DAYCARE POLICIES OF
BUSINESS PHONE: 763-425-9819
Normal license capacity for my daycare allows for up to 10 children under the age of 10, with no more than 8 under school age at any given time. Of those 8 children, no more than 3 may be infants or toddlers with no more than 2 being infants.
WHAT I AM
To be a licensed daycare provider, I must take many continuing education classes every year on such topics as nutrition, first aid, CPR, SIDS, Shaken Baby Syndrome, curriculum, child development, discipline, or other child-related topics. I must keep extensive records, have all household members’ criminal and driving records checked, and have my home, records, and procedures checked, with both scheduled and unannounced inspections. Food preparation is checked several times a year and menus are checked monthly, also with both scheduled and unannounced inspections. I also provide liability insurance for the children, nutritious, home-cooked meals and snacks, an appropriately equipped educational environment, and scheduled preschool activities and curriculum.
I have completed college courses in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and also in Speech Development and Problems in Preschoolers, among other child-related areas. I am certified as an Early Literacy Specialist. In the past, I have been a Special Olympics coach, a tutor, a church youth leader, a Christian scouting leader, and a Sunday school teacher. I have been published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on daycare subjects and have worked with our state's legislature regarding children’s issues. I have taught classes in childcare. In 1995, I was one of ten daycare providers in the northern suburbs to be awarded by the Greater Minneapolis Daycare Association and in 1996, I worked with the Greater Minneapolis Daycare Association on a pilot project to teach daycare providers cultural diversity awareness and sensitivity. I was a finalist for Childcare Worker of the Year 2000. I was one of only four finalists in the state for Provider of the Year 2004. I was one of the authors of Teachers Touch Eternity, published in 2007. I was a Registered Optometric Technician as well as a Registered Optometric Assistant prior to becoming a licensed daycare provider.
I am a professional. Just as you work hard to be the best nurse or teacher or engineer you can be, I also work hard to be the best daycare provider for your children. I am proud of the work I do. I am not a teenage baby-sitter or a homemaker who has your children over to play with mine. Taking care of children is my job and I do so 10 hours a day. I have no lunch hours or coffee breaks. My job does not provide for paid vacation time, health insurance, sick leave, a retirement plan, or other benefits you may enjoy and I do not ask for these things but I do ask that you treat me as the educated professional that I am.
I am often asked by new parents what type of a daycare I have. I would say that I offer the best of both daycare worlds—the home daycare and the center or preschool. I have a small daycare within my home, which appeals to many parents, but it also has the facility and the curriculum of a preschool or daycare center, something that many parents are also looking for. I offer the curriculum and the facility of a preschool or daycare center for the more affordable cost of a home daycare. I try to have a feeling of “home” here and treat the children as part of a family. I follow a daily schedule with time provided for structured and non-structured activities for toddlers and preschoolers that are appropriate for the ages of the children in my care. Time is always available to infants to meet their needs when they arise. A copy of our daily schedule can be found on the daycare's web site. Time is scheduled for indoor and outdoor activities, weather permitting. Safe and educational toys and books for all ages are provided for free play time. War or army-type toys or play is not available or encouraged. Toys available include large muscle equipment, musical toys, dolls, blocks, stuffed animals, push and pull toys, and toys to encourage roll playing and pretend play, among other items. Time is also spent each day in structured, preschool activities. This time includes such activities as reading stories, learning the calendar, learning new vocabulary words, practicing printing their names and letters, using a scissor, singing, coloring, playing games, exercising, playing musical instruments, doing puzzles, using play dough, painting, baking, crafts, and learning numbers, letters, and colors. Each day, a curriculum and activities are planned and include special activities and projects to celebrate holidays and special days. Each week has a weekly theme that unifies our stories, projects, and activities for that week. The themes teach a variety of subjects including cooperation, dental health, poison awareness, manners, exercise, nutrition, science, germs, plants, the 5 senses, self-esteem, a variety of cultures and animals, and many other topics. I also hire a geography teacher that comes to the daycare once a month. Each month, she teaches the children about a different country or part of the world through the use of flannel boards, puzzles, games, songs, stories, activities, and hands on objects. These lessons, planned for children age 2-6, teach the children about geography, different cultures, and different people and animals from all over the world. The lessons are on a three-year cycle, so your child should learn something about everywhere in the world before they start kindergarten. The children are encouraged to, but not forced to, participate in an activity. Sufficient toys are provided for all children. Please do not send special toys for your child.
