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Ready, Set, Grow Childcare
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Handbook

Ready, Set, Grow Childcare

Parent Guide

 

Dear Parents: This is intended as a guide to you. This covers information about me, my family, my home and my training. It also covers different procedures and rules of the childcare home. Please read this thoroughly and make sure to ask me any questions that you may have.

 

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About the provider

I have been caring for children of all ages, since I was very young. I have been a licensed childcare provider since August 2004. I have also earned my Maryland State Childcare Credential, which means the State has recognized me for being an outstanding childcare provider. George, my husband, and I have 3 beautiful children together; Brandon, Katie & Hailey. I cherish this opportunity to be at home with them. I chose this profession because I love children. I will treat your child as if they were my own. We do own 1 pet, a dog, named “Pluto”. He is a very friendly, fun loving, lab. He is current on all vaccinations.

 

Ages Accepted

I am licensed to serve up to 6 children. I care for school-age children only; between the ages of 5yrs - 12yrs.

 

Enrolling your child

You are required to keep me informed of any changes in address, telephone numbers, and other pertinent information. Before I will accept any child into care, I require all forms, completed contract, and registration fee. Please keep me advised of all new information, including the person’s who are allowed to pick up your child, should it change.

 

Registration

Registration fee is a deposit equivalent to 2 weeks of childcare. This will be applied to your child’s last 2 weeks of care. Your fees are my entire income, which include taxes and social security. Beyond that, your fees pay for insurance, training, toys, equipment, art supplies, and all other items that your child will use.

 

Tuition

Childcare tuition is expected on Friday’s each week, prior to the next week of care. Please note, a payment received after the end of your contracted time, will be considered late and late fees may apply. Tuition may be paid by check, money order or cash. In cases of your child’s potential absence due to a parent’s maternity leave or extended leave from their job, I still require payment for the entire time of your child’s absence. If a child is going to be on vacation or using personal time, tuition will be due prior to the start of your vacation or the payday missed otherwise, you will be responsible for late fees. You are more than welcome to postdate your check.

 

Tuition payment will be due early when the normal payday falls on a holiday; you may postdate the check for the date of the normal payday. If I close my business due to mine or one of my children’s illness, payment will be accepted on your first day back to childcare. 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/guardian.

 

Late/Early Fees

Late Tuition Payment - $10.00 per day may be assessed if you do not make the tuition payment each week by your contracted pick up time.

Late Pick-up/Early arrival - $1.00 per child/per minute that pick-ups are late or drop-offs are early from your contracted hours. While I usually do not have a problem if parents are a minute or two late, please do not make it a habit. 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 waive your late fees. Please don’t make me ask for late fees.

 

Back-up care

Back-up or alternate childcare is the responsibility of the parents 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 & Departures

If you are going to be late dropping your child off at care, 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. I will not accept phone calls, this MUST be in writing. If I do not know the person, I will ask for proper ID. It is the parent’s responsibility to keep me informed of such persons, if I cannot release a child because of identification issues, parent will still be held responsible for any and all late fees accrued.

 

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

 

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. This would really help me keep my floors clean for all children.

 

Assistance in Payment

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

 

Holidays

Ready, Set, Grow Childcare will be closed on the following paid holidays in the year 2006

New Years Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Thanksgiving Day; Day after Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day.

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.

 

Parent Vacation

Full payment is expected for the parent’s vacation. Please give me the courtesy of at least 2-weeks notice when you are planning a vacation.

 

Provider Time-Off

Provider receives 10 days paid vacation, 2 paid personal days, 3 paid sick days, and 2 paid continuing education days per calendar year. Vacation pay is due prior to the start of my vacation. Provider may take vacation at any time within the calendar as a single vacation days or in a 1 or 2 week increment. I will try to pick a day that is convenient for the majority of the parents, if possible.

 

 

Supplies

Parents are responsible for supplying a full change of clothing, sunblock, Off, or any other supplies your child may need. Please have your child dressed in weather appropriate clothing, including outdoor clothing and shoes. Provider is not responsible for your child’s personal items brought to childcare. I will let you know when I need more supplies for your child. A backpack would be a great idea, however not necessary. Papers, crafts, and letters will be consistently going home. PLEASE LABEL ALL ITEMS!

 

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 favorite object from home.

 

Termination of Services by Either Party

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 loving and as comfortable as possible for the children. All new children will be cared for on a 2-week trial basis. During this trial period, either party may terminate care with only a 24-hour notice. After this trial period a 2-week written notice is required by either party to terminate the childcare agreement. Termination notice will not be accepted while provider or parent is on vacation. Provider reserves the right to terminate for the following reasons, but not limited to: Late payment, Late Pick-up, Blatant disrespect towards me or my family, if parents knowingly bring their child to care while ill, failure of child to adjust to childcare after a reasonable amount of time, lack of parental cooperation, lack of compliance of outlined 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 give written notice of immediate termination. When the childcare relationship does end 2-weeks registration fee is still 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.

 

Emergency Procedures & Weather Closings

Ready, Set, Grow Childcare has 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 all parents will be notified by telephone. Daycare service is usually available and no adjustment will be made due to absenteeism. 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. If we have a power outage due to weather, daycare may need to close. A short period without electricity will be okay, but several hours is not. If you plan to be late due to weather, please call.

 

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 injury or illness 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.

 

Filming/Photographing

  1. Filming or picture taking will not be allowed without parent permission.
  2. Parents may not record or video activities without permission from me.
  3. A “Permission to photograph” form may be signed at the time of enrollment and permission will be granted at that time, as to the use of these photos.

