July 9, 2012

Teachers' Tots Policy Information Handbook


I've operated Teachers' Tots Child Care - with one interruption for about a year and a half - since January, 2003. Right from the beginning, I've provided my clients with a POLICY INFORMATION HANDBOOK that details what they can expect from me. Here is the text of the handbook's latest edition, updated most recently on July 9, 2012:

MY PHILOSOPHY

INTRODUCTION
Welcome to Teachers’ Tots Child Care! I hope the information on the following pages answers many of your questions regarding the child care I provide. I am proud to offer what I believe to be a unique service – “The Best of Both Worlds” – only for the children of area educators.

Why “the best of both worlds?” First, I provide child care in my home for just a few children; thus, your child will enjoy a comfortable, nurturing environment very similar to that which s/he would have at home with you. In addition – since I am a certified daycare teacher, a former public school teacher, and a current homeschool teacher – I offer a multi-faceted, age-appropriate early childhood experience as well. So in my care, your child may relax as if s/he were at home while also learning and becoming prepared for his/her later school experience.

Read on for details!


MISSION STATEMENT
Teachers’ Tots Child Care operates under a whole-child developmental philosophy. Within that framework, I will carefully provide for your child’s basic needs and safety. In addition, I will offer age-appropriate play and learning activities to help your child grow in all developmental areas: social, cognitive, physical, and even spiritual (from a Christian perspective). Finally, I will endeavor to nurture your child emotionally, since a young child’s ability to connect with God and others begins with his/her sense of security in those who are entrusted with his/her care.



ENROLLMENT

WHO I ENROLL
I care for the preschool-aged children (from eight weeks through age five, including those whose birthdays miss the kindergarten-start cutoff date) of area educators on a full- or part-time basis during the regular school year (approximately late August to mid-June). I have up to three (3) full-time equivalent openings each school year.

Prior to making a commitment to care for a child, I require that the child spend a trial period of at least one day with me (for an amount of time equivalent to the time the child would be in my care on a typical day). However, spending two or even three concurrent days with me would be better, as that would help me to more accurately gauge if the child would be a good fit with us. For trial days I charge:

  • $25 for one full day or $15 for one half day
  • $20 each for the second and/or third full day or $10 for the second and/or third half day

If, after such a trial period, I have any concerns about taking on care of the child, I will simply not offer my regular services. However, when I do extend an offer to care for a child, the parent can immediately secure a place by completing an Enrollment Form, signing an Annual Contract, and paying a non-refundable deposit (equal to the rate of the first week’s tuition). In addition, if there is some reason that care of a child is not to begin for some time afterward (during the current school year), the parents must agree to also pay a weekly holding fee of $50 from the week after the initial agreement is made until the date when the child actually begins attending.

Of course, in the case of a child who has not yet been born, a typical trial period would obviously not work. In such a situation, if the parent(s) would like me to care for the child after his/her birth, they can secure a place (beginning sometime after the child is eight (8) weeks old) by paying a non-refundable deposit (equal to the rate of the first week's tuition), partially completing an Enrollment Form, signing a Provisional Contract, and agreeing to pay a weekly holding fee of $50 (beginning with the first full week after the child's actual birth and continuing until the child begins attending).

The Provisional Contract is my commitment to care for an infant for 12 weeks, a timeframe that will serve as an extended trial period. After eight (8) weeks, I will evaluate with the parents whether or not the child is a good fit with us and offer a regular Annual Contract (for the rest of the school year) if we mutually agree to continue. If it's decided that the child should not continue, I will provide care for four (4) more weeks - at the appropriate weekly rate - while the parents seek a new provider. However, if the parents withdraw their child at any time before the end of timeframe outlined in the Provisional Contract, they will be subject to Termination Penalty Fees as outlined in my Termination policy.


HOW TO ENROLL
Upon final acceptance for enrollment, you must provide:

• A completed, signed Annual (or Provisional) Contract;
• A completed, signed Enrollment Form;
• A non-refundable deposit equal to the first week’s tuition payment and, if applicable, a weekly $50 holding fee.


