Laura's Family Child Care
This is an abbreviated copy of the Parent Child Care Policy Handbook. A complete copy is available at interview and provided with enrollment packets.
I provide a licensed child care home in compliance with Colorado Child Care Regulations. My home is licensed for 6 full-time children ages 0-12 years old and allowed 2 additional school-aged children. We do not care for more than 6 children at one time.
Philosophy and Goals
My philosophy is to provide a loving, nurturing, safe environment where children can have fun learning about the world around them. I encourage each child to develop a love of learning, positive self-image, and a sense of creativity. I work to promote mutual respect between parents and myself. My goals are:
1) To provide children with different educational and developmentally appropriate activities including walks, park visits, library visits, music, arts and crafts, free play, structured play like in games or circle time, educational activities and storytelling.
More specifically: To focus on early literacy, basic math, social emotional awareness, social skills, personal hygiene, manners, and kindergarten readiness.
* Educational activities and kindergarten readiness will include literacy skills like: letters and their sounds recognition, writing name, following simple worksheets instructions, practice reading sight words, phonics, math skills like: numbers, basic math, pattern recognition, social skills like: introductions, taking turns, and self-advocacy. Many activities will be non-worksheet based in order to accommodate all learning styles.
* Through game play and board games the group will learn how to take turns, practice impulse control waiting turns, and practice good sportsmanship.
* Most educational activities will only be brief interruptions to free play or integrated into free play (i.e. problem solving, social skills), or daily routines (i.e. story & music time, counting, lunch table talk, taking turns), so as to allow children the freedom to play and use imagination. I believe this approach will help children to learn to love learning; to see it as a joy instead of as a chore. For this reason I expect to have most of the group participate even though activities are voluntary.
* Positive reinforcement and discussion will be the primary methods of guidance used in educational activities. Each child will be met where they are skilled in different areas and encouraged to build on strengths. I will work to teach each child through positive reinforcement and discussion how to overcome mistakes, learn from failures and be kind to themselves and their peers in failure. I will work to teach each child how to be patient with themselves and peers in practicing new skills. Educational activities will always be voluntary. If a child chooses not to participate they are welcome to play while peers participate.
2) To provide positive methods of guidance. To build on the strengths and individual interests of each child in my care. To guide children in making age-appropriate decisions. To help children develop a healthy respect for others and age-appropriate limits to help children gain a sense of independence and responsibility.
3) To encourage children to learn about God’s love for them and others. I will do this through Christian media, books, and music for children (like children stories, Bible stories, Veggie Tales, music and dance), modeling and teaching empathy (the Golden Rule), and teaching children to value themselves and peers as unique one of a kind vs. through the lens of competition. And to welcome parent discussion / feedback on how they would like this curriculum to apply to their child’s / children’s care in my home.
4) To assist parents in achieving goals they have set for their children by being approachable and available for daily communication. To have ongoing open communication with each child and parent that I work with. I want each child and parent that I work with to feel comfortable in my home.
A copy of each child’s immunization record must be provided to the child care home prior to the first day of care. This child care home does NOT accept children who are not immunized for non-medical reasons. Enrolled children, that are not exempt for medical reasons, are required to be up to date on vaccinations.
This home has 1 dog who has been certified healthy by a veterinarian and current on all immunizations. We also have 3 guinea pigs which are fed a low allergy hay blend. Children and pet interactions are supervised. The children will be exposed to the daily aspects of care for pets.
The following steps need to be taken before the first day of care:
2) Acquaintance visit, usually done during interview
3) Complete Enrollment Forms
All forms below are available online at the end of the “Parent” tab of website, except the service contract:
* Child Admission Record
* General Health Appraisal Form & Immunizations Record
* Notarized Emergency Medical Treatment Authorization
* Notarized Permissions and Authorization Form
* Service Contract: available as a paper copy provided prior to admission
* Only If Needed: Medication Authorization, Asthma Health Plan, Allergy Health Plan
4) Read and become familiar with a complete paper copy of the policy handbook
6) Make payment for registration fee and first weeks tuition
Each child will need to bring a daily backpack with 1-2 changes of clothes, extra socks, a water bottle, and stuffed animal or blanket if needed/wanted for quiet time.
Clothing and Shoes
I ask that children be dressed in comfortable clothes that can get dirty so that they are free to play. Parents will need to dress their children in clothing appropriate to the season and the weather. For comfort on outings to the park, and to protect children from injury children will need to wear socks and closed toed shoes.
