Where care is most like home.

Handbook

Lil’ Caboose Child Care

  Nancy Crockett

19 Paige Drive

Gorham, ME04038

207-839-7952

    Parent Handbook 

Contract 

And Policies

Revised

September 2012

Lil’ Caboose Child Care

Welcome to Lil’ Caboose Child Care.  The purpose of this handbook is to outline the policies and procedures under which I operate as a licensed daycare provider.  I understand how important it is to find a suitable safe place for your child or children while you have to be apart.  I believe that a child’s best interests are very important, as well as being cared for in a safe and loving environment.  I give the children in my care opportunities to learn in a family-like setting with mixed age groups, where they can feel safe.  They can also grow and build a positive self image.  Your child will receive quality personal and individualized care. Your child will have the opportunity to gain and practice language skills, fine & large motor skills and self help skills.

Lil’ Caboose does not offer a “structured” curriculum. Learning here is based on free play “Play based learning”. Projects/activities done during our days are developed around the interests and skill levels of the children participating. Kindergarten Readiness and Educational Guidelines developed by the local school system and state covering infants through school age are used in the development of projects and lessons. Physical activity is an importance part of our play. Your child will have the opportunity for at least 60 minutes of active play a day. Weather permitting this active play will take place outside walking, running, climbing, biking etc. If weather does not allow for outside play in addition to playing on the indoor climbing gym children will have the opportunity to participate in dancing or other movement games.

I am First Aid and CPR Certified.  I also have experience with certain Medical Behavioral condition.

To facilitate greater understanding between us, this handbook covers my childcare philosophies, business policies, and expectations.  Please read this handbook carefully and feel free to discuss with me any questions that you may have.  Your questions and comments are important so we can achieve the very best experiences for you and your child.

 

To Parents

I ask that you please respect my profession, my home, and me. The respect that you show me, my home, furnishings, equipment, yard, and other children will communicate itself to your child and will make for a better working relationship. There are certain house rules that all children will be taught and expected to follow.

 

Lil’ Caboose- Schedule

This is a rough schedule, knowing that there will be times that we need to be totally flexible. Infants rest and eat as required/individual needs. Minimum of 60 minutes, more if possible, of active play outdoors if weather permits.

6:30 AM ~ Doors Open (Children arrive at all different times)

  • arriving
  • free play
  • educational television

7:30 – 8:00 AM ~ Breakfast

8:00 AM ~ Free play until all children arrive

9:00 AM ~ Morning Activities (I try to wait until all younger children are here)

  • Learning  activities
  • Arts and  Crafts

10:00 AM~ Snack

10:30 AM ~ Outside play

11:30 AM ~ “Anything Goes” – Reading, free play, etc while I prepare lunch

12:00 PM ~ Lunch

12:30 PM ~ Reading or educational Television to prepare for rest time

1:00 PM ~  Afternoon quiet/nap time (older children may read or watch a movie)

3:00 (or earlier depending on how long children rest) ~ Free play/Outside play

3:40 PM ~  Snack

  • Bus arrives
  • Outside play
  • Pick ups begin

5:30 PM ~ Doors Close

 

 

Acceptance Criteria

Children will be accepted into the Child care program after an initial interview between the child/ren,  parent(s), and myself.  This allows child/ren and parents to become familiar with the setting and also with me.  It may also make the transition more comfortable for your children. Please be aware that child care can not begin until all the State required paperwork and/or documentation is completed and returned to me to be kept on file. This is very important, so please make every effort to have these completed before the first day of care is scheduled.

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday is from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm

Communication

To provide the best possible care, please feel free to communicate any needs, wants and or concerns regarding your child.  It is only through parents and guardian interaction that a goal of quality nurturing care can be achieved.

Required Enrollment Forms

The following forms required by the state of Maine are needed to be completed prior to placement.

  1. Registration forms signed by parent or guardian, which includes the date of the last  physical examination.
  2. Complete record of immunization.  (For  Children not yet in school)
  3. Signed  consent for child to receive medical treatment, medicine and go on any trip off the premises.
  4. Signed Contract.

Note: All forms must be updated at least every year or sooner according to need. A position may not be held if the above requirements are not made. 

Trial Period and Termination

A period of two weeks trial is given for adjustment.  After this time period the parents or the provider may decide to terminate care.

