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Thank you for considering my services for your child. I started this business in order to provide quality, reliable daycare for my own children. My goals are to provide a positive, safe, nurturing environment to all of the children in my care. I realize that most parents in today’s society do not have the opportunity to stay home with their children, so I intent to offer the next best option.


MY PHILOSOPHY

I will strive to provide a clean, safe, comfortable, loving environment, where your child can play and learn. I believe in the value of both structured and flexible schedules. The most important priority is to have FUN! Please don’t expect my home or your child to be perfectly clean at pickup time. We do lots of activities that are messy and will do our best to maintain cleanliness and order, but fun and the well being of the children will always take precedence over cleaning. I will also provide nutritious meals and snacks, and encourage good personal hygiene skills and manners 

Through a mixture of guided and undirected creative play, children in my care will have the opportunity to learn about colors, shapes, textures, numbers, letters, animals, seasons, feelings, senses, nutrition, personal hygiene, manners, sign language, basic science and math concepts, and creative play such as “pretend” play, art, music, drama, and dance. I do not believe in pushing any child to learn at an accelerated rate, and will not make a child feel pressured to achieve developmental milestones. By providing the right kind of fun, safe environment, I believe the children will learn at their own appropriate pace.

My daycare has been certified eco friendly by the Oregon Environmental Council so you can leave your child knowing that they will not be exposed to harsh cleaning chemicals or other harmful toxins. I am also agreeable to use cloth diapers if you so choose.


COMMUNICATION

Good communication is of the utmost importance to me. I welcome questions, feedback, or discussions of any kind that are oriented towards a positive outcome for the children. Sensitive issues will be discussed in private outside of regular daycare hours.


TUITION 

Tuition will be due at the beginning of each week. If you prefer to pay biweekly or monthly please pay at the beginning of the current pay period.

Your weekly fee will be based on your contracted hours and this will remain the same each week. There will be no discounts for days your child does not attend. 

*non refundable 1 week deposit to secure spot* and  will be applied to first week of care.



There will be $10 late fee for each day payment is late. Unless prior arrangements are made, there will be a late pickup charge of $10 per ¼ hour if you arrive after regular scheduled hours.

I will attempt to be generous on this and I realize job pressures, traffic, and weather conditions can occasionally affect your ability to arrive on time. However, since a habit 
Of arriving late does affect my family life, I will need to charge late fees, if I feel a pattern of late arrival develops. Please feel free to discuss arrival and drop off times with me if your needs vary, suck as when you or your spouse need to travel for business. I will attempt to be flexible to meet your need for occasional early arrival and late pick-up time, but these will need to be exceptions rather than a general rule.


You will receive a receipt for payment of tuition at the end of each year. I will provide you with a proper tax form showing the full amount of all charges for that calendar year.



ABSENTS

In order to provide my own family with a stable financial situation, I cannot offer any discounts for days your child is not in my care, such as when you are on vacation or when your child is ill or when daycare is closed for Holidays.

Although I realize daycare is a major expense for most working parents I also rely on this business to help support my own family. Since I will be holding space for your child to use at will, I need to charge for full-time care whether you use it or not.


TRIAL PERIOD

The first 2 weeks of the child’s enrollment will be considered a trial period. During that time the parent or provider may terminate at any time. After the trail period is complete, two weeks notice is required to terminate the agreement.


NSF POLICY

If a check is returned to me because of none sufficient funds you will be charged a fee of $25. A second time this happens you will be asked to pay in cash.



ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES

Children are to arrive clean and fed (unless arriving before meal time). I will try my best to send your child home with a clean diaper, and would appreciate the same consideration when you drop off.
In the summer I ask that parents apply sunscreen before leaving your child at daycare. We most always go out in the morning.

It is normal for some children to have difficulty separating from parents or cry when dropping off. Please make your drop off brief, the longer you prolong the departure, the harder it gets. A smile, cheerful good-bye kiss, and a reassuring word that you will be back are all that is needed. In my experience, children are nearly always quick to get involved in play or activities as soon as parent is gone.

Please be brief a pick up times, as well. This is a time of testing, when two different authority figures are present. All children will test to see if the rules still apply. Please be in control of your child during pick up times.

My normal procedure is to release the child only to his/her parent or someone else the parents designate. Please notify me ahead of time if someone other that the parent is to pick up the child.

Drop off and pick up times are not good times to discuss serious problems. Little ears hear and understand everything. I am not comfortable discussing children in the presence of anyone but their parents. Topics that concern day-to-day events of light-hearted discussion are fine.


HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS

I realize your need for reliable daycare and will attempt to give as much notice as possible whenever I must close my home to care for any reason.

In order to spend quality time with my own family, I will be closed for the following Holidays:

New Years Day
Martin Luther King Day
Presidents Day
Patriots Day
Memorial Day 
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day and the day after
Christmas Day, and either Christmas Eve or the day after

I will also take 1 week (5 days) of paid vacation. If I choose a 2nd week it will be unpaid. This may be taken all at once or split up, most likely in the summertime. I will give as much notice as possible so you can find alternative daycare for that period.

