Parent Handbook Welcome to the MaineLy Childcare LLC The information contained in this family handbook will introduce you to the philosophy and organization of our program. It will serve as a quick reference to the daily operating policies and procedures. Your familiarity with them will help make your child’s day a most rewarding experience. MaineLy Childcare was created to meet the needs for the highest quality childcare, and to provide the loving and qualified teachers for the children. We look forward to working with you to provide a secure foundation for your child to ensure successful growth and learning. Please be aware that not all policies and procedures can be listed here. MaineLy Childcare reserves the right to amend or change these policies. When changes are made, we will send out an amended copy of the handbook. All families are required to read the handbook and sign a statement stating that you understand all of the policies and procedures stated in the handbook. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. MaineLy Childcare is an equal opportunity employer and provider.MaineLy Childcare LLC CONTACT INFORMATIONAddress: 9 Harding Street South Portland, Maine 04106Phone: 207-838-9300 Fax: 914-366-1278 Website: www.mainelychildcare.com PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY We believe that the best childcare depends upon consistent caregiving in a home-like atmosphere. Children grow and learn best in a safe environment that provides opportunities to explore, create and communicate with other children and adults. These groups function independently but cooperatively, following routines appropriate to individual needs. The program is designed to be inclusive of all children, including those with identified disabilities and special learning and developmental needs.Our program is designed to include both planned and spontaneous activities in response to children’s interests. Experiences with music, movement, art, language and building are incorporated into daily plans. Regularly scheduled snacks and meals, rest time, indoor and outdoor play, and routines in physical caregiving promotes the child’s health, comfort and ability to care for his/herself. There is maximum flexibility for the children as a group and as individuals.Children are encouraged to develop a positive self-image, to learn inner controls and to cooperate with peers and caregivers. Clearly defined limits help them recognize and accept their emotions and express their feelings as they grow and feel secure in the world around them. Section 1: Educational Programs and classroom Policies Infants:The infant program serves children from the age of six weeks until the age of 18 months. The program is designed to promote feelings of belonging and the loving care which help infants to grow and develop to their full potential. Children eat, sleep, and play according to his or her own schedule. Every infant is an individual with unique abilities, desires and emotions. Our program is designed to meet the individual needs of each child and to provide them with educational experiences. In our infant classrooms, we provide a creative and stimulating program which encourages visual, language, gross motor and small motor experiences to enhance learning through their own natural curiosity.Our highly qualified and professional teachers will guide and encourage your child in every stage of his or her development. We firmly believe in the need for open and thorough communication between teachers and each family to provide loving care for each child and confidence for each parent. Toddlers:Our toddler program serves children from 18 months to 36 months. The toddler classrooms are designed to provide stimulating experiences for the children where they can learn through their own inquisitiveness. The emphasis during the toddler years is on building self-confidence and fostering the natural curiosity that toddlers possess.Throughout the day the toddlers enjoy the large variety of play materials that are readily made available to them, as well as creative centers where children can dress-up, build with blocks, and experiment in the sensory table. Art, music, fine motor, gross motor, language and science activities geared to little hands are also introduced. Our teachers offer the tenderness, warmth, and patience so essential to this young age. Children feel comfortable in our toddler class settings when their parents leave. Deep respect for each child ensures that your toddler will truly love his or her school environment and, from that, develop a long lasting love for learning. Preschoolers:MaineLy Childcare LLC has two preschool classrooms that serve children age three through five years. Our preschool program prepares children socially and academically, as well as, supports and encourages the development of independence, responsibility, and confidence, all of which are essential for the child’s ongoing success in kindergarten. Our preschool classrooms use a progressive approach to early childhood development, and focus on fostering the development of the child's potential naturally. Our classrooms are intentionally set up and reggio emilia inspired. Children are valued for their opinions, and their curiosity is encouraged as their endless forms of expression are documented and observed. The environment is recognized for its potential to inspire children. The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools. The space is cared for by the children and the adults. Placement into classrooms:Children are assessed for class placement into the older classes by chronological