SCHOOL-AGED CHILD CARE
In addition to Teachers’ Tots children, I may also elect to provide after-school care for a few school-aged children on a part- or full-time basis. In general, such children will arrive at my house after 3:30 in the afternoon on school days – thus, their presence will not affect our regular Teachers’ Tots schedule or activities, except to perhaps provide Teachers’ Tots kids with a few extra playmates during our late-afternoon freeplay time.

On occasion, a school-aged child (generally a Teachers' Tots alumnus) may need care for part or all of one day. But you can rest assured that such extended-day care of older children will be a rare occurrence and that I will be work extra hard on those days to make sure that every child’s needs are met.



HOURS/DAYS OF OPERATION
My hours are 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, on school days. I do not provide care in the evenings or on days during the school year when the teacher-parent in a family is not expected to be at work (i.e., Christmas vacation, spring break, snow days, etc.). At my discretion, I offer occasional care during the summer.

For the child of a middle- or high school educator, I will consider at special request beginning the child’s day at 6:45 a.m., if necessary. However, in that case, a part-time child must be picked up by 11:15 a.m. each day and a full-time child must be picked up by 4:15 p.m. to avoid incurring overtime charges.



MONEY MATTERS

TUITION RATES (per day)*

Full-Time:
$35 for an Infant (8 Weeks to Age 1); $30 for an Older Child

Part-Time, Mornings:
$25 for an Infant; $20 for an Older Child

Part-Time, Afternoons, Napper:
$20 for an Infant; $15 for an Older Child

Part-Time, Afternoons, Non-Napper:
$15 for an Older Child

*If I care for more than one child in the same family, the second child (and third, if applicable) will receive a $5.00 per day discount off his/her regular tuition rate.


I charge by the half- or full-day, rather than by the hour. Part-time morning enrollment is any amount of time (beginning early to mid-morning) up to four and half (4.5) total hours. Part-time afternoon enrollment is any amount of time (beginning late morning or early afternoon) up to 4.5 total hours. Full-time enrollment is any amount of time over 4.5 hours a day between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

For a child over the age of one, I charge more for morning part-time care because of the high level of activity and supervision needed throughout the morning for young children. The cost of part-time afternoon care is lower than for morning care because afternoons in my home generally consist of activities that are less structured (i.e., nap, a rest-time movie, freeplay, etc.). Infant care (up to age one) is slightly more costly for both part- and full-time children because of an infant’s high need for hands-on physical care.

I charge an overtime rate of $3.00 per hour (or portion thereof) for a part-time child who occasionally needs to stay longer than 4.5 hours. If the need for additional care of a part-time child becomes habitual, I reserve the right to refuse the additional hours and/or request that you change his/her enrollment to full-time.

For a full-time child, I will only consider overtime care (beginning before 7:00 a.m. or ending after 4:30 p.m.) by special request and in the case of rare, special circumstances. In such an event, I charge $4.00 per hour (or portion thereof).

And, for the sake of my family, I also need to be strict about my total hours of operation. Therefore – if you have not requested overtime care – I charge full-time care families an extra-time fee of $0.50 per minute that you are late picking up your child (i.e., after 4:30 p.m.).


TUITION PAYMENT
A week’s tuition payment is expected in full ahead of time for the upcoming week. It is due when you drop off or pick up your child on Friday (or, during short weeks, on your child’s last attendance day for the week). Payment of any overtime or extra-time fees is expected in full on the Friday of the week in which the charges were incurred (added to payment for the upcoming week). A 10% late fee will be added for each day a payment is late (including weekends), up to one week. After one week of non-payment, I reserve the right to immediately terminate care of your child, depending upon circumstances.

You are only required to pay for days on which you (a family’s teaching parent) must be at work, according to your official school calendar. Thus, you do not need to pay for days during official school vacations (winter and spring breaks, etc.), for days when your attendance is optional (i.e., fall and spring teachers’ conventions you do not plan to attend), or in the case of school being cancelled due to inclement weather. In the case of an unexpected day away (such as for a snow day), you will be credited the amount you pre-paid onto the following week’s payment.

