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Parent Manual


Table of Content

NOTE: All parents will be notified regarding any changes and/or revisions in this
manual
1. WELCOME
2. PHILOSOPHY AND PROGRAM GOALS
2.1 Philosophy and Commitment
2.2 Personal Health Care Statement
2.3 Daily Routine
2.4 Nap Time
2.5 Belongings from Home
2.6 Please Label
2.7 Parents are Welcome
2.8 Guidance Philosophy
2.9 a) Child Abuse Reporting
2.9 b) Custody Policy
2.10 Birthdays
2.11 Change in Phone Number and / Addresses
2.12 Cubbies
2.13 Serious Occurrence Notification
3. HOURS OF OPERATION
3.1 Hours
3.2 Arrivals
3.3 Departures
3.4 Parking When Dropping Off or Picking Up Children
3.5 Late Pick-Up
4. FEES
4.1 Payment Schedule
4.2 Deposit
4.3 Absences, Vacation Time
4.4 Withdrawals
4.5 Subsidies
4.6 Tax Receipts
5. ENROLLMENT
5.1 Getting Started
5.2 Orientation Requirements
6. TERMINATION POLICY
7. FIELD TRIPS
8. NUTRITION AND HEALTH
8.1 Nutrition
8.2 Snacks and Lunches
8.3 Food
8.4 Fresh Air Policy
8.5 Health
1. Diarrhea
2. Fever
3. Communicable Diseases
4. Rash
5. Cold
6. Medication
9. INCLUSION POLICY
10. Emergency Management Policy and Procedure
11. Parent Issues and Concerns Policy and Procedures

1. WELCOME

We are pleased that you and your family have chosen our Centre. Immanuel Child Care Centre is committed to providing high quality care to all children while promoting cultural and racial harmony. All children will have access to our program, providing availability. We serve families with children between the ages of 18 months up to 5 years, and provide full day child care.
We are an incorporated, non-profit, community based child care centre, with charitable status. We have been in operation since September 1982. The Centre is managed by a voluntary Board of Directors and is licensed by the Ministry of Education under the Child Care and Early Years Act. We are dedicated to ensuring employment and service equity and offer a barrier free and smoke free environment. Do not hesitate to speak to any staff member or the office if you have questions, concerns, suggestions or if you require clarification. Throughout this handbook you will find information that describes how our Centre maintains a safe, happy and enriching environment for you and your child. Please read it carefully and make yourself familiar with our policies and procedures. Please take the time to make yourself familiar with our PROGRAM STATEMENT.

2. PHILOSOPHY AND PROGRAM GOALS

2.1. Philosophy and Commitment

The name “Immanuel” was given to Jesus. It means “God with us”. We at Immanuel recognize and celebrate the diversity of our community of Metropolitan Toronto. We strive to provide a warm, caring and nurturing environment where learning can take place. We believe in the development of the “whole child” and our program is designed to recognize our differences and similarities, strengths and abilities, and should build upon them in partnership with our families. All materials/practices are culturally appropriate, racially sensitive and gender neutral. We are committed to work with each other to help children build a better tomorrow. Immanuel Child Care is a Christian centre founded upon principles of love and respect where children will learn about the love of God, His creation and His special care for them.  (Please see our Program Statement for an extended version of our philosophy). We know the importance of privacy and therefore, the personal circumstances of our children, their families and our staff will be held in the strictest confidence at all times.
Occasionally inspectors from the Ministry of Education or from Toronto Children’s Services will request access to children’s files to make sure forms are completed properly.

