Parent Handbook and Policies – Updated

At Let Them Be Little, I offer a secure place for your child to play, learn and grow. I value diversity, and welcome children regardless of race, gender, religion, or disability. I believe that children learn through exploration and play as well as structure and routine. I promote self-esteem through respect, compassion and understanding.

Communication:
I know how important good communication is in the parent/ provider relationship. The purpose of these policies is to keep misunderstandings from happening. I hope it provides parents with a clear picture of the expectations I have for them and that they may have for me. If at any time a parent has a question concerning any part of these policies, I urge them to talk to me about it immediately. I believe communication between parents and providers is the key to each child getting the best care possible.

Pick-ups and Drop-offs:

Please make pick-ups and drop-offs as quick as possible. It is easier on your child, but also makes it easier for me to watch the other children in the house at that time.

I assume responsibility for your child only while he/she is in my care during regular hours.

No child will be allowed to leave with anyone except the parent, unless indicated on the alternate pick-up list, without WRITTEN permission from the parent. Telephone permission WILL NOT DO! Anyone unfamiliar to me will be required to show proof of identification. Please make the alternate pick-up person aware of these requirements.
If the person picking up the child appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, another authorized person will be called to pick-up both the child and the adult.
If you have any questions or concerns, I am always available via phone or email anytime (651-895-4932 or tmmmrtn@yahoo.com).

Hours of Operation:
7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. Please communicate alternate arrangements or anytime outside of the core care hours.
Child/Adult Ratios:
Class A total capacity is 10
Of these no more than 6 may by children under kindergarten
Of these no more than 3 may be children under 2 years of age
Of these no more than 2 may be children under 12 months of age

Rates & Fees: Contact me for rates and fees

Added value for parents: All full time enrolled children are eligible for 1 free (yes free) weekend play date every 6 weeks. I will select a Saturday and provide free child care. Saturday time will be from 3-8 PM. This is equal to $50 in free childcare 8 times a year. Plan a date night, run errands, take a nap, get caught up on projects. The children will be involved in planning special events for this play date. It is an added value to you and a fun time for them!

Payment:

The full weekly payment is due by 5:30PM on Monday for that week of care. You are paying for a position, as well as a service. These fees are due regardless of unforeseen or arranged absences such as illness. After 5:30 pm, the late fee ($10 per day) will be assessed. If payment is not made by Monday, your child will not be accepted into care until payment, including all late fees, is made. If a period of 7 days passes without payment received, the contract will be terminated, the position filled, and the collections process begun. You will be responsible for any costs related to collection of the childcare fees.

Cash or Check is accepted and a receipt will be given upon request. A year end statement of all childcare fees paid will be provided within the first 4 weeks of the New Year.

Late Payment Fee: $10.00 per day that payment is not received by 5:30 pm on Monday for that week. If you are unable to make your payment, please let me know.

Returned Check Fee:

A $30.00 fee plus any additional costs I incur for a returned check. Cash payment will be due within 24hrs of notice of a returned check. Late Payment Fee (above) will apply if payment is not promptly received. After a 2nd returned check, all future payments must be made in cash. A notice will be sent home with the child on Thursdays if there have been any fees incurred. These fees will need to be paid on Friday with regular childcare fees.

Late Policy:

If a parent is 10 minutes late and I have not received a phone call to tell me the expected pick-up time, I will call the parent numbers that I have. If I am unable to reach anyone, I will try again at 20 and at 30 minutes late. If there is still no answer, and the parent has not shown up the child’s alternate pick-up person will be called for pick-up. Continuing efforts will be made to contact someone. If after 1 hour no parent or alternate pickup person is able to be contacted the police or other authorities may be notified. Please make sure your emergency contact information is correct and updated as needed. If this situation ever occurs, I will make every effort to care for your child as normal and help them not become worried. I will continue to care for the child until the parent or an alternate contact person or the authorities have arrived and taken the child into their care or custody. At no time will the children be blamed for their parents lateness or will it be discussed in the presence of the child. Repeated (non-emergency) lateness is grounds for termination of childcare.

