Central Montessori Child Care Parent Handbook Please keep as reference Table of Contents Introduction, Hours of operation, Ideology Goals, Curriculum, Staff policies Special events, Arrivals and departures, release of child a. Arrivals, b. Departures Arrivals and departures, release of child cont’d c. Student releases, d. Impaired individuals, e. Late departures Arrivals and departures, release of child cont’d e. Late departures, f. Unauthorized individuals Guidance and Discipline Policy Guidance and Discipline Policy cont’d Intervention Strategies, Time Away Guidance and Discipline Policy cont’d Last resort Documentation Prohibited practices in centre, Child Abuse Abuse - Occurring outside the facility Child Abuse cont’d Child abuse contact info, Abuse – Occurring inside the facility Your child’s first days, When you bring your child to school, Late pick-up Clothing of child, Laundry, Food Health and illness Exclusion Policy due to Illness, Immunization Health and illness cont’d Communicable disease, Medical emergency Health and illness cont’d Medication administration, Allergies, General hygiene and cleanliness Fees, Parent and teacher relation, Concern/complaints A little introduction: We are a fully licensed childcare and learning centre in the heart of Richmond city. Our organization aims to provide a warm and nurturing environment for children from infant through preschool. We have designed a set of programs to serve the needs of the community in Richmond – and budding communities of West Vancouver, East Vancouver, Delta, and South Surry – with quality, affordability, and flexibility. The centre has made a commitment to the community to open its facilities for use in special neighborhood functions, celebrations, meetings, and act as an information venue. Central Montessori advertises openings to the public and admits children regardless of race, religion, national origin, and other belief practices. Children with special needs will be considered depending on the capability of the centre to cater to their special requirements. Hours of operation Infant / Toddler (12 months ~ 3 years) 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM Full Daycare (3~5 years) 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM Ideology Our aims are to provide children with a safe, nurturing environment – all intellectually, emotionally, and socially stimulating. The children will learn through a combination of open-ended and structured learning activities. At their own pace, the children will be encouraged to choose their interests and make active exploration and development. Our program follows a combination of individualized and collective learning activities. Goals Help the child feel confident and develop a positive self-image Develop independence and responsibility appropriate to their age group Help the child strengthen qualities of compassion; to share and be caring to others Develop an awareness and respect for important values and feelings Build skills by providing thinking and problem-solving activities that instill desire for love of learning Enhance the child’s creativity and appreciation for aesthetic qualities and values Within Curriculum community awareness science, nature exploration social skills writing skills, hand-eye coordination self-help skills language development physical health field trips pre-reading, reading enthusiasm creative arts math, numbers social skills Staff policies 1. All teaching staff at our centre are certified as Early Childhood educators (ECE) 2. All teaching staff are obliged to hold an up-to-date First Aid Certificate 3. Special-needs educators are required by the Ministry of Children and Family Development to work with special needs children. We will be ready with the required staff when admitting children with special needs. Special events Birthdays Birthdays are special events at Central Montessori. Please notify teachers in advance for any preparations you may want to make. Fieldtrips Field trips are scheduled within the school year as an important part of the centre curriculum. Notices and permission slips will be issued in advance. We always encourage parents to make arrangements to accompany their children for the short field trips, which are usually half a day. Exploring with your young child on outdoor excursions with similar peers are highly interactive for both parent and child. Arrivals and departures, release of child Addressed to parents and guardians a.) Arrivals All parents and guardians are required to sign-in each day. For full-day programs, sign your child in, then help hang and store the child’s belongings to their cubbies. Before you leave, always make sure a teacher is aware of your child’s arrival. Inform the teachers of anything that may affect your child’s day. Parents are encouraged to say good-bye to their child rather than leaving without notice. If there are circumstances that have you entrust your child’s departure with another adult, please specify who it is to the teachers, and also indicate the person on the sign-in sheet. If you are not at the centre, notify us through the phone. If there are conditions that require your child to be absent from class, let us know by phone as well. b.) Departures We ask that you are punctual when picking up your child. Once you are ready to leave, let the teacher know, and do not forget to sign your child out. This is for daily attendance and verification that your child has left safely. c.) Student releases Central Montessori will not release a child from the facility to anyone except his/her parents, guardians, or authorized persons: These individuals are indicated on the