2.2 Personal Health Care Statement

We at Immanuel Child Care Centre would like you to know that our entire full-time staff are graduates of an accredited Early Childhood Education course and are currently registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators. We offer our staff many opportunities to keep abreast of the latest ideas, trends and developments in the Early Childhood Field. The staff regularly attends various courses, workshops, conferences, as well as in-house workshops and professional development.
One of the mandatory workshops for our staff is the Standard First Aid & CPR training which is completed every 3 years. All staff members are also required and responsible for ensuring that their medical records and immunization are up to date. As well, all staff, including supply teachers and Early Childhood students, are required to submit a Police Vulnerable Sector Check prior to working at Immanuel. We review with our staff, at least annually, the Program Statement, Sanitary Policy and all other pertinent policies. Each staff member also participates in a personal performance review each year. Through these types of personal development, we hope to offer you, as parents, a professional and safe setting in which to leave your children.

SUPERVISION POLICY FOR VOLUNTEERS AND STUDENTS

Direct unsupervised access is not permitted for persons who are not employees of Immanuel Child Care. No child is supervised by a person under 18 years of age.

CURRICULUM

Immanuel Child Care will strive to relate to individual children as competent, capable of complex thinking, and rich in potential. We value each child’s strengths and abilities, and will build upon them in partnership with our families. The foundation for our curriculum is based on the philosophy of emergent programming. An emergent curriculum is a way of planning curriculum based on the student’s and teacher’s interests and passions. Emergent curriculum starts with the children’s interests. Daily documentation by the teachers on the program sheet, allows parents to see what activities their children have engaged in. The child care documentation includes a reference to the ELECT (Early Learning for Every Child Today) continuum which indicates what ‘learning’ is observed in the activity. Each child’s development is also monitored by the staff based on the five developmental areas: cognitive, physical, emotional, social & communication, language & literacy. Staff maintain a portfolio for each child which is an accumulation of observations, reflections, narratives and stories showing the development of each child. Learning experiences will be developed by teachers using weekly observations that will inform them of a child’s interests, strengths and
needs.
Through play experiences and with the guidance of specially trained and sensitive staff, each child will be involved in situations that will provide the opportunity to succeed and foster:
  • The development of a positive self-image, independence, self-confidence and initiative,
  • A sensitivity and appreciation of the many cultures and races which form and enhance our
  • child care community,
  • A sense of curiosity and excitement in learning,
  • The development of social and communication skills by encouraging others,
  • The growth of creative expression through language, music, storytelling, arts and crafts, drama
  • and creative movement,
  • The development of fine and gross motor skills through a wide variety of creative and physical
  • play activities,
  • Exploration of the natural environment through planting, growing, outdoor excursions, and
  • observations, and
  • Joy, laughter and a sense of belonging, being valued and loved.
Resource Consultant: If parents and/or teachers have a concern about a child’s development, Immanuel is provided with a Resource Consultant from Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre. With written permission from the parents, our consultant may be called in to observe and assess the child, assist teachers in implementing appropriate programming for the child, and as well, communicate directly with the parents through meetings, over the phone or via written report.

2.3 Daily Routine

7:00 A.M. Centre opens
7:00-8:30 Family time: children are together to socialize with children from other groups.
8:30 Washroom routine
8:45 Nutritious snack
9:00-11:45
– Participation in learning centres: creative, block, science, language, sensory, drama, cognitive (math, sequencing, shapes etc.)
– Teaching circle time: this time could be used in many ways such as: reading time, finger play, songs, cognitive games, discussion
– Gross motor skills outdoors – weather permitting
– Gross motor skills indoors
– Small motor skills indoors
11:45-12:00 Tidy up and washroom routine
12:00-1:00 Nutritious lunch and washroom routine
1:00-3:00 Sleep time and washroom routine
3:15-3:30 Nutritious snack
3:30-4:40 Work on same skills as morning routine, 9:00-11:30

2.4 Nap Time

All children at the centre will be expected to take a nap or have a quiet time lying down after lunch. This is necessary for the child to regain his/her energies in a hectic day. Provisions for quiet activities are made for those children who do not wish to rest after first hour of nap time.

2.5 Belongings from Home

Toys from home will not be permitted in the centre. Toys that inadvertently arrive will be kept in a box in a cupboard and may be claimed at pick-up-time. The only exception to the no-toy rule will be the cuddly toy for nap time or a book for reading in the classroom.

