As a Professional Child Care Provider, my goal is to provide your child with a clean, safe, comfortable environment where they can play and learn with guidance and loving care while you are at work or attending school. In order to make our relationship as enjoyable as possible the following are some mutually beneficial requirements that are necessary to assure that there are no misunderstandings between either party, that each party is aware of the requirements, and that these requirements are carried out in a businesslike manner. There is a lot of information here. Please read all of it. If any of my policies seem unfair or unnecessary, please take a moment to think about that policy and how it would apply to your current working situation… I’m sure it will make sense in that light. These policies are enforced for the same reasons policies are enforced in any job situation - for fairness and respect. If you have any questions please ask.
I will need to be notified at least 24 hours in advanced in order for children to be accommodated, depending on the number of available slots. Children will only be accepted if all required paperwork is properly filled out and submitted no later than the child’s arrival on the first day of care. These are the forms required by DEEC including child/ren’s medical record/s. I do not provide sick care. A late fee of $5.00 per child for every 15 minutes or a portion thereof will be applied if child/ren is/are not picked up on time.
At Little Explorers Family Child Care, you are paying for a specific slot, NOT per hour or per day, so no discounts are given if your child does not come to Care.
The policies listed below are set forth by the Child Care Provider and are in accordance with EEC regulations. These policies and accompanying contracts become effective upon acceptance by the parent/guardian and the Child Care Provider.
I provide childcare from Monday to Friday during your contracted working hours or school schedule. We will figure your hours plus fair commute time and this will become your "scheduled hours". Any changes to your schedule have to be discussed and re-scheduled based on my ability to meet your new need with my schedule. For parents not attending work or school, but needing care, we will discuss this together and determine hours based on my present scheduling.
There is an extra fee of $5.00 per child for every fifteen minutes or portion thereof if your child is dropped off earlier than his/her contracted arrival time (without prior approval) and for children not picked-up by their contracted pick-up time. Late arrival does not allow late pick-up. Care will not recommence until such late fees are paid in full. Please be on time daily.
To ensure the safety of your child, only you or your designate(s) may pick up your child. Phoning me to let me know someone other than yourself will be picking up your child is fine if I know the person or your child can identify him or her.
Verification of legal custody: I must have a copy of the court order recognizing the parent who has legal custody of the child, as well as visitation schedules. Otherwise, I have no choice except to release the child to his/her parent.
If we are under severe or threatening weather conditions I may be closed closed: tornados, blizzards, and severe wind chills and/or temperatures.
I will require a deposit for all families.
The deposit will be the amount of two weeks of your fees payable for the care of your child(ren). This will be refunded towards your last week of childcare providing you give me proper notice as required before termination of care, and have no other outstanding fees owed to me. If you don’t give me proper notice and/or have fees outstanding, this fee will not be refunded.
PLEASE NOTE: I will not start providing childcare nor will your opening with us be reserved until this deposit is paid.
Before I will assume responsibility of caring for your child I MUST have the following:
• Signed Policy Handbook Contract
• Signed Financial Agreement
• Paper work as required by licensing regulations
• Emergency, Permission and other general information forms
PLEASE NOTE: All forms must be updated yearly.
Payments are due on or before the first day of the week that your child comes to care. If fees are not paid, your spot will be considered open and your deposit kept as your notice. There are no refunds in fees for absences due to a child’s illness or any other reason. Full fees are required regardless of whether or not your child attends.
I realize the financial burden that childcare places on parents, and hope parents understand that as a business childcare places financial burdens on the provider. These include, but are not limited to groceries, utilities, insurance, programming, toys and equipment. I also have a financial responsibility to my family. If fees are not received when due, a $5.00/per day charge will be applied to the amount owing. This charge will be in effect until all monies plus late charges are paid in full.
Checks: There will be a $25.00 charge for all checks returned N.S.F. (non-sufficient funds) plus any additional charges incurred to me and/or by the bank. Parents who have two or more N.S.F. checks will be required to pay by cash or money order.
Provider Holidays And Personal/Sick days
• I will be closed on all Holidays, with pay.