I also try to teach appropriate social behavior to the children. These are some of the things that I feel are important: Share. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Tell the truth. Don’t swear. Wash your hands. Flush. Follow directions. Say please and thank you. Don’t run or yell inside. Take turns. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Although I think all of these things are important for children to learn, they are sometimes difficult for children to master, so reminders and patience are to be expected.
I try to do for your children what you would do if you were here. I rock them when they cry, praise them when they succeed, feed them when they’re hungry, kiss their sores, and give them lots of hugs. In short, I try to be their “second mom” when you are not around.
Good communication on an ongoing basis is essential in any relationship. No relationship remains successful over time unless all partners have open and honest communication. Small questions, concerns, or misunderstandings can fester into large ones unless they’re discussed and resolved. I encourage all of the children’s parents to feel free to talk to me at any time. Please don’t feel that you will offend me or hurt my feelings in some way. Remember that we both want what is best for your child. Along with encouraging talk, I do several other things to keep in touch with the parents. All parents receive a daily note listing when their child slept and what they ate. Each month a newsletter is sent home listing the month's curriculum and special upcoming activities and other items of interest to the parents. Current newsletters, schedules, and many other areas of interest to parents can be accessed at any time by visiting the daycare's web site. Every April, evening conferences are scheduled to answer questions or concerns by either party and talk about how your child is developing and/or any long-term plans, goals, or problems. Of course, should a special need arise, parents should feel free to ask for a conference at any time.
The word discipline means “to teach” not “to punish”. I believe discipline should give a child guidance which will help him acquire a positive self-image, self-control, and teach acceptable behavior. It should be a learning tool, not a punishment designed to make a child feel bad about himself or lower their self-esteem. When children do not pay attention to my verbal reminders or are out of control, a short time away from the other children or the situation is often helpful. Normal childhood behavior is a part of any daycare day and adult guidance and direction helps children learn and develop into kind and responsible people. Unacceptable behavior that is chronic or severe will be discussed with the child's parents.
In consideration of the other children, please do not bring your child to the daycare if he has been in the contagious stage of an illness within the past 24 hours. A guideline for childhood illnesses can be found on the daycare's web site to help you determine when your child is contagious or must be excluded from daycare. Generally speaking, if your child has been ill with vomiting, severe diarrhea, or a fever that is not from a known non-contagious source (such as an ear infection or immunizations) your child should remain home until he is free of these symptoms for 24 hours. If your child will be staying home for the day, please phone and let me know. If your child becomes ill during the day, I will phone you and we can discuss what action to take. When your child is here but recovering, I can make special accomodations to diet and rest time. The tuition charge for the week will remain the same when your child has been ill.
When the daycare children leave my property, we travel on foot and/or in strollers for walks or to the playground. I do not transport the daycare children in a vehicle. Whenever possible, you will be notified in advance that we will be leaving the daycare. No child will be allowed to leave my home with anyone other than their parents unless I have prior permission from their parents.
On rare occasions, the need arises for me to be away from the daycare for a short period of time for reasons such as a doctor’s appointment. Whenever possible, I will arrange for substitute care for the appointment time. An adult trained in CPR will be present at the daycare at all times and every adult having contact with infants or toddlers is trained in SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome and has completed the required background screenings.
Second-hand smoke in small, developing lungs is dangerous. Children who are around smoke are found to be more likely to have ear infections, colds, respiratory problems, asthma attacks, and many other health concerns, including SIDS deaths. In Minnesota, it is against daycare regulations for anyone to smoke in a daycare home during daycare hours. Our home is a non-smoking home at all times, during the daycare day, evenings, and weekends.