2.6 Please Label

We do provide sheets for each child, but if your child has a special cuddly toy or blanket they would feel more comfortable with, please bring it in labeled with your child’s name.
Please bring in a complete change of labeled clothing, it will be kept in your child’s cubby. As the season changes, we will also be reminding you to dress your child appropriately for the weather.
Immanuel is a very busy place. Please dress your child in clothing that is comfortable, simple to get on and off (we encourage self- help skills) and can be “messed up”.
Special Reminder – we do not allow open toe shoes during the warm summer months. Little toes are easily injured. Running shoes are preferred because of the children’s very active physical play both indoors and outdoors.

2.7 Parents are Welcome

Parents are welcome to visit the Centre anytime of the day. Parent-staff communication is extremely important. Teachers are available at the beginning and end of the day for short discussions. More formal interviews can be arranged upon the request of the parents or staff. Any issues or concerns should be addressed to the staff person directly. If the issue or concern is of a serious nature that may have an impact on your child’s day/behaviour, (i.e. death in the family, the impending birth of a child, a frightening experience), please inform your child’s teachers. At times, parents may also be asked to volunteer during field trips or special events at the centre. We encourage parent participation and welcome suggestions and/or new ideas regarding our daily program. If parents have any special talents/trades that would be useful at or around the centre, don’t hesitate to let the office staff know about it. If you know of someone in our community who might enrich our program or centre, we would love to hear about it from you.

2.8 Guidance Philosophy

Our philosophy is that positive reinforcement and encouragement are the most effective means of helping children learn positive behaviours. By recognizing and encouraging personal choice and by allowing the child control over his/her environment, we encourage the child to express feelings and opinions. We provide opportunities for the child to see different perspectives and the validity of alternate points of view and to abide gracefully by the limits created by mutual consent. We attempt to teach by example, by role modelling, and by being courteous and dev eloping warm and friendly relationships with the children. Any adult who observes mistreatment of any child must contact the Children’s Aid Society immediately and inform the Supervisor of the call. This is a legal responsibility. Please see the Abuse Policy.

Prohibited Practices

We feel that our major goal in the area of discipline is self -regulation — helping the child take steps toward responsible self-direction. The staff members at Immanuel do not use corporal punishment, threats, humiliation or belittling. We will never deprive any child of the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing or bedding. Staff is prohibited from confining a child either indoors, outdoors or in a lockable room or structure. Children have a right to feel angry in response to restrictions or interference. Our children need to feel that they can assert themselves safely, and, at the same time, know that they can live with restrictions and limitations. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with our Program Statement.

2.9 a) Child Abuse Reporting

As teachers, we are compelled by law to report any occurrences that would constitute child abuse. In Ontario, it is the Law that anyone dealing with children in a professional relationship who suspects a child has been abused, whether suggested by the physical condition or from something the child says, is obliged to call Children’s Aid for advice and then follow that advice. The Centre does not investigate or lay blame. It simply reports and follows the Agency’s directions. Similarly, if a parent, staff or other, accuses a staff member of abuse, it is the duty of the Centre to report the accusation to the Children’s Aid Society and follow the direction given. The role of the Society is to protect children. Most reports to them are followed up if they believe there is substance to them. The Centre may not, under Labour Law, dismiss a staff on an accusation. Abuse would have to be proven through an investigation by the Children’s Aid Society.

2.9 b) Custody Policy

The centre will uphold any legal court order and contact the police in the following instances
  1. If a parent is placed under Peace Bond.
  2. A child has been determined to be a “child in need of protection” by the Children’s Aid Society.
  3. If a child is picked up by anyone (other than the parent with legal custody) without written or telephoned permission to the day care centre.
A parent having sole custody is responsible for making all decisions, following through on court orders, signing consents and designating who may pick up the child from the centre. Legal documentation (court papers) must be provided and kept on file when a parent is denied access to his/her child. Without papers the child care can not stop any parent from picking up his/her child.