• I will be taking four weeks vacation per year, two weeks of which will be paid vacation. I will provide at least one months notice of the dates.
• I will cover all other absences. When I do not have an alternate, I will pay back the daily rate less 15% for operating costs.
• When I am providing an alternate child care provider in my home and you wish to make your own arrangements for child care, you will not be reimbursed as the only way I can afford to provide an alternate is through the parent fees.
Please notify me as at least 2 weeks in advance when you plan to take vacations. I expect full payment for all days and hours your child is normally scheduled to be here. Payment is due prior to your vacation. Even while you are on vacation I am still holding your child’s space.
In cases of your potential absence due to maternity leave, summer, or extended leave from your job, I will require 2 weeks of your fees for the entire time of your absence to hold your child’s position. I must receive at least a month written notice and the leave must be for no longer than a 1 month period during the months September – June and no longer than 2 months from July - August.
Children are to arrive clean and fed (unless arriving before a meal time). I prefer that there be pick-ups or drop-offs during the designated daily quiet time.
Please do not allow your child(ren) to walk to the door by themselves at drop off. It is important to take a minute to walk them to the door and greet me. This gives us both the opportunity to discuss any schedule changes for the day or anything else. At pick up, please do not let your child leave the house until you are leaving also.
It helps your child tremendously if your child is aware that you will be arriving early (or late) in that they come to expect regularity and thrive on it. I also have children put their coats and shoes on in preparation for your arrival time. Please keep me informed so I can in turn keep the child informed! Drop-off and pick-up times are not good times to discuss serious problems. Little ears and minds hear and understand everything. I am not comfortable discussing a child in the presence of anyone but their parents. Topics that concern day-to-day events or light-hearted discussion are fine.
We do our best to maintain strict cleanliness and hygiene standards. Children's hands are washed before and after meals, coming in from outside and after toileting. If these skills are stressed at home also your child may remain a good hand-washer when he/she gets older. Please have your child bathed and dressed for play. A clean child is a healthy child.
Infants sleep in separate cribs/Play-Pens with clean blankets, used only by them. Beginnings at toddler age washable sleeping bags or couches are used. Each child has a sleeping bag with blankets. These are washed weekly (unless soiled, then they are washed as often as necessary).
Toys are sanitized with a bleach solution once a week.
The first two weeks of childcare are to be an adjustment period. It is my responsibility to let the parent know if the child seems unhappy or the arrangement is unsatisfactory for any other reason. It is the parent’s responsibility to let me know the same. The parent or I can terminate the contract anytime during the adjustment period in writing on or before the 14th day after care starts.
Four weeks of written notice is required from the parent. Fees will still be due if the parent withdraws the child before notice is given, or at any given time during the notice. Four weeks of fees may be paid in lieu of four weeks of notice. Termination notice will NOT be accepted while provider or parents are on vacation.
I will provide the parents with four weeks written notice if I am no longer able to care for your child. You are still responsible for paying the weekly fees during this notice whether your child attends or not.
I will terminate our childcare arrangements immediately for any of (but not solely limited to) the following reasons:
• Failure to comply with the policies set forth in this book.
• Failure to comply with the contract.
• Destructive or hurtful behavior of a child that persists even with parent cooperation in stopping the behavior.
• Non-Payment of childcare fees or late and/or recurring late payment of fees.
• Failure to show up for 5 days in a row without any communication.
• Failure to complete required forms.
• Inability to meet the child’s needs without additional staff.
• Blatant disrespect towards provider or provider’s family.
• If parents knowingly bring their child ill.
It is law and also my responsibility as a childcare provider to report any and all abuse or neglect performed on a child. I cannot turn my head on a child that has been abused or neglected. Therefore, I will notify The Department of Child Care Services and the Police Department when it appears that a child in my care is being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, neglected, or exploited.
Parents are responsible for supplying:
• Diapers & Wipes
• A full change of clothing
• Any other supplies your child may need
All personal belongings should be marked with your child's name. It is not necessary to bring eating utensils, cups or dishes, as they will be supplied.