Children are building their immune systems and tend to get sick more often than adults. I will accept children with runny noses or minor ailments, that are not contagious and that do not meet the criteria below, for a maximum of 2 days so long as the child is feeling well enough to participate in regular activities and does not require more care than I can provide in a group care setting. Regulations do not allow me to care for a child who should be excluded for contagious illness. Children with the following conditions will not be allowed into the child care home:
* Extreme runny nose or severe cough
* Diarrhea - must be symptom free for 24 hours
* Vomiting - must be symptom free for 24 hours
* Temperature - over 100° - must be fever free without medication help for 24 hours
* Ear infection / sinus infection - must be on medication at least 24 hours
* Pink Eye / conjunctivitis - must be on medication at least 24 hours
* Other contagious childhood illnesses (i.e. croup, mumps) - must be on medication if needed and symptom free for 48 hours
The cost for meals is included in weekly tuition. I provide nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks following the USDA guidelines for young children. My approach to mealtimes will be to treat all foods as equal. I will encourage nutritional awareness through discussion with children. No child shall be forced to eat; children will be allowed to form their own patterns of eating.
Vacations, Holidays and Days of Closure
Parent Vacations: In order to hold the opening in the child care home tuition is due fifty-one weeks a year and allows the parent to the one free week when their child(ren) is/are not in attendance after being enrolled for 52 consecutive weeks.
Provider Vacations: The provider will be allowed 10 days off each year to be used for vacation, personal, sick or professional days. Any additional days will be pro-rated. If eligible parents are welcome to use their free week during a week the provider is on vacation.
Holidays which we are usually closed: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Extreme Weather Closures: For safety reasons if Cherry Creek Schools District closes, this child care home will also be closed. If the Cherry Creek School District is on a delayed start this child care home will be open as usual.
My philosophy: Most children, especially young ones are very sensitive. My goal is to cultivate positive child, provider, and parent relationships. I work to create and maintain a socially and emotionally respectful early learning and care environment through gentle and supportive discipline and guidance. Along with positive reinforcement one of the best methods to support children in choosing appropriate behaviors is to keep children well fed, well rested, and happily occupied. Children usually choose poor because they don’t have the social or communication skills developed to communicate a specific message. I investigate behavior since it is usually an indication of an underlying need or want that is not being met, whether it is social, emotional, or physical. Most behaviors have a message attached to it like “I’m bored”, “I’m sad”, “you hurt my feelings”, “I need attention”. Once I understand the message of the behavior, after addressing the behavior, I can try to meet the need or want or offer a substitute if it can’t be met (i.e. I want fruit snacks for breakfast). Using an investigation approach allows me to use guidance that helps children to not repeat the same behaviors and learn new skills at the same time.
Methods: I use 3 basic rules: we keep ourselves safe, we keep our friends safe and we keep our things safe. I reward and guide behavior using discussion, redirection, role modeling, substitution, and logical / natural consequences. If these methods do not work I use 'time away' for deliberate repeated behavior in cases when safety is an issue or when child needs to regain control of their behavior. Children may be asked to sit away from the group for a short period of time or asked to sit away to calm down and then choose when to rejoin the group. If need be, a conference may be held to discuss ongoing problems. If needed, I will request help from an Early Childhood Mental Health consultant or other specialist. Guidance will be according to age and understanding level. No child will be hit, spanked, belittled, or otherwise intimidated in my child care home even with parental permission. No corporal punishment will be used. Children will be treated with courtesy, respect, and patience.
Parent Communication: Changes in a child's life may affect his or her behavior (i.e. moving, visiting family or family members moving in or out of the family home, divorce, death, unemployment etc). I ask that parents please let me know about any major changes at home that may be impacting your child.
Steps taken prior to Expulsion due to Behavior: Behaviors that may result in harm to a child’s self, other children, provider, provider’s family, household pets, or property will not be tolerated in the child care home. When possible I will attempt to resolve behaviors through the methods above, or other methods provided by mental health consultants or other specialists. Verbal notice will be provided to parents on a first offense, followed by a written notice on the next offense and a final notice of expulsion on a third offense.
Child Abuse / Neglect
By Colorado Law, I am required to report any signs of abuse or neglect of children in my care to Social Services and I will promptly do so. If you or I suspect child abuse, we are to report it to the local county department of human services or police department.
I am a Self-employed Child Care Service Provider. Policies and guidelines are in place so that parents and I can both see what we can do for each other. I expect the same respect and courtesy, and consideration given any other professional. Each child's well being is very important to me. I want to keep communication open. Parents may ask for a conference at any time. If necessary, I will ask the same. Parents should feel free to bring me any concerns, compliments, or complaints.