ages and in terms of their total development – social, physical and emotional. Interest level in the activities typical of each group is also taken into consideration, as is the actual availability of an open place at a particular time that matches the enrollment days of the child being moved. The classroom teacher is also consulted as to the readiness of the child. Parents will be notified and encouraged to set up a transitional conference with the new teacher. Assessing children’s progressAll age groups are assessed formally and informally to ensure that the teachers plan their curriculum goals and activities to support individualized learning. Our teachers observe, record and document children’s development, participation and learning throughout the year. The assessments are ongoing, systematic and gathered from natural play activities and realistic setting that reflects children’s actual performance.Our center uses variety of methods such as observations, checklists, rating scales, and individually administered tests. The assessment results are used to benefit children by informing sound decisions about children, teaching, and program improvement.Our formal assessments are done twice a year, (October and May). All our assessments are kept in the child’s portfolio, which follow the child from group to group to show the progress in cognitive, language, physical, social and emotional areas of development that are consistent with our program curriculum and philosophy.Our families are part of assessment process with regular communication, partnership and involvement. Once the formal assessments are completed the lead teacher will schedule a parent conference. When assessments identify concerns, appropriate follow-up, referral or other intervention is used. Special servicesCDS provides free screening for children who might have special needs. If the CDS approves services for a child, outside therapist may provide those services at MaineLy Childcare LLC. If you think that your child might have special needs, consult with the director who can assist and accompany you through the referral process. Absolutely no street shoes in the classroomsSince little fingers touch our floor, please leave your shoes at the door. This applies to children, parents and guestsIn a recent study, researchers at the University of Arizona found nine different species of bacteria on people's shoes. These types of bacteria can cause infections in our stomachs, eyes and lungs. The study also found bacteria live longer on our shoes than in other places. As we walk, we constantly pick up new debris that feeds the growth of more bacteria. The researchers tested to see if bacteria on shoes would transfer to the tile floors in a house. More than 90 percent of the time it did. Carpeting harbors bacteria even more. Discipline policy Children who are having difficulty for any reason will be instructed to use different types of breathing techniques and light meditation to help calm him/herself if that does not help, He/she may be re-directed to another activity with teacher assistance. In the event that a child’s behavior is likely to result in harm to the child, others or property, or seriously disrupts group interaction, the child may be separated briefly from the group. The child will be taken up to the office to sit with an administrator where he/she can gain enough self-control to rejoin the group. The child will always be left in an area where he/she is in full view of, and can be supervised and supported by a staff member. Interaction between the child and a staff member will take place immediately following the separation to guide the child toward appropriate group behavior. A method of discipline which frightens, demean, or humiliate a child is strictly prohibited. Child abuse/neglect policyAll staff of MaineLy Childcare are mandated reporters and are required to report any suspected abuse, neglect, or maltreatment on the part of an employee, parent, or volunteer. Any abuse or maltreatment of a child, either as an incident of discipline or otherwise is prohibited. Any means of corporal punishment will not be tolerated. Additionally, withholding or using food, rest or sleep as a punishment is prohibited. If any type of abuse or neglect is suspected it will be reported to the Maine Department of health and human services 1-800-452-1999 Personal belongings A stuffed animal or doll may ease the transition from home and comfort the child feeling anxious; please be sure these items are “soft cuddliest.” A book or cassette to share with the whole class is always welcome. It is recommended that other toys be left in the car or at home, so as not to be lost, broken or envied by others. Action figure/superhero toys and projectile toys are not permitted at MaineLy Childcare. Action figure toys encourage strong physical play which often leads to aggressive play; this can get out of control when children confuse make-believe with reality. MealsBreakfast is served only between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m.; children arriving later should already have eaten at home. We provide Breakfast, Lunch and 2 nutritious Snacks daily. If your child will be at MaineLy Childcare past 5:00, please plan ahead and pack a light dinner or an additional snack. Milk is served at breakfast and lunch to all children and made available, as needed, to infants in the bottles parents provide. However, parents must provide their own formula (or expressed milk for nursing infants if parents so choose) for those not yet ready for container milk.Parents must inform the center of any special dietary