Dear Parent,

Congratulations! By choosing a licensed Family Child Care Provider, you have made an important child care decision for you and your family. The Office of Child Care Services (OCCS) now invites you to join in a partnership with us and your Family Child Care Provider to ensure a high quality child care environment. This fact sheet and enrollment packet outlines the information you must give to your provider, and will acquaint you with some of the key OCCS standards designed to ensure a safe, healthy, educational child care experience.

The first day your child attends child care, you must give your provider a copy of the attached Family Child Care Enrollment Contract. Without these completed documents, which must be updated annually, the provider cannot care for your child. This requirement ensures that the provider has all the important information and phone numbers he or she will need in order to provide the best possible care for your child.

We encourage you to maintain an open dialogue with your provider, as communication between parents and providers is the foundation for a solid working relationship, and a good child care experience. Before filling out your child enrollment form, please read the important information contained in the PARENT FACT SHEET below. Remember, OCCS is always available as a resource to both you and your provider.

Look for the License

OCCS has quality standards for all licensed child care programs to ensure high educational value, as well as health and safety. A license means that a Family Child Care Provider has demonstrated that he or she meets the standards outlined in the OCCS regulations. To obtain your own copy of OCCS Family Child Care Regulations, you may download them from the OCCS web site at www.qualitychildcare.org.

Enrollment/Capacity

A provider may only care for the number of children he or she has been licensed for. You can find out what your provider's licensed capacity is by checking the license, which is posted in the home. Please note that a provider may care for no more than three children under the age of two without an assistant. If you have concerns or questions about the number of children in your provider’s care, discuss the situation with your provider or contact OCCS.

Supervision

Supervision is critical to keeping children safe. Child care providers must directly supervise the children at all times. This means that a provider must be able to see or hear the children without interference. Use of Assistants If approved by OCCS, a provider can have an assistant to help care for the child care children. A provider must also inform the child's parent or guardian of the name of the assistant and when the assistant will be helping the provider with child care.

Medical Information

Medical information about your child must be given to your provider within one month from the day your child begins care. There are three things your provider will need:

A statement from a doctor or health care professional that says that your child received a physical exam within the past year;

Evidence that your child has been immunized as recommended by the Department of Public Health;

If your child is nine months of age or older, a statement from a doctor or health care professional which says that your child has been screened for lead poisoning.

Please note: Your child's immunization record must be updated and given to the provider in accordance with the Department of Public Health's immunization schedule. Also, your child's lead screening report must be updated as required by Department of Public Health Regulations. This report must also be given to the provider. If your child is school age, the provider may accept from you a written statement that the required information is on file with the child’s school.

Safety

OCCS has a number of licensing standards related to safety in a Family Child Care Home. Most of these standards outline common safety precautions such as making dangerous materials inaccessible to children, covering outlets, having a first aid kit, practicing evacuation drills, gating stairs, windows, or heating elements, posting emergency numbers, and maintaining a clean, hazard-free indoor space. Also, the outdoor space must be safe and hazard free and there should be no access to a busy street, water, construction materials, rusty or broken play materials, debris, glass, or peeling paint.

Notification

The Provider is required by regulation to notify parents of certain information about the family child care home. These notifications include, but are not limited to; injury to a child, communicable diseases introduced into the child care home, identification of other caregivers, children being taken off the child care premises, presence of firearms, change in household composition, pets and infant sleeping positions.

Curriculum and Daily Schedule

The provider must carry out a routine that is flexible and responds to the needs and interests of children in are. The routine must include things such as; meeting the physical needs of children in care, thirty minutes of physical activity every day, child initiated and provider initiated activities and daily outdoor play, weather permitting. Additionally, the provider must develop a curriculum that engages children in developmentally appropriate activities by planning specific learning experiences. The curriculum must include things such as; learning self-help skills that foster independence, opportunities to gain problem solving and decision making competencies and leadership skills and opportunities to learn about proper nutrition, good health and personal safety. The Provider is also responsible for providing an environment that promotes cultural, social and individual diversity.

