Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Parent Handbook



                     Fisher Early Learning Center
                          1899 E. Evans Ave.
                          Denver, CO 80208

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS
                             Mission Statement                p. 5
                               Our Philosophy                 p. 5
                       Our Beliefs and Who We Are             p. 5
                      Non-Discrimination Statement            p. 5
                      Americans with Disabilities Act         p. 6
                                 Curriculum                   p. 6
                          Ages of Children Served             p. 6
                  Monday through Friday Program Hours         p. 7
                                     Staff                    p. 7
             Yearly Classroom Assignments and Transitions     p. 7
                              School Calendar                 p. 8
                        Planning/Professional Days            p. 8
                            Application Process               p. 8
                                 Enrollment                   p. 9
                             DU Rate Eligibility              p. 9
             Tuition Payment/Late Fee Policies/Withdrawals    p. 9
                        Denver Preschool Program             p. 10
                             Schedule Options                p. 10
                                Scholarships                 p. 10
                                 Daily Arrival               p. 11
                          Combining Classrooms               p. 11
                          Vacation and Sick Days             p. 11
                            Inclement Weather                p. 11
                   Drop-in Day Requests & Procedures         p. 12
                          Discipline and Guidance            p. 13
                             Dress for Weather               p. 13
                    Security at Arrival and Departures       p. 14
                               Security Cards                p. 14
                               Sign-in and out               p. 14
                      Identifying Children’s Location        P. 14
                            Adult-to-Child-Ratios            p. 14
                                  Absences                   p. 14
                             Authorized pick-up              p. 15
                      Late Pick-up and Fee Schedule          p. 15
                                Visitor Policy               p. 15
                       Photographs and Videotape             p. 15

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
                              Confidentiality                   p. 16
                                  Health                        p. 16
                              Hand Washing                      p. 16
                       Medication Administration                p. 16
                         Emergency Procedures                   p. 17
                 Accident or Unusual Incident Reporting         p. 17
                              Transportation                    p. 18
                           Walking Excursions                   p. 18
                      Television and Video Viewing              p. 18
                          Children’s Belongings                 p. 19
                    Classroom Pets/Visiting Animals             p. 19
                               Infant Team                      p. 19
                              Toddler Team                      p. 19
                             Preschool Team                     p. 19
                           Family Partnerships                  p. 20
                        Team Planning Meetings                  p. 20
                       Classroom Communication                  p. 20
                           Family Conferences                   p. 20
                      Parent Advisory Council (PAC)             p. 20
                              Room Parents                      p. 21
                             Volunteer Policy                   p. 21
                              Laundry Policy                    p. 22
                 Meals, Snacks and Liquids/Beverages            p. 22
                      Infant Specific Dietary Policy            p. 23
                            Rest or Quiet Time                  p. 23
                      Diapering and Toilet Training             p. 24
                          Birthdays & Holidays                  p. 24
                     Child Abuse and Neglect Policy             p. 24
              Concerns or Complaints Regarding the Center       p. 25
                       Fisher Inclusion Team (FIT)              p. 25
                             School Calendar                    p. 29

                        HEALTH & SAFETY POLICIES & PROCEDURES
                             Introduction                       p. 31
                         Prevention Strategies                  p. 31
                           Exclusion Criteria                   p. 34
                      Fever Policy and Procedure                p. 39

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
                             Documentation                      p. 40
                          Staff Responsibilities                p. 40
                         Parent Responsibilities                p. 41
                                Diapering                       p. 41
                       Napping/Rest/Quiet Time                  p. 42
                Safe Storage and Handling of Breast Milk        p. 42
          Health and Safety Policies and Procedures Agreement   p. 44

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Mission Statement
The Fisher Early Learning Center provides a nurturing, stimulating, and safe environment for
all children from six weeks through five years of age. The Center offers social and
educational services through a wide variety of experiences, giving tools for success to
children of all abilities and from diverse family backgrounds or cultures.

Our Philosophy
Fisher’s nurturing family environment fosters all aspects of a child’s development through
comprehensive and multi-disciplinary activities that enhance learning. Fisher uses child’s
play to provide the stepping-stones needed to expand children’s horizons and help each
child master new skills.

Our Beliefs and Who We Are
We believe children learn best in a setting that respects, values and encourages all aspects
of the physical, emotional, social and cognitive development of each individual child.

We believe that children benefit from an interactive and play-based approach to learning.
We strive to provide a climate that is inclusive in nature.

We believe that families provide the foundation, key experiences, and interactions that
children need to grow and learn. We actively encourage a partnership with family members
to enhance the potential of each child.

We believe that the Fisher Early Learning Center serves as a model inclusive learning
program and an environment for professional development, research, and training in early
childhood education.

We believe that the Fisher Early Learning Center serves as a model in community
collaboration and partnership development for the delivery of quality program services for
children and families.

Non-Discrimination Statement
Fisher is a program of the Morgridge College of Education within the University of Denver,
which is an equal opportunity affirmative action institution.

The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) at the University of Denver exists to
assure that the university and its programs comply with their policies on discrimination,
harassment, and retaliation and to promote full compliance with all federal, state, and local
discrimination laws. The University of Denver and The Fisher Center community are strongly
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
committed to the pursuit of excellence by including and integrating individuals who
represent different groups as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,
socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin and religion.

Consistent with federal, state and local law and University policy related to non-
discrimination, the ODEO conducts neutral investigations of complaints of discrimination
(including harassment) on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability,
sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status or
genetic information; complaints of retaliation; and complaints alleging failure to provide
reasonable accommodations for disability and religion. The ODEO’s full statements, policies
and procedures can be found at

Americans with Disabilities Act
The facilities of The Fisher Center meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
accessibility requirements. Accessibility includes access to buildings, toilets, sinks, drinking
fountains, outdoor play space, and all classroom and therapy areas.

Currently, our curriculum is based on research about how children learn, develop, and play,
emphasizing emerging literacy skill development in a unique and interdisciplinary manner.
Children use storybooks as a basis for play, interaction, and learning opportunities.
Sensorimotor, functional, and symbolic levels of play are addressed in team planning in
order to provide an inclusive integration of children of all abilities into each classroom’s

Our toddler and preschool literacy-based curriculum, “Read, Play, and Learn!”, promotes
cognitive, language and communication, social, emotional and motor development in a
holistic manner. Our infant program centers on a routines-based curriculum and is sensitive
to each child’s needs. Centers and zones of learning engage children of all ages in
activities related to a thematic topic and are literacy-based.

Art, Music, Movement, Dramatic Play, Science, Math, Literacy, Sensory and Motor Play are
integrated into daily experiences in which children are active explorers of their environment.

Ages of Children Served
Children from ages six weeks through five years are served in the Fisher Early Learning
Center. Children of all abilities are welcome to grow, play, and learn at Fisher.
Approximately 20% of our enrolled students are children with special needs.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Monday through Friday Program Hours
Our program hours reflect the ideal planning for classroom learning opportunities, adult-to
child ratios, curriculum implementation, and individual child learning:
                                Drop-Off: 7:30 am – 9:00 am
                               Program Time: 9:00 – 4:00 pm
                                  Pick-Up: 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Families may visit any area of the facility at any time during the program's regular hours of
operation as specified by the procedures of the facility.

The Administrative staff of the Center is comprised of a Faculty Director, an Associate
Director and an Assistant Director. Together they supervise eleven teaching teams in the
program. In each classroom, there is a Master Teacher and two Associate Teachers. Adult
to child ratios and room capacities maintain all State and national standards and are posted
in each classroom. Because Fisher is a model training site, our staff is encouraged to
continue their education and training to benefit the overall quality of the program. When
necessary, Fisher utilizes a carefully screened pool of qualified and trained substitute
teachers. During University instructional terms, DU provides work-study and graduate
students in our classrooms to support teaching teams.
DU students and faculty members are an exciting component of Fisher. They provide
opportunities to enrich the quality of our services with “cutting edge” best practices and
active research on learning and development in early childhood.


Yearly Classroom Assignments and Transitions
Whether a child has been at Fisher for a number of years, or is beginning their first year, the
staff works as a team to ensure smooth and successful transitions into and across the
Center. To help reduce the anxiety of entering our program or a new classroom, a
conference with your child’s teachers is arranged at the beginning of the school year to plan
for the transition.

Classroom placement is a process involving the entire Fisher team. Prior to the staff making
decisions on placements, families are welcome to indicate in a letter the strengths and
needs of their individual child which might impact classroom placement for the following
year. Careful consideration and thought are involved in the placement of your child in an
appropriate classroom each year. In forming class membership we take into consideration
individual needs of each child, the strengths of each classroom team, and the enrollment
needs of the Center. As each new school year approaches we will notify families in ample
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
time to help their child prepare for classroom changes. Once in the preschool program, your
child may remain in the same classroom for 2 years.

