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Ready, Set, Grow Childcare and Early Learning Program

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Parent Handbook/Guide

Ready, Set, Grow Child Care and Early Learning Program

Policy Handbook

We are a Maryland credentialed early learning program operating under the Maryland State Department of Education. We serve children ages 6 weeks to five years or until a child begins school full-time.

We are open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Maryland Credential

A provider that has been awarded a Maryland Credential has achieved standards above the state licensing regulations. The levels are achieved through hours of training and professional activities. 

Enrolling your child

Before any child is allowed to start care, we must have all required forms, completed contract and the registration fee. You are required to keep me informed of any and all changes in address, telephone numbers of home or work, emergency contacts, etc. It is also the responsibility of the parents to keep their child’s immunizations up to date and provide me with a record of such and let me know if anything is changed so these forms can be updated. These forms will be annually updated by the provider and initialed by the parents.

Termination of Services by Either Party & Two-Week Trial Period

We hope it doesn’t happen, but one of us may find it necessary to say good-bye and terminate our childcare relationship. Children grow up, work arrangements change. Regardless of the reason, there will come a time when we need to end our childcare relationship; we need to agree in advance that the transition will be kept as comfortable as possible for the children. A two-week trial period will be given upon enrollment, to determine the suitability of the arrangements. If at any time during the two-weeks, the arrangement has not proven workable, you will be given suitable notice to find alternate arrangements. I will also have the right to terminate with the same notice, if I feel it is not working out or is affecting the care I am giving the other children in care. After the trial period is over a two-week written notice will be required by either party. Provider reserves the right to terminate for the following reasons, but not limited to: late payment, late pickup, blatant disrespect towards me or my family, destructive, uncontrollable, violent behavior, if parents knowingly bring their child to care while ill, failure of child to adjust to care after a reasonable amount of time, lack of parental cooperation, lack of compliance of policies, failure to complete required forms, failure to get required immunizations and/or failure to show up for 2 days without any communication. Provider reserves the right to terminate immediately in these cases and the two-week deposit will still be applied and there will be no refunds. If for whatever reason, we end up having to go to court to settle any type of dispute, parent or legal guardian will be held responsible for any and all court costs associated.

Unknown Visitors/Persons

When picking up or dropping off your child(ren) each day, please note that persons not listed on the emergency form, contract, or that I do not know personally, will not be admitted into my home. This is not just for the safety of your children, but for everyone in the home.

Deposit

There is a deposit equal to two weeks of childcare required. The deposit will cover your child’s last two weeks of care and is used to “hold” your child’s place within the childcare. When the contract is terminated with a two-week written notice, you will not need to pay for your child’s last two-weeks of care. Should you pull your children from care without the two-week written notice, the deposit will not be refunded. If by chance, before the childcare is to begin I change my mind, your deposit will be fully refunded. If you are the one who changes your mind before the childcare is to begin, the deposit will not be refunded.

Tuition

Childcare tuition is expected on Friday’s each week prior to the next week of care. Please note: a payment received after the close of business, will be considered late and late fees may apply. Tuition may be paid by check or cash. Checks will need to be made out to: Carrie Jones. Tuition payment will be due early when the normal payday falls on a holiday; you may postdate your check for the date of the normal payday. Childcare providers depend on their income just as you do, so please do not be delinquent.

Returned Checks

Parents whose payments are returned NSF will be placed on a cash only basis. NSF checks will be responsible for a $30.00 cash fee, plus the amount of the check in cash. Payment will be considered late and is subject to the $10.00 per day late fee. Any charges incurred due to the returned check will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Care will not continue until all fees and payments have been received. If any charges and/or late fees are unpaid at the time of termination, all legal and court costs necessary to collect the outstanding charges will be the responsibility of the parents/guardians.

Late Fees

$10.00 per day may be assessed if you do not make the tuition payment each week by your contracted pick up time. Please be prompt when picking up your child from childcare. $1.00 per minute, per child late fee may be assessed. While I usually do not have a problem if parents are a minute or two late, please do not make a habit of it. If I find that the lateness is becoming a problem, I will not hesitate to charge the late fee. While calling me to inform me that you will be unavoidably late, is considerate, it does not and will not waive your late fee. Please do not make me ask for late fees, be prepared to make this payment at the time of pick up. If you worked over-time at your job, wouldn’t you expect to be paid for it?

Back-Up Care

Back-up or alternate childcare is the responsibility of the parents/guardians when the contracted childcare home is closed. I cannot stress enough the importance of finding alternate care before it is needed. When choosing family childcare it is imperative that you have reliable back-up care. I always try to give as much notice as to closing as possible, however, keep in mind, emergencies do occur.

Arrivals and Departures

If you are going to be late dropping off your child, please call. If you know ahead of time that you will not be attending, please give me as much notice as possible. I also will not release a child to anyone who is not listed on the emergency card for pick-up. If I cannot release a child due to identification issues, parent will still be held liable for any and all late fees accrued. Upon arriving into my home, if you have snow or mud on your shoes, please take them off and leave them at the front door.

