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Parent Handbook

 Little Dolphins
 Day Care Center

  Plattsmouth, NE 68048
      (402) 305-9192

We believe child care should reflect and establish the skills and talents necessary for each child to reach
his/her full potential, while feeling loved and secure. Our teaching will reflect a high regard for each
child's uniqueness with respect and understanding of societal and cultural diversity. This is done with a
sensitive and caring staff that works in collaboration with parents and families. Studies confirm the
importance of a strong bond between the home and child care setting; therefore we value a partnership
with our parents and families.
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The following objectives have been determined for the Little Dolphins Day Care Center:
      To provide opportunities for our children to develop an understanding of self and others through
      developmentally appropriate activities, which encourage the development of physical, emotional,
      and social skills and intellectual growth.
      To provide a program both indoors and outdoors which fosters optimal growth and development
      through opportunities for exploration and learning, while protecting and enhancing the health and
      safety of the children and adults.
      To provide a program where parents are kept well informed about daily events at all times and
      encouraged to be both observers and participants in their child's development.
      To provide a staff that is caring, knowledgeable of child’s developmental stages and devoted to
      meeting the needs of the children while promoting physical, social, emotional and cognitive
      To provide a qualified Director who effectively attends to the needs of the children, parents, and
      staff, and conducts systematic evaluation of the success of the program and staff in meeting these
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Play is the natural medium for young children to learn, grow, and develop. Play affords children
opportunities to explore, discover, attempt varying roles, relate to others, and exercise creativity
(Simlansky, 1990). It is important children have the opportunity to explore the world around them while in
a safe, nurturing environment. Opportunities will be provided for such exploration, through play, as a part
of the daily program.

Infant and Toddler Programs will include infants (6 weeks - 18 months) and toddlers (18 months - 2 ½
years). Infant and Toddler programs will be planned to assure the individual needs of each child are met
in the areas of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. Children will be exposed to a
variety of experiences to enhance growth and development in these areas. We believe this is the best
way to meet each child's individual needs and to encourage each child to successfully develop to his/her
full potential. We understand infants make up their own time schedule therefore; we adopt a flexible
schedule to fit your infant’s needs. Outside time for infants and toddlers will depend on their age and the
weather. Small infants will be held, rocked in a rocking chair, swung in a swing, or engaged in
floor/tummy time.

Twaddler and Pre-school Programs will include classes for children ages 2 ½ - 6 years old, with
separation by ages and/or developmental abilities. The daily schedule will include:
        Large motor activities, both indoors and out
        Fine motor activities, with manipulatives and a variety of table toys
        Sensory play in painting and play-doe
        Discovery and exploratory activities

        Language development in the book corner
        Social skills in the dramatic play area
        Puzzles and games areas
        Music and movement activities
        Introduction to foreign language

School Age Programs will include children in kindergarten-12years of age. The program will offer full
time care for school breaks and summer vacation. We provide an enriching environment with fun
activities, specially designed to enhance the development and self-esteem of school-age children. We
offer educational enrichment and encourage peer mentoring amongst the older and younger school age
children. Our program is based on choices, allowing children to gain independence and have the
freedom to learn more about what interests them. This program features opportunity for socialization,
encourages sports and physical activities, and provides educational and fun field trips and guest

The Little Dolphins Day Care Center uses positive guidance and redirection of the child's behavior. The
goal of discipline is to help children establish their own self-control and to modify behavior that is socially
unacceptable, inappropriate, or non-productive in nature. Discipline is acquired through guidance and
learning, not punishment. Techniques used will be applied in a way to maintain or enhance the child's
self-esteem. Consequences will immediately follow the behavior. Talking with children after they regain
self-control will help them understand why the behavior is undesirable. Time out will be used when a
child has lost control and is unable to reason. If a child is constantly exhibiting disruptive or aggressive
behavior, Parents/Guardians will be consulted. After three (3) incidents, the child may be removed from
the program. The Little Dolphins Day Care Center reserves the right to withdraw enrollment to any child
or family if excessive disruptive behavior continues. The staff shall administer discipline of a child as
         The use of discipline shall not be humiliating, frightening, or physically harmful (no corporal
         punishment will be permitted).
         Discipline shall be consistent and individualized for each child and appropriate to the child's
         level of thinking.
         It shall be directed toward teaching the child acceptable behavior.
         It shall not be associated with food, rest, toilet training, or isolation.