School Calendar
The Fisher Center provides programming 12 months of the year. We reserve the right,
however, to close during unscheduled times due to severe weather, low attendance rates, or
other unforeseen emergencies. For the most updated information regarding holidays and
school closures, please refer to the current school year calendar at the end of this

Planning/Professional Days
The Center will be closed for 8 scheduled teacher planning/professional days each calendar
year. Professional development and planning days build the foundation for having highly-
qualified and well-trained teaching personnel. Professional workshops and conferences
prepare staff in all areas of child development, special education, curriculum, health and
safety. Professional Days, in addition, provide time to develop individualized programming
and to address progress monitoring for each child.

Application Process
The Fisher Early Learning Center is both a University and a larger community resource. We
welcome all children and families to apply. Once your child is enrolled, it is NOT necessary
to apply each year to continue enrollment. Siblings are given priority enrollment processing
and will be considered prior to lottery selections.

All application decisions are based on a lottery system which occurs each year in February
for the upcoming July start date. The lottery database is developed using information
supplied from an application packet containing each child’s name, date of birth, parents’
address and contact information. Vacancies are determined for each school year start date
(in July of each year) using the required student-to-adult ratios, schedule changes, sibling
and DU staff priority placements, and age-group availability. The lottery will extend
enrollment invitations for all vacancies by the beginning of March. Parents will be given 10
days to either accept or decline the invitation for the next school year start date. We
maintain a 50% balance of DU faculty, student, and staff children to 50% community
children in selecting families during the lottery process. We urge parents to refer to Fisher’s
website for more details and frequently asked questions regarding our lottery selection
process at ( Families are charged a $100 non-refundable application
fee each year they wish a child to be entered into the lottery application process.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
At the time of invitation and enrollment into the program, a non-refundable enrollment fee of
$100 is required for each child. This enrollment fee holds the child’s spot at the Center, but
will not be refunded should you choose not to enroll your child after accepting the invitation.
During the enrollment process, a one-time meeting will be held to discuss the family
contract, individual child planning, curriculum, family communication, and classroom
placement. This meeting allows families and the Center team to discuss, plan and facilitate
the transition of your child into the program.

DU Rate Eligibility
Children of the University of Denver’s faculty, students, and staff will be given a discount off
tuition rates. In order to qualify for the DU discount you must be a current University of
Denver appointed faculty member, a full or part-time staff member, or a degree-seeking,
continuously enrolled student. This DU discount does not apply to Adjunct Faculty or Alumni.
At the time of enrollment, you will be asked to provide a letter from your department/school
to verify affiliation status.

Tuition Payment/Late Fee Policies/Withdrawals
Your child’s tuition is a flat rate based on his/her age. This rate is calculated on a 12 month
school year. This means that monthly tuition rates remain constant throughout the school
year and will include all school holidays, planning days, and inclement weather closures.
Families with two or more children enrolled in the Center will receive a 10% discount off the
oldest child’s tuition. All families are required to sign and follow a Tuition Agreement (which
is a separate form included in the Re-enrollment Packet) for each school year.

        Tuition is billed the first week of each month. Tuition bills will be placed in your
child’s parent communication box in their room. Tuition payment is due by the 25th of the
month and should be deposited into the Tuition Drop Box located in the front lobby. Check
payments, online bill pay, or payroll deduction are the accepted form of payments. All
checks should be made payable to Fisher Early Learning Center. Receipts for payment and
yearly statements may be requested from the Finance Assistant. Fisher charges a late
payment fee of $25.00. Fees will be charged to your next billing if payment is not received
by the due date of each month.

Because Fisher Early Learning Center operates on a monthly enrollment system, tuition will
only be billed for an entire month or half-month. Tuition may not be split into days or weeks.
Student withdrawals are allowed only on the 15th or final day of a month. A Withdrawal
Form must be received by the Enrollment Coordinator 30 days prior to the chosen departure
date in order to avoid additional billing. Withdrawal forms may be obtained from the
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Enrollment Coordinator or Finance Assistant. Accounts with unpaid balances not paid within
30 days of departure will be turned over to the University of Denver’s collection agency.
Questions regarding the tuition/payment/late fee or withdrawal policy may be directed to
the Enrollment Coordinator or Finance Director.

Denver Preschool Program
Any family that lives in Denver County with a preschooler 4 years of age, or in the last year before
kindergarten, may apply to the Denver Preschool program to receive additional funding for their
child’s tuition. This funding is only provided for one year and applicable from September-May of
that school year. Your first DPP payment will be applied in October for the month of September and
your final DPP Payment will be applied in June for the month of May. Information about the Denver
Preschool Program can be found at Applications are
available at the front desk.

Schedule Options
Fisher Early Learning Center offers three schedule options for enrollment: a five-day or full
week (Monday through Friday) schedule, three-day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) per week
schedule, or a two-day (Tuesday & Thursday) per week schedule. These schedule options
are offered at a defined monthly rate in a separate document. Families will be asked at the
time of enrollment to submit their schedule preferences to the Enrollment Coordinator.
Family preferences will be accommodated as much as possible. Family requests for
schedule changes during the school year will also be considered and implemented as
quickly as possible. Classroom or schedule vacancies will be filled through lottery selection.
Please complete a Change of Schedule Request form and return it to the Enrollment
Coordinator to initiate any changes.

Scholarship funding for families in need of financial assistance is available on a limited
basis based on family need. Approximately 5% of our total revenue in addition to donations,
gifts, and endowments make up our annual scholarship fund. Scholarship awards are
identified in early spring each fiscal year. As an approved member of Denver’s Preschool
Program, all Fisher Center families who are residents of Denver County are eligible for tuition
scholarships during their preschooler’s last year prior to Kindergarten. If you are interested
in tuition assistance, please contact the front office for an application or for more
information. Families must be identified for enrollment through the lottery process prior to
requesting financial assistance.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
                                      FISHER POLICIES
Daily Arrival
Arrival time provides less structured opportunity to acclimate children to their classroom
setting by establishing arrival routines that integrate them comfortably into class activities.
An easy arrival routine will enhance your child’s daily experience and assist the entire
classroom. Your child’s teachers can suggest simple ideas to ease separation and engage
him/her with friends or prepared activities. Infant classrooms encourage families to share
your child’s recent feeding and sleeping patterns either orally with a teacher or on the daily
planning guide. In toddler and preschool classrooms, Circle Time marks the beginning of the
daily program. Children, therefore, are expected to be in their classroom, ready to start their
day, by 9:00 a.m. to maintain instructional continuity. We discourage late arrivals which
frequently disrupt class attention. If you must arrive late, please advise your child’s
classroom teachers in advance. Preschool classes open on a shared schedule with one
classroom receiving all preschool aged children on a weekly rotating basis. If your child
arrives late to school and his/her class is on a field trip, he/she will join another classroom
on the team until his/her class returns to the Center.

Combining Classrooms
Occasionally, two classes may gather in a single classroom during daily arrival and/or
departure periods. Such classroom combining occurs if attendance is unusually low.
However, please be advised that our staff adheres to required adult-to-child ratios and room
capacity requirements at all times.

Vacation and Sick Days
Monthly tuition is assessed based on the days your child is enrolled. Tuition rates are based
on program service per year for each child enrolled. You do not receive credit for days in
which your child is out ill or on vacation, holidays or weather closures. We appreciate that
parents notify the classroom teachers of any planned absences.

School closures due to planning or scheduled professional development are valuable
aspects of our program. These days assist in maintaining of high-quality national standards
and well-trained teachers for your child’s classroom.

Inclement Weather
The safety of Fisher’s children and staff will be the primary consideration in keeping the
school open or closed. In the event of severely inclement weather, the center will follow
Denver Public School emergency closure procedures. If DPS is announced as “closed” due
to severe weather conditions, Fisher Center will also be closed. Additionally, Fisher will be
posted as “closed” on local television/radio weather channels. In the unlikely event,
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
however, that DPS is closed for another reason on a day of severe weather, all local
television stations will post that Fisher Early Learning Center is closed. Generally, each
classroom will activate a phone tree and an attempt will be made to notify you at your
emergency number. We advise families, in any case, to call Fisher’s main line at 303-871-
2723 during inclement weather for the most up-to-date information regarding whether or
not Fisher is open.

Occasionally, the Fisher Center must close early due to severe weather or other
emergencies. Announcements of early school closures will always be made no later than 12
noon, giving parents a three-hour notification period to pick up their children (i.e. no later
than 3pm.) During early closures, parents will be notified by telephone at their specified
emergency contact number.

Drop-in Day Requests & Procedures
The Fisher Early Learning Center will attempt to meet requests for “drop-in” attendance
whenever possible. Drop-in days are only available when your child’s classroom is under
classroom licensed capacity, and the required child-to-teacher ratio is maintained.
Classroom capacity and child-to-teacher ratios for each age group are posted in your child’s
classroom. The following policies and procedures have been established to ensure that
drop-ins are successful:
    • Drop-in days are available for enrolled children only.
    • Drop-in days are restricted to the classroom for which your child is currently enrolled.
    • Drop-in days are available only on the days when the classroom is under ratio/room
       capacity-they are not guaranteed regardless of when the request is submitted.
    • Drop-in days are based on a first come, first served basis.
    • Drop-in days should be arranged at least 24 hours prior to desired attendance; a
       Drop-In Request Form must be completed and turned in to the front desk.
    • Drop-in days are considered an additional day, therefore an additional $70 fee will be
       charged to your child’s tuition.
    • Fisher Center reserves the right to refuse a drop-in day due to staffing, planning
       times, conferences, or team meetings.

