An Open Door Policy is in practice at all of our centers. This means that either parent is welcome to stop by the center at any time. Parents may want to come on their lunch break and eat with their child or arrange to come along for a classroom walk. For some children, it is difficult for them to say good bye to a parent twice. Please talk to your child’s caregiver before dropping by unexpectedly, if this is the case. When you let the caregiver know you are coming, (s)he can help prepare your child for your visit.
Child care hours are given based on work and/or school schedules and must be strictly adhered to. You may use any hours WITHIN your contract hours but not before or after. Teachers write down drop off and pick up times daily for each child in a log. Three (3) instances of violating contract hours may result in termination of child care services. Each instance will be issued a written warning to the parent. We do not tolerate late pickup after closing. We will tolerate only one rare late pickup per family due to a car accident or emergency. Early Development Services is a business. Our business closes at 4:30, 5:30 or 6:00 pm depending on the site your child is enrolled at. Parents or guardians who know they cannot be at the center by closing must make arrangements for someone else who is authorized to pick up their child. The late charge is $1.00 per minute per child for late pick up after closing. Repeated failure to pick up your child by your contracted hours of care (even hours before closing) will result in termination of your services. Please show caregivers that you value them by respecting their personal time. If a child has not been picked up by the usual closing time EDS will make every effort to contact a person authorized to take the child from the center. After ½ an hour the teacher will phone the local Police Department to assist with the location of the parent.
Each and every child must arrive by 9:30am and be signed in and out each day. The signature must be a full, legal signature, initials are unacceptable. If you fail to sign your child properly more than three times, you will be called to come back and sign them in. This is a LEGAL licensing requirement. In addition, any parent found writing a different time on their sign in/out sheet than when they actually pick up or drop off will be issued warnings up to and including termination of services. Parents must give written notification directly to administration if their child is to be taken from the center by someone not listed on the Identification & Emergency Form. Anyone picking up the child must be 18 years of age and will be asked to show picture ID. We will not accept a phone authorization to allow someone not listed on the Identification and Emergency Form to pick up the child. This is for the safety of your children. No exceptions will be made.
Absences must be reported to the center by 9:30 am on the day of attendance via phone and each day thereafter. Absences due to illness of the child or parent, quarantine or time spent away from home with a parent or other relative that has been court ordered are excused and unlimited. Absences due to family emergencies (i.e.: death in family, illness of sibling, accidents, etc) are also excused, but are limited to 10 days per fiscal year. In addition, a limit of 10 days of excused absences per fiscal year may be taken in the best interest of the child such as family vacation. Upon return the parent must sign next to the absence on the sign in/out sheet verifying the documented reason. If your child is out for more than 5(five) consecutive school (including over a weekend) days you will required to submit a doctors note stating that they were seen for medical care and are able to return to a group care setting. If your child is absent for more than 3(three) days without notifying the Site Supervisor and/or Master Teacher, your child care services may be considered abandoned and a NOA will be issued terminating services. Unexcused absences are not permitted and are grounds for termination of services unless full payment is made for the absence.
Disciplinary Practices include positive re-direction, reasoning, and conflict resolution. The goal of discipline is to guide the behavior of children in such a manner that they will internalize our outward expectations and develop the inner controls they need to function as whole and happy individuals. Physical or emotional punishment of any kind is unacceptable. See APPENDIX A for additional information. Please remember if you are called to pick up your child, we require the parent or emergency person to pick your child within one hour. If someone has not arrived within the hour, children will be excluded for 2 operational days.
The term discipline means different things to different people. Here at EDS, all the staff follow the same procedures for dealing with issues that require limits to be set. The following list describes how guidance and discipline are enforced at each center.
Limit Setting and Consistency– For children to feel confident in exploring their surrounding, they must clearly know what is expected of them. Once they know what to expect, they can plan their own behavior accordingly. Rules are kept few, simple, clear, and concise. Limits, expectations, and adult responses remain consistent throughout the center. Boundaries and expectations grow as the abilities of the child increase.
Tone of Voice– Children can gather information about a situation by the words that an adult is using as well as their tone of voice. Using a firm, kind, serious tone, but with body language that is relaxed, tells a child that you will keep him/her safe, everything is under control, and that you are willing to help the child work through the conflict.
Modeling Behavior– Not only does what we say and how we say it send a message to children, how we act and respond also sends clear messages to children. As the adult, it is our responsibility to model the appropriate behavior. For example, if you do not want children to throw things across the room, then the next time you see a toy lying out, instead of picking it up and tossing it in the basket, you should pick up the toy, walk over to where it belongs and put it away.
Passive Intervention– Sometimes the best solution to helping children with conflicts is to do nothing. Stand close in case the situation becomes physical, but allow the children time to work through the problem themselves.
Physical Intervention– Children will be stopped when hurting each other. Children will be told “STOP” firmly, removed from the immediate situation, and given a brief reason for why the behavior is unacceptable before being allowed to reenter the play.