A variety of discipline techniques will be used, as not all techniques work with all children at all times.
These will include:
        Behavior Modification
        Natural and Logical Consequences
        Time Out (The child will be removed from the situation for one minute for every year of age.)

If these techniques do not improve behavior, the Owner/Director will notify the Parent/Guardian. It is our
policy not to discuss a child in their presence. A parent may make arrangements for a conference by
contacting the Owner/Director.
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The Center will be in operation 6:30 AM until 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday, 12 months a year, except
for the following holidays the Center observes:
         New Year's Day
         Memorial Day
         Independence Day
         Labor Day

        Thanksgiving Day
        The Friday after Thanksgiving Day
        Christmas Eve
        Christmas Day
        New Year’s Eve

No allowance will be made for holidays falling in any given month. If we are closed on one or more of
your child’s regular days you cannot exchange/trade them for another day and you will be responsible to
pay the full fee. When one of our holidays fall on Saturday or Sunday we will be closed either the
proceeding Friday or the following Monday. Holiday closers are taken into consideration at the time
tuition fees are established. It is your responsibility to make appropriate alternate child care
arrangements for the holidays we will be observing.
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We are open to any healthy child. We accept any race, sex, or creed between the ages of 6 weeks to 12
years of age.

During the enrollment interview we would like both the child and Parent/Guardian to attend. Enrollment
forms, as well as our program, will be fully explained during our initial interview.

We will use this interview process as an opportunity to explain our programs and answer any questions or
concerns. At this time the Parent(s) and child are encouraged to tour the Center.

At the time of enrollment/interview Parent(s) will be informed of their personal rights and assured that their
rights will not be violated.

Parents must complete all forms in the Enrollment Packet before the child’s first day of attendance.

All fees are due prior to your child’s first day of attendance as established on the financial agreement.
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Children’s safety and well being is our highest priority. It is important that the Parent/Guardian, who fills
out the forms and delivers the completed paperwork to the Center, make us aware if there are divorced
Parents and/or if one of the Parents do not have custody. If we are NOT aware of this fact we will be
UNABLE to assume any liability. A shared custody agreement needs to be discussed with
Owner/Director. Please be sure to fill out the “Authorization to Pick Up” form in your enrollment packet.
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We are open Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM.

It is important that we know what hours your child will be enrolled at our center. Staff is scheduled based
on the hours in which you request your child to attend. Please remember our Center is based on a daily
schedule of attendance. If at any time you are early and/or late picking up your child by the hours in
which you requested upon enrollment you might cause us to be out of Teacher/Child ratio. We
understand that heavy traffic or other possibilities sometimes occur, but please make every attempt to
advise us ahead of time.
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        All fees are prepaid.

        Fees are paid weekly. If you should like to pay on a biweekly schedule those fees are also
        All tuition fees are DUE on Friday for the upcoming week at your child’s departure time. If
        payment is not received by drop off of your child’s next school day a late fee of $10.00 per day
        will be charged in addition to your unpaid balance. If tuition and late fees are left unpaid by the
        Friday the following week’s fees are due, your child will be unable to attend the Center until all
        fees are paid. If time lapses before paying fees and you want your child to continue at the Center
        you may be subject to a reenrollment fee.
        All late fees are per child.
        If a Parent/Guardian is late with a payment more than twice, the Owner/Director has the right to
        withdraw child’s enrollment immediately from the Center without notice.
        All fees are to be put into the tuition drop box or given to a staff member. Cash payments must
        be given directly to a staff member. You must obtain a receipt at the time of payment when
        paying by cash. For proper credit, please notate your child’s name on all forms of payment.
        Rates are subject to change with a 30-day written advance notice.
        Separated/Divorced Parents, please note that the person responsible for enrolling the child is
        responsible for ensuring payment.