Working with exposure to many families and especially children, it is expected that I will become ill occasionally. Therefore, I reserve the option to take up to (5) paid sick/personal days per calendar year.  

ILLNESS POLICY

In order to protect the health of all children in my care, I will call you at work and request that you pick up your child within one hour if he/she exhibits any of the following symptoms:

Fever over 100 degrees for more than 1 hour
Excessive diarrhea for 2 or more consecutive diapers or toileting
Vomiting in excess of typical infant spit-ups
Conjunctivitis (“pink eye”)
Consistent complaints of ear or stomach pain
Bleeding other than minor cuts and scrapes
Excessive greenish nasal discharge, indicating possible infection
Head lice

In the event your child is sent home due to one of the above conditions please keep your child home until symptoms are gone. Although it may seem inconvenient when your child is sent home, you will appreciate knowing your child’s exposure is minimized when other children become ill.

I will not send children home with a common cold. This sort of illness is going to occur among children, and unfortunately cannot be totally avoided. You should expect that any time a new child is introduced to the group, colds are likely to occur. I will do my best to prevent the spread of such illness through good hygiene and housekeeping, but total avoidance of this sort of illness is impossible

Likewise, I will not close the daycare if I am mildly ill due to a cold. I will alert the families in my care if someone has a contagious illness.


MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION

EEC has regulations requiring Educators to have a police regarding the administration of medication to children in care. As a licensed Family Child Care Educator, I am also required to take medication administration training. The following guidelines are common to all programs that are licensed by EEC:


Prescription Medication

Prescription medication must be brought to the program in its original container and include the child’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage, the number of times per day and the number of days the medication is to be administered. This prescription label will be accepted as the written authorization of the physician.

The program will not administer any medication contrary to the directions on the label unless so authorized by written order of the child’s physician.

The parent must fill out the Authorization for Medication Form before the medication can be administered.

Non-prescription Medication

The program needs written parental authorization to administer oral non-prescription medication. The parent must fill out the Authorization for Medication form, which allows me to administer the non-prescription medication. The statement must be renewed on a weekly basis.

In the case of unanticipated non-prescription medication that is used to treat mild symptoms (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen), the program must still have written parental authorization, however it must be reviewed annually.

ALL MEDICATIONS

The first dose must be administered by the parent at home in case of an allergic reaction.

All medication must be given to me directly by the parent.

All medications will be stored out of the reach of children.

I will be responsible for the administration of all medication.

The program will maintain a written record of the administration of any medication (excluding topical ointments and sprays) which will include the child’s name, the time and date of each administration, the dose, and the name of the person administering the medication. This completed record will become part of the child’s file.


DISIPLINE

I maintain a positive discipline policy, which focuses on prevention, redirection, love, consistency and firmness. I stress two main patterns of behavior: respect for other people and respect for property. The children are explained the rules of the daycare home frequently, so they are all familiar with the guidelines. Please keep in mind that there will be disagreements between children. Young children, especially, who are not adept at communicating, have a hard time expressing their feelings. Sometimes they hit, throw toys, bite, etc. Although teaching children appropriate behavior is what we will be doing, remember that this behavior is normal, in most cases. I will try to prevent problems, redirect when appropriate, discuss inappropriate behavior, encourage making amends when offense involves another person, and sometimes withdraw privileges based on the principle of “natural consequences”. The use of time outs will be rare, as I have not found them to be particularly effective, except when a brief cooling off period is needed. Sometimes when children are fighting about or throwing toys, I will put the toy in a short time out, and then bring it back into circulation a little later. This seems to work better than giving the child a time out.

Under no circumstances will there be any spanking, physical abuse, verbal abuse, name calling or isolation used. Neither food nor sleep will ever be withheld from children as a means of punishment.


NAPS

I will offer infants a morning nap. Older children will be offered an afternoon nap generally between 12:45 and 2:45. All children will be expected to at least play quietly during this time, so that the children who need to sleep can do so.

Each child will have their own nap mat. Their sheet, pillow case, and blanket will all be the same color so they know which one is theirs. Each child will have their own regular sleeping space. You are certainly welcome to bring your child’s favorite blanket or other comfort object.


SAFE SLEEP

Supervision of children is equally important during the times that a child is sleeping at the program, particularly when that child is an infant. EEC has very specific regulations around safe sleep practices. All infants are placed on their backs to sleep, unless a child’s physician orders otherwise (such an order must be given to me in writing). I check on children every 15 minutes during naptime. If your child is less than six months old, I will directly supervise them during naptime for the first six weeks they are in care. For more information regarding Safe Sleep, please feel free to review the Family Child Care Policies section of www.eee.state.ma.us

MEALS AND SNACKS

I will provide all meals and snacks, with the exception of infant formula or breast milk.  

I will provide breakfast for all children arriving before 8:00 if needed. This will typically consist of milk or 100% juice, whole-grain cereal, toast, or bagel and fruit. Snack times will be twice a day and will usually consist of, crackers of some sorts or pretzels and juice. Occasionally, I will serve cookies such as fig bars or other home-make cookies, however highly sweetened snacks such as kool-aid, soft drinks, cakes, chips, and candies will rarely if ever be offered during regular daycare hours.