student registration form. In the event you are unable to pick up your child, you must inform the school, either by phone or in person. All parents will complete a Student Release Authorization form that allows teachers to release the child. A written consent by parents are also acceptable. If you have arranged your child to depart with another student’s parent, we must have written notification. You are asked to provide information related to your child’s protection: a. current information regarding custody, guardianship, or limited access b. copy of court orders if there is a custody issue These documents will be placed in your child’s file. In the case of an abduction attempt, the staff will immediately contact the police and then contact parents. It is the centre’s policy that we do not release a child to someone less than 16 years of age. d.) Impaired individuals during child pick-up When the guardian or the guardian that has assigned an individual to pick up the child, the centre staff will evaluate the person for any signs of impairment that will endanger the child’s safety. The types of impairment we look for are: severe illness, extreme emotional distraught, signs of intoxication or drug-use, medical influence, etc. e.) Late departures The school firmly enforces school doors to be closed at exactly 6:00 pm. We understand that rigorous working hours may cause parents to be behind schedule, and so the first occasion that your child is late will be disregarded. On the second occasion the staff will forewarn you in person or with a note. For the third late occurrence we will enforce our $1.00 penalty for every minute after 6:00 pm you are late. All late fees are paid directly to the staff. If the individual picking up your child will be late, we expect a call the centre as soon as possible. If your child is not picked up 6:15 pm and there are no calls made to the centre, we will contact the parent or guardian through phone. If there is no response, we will then try to phone an individual listed as an ‘emergency contact’, explain the circumstances and ask the person to pick up your child. If all attempts are unsuccessful and unreasonable time as elapsed, the staff will call the police and the Ministry of Children and Family Development. If late pick-up is a repeated problem, the senior supervisor will commence a private meeting with the parents and guardians of the child to address the importance of this problem. If terms become irresolvable and uncooperative, a termination of our services may be required. A onemonth notice of deregistration of your child will be given to the parent or guardian. f.) Unauthorized individual at pick-up If an unauthorized person arrives to pick up your child, we will keep the student under supervision of staff while we explain the policy that permission from a parent is required to release the child to the unauthorized person. If difficulties arise, all reasonable effort will be made to ensure the safety of the child, other children, and staff. If necessary, a staff member may call the police for assistance. Guidance and Discipline Policy Discipline at the centre revolves around positive reinforcement of desired behavior rather than focus on less desirable actions. The intention of discipline is to help children become self-disciplined as they develop appropriate and acceptable behavioral patterns. Discipline involves a continuous process of guidance and is offered while appropriate behavior is happening, as well as when (during or after) inappropriate behavior is displayed. The goal is to assist children in progressing respect, self-control, self-confidence, and sensitivity in their interactions with others. The grounds of expectations and limits can be adjusted depending on the child’s background and culture. Staff, students, and volunteers are expected to provide positive prevention and intervention guidance strategies as outlined in “Guidance and Discipline for Young Children” published by the Ministry of Health. The following Intervention Strategies will help ensure that guidance is supportive rather than punitive: 1. Gain a child’s attention in a respectful way; state the individual’s name, establish eye contact, use calm controlled voice; 2. Use proximity and touch; 3. Use reminders to clarify and reinforce limits; 4. Acknowledge feelings before setting limits; 5. Redirect or divert when appropriate; 6. Model problem solving skills: acknowledge problem, pose helpful questions; state a solution or physically demonstrate, summarize solution; 7. Offer appropriate choices and use natural and logical consequences; 8. Limit the use of equipment; 9. Opportunities for children to make amends provided. Time Away will be used if a child persistently refuses to abide by the rules of safety for self, other or the environment, and unacceptable behavior has been repeated while the teacher set clear limits and explanations. The following guidelines will apply: 1. Prior to use of Time Away, explain what it means and what it involves; 2. Locate the Time Away place within the play space, but far enough removed from the general activity so the child will not provoke others or be provoked; 3. A timer or minute clock will be used to help the child understand the concrete passing of time, or the child will be allowed to determine when it is ready to re-enter the play space; 4. No more than five minutes will be used as time away (guideline one minute for each year of age); 5. When Time Away is finished, the first appropriate or acceptable behavior of the child will be positively expressed. Please note: The staff will verbally inform Parents when a Time Away