There is a $25.00 charge on ALL returned checks. If the Center receives two returned checks, checks
will no longer be accepted from that party.
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Children picked up after 6:00 PM will be charged $10.00 for every ten-minute increment per child. This
fee is due upon pick-up and given to the Owner/Director of the Center or will be charged to your account.
By law, the Center has no choice but to call appropriate authorities if a child has not been picked up by
one-half hour after closing if no relative or emergency person can be located.
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For safety purposes, licensing requires that all children must be brought into the center by a
Parent/Guardian and must be signed in and out daily with your full legal name. The sign in/out log is
located in the lobby. Every infant must have an “All About My Day” form filled out every morning by the
Parent/Guardian. The “All About My Day” form includes feedings, schedule, and any other special needs
provided for that day. Please make appropriate accommodations to allow yourself enough time for proper
arrival and departure procedures. We want to start your child’s day well informed and continue that line
of communication when they depart home.
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The Little Dolphins Day Care Center is providing your family with quality child care. This bestows great
responsibility upon us that we take very seriously. In addition to the objectives we’ve established for our
facility, we adhere to the following policies to provide you with the best possible care for your child(ren).
          Determination of Program Appropriateness: The child’s adjustment and the appropriateness
          of this particular arrangement may not be in the child’s best interest. If we do not feel our
          program is meeting the needs of your child, or because of concerns we might have for the
          Center, we reserve the right to end the child care arrangement on a timeline that is in your child’s
          best interest.
          Security: Safety is our primary concern. We have gone above and beyond in our staff screening
          and monitoring. We require all staff be CPR and First Aid Certified as well as screened for drug
          use prior to employment. In addition to these measures, the Center is equipped with security
          monitoring cameras in each room for your child’s security, staff security, and your peace of mind.

       If Parent/Guardian has a concern, they are encouraged to notify the Owner/Director immediately
       and prompt action will be taken.
       Nutrition: Children enrolled at the Center full-time will be served a nutritionally balanced
       breakfast and lunch and two (2) healthy snacks per day, once in the morning and again in the
       afternoon. Infants’ snacks will be provided when your child starts to eat table foods as
       determined in the infant feeding plan (see infant feeding plan). Part-time Preschool children will
       receive one (1) snack per day. Weekly menus will be posted on the Parent bulletin board in the
       Rest/Nap Time: Mandated by state regulations, each child at the Center will be given the
       opportunity to rest and/or nap. This will depend upon your child’s age and/or schedule.
       Tobacco-Free Facility: Secondhand smoke and its toxins have proven to be harmful to
       children’s health and increase the risk of SIDS. In compliance with State law, our Center
       observes a tobacco-free policy.
         Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting: Under Nebraska law, staff members are mandated reporters
       of suspected child abuse and/or neglect. We are required to report any and all suspected cases
       of abuse and/or neglect to the proper authorities.
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We ask that Parents/Guardians please abide by the following rules so we may provide the best possible
service and care for your child(ren).

       Follow Proper Arrival/Departure Procedures: Your child must always be brought into the
       Center, signed in with your full legal name, and taken to the appropriate Teacher. Your child
       must be picked up inside the building and signed out with full legal name.
       Supply Center With Current and Correct Information: Whenever a change occurs in the
       family's information on file, it is the responsibility of the Parent/Guardian to provide current
       information to the Center. The Nebraska Health and Human Services Licensing Division
       procedures require accurate and up to date files. All immunizations must be current and
       documented on the child's file within the first 30 days of his/her starting date. Additional
       immunizations must be received within four (4) days of required date. Due to the health and
       safety of others, we reserve the right to refuse care of your child if your child’s immunizations are
       not current and correct.
       Notify Center of Child’s Absence or Change In Arrival/Departure: If your child is going to be
       absent for any reason, please call us in advance or as early as possible that morning. All tuition
       fees are paid based on permanent enrollment. We do not give an allowance for absences.
       Children must be picked up on time. We realize emergencies can cause parents to pick up their
       children later than scheduled. IF this happens, please call so we can make the proper
       arrangements. Children will not be dismissed until the Parent/Guardian comes into the Center.
       Safety is our primary concern, so if your child is to be picked up by someone other than the
       Parent/Guardian, the Owner/Director or staff must be notified either in writing and/or verbally. We
       will not release any child to any person not known to us. We will ask to see some form of picture
       Provide Child With Appropriate Supplies For Their Day: Bring your child ready to start their
       day (i.e. no pajamas, infants are the exception). Please dress your child appropriately for the
       Center and the weather. Make sure clothing is comfortable and washable. Each child should
       plan on regular outdoor play, weather permitting. Outdoor play is very important and potentially
       dirty; therefore, the center is not responsible for soiled or tattered clothing due to active play.
       Accidents do occur so please provide an extra set of clothing (pants, shirt, socks, and underwear)
       in case of soiling of any kind. Bring these to the Center as soon as possible. Sunscreen will
       need to be provided from home and labeled with your child’s name. All supplies (extra clothing,
       etc.) must be clearly marked with the child's name and stored in his/her cubby. If your child has
       borrowed clothing from the Center, please return it as soon as possible. Please observe, the
       weekly menu will be posted in the lobby. If we are providing a particular menu item your child has