Staying Involved

It is important to keep an open dialogue with your Family Child Care Provider, and to maintain an active role in your child’s care. Visit often, not just at pick up and drop off time, but at a variety of times during your child’s day. It is a parent’s right to visit at any time and in doing so; it will help promote a successful experience for your child. High quality child care is a benefit to your entire family. Remember, you can always call the Office of Child Care Services with questions or concerns about your child’s care.

My Philosophy

At Baby Bear my main goal, of course, is quality care. But more than that, I strive to fill the wants and needs of your child in a loving, and nurturing way while they cannot be with you. These are just a few stepping stones that we will try to reach together during the time of your child's stay with me:

To provide a family environment that is safe and caring. I hope that each child will feel as if my home is theirs and they will grow to rely on me for guidance at any time, now and in the future.

Establishing a bonding, close relationship now with each individual child will help promote good relationships in the future.

I will try to be a good listener. It will make a difference!

I’ll be a Mom and a Dad when you can’t be and every child that enters my home will be my child for the day.

This is a journey that doesn't end when they go off to school, it's a lifetime commitment. If I don't make a difference in each child's life then I did not succeed in doing my job as a daycare provider.

Enrollment

There will be a two week trial period before any child is considered enrolled. If the provider or parents find that the child is not adjusting or fitting in well with the group, care may be terminated by either party and as long as tuition is paid up to date, the deposit will be refunded. If the provider feels that the policies set forth within this handbook are not being followed as agreed, care will be immediately terminated by the provider without any refund of deposit. (See page 8-Grounds for Termination).

Hours of Operation

Child care is open from 7:00am to 5:00pm Monday-Friday. During the months of June, July and August, I will be closed at 4:00pm on Fridays.

Deposit

A one time holding fee (deposit) equal to your weekly tuition fee is required to be paid on or before your child’s first day of care which will be applied to the last week’s payment or forfeited if the child does not come as agreed for care. A spot will not be held for your child until your deposit and a completed contract is received by the provider.

Return Check Fee

There will be a $30.00 charge for any checks returned from the bank.

Tuition Payment Policy

Your weekly tuition fee is your standard weekly rate and that fee will be charged each week regardless of absence for HOLIDAYS, SICK DAYS, SNOW DAYS, VACATION DAYS OR EARLY PICK UP. Tuition must be paid in full on or before your child’s last day of care of the week. Example: if your child’s scheduled days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then your tuition payment will be due on Wednesday of each week. If a holiday or vacation day happens to fall on your payment day, tuition is due on the previous day. There will be a charge of $25.00 per day for late payments. Please make checks payable to: Patricia Coward.

Monthly Payment

A 3% discount will be given to those parents who have children in full time care and wish to pay their tuition on a monthly basis. Monthly tuition is due on the 1st of each month.

Sibling Discount

A 10% discount off the older child’s tuition is given when 2 or more siblings are enrolled in full time care at the same time

Daily Schedule

Our daily schedule is a structured one, however, there are days when we do not follow the schedule, I take into consideration the children's likes/dislikes/attitudes for the day, in some cases we may need to rearrange things so that everyone participates and is having fun. Preschool Curriculum runs from September to May so our schedule is more lax in the summer months to allow more time for outdoor activity.

7:00-9:00am

Children Arriving/Free Play/Educational Video or TV

9:00-9:30am

Breakfast

9:30-10:00am

Breakfast Clean Up-Bathroom Break-Diaper Changes

10:00-10:30am

Circle Time/Pledge/Calendar/Weather/Daily Jobs

10:30-10:45am

Snack Break

10:45-11:00am

Music - Dancing (Large Muscle Activity)

 

11:00-11:30am

Preschool Learning/Art Project of the Day (2-˝ years and up)

11:30-11:45am

Bathroom Break - Diaper Changes

11:45am-12:30pm

Outdoor Play (Weather Permitting)

12:30-1:00pm

Lunch

1:00-1:30pm

Lunch Clean Up-Bathroom Break-Diaper Changes

1:30-3:00pm

Nap/Rest

3:00-3:15pm

Snack Break

3:15-4:45pm

Outdoor Play (weather permitting) or Felt Board, Games, Blocks etc.