strategy was used When a child’s behavior is in danger of causing harm to himself/herself, another child of teacher will: 1. Reassure the other children; 2. Immediately remove any equipment that is in the child’s way; 3. Seek to comfort and reassure the child and if necessary gently hold the child. The intent of this strategy is to soothe the child and to keep them and others safe until self-control is regained. The calm and controlled attitude of the teacher is critical in ensuring that this strategy is supportive, not punitive. This strategy is a last resort. If a child is consistently unable to play or interact with peers or staff in a healthy manner, the staff shall document the child’s behavior and in consultation with the child’s parents and with a parent’s permission: seek assistance from professional source; develop a behavioral plan; support parents to gain resources with the community continue to monitor and modify the child’s behavior plan Documentation Staff will record, sign and ate any incident in which the child’s behavior escalated to the point where the level of intervention was unusual for that child. A written observation (running records) using professional language will be made. With unusual behavior or incidents of aggressiveness, they will need to be identified and reported to a licensing officer. For children with identified severe behavioral challenges, a written agreement between a behavioral specialist, the center, and the family will be required. This agreement will be subject to licensing approval. A copy of the approved agreement will be sent to the child care coordinator. Resources for parents in supporting children whose behavior may be challenging are available through the local library, or licensing officer: Guidance & Discipline with Young Children, Ministry of Health Inform Guide, Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre Well Beings, Child Care Initiatives Fund We encourage parents to discuss with us any concerns that they may have about our guidance of their children. It is important that we work closely together. Prohibited practices in centre Any form of harsh behavior or imposition of discipline such as: spanking and other restrictive and abusive physical control loud fear-imposing tone of voice and use of abusive verbal works or statements deprivation of food or normal activity confinement in a small, dark, or isolated area use of degrading comparisons of behavior any form of behavior that is verbally abusive such as threatening, sarcastic comments, yelling, swearing, harassing, or humiliating leaving children unsupervised, with diverted attention for frequent and extended periods any form of behavior that is sexually abusive Child Abuse The definitions of abuse are: Emotional abuse: any act, or lack of action, which may diminish the sense of well-being of a person in care, prepared by person not in care (eg. Verbal harassment, yelling) Physical abuse: any physical force that is excessive for, or inappropriate, situation involving a person in care and perpetrated by a person not in care. Sexual abuse: any sexual behavior directed towards a person in care by a person of trust, power, or authority. Neglect: the failure of child provider to meet the needs of a person in care (eg. Food, shelter, care, supervision) It is defined under the Community Care Facility Act that the staff ensures no child enrolled at Central Montessori – while under the care or supervision of the staff – be subject to emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or physical or emotional neglect. Abuse – Occuring outside the facility When a child discloses abuse, the staff will listen and document what the student is disclosing. A staff member will attempt to gather facts and be supportive. The staff member will not share information with the parents or other colleagues. The matter will be dealt with the strictest confidence. A formal report will be made to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. If the nature of abuse is life-threatening, they are expected to take action immediately. It is our opinion, our duty and law to report any form of abuse. Ministry of Children & Family Development http://www.gov.bc.ca/mcf/ Day time (8:30am – 4:30 pm ) 1 (877) 387 – 7027 Toll-free after-hours 1 (800) 663 – 9122 Vancouver after-hours (604) 660 – 4927 Helpline for Children Day or night 310 – 1234 (no area code needed) Youth Against Violence 24 hours 1 (800) 680 – 4262 Representative for Children and Youth, BC Toll-free 1 (800) 476 – 3933 Abuse – Occuring inside the facility If suspected abuse has occurred at the centre, a staff member must immediately notify the administrator. The administrator will complete and submit a serious incident form to Fraser Health Region, Community Care Facilities Licensing Office. During investigation: suspected employee will be removed from the facility suspected abuse reported to Simon Fraser Health Unit medical health officer to investigate All matters are kept confidential. Your child’s first days How your child begins his or her experiences is of utmost importance, for it sets the tone of the days and weeks to come. Even when a child has been in daycare before, a new centre can be frightening. Central Montessori staff believes a steady introduction to the centre will relieve the child’s anxiety and fear of a strange new place and people. We strive to make the child and parents feel welcome and provide a warm, secure environment for all. When you bring your child to the centre It is required by law that you accompany your child into the centre and sign them in on the sign-in/sign-out sheet, which is located on