Beyond that, each child will be granted up to two (2) “personal days” during the school year. These days should be used if your child will not come on an official school day (according to your school calendar) for whatever reason (i.e., his/her illness, a personal day that you take off of work, etc.). You do not need to pay for a day taken as a personal day. However, if the two personal days are used up and your child then doesn’t come on a subsequent school day, such days must be paid for (at the appropriate daily rate) even though your child has not attended.

In the rare event that I must cancel my services for a day (such as if one of my children is seriously ill), I do not expect any payment for a day on which I cannot care for your child; in such a case, you will receive credit on the following week’s payment.

You may pay in cash or by money order or check. A $25.00 charge will be made for any check returned for non-sufficient funds (NSF). After two instances of NSF, you may only pay in cash or money order.


DEDUCTION/REIMBURSEMENT REPORTS
To help you account for child care expenses on your tax return and/or for your flex-spending program, I will provide an annual summary report of your expenses for a calendar year by late December or early January. In addition, I will prepare monthly summary reports by request.



DAILY BASICS

DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP PROCEDURES
While I will certainly assist you as you drop off and pick up your child each day, you are responsible for the care, behavior, and safety of your child when you are on the premises. Please teach and enforce appropriate behavior at these times so you and I are able to communicate as necessary.


WHAT TO BRING
On your child’s first day of attendance, please provide (to keep in my home):

• An initial supply of diapers (and/or pull-ups) or underwear and wipes and rash cream;
• Two or three changes of clothing and pairs of socks and one extra pair of shoes;
• Seasonally appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear;
• For infants: a day’s worth of bottles and an initial supply of formula;
• A copy of your school calendar specifying days on which you are not required to work;
• Any special items to help your child feel comfortable.


WHAT I WILL PROVIDE
I will provide the following at no additional cost to you:

• Nutritious meals and snacks (including, upon consultation with you, a supply of baby food – but not formula – that your infant uses);
• Dishes, cups, and utensils;
• Toys and all general material and equipment for daily activities;
• An appropriate nap/rest place.


FORMS OF ADDRESS
I obviously want my home to be a friendly, inviting place for your child. I also personally believe it is important to teach children to address adults with an appropriate level of respect. Thus, just as I teach my children to use titles (i.e., Mr., Mrs., Dr., Uncle, Aunt) when speaking with adults, I ask – as a way to introduce your child to polite forms of address in the world at large – that s/he refer to me as “Miss Tina” (or, alternately, if you feel strongly about more formal forms of address, your child may, of course, call me “Mrs. Hollenbeck” at your discretion).


DAILY REPORTS AND ON-GOING COMMUNICATION
Despite the fact that your child will spend a significant amount of time with me, you are, of course, your child’s primary caregiver. To that end, I will endeavor to keep you as up-to-date as possible regarding your child’s experiences while in my care. To do this, I will provide you with a DAILY REPORT of your child’s schedule and activities, of which I will also keep a carbon copy.

In addition, I will discuss with you any relevant information when you drop off and/or pick up your child. If an extended conversation is necessary, I will either contact you by phone at home or schedule with you a time for a “conference.” Additionally, I ask that you continually provide me with any relevant information I may need to provide the best care possible for your child.


MEALS AND SNACKS

Infants:
If I take on a newborn (ages 8 to 12 weeks), I will feed the child on-demand to the best of my ability while also meeting the needs of the other children in my care. However, with an older baby (over 12 weeks), I expect that s/he will be on a regular, somewhat predictable feeding schedule (using an eat/sleep/play pattern) and that his/her schedule at home mirrors the schedule while in my care. In consultation with you, I will provide a supply of appropriate jarred and other types of food as part of your tuition payment. But it is your responsibility to provide formula (or pumped breast milk) as needed. What a child eats each day is listed on his/her Daily Report.

Older Children:
For children over the age of one, I provide breakfast if necessary, a morning snack, lunch and – as needed – a light afternoon snack each day. Food is nutritious, well-balanced over the course of a day, and age-appropriate. What a child eats each day is listed on his/her Daily Report.

Since eating is a social event in our culture, I ask that your child sit at the table with the group during mealtimes (snack time may be less formal). I require that each child eat at least a small “no thank you helping” of each item provided. If a child does not want more of what has been prepared, I will respect that choice, but I will not offer alternatives.