Absence

Please remember to call and let me know each day that your child will not be coming to the daycare. This way we can plan our day accordingly. The regular weekly tuition will be charged regardless of absence.

Fees Do Not Include

Diapers, formula, baby wipes, infant/baby food, ointments, over the counter medications, sun block, insect repellents etc.

Late Pick-Up & Early Drop Off

Carefully consider travel time to and from home and work when choosing hours of care for your child. If your child is dropped of earlier than 5 minutes prior to his/her scheduled starting time or picked up later than 5 minutes after their scheduled pick up time you may be charged $5.00 for every increment of five minutes as follows:

10 Minutes Late or Early = $10.00 Flat Fee

15 Minutes Late or Early = $15.00 Flat Fee

20 Minutes Late or Early = $20.00 Flat Fee

25 minutes Late or Early = $25.00 Flat Fee

Etc.

It is extremely important to communicate with the provider when you know you will be arriving late to pick up your child. If you are late and I have not heard from you within a reasonable period of time, I will call your emergency contact to come pick up your child.

Adding Additional Daily Hours

If a parent/guardian has made prior arrangements with the provider and would like to add additional hours to a day, or would like to contract for more than 8 hours per day, a child may stay overtime for an additional fee of $10.00/per hour. If a child comes to care late or is picked up early, missed hours cannot be exchanged for additional hours.

Adding Additional Days of Care

The days that you have chosen for care may be switched for other days as long as it has been discussed with the provider in advance and there is ample space available for that day. Your normal daily contracted rate will be charged for the day(s) you would like to switch to. Holidays and vacation days cannot be switched for other days, however, if you would still like to add a day to your week, you may do so at an additional charge. If care exceeds 8 hours per day, an additional overtime fee may also apply. Ask your provider for details. Payment for any additional day(s) is due the week of service on your normal payment day.

Discontented Child

Child care is a big adjustment for a child, even if he or she has been in child care before. Sometimes, no matter how hard a provider or parent tries, a child may not be happy with the arrangement. If this is determined and the parents and I have tried different remedies to subside your child’s ill feelings, and if the child is still uneasy, doesn’t get along with others, cries most or all of the day, and shows that he/she is not adjusting well, child care arrangements may be terminated for the benefit of the child.

Personal Toys from Home

A stuffed animal, doll or special blanket frequently helps make the transaction from home easier for children. Books, tapes or videos that the child wants to share with his/her group are also welcome. Please encourage your child to leave all other belongings at home. I supply an ample amount of play equipment and toys for the children. Toys brought from home may be lost, broken or fought over between children.

Prohibited Items

The following items are not allowed at the daycare for safety reasons:

Toys

Small barrettes, jewelry of any kind, clips or pins

Plastic bags of any type

Coins

Children’s Purses

Diaper Bags

Leave of Absence

If a parent wishes to suspend or take a leave of absence from child care for an extended period of time (2 weeks or more), due to illness, maternity leave, employment layoff, death in the family or personal issues, you must give the provider 4 weeks prior, written notice of your intentions. If your child will be returning to care and you wish to reserve his/her spot, you must pay a weekly, non-refundable holding fee of $25.00 for each day that you would like held for your child. His/her spot can be held for up to 8 weeks. Your first holding fee payment is due on the date of your withdrawal and on Monday of every week thereafter. The normal contracted tuition rate will be charged up until the time of your child’s withdrawal and during the 4 week notice period. A child’s spot cannot be held for more than 8 weeks. It is optional for you to pay the weekly holding fee but failure to do so could result in a loss of space and your child may not be able to return to care. Missed or late holding payments will terminate this agreement.

Summer Leave of Absence

If you wish to take a summer leave of absence (2 weeks or more), weather it’s for the whole summer or just a day or two each week, there will be a holding fee if you would like your spot held for your child. This holding fee is optional, however, non-payment could result in a loss of space and your child may not be able to return to care on your choice of days. All holding fees are non-refundable and are due on or before June 1, 2005.