Please remember enrollment is continually changing and available days may vary. You
should request a drop in day as soon as you are aware of the need, however, you may also
request a drop-in day at the beginning of any day for that day by phone as well as in person,
but it is not guaranteed. Availability will be identified at the time of request.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
On the morning of the drop-in day, parents must call to confirm availability and ensure that
the correct forms have been completed. Plan to use your arranged drop-in day, as you will be
charged for that date whether it is used or not. Parents must sign your child in as you would
on any normal day. Signing in with Procare is required to ensure an accurate count of
children within the Center for emergency and legal purposes. A drop-in charge of $70 will be
added to your monthly tuition bill.

Discipline and Guidance
At Fisher Early Learning Center, the terms guidance and discipline are positive terms. Thus,
we as caregivers, teachers, and role models provide an arena for children to develop
internal self-control of their behavior. It is not our practice to “un-enroll” a child for
disciplinary reasons.
    • We believe guidance begins as we design our environment for children in a
        developmentally appropriate manner.
    • We believe in positive reinforcement of appropriate behavior through modeling
        examples of effective problem solving, redirecting, and providing choices and
    • We believe in involving parents whenever possible in the development of self-control
        and guidance decisions.
    • We believe in fostering creativity, independence, and responsible decision-making
        through clear expectations and routines, adequate environmental planning, and
        problem solving with adult support in naturally occurring situations.
    • We believe that children’s feelings deserve respect. Our expectations will be clearly
        stated in positive and proactive language. We will help children identify their
        feelings, discover common ground, communicate verbally, and learn to negotiate and
        develop friendships.
    • We will model and teach “cool down” techniques and strategies for making choices
        that foster inner control and maintain self-respect and confidence.

Dress for the Weather
We go outside in all kinds of weather. Please bring your child to school dressed
appropriately for weather conditions throughout the day. During severe weather (extremely
hot or cold) we will utilize the motor room for large muscle and physical activities, however
our goal will be to provide outside exercise daily. When we expect to be outside for an
extended period of time, we are required to apply sunscreen to all children. Families are
asked to sign a permission form for sunscreen application. Sunscreen may either be
provided by the parent/guardian or purchased from Fisher for an additional annual cost.
Living in Colorado often means many different weather conditions in a single day. We
strongly advise families to bring their child extra clothing for all kinds of weather. During
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
cold weather we suggest boots, hats, mittens, and snow pants. During hot months we
recommend sunglasses and a shade hat. In all seasons we recommend comfortable play
clothes for messy activities.

Security at Arrival and Departure
Your child’s health and safety is our primary concern. Please note the following procedures
for ensuring the safety of your child at the Fisher Center.
Security Cards
A member of the administrative team will greet you when you arrive or leave for the day
when at all possible. Additional precautions, like the security access cards, surveillance
cameras, outside phones, and remote door access controls access and safety. Observation
windows are available above each classroom so parents may observe their child in his/her
classroom. Extended observations or observations of other classrooms may be arranged
with your child’s teaching team.

and out
On arrival and at departure parents, designated family members or guardians must sign
children in or out of the Center using the Procare attendance tracker. This is a mandatory
practice-please ensure that your child is signed in and signed out of the Center every day.
This process is also used to verify the head count in the classroom and within the Center
throughout the day. It is important to remember to do this, not only for State Regulatory
purposes, but also for your child’s safety. We expect that a family member is accessible by
phone at all times in case of an emergency.

Identifying Children’s Location
During the day children are supervised by their teachers and/or Center staff at all times.
When the children leave the Center with their teachers for field trips or outings during
program hours, their teachers are responsible for signing them in and out of the building at
the front desk.

State licensure ratios of children to adults will be adhered to at all times. Teachers are
responsible for knowing where children are at all times. A head count system is used in the
classroom throughout the day. Ratios are posted in each classroom.

If your child is sick or will be absent, please call the classroom directly to inform the teaching
team. Each classroom has an independent answering system to record messages
throughout the day.
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Authorized pick-up
Children will only be released to individuals listed on the child’s emergency form, and who
are authorized by parents/guardians for pick-up. We must have written authorization to
release your child to anyone other than the parent or guardian. All authorized persons will
be asked to show picture identification to validate the release of any child. Families who
have specific legal custodial arrangements, must provide on-file documentation stating
custody guidelines.

Late Pick-up and Fee Schedule
Please be on time to pick up your child. The Fisher Center closes at 5:30 p.m. We ask that
families gather their child’s belongings and are headed home generally five minutes before
that time. A $10 fee will be charged for the first 1 to 5 minutes after the center closes and
an additional $1.00 fee for each one-minute increment after that time. All applicable fees
will be added to your monthly bill. If late pick-up becomes a chronic concern, families will be
contacted to discuss your child’s attendance with the Faculty Director. We will ask for a back
up plan for your child’s pick up schedule. If a child is not picked up within 45 minutes and
we are unable to locate an emergency contact on the child’s emergency card, we will contact
Police or Social Services for assistance. The Faculty Director or administrator in charge does
a nightly walk through to make sure all children have left the building.

Visitor Policy
Visitors must sign in and out at the front desk. Parents are welcome in their child’s
classroom at special events or to be involved in important experiences for your child and
other children. If you would like to have an extended visit with your child inside the
classroom, it is advised that parents make prior arrangements with classroom teachers as
some age groups have difficultly with separation during these visits. It is also important to
note that children with special needs may need extra preparation for parent volunteers. The
Fisher Center is a model site for teaching methodology, curriculum, and early learning
practices. As a training arena for the University of Denver, observations will often involve
students and community partners in training. Authorized visitors and/or students frequently
come to observe classrooms and early learning instruction. These visitors are always under
the direct supervision of staff and administration. Generally children are unaware and
unaffected by visitors. We welcome the richness visiting educators bring to the Center.

Photographs and Videotape
Photographs and videotapes are a strong component of the programmatic approach
towards training and professional development. Families will be asked to sign a permission
form for release of images. These photos and videotapes will be used only for instructional
purposes. When a specific purpose (newspaper, brochure, or center pamphlet) for these
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
images or a research study is to be conducted, families will be contacted and permission will
be requested ahead of time. The Fisher Early Learning Center will follow the University of
Denver and established state guidelines for any and all research to be conducted within the

Personal information about your child and family is kept in your child’s personal folder in a
locked office. Access to this information is limited to authorized persons and at the
discretion of the administrative staff.

The Health and Safety Policies and Procedures are included in this handbook. These policies
must be read and signed by a parent or guardian before a child may attend. All precautions
will be taken to ensure the health and safety of children within the Center. Please use the
appropriate forms you will receive from us to indicate any specific health concerns you may
have about your child. In accordance with national childcare standards, all infant
classrooms maintain a “shoe free zone” policy in their classrooms. Fisher employs a
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner to provide assistance and support to families and teaching
teams. We contract with a registered nursing service that has someone available by email
or telephone at all times to parents and Fisher staff. Their 24-hour contact number is
posted on all parent bulletin boards.

Hand Washing
Frequent hand washing with soap and water is the best prevention of the spread of disease
and bacteria. Children and adults will wash hands before preparing or eating food, before
and after play, nose wiping, and toileting. While changing diapers, caregivers wear
disposable gloves (changed and discarded for each child) and the table is sanitized before
and after each changing. Parents and visitors are asked to sanitize their hands prior to
entering any classroom. Additionally, parents of infants and toddlers are requested to wash
their child’s hands upon arrival in the classroom. The use of alcohol-based hand rubs in lieu
of hand washing is not recommended for early education and child care settings. If these
products are used as a temporary measure, a sufficient amount must be used to keep the
hands wet for 15 seconds. Since the alcohol-based hand rubs are toxic and flammable, they
must be stored and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Medication Administration
In general, children should be given medication at home. However, some medications
require specific dosage over a number of days after the child has improved or for specific
health concerns. Parents/Guardians may request that medication be administered at the

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Center. No medications will be administered at the Center without the written, signed and
dated instructions of a physician. Over-the-counter medications must also be referred by a
physician and administered for no more than three days. All prescription medication must be
in its original container, labeled with the child’s name, name of the drug, directions for
administration, date and physician’s name. State Health guidelines prohibit distribution of
homeopathic medications by staff or nurse practitioners. We advise parents to request
medication from their pediatricians that can be given at home before and after school
attendance whenever possible.