We start mealtimes with a simple prayer of thanks. I encourage and teach good table manners.


NAPTIMES

Infants:
For a newborn (ages 8 to 12 weeks), I follow the child’s at-home sleep schedule as much as possible while also taking into consideration the needs of the other children in my care. With an older baby (over 12 weeks), I expect that s/he will be on a regular, somewhat predictable napping schedule and that his/her schedule at home mirrors the schedule while in my care. Unless otherwise instructed by you, I will assume that a child under the age of one generally takes at least one morning and one afternoon nap. Naptime(s) will be recorded on the Daily Report.

Toddlers and Napping Preschoolers:
A toddler or napping preschooler will have a daily nap, usually beginning between 1:00 and 1:30. However, depending on the needs of older children in my care, I may occasionally have to move the nap time to earlier in the day (perhaps beginning as early as 11:00) or begin it somewhat later in the afternoon. I will provide each napping child with an appropriate place to sleep. The naptime will be listed on the Daily Report.

Non-Napping Preschoolers and Pre-Kinders:
A child who has outgrown a regular nap may have a daily rest time – during which I will show a child-appropriate DVD or video – for up to an hour and a half in the afternoon. This rest time is provided for two reasons: to insure that napping children will be able to sleep soundly and to provide a non-napper with some “down time.”


DIAPER CHANGES AND TOILETING
I will either wash my hands or use sanitizing gel (i.e., Purell) after each diaper change. Each diaper will be wrapped and disposed of in a plastic-lined garbage can. All diaper changes will be noted on your child’s Daily Report.

It is your responsibility to provide a regular supply of diapers and/or pull-ups and to tell me when you have started to toilet train your child. At that time, we can discuss what would work best for me to help with the training – and I am happy to share with you what has worked for me in the past. We will work together to insure that your child's training is consistent between here and home. I will document on the Daily Report the toileting activities of a child who is training.

For a child who is already trained, I generally do not see a need to record bathroom habits, unless you specifically request such information.


CHILD GUIDANCE (DISCIPLINE)
I believe that the purposes of guidance/discipline are to help the child develop self-control and self-respect and to learn respect for the rights of others so that s/he can successfully function appropriately in a given environment. To that end, I will utilize the following procedures as necessary and appropriate:

• Verbal guidance: giving short, generally positive statements of instruction or direction (and also using “no” and/or other “not” directives as necessary, especially when a child is in imminent danger);

• Redirection: refocusing a child from inappropriate behavior to an appropriate, constructive activity;

• Natural consequences: allowing the child to experience the natural consequences of his/her decisions (i.e., throwing milk onto the floor means s/he can’t have more milk at that meal);

• Holding: physically holding a child who is out of control, for his/her own protection and/or for the protection of others (which I have found tends – especially when combined with soothing singing or humming – to quickly calm even an extremely agitated child and ultimately gives him/her a sense of security);

• Conflict resolution: teaching a child how to solve problems;

• Time-out: removing a child from a situation (I have a specific “time-out chair,” generally only use time-out with a child aged eighteen months or older, and – unless otherwise instructed by you – set a time-out limit of one minute per year of age before working with the child to deal with the original problem).

I will not spank, hit, pinch, shake, or inflict any other type of corporal punishment on your child. Further, I will not verbally abuse, threaten, or demean the child, bind him/her in any way or confine him/her to a small, closed space (i.e., a closet).


TELEVISION
I believe that active engagement with toys and activities is, by and large, much more conducive to healthy development than television viewing. If you come very early in the day, you may find that I've been watching the morning news prior to your arrival - but, once children are checked in, the television in my home will generally be turned off during most of the day (aside from rest time).

On the other hand, I have found that some programming is educationally and developmentally appropriate for young children on a limited basis. Thus, a short program can serve as an educational tool, an appropriate transition between activities, or as an opportunity for everyone to have a few “quiet moments” if necessary. Or, on days when inclement weather precludes us going outside, a slightly longer program may be appropriate. I only allow children in my home to watch videos or DVDs (no commercial television), and I screen programming for appropriateness.


