Parent Handbook

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Enrollment Procedure

The following is the procedure for enrolling your child with our daycare:

We would like to have a conference with you to discuss your childcare needs. You may stop by or call the center between the hours of 6am and 5pm. We encourage you to stop by so that we will have a better understanding of your needs and the needs of your child at the same time you will have a better understanding of how our program operates.

If there is a space in your child’s age group on the starting date you request your child may start attending. If there is not space available, your name will be placed on our waiting list, and you will be contacted by phone when a position is available.

Completed paperwork and our contract must accompany your child on or before his/her first day. We recommend that you and your child make a short visit to our daycare before your child begins so that everyone can be introduced to the other children/staff and environment.

If you would like to reserve a spot for your child, a deposit can be made by calculating one week’s bill and writing a check along with the signed contract, we will reserve your child’s position until desired start date.

Parent Participation

Bright Beginnings has an open door policy, which allows you to visit our daycare at any time during normal business hours when your child is in attendance. We encourage your participation; however, there are some things to consider before or when visiting:

Every child is different when it comes time to separate from his/her parents. If your child can handle seeing you during the day without a lot of disappointment that you are leaving, we encourage you to drop in at any time. However, if your visit does create a stressful situation for your child, you may want to consider waiting until your child is a little older and can understand that you are just dropping in for a visit. We do ask if you tell your child you are going to visit, that you follow through with that visit. Please call and we will let you speak with your child so that you can explain what has happened.

When you do visit, please try to slide in and blend in with whatever is going on at the time. If it is circle time, sit down with your child and enjoy the activities. If your child is painting, watch him/her finish their picture before you leave and always tell your child that you will stay for another five minutes, tree minutes, one minute, and then say goodbye and leave. Please do not just get up and tell your child that you have to go, give them a few minutes warning to accept the fact that you are going to leave soon. If you want to take your child home early, please try to let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly. We would not want to start you child’s favorite activity, only to have them be unhappy because they must leave early.

Payment Policy

The daycare opens at 6am and closes at 6:30pm. If you have scheduling needs outside of our hours of operation you may contact us to discuss options. If you are unable to pickup your child at the scheduled time, contact us by phone as soon as possible. Late fees of $10 will be charged if your child is picked up after closing time without prior notice and a good reason (see contract for details). Our staff needs to spend time with their families as well. Thank you for your understanding.

Weekly statements will be issued on Wed. for payment of Friday. Please try to keep bills current. A late fee of $5 dollars will be charged if payment is not made on Friday. If your bill is one week past due, your terms will be switched to a prepay status plus a percentage of the past due amount. A $25 dollar fee will be charged for any returned checks.

An annual registration/supply fee of $30 per child (or $40 per family) is charged on the first statement. This may be broken up into payments if it’s a financial burden.

Either the parent/guardian or provider may terminate contracts, by giving one week written or verbal notice in advance of the ending date. Payment by parent/guardian is due for the notice period; weather or not the child is brought to the provider for care. The provider may terminate the contract without giving notice if the parent/guardian does not make payments when due or blatantly violates any of the policies set forth in the parent handbook and contracts.

Upon Entering and Leaving the Center

A Child may not be in care for more than 24 hours in a day. This is a NY state law. No child is to be left alone or unsupervised while at the center. This includes drop of and pickup times. The child/children should always be within arms reach of the parent and is the responsibility of the teacher only after he/she is signed in and presented to the teacher. When you arrive at the center it is extremely helpful if you would inform us of any circumstances that may affect your child’s day (little sleep the night before, would not eat dinner, etc.)

Picking Up Your Child

At the end of the day, please allow your child to complete an activity he/she may be involved in. It is your responsibility to dress your child and to speak with the teacher before you leave.

As part of the paperwork you completed before your child enters our center, you are required to list all persons who are authorized to pick up your child. We will not release your child to anyone who is not on your list without prior written consent from you.

Sign In-Sign-Out Sheet

A sign In-sign out-daily sheet is posted in a notebook on the sign in desk and must be completed and initialed each time your child is dropped off and when your child is picked up. We know these times of the day can be hectic, but it is essential that you complete this little task every day. We cannot make exceptions on this requirement. The sign in sheet is a good communication tool for parents and teachers. We do a daily health check and list special events that parents would like to know about on the page. Also if you would like to notify teachers of upcoming events or something that may effect the child’s day let us know or put it in the book.