Toilet training will be started when the parents and I determine that it is appropriate to the child’s age and stage of development. A child needs to have developed enough verbal skills to express himself and answer questions correctly. They also need to have enough muscle coordination to physically be able to control body functions. At that time we will discuss and develop a plan for toilet training. I can provide parents with written hints and suggestions to make training as easy as possible and I will assist parents as much as possible in the training process. All children being trained will be offered and encouraged to use the toilet often. Accidents do happen, and I often toilet train several children a year. This could take it’s toll on the daycare's carpeting and furniture. It is also quite unsanitary, especially for younger, crawling children. For these reasons, I require children being trained to wear plastic-backed training pants, plastic pants over regular training pants, or “pull-ups” style disposable training pants until accidents are occuring infrequently. Please be sure to send ample clothes in case of accidents and dress your child in simple-to-wear clothes like pants with an elastic waist so they can learn to go to the bathroom with little or no assistance. With patience, this can be a positive experience for everyone.
I expect each child to take a rest time for sleeping or quiet time each day. A nursery room is available for infants and toddlers for sleeping. Separate cribs are provided for all infants and toddlers. For infants under 12 months old, only sleep sacks are used as a covering and nothing else can be placed in their cribs. All caregivers will always place infants to rest in the sleep position designated in writing by the parents. Sleeping infants are checked frequently and at regular intervals. The walls of the nursery are insulated to help keep it quiet when the older children are awake. Children age 2 and older nap on cots. Each child has their own youth-sized pillow and blanket. You may supply your own blanket to leave here if you so choose. Between 1 and 3 p.m., when the children are napping, is quiet time at the daycare. I ask that you please not arrive at the daycare during this time as it disrupts the sleeping children.
Time is taken on a monthly basis to discuss with the children emergency, fire, or storm plans. Drills are held, weather permitting.
MEALS AND SNACKS
I follow the nutritional guidelines for children set by the USDA food program. A copy of the USDA guidelines for infants and children will be given to you if you would like one. A list of common foods served here can also be found on the daycare's web site. A note stating what was served each day is sent home at the end of the day. Your child will receive limited salt, fat, and sugar items and meals and snacks include home-cooked instead of pre-packaged foods whenever possible. I do expect each child to try eating all the foods being served but they are not required to clean their plates. I serve a noon lunch meal and an after nap meal, both including milk, a protein, fruits and/or vegetables and a grain product. I also provide formula and baby food for infants. Mothers who choose to, are welcome to and encouraged to continue to nurse after they return to work and we can discuss several ways to do this successfully. All babies will be held for bottle feedings. I do not bottle-prop. I request that all babies be off of bottles during the daycare day when they turn one year old. I will assist you in cup training. The USDA food program requires that all children be off of formula and baby food by their first birthday and eating all the foods served to the other children at the daycare unless that child has special health problems or allergy concerns, both of which require a doctor's written dietary statement. These USDA requirements are the same at all licensed daycare homes or centers. Please do not send bag lunches, snacks, candy, or gum for your child as this will cause problems with the other children.
Each January, families receive a schedule of the days the daycare will be closed for holidays and my vacation for the upcoming year so families can plan accordingly. Parents are not charged tuition when I am on vacation. Parents are also not charged tuition for one week of their vacation a year ONLY IF they have given me at least one month’s prior notification of the dates you will be gone. Many families desiring more vacation time choose to schedule time off from their job during my vacation when the daycare is closed. If you desire additional time off at another time of year, you will need to pay tuition for the additional time off. I will also give you at least a month’s notice before my vacation. An alternate vacation schedule is available for parents who are students or school staff.
The daycare is closed the following days or their observed days: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day. These days are considered paid holidays. Although I usually do not need them, I also may take up to 2 paid personal days off a year for family emergencies, funerals, serious illness, etc. and will try to give you as much prior notification as possible. The list of dates that the daycare will be closed for holidays during the year is given to you in January and can also be found on the daycare's web site.
Tuition is due in the morning of the last day of the week that your child attends daycare. I count on my paycheck just as you do. A late fee of $5 per day per child is charged when your tuition is not paid on time. A charge of $20 is charged for returned checks. The beginning of every June, there is a tuition increase of $5 per child per week, or $1 per day, to cover increasing costs and any salary increase. There are no deposit fees, holding fees, or registrations fees at my daycare.
If, at any time, you need to terminate my services, a 2 week written notification is required. If, for some reason, I would need to terminate my care of your child, I will also try to give you 2 weeks notice. During the last 2 weeks of care, tuition is due in advance on Monday morning.