the table by the class entrance. Please ensure that the supervisor is aware of your arrival. If there is anything a staff should know, please write it down under the “remark” section on the sign-in/sign-out sheet. If it is a sensitive matter, write a note for the supervisor. The mornings are often hectic and the supervisor may not have time to talk with you: writing a note will ensure that what you need to say will not be forgotten. Reassure your child that he or she can go to any staff member for support at any time. Tell your child the teacher’s job is to help the children feel safe and happy. Always inform your child of your departure and not undermine the trust by slipping out while he or she is engaged in play. Help your child understand when you will return by discussing activities and routines the child will be done before you come back. If you child has difficulty separating from you and begins to cry: ask the supervisor to assist you calmly tell your child that you will be back at the end of the day kiss and hug your child goodbye, and confidently get up and leave Late pick-up Children should be picked up by 6:00 pm, which is our school closing time. If the parent is late picking up, the staff will follow these procedures: First occasion of being late: verbal reminder of closing time Second occasion: late pick-up notice will be given Third occasion: $1.00 fine levied for each minute after 6:00 pm 4 late pick-ups in a six-month period may result in deregistration Clothing of children Children need to have appropriate clothing for indoor and outdoor environments, as they are participating in a variety of play activities. Your child needs to have at the centre: a change of clothing: shirt, pants, socks, and underwear sneakers (soft-soled shoes, for indoors) sneakers (hard-sole shoes, for outdoors) puddle pants (waterproof pants) boots toothbrush blanket for nap-time. The blanket should not be too large, and just enough to cover your child. It is required for comfort, not warmth during the Winter mitts or gloves warm hat snow pants instead of puddle pants All of the above items should be labeled with your child’s name, kept in a backpack in your child’s cubby or shelf. Laundry We ask parents to wash their child’s bed linens on a regular basis (about every week). The staff will clean nap-time cots weekly. Food Your child will be required to bring a nutritious lunch consisting of a sandwich or soup, and fruit or vegetable. A microwave oven is available for warming up lunches, provided that lunch is brought in a microwavable container. The school provides snacks. If your child has any food allergies or diet restrictions, please inform us in order to avoid any possible health dangers. Please avoid packing candies, chocolate, pop, or excessively sweet foods with your child’s lunch. Health and illness Our school employs staff duly trained and certified. They are given adequate information on health and safety regulations in accordance with the CCFACC Regulations. They also receive detailed information on emergency evacuation procedures, how to deal with hazards, and accidents occurring at the centre that may affect the children. Exclusion Policy Due to Illness While we are sensitive to the stress that illness may cause for families, it is important that you plan ahead for your child’s care, should he or she stay home due to illness. We need your cooperation to retain a clean, safe environment for all children and teachers. In order to protect the entire group, we ask that parents assist by keeping their children at home if they have experienced any of the following symptoms within the past 24 hours: Fever over 38.3°C / 100°F Any complaint of unexplained or undiagnosed pain Cold with fever, runny nose, teary eyes, coughing, or sore throat Difficulty in breathing: wheezing, or persistent cough Sore throat or trouble swallowing Infected skin or eyes, or undiagnosed rush Headache and stiff neck Diarrhea, vomiting, or upset stomach Severe itching of body and scalp Children with known or suspected communicable diseases or viruses If your child comes with any of these symptoms at the centre, or is not well enough to take part in the class, parents will immediately be phoned to come and pick their child up. Please ensure that your child has been symptom-free of fever, diarrhea and/or vomiting for at least 24 hours – for children from 3~5 years old, and 48 hours for children 1~3 years old – before bringing him or her back to the centre. If you are not sure of the nature to your child’s illness or infection, please contact the centre before you take your child out. In the case of serious illness or communicable disease, our school requires a doctor’s note before the child can return to class. Immunization It is essential that we have up-to-date immunization records for each child, or a letter that indicates the child is not immunized. Upon registration, children are required to have on file a copy of their immunization record or health passport. Communicable disease Control of contagious diseases and viruses among children is a prime concern. Families are asked to notify staff as soon as possible if signs of contagions appear. Please note that we will notify a medical health officer or licensing officer within the 24 hours of the news. Notice will be posted at all the news boards in the centre. A list of reportable communicable disease is available at our centre. Medical emergency If your child is injured or becomes ill while at Central Montessori, the staff will quickly assess the situation to decide what actions or attention is required. Outlined below are the procedures that may be