  • After  the trial period, care can be terminated with a 2 week written  notice.  Payments for the two weeks will be accepted in lieu of notice.       All final payments are to be paid at the time of notice.  In case of non-payment, legal actions  may be taken and the parents or guardian will pay all legal fees that will  be incurred.
  • I will  also give a two week notice if the child is to be terminated from the daycare.  Any abuse or violation of  the rules/policies of the contract/handbook may be just cause for  termination.
  • I, as  the Child Care Provider, do not need to give a 2 week notice, but I will  do my best not to let that happen.    Reasons that 2 weeks notice may not be able to be given may  include, but are not limited to:

**Behavioral problems, or dangerous parental situations.

      **Failure to pay for child care services on the agreed upon day

            **Repeatedly disregarding the policy of this contract

            **Repeated failure to pick up your children at the agreed upon time

            **Repeat absences with out notice, or repeat late drop off without notice.

There are no refunds of payments.

 

 

Subsidized Care Fees

I will be more than happy to take families who receive help from DHHS/ASPIRE for child care costs.  Subsidized families are required to pay a co-pay each week, and are responsible to pay this no matter how much it amounts to. Payments must be made at the beginning of the week, unless other arrangements are made. Parents are also responsible for knowing how much their co-payment is, and providing all the documentation that DHHS/ASPIRE requires in a timely matter. If DHHS/ASPIRE does not pay, the parent will be responsible for all fees including their two week notice period.  All payments will be required to be paid to Nancy Crockett directly.

Vacations and Absences (All slots)

Lil’ Caboose may take two weeks paid vacations and up to 5 paid personal days per calendar year.  Vacations may be split up into days, or entire weeks at a time.  Parents pay their normal weekly fee during their vacations.  If I am open during school Vacations parents pay their normal weekly fee that week for the slot if they choose not to attend.  I ask for, and will give at least 2 weeks notice prior to any closed days, with the exception of emergencies, appointments or illness (these are normal days that parents will pay for).  In the event that I will be away for a period of time my husband Brian may provide substitute care.

  • Parents are responsible for finding backup care during provided absences.
  • There are a limited number of spaces available therefore: weekly payments are not based on child’s attendance.  No refunds are given for late arrivals or early departures, parental vacations,  exclusions due to illness or if you choose not to bring your child to daycare on a given day(s).
  • I am open most snow days, unless there is a reason I need to be closed or close early (No power, no heat, etc).
  • My Vacations: If your child is in my care for 6 months or more and you choose      to reduce their hours, you will be required to pay the rate you paid      before their hours were reduced for my Vacation. I work year round to earn      my Vacations. (Some parents reduce their child’s hours in the summer and I take one Vacation in the Summer.) 

 

Paid Holidays

January 1st – New Years Day

Presidents Day- February

Patriots Day- April

Memorial Day- May

Independence Day- July 4th

Labor Day- September

Thanksgiving Day/ Day after Thanksgiving November

Christmas Eve- December 24th Closing at Noon

Christmas Day- December 25th

Depending on the year dates could change.

 

Late Pick-up Fee

$10.00 for any portion of the first 15 minutes that you’re late and $1.00 per minute after that.  Lil’ Caboose Child Care hours are Monday thru Friday 6:30am to 5:30pm.

 

Late Payment Fee

$10.00 per day that payment is not received on Monday.  If fee isn’t paid by Friday of that week then your child will not be able to attend until the outstanding balance is paid in full.  Continued late payments may result in termination of our contract.

 

NSF CHECKS

Payments may be made by check, but please be aware that if a check is returned to me for non-sufficient funds, you will be required to pay all fees that I incur as a result of the returned check, plus a $25.00 fee.  If two checks bounce in a year’s time, cash may then be required.

 

Registration Fee

There is no annual Fee.

 

Arrival and Departure

Please make all attempts to be in control of your child during pickup and drop off times. While the parents or guardian are on the premises they are responsible for their child.

Authorized people to pick-up

No one other than the parents or designated persons will be allowed to pick up your child without prior arrangements.  I must be notified in advance and have written note with the person’s name and relationship to the child.  They must also have a picture ID with them.  If they do not then the child will not go with that person.  I want to make sure that everyone is safe.

If there is a court order keeping one parent away from the child, I must have a written note from the custodial parent and a copy of the court order in my file to the effect.  Otherwise, I cannot prevent the non-custodial parent from picking up the child.