PETS
I currently own several indoor-only cats. I believe that appropriate interaction with such pets can be beneficial to and educational for children. The cats have access to the entire house, but during the day they tend to avoid the areas where the children are, due to the levels of noise and activity. All of the cats are well-behaved around young children and have never purposely injured a child. If your child attempts to interact inappropriately with a cat (i.e., grabbing its tail), I will intervene immediately to attempt to avoid an injury and will use the “teachable moment” to show your child how to act appropriately with an animal. I will not be held liable for your child's injury caused by his/her own inappropriate behavior.

Each cat has all necessary immunizations. The cats’ food is in the kitchen; the litter boxes are in the basement, inaccessible to the children.



ACTIVITIES

AT-HOME LEARNING

Infants (8 weeks to 12 months):
Infants learn a great deal – in all developmental areas – simply as their basic needs are met. And so a large part of my focus with an infant is on meeting his/her needs with care and nurturing.

With that in mind, I simply capitalize on how a baby's daily routines can serve as the basis of learning throughout the day. Thus, activities center around a child’s awake/alert time, mealtimes, and diaper times, as well as around special playtime, talking time, and cuddling time routines. Activities will include songs and rhymes, games that include social interaction (i.e., bouncing, lifting, clapping, gentle tickles, peek-a-boo), and involvement with toys and books. In addition, an infant will be treated as a valuable member of the group as s/he observes the learning and play activities of older children and interacts with them.

A Note About Baby-Wearing and Continual Holding: I tried baby-wearing with my own children and with others in my care and have found that it does not work well for me. In addition, I have concerns about overwearing (i.e., I have seen delays in reaching developmental milestones among children who are worn too much). Thus, I want to make it clear that I do not baby-wear here. As such, I encourage baby-wearing parents to provide a transition from extended wearing before a child starts with me in order to avoid undue stress for him/her. 
In addition, I have found that the infants who do best in a group child care setting are those who have been "trained" during the mother's maternity leave to be content without continual holding. Babies obviously need lots of cuddling, and I will do my best to hold a baby entrusted to me as much as possible. But the reality of any group child care setting is that the caregiver must employ the use of swings, etc., for babies so the needs of other children can be met. With that in mind, I encourage parents to help a newborn learn to be content without continual holding in order to avoid undue stress for him/her once s/he starts with me.

Older Babies/Young Toddlers (13 to 24 months):
For young toddlers, I also use an informal, age-appropriate learning program, with a focus on allowing and celebrating a toddler’s penchant for freechoice exploration of toys, books, and the physical space. More structured activities include development of cognitive and language concepts, music, Bible stories, a variety of special toys and games, story times, and various creative endeavors (i.e., art, play dough). In addition, a young toddler will be encouraged to observe and, if possible, participate in the learning and play activities of older children.

Older Toddlers (25 to 36 months):
With older toddlers, I will use a more structured curriculum for the first time. Each week, we will read books, sing songs and do both gross and fine motor activities related to a theme. We’ll also engage in additional regular activities to introduce age-appropriate concepts such as shapes and colors, nursery rhymes, and Bible stories.

Formal curricular activities may take 30-60 minutes per day, divided into a handful of shorter “learning times.” And, as with young toddlers, an older toddler will have plenty of freechoice playtime and ample opportunity to observe and participate with older children.

Young Preschoolers (37 to 48 months):
Using various resources, I will provide three year olds with a comprehensive introductory preschool program centered around weekly themes similar to those used with Older Toddlers. We will read books and Bible stories, sing songs, and engage in gross and fine motor activities. We will also do pre-literacy and pre-math work and learn age-appropriate science and social studies concepts.

Of course, there will remain plenty of time for a preschooler to enjoy freechoice play, as formal daily activities will take up to about an hour (divided into shorter “learning times”).

Older Preschoolers (49 to 60 months):
It’s very important to me to gauge each child’s individual “readiness” for more challenging, “school-like” academic tasks. And some four-year olds are simply not ready for “pre-kindergarten” work and, thus, should not be pushed into it. For such children, I will provide the same kinds of solid, age- and ability-appropriate activities provided for Young Preschoolers, as noted above.