Clothing

Because children will be actively involved in their day (paint might be spilled or puddles splashed in) durable, washable clothes are a must. We would rather see a child freely explore than worry about getting dirty. Elastic bands and simple fasteners on clothes make toileting easier and children learn independence when they can use the toilet without assistance. Water activities, sand play, and occasional bathroom accidents may require an ectra set of clothes to be kept on hand at all times. Extra clothing should be marked with your child’s name and stored in their cubby. If wet or soiled clothes are sent home, please return a clean set the next morning. Please remember that children are taken outdoors daily (weather permitting) and should be dressed accordingly. Cold weather requires heavy winter jacket, snow pants, hat, mittens and snow boots.

Diapers

Parent of any children using diapers will be asked to provide these. It will be the responsibility of the parent to make certain an adequate supply is kept on hand at all times (we will remind you if extras are needed.) It is also your responsibility to be sure that your child’s inside cubby has an adequate supply of diapers daily.

Toys

We provide a plentiful array of toys for the children to play with here at the center. Please do not bring in toys from home.

The Safety of Your Child

We have made every attempt to provide an environment that is stimulation, attractive and safe for the children we care for. Equipment and toys have been carefully selected to minimize all risks of injury. When and if minor accidents do happen we have a portable first aid kit available. In accordance with state regulations, we can only wash (with permission apply antibiotic ointment) to scrape or would with soap and water or apply ice to reduce swelling.

In the event of an accidental injury requiring further attention we will follow emergency procedures and immediately contact the appropriate emergency personnel. We will make every possible effort to notify parents personally (and immediately) should an emergency arise with your child. It is imperative that you keep us informed of emergency phone numbers where you can be reached during the day!!

Any injury to a child while in our care will cause us to complete an accident report describing how the injury happened and what action was taken. You will be required to initial the completed form before it is put in your child’s file.

We believe the best method of discipline is prevention. Children function best when they are well rested not hungry and not pushed to perform beyond their developmental abilities. Each day is planned to meet these goals and, therefore, decreases discipline issues. When conflicts between children do arise we are alert to recognize potential problems and will intervene when necessary. Children are encouraged to”use words” rather than use hands or teeth. We will always be there to help the children work through difficulties. If a striation arises that puts the safety of the child or the group in danger we may require the parent to withdraw their child from the program.

We believe in setting guidelines, or limits, for children to help them distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Social skills will be modeled by our teachers and we will remind and practice with the children as often as necessary. To elicit cooperation from the children, we use methods of positive reinforcement and redirection, as well as time out. Your will often hear phrases such as: “I like the way you are…” and “the steps are for climbing” “we need to sit at the table”, “you need to use your words (instead of hitting) etc. In extreme cases, when a child refuses to cooperate, we may use a short separation from the group(within our direct sight) stating that he/she may join us when he/she is sorry and ready to get along.

New York State law strictly prohibits corporal punishment in day care. Children will not be physically punished, humiliated, denied food etc. As forms of discipline, they are not legal and will not be tolerated. In extreme cases, where a child may be harming another person, you may see the child being held or restricted by a staff member to prevent him/her from further harmful actions.

We hope that through good parent/provider communication we can, together, work through any difficulties that may arise. Consistency in disciplining a child is the key to success.

Young children lacking the verbal and social skills to express their needs will invariably resort to striking out at another child. This is normal behavior. We will work together to teach your child how to express their anger in appropriate ways, this is a developmental process that takes time and cannot be hurried. As a result, parents can anticipate such a child hurting or being hurt when in a group situation with other young children. But we will be there to help work it out.

Any parents of a child who receives a physical injury caused by another child will receive an accident report explaining the situation.

In accordance with Section 432 of New York State Office of Children and Family Services law, we are Mandated Reporters of any suspected child abuse or maltreatment. When and if there is ever a reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or maltreated, a report must be made to the New York State Central Registry. It is the law. Parents have the right and responsibility to report any regulatory violations by a childcare provider the New York State investigate all reports to determine their validity and take action if warranted. Please see the teacher immediately if you have a concern with your child. If the problem is not resolved at that level, contact the owner, Kim Damon at 315-857-0450 or at kim8268@hotmail.com.

Parents or staff may initiate informal conferences whenever appropriate. Formal conferences may be arranged by making an appointment.

The Health of Your Child

Children will receive nutritionally balanced meals. Depending upon your child’s attendance schedule, the following are provided: breakfast, lunch and PM snack. The meals will follow the New Your State Dep. Of Health guidelines for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Menus will be available upon request and are posted on the side of the daycare refridgeratior. Only children with special dietary restrictions due to health or religious reasons may supplement with their own food. A doctor’s note is needed for any dietary restrictions.