Please be courteous and inform me of lateness and absences by 7:30 am, as waiting for children to arrive affects our daily schedule. In support of LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK Campaign, I will contact you in the event you do not show to a regularly scheduled day. Please take a look at this link regarding LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK to learn more about the pledge: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/interagency-projects/look-before-you-lock

Holidays and Vacation:
I will take a total of two weeks of vacation annually. One week will be unpaid and the other paid. I will give you a 90 day notice of vacation days to make alternative arrangements.

I observe the listed below paid holidays and additional days:
• New Year’s Day
• Memorial Day
• The 4th of July
• Labor Day
• Thanksgiving
• Day after Thanksgiving
• Christmas Eve
• Christmas Day

I will remain open for all other holidays that are not listed above.

You will be required to pay for care when you take vacation to hold your spot. Please give us as much notice as possible.

Summer Schedule

Please note, that if you are in a profession that allows your child to not attend child care during the summer months (June, July, August), your child’s spot will only be guaranteed in the Fall if your child attends during the summer on a part-time schedule (3 days per week). This will allow your child to stay on the child care schedule and routines. If you decide your child will not attend childcare during the summer, please be aware your spot may or may not be available in the Fall.

Unexpected Daycare Closings:

Notification of at least 30 days will be given prior to any additional closed days with the exception of emergencies or illness. Please have a backup childcare provider for these occasions. The provider is not responsible for finding alternate care for your child.

**There will not be a charge for unexpected closings (illness, death in the family, etc.) The daily amount (your weekly rate divided by 5) will be credited towards your next weekly payment.

Court Orders:

If there is a court order keeping one parent or guardian away from the child, I must have a notarized copy of that court order in my files to that effect. Otherwise, I cannot legally prevent the non-custodial parent from picking up the child.

Terminating Child Care:

A two-week notice must be given prior to terminating childcare services. Parents will be responsible for paying for the two weeks after notice is given regardless of whether parents choose to keep children in care for those two weeks. If I feel that the requirements of the contract are not being met or if there is a conflict in caring for a child I may choose to terminate the contract. I will give families a minimum of a 30 day notice in this case.

I reserve the right to immedietly terminate the service if:
1. Immunizations are not kept current (by MN state regulations)
2. Childcare fees not paid in full
3. If the parent is not supportive of the policies and procedures
4. The provider is treated in an abusive or derogatory manner
5. The child’s behavior is unmanageable, and/or harmful to the other children or to the provider.

If immediate termination/dismissal is required for non-payment, a two week payment is required with no further care provided. If payment is not made and your account remains delinquent, legal actions will be taken. All collection charges, late charges and legal fees will be added to your account and owed to the child care provider.

Daily Schedule:
I like to provide a great combination of child-directed and structured activities for infants and children including arts and crafts, circle time, song and dance, outside play, cooking and baking, blocks and cars, legos, dramatic play, writing and drawing, reading, tummy time and baby and provider playtime. Our schedule is structured, but I do reserve the right to change it to allow for some flexibility if the children need more time to complete an activity.

Infants- Feed and nap based on baby’s schedule
We have a daily circle-time which includes calendar, weather, and our monthly topics. We also try to include many of the following things during our routine each day!

1. Small muscle: Coloring, puzzles, play dough, and a variety of blocks and other activities.

2. Large muscle: Crawling, marching, running, jumping, dancing, stretching, exercising, and sports participation such as: bowling, playing catch, basketball, etc.

3. Creative play: Play areas that may include store, house, kitchen, dress up, and puppets. (Stimulate child’s imagination and language skills)

4. Arts & Crafts: Projects emphasizing creativity/technique and most importantly “trying” rather than final outcome.

5. Music: Daily use of songs, rhymes, poems and music.

6. Science: Activities that encourage investigations, observing, discovering and problem solving. Example: cooking, growing a plant, bug hunts, etc.

7. Math: Counting is a part of every day. Other activities involving concepts such as: volume, size, shape, and measurements.

8. Language Arts: Story time will occur daily. Children will be encouraged to participate in group conversations, social conversations, storytelling, and role-play.