requirements, including food allergies. Candy and chewing gum are not permitted in the center. The menu rotates on a four-week seasonal basis. Please notify us of any allergies immediately. ClothingChildren play hard and need to be comfortable. We ask that children be dressed in clothes suitable for the many art, playground and climbing activities of their day. Cold weather does not necessarily keep us indoors, so please be sure that children have the necessary mittens, sweaters and hats, etc., appropriate for the day’s weather changes. All clothing should be labeled with the family’s name, to facilitate dressing and reduce loss.Two full sets of extra clothes should be kept at the center, even for the oldest children. When accidents of play, feeding or toileting happen, we know you would want your child to be comfortable. Extra sets will need to be regularly replaced the following day if your child uses them. Shoes need to be appropriate for indoor/outdoor play. Hot, wet snow boots, for health reasons, need to be replaced with indoor shoes. Sneakers or rubber-soled shoes are required for safe play; an extra pair may be left in the child’s cubby and teachers will gladly help with the changes. Signing in and out Parents are responsible for signing children in and out. This procedure is extremely important for attendance records and safety measures in emergencies. There is a sign in/sign out pin number you will be required to enter into the tablet in the front of the building. Parents are welcome to stay briefly to help their child adjust to the group and to smooth the separation if the child is anxious about saying goodbye. Section 2: Getting to know the center’s families MaineLy Childcare builds a positive relationships with our families by being familiar with their unique characteristics, strengths and issues important to each of them. To develop partnerships with the families we create a welcoming environment and opportunities for involvement.Our center gathers information during the enrollment process by asking parents questions and collecting the following items: enrollment form, health history, child and family background information. All the data is kept strictly confidential in the child’s file and kept locked in the director’s office. MaineLy Childcare LLC only releases your information under your authorization.In addition we schedule visit days to meet the family members and create a smooth transition for the enrolled child.Our center has an open door policy. Parents and family members are welcomed at all times. Communicating with familiesIn addition to conferences and assessments, there are many ways to keep you knowledgeable about what is happening in your child’s classroom. We may use:• Daily or weekly bulletins on pinpad sign in• Newsletters• Telephone calls• E-mails• Daily sheets• Notices• Journals• Articles of interest, community resources, and relevant websites As part of community outreach the Phelps Memorial Hospital can provide us with language interpreter. Parent visits and family involvement Parents may visit the center at any time. However, if there are problems arising from parent visits that interfere with the deliverance of quality childcare, then the parent(s) will not be permitted in the classroom. We strongly encourage families are welcome to participate in the class activities and school events. There are many ways to be involved:• Making things for the program• Sharing your culture• Sharing a talent or a job• Participating in class activities or field trips• Contributing to the curriculum Negotiating differencesWhen a parent has a concern about some aspect of our childcare program we will take every step to help resolve the issue as promptly as possible, keeping the safety and well being of the children and staff as a priority. MaineLy Childcare is always open to suggestions and feedback to improve the way we serve you and your family. Staff hired by parentsWe strongly discourage our employees from making independent child care arrangements with families at the school. However, in the event that you enter into an agreement with a MaineLy Childcare employee to babysit for your family outside of the employee’s normal work hours and/or outside of the school hours, it must be done away from the school and with the full knowledge and understanding that the sitter enters into such an agreement as a private citizen and not as a MaineLy Childcare employee. We cannot be responsible for our employees away from school, outside their working hours, and will not be liable for their acts or omissions when not on our property including the transportation of children. You may be required to sign acknowledgement and waiver to this effect. If you hire a staff member to work for you and that employee resigns their position with us in order to accept your employment offer, you will be required to pay MaineLy Childcare a $1,000 finders fee. Section 3: Tuition Policies Tuition and other feesThere is a non refundable application fee of $50.00A deposit in the amount of one weeks tuition is required upon enrollment to reserve a space for your child. This deposit will be applied to your final week at MaineLy Childcare LLC if you give the full 30 day termination notice, and are paid in full with no outstanding fees. Age rangeChild.teacherMax per roomWeekly tuition cost 6wks-18m4.18.2 max$29566/day pt 18m-2.5yr5.110.2 max$26562/day pt 2.5yr-3yr7.121.3 max$25060/day pt 3yr-5yr10.120.2 max$25060/day pt Before and after school13.124$12540/day pt Tuition policyTuition is payable weekly and is due the Friday before the payment week. We accept check, credit