Nap time

Nap/Movie time will be everyday after lunch to let the children rest for a while. The children not requiring a nap will have the option to read a book, play in the toy room portion of the Daycare or even watch a movie.  Due to State requirements, I MUST put your infant child on his/her back during naps.  If there is a Medical reason they must sleep in any other position, I will need written document and instructions from the child’ Physician.

 

House Rules

The following rules are enforced for the safety and well being of everyone.  Please support me in the enforcement of these rules.

×          There will be no running or throwing permitted in the house.

×          Hitting, pushing, biting, grabbing, kicking, spitting, or pinching other children/infants/adults will NOT be allowed.

×          No standing or climbing on chairs, tables, or furniture.

×          There will be no use of obscene, derogatory or disrespectful language.

×          Children are not permitted to lift and/or carry other children while in my home or on my property.

×          Respectful treatment of other people and all property, toys, and furniture is expected. Willful destruction of property will be charged to the parent at the cost to replace the item. Toys are meant to be played with, and if they break it is most likely from wear and tear. Unless a child deliberately takes a toy and breaks it, you or your child will not be held accountable.

 

 

Behavior Management & Discipline

My philosophy is that you use discipline to teach a child.  I achieve this through love, consistency and firmness.  The children are explained the rules of the daycare frequently so that they know the guidelines.  Once a child understands the rules and disobeys them, hurts another or property, the following developmentally appropriate guidance techniques will be used.  These techniques are as followed:

  1. Positive  Re-enforcement:  The child will be  encouraged when he/she is demonstrating acceptable behavior.
  2. Redirection:  The child is redirected to another activity and given an opportunity to try again at another time.
  3. The child is separated from the group for a child-regulated period of time.  This technique is used only when a child  is exhibiting uncontrolled behavior.  When the child shows that he/she is ready to demonstrate acceptable      behavior, they are encouraged to join the group/activity again.
  4. Last      Resort:  When a child’s behavior is  continually upsetting or dangerous to my self or others a conference will be called with the parents or guardian.       If the problem can not be resolved, arrangements will have to be  made for the child to go elsewhere for care.

 

Child’s behavior when parents are present

Sometimes, if parents and providers are both in the same area (Example: Drop-Off, Pickup and parties) a child may forget the rules or test the boundaries.  Please help show your child that you respect the rules of my house and property.  Remind them that all the rules still apply when you are around.

Child Abuse

I am a mandated reporter. I am required by law to report to the Social Services Office of any suspected physical, emotional, sexual or any other suspected abuse or neglect.

Meals

The children will be offered Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks, but not forced to eat.  If the child does not like the meal that is being served then a sandwich is another option.  Please do not send candy, gum etc with the children.  Infants need to have formula or breast milk and baby food provided until the age of one, when they are able to eat table food.  Please be sure I have sufficient amounts on hand at all times.  The State does not allow the use of glass bottles at a Child Care.

 

Special Diets

If a child has a particular dietary need, substantiated by a medical evaluation, I must be informed and Substitute meals or snacks may then be brought from home.

     

 

      Clothing

Please do not send your child to daycare in clothes that would upset your child when they get dirty.  An extra set of clothing should be brought to daycare everyday, or you can leave an extra outfit here appropriate for the season, in case of accidents with paint, mud, sand, markers, ect.  Please make sure your child’s name is on each piece of clothing.  During the summer months, we like to be outside as much as possible. Sunscreen, provided by the parent, can be kept here, labeled with your child’s name. You may also bring a bottle daily if you prefer. During the winter months, outside clothes should be provided for your child. We will be going out to play as the much as we can. You may leave outside clothes (ie: snow pants, mittens, hats, gloves..ect) here, labeled with your child’s name, or bring them to daycare daily. Snow boots are also important and should be worn or brought daily. Please remember, if your child is not dressed for outside play, we may not be able to go outside that day.

 

      Diapers

Parents are responsible for providing me with plenty of disposable diapers, wipes, ect.  Diapers are checked and changed every 2 to 2 ½ hours or more frequently if required.  Exception, each child will be diapered after waking up from their nap.  Hand washing of myself and the child is performed after each change.  You are welcome to leave a full pack of diapers, wipes, ect  here, and I will notify you when your child’s supply is getting low.