Communication

Communication is very important to me. When I accept a new family into my home I like to be sure that we can share openly any concerns or questions that may arise. I feel that we are a team raising your child. If we can work together then your child can feel secure in knowing they have two families who love them very much. I grow to love each child I keep very much and I am always glad to have a chance to be a part of their lives. It is important that there is a similar childcare philosophy between us.

Extra Clothing

Parents are encouraged to supply the provider with the following items: bibs, a full change of clothes, including underwear and socks. It is a good idea to leave a light sweater or jacket at the daycare at all times for unpredictable weather. If you leave clothes at the daycare, please be sure that the clothes are appropriate for the season. Please label all of your child’s belongings.

Diapers, Wipes & Baby Bottles

Parents must provide disposable diapers and wipes for their child. You will also need to provide baby bottles if your child is still using them. Parents will be notified when their supply runs low.

Bathing Suit, Sun Block, Permission Slip

During the hot summer months, please send (or leave at the daycare) your child every day with a bathing suit and sun block. A permission slip is required if your child wishes to use the small daycare pool, water table, slip n slide or sprinkler. Also, please apply sun block in the morning and be sure to sign the permission slip so I can reapply it during the day.

Outdoor Play

Regulations require that children play outside, every day, weather permitting. This includes winter months. Please make sure your children are properly dressed to be brought outside at all times. If possible, please leave an extra hat and a pair of mittens at the daycare for your child. If snow is present please also bring snow pants and boots.

Trampoline

According to Licensing regulations, any use of trampolines by child care children is prohibited.

Above Ground Pool

According to Licensing regulations, any use of the above ground pool by child care children is prohibited.

Nap/Quiet Time

All children will be required to lie down for a nap/quiet time each day. I will not force your child to sleep but they must lie down quietly. This is my “coffee break” during the day, my time to re-charge.

Child Abuse

As a childcare professional and a state licensed daycare, I am required by law to report any form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse of any child in my care. I have been trained in the recognition of all forms of child abuse. If I notice any signs of abuse at any time, I will alert the child's parent(s) immediately, both verbally and in writing, along with a full description of the symptoms (bruising, sores, sudden extreme behavioral changes, etc). I will document the same information for myself and, if necessary, the proper authorities will be contacted. This includes forms of neglect, such as not using a proper child restraint in a vehicle and not seeking adequate medical attention.

Toilet Training

I will assist in toilet training with the understanding that it will only work if we work together. Your child will not learn if they do not do it while in my care and at home. You must work with your child at home, either during vacation or over a weekend before I will begin potty training here. Clothing should be easy to manage to encourage self-help skills. Buckles, belts, overalls and suspenders when in a hurry to use the bathroom may create a problem. I also require that each potty training child have 4 changes of underwear. Extra changes of clothing are also necessary, including socks. If a child is still has several accidents each day, I will require pull-ups to be worn for health reasons.

Child Illness

Under no circumstances should you bring your child to care sick. If you are not sure your child is well enough to attend child care, please call and discuss it with me. A sick child should be allowed to recuperate fully at home after an illness so that the other children and the provider do not risk unnecessary exposure. Your child may be brought to care if they have a common cold (which means a slight cough, clear runny nose, sneezing); however I will call you if your child is crying or repeatedly asking for you. Your child should not attend if they are not feeling well enough to participate in our daily activities.

Conditions in Which a Child is Sent Home

Temperature or Fever, a child with a temperature of 101° F. or more cannot be kept at daycare.

Vomiting, stomach viruses are very contagious.

Conjunctivitis, infection of the eye. Common symptoms are a yellow discharge and tearing.

Diarrhea, that cannot be contained in a diaper.

Impetigo, a contagious infection of the skin. Common symptoms is crusted sores usually appearing the first time in the facial area. Children cannot return until they have a regime of antibiotics and the lesions have dried.

Strep Throat, common symptoms include a rash, fever and sore throat.

Draining Eyes or Ears

Draining Nose, other than clear.

Unexplained Rash, if rash persists, a doctor’s note may be required to let your child back into care.