Special forms are available at the Center that must be completed by the physician and
parent for staff persons that are authorized to administer medication. No medicine,
vitamins, or special diet can be administered without a properly signed form. Medicine is
dispensed and recorded by persons trained in First Aid and Medication Administration. Staff
members are trained annually in order to be authorized to administer medications to any

Medication will be stored in areas inaccessible to children and according to pharmacy
instructions. Each child’s medicines will be bagged individually with his/her name on the
bag, and instructions for administration in the bag. When medications are no longer needed
they will be returned to parents/guardians. Emergency medication, such as Benedryl and
Epipens, will be stored in the classroom and will accompany your child on all outings.

Emergency Procedures
Fire, disaster, and evacuation drills are practiced monthly at the Center. When we practice
drills, we teach children to listen to directions from teachers about what to do in an
emergency. If there is an actual emergency, we go to Driscoll Student Center as our
designated safe place to assemble. We continuously account for each child and staff
member, and provide comfort and aid as needed. All non-mobile toddlers and infants will be
evacuated in emergency evacuation cribs. Center staff members will stay with all children
until a parent or guardian can pick them up at our safe assembly location. Staff members
are trained in First Aid and CPR annually. First aid kits and emergency back packs with exit
plans are located in every room of the Center.

Accident or Unusual Incident Reporting
Should something unusual or an accident happen while your child is at the Center, a staff
member will notify you. All head injuries are reported to families immediately and recorded
by Center administration. If an incident is major or severe, staff will contact 911 for
emergency medical assistance and parents will be notified immediately. If it is a minor

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
incident, parents will be notified as soon as you arrive to pick up your child. Teaching teams
are required to complete an incident/accident form for all incidents.

You will be required to complete a form for emergency notification. Please remember, it is
critical to keep this information updated. Fisher expects that a family member or family
contact is available by phone at all times. We will utilize the emergency contact list to the
best of our ability. If no family member is available at the time of an emergency involving
your child, a judgment will be made about what to do considering what is in the best interest
of the child.

Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting children to and from the Center. Fisher
does not have a vehicle for transporting children; we utilize parent volunteers to transport
children when a field trip is planned. When a special outing is planned, parents/guardians
will fill out appropriate permission forms to ride in a volunteer’s car. Valid driver license and
current car insurance are needed for any volunteer driver. All transported children must
have a car seat or booster to participate in a school field trip. Assisting parents are
expected to supervise their small group, conduct regular head counts, and assist the
teaching teams in providing a safe and enjoyable trip.

First Aid kits are always taken on all trips away from the Center. Required ratios of children
to adults are maintained on these excursions. Children are provided with an identification
tag that states the name and number of the Center. All children must be assigned to staff
members, parents, and/or guardians in designated groupings.

Walking Excursions
We have multiple resources for learning experiences on campus. You will be asked to sign
permission forms that allow staff members to take children on walks in and around the
University campus. State ratios of children to teachers will be maintained both in the
classrooms and on the outings. The Fisher administrative team and front office staff are
notified and record pertinent information regarding all walking excursions of Fisher classes.
Walkie-talkies and/or cell phones accompany each walking trip.

Television and Video Viewing
As a general rule of thumb, Fisher does not utilize television or videos as part of our
curriculum and daily planning. However, there may be some special learning occasions
when viewing could enrich some topics of interest. Examples include: real-life animal
videos, walking on the moon, time lapse photography, or actual videos of children in the
classroom. We will inform you by note or newsletter if permission needs to be given for
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
viewing. Infants and toddlers under the age of two years do not participate in television or
video viewing while at Fisher.

Children’s Belongings
The Fisher Center has individual cubbies where children can store their personal belongings.
Please make sure that ALL clothing and personal possessions are labeled with your child’s
name. Children need to bring in: seasonal outerwear, a fitted crib sheet, and blanket for
rest time. Your child may also bring a small special object or quiet toy for rest time if they
would like. Remember that all items that are brought to school must fit in their small
cubby. Limiting the size and quantity of your child’s belongings at school helps us to meet
Health Department regulations about separating children’s belongings and maintaining
proper placement of these items in a safe and health-conscious manner. Please do not
send money or valuables with your child to school.

Classroom Pets/Visiting Animals
Classroom pets and animals visiting the classroom must appear to be in good health.
Additionally, pets or visiting animals must have documentation from a veterinarian or an
animal shelter to show that the animals are fully immunized (if the animal should be so
protected) and that the animal is suitable for contact with children. The teaching staff will
supervise all interactions between children and animals and instruct children on safe
behavior when in close proximity to the animals. The Fisher staff will ensure that any child
who is allergic to a type of animal is not exposed to that animal. Reptiles are not allowed as
classroom pets because of the risk for salmonella infection.

Infant Team
Please refer to your child’s individual team handbook as each classroom has different
requests for your infant’s personal belongings and feeding equipment.

Toddler Team
Please bring at least two changes of clothing, a blanket and fitted crib sheet, a week’s
supply of diapers and wipes, and any special powder or ointment with a permission form
from your physician. Additionally, it is helpful if your child brings a small plastic water bottle
with a sport-top lid. If your child is potty training please bring extra clothing in a plastic bag
and label it with your child’s name. Please refer to your child’s individual team handbook as
each classroom has different requests.

Preschool Team
Please bring in an extra set of clothing (shirt, pants, shoes, socks, underwear, jacket or
sweatshirt) to keep at the Center in case your child might need to change clothes. (We enjoy

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
many messy fun activities throughout each day.) Please place extra clothing in a labeled
bag that will fit within your child’s small cubby. Additionally, your child may need a small
blanket, fitted crib sheet, and plastic water bottle with a sport-top lid. Please refer to your
child’s individual team handbook as each classroom has different requests.

Family Partnerships
Positive and frequent communication between families and teaching teams is important.
We encourage families to visit the classroom and spend time getting to know your teaching
team. In addition to weekly classroom newsletters, we will leave messages on the Procare
check in system for families.

Team Planning Meetings
Planning as a team (family and teaching team) helps us to coordinate an effective plan for
assisting your child to grow, learn, and play. We welcome any suggestions or ideas you
might have.

Classroom Communication
Information will travel back and forth from center to home via your child’s informational
folder placed in their cubby or mailbox, or via email. Parent boards are located in every
room to keep families informed about daily classroom events. The Infant, Toddler and
Preschool teams also have their own bulletin boards in the hallway that share information
about the teams and their work.

Family Conferences
Parent-teacher team meetings (generally 30 minutes) will be scheduled to meet the needs
of each child and family at least once a year, and more frequently as deemed necessary.
Parent meetings are also scheduled as children enter a new classroom.

Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
Parent representatives are asked to facilitate communication between parents, the Parent
Advisory Council and Fisher’s Administrative Staff. PAC gives parents a voice, ensuring that
their concerns, comments or requests are heard and responded to. PAC also helps other
parents become involved in the Fisher community by communicating upcoming Fisher needs
and/or events. The Parent Advisory Council is not a governance group. It may gather
information, brainstorm solutions to problems, and make recommendations as appropriate.
It facilitates the planning of major fundraisers for the school and promotes school spirit. It is
a group that supports the Fisher Center’s mission of serving families and developing a
model early childhood curriculum. Parents interested in serving as a PAC representative can
inquire with the Facility Director for identified position vacancies.
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Room Parents
Room Parents are also an essential part of our program. Each classroom would like at least
one Room Parent to assist in organization of upcoming curriculum modules, organizing
family events, orienting new parents, providing a link between home and school, as well as
various other tasks. These parents are an essential link in building strong family
partnerships and are valuable resources. If you are interested in volunteering to be a Room
Parent for a school year, please speak with your teaching team.

Volunteer Policy
Volunteers are a welcome addition to our program. Children benefit and enjoy adults
investing time and energy telling stories, reading books, painting or singing with them. Your
involvement and participation at the classroom, program or event level is important in
building strong partnerships and establishing effective and mutual lines of communication.
Work with your classroom teaching team to offer your unique talents and assistance by

This volunteer time can be given in many ways such as:
    • at home cutting shapes for a class project
    • assisting with playground
    • reading with the children; recording books on tape
    • helping with the computer
    • going to the library to pick out a related storybook or tape
    • hanging up artwork, sewing a costume
    • participating as a Room Parent
    • planning a classroom event or assisting on a field trip
    • leading a small group of children in a cooking or art activity
    • working with Parent Advisory Council on fund-raising activities

This is only a small selection of the work and “play” available at the Center. Parents and
volunteers can be a valued resource in our program! The Fisher staff ensures that all
families, regardless of family structure; socioeconomic, racial, religious, and cultural
backgrounds; gender; abilities; or preferred language are included in all aspects of the
program, including volunteer opportunities. These opportunities consider each family's
interests and skills and the needs of program staff. However, please remember that all non-
parent volunteers must be screened and trained using the same rigorous process used to
hire, recruit, and train staff members.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Laundry Policy
All families are asked to provide a cot (or mattress) sheet and small blanket for your child.
Linens must be taken home for laundering weekly. The Infant department is responsible for
laundering mattress sheets if soiled or wet during the day. Parents/Guardians are
responsible for removing wet and/or soiled clothing and blankets as needed daily. We will
put wet clothing in a marked plastic bag for home laundering when you pick up your child.