        an allergy to or dislikes, it is the parent’s responsibility to provide alternate snack/lunch from
        Leave Inappropriate Items at Home: Children should not bring toys to the Center except on
        Show and Tell days or when otherwise asked to. This eliminates problems with loss, sharing,
        and breakage. Toy guns and weapons will not be permitted. Aside from children arriving prior to
        8:00 AM with a healthy balanced breakfast provided from home, we ask that Parents please not
        bring in fast food, drinks, sodas, candy, snacks, etc. to the Center unless it is a special occasion
        and you have discussed/prearranged it with the Owner/Director.
        Stay in Touch With The Center: It is the Parent’s responsibility to communicate with the staff
        both verbally and in writing about any health/medical problems (including allergies) your child
        may have. Open communication between home and the Center promotes the growth and
        security of the child. You are encouraged to call or send notes to the Center staff whenever a
        question arises. Please read all Parent newsletters and other information sent home. Parents
        are encouraged to visit your child at the Center anytime during the day. We encourage feedback!
        Please feel free to visit our suggestion box located in the lobby.
        Be Courteous to Others: Prompt payment of your account allows us to continue to provide
        quality care. Please keep your account current to avoid late fees and potential disruption of your
        child’s care. Please do not endanger the health and well being of the Center’s staff or children.
        Parents are responsible to keep their children home if they show signs of illness, otherwise they
        may be called to come and pick up the child.
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We will not provide disposable diapers and wipes. You will be required to supply them to the Center.

Please provide a diaper rash cream for your child clearly labeled with your child’s name.

Infants must have extra clothing at the center at all times. All articles must be clearly marked with your
child’s name. Each child will have their own cubby for storage of these items.

The Parent/Guardian will bring in bottles and/or Sippy cups. We will provide baby cereal and jarred baby
food (see infant feeding plan). Please be sure to clearly label your child’s name on all bottles.

We will use bottle warmers to heat bottles NOT microwaves.

You may leave a can of formula at the Center or just bring enough for the day. For safety and health
reasons infants, crawlers, and toddlers are not allowed to carry their bottles around while at the center.

Teething rings may be brought to the center, but no teething biscuits.
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A quick daily health check will be conducted upon your child’s arrival to the Center. Parents will be called
to pick up their child from the Center and the child must remain out of the Center for 24 hours if:
         The child has an axillary (underarm) temperature of 100° or higher.
         The child has diarrhea that is uncontained in diaper or interrupts the child’s ability to participate in
         The child vomits as a sign of illness.

A temperature will be treated at the Center until your child is picked up with a cold compress, fluids, and
lots of TLC.

The child should be kept home if he/she:
       Has a heavy nasal discharge, either green or yellow in color.
       Has a symptom of a virus (fever as specified above, diarrhea, or vomiting).