followed: a.) If first aid treatment is required, the staff qualified will: i. Provide first aid treatment ii. Acknowledge the child’s feelings iii. Provide close supervision to ensure that the child does not require further first aid or medical attention iv. Complete an Incident Report and process it v. Inform the family when they come to pick up the child b.) If medical attention is required, a staff personnel will: i. Contact the parents or guardians; then the emergency contacts if parents are not available ii. Contact the child’s family doctor if the parents, guardians, or emergency contacts cannot be reached iii. If the child’s family doctor is not found, we will proceed as an emergency situation; iv. Access transportation to take the parents and child to the nearest medical facility if needed v. Access the child’s files for medical information and emergency consent forms vi. Accompany the child and their family to the medical facility with medical information vii. Provide information for the doctor, family, and emergency contacts viii. Support the child and family and emergency contacts if needed ix. Complete an Incident Report and process it c.) If emergency medical attention is required, qualified staff will administer first aid until the emergency response personnel arrive (fire/ambulance). Central Montessori will: i. Call and request ambulance ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Contact family and/or emergency contacts (as above) to meet us at the emergency facility, and provide access to transportation for the family and/or emergency contacts if needed Access medical information as above Accompany the child to the emergency facility Provide information for the doctor, family, and emergency contacts Support the child and family and emergency contacts if needed Complete an Incident Report and process it Please keep all medical records and emergency consent forms current. Notify the centre of any changes to this information. Medical administration If you would like the staff to administer prescription or non-perscription medication to your child, the Child Care Licensing Regulations requires us to follow specific procedures as followed: 1. Medication must be provided in the original container and be labeled with child’s name 2. Medication Consent Form must be completed by the parent with instructions on handling the medication to staff 3. The medication will be stored in a locked container in the classroom or in the refrigerator, depending on the storage instructions on the labels. It will be inaccessible to children (except puffers). 4. The staff will keep records of medication administered (date, time, dosage, handled by whom) Allergies Please ensure the centre is informed of any allergies your child may have, as this could lead to serious problems if we are unaware, and your child suffers an allergic reaction. We will require parents to complete an Allergies Medicinal Form so staff can follows the treatment plan as stated in the form. General Hygiene and Cleanliness Children in school are encouraged and taught how to keep themselves reasonable clean. Paper towels are provided for their use. Children are supervised in toileting and washing hands. All toys and equipment are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Fees - Program fees will be charged on a monthly basis, and is based on the number of instructional days, divided into 12 equal monthly payments. - - - Fees are due by the first working day of each month. A charge will be applied to late payments Post-dated cheques are required for each 6-month-period to eliminate the time-consuming effort of collecting fees every month. Post-dated cheques will be held in trust at our administration office, and are returnable for any reason upon your request. A government subsidy is available for those who are eligible; net income and pertinent information determine eligibility. Staff at the centre will direct you to the Ministry of Social Services Office in your area for more specific information. The centre will be closed on al statutory holidays and classes follow the public school standard calendar. No days can be made-up for illness, absence, and holidays. A one-month notice in writing, or one-month fee in lieu of notice is required when withdrawing from the program To maintain your child’s space, the full monthly fee is required when your child is away (eg. Vacation, sickness) NSF fees are $15.00. Certified cheques or cash is required after one NSF cheque. Parent and teacher relation Communication between teachers and parents are an important objective of the centre. This is accomplished through a number of means: - Monthly newsletters are distributed to all parents during the year All parents are invited and encouraged to observe their child’s participation in the school programs One-to-one discussions with parents regarding their child’s participation in the program. Arranged by staff or parents. All important news of field trips, special themes, and other relevant information are posted on the bulletin board outside classrooms Parent and teacher dialogues or interviews are scheduled each term. Parents will be advised through notices. However, parents wishing to have a urgent situation or concern clarified are advised to request a special time to discuss matters outside of the class hours. Concern and complaints procedure If you have a concern of complaint about the program or staff, please discuss this with the supervisor. If you feel that your concerns are not being addressed or resolve, or your concern involves the supervisor, please contact the centre manager, Alice Ding at (604) 618-2880.