Meals, Snacks and Liquids/Beverages
Fisher serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack to all classrooms. We follow USDA
nutritional and size portion guidelines appropriate for your child’s age. (Infants under one
year do not participate in our whole food program.) The staff does not offer children younger
than four years these foods: hot dogs, whole or sliced into rounds; whole grapes; nuts;
popcorn; raw peas and hard pretzels; spoonfuls of peanut butter; or chunks of raw carrots or
meat larger than can be swallowed whole. Additionally, they cut foods into pieces no larger
than 1/4-inch square for infants and 1/2-inch square for toddlers/twos, according to each
child’s chewing and swallowing capability. Sweetened beverages are avoided. If juice (only
100% fruit juice is recommended) is served, the amount is limited to no more than four
ounces per child daily. Children under 2 years of age will be given whole cow’s milk once off
formula or breast milk. One percent cow’s milk is served to all children over two years of
age. After the age of two, if a child is required to have whole mike or soy milk a note from
their physician is required. Liquids and foods that are hotter than 110°F are kept out of
children’s reach.

Meals will be served family style with staff members overseeing a comfortable community-
building process. Children will not be forced or coerced to eat. Rather, teachers will model
“trying” everything. Food will not be used as a reward or punishment. If cultural or
developmental concerns vary from the above feeding pattern, please discuss your child’s
feeding/eating or dietary needs with the teaching team.

If your child has an allergy to foods, we will follow the information provided on a health form
signed by a physician. Please be aware that Fisher is a NUT FREE environment in all areas
of the Center. Other unique food allergies are posted within your child’s classroom. Due to
individual health risks, families must consider classroom dietary restrictions when bringing
treats or food into the building. Any treat for an entire class must be store-bought and have
ingredients clearly labeled on the package.

The teachers will take steps to ensure the safety of food brought from home. The staff will
work with families to ensure that foods brought from home meet the U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) food guidelines. All foods
and beverages brought from home are labeled with the child’s name and the date. Staff
Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
make sure that food requiring refrigeration stays cold until served. Food that comes from
home for sharing among the children must be either whole fruits or commercially prepared
packaged foods in factory-sealed containers.

Infant Specific Dietary Policy
Defined commercial infant formula (only milk-based) will be provided for infants up to one
year of age. If your child requires a different type of formula for medical reasons we need a
note from their physician. Families may choose to provide their own formula. Families of
infants (6 weeks to 12 months) are asked to bring in other appropriate nutritional treats for
the day as preferred by your infant’s appetite or snacking style. These will be stored in an
individually labeled basket in the classroom refrigerator.

Infants are individually fed and held by caregivers and increasingly encouraged to sit and
hold their own bottles with juice or milk in later months. If a mother should wish to
breastfeed her child, she is welcome to use a private area or stay within the classroom to
nurse. Commercially prepared formula is mixed according to instructions and placed in a
bottle you have provided with your child’s name. All pre-mixed bottles of formula or breast
milk must be appropriately labeled and refrigerated. Bottle feedings do not contain solid
foods unless the child’s health care provider supplies written instructions and a medical
reason for this practice. If staff warm formula or human milk, the milk is warmed in water at
no more than 120°F for no more than five minutes.

Fisher is in the process of moving to a policy, which will be fully enforced by the 2011 school
year, that except for human milk, staff serve only formula and infant food that comes to the
Center in factory-sealed containers (e.g. ready-to-feed powder or concentrate formulas and
baby food jars) prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Rest or Quiet Time
We provide a quiet rest or naptime for all children during the day. Each classroom daily
schedule is posted on its parent board. Infants are put to sleep on an individual mattress
and on their back until they turn one year of age. Each toddler and preschooler sleeps on a
cot. Infant and toddlers/twos teachers, assistant teachers, or teacher aides are aware of,
and positioned so they can hear and see, any sleeping children for whom they are
responsible, especially when they are actively engaged with children who are awake.
Teaching teams will encourage sleep/resting using calming and quieting techniques (soft
music, dimming lights, and back rubs). Many children have a special routine for going to
sleep and a favorite blanket or toy sent from home may help them to rest and relax at

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Children who do not need a nap or are not able to fall asleep will still need a period
(generally one hour) of quiet restfulness. This is an important aspect of learning to self-
sooth, calm, and self-regulate. If children do not fall asleep, we will provide them with quiet
toys or activities after a one-hour period of quiet time. Preschool children who are non-
nappers will be provided alternative activities within the classroom or in other areas of the
building with a member of the teaching team.

Diapering and Toilet Training
The staff is trained in proper diapering techniques. Universal Precautions that guard against
disease require a change of disposable gloves, washing of children and caregiver hands,
and sanitation of the area between the changing of each child. Children will not be left
unattended on the changing table. Fisher staff are happy to assist families in toilet learning
when infants reach the Colorado Department of Health Services minimal age of 18 months
or older. (Because there are not toddler toilets in Roly Poly or Bearsie Bear classrooms,
toilet training will not occur in these classrooms.) When you are toilet training your child,
please let the teaching team know the procedures you are using and what works best for
your family. We will try to use the same techniques you use so that we can work towards the
common goal of potty training together. For diaper choices and regulations please see the
Infant Team Handbook

Birthdays & Holidays
We recognize that families celebrate holidays and birthdays in many different ways. At the
Fisher Early Learning Center, you will see an environment with décor made by children who
have created an atmosphere of their choice during a holiday season. We encourage the
introduction of a variety of culturally diverse learning experiences in a developmentally
appropriate manner. If you would like to participate in a cultural holiday as a family, please
speak with your teaching team.

Child Abuse and Neglect Policy
It is important that parents/guardians know that the teaching teams and staff at the Fisher
Early Learning Center have a legal responsibility to report any suspected incidents of child
abuse or neglect. These reports are made to the Denver Department of Human Services
(720-944-3000). Child abuse does not include the normal bumps, bruises and skinned
knees all children experience growing up, but instead focuses on physical abuse, sexual
abuse and/or neglect which may threaten the health and welfare of a child. We encourage
parents to become familiar with Child Abuse and Neglect Laws and to report suspected
incidents of abuse or neglect.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Concerns or Complaints Regarding the Center
At The Fisher Early Learning Center we have an open door policy. If you have concerns
regarding any aspect of the Center we hope that you would contact us directly. However, if
you feel that our practices or policies are endangering the health, safety or welfare of the
children at the Center, you may contact:

The Colorado Department of Human Services
Division of Childcare
Rosemarie Allen, Director
1575 Sherman Street
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 866-5948
                               FISHER INCLUSION TEAM (FIT)
What is FIT?
The Fisher Inclusion Team is a transdisciplinary team that is comprised of a Team
Coordinator, Early Interventionist, Speech/Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist,
Licensed Social Worker, and Physical Therapist. In addition, graduate students and faculty
members from the Morgridge College of Education also serve on the team. While these
individuals comprise the “Fisher Inclusion Team,” we consider each child’s parents,
teachers, and private service providers to be vital members of each child’s team. FIT
provides consultation, modeling, and support for children, families, and teachers as part of
Fisher’s mission to serve children of all needs and abilities. The transdisciplinary approach
allows the different team members to discuss next steps collaboratively, ensuring that all
areas of development are considered prior to recommending services. Additionally, with this
approach, the team is able to work together to create classroom strategies and goals with a
common focus.

FIT is in its seventh year of operation at Fisher and we are continually refining our practices
in order to best meet the needs of the children, their families, and their teachers.

To Contact FIT:
Fisher Inclusion Team 303-871- 4952 or

What is Inclusion?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) states that
children with disabilities should be educated with typically developing peers to the greatest
extent possible and include the routines and activities in which (young) children participate,
also called the Least Restrictive Environment.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
Frazeur Cross, et. al. (2004) found that in order to be successfully included the child must
make progress on their individualized outcomes and goals, make gains in their personal
development and acquisition of the knowledge and skills anticipated for all children, and
parents must be pleased with these gains and be satisfied that their child appears
comfortable and happy in the group setting. Staff and peers in the program should welcome
all students to the program and accept students who have disabilities as full members of
the group. Parent and provider/caregiver relationships have been identified as critical to the
success of inclusive experiences.

Frazeur Cross, A., Traub, E., Hutter-Pishgahi, L., and Shelton, G. (2004). Elements of
      successful inclusion for children with significant disabilities. Topics in early childhood
      special education. 24:169.

The FIT Inclusion Philosophy
The Fisher Inclusion Team (FIT) ensures that children of all abilities are able to play and
learn and engage in the experiences available to them at the Fisher Early Learning Center
(FELC). FIT primarily provides teacher support, which allows all children to access learning
opportunities, increase engagement, cultivate social relationships, and create independence
within the routines of each classroom. Children are provided with services to best support
their overall development (including but not limited to: cognitive, language, social emotional,
physical development, self-help skills, and health).
FIT members adhere to guidelines established by their specific professional organizations,
The Division for Early Childhood (DEC), and the National Association for the Education of
Young Children (NAEYC), as well as the legal and ethical practices set forth by the Colorado
Mental Health Practices Act.