Head Lice, a child cannot return to care within 7 days of being diagnosed and must have appropriate Head Lice Hair Rx Treatment(s) before returning. Ask your provider for samples of this Rx Treatment.

Physical Examination

State regulations require providers to maintain a medical record on each child in care. Each child must have a physical examination upon admission and once per year after that. A new medical form must be completed by your child’s pediatrician after each physical which includes your child’s record of immunizations. Your child will not be permitted into care if 30 days have passed beyond your child’s renewal date and the provider does not have updated medical records or a doctor’s note explaining why your child cannot be examined and/or immunized at this time.

Lead Test

Every child in Massachusetts must be tested at ages 1, 2 and 3. Four year olds who live in a high-risk community for childhood lead poisoning also must be tested. I am required to keep a copy of these lead test results on file. If your child is 1 year old or older, I must have a statement signed by a physician or employee of a health care agency stating that your child has been screened for lead poisoning. If your child enters child care prior to being 12 months of age, he/she must be screened before reaching the age of 13 months old.

Damages

It is expected that your child be respectful of my personal property and furnishings. A certain amount of “wear and tear” is normal, but if your child intentionally damages my property through destructive behavior or roughness, you will be liable for 100% of the replacement costs. This reimbursement is due with your next weekly payment.

Permissions

You will be asked to complete several permission forms upon enrollment, such as taking your child with me if my children need to be driven to or from school, or the bus stop, walks around the neighborhood and things of this nature. You will not be asked to sign a permission slip to take your child on errands with me. For safety reasons, it will not be that often that I will need to take your children in the car with me.

Backup Care

My sister, who is CPR and First Aid Certified, is my backup when I need to leave the daycare for important reasons, such as doctor appointments, dentist appointments, school meetings etc. You will be notified ahead of time when I need to use my backup person and you will always be given the choice to leave your child at the daycare or pick them up early that day. Whenever my backup person is available I will use him/her so that parents do not have to miss work and/or use their vacation time.

Provider Vacations

I will close for two vacation weeks each calendar year (or 10 week days) for my vacation. You will be given ample notification of these weeks (or days) to make arrangements. THE NORMAL CONTRACTED RATE WILL BE CHARGED FOR THIS VACATION TIME.

Provider Personal Days

I will close for 2 personal days each calendar year for doctor and dentist appointments. You will be given ample notification of these two days to make arrangements. THE NORMAL CONTRACTED RATE WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE TWO PERSONAL DAYS.

Parent Vacations

Parents will pay THE NORMAL CONTRACTED RATE for any parent vacation(s) and you must give the provider at least two weeks prior notice of your vacation date(s). A child may not come to care during your scheduled vacation time, for any reason.

Vacation Tuition Payment

Tuition for all vacations, parent or provider, is due on your normal pay day the week prior to vacation.

Bereavement

The provider will be given 2 paid days bereavement for a death in the family.

2005 Holiday Schedule

Tuition is due for the following holidays in which the daycare is closed:

January 1st

New Years Day

February 21st

President’s Day

April 18th

Patriot’s Day

May 30th

Memorial Day

July 4th

Independence Day

September 5th

Labor Day

October 10th

Columbus Day

November 24th

Thanksgiving

November 25th

Day After Thanksgiving

December 23rd

Friday Before Christmas

December 25th

Christmas Day

December 31st

New Years Eve Day

Parental Visit Notice

Parents may visit this family child care home unannounced at any time during the hours that your child is in care.

Fire Drills

According to state regulations, monthly fire drills are required. This acquaints the children with evacuation procedures, which are posted by the doorway. We will alternate going out the front door and back door and meeting at our designated meeting place. Our goal is to exit in under 3 minutes.

Telephone Calls

For the safety of the children, I do not accept telephone calls during business hours to discuss the welfare of your child. If there is any cause for concern, or if your child becomes ill, I will call you immediately. My full attention must be on the children at all times. Phone calls also interrupt important aspects of your child’s day such as Circle Time, Learning, Stories, Arts and Crafts etc. If you need to contact me to let me know of your whereabouts, or if you will be arriving early to pick up your child, please leave a message on my machine and when the children are napping I will retrieve my messages.