However, many four-year olds will be ready for a bit more structure and academic challenge. In such cases, I may use as our core a wonderful program called My Father’s World from A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum (MFW K), a full description of which is located at the publisher’s website.

As a “gentle” kindergarten program, MFW K includes handwriting instruction; however, it’s been my experience that most four-year olds are not quite ready to begin that type of formal instruction. If that’s the case with your child, I will start him/her on a different “pre-writing” program, Handwriting without Tears, which I have successfully used with my own children and several others.

I’m confident that these two curricular pieces – which can be covered in 60-90 minutes a day - will more than prepare a child to enter kindergarten at age five. In fact, a child who completes this program with me will find much of kindergarten in a traditional school to be review and reinforcement of things s/he already knows. The strength of this approach is that your child will then be able to put his/her focus during kindergarten on adjusting to the different social environment of a larger class and large school; as a result, the stress of that transition should be much less than it would otherwise be.

Pre-Kindergarten (Age 5):
At your discretion or with a child whose birthdate does not enable him/her to enter kindergarten at age five, s/he may stay with me for an extra year. Such a child will most certainly be ready to use the MFW K and handwriting programs described for Older Preschoolers, above.

Or, for a child who has successfully completed those materials with me at age four, I will move on to My Father’s World First Grade and the next Handwriting without Tears book. Any child who completes these materials with me will be exceedingly well-prepared to enter kindergarten the following year; in fact, depending on your child’s social/emotional maturity, you may want to speak with your school’s principal about skipping kindergarten there and beginning your child’s formal education in first grade. If you opt to pursue that course of action, I would be more than happy to provide the school with detailed documentation about what your child knows and is able to do and would even be willing to meet with school officials if you felt that would be beneficial.


A NOTE ABOUT MY CHILDREN’S HOME LEARNING
In addition to operating Teachers’ Tots, I home-educate my two elementary-aged daughters. While home education takes a good deal of time and energy, I want to assure you that I have developed a system to insure that the needs of Teachers’ Tots kids are met right alongside those of my daughters. In fact, your child will have the added benefit of interacting with and learning from my daughters through his/her preschool years, an experience that has been proven to facilitate young children’s social/emotional and cognitive development.


CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS
As both an educational tool and a source of fun and entertainment, I will celebrate many holidays and special events with the children. In general, I will celebrate birthdays, the beginnings of seasons, holidays of national and/or cultural importance (i.e., New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Veterans’ Day), and those in the Christian tradition (i.e., Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas). At an age-appropriate level, I will share with the children the accurate, historical (including Biblical) roots behind these holidays.

As a matter of conscience, I will explicitly not celebrate Halloween. In addition, I will limit references to fictional characters associated with some holidays (i.e., cupid, leprechauns, the Easter Bunny), choosing instead to emphasize the holidays’ historical roots and other current practices. However, I will include Santa Claus in Christmas celebrations, since the character finds his origins in a real, historical figure. If you allow your child to believe the Santa myth, we will not debunk it. On the other hand, if your child does not believe in Santa, I ask that you require him/her to keep that knowledge private while in my home; many of the children in my care (including my own) still believe, and I feel strongly that the appropriate time to explain the myth's origins should be up to each child's own parent.


OUTSIDE PLAY
As a general rule, I will try to have the children play outside for a period of time each day, weather permitting. For the most part, this will be in my enclosed backyard, though we may periodically take a trip to a nearby park.

We will not go outside during the following weather conditions:
• A day that is completely or mostly rainy;
• When the temperature (including wind chill) is below 25 degrees;
• On extremely hot days (i.e., in the event of heat and/or air quality advisories).


ENRICHMENT
Depending on the needs of other children, I may also be able to offer your toddler, preschooler, or pre-kinder possible access to classes and activities outside of my home.