9. Outdoor Play: We will go outside daily, weather permitting (if it’s too cold for the baby, we will remain indoors). On days when we cannot get outside, we will have activities planned for large muscle development.

Meals/Snacks:
Nutritionally balanced meals and snacks will be served in accordance with the USDA food program guidelines. The children are offered the food and encouraged but not forced to eat.

Children are encouraged to use meal time to share their experiences with each other. Manners will be taught and encouraged at this time as well. Please list on the child information sheet any food allergies the child may have. If your child needs a special diet, I will attempt to adjust my menus, or ask that you provide some of these foods. Food, lunches, and bottles brought from home must be labeled with the child’s name and current date and will be refrigerated when necessary. Bottles will be washed after use or sent home with parent to be washed.

For infants, parents will provide formula and jars of baby food. I am also very supportive of those parents who wish to continue breastfeeding their infants. You may send breast milk for your baby and if it works with your work schedule you may breastfeed your baby here on your breaks. Under the food program, an infant is required to be on baby food by 8-months old unless an alternate diet form is filled out by their physician. Once the child is on table food, I will provide all their snacks and meals.

Open Door:
You are invited and welcome to visit the day care any time your children are present. You are asked to avoid visiting during nap/quiet time as much as possible. Please knock as the door may be kept locked for safety reasons, but I will quickly answer the door as soon as you arrive. Parents are free to call or text at any time within reason. Remember I am taking care of your children so texting me throughout the day will draw my attention away from the children. If I do not answer, please leave a message, and I will call you back as soon as possible.
Also, you are free to inquire at any time as to the number or ages of children I have in my care. My own children ages 11 and under count in how many children I am legally allowed to care for.

Child Guidance and Management:
I believe discipline should be used to teach a child, not as punishment. The children are explained the rules of Let Them Be Little frequently so that all know what is expected. Positive reinforcement is used often to try to encourage positive behavior. Here are some of the techniques I use to guide a child’s behavior:

1. Indirect Guidance: I will create an environment that encourages good behavior through my daycare’s physical layout and design, appropriate curriculum, activities and materials.
2. Redirection: I offer alternatives to children engaged in undesirable behavior by presenting a different toy or activity.
3. Verbal Intervention: I explain to the child the inappropriate behavior and show him/her the appropriate way to handle the situation.
4. Consequences: I help the child understand the logical consequence of his/her actions by removing the object or activity in which the child is engaged.
5. Take a Break: Take a break is a chance for a child to relax and calm down in a place of his or her choosing within the main daycare area. The child will choose when he or she is ready to be done with the break and return to the program’s activities. This location may be on the couch or snuggling with Mr. Bear or any other appropriate location.
6. Ignoring: Some negative behavior is produced by a child to get attention. It can sometimes be stopped when it does not get the attention desired. I will use this technique unless a safety issue is involved.
7. Time Out: In cases where children use physical violence against others (hitting, biting, kicking, pushing), I reserve the right to put a child in time out within the daycare area and within sight of the provider for up to one minute per year of age of the child. No child under the age of 2 will be put into time out and it will be reserved for the above listed situations.
8. A conference with the parents.
No one is ever punished for failure to eat, sleep or for having toilet training accidents; or for any other unintentional accidents of any kind.

No physical restraint, binding or tying the child to restrict the child’s movement or enclosing the child in a confined space will be used. No one will ever have food withheld or forced. No actions that are cruel or humiliating to the child will ever be used.

Rest Time:
Infants and young toddlers are allowed to sleep on their own schedules. Typically at some point between 6-9 months, infants do naturally settle into morning (9am-10:00) and afternoon (1:45-2:00) nap routine. No infant or young toddler will be made to follow this schedule, but that is what I have found to work very well in our program. I have cribs and a pack n’ play available.

All children will be REQUIRED to have a nap/rest period of at least 30-minutes (starting when all children are lying down). No child is forced to sleep, however they must remain quiet. School aged children, and those who wake early, will be allowed to read a book or play quietly until rest time is over after the initial one hour of resting time has elapsed. I will not wake any children prior to 3:00 pm if they are still asleep. Any children still sleeping by 3:00 will be woken up from nap unless parents would like for me to let them sleep later than 3:00. Please try not to schedule pick-ups or visits until after 3:00pm to lessen the disturbance to the resting children. A couch and sleeping mats are available if they choose to rest longer then 30-minutes.