Identifying the Conflict– When conflicts arise, often times children are so involved they are unable to control themselves and need an adult to help them resolve the problem. Caregivers can help a child regain control by giving the child the words to identify the issue. “You both wanted that bike.”
Validating Feeling- Acknowledging emotions is vitally important in order for learning to occur in conflict situations. It is essential that all children involved feel that they are being listened to. Caregivers might say something like, “You are angry that you cannot have a turn yet,” or “It made you sad that Mom had to leave.” Children are NEVER told to say that they are sorry because in most cases children do not know what it means to be sorry.
Redirection– Redirection is one of the most commonly used forms of discipline used with infants and toddlers. Children are given appropriate alternatives to replace the negative behavior. For example, “You may kick the ball. It hurts when you kick the children,” or “It is not safe to climb on the table. Let’s go to the climber instead.”
Natural Consequences– Just like with passive intervention, sometimes natural consequences are the best forms of discipline. Caregivers may point out and reinforce natural consequences such as “If you wiggle in your chair, your milk will spill,” or “You threw the block after I told you not to. Now you need to find something else to play with.”
Offering Choices– Allowing children to make choices for themselves is one way to eliminate struggles. Make sure the choices are appropriate to the situation and that the amount of choices is limited. “Johnny, you seem to be doing a lot of hitting. Would you like to play with the clay and hammers or throw a ball?”
Time Out– Time out is not a method used at EDS. While it may stop the immediate behavior, it does not help children acquire the skills they need to deal with the situation should it arise again. Each classroom has a designated thinking/quiet place should a child need time to gather themselves.
All the strategies listed above can be used at home as well. One of the most effective ways to promote positive discipline is to have consistency both at home and at the center. Children need to learn about boundaries, what is safe, what is acceptable or not and why.
Restraint or holding a child is a last resort measure used only when a child is so upset and so intense that he or she is unable to talk and is a danger to self or others. An adult will hold the child with just sufficient strength to protect the other children and restore calm. A screaming and thrashing child may need to be soothed in this manner before discussing the incident. Expect the child to take some time to calm. Out of control children can frighten themselves by their behavior so it is important that we maintain a soft, soothing voice and gently rock the child within our firm grasp if at all possible.
Parent conferences will be requested if the teaching staff deems it necessary to set up a behavior modification plan for the child. If the previous listed steps and the behavior modification plan do not contribute to a positive change in the child, the teaching staff may elect to terminate care. Reasons for termination of care in regards to behavior include, but are not limited to: child’s inability to adapt to the group care setting, constituting a hazard to self and others, requiring individual attention which substantially reduces staff time and attention needed for other children in the program and abuse of teachers and/or other children.
Progress may be slow. It takes time for children to understand self-control instead of adult imposed punishment. We will always remain consistent! Helping children learn to control themselves takes time, but is essential for them to grow into an independent and caring person.
When Problems Arise we never want them to go unresolved. If you have concerns or questions regarding curriculum, discipline, or other classroom issues such as health and safety, please talk to your child’s caregiver or the Master Teacher.
You may always follow up with the Site Supervisor. Questions around center policies, payment of fees, etc. need to be directed to the Administrative Office. Information about enrollment, recertification, and other community resources will be handled by our Enrollment Specialists
Termination of Services requires two (2) weeks notice in writing from the parent of intent to terminate enrollment, except in cases of accident or serious illness.
If a two week notice is not given, the parent will be charged full tuition for the remainder of the two weeks.
ANY CONCERNS SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY DISCUSSED WITH THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR AND/OR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
1. Denial of Services: Early Development Services, Inc. reserves the right to deny services to any person or persons for any reason which does not constitute deliberate discrimination.
2. Cause for Termination: Child care services may be terminated based on the following causes, which is not all inclusive: funding limitations, constituting a hazard to self and/or others, fundamentally altering the nature of the program, abusive and/or negative behavior of the parent(s) toward the staff/other families, licensing, inability to meet the child and/or family needs, unexcused absences, child’s inability to benefit from a group care setting, non-payment of family fees/tuition, failure to abide by any policies set forth in the Guide for parents.
3. NOA Appeal: Please follow the directions on the back of the Notice of Action that was issued.
EDS is committed to providing an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive, including sexual harassment. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser. Uniform Complaint Procedures are provided.
ACCESS: Parents have unlimited access to their children, including written records concerning their children during normal hours of operation and whenever the children are in attendance.
SECTION 1596.857 HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE (a) “Upon presentation of identification, the responsible parent or guardian of a child receiving services in a child day care facility has the right to enter and inspect the facility without advance notice during normal operational hours of the facility. Parents and guardians when inspecting shall be respectful of the children’s routines and programmed activities. . .
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the person present who is in charge of a child day care facility may deny access to an adult whose behavior presents a risk to children present in the facility and may deny access to non-custodial parents or guardians if so requested by the responsible parent or guardian. . . .”