I teach the children creativity, problem solving, and pride in their skills. Sometimes these values get messy. Some days we will be painting, so please send your child in appropriate clothing. Please dress your child for real success. Their “work” here is play! If there is an occasion that calls for special clothing please bring this clothing in an extra bag and I will help your child change before you arrive for pickup. Provider is not responsible for your child’s clothing or personal items brought into the childcare home. I will let you know when I need more supplies for your child.
I provide a wide variety of playthings. I ask that no toys be brought to daycare from home. Anything brought will be put up safely until the child is picked up. This policy is for the concern of all children in my care. Oftentimes children have a hard time sharing the toys they bring from home.
The ONLY exceptions to this policy are:
· A special blanket OR stuffed animal/Doll to be used during Nap Time. This will be put away and ONLY used for the appropriate time. Please limit your child to one thing.
· At times we will have a “Show and Tell” period. I will inform you ahead of time when this may occur.
I will provide up to five meals a day as well as whole milk for toddlers 12-23 mos. and 2% milk for toddlers 24 mos. and older and fruit juice depending on the hours your child is attending. The meal schedule I follow is listed below. If the child is here during those times, they will be served up to three meals of your choice (breakfast, am snack, lunch, early pm snack, late pm snack) per day. Children who choose not to eat will not be served again until the next scheduled Meal or Snack. If the child will be arriving after mealtime please feed them before they arrive. Children arriving after the breakfast schedule must eat breakfast at home before arriving.
Breakfast between 7:00 – 8:00
AM Snack between 9:00 – 10:00
Lunch between 11:30 – 12:30
Early PM Snack between 2:30 – 3:30
Late PM Snack between 5:00 – 6:00
If your child requires a special diet due to allergies, medications, age and/or cultural or religious beliefs it will be the responsibility of the parent to provide well-balanced meals for their child. No junk food, pop, gum etc.
Under no circumstances should you bring your child to care sick (fever of 100°f or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, continuous coughing, runny nose, draining eyes or ears, unexplained rash, lice, etc.) If you are not sure your child is well enough to attend childcare, please call and discuss it with me.
Masking your child’s symptoms with over-the-counter medications and bringing them to care is not allowed and could be cause for immediate termination. It is also inconsiderate to all families involved. A sick child should be allowed to recuperate fully at home after an illness so that the other children and the provider do not risk unnecessary exposure. If you are unable to stay home with your sick child it will be necessary for you to make arrangements at your own expense. If your child is out ill regular fees still apply.
Your child may be brought to care if they have a common cold (unless his/her nose constantly runs as the secretions are contagious); however I will call you if your child is just plain miserable (whining, crying, repeatedly asking for you). Your child should not attend if they are not feeling well enough to participate in our daily activities (i.e. a child wanting to sleep all day, lay on the couch and watch TV etc.)
I will not admit any child into a family childcare home that exhibits any of the following symptoms:
· Fever of 100°F or higher (unless related to teething or ear infections) – child must be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of medication
· Diarrhea – child must be symptom free for 24 hours without the aid of medication
· Vomiting – child must be symptom free for 24 hours without the aid of medication
· Runny nose –check with doctor
· Rash – check with doctor
· Discharge from eyes or ears
· Lice – child needs to be treated and nits removed before return
· Communicable diseases – chicken pox, measles, mumps, conjunctivitis (pink eye), influenza etc. The child may return when the incubation and contagious period is passed and the child is well enough to resume normal childcare activities.
I have the right to refuse to care for a sick child. If your child develops any of the above symptoms while in my care, you or your alternate will be required to pick up your child immediately. If the child is not picked up within an hour of my calling, a $5.00 for every 15 minutes or portion thereof charge may be assessed. If I have to call a parent to pick up a child that has been dropped off for care too ill to participate in the day, the child will also be required to stay at home the following day. Your child may return to care 24 hours AFTER symptoms of illness end. I am responsible for the health and well being of many children so I will closely follow health department regulations when it comes to illness. I understand and respect your need to be at work, but your cooperation is extremely important on this.
If your child is on antibiotics he/she continues to be contagious for 24 hours after the first dose of medication and cannot return to childcare until this time period has passed.