I do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
DROP OFF AND PICK UP
I am very fortunate to have been able to custom-design an area specifically for my daycare. It was built durable and strong to function well for all the children and traffic a daycare has. It is child-proofed and user-friendly for your children. However, the rest of my home was built for my family’s enjoyment and use. Please enter and leave the daycare through the daycare entrance. (Our home’s doors are normally locked during the day for safety reasons.) Please remember to be considerate of neighbors and my family who may be sleeping when you are dropping off your child early in the morning. The walkway to the daycare is well lit on dark mornings and evenings. We will keep the walkway to the daycare shoveled and sanded in the winter to make it safe and convenient for you.
For the convenience for the other parents and my family, do not block the other cars in the driveway or road when you park so they may leave when they are ready.
It is always wonderful to visit with you when you drop off or pick up your child, however, please be sensitive to the time of day and the demands of what is going on at the daycare. Staying too long can sometimes be an inconvenience for everyone and may make it more difficult for your child to separate from you.
I will be happy to help you with your child’s coats, boots, etc. Please make sure your children remove their shoes or boots in the coat area and if you are planning on walking onto the carpet, please remove your shoes. Once your child is dressing in the coat area at pick up time, he should not be running back and forth into the daycare's carpeted play area.
WHAT TO BRING
Parents of infants should bring 2 plastic bottles with nipples, and 2 sets of clothes to leave here. Please feel free to bring old or stained clothes as these are for emergency purposes only. For your convenience, I provide children with disposable diapers and wipes until toilet trained. Older children will also need a change of clothes left here in case of spills or accidents. If you feel it would add to your child’s security, you may choose to supply a blanket from your home for nap time. It will be available for nap time only and needs to be left here and not brought back and forth from your home daily. I will gladly supply a blanket for naps for your child if you so choose. I will supply soft, child-sized pillows for all older children. These pillows are easy to store, wash, and keep clean so please do not supply an adult-size bed pillow for your child.
WHEN YOU’RE LATE
Like you, my family and I really appreciate our family time. Although I truly enjoy my time with your children, a 10 hour day is a long day for anyone, your child included. Please pick up your child PROMPTLY ON TIME. Because we have older children with school activities, we often have early evening or supper plans that cannot be changed and it is not always possible for me to work even just a few minutes past 5:00. If you know you will be late, please phone. I do not like to charge you an overtime fee as I’d rather not work overtime, but if you are late, be prepared to pay a late fee of $5 per 15 minutes per child with your tuition that week.
To some parents, some of my daycare policies may seem silly, unimportant, or even inconvenient; but I wouldn’t have the policy unless it was important. Most of the policies are meant to ensure the health and safety of all the children, to protect our home and belongings, to be fair to all the daycare families, and to make the daycare operate smoothly.
--Please read over the policy information carefully and keep it handy for future reference. If it’s mentioned in the policy information, please expect to abide by it unless we have discussed some prior arrangement because of a special situation.
--Please have your children leave their candy or gum at your home. What they need here will be provided and their having special treats causes problems with the other children.
--Please have your children leave their own toys at your home. It avoids fights between the children and tears if I need to put something up that is causing problems or is not age-appropriate for the other children here. It also eliminates searching to find things at the busy time of day when children are going home and eliminates problems or hard feelings if things are broken, lost, or forgotten. Our schedule does not normally allow enough time for a DVD movie and what you may consider appropriate for child-viewing may not be considered appropriate by the other children’s parents or for the other ages present at the daycare.
--Please make sure you and your children remove shoes or boots before entering the carpeted area.
--Please pick up your children on time and leave without spending unnecessary time playing.
--Please remember your tuition is due in the morning of the last day of the week your child is at the daycare. I depend on my paycheck on time just as you do.
THANK YOU for observing these and the other policies we have here. I really appreciate it as it makes for a good and long-lasting daycare arrangement for all concerned--parents, provider, and children.
PLACING YOUR CHILD IN MY CARE MEANS YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTAND, AND AGREE TO FOLLOW THESE POLICIES.
DAYCARE HOURS: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
AGE TWO TO SIX YEARS OLD: $190 per week
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