Supplies:
Each child will have a designated space for their personal items. Please bring the following things for your child to have available.
1. A complete change of extra clothing. This includes shirt, pants, underwear, and socks. Please replenish if the items are returned to you. Please be sure these are season appropriate. Please bring 2 changes of clothing while toilet training.
2. Diapers or pull-ups (if needed).
3. Special blanket or stuffed animal, and pacifier for nap time, if needed. I will wash all blankets a bedding each week. Please do not bring any other toys aside from these objects unless it is a designated sharing day.

Clothing:
Children should wear clothing for comfort and convenience. Comfortable sneakers or sandals should be worn, and water shoes for summer play (or the child may go bare-foot). Please dress your child in clothing that is suitable for the weather. This means hats, mittens, snow pants and jackets/coats when necessary. We will go outside EVERY day unless the weather is too cold/hot or windy, so please dress your child appropriately.
I have a sprinkler and a variety of water toys for warm weather water play. A swimsuit and towel may be requested for these days. Due to insurance and licensing regulations, we will not be using any swimming pools during daycare hours.

This is a hands-on childcare, children learn by doing. They will play with water, sand, dirt, paint, and many other materials while at my home. I use washable art supplies, but caution never hurts! Children should not be worried about getting dirty or having spills on their clothing. Please dress your child in play clothes and shoes that can get dirty. Parents must bring a complete change of clothing every day, or leave a change of clothing at the daycare. I will do my best to take care of the child’s belongings.

*Parents are encouraged to bring extra seasonal outdoor clothing such as hats, mittens, coats, etc. to keep at daycare. If you prefer you may supply these items to be left here. The option of leaving these items here is for your convenience and is not required.

Potty Training:
Potty training is to be done mostly in the home environment with the guidance of the parents. I will assist in potty training according to the parents’ requirements, but should and will not be the sole potty trainer. For this reason please ensure that you begin potty training with your child when both you and your child are ready and able to dedicate the time, patience and consistency required. Your child must come dressed in a diaper or pull up (and provide several changes of clothing and pull-ups/diapers) until shown to be fully potty trained.

Illness:

It is in everyone’s best interest that a sick child stays home. If a child has any of the symptoms listed below, they will not be permitted to attend day care until 24 hours after the last incidence of fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, or until 24 FULL hours after medical treatment has begun as prescribed by a physician.
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
1. Underarm temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or over, or an oral temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or over
2. Diarrhea or loose stools (cannot be contained by the diaper or toilet)
3. Rash, other than mild diaper or heat-related rash (child will not be allowed in daycare until a medical exam has indicated it is not a communicable disease)
4. Vomiting
5. Pinkeye or eye drainage
6. Chickenpox-until all blisters have dried and formed scabs, about 6 days after the onset of the rash.
7. Sore throat or loss of voice
8. Hacking or continuous coughing
In the event that your child is ill and needs to miss a day, please call or text before your anticipated arrival, just as a courtesy.

If a child becomes ill while at daycare, parents will be notified and he/she must be picked up within one hour. The sick child will, if possible, be isolated from the other daycare children to minimize exposure, although, not in a bad way as to make them feel even worse.

The parents must notify me within 24 hours of the diagnosis of a serious, contagious illness, or parasitic infestation listed below:
Amebic Dysentery Pertussis (whopping cough)
Brucellosis Psittacosis
Encephalitis (all types) Reye’s Syndrome
Food borne Illness Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Hepatitis, Viral (A, B, Non A, Non B) Rubella
Lead Poisoning Salmonellosis
Leprosy Shigellosis
Leptospirosis Trichinosis
Malaria Tuberculosis
Meningitis (all infectious types Tularemia
Meningococcemia Typhus
Mumps Venereal Disease
Occupationally Related Diseases Yellow Fever
Ophthalmia Neonatorum
Anthrax Cholera Plague Rabies Tetanus
Botulism Measles (Rubella) Poliomyelitis Small Pox

***If one of my own children is sick and I will not be able to provide care to other children, I will notify parents as soon as possible before daycare and parents will need to have backup child care for that day. There will be no charge for that day.