Custody and Visitation

Children of divorced parents, or in custody agreements, please be advised: I legally cannot deny the release of a child to his or her parent without a court order.

Assistance in Payment

Parents receiving assistance in payment of childcare tuition or fees from any source are still legally liable for all tuition and fees.

Holding a Child Care Slot

I cannot hold a child’s slot while you are not working, on maternity leave, parent or child illness, etc. unless you continue to pay for childcare services.

Curriculum

We use a developmentally appropriate curriculum for preschool age children. We also use a variety of curriculum materials to teach science, art, music, cooking, social sciences and development as well as gross and fine motor skills. We believe a balance of structure and play are the best ways for children to learn. We believe children learn best at their own pace in a creative, energetic environment.

Discipline

I believe discipline should be used to teach a child. The children are explained the rules of the childcare home frequently so that they are all familiar. I reward positive behavior in an effort to avoid discipline measures. Should techniques fail, the following will be used: 1. Encourage children to solve problems themselves. 2. Intervention & Discussion. 3. Redirection to another play area. 4. Loss of privileges. 5. Time-out. 6. Phone call to mom or dad. If the behavior warrants, I will not hesitate to call you and ask that you come and get your child. The provider and parents will work together to develop strategies for shaping positive behaviors. Serious discipline issues such as inflicting pain and/or injury to themselves, other children, or the provider or destruction of property could be deemed reason for immediate dismissal of care.

Illness

If your child is sick, they are not allowed to come to childcare. The following is a list of some of the things you should not bring your child to care if they have: fever of 101 or higher, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea more than twice, sore throat/strep, runny nose other than clear, draining eyes or ears (pink eye or suspected pink eye), excessive cough, unexplained rash, lice, difficulty breathing, Communicable diseases, fainting spells or dizziness. Children may not return until 24 hours after the last sign of fever over 101 degrees, diarrhea, or vomiting. Children who have a serious transmissible or communicable disease will also be excluded from care during the period of exclusion from that infection or disease. Some instances may require a doctor’s note to return to care at the discretion of the provider following child care guidelines. If you are not sure if your child is well enough to attend childcare, please call and discuss it with me. Masking your child’s symptoms with over the counter medication and sending them to care anyways, is unacceptable and I will call you and expect you to come and pick up your child immediately. If your child is out sick, regular fees still apply. If your child becomes ill while in my care, I will call you. You will be expected to pick up your child within a reasonable amount of time. If you do not show, I will begin calling people on your emergency form. I will hold firm to my illness policy because I will not risk unnecessary exposure to myself, my children, or my other daycare families. If I become ill, I will have to close, if my children become ill, I will have to close.

Meals

I provide a small breakfast to your child each morning; however, I do not provide lunch or snacks. Juice, Milk and Water is also supplied by me as well as all eating and drinking utensils. If it is your child's birthday, you are more than welcome to send in cupcakes or cookies for all of the children and we will sing "Happy Birthday" and have the treats after lunchtime on that date. Please be sure when sending such snacks that they do not contain peanuts or peanut butter as my daughter, Katie, is highly allergic. No food will be consumed anywhere except the dining/kitchen area.

Reporting Child Abuse

As a licensed childcare provider, I am required by law to report any suspicion of child abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse, child maltreatment, verbal abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. I will not hesitate to report any suspicions that I may have.

Medication

I comply with all state, county, and local regulations regarding immunization and health requirements. It is extremely important for parents to advise me if a child has a health issue or allergies. We will give children medication with the proper medication forms signed by the parent. The instructions on the medication form must match the instructions set forth by the doctor on the prescription bottle including the dates on the bottle. Medication must be in a prescription bottle or have a note supplied by the doctor. The provider will not administer the first dose of any medication with the exception of acetaminophen products. Only one dose of non-prescription medications may be administered in the course of an illness without the written permission of a licensed health practitioner.

Newsletters and Daily Reports

You receive a daily report about your child’s day everyday. You will also receive a monthly newsletter. Newsletters are made available to enrolled parents and are on my website. (http://rsgchildcare.tripod.com)

Pets

We have one very friendly Yellow Lab and a very friendly cat. They are both up to date on all their shots and very used to being around children.

Forms

It is also the responsibility of the parents to keep their child’s immunizations up to date and provide me with a record of such and let me know if anything is changed so these forms can be updated – including phone numbers of jobs, emergency contacts etc. These forms will be annually updated by the provider and initialed by the parents.

Transportation

Children will be transported in the provider’s van. You are required to provide a car seat for your child. Your child may be transported by the provider in the instance I need to pick up my own children from school or in an emergency. 

Provider Time-off

Provider receives paid time off throughout the year. They are as follows: 10 days vacation, 3 sick days, and 2 personal days. Vacation pay is due prior to the start of my vacation. Provider may take vacation any time within the calendar year as single vacation days or in 1 or 2 week increments. I will try to pick a day that is convenient for the majority of the parents if possible. We are closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after Christmas. Should an above paid holiday fall on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be taken as the paid holiday; payment will be expected on Thursday prior and you may postdate the check. If an above paid holiday should fall on a Sunday, the following Monday will be taken as the paid holiday.