card, automatic debit or cash. Checks should be made payable to MaineLy Childcare LLC. There will be no refund for days missed while the child is enrolled, payment is to reserve a space for your child, whether you use it or not. Children in transition (moving from one classroom to another) will pay the tuition fees of the classroom they were in on the Monday of that payment week. Returned check fee: There will be a $35.00 plus any additional costs associated with an NSF check. Cash payment will be due within 24 hours of notice if a returned check. Late payment fee (above) will apply to any payment made after 24 hours of NSF notification. After a second returned check, all future payments must be made in cash. Late paymentsThere will be a $10.00 late payment fee charged to your weekly tuition bill for each day your tuition is late. We reserve the right to terminate enrollment at MaineLy Childcare when tuition is more than 7 days late.There will also be a late pick-up fee of $1.00/minute for every minute past 6:05pm that your child is here. These fees with be charged to your weekly tuition. This fee is per child, not per family. Please note: Late pickup fees are to discourage lateness and to encourage respect for our teachers’ time with their own families. Please be on time. Withdrawal and change of schedule Notice of 30 days is required before the withdrawal or schedule changing request of an enrolled child at the center. If the child is withdrawn without prior notice, the security deposit will not be returned.If the Director of the center determines that a child is unsuited for the center’s environment, the parents will be consulted. Within two weeks of this meeting the child will be withdrawn and all agreements will be terminated. Section 4: Pick up and Closing/Emergency Policies Pick up policiesOur concern is for the children’s safety, both physical and emotional. We ask that once the child has been released to your care at day’s end, your child not be permitted to run in the hallways, roam unattended or enter the kitchen. Parents who spend a little time in their child’s classroom at day’s end need to also remember that while your child is in his/her classroom with you, class rules that encourage appropriate behavior still apply for your child.Parent’s visiting in classes at day’s end may also have an anxious affect on other children waiting for their parents, so please take the gentle cue from the teacher if it time to leave. Emergency contacts/authorization to pick upYour emergency contacts listed on your emergency card WILL be contacted in the event that you are unable to be reached. Please adhere to the following policies:1. Two (2) contacts that live in a 24 mile radius of the MaineLy Childcare facility 2. Your contacts should know that they have been recorded on the card and are responsible for your child in the event that they need to pick up your child at any time throughout the dayIf another adult comes to pick up your child, we will release the child only through notification in writing from the child’s parent. Proper I.D. must be given before the child is released. A child will be released to parents and those adults identified by the parents as authorized to pick- up their child Inclement weather policy In the event of inclement weather, MaineLy Childcare will make every attempt to open as usual. However, to preserve the safety of our staff and children we will close if conditions warrant such action. It is at the discretion of the Program’s Administration to make the decision to either close, close earlier or open later due to inclement weather. In the event that we will be closing due to inclement weather, MaineLy Childcare’s Families will be notified in the following ways: Facebook notifications News notification (Channel 6 and Channel 13) Generally we will try to make the decision by 5:30am, but there may be times where we make the call right at 6am. We ask that you check the closing lists before leaving in the morning. If the Center is open, but because of severe weather and/or road conditions Administration decides to close early, families will be notified by phone. We will make every effort to remain open for working parents; however, if we find it necessary to close, we will not credit or discount tuition fees. Fire Drills Fire drills will be practiced on a monthly basis at a variety of times to ensure that all children who attend the center and staff working within the center will be able to participate and become familiar with the drill. Each classroom has an escape route map posted in their classroom. Emergency procedures In the event that the children would be safer remaining indoors, we would shelter them inside the MaineLy Childcare facility. If our building was not considered to be a safe place for the children, we would relocate to a designated space. Next we would begin calling parents to advise them of our location and to request that the children be picked up as quickly and safely as possible. For cases where parents cannot be reached we would begin to call your emergency contact numbers.We will update you yearly of our relocation sites and if any of our policies around emergency preparedness have changed.Please make sure your child/children have a sheet, blanket and additional clothing appropriate for the season at all times.If your child is on formula, please supply an additional can of ready to feed formula. Checklists: What does your child need?Individual containers will be available for each child so that items can be left at the center. Please label all belongings. INFANTSDiapers and diaper wipes, bibs, extra