Lunches will typically consist of a balanced meal such as: a serving of milk
A main course such as a healthy sandwich on whole wheat bread (peanut butter and jelly, turkey, grilled cheese) with cottage cheese or yogurt, or real macaroni and cheese, lasagna, corn chowder, or other home-made soup or casserole.


SUPPLIES NEEDED

Each child will have their own bucket to keep supplies in.
Complete change of clothes including socks and underwear
Diapers (if applicable)
Formula/breast milk (if applicable)
Swim suit & towel (summer only)


ORAL HEALTH

EEC has a regulation that requires providers to brush the children’s teeth during the day. EEC also provided us with an opt out option that allows you to choose not to have your child brush their teeth while in my care. If you take responsibility for your child’s personal hygiene care at home please sign the enclosed form.


PROGRESS REPORTS

Progress reports must be completed periodically for all children in care. For infants and children with identified special needs, I will be completing progress reports every three months. For toddlers and preschooler, those reports are completed every six months.


TOYS FROM HOME

First Friends Daycare furnishes a wide variety of appropriate playthings. I ask that no toys be brought to daycare from home. This policy is for concern for all children in my care. Often times children have a hard time sharing the toys they bring with them from home. Also, since the children share toys anything from home would have the potential to be damaged or misplaced.


SMOKING

This is a non-smoking household, therefore no smoking will be allowed on the property.


MANDATED REPORTING

As a licensed Educator in MA, I must operate my program in a way that protects children from abuse and neglect. As such, I am a mandated reporter (under M.G.L. c.119 s51A) and must make a report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) whenever I have reasonable cause to believe a child in my program is suffering from a serious physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse inflicted upon the child, or from neglect, no matter where the abuse or neglect may have occurred or by whom it was inflicted.


EMERGENCY PLAN

EEC regulations require that I have a plan for meeting potential emergencies that may occur either during child care hours or at any time if they nay affect the operation of my program. 

In the event of an evacuation emergency, I will contact the local authorities to determine whether or not to evacuate the program, or to remain sheltered at the program. The escape routes are to go out either the front or back doors and meet at the sand area in the backyard and then I will call for help on my cell and notify parents.

Should the program need to be evacuated in the case of a fire, natural disaster, loss of power, heat or hot water, or any other emergency situation, we will meet at Sheffield School. I will notify all parents, as well as the appropriate authorities and EEC.


LEAD POISONING PREVENTION

All Family Child Care Educators are required by EEC to provide parents with information regarding the risks of Lead Poisoning. The following are some facts that all parents should know about lead and lead poisoning:

  Lead poisoning is cased by swallowing or breathing lead. Lead is poison when it gets 
  into the body.
  Lead can stay in the body for a long time. Young children absorb lead more easily  
  than adults. The harm done by lead my never go away. Lead in the body can:
1.Hurt the brain, kidneys, and nervous system
2.Slow down growth and development
3.make it hard to learn
4.damage hearing and speech
5.cause behavior problems

Most of the lead poisoning in MA comes from lead paint dust in older homes. Many homes built before 1978 have lead paint on the inside and outside of the building. When old paint peels and cracks, it creates lead paint chips and lead dust. Lead dust also comes from opening and closing old windows. Lead dust lands on the floor. Lead gets into children’s bodies when they put their hands and toys in their mouths. Children can also breathe in lead dust. Children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years are most at risk. Home repairs and renovations also create lead dust. Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. A lead test is the only way to know if your child has lead poisoning. Ask your doctor to test your child for lead.

If your child is over (9) months of age, you will need to provide documentation to me that your child has been screened for lead poisoning. Most children will be screened annually until either age (3) or (4) years, depending on where the child lives.

For more information on lead poisoning, you can visit www.mas.gov/dph/clppp or call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (800) 532-9271.



MISCELLANEOUS

Please park out front and do not use the driveway. This will help keep the driveway free from leaking oils and such as the kids sometimes will be playing there. Also it will prevent my family from becoming trapped in the driveway while you are inside dropping your child off. Use the front door upon entering. Please remove your wet or dirty shoes if you are to walk through the house.


First Friends Daycare maintains an open door policy. Parents are welcome to visit our daycare at any time during business hours. As I am busy with children I am not always available to answer the door immediately. Therefore, upon arrival, please knock once and then enter. You are welcome to observe our program for as long as you wish. Please understand that I will not be available to give you my undivided attention. I will continue with our normal schedule while you are present.


IN CLOSING

Please remember that although I chose this profession because of my love of children, it is also my job. My family depends on my income as I am sure yours does. Prompt fee payment, adherence to pick up times, consideration for your sick child and consideration for my personal time is very much appreciated. I take my job very seriously, and am committed to the very best for your child, I consider it a privilege to have been entrusted with the care of your child, and I will always treat your child with love and respect. If at any time you have suggestions, comments or questions, please feel free to bring them to my attention.

Gina Carlisle