There are many possibilities in this area! To name a few, they can include:

• Special events sponsored by the Brown County Library system;
• A YMCA movement/gym class;
• A dance/movement class at the YMCA or at the Green Bay School of Dance, sponsored by the Green Bay Area Christian Homeschoolers (GBACH), of which I am a member;
• Ice skating lessons sponsored by GBACH;
• Age-appropriate co-op classes sponsored by GBACH;
• Field trips of various types;

Some of these activities are free and some require only a minimal admissions fee. A few require payment of tuition to the program providing the instruction. I will pay your annual membership fee for GBACH so your child may participate with my children in GBACH-sponsored activities. Beyond that, you are responsible for paying any tuition and fees, separate from my tuition. Upon your enrollment, we can discuss your preferences and current possibilities in this area.


SUMMER PLAYDATE(S)
I may provide optional half-day summer playdates for children who will be in my care for the upcoming school year. I will schedule these in late spring and inform you of the dates as soon as possible. The cost of one playdate is equal to the child's regular half-day rate (depending on his/her age), payable when you pick up your child. The purpose of the playdate is simply to better acquaint (or re-acquaint) you and your child with me and with my children and my home.



HEALTH MATTERS

GENERAL CLEANLINESS AND SAFETY STANDARDS
After mealtimes, each child’s hands and face will be washed with an individual, disposable cloth and tables and trays will be cleaned. At your request, I will brush your child’s teeth (or will aid him/her in brushing) after breakfast.

Of course, a child’s hands and face will also be washed other times during the day, as necessary.

A child who is toilet training or already toilet-trained is expected to wash his/her hands after any use of the toilet (with help, as necessary). I will wash my hands before and after helping a child with toileting.

If a child vomits or bleeds, I will clean up with paper towels, which will then be placed in a plastic bag, tied, and disposed of. The area will be cleaned with soap and water and a sanitizing solution.

Any wet or soiled clothing will be placed in a plastic bag to be sent home for laundering.

I will regularly inspect all toys for cleanliness and safety. Any unsafe toy will be repaired or disposed of. Additionally, a toy that has been in a child’s mouth will be set aside and cleaned before a different child can use it.


INJURY
I will take every precaution to assure the safety of your child while s/he is in my care. However, we all know that accidents sometimes happen with young children.

In the event of a minor accident, I will administer appropriate first-aid (i.e., cleaning with soap and water, bandaging, using a cold compress). If an accident does not appear to be serious or life-threatening but may require medical attention, I will call you or the child’s emergency contact to determine an appropriate course of action. If a serious accident occurs, I will utilize your written permission to transport your child to a hospital (St. Vincent or Bellin) and will call you or the child’s emergency contact until I reach you. In all cases, I will also note the accident on your child’s Daily Report.

An ambulance fee for medical transport is your responsibility. In addition, if your child should be injured and require medical attention, please file a claim for medical expenses with your medical insurance carrier. My insurance policy is a secondary policy, which goes into effect only after your insurance carrier has paid according to your policy.


ILLNESS
I can care for your child when s/he has a minor illness, such as cold. On such days, please provide any necessary medications with detailed dosage instructions (see the information on Medication below). However, when in doubt, please err on the side of caution and keep your child home.

For the sake of everyone’s health, I ask that your child PLEASE stay home if s/he is seriously ill with any of the following sicknesses (or with anything similarly serious):

• A serious contagious illness (i.e., flu, chicken pox, strep, etc.);
• A fever of 101 or higher;
• An inability to keep down food;
• Illness-based diarrhea;
• Conjunctivitis (i.e., “pink eye” or any similar eye infection);
• Lice.

I will call you no later than 6:00 a.m. if I must cancel my services because of these kinds of illnesses in my family.

If any of these situations develops (either in your child or in mine) during the course of the day, I will call to request that you come to pick up your child WITHIN ONE HOUR.

Please also refer to the following recommendations for returning to child care:

• Chicken pox: seven (7) days, with all pox scabbed over and dry;
• Strep: on medication for at least 24 hours;
• Fever: fever-free for at least 12 hours without the aid of medication
• Vomiting: no vomiting within the last 12 hours;
• Diarrhea: no diarrhea within the last 12 hours
• Conjunctivitis (“pink eye,” etc.): pus gone AND on medication for at least 24 hours;
• Lice: nit-free.