2.10 Birthdays

We usually celebrate children’s birthdays during afternoon snack time. A small birthday cake/ice-cream cake or cupcakes may be brought in to celebrate your child’s birthday. Please refrain from bringing in large cakes or treats with nuts.

2.11 Change in Phone Number and / Addresses

It is imperative that any changes in home, work phone numbers and emergency numbers, etc., be given immediately.

2.12 Cubbies

School cubbies are to be used solely for the purpose of communicating between parents and Immanuel child care. They are not to be used for business promotion. You are responsible for keeping your child’s cubby tid y.

Serious Occurrence Notification

Parents will be informed of any serious occurrences reported to the Ministry of Education. A Serious Occurrence Notification Form will be posted on the wall outside the office, for a minimum of 10 days, after the initial notification is sent to the ministry.

3. HOURS OF OPERATION

3.1 Hours

The Centre is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. except on the following Statuary Holidays:
Good Friday Civic Holiday Christmas Day
Family Day Victoria Day Labour Day
Boxing Day Canada Day Thanksgiving Day
New Year’s Day
Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve the centre will close at 12:30p.m.

3.2 Arrivals

  1. Upon arrival, your child must be brought directly into his/her room
  2. Children should arrive by 9:30 a.m., to ensure that your child participates in the full day of planned activities and events.
  3. If your child is ill, please call the centre.
  4. Consistent attendance helps to create a well-balanced child.

3.3 Departures

  1. Please be sure that your child’s teacher is aware that you are taking your child from the centre. It is extremely important that staff knows which children are in their care at all times.
  2. Parent’s are responsible for filling out the Authorization for Pick-Up Sheets or calling the Centre, if you are unable to pick-up your child.
  3. Driver’s License is a requirement for verification of that pers on. License should be provided, so a match can be made when the authorized pick-up arrives.

3.4 Parking When Dropping Off OR Picking Up Children

When dropping off or picking up your child, please park your car in designated area (yellow lines). Please DO NOT drive up to the door of the centre to pick up or drop off your child. A child may be coming out of the building onto the parking lot and may not be seen until it is too late.

3.5 Late Pick-Up

  1. Our Centre is closed at 6:00p.m.
  2. If your child is not picked up by this time, a late fee of $1.00 per minute will be charged.
  3. You are asked to pay the staff on duty or sign a Late Fee slip. Your fee is determined by the time you arrive to pick up your child.
  4. At 7:00p.m, if your child is still at the centre, we have a legal obligation to call the Children’s Aid Society.

 4. FEES

4.1 Payment of Fees:

Fees must be paid in advance (and are subject to increase at any time. Advance notice will be given.) Fees can be paid by cheque or cash, and deposited into the fee box located by the office door. Please put your child’s name and the dates that the cheque covers on the “memo” section of the cheque. Weekly fees are due one (1) week in advance. Bi-weekly fees are due one week in advance for the following two weeks. Monthly fees are due on or before the first scheduled school day of each month. If a cheque is returned from the bank N.S.F, replacement payments must be made by certified cheque or cash. The parent must pay any N.S.F charges. If you experience difficulties in fee payment at anytime, please discuss this with the Supervisor. Should fees become two (2) weeks behind, the child will be withdrawn until the entire balance is paid in full. In case of subsidized families, the subsidy office will be notified.

4.2 Deposit

A one week deposit is required upon enrollment and will cover your child’s last week at the centre. If you decline the position before the start date, the deposit will not be refunded.

4.3 Absences, Vacation Time

Fees continue to be due during family vacations, child absent from the Centre due to illness and Statutory Holidays.

4.4 Withdrawals

All families are required to give the Supervisor two weeks written notice. If you withdraw your  child without notice, you will be required to pay fees in lieu of notice.

4.5 Subsidies

The Centre holds a Purchase of Service Agreement with Toronto Children’s Services to provide subsidized child care to families who qualify. For details of qualification criteria, please call Toronto Children’s Services at 416-392-5437 or online at toronto.ca/children or call 311.

