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Parent Childcare Policy Handbook

Laura's Family Child Care

​​This is an abbreviated copy of the Parent Childcare Policy Handbook.

A complete copy is available at interview and provided with enrollment packets. 


Program Overview

I provide a licensed childcare home in compliance with Colorado Childcare Regulations.  My home is licensed for 6 full-time children ages 0-12 years old and allowed 2 additional school-aged children during non-school hours.  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 a mutual respect and partnership between parents and myself. 

My goals are:

1)  To provide children with different educational and developmentally appropriate activities including walks, 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 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 and to welcome parent discussion / feedback on how they would like this curriculum to apply to their child’s care in my home.  I will use Christian media, books, and music for children (like children stories, Bible stories, Veggie Tales, music and dance), model and teach empathy (the Golden Rule), and will teach children to value themselves and peers as unique one of a kind vs. through the lens of competition.  

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.


Immunizations

This childcare 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 including annual flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine, once it becomes available.


Pets

This child care home has 1 dog and 1 cat.  Both have been raised in our childcare home from puppy/kitten.  Both have been certified healthy by a veterinarian and kept current on all immunizations. Our dog has attended obedience training including a good canine citizen course. 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. 


Field Trips

Other than trips to school when needed we do not plan to be going on other types of field trips.  If ever a non-school trip is planned parents will be notified of field trip plans beforehand.  As required by law and human services rules and regulations all children will be in either an infant car seat, booster seat or fastened by seat belts.   


Trial Period
There will be a 10 day trial period before a commitment is made by either the parents or provider.  It's appreciated that a child does not always adjust easily to a new situation.  Your child's adjustment is important to the both of us.  This trail period is important to determine if there is a working relationship for all parties involved: parents, child(ren), and provider.   This will allow each child, the provider, and the other children in my home an opportunity to discover one another.  Both parties agree to give 10 day to see if the child(ren) can bond with other children and the provider.  After 10 days if either the child care provider or the parent does not feel their child is adjusting, both have the right to leave without further notice.  If needed and agreeable to both parties the provider will allow an additional 2 weeks of care to allow parents to make other childcare arrangements.  


Enrollment

The following steps need to be taken before the first day of care:
1) Interview
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


Supplies
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 and to protect children from injury children will need to wear socks and closed toed shoes.


Health
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 need to stay home until they are well: 

*Extreme runny nose or runny nose for more than 2 days.  
*Cough – Do not bring the child!  A child with cough MUST be fever free without fever masking medications (Tylenol/Advil) for 72 hours and cough must be improved before returning to care.
*Cough and Fever - Do not bring the child!  The child MUST stay home for at least 7 days and have improved cough and be fever free without fever masking medications (Tylenol/Advil) for 72 hours before returning to care. 
*Temperature over 99.5 – Do not bring the child!  Child MUST be fever free without fever masking medications (Tylenol/Advil) for 72 hours before returning to care.
​* Diarrhea - Do not bring the child!  Child must be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to care.
* Vomiting - Do not bring the child!  Child must be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to care.
* 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 72 hours.

​*COVID-19 Exposure or Illness:  Do not bring the Child! If child was exposed to the COVID-19 virus by close contact to someone with COVID-19 then they MUST stay home to quarantine for at least 14 days, if symptom free during the quarantine they may return to care.  If symptoms develop during the 14 day quarantine, the child MUST stay home for at least 7 days and have improved cough and be fever free without fever masking medications (Tylenol/Advil) for 72 hours before returning to care. 


Meals
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 childcare 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, or professional days.  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 childcare home will also be closed.  If the Cherry Creek School District is on a delayed start this childcare home will be open as usual.


Guidance
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 childcare 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 childcare 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.


Closing 
I am a self-employed childcare 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 should feel free to bring me any concerns, compliments, or complaints.​​​​​  Parents may ask for a conference at any time.  If necessary, I will ask the same.