     

Toilet Training

It is strongly suggested that Toilet Training begin at home. Toilet training will be done in a relaxed manner with the cooperation of the parents. If potty training is begun when your child is ready, the task should be easy and quick. Until he/she is totally successful in his/her toileting, he/she should wear pull-ups/training pants and clothes that promote their independence. In addition, your child must have two

complete changes of clothes (don’t forget the socks!) The best items are shorts and pants with elastic waists, or dresses. Try to avoid really tight clothing, pants with snaps and zippers, belts, overalls, and onesies. These are difficult for children to remove “in a hurry”. Please do not bring your child in panties or underwear until he/she has naptimeand bedtime control established.

 

Toys

Toys should not be brought from home.  I cannot take responsibility for lost, stolen or broken toys brought from home.  Should the child deliberately destroy my toys or other property though misuse or willfulness, the parent will be required to replace it.

 

Attendance

If you will not be bringing your child to Daycare for any reason, please let me by

7:00 AM, or as soon as you are aware.

         

Health Matters/Sick Policy

Please do not bring your child if he/she is sick, I can only care for children with mild cold like symptoms (clear runny nose, slight cough and no fever) Per Health Department regulation.  Children will not be allowed to attend the daycare if they exhibit symptoms such as: rash, fever (100 degrees or higher), excessive cold and/or cough, vomiting, diarrhea, lice or nits diseases (chicken pox, rosella, conjunctivitis, mumps, measles, or influenza).

  • If they become ill during daycare hours parents will be contacted immediately to remove their child within 1 hour of being notified.  If parents are not available, the emergency contact person will then be notified.  Once the child is removed from the daycare due to illness, they may not return for a full 24 hour period or be accompanied by a doctor’s note.
  • Note: This sickness policy applies to my family and myself as well.  If I am unavailable due to illness you will be notified by 6:00am or sooner.

    

      Medication

I can administer Prescription and non-prescription Medications, supplied by the parent., as long as written instructions with the child’s name, dose and times accompany the medication and signed consent form.  All medications must be in the original container with the child’s name clearly written on it. ALLERGIES: Please supply anything that may be needing during your child’s time of care with me.  Inhalers, EpiPens, etc with written instruction and signed consent form.

 

     

 

      Medical Emergencies

In case of a serious accident or sudden illness requiring medical attention, the following procedures are followed:

  1. A phone call is made to 911.
  2. Child’s parents or emergency contacts are called.
  3. Child and health records are taken to emergency services by myself or ambulance.
  4. In all cases, an emergency report is completed and a copy is given to parents.

*It is extremely important, especially in instances of illness or emergency that the emergency contact information is correct.  Please report any changes immediately to keep all my information current.

* For minor injuries like bumps or bruises, I will provide first aid care at my home.  If the injury is more serious (Example: needs stitches, broken bones or dislocation, etc) the parents will be notified immediately.  Parents will be responsible for all costs involved in emergency medical treatment, including emergency transportation if required.

 

Disclaimer

I/we hereby agree to comply with the rules and regulations of Lil’ Caboose Child care regarding fees, attendance, health, clothing and other items specified in the Parents Handbook issued by Lil’ Caboose Child Care.  I am aware of the scheduled child care holidays/Vacations. The information contained in the Parent Handbook as well as the rates are subject to change.  You will be notified in writing of any changes before they go in affect.  By signing this agreement, I/we agree to honor all terms of this contract, and the written policies of Lil’ Caboose Child care, now and in the future.  Breech of the contract in any way from the parents, may result in immediate termination of all services.

Payment

Payment is expected in full on Monday morning for that week’s care. If your child does not attend daycare on Monday payment is still expected that day, unless other arrangements have been made with me prior.

A Final Note

I am always open to suggestions and feel communication a very important part of this business.  If there are any problems or concerns, I encourage you to talk to me about it.  If a lengthy conference is needed, a time that is convenient to both of us will be scheduled, as the other children still need my attention during business hours.  Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and your child, and I look forward to the future.

I retain the right to enforce these policies at will.  Lack of enforcement of a certain policy at any given time does not indicate that the particular policy is no longer in effect.

I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the Lil’ Caboose Handbook.  I have read and agree to abide by the rules of Lil’ Caboose Child Care and the handbook.

Parent or Guardian Signature

Date

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