Referral Process
Referrals can be made to FIT in a number of ways:
   1. Parent Request: Parents may request an observation by asking their teachers,
       administration, or FIT. After a FIT observation, recommendations will be given to
       families and teachers as the therapist outlines next steps.
   2. Teacher Request: Teachers may request FIT to observe a child. Teachers will
       discuss this with parents prior to any FIT involvement and will require signed
       permission before any formal observation is done.
   3. FIT Request: As team members in each classroom on a regular basis, the team may
       request a more specific observation for a child. In this case the teacher or someone
       from FIT will contact parents prior to any formal observation.
   4. Screening: A child may be identified through classroom screening. All children are
       given a developmental screening evaluation within three months of program entry.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
   5. Evaluations: Based on the screening and referral process some children may be
      referred for a more in-depth evaluation either through FIT or outside professionals
      within your child’s school district.

       (Please also refer to the FIT Referral Process Diagram at the end of this handbook.)

Screening Procedure
   1. The Fisher Early Learning Center screening policy, in accordance with best practices
      in early childhood, stipulates that every child will complete an annual developmental
      screening within the first three months of the school year.
          a. If a child enrolls at FELC after the scheduled screening period then that child
              will be screened within the first three months of his/her attendance.
   2. The family will receive information about the screening tool being used with their
      child prior to the screening.
          a. Children under the age of two years and nine months will be given the Ages
              and Stages Questionnaire-3.
          b. Children at the age of two years and nine months, or older, will be given the
              FirstSTEP Screener.
          c. Children whose birthdays place them in both age-categories within one year
              will be given both screeners, when age dictates it is appropriate.
   3. Children will be screened by either a member of their teaching team or by the FIT
      graduate support specialist.
   4. Children will be screened in their classroom and the evaluator will discuss the
      process with them.
   5. Following a typical screening, the teacher will send a letter home, explaining the
      results to the parents.
   6. Following a screening where additional developmental support is indicated, the
      teachers will schedule a meeting with the family and the Fisher Inclusion Team to
      discuss results and next steps.

For further information regarding the FIT team and their services, please refer to the FIT
Family Handbook.

Parent Handbook
Updated 10/13/2010
                                          FIT Referral Process
                                                                                                                        Request following a 
 Parent Request                       FIT Request                     Teacher Request                                          Screening 

                                                                                                                    Following a screening that
Parent may request an           FIT will send a Consent              Teacher will give a                            indicates a possible need for
evaluation by FIT               to Observe form                      Parent-Teacher                                 evaluation, the classroom team
through their                   through the teacher for              Feedback Form to the                           will schedule a meeting with the
classroom teacher.              the parent to sign.                  parents. Parents will be                       family and FIT.
Teacher will have                                                    asked to complete this
parents sign Consent                                                 form and return it to the
to Observe.                                                          master teacher.                                                      Next steps may
                         Parent may decline         Parent                                                    Parent may decline
                         FIT services. Parent       consents to                                               FIT services. Parent        include:
                         will sign Opt Out          FIT                                                       will sign Opt Out           - Parents will sign
                         Form.                      observation by                                            Form.                       the Consent to
                                                    signing form.     Parent may            Teacher will                                  Observe Form,
                                                                      decline FIT           have parents                                  granting
                                                                      services.             sign Consent                                  permission for FIT
                                                                      Parent will           to Observe                                    to monitor their
                                                                      sign Opt Out          Form
                                                                                                                                          child’s progress.
                                                                                                                                          - FIT will refer
                                                                                                                                          family to an
                                                                     FIT member will observe and                                          outside agency for
                                                                     informally assess the child in the                                   further evaluation

            If a formal evaluation is determined necessary, FIT will schedule                    If a formal evaluation is not necessary, FIT will discuss
            a follow-up meeting to discuss next steps. Next steps may                            observation with parents. Parents may request further
            include, but are not limited to, outside evaluation through Child                    monitoring.
     Parent Find or an internal evaluation through DU’s play clinic.
     Updated 9/21/10
2010-2011 School Year Calendar

Thursday, Friday July 1 & July 2, 2010   March 28-April 1, 2011
Professional Development Days            Fisher Spring Break (DPS schedule)

Monday, July 5, 2010                     Monday, April 4, 2011
4th of July DU Holiday                   Fisher Classes Resume

Tuesday, July 6, 2010                    Friday, April 29, 2011
New School Year begins                   Professional Development Day (Portfolio
Kdg. Adventure Camp begins               conferences)

August 9-13, 2010                        Monday, May 30, 2011
Fisher Summer Break                      Memorial Day DU Holiday

Monday, August 16, 2010                  Thursday, June 16, 2011
Classes resume at Fisher                 Professional Day (New Family Meetings)

Monday, September 6, 2010                Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Labor Day DU Holiday                     Graduation Day
                                         Fisher last school day
Friday, September 24, 2010
Professional Day                         2011-2012 School Year
Thursday, October 21, 2010               July 1&2, 2011
Professional Day                         Professional Planning
November 25 & November 26, 2010          Monday, July 4, 2011
Thanksgiving DU Holiday                  DU Holiday
Thursday, December 23, 2010              Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Last day of Fisher classes               First Day of Fisher’s 2011-12 School Year
                                         First day of Kdg. Adventure Camp
December 24- December 31, 2010
Winter Break DU Holiday                  August 8-12, 2011
                                         Fisher Summer Break
Monday, January 3, 2011
Classes resume at Fisher                 Monday, August 15, 2011
                                         Fisher Classes resume
Monday, January 17, 2011
MLK DU Holiday

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Professional Development Day

Friday, February 25, 2011
Professional Development Day

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
                   & Safety
                   Policies &

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
Health/Illness Policies and Procedures


The Fisher Early Learning Center is dedicated to the health and well being of the children,
families and staff that spend time at the center. Our goal is to keep the environment clean
and safe so that infection and illness can be kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, illness is
very common in young children because they have emerging immune systems that need
exposure to illness in order to make them able to fight infection later in life. Child care/
preschool environments are notorious for increased rates of illness and infections because
the children are in close, daily contact with other children and staff members. Illness at
FELC is inevitable, especially in the fall and winter months, when the incidence of illness is
increased in the community.

Prevention Strategies:

The Fisher Early Learning Center administrative and teaching teams have established the
following guidelines to help prevent the incidence and spread of illness and infection at the

1. All of the staff has been trained in appropriate hand washing technique. Washing hands
   before and after diaper changes, food preparation and any time the hands are soiled.

2. All staff is trained in Universal Precautions which includes the use of gloves and
   protective equipment to avoid contact with potentially harmful exposure to body fluids
   (blood, stool, urine, respiratory secretions, breast milk, etc.)

3. The generous use of disinfectant solution on all potentially contaminated surfaces
   (diaper changing tables, table top surfaces, food preparation areas, toilets, cots, cribs

4. The appropriate handling, preparation and serving of food as directed by the food
   supplier and state regulations.

** Please see the guidelines for handling breast milk at the end of this packet **

5. Appropriate maintenance of toys and other playthings.

       a. Daily cleaning of toys including soaking in a disinfectant solution for 20 minutes,
          rinsing and air drying over night.

       b. Laundering linens and washable items on a no less than weekly basis. Changing
          and laundering of soiled linens in a timely fashion.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
      c. Use of disinfectant spray on toys or equipment that cannot be laundered on a
         daily basis.

6. Appropriate use and storage of potentially harmful substances.

      a. Medications must be provided by the parent, in the original container, labeled
         with the child’s name, and stored in the nurse consultant’s office in a locked

            i. In order for a child to take any medication at the Fisher Early Learning Center
                 you must have a licensed health care provider (M.D., P.A., D.O., and N.P)
                 provide authorization including name of medication, dosage, time
                 medication should be administered, length of time medication should be
                 administered and any special concerns.

            ii. There will be NO exceptions.

           iii. The form can be faxed to (303) 871-7805.

      b. Over the counter medications must be provided by the parent for each child.

           i. Siblings cannot share the same bottle of over the counter medications.

           ii. Appropriate forms must be completed by the child’s physician before any
               over the counter medications can be administered.

          iii. Over the counter remedies can be administered for up to three consecutive
               school days unless specifically directed by a licensed health care provider.

      c. Prescription medications will only be administered if all of the necessary forms
         are filled out and signed by a parent and the child’s health care provider.

           i. The medication must be in the original container and labeled with a
              pharmacy label that includes the child’s name, name of the drug, clear
              administration instructions, and the physician’s name.

      d. Parents will be notified by letter when medications expire or are no longer

           i. Parents are given the option to pick up the medication and discard it or for
              the nurse consultant to dispose of the medication in a safe manner.

      e. With the exception of emergency medications that are safely stored in the
          classrooms, ALL medications are to be kept in the locked cabinet in the nurse

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
           consultant’s office. Under no circumstances are medications to be kept in the
           classrooms (other than emergency medications), cubbies or diaper bags.

       f. Parents are welcome to come to the Fisher Early Learning Center and administer
          medication to their children.

       g. State regulations do not allow homeopathic, herbal or vitamin preparations to be
          given to any child in any child care setting.

       h. All poisonous substances are kept out of the reach of all children and/ or locked
          up. The Rocky Mountain Poison Center phone number (800-222-1222) is listed
          in each classroom.

       i. When public health authorities recommend use of insect repellents due to a high
          risk of insect-borne disease, only repellents containing DEET are used, and these
          are applied only on children older than two months. Staff apply insect repellent no
          more than once a day and only with written parental permission.