can of ready-to-feed Formula, several changes of clothing, pacifiers, if used, blanket and a crib sheet. TODDLERSDiapers, wipes, 3 full changes of clothes, spare shoes, winter gear for outside when necessary, cot sheet, blankets (weekly, or as needed) PRESCHOOLERS3 full changes of clothes, spare shoes, winter gear for outside when necessary, cot sheet, blankets (weekly, or as needed) Section 5: Health Policies The health policy of MaineLy Childcare is designed to best meet the needs of our children, parents and staff. The policy has been in place since the center opened, but we keep rewriting it in attempt to clarify and better define these policies. We consult with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in formulating our health policies. No policy will eliminate the problem of illness endemic to group care – especially of young children – no policy will satisfy all the populations the center serves, and no policy can entirely eliminate the element of subjective judgment inherent to individual situations. Center health policies may differ from your child’s pediatrician’s opinion. In all situations, MaineLy Childcare’s policy will override your child’s doctor’s recommendation. Group care conditions differ from individual care situations. Daily health checksStaff will perform a daily health check on each child upon drop off every morning. The daily check will examine whether or not the child has:Fever or elevated body temperature of 100o Skin rashes or unusual spots Complaints of painSigns/symptoms of disease including: Severe coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulty, discharge from the nose, ears or eyes, diarrhea or vomiting. Should any of these symptoms present themselves the child will be excluded until a medical evaluation allows inclusion. A doctor’s note must be submitted stating that the child is not contagious and indicating the date that they can return to daycare.In order to minimize the spread of illness among children, it is important that parents have arrangements available for alternative care whenever your child shows signs of illness. The following symptoms will necessitate exclusion from the center: FeversA temperature of 100° F or higher is reason for exclusion from group care. A child who has been sent home with a fever of 100° F or higher may return to the center after being fever free for 24 hours without any medication. Severe coldsColds with extreme symptoms of excessive coughing, sneezing, nose drainage that is yellow or green and that interferes with a child’s ability to eat, sleep or play are reason for exclusion. Diarrhea Bowel movements that are extremely loose, watery and frequent are reasons for exclusion. A child should be free from diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to the center.EXPLANATION – Diarrhea in children is an extremely contagious illness. Bowel movements that cannot be contained in a diaper or a toilet pose a high risk of contagion. Young children, especially infants, may have frequent or loose stools regularly or in response to a variety of conditions, but these are different from diarrhea. One or two meals should be eaten during the “24 hours free from diarrhea” (overnight with no meals eaten should not be considered 24 hours free from diarrhea). Secondary symptoms of crying, pain, refusal to eat, etc., must be considered. VomitingVomiting is a reason for exclusion. As with diarrhea, 24 hours should pass (with at least one meal eaten) without an episode of vomiting before a child returns to the center.EXPLANATION – infants can spit up or throw up for many different reasons. With no other symptoms present we would wait to see if an infant threw up a second time before calling the parent to pick up the child. Rashes Rashes must be physician diagnosed for a child to be in the center. Mouth soresMouth sores with drooling are reason for exclusion, unless the child’s pediatrician states the child is noninfectious. Conjunctivitis Pink or red conjunctiva with white or yellow discharge, often with matted eyelids after sleep, and including a child with eye pain or redness of the eyelids or skin surrounding the eye is reason for exclusion. A child may return to the center 24 hours after medication is begun. TeethingTeething is not a reason for exclusion. Teething can cause low-grade fever (under 100 F), crankiness, loose bowel movements and a clear, runny nose. Teething does not cause the exclusionary conditions described above, though. Symptoms of a contagious childhood diseaseSymptoms of contagious childhood diseases are reason for exclusion. The center however, adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act in the application of its disease policies.Parents should notify us if their child has been exposed to Measles, Chicken Pox, Roseola, Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Impetigo, Pediculosis (head lice) RSV, Bronchiolitis, Strep Throat, Ringworm and Coxsackie. Exposure to contagious disease is not reason for exclusion. Signs of possible severe illness Signs of possible severe illness, including unusual lethargy, undefined irritability; persistent discomfort crying or difficult breathing are reasons for exclusion. If your child will be absent Please call the center if your child will be absent and let us know why. Contagious illnesses must be posted in the classrooms, so other parents know what is going around. To be cleared by a pediatrician for group care, we need:1. the child to be seen by a doctor, 2. a note from the doctor stating (a) a diagnosis (b) that the child is not contagious (c) the date that the child may return to group