Childcare regulations prohibit me from giving your child medication of any kind unless you have filled out and signed the Permission to Administer Form. All medication must be in the original, labeled container. Blank permission to administer medication forms are kept in your family connection folder.
Minor bumps and scrapes are inevitable, but I make every effort to keep your children safe through supervision and childproofing. Minor injuries will receive appropriate first aid, and if an emergency injury or illness occurs, you will be contacted immediately. If I am unable to contact either parent, I will call the emergency contact numbers supplied to me to make the medical decisions for the child. If necessary, your child will be transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital. Parents are responsible for costs involved in emergency medical treatment, including transportation if required.
All children will be required to lie down for a nap/quiet time each day. I will not force your child to sleep but they must lie down quietly.
It is expected that your child be respectful of my personal property and furnishings. A certain amount of “wear and tear” is normal, but if your child intentionally damages my property through destructive behavior or roughness, you will be liable for 100% of the replacement costs. This reimbursement is due with your next monthly payment.
I will assist in potty training with the understanding that it will only be successful if we work together. Your child will not learn if they do not do it while in my care and at home. You must work with your child at home, either during vacation or over a weekend before I will begin potty training here. Clothing should be easy to manage to encourage self-help skills. Buckles, belts, overalls and suspenders when in a hurry to use the bathroom may create a problem. I also require that each potty training child have 6 changes of training pants (for sanitary reasons I require plastic pants to go over underwear or training pants) or pull-ups. Extra changes of clothing are also necessary, including socks.
While in my care only positive encouragement is enforced. Children will NOT be subject to spanking, hitting, kicking, restraint, or to verbal, emotional, or physical punishment. I believe the most effective ways of enforcing positive behaviors are: Praise, Respect, Re-Direction, and Positive Re-Enforcement. I don’t play “REF”; I use strategies to engage children in their own problem solving. During conflict it is important for children to feel respected, secure, loved, important and special. They need to know I am always available to listen and help, not to judge. My goal is to coach the children so they can negotiate, compromise, brainstorm and work it out together. I will only place a child in time out if I feel that they are a threat to the safety and well being of themselves or others. When this becomes necessary I make sure everyone is all right, then I stay with the child.
If something of a more serious nature or a persistent behavior should occur that is of concern to me or a threat to the safety of others, I will need to discuss it with you so that we can jointly decide on a course of action that is followed at home and in my care. If the problem cannot be resolved, arrangements must be made for the child to receive care elsewhere.
Revisions to policies and procedures, contracts, and forms I make may be done with a minimum of 2 weeks notice UNLESS it is a new regulation – these changes will take place immediately. Policies, contracts, and forms will be reviewed periodically and updated, if necessary. I will notify parents in writing of any changes. All previous forms will become obsolete.
While your child is in my care, you can always be assured that the door is open to you. “Open Door” does not mean that we keep our doors unlocked. For the safety of the children and myself doors are kept locked except for scheduled drop off and pick up times. Please feel free to drop in and check on your child, however, keep in mind a child adjusting to a new surrounding will want to leave with you if you pop in for a visit. I would appreciate your taking into consideration our schedule when dropping in or calling, and remember that visitors usually cause children to react in an excited manner that does not normally occur when I am alone with the children. Please keep in mind there may be times when it is not possible for me to run to the phone (diaper changing, bottle feeding, etc.) If the phone goes unanswered, please do not become alarmed, simply leave me a voice mail and I will call you as soon as I am able. I also discourage frequent and lengthy calls since they disrupt my care of the children.
Communication is very important to me. When I accept a new family into my home I like to be sure that we can share openly any concerns or questions that may arise. I feel that we are a team raising your child. If we can work together then your child can feel secure in knowing they have two families who love them very much. I grow to love children I care for very much and I am always glad to have a chance to be a part of their lives. It is important that there is a similar childcare philosophy between us.
I welcome questions, feedback, or discussions of any kind that affect a positive outcome for the child. Sensitive issues will be discussed outside of regular hours either by letter, phone or a scheduled conference.
Parents of infants/toddlers/preschoolers will receive a daily note/email. Some typical things that you may find on this note would be daily activities, feedings/meals, diaper changes, naps/quiet time, and things to remember or to bring.