7. The Fisher Early Learning Center is a strictly NUT FREE zone. This is true for any and all
   forms of peanuts and nuts.

8. Latex balloons are strictly prohibited in any form. Latex causes a significant allergy.
   Mylar balloons are acceptable in the classroom.

9. The Fisher Center maintains updated health information on every child in the center.
   Colorado state child care regulations require that a health care form and immunization
   record, signed by a licensed doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant, must be
   submitted to the center within 30 days of initial enrollment. Child health records should
   include names of individuals authorized by the family to have access to health
   information about the child.

              ***Updated health care and immunization forms must be submitted using
              the following guidelines:

       a. Infants 0-12 months: at 2 months, 4 months,
                 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months
       b. Toddlers/ Preschoolers: at 15 months, 18 months and 2 years of age, then
          annually thereafter.

           Failure to provide updated health and immunization information can result in
           suspension from the Fisher Early Learning Center until the forms are returned.
           Parents are notified when updated forms are needed.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
10. Children with special health care needs will be identified as early as possible and each
    child will have an Individualized Health Care Plan created outlining any special
    precautions, medications, or procedures to be followed. Individualized Health Care
    Plans must be updated annually or as changes occur.

11. Immunization records are required for each child and staff member. The nurse
    consultant is responsible to make sure that all children and staff are fully immunized
    and that the records are up to date.

           ** Any child not appropriately immunized per Colorado law faces exclusion from
            the Fisher Early Learning Center in the event that there is an outbreak of a
            vaccine preventable disease (chicken pox, pertussis, wild polio, measles,
            mumps, and rubella) in the community. **

12. Appropriate and thoughtful exclusion of children who are sick.

           a. Each child will be screened for signs of illness when they arrive at the Center
              each day. This screening will consist of verbal communication between the
              parent and classroom teacher and brief observation of the child for obvious
              signs of illness (e.g. green or yellow eye discharge).

Exclusion Criteria:
Generally speaking most minor illnesses DO NOT constitute a reason for excluding a child
from a childcare setting. Examples of illnesses and conditions that DO NOT necessitate
exclusion include:

        1. Common Cold

           a. Common colds are caused by many different viruses

           b. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and mild sore throat, with
              little or no fever

           c. It is estimated that children not in childcare can have as many as 5-6
              common colds per year. Children who are in childcare may have as many as

           d. Colds are spread by direct contact with someone else who has a cold. The
              child with a common cold is contagious from the day or two before symptoms
              begin and for the first five days of illness.

           e. Good hand washing practices are the best way to prevent the spread of the
              common cold.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
           f. Exclusion from childcare is NOT recommended or necessary unless the child
              cannot participate comfortably in program activities, requires a greater need
              for care than the faculty can accommodate, or has a fever as outlined above.

       2. Conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) with clear eye discharge, no fever, no eye pain, and no
          behavior change.

       3. Rash without fever and without behavioral change.

       4. HIV infection

Exclusion from a childcare setting IS recommended when such exclusion can reduce the
likelihood of secondary cases and to maintain a safe environment for all of the children.

        The Fisher Early Learning Center reserves the right to exclude any child from the
center who is potentially infectious, requires more care than the staff can accommodate, or
who cannot comfortably participate in the classroom activities because of illness. It is our
goal to keep children in the center but there will be times that children will need to be sent
home or kept home because of illness.

       Following are some of the specific reasons for exclusion at Fisher Early Learning
Center. These guidelines have been established based on state regulations and other
pediatric childcare and infectious disease resources.


       1. Illness or injury that prevent the child from participating comfortably in program

       2. Illness or injury that results in a greater need for care than the staff can provide
          without compromising the health and safety of other children.

       3. The child has any of the following conditions: fever, lethargy, irritability, persistent
          crying, difficult breathing, or other manifestations of possible severe illness.

       4. Diarrhea

           a. Diarrhea is the sudden increase in the frequency and looseness of bowel

              Mild diarrhea: passage of a few loose or mushy stools

              Moderate diarrhea: many watery stools

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
             Severe diarrhea: increased frequency, increased wateriness, and bright green
             stools, which indicates rapid passage of stool through the gastrointestinal

         b. Diarrhea is usually caused by a viral infection. Occasionally, bacteria or
            parasites can cause diarrhea. Food allergy or too much fruit juice can also
            cause diarrhea.

        c.   Diarrhea can last from several days to a couple of weeks.

        d.   The goal of treating diarrhea is to prevent dehydration.

        e.   Children SHOULD NOT come to FELC when:

             •    They have any stools or diarrhea that contains blood.
             •     They have had more than two diarrhea stools in a four-hour period.
             •    They are having frequent stools that cannot be contained in the diaper.
             •     The diarrhea caused by a known infectious agent (e.g. E coli O157: H7, or

                     a. These causes of diarrhea are found on stool culture generally when
                       the child is very sick with the diarrhea, the stool has blood or pus in
                       it, or has had diarrhea for a prolonged period (>2 weeks). These
                       organisms require exclusion until stool cultures are negative for the

             •    The only exception to the above is if the child has been seen by a health
                  care provider and has been provided with a note approving return to

        f.   Children may return to school only after being free of diarrhea for 24-hours
             without medication.

      5. Vomiting more than twice in the previous 24-hour period or during the day at
         FELC, unless the vomiting is determined to be caused by a noninfectious cause
         and the child is not in danger of dehydration.

             a. Children with vomiting should remain at home until there has been no
                vomiting for 12 hours, the child is feeling better, AND the child is tolerating
                fluids and foods well.

      6. Mouth sores that cause drooling unless it is determined by a health care provider
         that the child is noninfectious.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
      7. Rash with fever or behavioral change until the fever is gone, the child is feeling
         better, AND a health care provider or the nurse consultant has evaluated the rash
         and decided that the child is safe to return to childcare.

      8. Purulent (green or yellow) eye discharge or green or yellow crusting on eyelashes
         in the morning or after nap. (The eyeball itself does not have to be red to have
         “pink eye”.) Children with purulent drainage can return to FELC once they have
         been evaluated by a health care provider and on antibiotic therapy for at least 24

      9. Tuberculosis, until deemed noninfectious by the state health department.

      10. Bacterial skin infection (impetigo), until on antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

      11. Strep throat, until on antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

      12. Head lice, until after the first treatment

      13. Scabies, until treatment has begun.

      14. Chickenpox

         a. Chicken pox vaccine is required by state regulations for children over twelve
            months of age and again at 5 years of age. FELC has also encouraged staff
            and faculty who have not had chicken pox to get the vaccine.

         b. Chicken pox is a reportable disease in the state of Colorado. Parents of
            children who are diagnosed with chicken pox are asked to inform the school
            as soon as possible.

         c. The child with chicken pox generally has been exposed to someone with
            chicken pox within the previous two weeks.

         d. The rash begins as small red bumps that progress to thin-walled water
            blisters; then cloudy blisters or open sores that are usually less than ¼ inch
            across; and then finally dry, brown crusts. The rash can be on any skin or
            mucus membrane surface (eyes, mouth, vaginal area, and rectum).

         e. New bumps continue to erupt daily for up to 4-5 days.

         f. The fever is usually the highest in the first three to four days of the rash.

         g. Fever after four days of rash is concerning and should be evaluated by a
            health care provider. Secondary infection (infected pox, ear infection, strep
            throat, severe skin infection) is not uncommon in children who have chicken

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
         h. Children with chicken pox should be excluded from day care until all sores
            have crusted over (usually 6-7 days).

      15. Shingles (a reactiviation of the chicken pox virus) that cannot be covered by
          clothing or at the discretion of the nurse consultant.

             a. Once the shingles have scabbed over the child can return to childcare.

      16. Pertussis (whooping cough), until 5 days of appropriate antibiotic therapy has
          been completed.

      17. Mumps, until 9 days after onset of rash.

      18. Measles, until four days after onset of rash.

      19. Yellow eyes or skin.

      20. Hepatitis A virus infection, until one week after onset or jaundice.

      21. Children who are not appropriately vaccinated per Colorado law can and will be
          excluded in the event of a community outbreak of a vaccine preventable illness.