Photographs

Taking photographs allows the provider to share a child's stay at daycare with their parents. Included with your contract is an authorization form stating whether you do/do not authorize the provider to take photographs of your child while at daycare. Photographs will be taken while your child plays, during special projects and/or events. Photographs will be emailed to the parents and/or posted on my website. NO photographs will be taken while children are using the bathroom or changing clothing. A parent's decision to not have photographs taken will be respected.

Food Program/Meals

As a participant of the USDA Food Program, I will supply each child with two meals and two snacks each day which meet the food program guidelines for his/her age with the exception of formula for infants. Your child does, however, need to be in attendance at specified meal and snack times; Breakfast (served at 9:00am), Snack 1 (served at 10:30am), Lunch (served at 12:30pm) and Snack 2 (served at 3:00pm). Please do not send food of any kind with your child unless they have special dietary needs and prior arrangements have been made with the provider. Snacks/goodies may be sent in for holidays and birthdays only.

Notice to Parents of Infants

In order to reduce the risk of SIDS, my sleep position policy is that all infants will be put to sleep on their backs unless there is a written physician’s order that specifies otherwise.

Provider and Parent/Legal Guardian Agreement

Child Care may be terminated by either parent/guardian or provider by giving two (2) weeks written notice in advance of the ending day. Payment by parent/guardian is due for the notice period; weather or not the child is brought to the provider for care. The provider may terminate the contract without giving any notice if the parent/guardian does not make payments when due. Failure by the provider to enforce one or more terms of the contract does not waive the right of the provider to enforce any other terms of the contract. By enrolling your child, parent(s)/guardian(s) agree to abide by and fully understand the written handbook/policies of the provider. The provider may amend the handbook/policies or tuition rates by giving the parent(s)/guardian(s) a copy of the new or changed handbook/policies at least two (2) weeks before they go into effect.

Grounds for Termination

Child care arrangements may be terminated for any of the following reasons without refund of deposit (but not solely limited to):

Failure to comply with the policies set forth in this book

Failure to comply with the contract

Destructive or hurtful behavior of a child that persists

Non-Payment of childcare tuition

Late and/or recurring late payment of childcare tuition

Non-Payment of fees (Return Check, Late Payment, Early Drop Off, Late Pick Up etc.)

Failure to show up for 5 days in a row without any communication

Failure to complete required forms

Blatant disrespect towards provider or provider’s family

Excessive early drop offs or late pick ups

If parents knowingly, repeatedly brings their child ill

 

What to Bring Your First Day

Deposit check, if you haven’t given one already

Enrollment Contract with all signatures complete

USDA Food Program Form, completed and signed

Labeled change of clothing; pants or shorts, underwear, socks, tee shirt or long sleeve shirt, extra sweater or sweatshirt, hat, mittens

If applicable, formula, bottles, bottle inserts (if Playtex bottles are used), wipes, diapers, baby food, baby cereal, pacifier

Ointments; diaper cream, Vaseline, Tylenol, bug spray, orajel, sunscreen, baby powder etc. (be sure to list the items that you are bringing on your permission form)

Your child may bring an empty backpack for papers and projects that we have done during the day

You may bring a spill-proof sip cup that will be used only for your child (please write your child’s name on it)

Blanket or cuddly teddy if applicable

 

Do Not Bring

Toys

Diaper Bags

Children’s purses

Small barrettes, jewelry of any kind, clips or pins

Plastic Bags

Coins of any type

Food, unless it is a medical requirement

 

Diaper bags are prohibited. Items such as plastic, medication, coins, barrettes, or ointments that are stored inside of them are potentially dangerous to small children. Your child will have a special bin for all of his/her belongings which is kept out of the reach of children.

 

Provider Must Have the Following Within Your Child’s First 30 Days of Care

Evidence of Lead Test and Results from your pediatrician

Statement of Physical Exam from your pediatrician

Completed Immunization Form from your pediatrician

 

If your child is currently taking medication, please be sure to complete a permission to administer form.