Supplies

Parents are to supply a full change of clothes including socks, that is weather appropriate, diapers, wipes, sun block, off, or any other supplies your child may need. Please have your child dressed in weather appropriate clothing, including outdoor clothing and shoes. Infants are to supply formula. Please be mindful that this is an active learning environment so dress your child accordingly. Do not wear anything that cannot get dirty or painted in!! Also, Jackets, coats, snow boots, mittens, and hats are required for weather conditions as needed as we will be going outside daily.

Personal Belongings

If your child must bring in a toy or an object from home, please know that if the child is unwilling to share this toy with the other children it will be put away until the end of the day. I do not mind if a child brings a toy from home, but if a certain item becomes a problem I will have to ask that the item be left at home. Toys do break no matter how careful we are. I am not responsible for your personal items, so use your discretion carefully when allowing your child to bring a toy or a favorite object from home. There are some things that are not allowed to be brought to care and they are as follows: candy, loose jewelry, gum, small toys, coins, toys with many small parts, make-up.

Toilet Training

I prefer a gradual, routine process to toilet training. I start this process ideally at two years old. We get used to sitting on the toilet at two years old. When the child can relieve him/herself in the toilet on a consistent basis then I will request underwear. I require three complete changes of clothes when I request underwear. We use the bathroom approximately every hour and a half so the child gets used to a routine. I find if toilet training is part of their day to day routine it happens quite naturally.

Christian environment

This is a Christian environment. We do not do bible study everyday, but we do say our blessing at mealtime, listen to Christian music and sometimes view Christian programming. On occasion we do a bible related project. We sing bible songs and read bible stories. I do not teach about Hell or Jesus’ death on the cross – as I feel these subjects are too graphic for young children. 

Snow Policy

In the event of severe weather, all efforts will be made to keep daycare open. However, cancellation of daycare, delayed opening or early closing is up to the provider’s discretion. Please call in advance if you have any questions regarding my opening.

Emergency Procedures

We have written policies and procedures for dealing with emergencies. We will schedule, carry out, and document emergency drills on a monthly basis. Evacuation plans are posted on each level of my home. In the event of an emergency, parents will be notified by telephone. I will have to close if there is an electric outage longer than an hour. I cannot operate without electricity or water. I will expect you to pick up your child immediately in the event I call for an electric outage.

Accidents

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 illness or accident occurs you will be contacted immediately. 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.

Rest Time

All children are required to adhere to the rest period in the afternoon. All children must nap, rest or read quietly during this period. Rest time is from 1:00 – 3:30pm.

Photographing

Photographs will be taken of your child(ren) while in care. I will take a photo of your child on their first day of care and every six months thereafter for identification purposes. Photos will also be taken for whatever reason the provider deems necessary. Personal Scrapbooks for myself or for other families in care, portfolios for prospective parents, etc.

Receipts and W-10 Forms

I keep a record of your payments; including, amount, check # or cash, and date paid. I do not provide weekly receipts for payment, however if you should ever need to know how much you’ve paid to date, I can supply you with that information if you provide me enough notice to print it out for you. In January each year, I will provide you with a W-10 form. This is to help you in preparing your taxes. It is imperative that we both claim the same amount on our taxes, as to not send up a red flag to the IRS and may result in an audit of both parties. If you think the amount is incorrect then you must let me know so that it can be researched and corrected if needed.

Policy Changes

The parent handbook is designed to help promote my program and to foster a spirit of cooperation between parents and myself. I reserve the right to make changes and to update this contract throughout the year.

Allergic Children and Parties

We will celebrate all birthday’s and holiday’s, including Christmas. Please feel free to bring in games, food, drinks, etc as long as there is enough for everyone. Please keep in mind when bringing things in that my daughter Katie is HIGHLY allergic to peanuts.

Rules of the Childcare Home

There are rules in place for all children. I teach respect for pets, property, self and others. All children will be reminded of these rules frequently. It may also help to go over them with your child as well. –No running indoors, No gum chewing, No hitting, punching, biting, kicking, pulling, grabbing, or scratching, No yelling or screaming, No climbing or standing on furniture, Everyone helps at clean up, No mistreatment of toys (throwing, kicking, etc) or belongings, All children must eat and drink in the kitchen, Use good manners (please, thank you, your welcome, I’m sorry, and I forgive you), Follow directions. Understandably, things in the childcare home will go through “normal” wear and tear. However, if your child should intentionally damage or break something, FULL reimbursement will be expected no later than with your next tuition payment.

Any violations of these policies may be just cause for termination of care.

 

I look forward to a long and wonderful relationship with you and your child.

Carrie L. Jones – 410-326-9287 – jonesfamily93@msn.com

Education; Eleanor Roosevelt High School – Graduated, 1996

University of Phoenix Online: 2006 – Present: Major: Early Childhood Education

Family Child Care Provider and Educator: Aug 2004 - Present

State and Local association, active member

Southern Maryland child care resource center, active member

References available upon request.