 Receipts & W-10 Forms

I keep a record of your payments, including: amount, check #, and date paid. If you should ever need to know how much you’ve paid to date, I can supply you with that information. In January each year I will provide you with a W-10 form. This is so that you may claim childcare credit on your taxes. It is imperative that both parties claim the same amount of their taxes as this will 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.

 

Shot records & Medical information

I comply with all state, county, and local regulations regarding immunization and health requirements. All children’s immunization records must be kept current. According to state regulations this form must be updated and returned within 24 hours of receiving shots. Provider reserves the right to refuse care to any child found not up to date on immunizations. Parents are responsible for supplying provider with written statement from the doctor regarding current immunization records each time their child is inoculated. Parents may request from provider a copy of the childcare immunization form to take to the doctor’s visit and have updated. Your physician can also provide parents with the necessary form for your child’s required childcare immunization records. It is extremely important for parents to advise me if a child has a health problem or allergies.

 

Written parental consent is required to permit me to give medication of any kind. Please try to give medication at home whenever possible. All medication must be provided in the original container with a label attached bearing child’s name, current date, time and dose to be given, and number of days to be administered. Please keep in mind this does not constitute the physician’s written permission.

 

I am allowed to give only one does on non-prescription medication per illness, except acetaminophen (Tylenol) and topical medication. I will not administer the first dose of any new medication to your child. You must administer the first dose at home with several hours for parental observation of a possible allergy.

 

I will administer prescription medication as directed by a licensed physician or dentist. Written permission must be secured from a parent/guardian and/or physician for any prescription medication to be administered. An individual medication form must be filled out for each prescription medication and signed by the parents/guardian. You will be provided a few of these in your packet; should you need more, you can simply ask for more or print them off of my website.

 

Illness policy

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

if you are not sure your child is well enough to attend childcare, please call & discuss it with me. Masking your child’s symptoms with over-the-counter medications and bringing them to care anyway is unacceptable and I will call you and ask that you come and pick up your child. A sick child, should be allowed to get better at home so that the other children and the provider do not risk unnecessary exposure. 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 call the people on your emergency form. Your child may be brought to care if they have a common cold (which means a slight cough, clear runny nose, sneezing), Provider reserves the right to determine when a child should be sent home. Your child may return to care 24 hours after symptoms of illness end. While I understand and respect your need to be at work, your cooperation is extremely important on this issue. I will not risk unnecessary exposure to myself, my children, or other daycare families. If I become ill, I will have to close. If my children become ill, I will have to close, so please make sure you do not send your child to care while ill. I will hold very firm to this policy; this in non-negotiable. Please call by your normal drop off time if your child will not be in attendance that day. If you know the night before, please call me then.

 

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.

 

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. Although the specific time may vary depending upon activities, it will usually only be for 1 hour in the afternoon.

 

Meals & Snacks

Here at Ready, Set, Grow Childcare we only supply breakfast, snacks and drinks. We do not supply lunch. Breakfast will usually consist of Oatmeal or dry cereal. You must supply a bagged or boxed lunch for your child. I will supply all utensils including cups. Meal times are: Breakfast 7:30am, Lunch 12:00pm. If you arrive after a set mealtime, you must feed your child prior to arrival.

No food or drink will be consumed anywhere except the dining/kitchen area. Please do not send your child in carrying a juice cup or eating food; this invites unwanted guests into our home, BUGS!. Please hand me any uneaten food and I will place it in the refrigerator.

 

Rules of the Childcare home

At Ready, Set, Grow Childcare, 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 for you to go over them with your child as well.

         No Running indoors

         No gum chewing

         No Hitting, Pinching, 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) or belongings

         All children must eat & drink in the kitchen

         Use good manners (Please, Thank-You, Your Welcome, I’m sorry & 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 any item(s) in the childcare home, FULL reimbursement will be expected no later than your next tuition payment date.

 

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 efforts fail, the following techniques are used.

            * Encourage children to solve problems themselves

            * Intervention and discussion

            * Re-direction to another play area

            * Loss of Priveleges

            * Time-out

            * 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.

 

Open Door Policy

Parents are always welcome to visit at any time.

 

Policy Changes

The parent handbook is designed to promote my program here at Ready, Set, Grow Childcare 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. An addendum will be added and signed when/if this should take place.

 

Newsletters

I publish a quarterly newsletter. This will include things such as: activities, parenting issues, interesting tidbits, and other news items. Newsletters are available to enrolled parents and are made available on my website.

 

Outdoor Play Area

The outdoor play area is fenced and kept free from hazards that may injure your child. Children are also supervised during outside play. We will play outside during all types of weather, however, in extreme heat, cold, snow, sleet, rain, we may not go outdoors. Please dress your child appropriately for each day’s weather.

 

Allergic Children & Parties

While your child is here during the summer months or when school is closed, we may do special themed type of days where we may provide food. Please feel free to bring in games, food, drinks, etc. as long as there is enough for everyone. Please keep in mind that my daughter, Katie, is highly allergic to peanuts.

 

Parents if you do not celebrate holidays/birthdays due to religious reasons, please advise me so that we can make arrangements. We here at Ready, Set, Grow Childcare celebrate all Christian holidays, including Christmas.

 

I might also include some information about my personal history: where I grew up, where I went to school, various places I've lived. If I have one, I'll include a picture of myself engaging in an activity I enjoy, such as a sport or hobby.

What a job!

I love my job. Children are wonderful and they are like little sponges, soaking up every bit of knowledge and information they can. Take time to enjoy your children now before they aren't children anymore. Get to know them, really know them. What are their likes, dislikes, favorite color and movie, etc. My job is the best. I get to watch children grow and learn and what other job can you say you are rewarded w/ smiles and hugs??!!