        Have other signs of illness present (i.e., earache, stomachache, reddened eyes, rash, etc.).
        Is unable to participate in the normal daily activity/routine.
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We will dispense medication and keep records on a log sheet only after the proper paper work is
completed. We will not give any expired medication.
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We are aware children are orally explorative and we will attempt to work with you and your child through
this stage, BUT if your child continually bites or hurts other children we cannot compromise the safety of
others. This may result in immediate removal from the Center until behavior ceases, then child may be
eligible to return to Center.
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In case an accident occurs while your child is attending the center, we require that you sign a medical
form stating your child’s Doctor and Dentist. Scratches, scrapes, bumps, and bruises are inevitable when
children play, or as they are learning to walk and becoming more mobile. Minor accidents will be treated
immediately and properly, with lots of care and attention, with soap, water, and band-aid as well as
documented with an “Ouch Report”. If we are concerned that a more serious problem exists, the parents
will be notified immediately. If you would like to be notified by phone for “Ouch Report’s” as well, please
notify the Owner/Director in writing.
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In the event of emergency, we will make every attempt to contact the parent or designee. If unable to do
so, the Parent/Guardian signature on the “Consent for Medical Treatment” form gives the Center
permission for the administration of first aid and/or emergency medical treatment that is in the child’s best
interest. Parent/Guardian is responsible for payment of emergency medical treatment. It is crucial that
Parent(s) keep emergency phone numbers and addresses current with the Center.
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Preparation for disaster is imperative in educating children on safety procedures while helping to establish
a sense of routine and security. This preparation can help to alleviate fear if the unthinkable should
happen. In compliance with State regulations, we conduct fire and tornado drills periodically throughout
the year. Our Center is equipped with a Fire Alarm system and Fire extinguishers throughout the
building. Our emergency drills can make an impression on a young child the first few times, the child may
even show some fear. We will spend time talking about these drills in class and in time the children will
become accustomed to the drills. In case of a fire at the Center, the staff shall follow the pre-determined
fire drill plan posted at the entrance of each room and quickly and quietly lead the children to that exit and
out of the building. Infants and toddlers are put into cribs and rolled out the Fire Exit doors. During the
Tornado drills we carry the infants and toddlers and take them to the basement. Preschoolers go out the
Fire Exit doors in a single file line. We stress that there is no pushing or running, and all children are
reminded to remain quite so they can hear their teachers’ instructions. The staff is required to keep a
count of the children in their care at all times.
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You are welcome to visit your child’s classroom at any time. All visitors must sign in with the office.
Please enter quietly and do not talk in a loud manner that would disrupt the atmosphere. Please inform

the staff if you have a special talent or interest you would be willing to share with the children and/or if you
can assist with special projects.
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Birthdays are special events for children! On the day of the celebration, you may bring in store bought
treats only, as to avoid the health concerns of the Nebraska Department of Disease Control. We will eat
these treats for snack that day. You are welcome to come and share this time with your child!
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If you no longer require child care, you will need to provide two weeks written notification of your child's
last day in the program. You must pay for these final two weeks even if your child does not attend. If
your plans change or you change your mind and do not want to remove your child from the center, your
child will not loose his/her place as long as we are notified promptly and that space is still available. If
your child is absent over one consecutive week or more without proper notification the child will be
withdrawn from the center. If we have been given proper notification as to why your child is not attending,
be it an illness or an emergency, then the situation will be further discussed at your child’s return to the
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Each child is eligible for one (1) tuition free vacation week per year (does not apply to School Age
program). Your child’s year for eligibility begins the first day of his/her attendance. You must notify us
when you will be using your tuition free week. We must have at least one full week’s notice. If we do not
receive a week’s notice or you call at the last minute, you will be charged the full tuition. Vacation time
does not accrue; therefore, if you do not take a vacation in any given year you forfeit the tuition free week.
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At Little Dolphins Day Care Center we believe in a positive atmosphere for our children and staff. Our
staff has the important job of contributing to your child’s sense of safety, wellness, and happiness. We
like to recognize a job well done, a way they helped a child, or made someone feel extra special. We
also encourage parents to drop a staff member a “Care-A-Gram” when they have been extremely pleased
with a staff member’s conduct or special “care” they provided. Please see the Owner/Director for a “Care-
A-Gram” to fill out. You just might make someone’s day!
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This program is licensed by the State of Nebraska and will comply with the regulations of the Health and
Human Services. The Health and Human Services Licensing Division and the State Fire Marshal will
conduct periodic inspections to ensure the center meets or exceeds the standards.

We have tailored our program to meet your child’s needs. If you wish to inquire into our licenses the
Health and Human Services Licensing Division recognizes children 6 weeks - age 2 as Infants, 2- 6 years
old as Preschoolers, and 1 st grade and above as School Age.

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Every Parent/Guardian should feel comfortable with the care their child is receiving. If you have any
questions or concerns at any time, please feel free to contact Theresa Sherman at the Little Dolphins Day
Care Center (402) 296-5437.