4.6 Tax Receipts

Income Tax Receipts for the total amount of child care fees paid in a calendar year will be issued in January of each year or upon the date of your child’s withdrawal.

5. ENROLLMENT

Enrollment is complete when we have received your child’s completed Registration Package and a one week deposit is given. Immunization must be up to date before a child will be accepted into our program and must be kept up to date.

5.1 Getting Started

Parents are encouraged to bring their child to the centre once or twice in the week before the actual start date to visit the room for an hour or two. This will allow you and your child to become familiar with the teachers, children’s routines and schedules of that room. On the first two days of enrolment, drop-off time for your child will be 9:30a.m. This will ensure that all
teachers will be present in your child’s class. This also allows for 2 office staff to be available if needed. Experience has taught us that easing your child into their new routine helps him/her settle into the program more smoothly and quickly.
Rooms 1 (Hummingbirds), 3 (Robins), 4 (Blue Jays), 5 (Cardinals) and 6 (Owls)
Days 1&2: Drop-off is 9:30. Please pick-up at 12:30, allowing your child to participate in the lunch routine, but not staying for nap time as this can be an extra stressful time for your child at first.
Days 3–5: Drop-off is changed to 8:45 to ensure there are 2 teachers in the classroom when you leave your child. Please arrange for your child to be picked up by 4:30 to allow for a shorter day.
*Second week can be a regular week for you and your child.*

5.2 Orientation Requirements

On your child’s first day at the centre, please bring a blanket with your child’s name written with permanent ink, and a cuddly toy for sleeping. Parents are requested to supply a big bag of disposable diapers if your child is not toilet trained.
Every child in the centre needs to have a seasonal change of clothing kept in his/her cubby. This includes underwear, socks, pants, and shirt. Soiled clothing is to be taken home each day. It will be wrapped in a plastic bag, tied, and placed on the child’s hook in the hall. The staff cannot be responsible for lost or misplaced clothing. We will make every effort that clothing finds its owner, if it is marked. Please send your child in clothes that are comfortable and can be messed up (play clothes).

6. TERMINATION POLICY

1) Immanuel Child Care staff is committed to providing a high quality program to all children in our care. In the event that a child is having difficulty conforming to the behavioural expectation of the group or there is a concern for the safety of the other children in the room the staff will:
a) Inform the parents of their concern and meet with the supervisor to establish a strategy to help the child participate in the program in a meaningful way. The goals and strategies will be in writing and shared with the parents. A time frame will be agreed up on with teachers and parents involved.
b) Should the strategy not prove effective within the time frame, referrals to outside agencies may be considered to provide assistance.
c) If there is no improvement or resolution or if outside agency assistance has been declined, the supervisor has the authority to withdraw the child with a 2 week notice.
d) All meetings between parents and centre will be documented and documentation kept in child’s file.
2) If we experience difficulty with a parent in the form of verbal abuse, being late on a regular basis in the evening, or if fee payment is outstanding for one month the family may be asked to leave. A two week notice will be given. In either case, the Board of Directors, as well as our District Consultant from Toronto Children’s Services, will be notified of the termination.
INTERVENTION STRATEGIES:
Physical guidance may be used if there is a concern for the safety of the child or other children in the room. There will always be two staff present if a situation arises. Once
the child has de-escalated from the situation, he/she will be supportively reintroduced into the program. Staff will document the incident and report it to the supervisor. Immanuel Child Care reserves the right to discharge immediately any child who, in the opinion of Immanuel, exhibits inappropriate violent, anti-social or abusive behaviour.

7. FIELD TRIPS

Parents will be informed through a note. Permission forms must be signed by the parent / guardian of each child participating on the trip.

8. NUTRITION AND HEALTH

8.1 Nutrition

Our goal is to ensure that children receive and enjoy nutritious meals, learn good eating habits, and develop a healthy attitude towards food. We follow The Canada Food Guide. Menus are posted for a 4 week cycle and include a variety of different foods. Substitutions are made for children with allergies and special diets. You can find a copy of our full menu on our website.