MEDICATION
Any medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, which you wish for me to administer to your child must be in the original container and include WRITTEN dosage instructions from you. In addition, I prefer that you only ask me to administer medications the child needs on a short-term basis; please have your child take medications for chronic conditions at home.

I will keep all medications out of reach of all children and will enter onto the child’s Daily Report times and amounts of medication given.


CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT REPORTING
While protecting parental rights is one of my highest priorities, I feel a moral obligation to report (to Child Protective Services – CPS) any suspected abuse or neglect of a child. In that event, I will provide my observations plus the name, address, and telephone number of the child, as well as the name(s) of the parent(s). An intake worker at CPS will determine the seriousness of the situation and will handle the case from that point on.



MISCELLANEOUS PROCEDURES

VISITING
I have an open-door policy so you are welcome to stop in to visit at any time during any day.


AUTHORIZATION TO PICK UP A CHILD
I will only release a child to an adult listed on his/her Enrollment Form (i.e., the mother, father, or emergency contact). If I have not previously met one of these people, I will expect to see identification the first time s/he comes to pick up a child. It is your responsibility to inform me of any changes regarding who is authorized to pick up your child. If such a change occurs, please attempt to allow me to personally meet the new authorized individual before the first day s/he will pick up your child.


MY FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES
As the main caretaker of my family, there may be occasional times when I have to schedule such things as medical appointments during a time in which your child is in my care. I will endeavor to schedule any such appointments as late as possible in the day and will give you at least one week’s notice concerning an early pick-up time for your child. Alternately, I can arrange for my back-up care provider (usually my mother-in-law or my husband) to remain with your child in my home until you can pick up him/her or I can take your child with me to the appointment, at your discretion.


TERMINATION

If for ANY reason YOU wish to terminate my care of your child, you MUST provide a written notice and be open to discussing the situation with me. In addition, you must pay a TERMINATION PENALTY FEE EQUIVALENT TO 10 DAYS' TUITION BEYOND WHAT YOU WILL PAY FOR THE DAYS OF YOUR CHILD'S ACTUAL ATTENDANCE - REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR YOUR DECISION TO TERMINATE (even if - for ANY reason - it is because you are unhappy with the care your child has been receiving). This policy also applies if you choose (for ANY reason) after you have signed a contract to cancel my care of your child for the upcoming school year. With your notice in that case, I will expect payment of a TERMINATION PENALTY FEE EQUIVALENT TO 10 DAYS' TUITION (ON TOP OF the non-refundable deposit you will have paid during the last week of the previous school year). Failure to do so will result in legal action.


I may terminate care under any of the following circumstances.


• Non-payment for my services or a continuing lack of adherence to my payment policies (see the information on Tuition Payment);

• Abusive behavior and/or verbal threats (by you or your child) to me, other parents, or any child (which can result in immediate termination);

• Your continued failure to comply with my policies in general;

• A child’s behavior problems that endanger the safety of others (which can result in immediate termination);

MY determination that your child has special needs I cannot meet (However, if YOU determine that I am not meeting your child's special needs and wish to terminate, you will be held to the standards, listed above, for YOUR choice to terminate. In other words, if you initiate the termination for ANY reason, you are responsible for a termination penalty fee equivalent to 10 days' tuition).

In all but the most extreme instances, I will provide a two-week written notice upon my decision to terminate care of your child, as well as an opportunity to discuss the situation once you have received my notice.

If I terminate, you will not be liable for any Termination Penalty Fees, but your non-refundable deposit will NOT be returned. You will also need to continue to PAY FOR THE DAYS OF YOUR CHILD'S ACTUAL ATTENDANCE, up to two weeks beyond the date of the termination notice. Failure to do so will result in immediate termination (i.e., my refusal to care for your child for any additional days) as well as legal action seeking payment for services rendered and additional (punitive) damages.



IN CONCLUSION
I hope this information has answered many of your questions and has given you a good idea of what you can expect from me. If you feel that Teachers’ Tots Child Care would be a good fit for you and your child, I encourage you to contact me to schedule a home visit/interview. I look forward to discussing your needs and my services with you.




BMN

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...