careYour child may not attend regularly scheduled school days until the appropriate documentation is not received by our main office. Notes may be directly faxed or emailed to the office if you are not able to produce a physical note. ImmunizationsWe require all children of MaineLy Childcare to have vaccinations on file. We ask that you update our copy of the records each time your child gets a new vaccine. Medication Policy The MaineLy Childcare LLC staff are not authorized to administer any physician-prescribed medications to enrolled children. In compliance with the new Health and Infections control regulations of the N.Y.S. department of Social Services, the Phelps Child Care Center Inc. staff are permitted to administer only over-the-counter topical ointments, sunscreen lotion and topical insect repellent with written parental consent.. Signed documentation by the child’s physician along with written parental consent to administer is required. An update by the physician and parent is also required every six (6) months.Failure to comply with the MaineLy Childcare policies will result in suspension of childcare services. In case of injury Basic first aid will be performed. In the event of a serious injury, a parent will be notified. If the parents are not available, the emergency numbers on the child’s emergency card will be called. If the person(s) cannot be reached, the child will be taken to Maine Medical Center’s Emergency Room, unless the parents have designated a different emergency plan. If your child becomes ill at MaineLy ChildcareIf your child becomes ill while at the center, we will call you; if you cannot be reached your emergency contacts will be notified and asked to pick up your child. Please ensure that emergency contacts are aware that they have been listed on your emergency contact list. Please be sure to notify us the day your work phone number changes, so that you are most efficiently reached. Children with contagious illnesses need to be picked up within one hour of parents being contacted to limit their exposure to the other children. Reportable illnesses Some childhood illnesses are required, by law, to be reported to our local health agency. In the case of a contagious illness in your child’s class, we will post a notice by the sign-in/out sheet in the classroom. Section 6: Other helpful information Hours of operation/holiday closingsThe Center is open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center is closed: New Year's day, Presidents day, Patriots day, Memorial day, July 4th, Labor day, Columbus day Thanksgiving day and the day after, Christmas day and possibly the day before and after depending when Christmas falls. We will also close for 2 additional days for staff in service. These days will vary from year to year but we will let you know at the end of each year when we put out our new closing list. SecurityThe doors to the center are kept locked at all times in order to limit access and to keep children from exiting ahead of supervisors/parents. The front vestibule has a doorbell that will release the magnetic lock on the inner doors upon approval by an employee. When you enroll your child, you will be given the number combination to enter into the keypad for sign in/sign out/important notifications. This is to better assist us in knowing exactly who is in our care at all times. Please notify someone immediately if you realize you have not signed your child in. Photo I.D. is required and kept on file for who is authorized to pick up your child Security Cameras Our Childcare Center Video Surveillance Policy. To ensure the safety and security of all children, staffs, parents, and visitors, as well as the security of our daycare facility, MaineLy Childcare is equipped with 24-hour video surveillance system and security cameras are installed in all classrooms, hallways, kitchen area, outdoor play area, and parking lot and may conduct video surveillance of any portion of its premises at any time, the only exception being private areas of restrooms, showers, and dressing rooms, and that video/security cameras will be positioned in appropriate places within and around our preschool or daycare center facility and used in order to help promote the safety and security of people and property. The following are just some of the many benefits of having security cameras installed in daycare centers. * Security cameras keep children & staff safe & are very effective deterrent of any crime. * People tend to behave/perform better when there are security cameras around. * Owners/ Directors can better monitor the entire facility and supervise/observe staff's interactions with children and with other staff members effectively. * They provide peace of mind to our parents & staff. Because we respect the privacy of all children, parents, and staff in our daycare center, our 24-hour video surveillance system/ security cameras are for internal purposes only. ONLY the Director and/or the owners are allowed to view our security cameras/ video footage either at the Main office at the site OR live video footage may be viewed remotely from owner's other office at a different location. Video surveillance/recording consent forms are signed prior to your child(ren) start attending MaineLy Childcare. ParkingThere is limited short-term parking available in our lot. We ask that you are prompt at drop off and pick up times, to allow other parents a place to park. We also ask that you not leave car motors running or leave other children unattended within your car when you enter the building.
MaineLy Child Care 9 Harding st, South Portland ME