8.2 Snacks and Lunches

We offer a light morning snack, but it is not meant to substitute for a home breakfast. Lunch consists of a main protein course, salads, cooked or raw vegetables, bread/roll or grain product, milk and dessert. And when the children awake from their afternoon nap, we provide a nutritious snack.

8.3 Anaphylactic Allergies/Food

Immanuel Child Care Centre is committed to taking a pro-active position regarding the prevention of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening allergic reaction triggered by foods, insect stings, medication, latex etc. Avoidance of a specific allergen is the cornerstone of management in preventing Anaphylaxis. Therefore, please ensure that your child does not bring any food to the Centre (including candy). Other children may be allergic to these foods and could result in medical emergency.

8.4 Fresh Air Policy

Smoking is not permitted on the premises of the centre. The Child Care and Early Years Act states that all children must play outside for a minimum of two hours per day, weather permitting. If a child is well enough to be at the centre, he/she is considered well enough to be
outdoors. Please make sure your child has suitable clothing for the weather outside. It is always better to be prepared for the coldest weather. Please send your child in layered clothing, especially in the sprin g and fall.

8.5 Health

We at Immanuel Child Care Centre have developed a Health Care Manual. You can find this manual on the “Parent Information Table” located in the front hallway. This Manual is to assist you when your child is ill. We know how difficult it is for you to take time off work, but the health and safety of every child is our main concern. We have developed the health and safety policies to care for your child. The Staff at Immanuel have specific policies on hand washing, diapering, toilet training, washroom use, first aid, disinfecting toys, food preparation and nutrition and communicable diseases. If your child becomes ill during the day, following is the criteria that our staff use to exclude children from Child Care.
1. Two Cases of Diarrhea during the Day
  • Diarrhea is classified as the following: the change in consistency and frequency of individual bowel movements.
– the stool may be watery or very loose
– the stool may have blood or mucus, foul smelling and mushy
  • According to Public Health, if a child has the above symptoms they must not stay at the child care, the child has an infection.
  • Your child must be free of diarrhea for a full 24 hours before returning to the Centre.
  • Two cases of vomiting – follow the above procedures.
2. A Fever
  • If your child has a fever and is tired, miserable and irritable, he/she should stay at home.
  • A fever is an indicator of an infection. A fever is not caused by teething. When a child is teething their immunities are low so therefore they may catch a virus or germs.
  • Special Reminder – If your child develops a fever at day care, Tylenol or Advil will only be given if the parent has had the “Tylenol Permission Form” signed by a doctor indicating that your child may receive medication.
  • Your child must be fever free for a full 24 hours before returning to the Centre.
3. Communicable Disease
  • If your child has a case of the Chicken Pox, Pink Eye, Head Lice or Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, please notify the day care. Likewise, if your child develops any of the symptoms at the centre, parents will be notified immediately. These diseases are highly contagious and must be handled in the appropriate manner. Please contact the office for specific guidelines in handling any communicable disease.
4. If your child h as an unexplained rash, your child needs to see a doctor for an examination immediately. The child care should be notified once it is determined what the rash is.
5. If your child has a cold with a runny nose they are permitted to attend the Centre.
6. Medication
  • We would prefer not to give your child medicine. This is serious and errors may occur. If medication is prescribed only once or twice per day then you can administer the medicine at home. If the medicine is prescribed for three times per day we will administer only once.
  • Asthma medication is very different and this will be arranged on an individual basis.
  • A doctor must prescribe all medication with YOUR CHILD’S NAME printed clearly on the label and in the original bottle.
  • A helpful hint – Tell the pharmacist that your child attends day care and request that the medicine be divided into two bottles. One bottle will be for home use and the other will be left at daycare. Both of the bottles must be labeled.
The parent must fill out a medication form before any medication is given to your child. If there are any changes to the times or amounts they must be signed for by the parent/guardian.