If one of my own children becomes so ill that I cannot provide care for other children during child care hours, I will notify parents and children will need to be picked up within one hour.

Health:
Written permission is required before any medication, diapering products, sunscreens, lotions, or insect repellants can be given. All prescription medications must have the child’s name, name of medication, Doctor’s name, name of pharmacy, prescription number, date, and directions for administering/dosage on the label. The medication must be in the original container as dispensed by the pharmacy. Administration of any medication will be logged on a Medication Administration Record.
Parents are required to provide updated immunization records for their children.

Safety:
Our house is set up as a safe environment for children. We have emergency fire and storm procedures. Practice drills will be completed regularly and recorded in a monthly log provided by the county.
Please DO NOT send toys, food, candy, gum, or money with your child unless specifically asked to do so. These items place an unnecessary burden on the provider, and may cause the child to become upset when taken away. These items can also pose a choking hazard if the provider is not aware of them.
In the event of any injury (other than minor scrapes, bumps, scratches, etc.), the parents will be notified immediately and an accident report will be filed with the county!
Although supervision is constantly given, I cannot be by the child’s side at all times to prevent falls, tripping, bumps, etc. If the child is injured in a non-life-threatening way, I will assess the child and provide home first-aid.
In the event of a serious injury, the parents will be notified immediately and necessary steps will be taken to obtain medical aid. For emergency purposes, PARENTS MUST KEEP ALL CONTACT NUMBERS CURRENT. If immediate intervention is required, I will take appropriate action, including calling 911 and having your child transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Fire: There is a fire extinguisher located in my kitchen. If there is a fire that cannot be extinguished quickly, the children will be evacuated immediately before calling 911. We will practice fire drills monthly so the children will be prepared in the event of a fire.

Pets:
I have one dog and one cat, Harley and Skittles. They are kid-friendly and lovable. They have been certified as healthy by a veterinarian and are current on all immunizations. Harley and Skittles will not be allowed in the daycare during daycare hours. No child will be left unsupervised around my dog or cat at any time.

Smoking:
We are a non-smoking home. At no time is smoking permitted in our living quarters or around any children. I ask that parents extinguish any cigarettes before leaving their vehicle. Cigarette butts on the ground outside of our house will not be tolerated.

Firearms: We are a firearm free home.

Television Viewing:
Television viewing is an important issue for parents. TV time will be very limited and monitored. Viewing time may be allowed in early mornings (prior to breakfast or during lunch prep. This can amount to 1/2 hour per day depending on when your child is here or if they want to watch. The programs I allow children to view are shows on PBS Kids, Disney Jr or Nick Jr. If there are any objections to this, please let me know. I will honor parent’s personal rules about television viewing. We occasionally watch children’s movies which are rated G (or not rated) such as Elmo, Sesame Street, or Disney videos. We also may have a movie once per month as a special movie day. Again, please let me know of any objections to any movies.

Holidays/Birthdays:
We honor major holidays and all children’s birthdays. I always provide cake, cupcakes or ice cream, but if you would like to bring a special treat for the children, please let me know ahead of time. You are more than welcome to participate in ANY activities we have planned. Please let me know if you do not wish for a holiday (Christmas, Halloween, etc.) to be focused upon.

Child Abuse/Neglect:
I am required by law to report any suspected signs of child abuse and/or neglect. This includes any form of physical punishment by the parents in my home. Any request to use physical punishments will be noted in the child’s file along with a written refusal from the provider, signed by the provider.

Nondiscrimination Practices:
Provider shall not discriminate in relation to admissions on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion or sex.

Insurance Coverage:
I have liability insurance from Assure Child Care.

Confidentiality:
The information that you supply the provider will be kept confidential. I will, at all times, respect your privacy. Before any of the information is released to outside persons, the parents will sign a release form. (This does not apply to law enforcement.)
***These policies are subject to change and will be updated (and must be signed) yearly. A two week notice will be given when a policy is changed, added, or revised.

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