons from your file you no longer wish to be allowed to pick up your child
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We operate a Well Child Facility. This strict policy will protect all involved. Your compliance is appreciated, and you will be compensated with the assurance that all ill children will be kept home. Please keep in mind that well children are demanding and sick children even more so. Please be fair to your child and the other children enrolled and do not bring your child when if they are ill. If you are unsure, please call prior to bringing your child. It is extremely important that we work together in keeping our children healthy. Children with a mild cold may attend, but if at any point the child exhibits more severe symptoms such as symptoms below, coughing becomes excessive, child becomes extremely irritable, or child is unable to participate in regular activities, parent(s) will be called to pick the child up.
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WHEN TO KEEP A CHILD HOME,
Exclusion Policy
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children with the conditions listed below should be kept home from child care until the symptom/condition is resolved or until a medical professional determines that the child can return:

*FEVER (100 or greater within 24 hours) plus behavior change (irritable, cranky, restless, listless) and/or symptoms of illness (vomiting, diarrhea, etc).
*EVIDENCE of severe illness: Lethargy, unusual sleepiness, irritability, pro-longed crying, inconsolability, labored, difficult or rapid breathing, extreme or uncontrollable coughing.
*RASH associated with other signs of illness, fever or change in behavior.
*PINK EYE with pus accumulation.
*DIARRHEA increased number and water content of stools that cannot be contained within the diaper or underwear.
*VOMITING more than twice in a 24 hour period.
*MOUTH SORES or ulcers if the child cannot control his/her saliva.
*CERTAIN specific conditions: Pertussis or Whooping cough, Strep throat, Head lice or Scabies, Chicken pox, Tuberculosis, Impetigo, Mumps, Measles, Rubella and Hepatitis A.

Children who display any of the above symptoms or conditions must be excluded a minimum of 24 hours. We have the right to refuse childcare to any ill child. Verification FROM A PHYSICIAN stating the diagnosis and treatment and when the child is no longer contagious may be required before a child may return. If your child is unable to participate in the normal activities of the day (including being able to play outside), then your child MUST stay home.

If your child must take medicine more than twice per day, the parent must complete a "Medicine Consent Form" before any medication will be administered at child care. The medicine must be in the original container and must be handed to staff. (Not in child's pocket or bag).

Children will be visually screened when they arrive in the morning. In the event a child becomes ill and needs to be picked up, the parent(s) will be called and are expected to come pick the child up within one hour. If the parent(s) cannot be reached or have not arrived within an hour, the emergency contact person will be called and asked to come pick the child up. Not being available for your child in the event of illness will be reason for termination with no notice.
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MISCELLANEOUS
*Please help me to keep floors clean and safe for the children by removing your shoes or staying off the carpeted areas if they are wet or muddy.
*No smoking is allowed in my home. Do not throw cigarette butts or waste in or around yard.
*Give prompt notice of change in address or telephone # at work or at home.
*Please finish cell phone calls before arriving. This includes sitting in your car out in front where you are visible to the children inside.
*If your child wishes to bring food, please provide advance notice and enough for all the children. No gum will be allowed.
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LATE/EARLY FEES:
Permission in advance is required if you will be late to pick up a child or will drop off early. In the case of unavoidable late pickups a fee of $5.00 per 15 minutes per child will be charged. Excessive late pick-ups may be reason for termination with no notice (three within three months).
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TRIAL PERIOD AND WITHDRAWAL
A two week-trial period will be given, upon enrollment, to determine the suitability of the arrangements and to see how the children play and interact with each other and staff. We reserve the right to terminate at any time if we feel it is not working out.
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