We try to make naptime a relaxing time where children can listen to stories, music, etc. Depending upon your child’s schedule, he/she may or may not take a nap. If you feel that your child will not need a nap please understand that wile we do not insist that they sleep, we do request that the children lay quietly so that others are not disturbed. After other children are asleep we will provide a quiet activity for those who are awake. Children under the age of two are prohibited from using a pillow at naptime for safety reasons.

Outdoor play will be provided except during inclement weather. Generally, if the temperature is above 20 degrees F. and the weather is favorable, the children will go outside. Please dress your child accordingly. Seasonal clothing such as bathing suits, snow suits etc. will be requested when needed. If your child is too ill for you to allow outdoor play he/she is probably too ill to be around the other children and may need to be at home.

Your child’s health is a matter of major importance to us. We are required by the Dep. Of Children and Family Services to keep on file certain medical information about every child we care for. When you enroll your child we will provide a daycare physical form. This form requires the child to have standard immunizations and screenings (including Hep. B and lead testing) and provides us with other pertinent health information about your child. Parents are responsible for updating these forms annually or as the child has additional vaccinations or as emergency information changes.

We make every attempt possible to deter the spread of children’s illnesses. We emphasize hand washing with the children and staff and would appreciate reinforcement of this activity at home. It’s the easiest and most effective way to keep germs from spreading. We use antiseptic soap and wash toys with bleach and water solution often.

Your child may be sent home if any symptoms of illness occur during the day. In such cases we will attempt to contact the parent or other responsible person you have listed for emergencies. Whoever we reach will be expected to make arrangements to pick the child up in a timely fashion.

Diarrhea…any diarrhea that cannot be explained (too much fruit juice, etc.) will be considered contagious. The chi8ld may return after a normal stool, twenty four hours after last diarrhea or with a physicians note stating that the diarrhea is not a symptom of a contagious illness.

Vomiting…any vomiting that cannot be explained will be considered contagious. The child may return twenty four hours after last vomiting or with a physician’s note stating that the vomiting is not a symptom of a contagious illness.

Fever…any fever of 100o will cause us to contact a parent. Any fever that cannot be explained will be considered contagious. The child may return twenty-four hours after the fever subsides or with a physicians note stating that the fever is not a symptom of a contagious illness. Parents of a child with a fever exceeding 101o will be asked to make arrangements to pick up their child immediately.

Conjunctivitis (pink eye)…crusting or runny eyes that do not seem related to a cold would cause us to suspect pink eye. This suspicion must be checked out with your pediatrician. If the diagnosis is pink eye the child must be on meds. For twenty-four hours before returning. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and uncomfortable. Contact lens wearers would need to replace lenses.

Unexplained rashes…we will ask that your pediatrician check suspicious rashes. Your child may return with a physicians note stating that the rash is not contagious.

Excessive coughing or wheezing…If we feel that the cough has gone beyond that of a normal cold, may be contagious or is keeping your child and others from resting we may ask that you visit your pediatrician about the situation.

Parents differ on how soon or for what reasons they want to be contacted regarding their child’s health. Let us know your expectations, some parents want to know about every little bump or scrape while others are content to learn about these things at the end of the day. When another child comes down with a contagious illness we will notify all parents so that everyone will know what symptoms to watch for. If your child comes down with anything that is contagious while at home (over the weekend, etc) and does not come to daycare, please call us so that we can let other parents know that a certain illness is present.

We cannot at this time administer any medications to your child. If they are taking any that must be given during daycare hours, the parent of guardian will have to administer during lunch our or during a break. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

A child that arrives at the center who is, in our opinion, too ill to be here will be asked to return home. We understand that a sick child may cause hardships to working schedules, but parents must have an alternate plan for such times. We are not equipped, nor will we accept the responsibility, to care for a sick child.

The center may be forced to close early or shorten the hours of operation due to inadequate staff/child ratio coverage. Example: hazardous weather or staff absenteeism due to illness. All efforts will be made to contact parents of authorized emergency pick-up persons in advance by phone or by local radio broadcasts.

We look forward to the opportunity of caring for your4 child in our center. We hope your stay in our program is a great experience. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask at any time.

Office phone 315-857-0450, or email kim8268@hotmail.com . The hours of operation vary according to the needs of our parents.

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