      22. Other Specific Conditions:

         1. Bronchiolitis

             a. Usually characterized by wheezing and cough in very small children and
                cold symptoms in older children.

             b. It is often caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which occurs in epidemics
                almost every winter.

                    a. It is spread by contact with respiratory droplets via sneezing or
                       coughing and droplets on surfaces.

             c. The symptoms can last for 1-4 weeks.

             d. As with most respiratory illnesses, the most contagious period is before
                there are any symptoms.

             e. However, there can be viral shedding in nasal and cough secretions for up
                to 3-4 weeks.

             f. Children with bronchiolitis should be excluded from childcare if they have
                fever or are too ill to attend.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
          2. Croup: is a viral infection of the vocal cords, voice box (larynx), and windpipe

              a. Croup usually lasts for 5-6 days and generally gets worse at night.
              b. The viruses that cause croup are very contagious until the fever is gone.
                i.  Once the child is fever free for 24 hours and drinking well they can
                    return to childcare.

          3. Ear Infection

              a. Ear infections are not contagious and do not require exclusion from
              b. However, if the child is significantly uncomfortable despite pain
                 medication and cannot comfortably participate in the program activities or
                 requires a greater need for care that the faculty can accommodate, the
                 child should be excluded until feeling better.

Fever Policy and Procedure:
Children will be excluded from the Fisher Early Learning Center when they have a fever over
100°F measured axillary (no adding or subtracting 1°F), 101°F measured by ear or pacifier.
Rectal temperatures will not be taken at FELC. Children less than one year of age will have
their temperatures taken by the axillary method. Children over one year of age will have
their temperatures taken by tympanic (ear thermometer) method.

       Exception: Any child under 3 months of age with fever greater than 99°F axillary will
          be sent home because any fever in this age group requires consultation/
          investigation by a health care provider. The only exception to this rule is fever
          that occurs within 48 hours of receiving an immunization.

Children must remain at home until the fever has been gone without fever medicine for at
least 24 hours.

       a. The only exception to this will be if the cause of the fever has been identified by a
          health care provider and deemed to be non-contagious (i.e. childhood vaccines,
          ear infection, strep throat on antibiotics >24 hours, etc.). A note from the health
          care provider will be required (except after normal childhood vaccines). However,
          if the child with a fever and a non-contagious condition is too ill or irritable to
          participate in classroom activities, they should remain at home until they are
          feeling better.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
The Fisher Early Learning Center is dedicated to the health and well being of all the children
and staff that work here. Our goal is to provide a safe and comfortable place to learn.

Fever is a symptom and not a disease. Fever is the body’s normal response to infection and
plays a role in fighting them. Fever turns on the body’s immune system. The usual fevers
that children get (100°F -104°F) are not harmful. Most are caused by viral illness; some are
caused by bacterial illness. Teething does not cause fever. (Schmitt, 1999)

Children with fever associated with an illness are considered contagious and should have
limited contact with other children. Fever, though not harmful, can make children quite
uncomfortable and listless and unable to participate in classroom activities.

Fever is treated to help make children more comfortable. The usual treatments for fever
include offering plenty of fluids, dressing lightly (but enough covering so the child does not
shiver), and giving medications. Tepid baths and rubbing the skin with alcohol are neither
helpful nor safe.

       The most common medications used to treat fever include:
           • acetaminophen (Tylenol/ Fever-All)
           • ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil).

These medications can be given at FELC if all of the following are true:

       1. The cause of fever has been identified by a health care provider and deemed non-

       2. The child has been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

       3. The child is comfortable and can participate in classroom activities.

       4. The parent has a signed Medication Administration Policy form and a completed
          Medication Request form (that must be signed by a health care provider also) in
          their permanent file.

       5. The parent has provided the medication with the child’s name on it. The
          medication must be stored in the locked cabinet in the nurse consultant’s office.

       6. The teacher administering the medication has signed the Medication
          Administration Sheet in the locked cabinet.

There will be careful documentation of observations made by the teachers, administrative
staff, or nurse consultant related to the presence of illness (e.g. rash, fever, eye drainage,
cough, vomiting, and diarrhea).
Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
An Accident/ Incident Report will be completed whenever an observation of signs of illness
is made and parents will be notified of the issue and planned disposition. The center
administrators or nurse consultant must sign the form. A copy of the form should be:
        1. Given to the parent

        2. Placed in the child’s center file

Staff Responsibilities:
         1. Follow the health and safety guidelines as outlined.

        2. Practice careful hand washing practices.

        3. Provide clear communication with parents.

        4. Provide rapid identification of children with potentially infectious illness, serious
           illness, or a symptom or illness that is a criterion for exclusion as outlined

        5. Notify parents in a timely fashion. The parent should be notified within 30
           minutes of identifying a potential reason for exclusion.

        6. Arrange for isolation of the child until the parents or designated other pick up
           the child.

        7. Complete appropriate documentation.

        8. Maintain confidentiality.

Parent Responsibilities:
        1. Submit health care forms and immunization records following the
           aforementioned schedule.

        2. Avoid bringing any peanuts or nuts and latex in any form, to FELC.

        3. Keep the child home when there are signs of illness that dictate the child
           should be excluded from childcare.

        4. Provide clear communication with the staff.

        5. Make every attempt to respond rapidly when called to pick up an ill child from

                  a. A parent or designated other should pick the child up within 1.5 hours
                     of notification.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
         6. Follow the guidelines pertaining to when a child can return to childcare after an
            illness or infection.

The Fisher Early Learning Center strives to provide a safe and healthy environment for the
children and faculty. These policies and procedures should help us all to meet this goal.
The faculty and administrative staff appreciate your cooperation and hope that all of the
children at FELC can enjoy a happy and safe environment.

For children who are unable to use the toilet consistently, the program makes sure that:
        a. Staff use only commercially available disposable diapers or pull-ups unless the
        child has a medical reason that does not permit their use (the health provider
        documents the medical reason).

       b. For children who require cloth diapers, the diaper has an absorbent inner lining
       completely contained within an outer covering made of waterproof material that
       prevents the escape of feces and urine. Both the diaper and the outer covering are
       changed as a unit.

       c. Cloth diapers and clothing that are soiled by urine or feces are immediately placed
       in a plastic bag (without rinsing or avoidable handling) and sent home that day for

Staff checks children for signs that diapers or pull-ups are wet or contain feces
        d. at least every 2 hours when children are awake and

       e. when children awaken.

       f. Diapers are changed when wet or soiled.

       g. Staff changes children’s diapers or soiled underwear in the designated changing
       areas and not elsewhere in the facility.

       h. Each changing area is separated by a partial wall or is located at least three feet
       from other areas that children use and is used exclusively for one designated group
       of children.

       i. At all times, caregivers have a hand on the child when the child is being changed on
       an elevated surface.

Napping/Rest/Quiet Time:
To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS):
       a. Infants, unless otherwise ordered by a physician, are placed on their backs to
       sleep on a firm surface manufactured for sale as infant sleeping equipment that
       meets the standards of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
       b. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft items are not
       allowed in cribs or rest equipment for infants younger than eight months.

       c. If a blanket is used, the infant is placed at the foot of the crib with a thin blanket
       tucked around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the infant’s chest.

       d. The infant’s head remains uncovered during sleep.

After being placed down for sleep on their backs, infants may then be allowed to assume
any comfortable sleep position when they can easily turn themselves from the back position.

Safe Storage and Handling of Breast Milk:
The following guidelines are intended to promote the safe storage and handling of breast
milk at the Fisher Early Learning Center:

       1. Breast milk is a body fluid and Universal Precaution guidelines should be
          implemented during handling.

       2. Breast milk that is brought to the Fisher Early Learning Center should be labeled
          with the following information:

              a.   Child’s name

              b.   Date the milk was pumped and put into storage

              c.   The amount in the container.

       3. It is important to keep frozen breast milk frozen until ready to be used.

              a. Partially thawed breast milk (thawed by ½ only) can be refrozen or stored in
              the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

       4. Milk may be stored:

              a. In the refrigerator (1-5 ° C or 34-40°F).

                      i. Thawed milk may be refrigerated for 24 hours maximum.

                       ii. Freshly pumped breast milk may be refrigerated up to 48 hours.

              b.      In a home freezer for 3 to 6 months at –4°C or 20-28°F.

              c.      In a deep freeze for up to 6-12 months at -20°C or 0°F.

       5. Breast milk should be thawed or warmed in warm water.

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
             a. Avoid thawing in a microwave oven because the germ fighting properties
                of breast milk can be destroyed and you may create “hot spots” in the milk
                that could cause injury to the baby.

      6. Gently swirl warmed breast milk to mix the fat before a feeding.

      7. Thawed breast milk must be used within 2 hours if left at room temperature.

            a. Freshly pumped breast milk can remain at room temperature for up to 4

      8. Any breast milk left after a feeding must be discarded because of contamination
      caused by the baby sucking on the nipple.

 Source: Lactation Support Services at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. 2/02

Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures Agreement

I have read and understand that our family will follow the 2010-2011 Health and Safety
policies and procedures for The Fisher Early Learning Center at the University of Denver. I
know that if I have any questions I am to contact the Director or the Nurse Practitioner to
answer my questions.

Child’s Name – Printed


Parent/Guardian – Name

 Parent/Guardian – Signature


Parent Handbook
Updated 9/21/10

To top