Tiny Tribe Parent Handbook Of Policies and Procedures Effective September 1, 2010- September 1, 2011 Non-Discrimination Policy & Admission Requirements- Tiny Tribe is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years regardless of race, color, handicap, age, sex or national origin. We are open Monday through Friday for children needing care on either a part-time or full-time basis. Enrollment Procedures - After a prospective parent has met the staff and toured my program; they may reserve a space on the waiting list. The following forms must be completed and on file; Childcare Registration Form, Immunization Record, Childcare Agreement, Permission Authorization, & the USDA food subsidy form. Child Guidance & Discipline Policy: Our discipline policy is involved in each child’s total experience at Tiny Tribe. We begin by an anticipation of and elimination of potential problems by providing a variety of hands - on activities and a low child/staff ratio. Starting in infancy, we constantly talk to the children as we care for them and as they interact with each other. Through our coaching and modeling, they learn to negotiate with each other. We respect each child's individual personality and temperament and their ability to question, grow, and develop at their own pace. We do not use competition, comparison, criticism, humiliation, shame, ridicule, or corporal punishment. We do not use “time out” because we do not find it effective in group care situations. We feel that what is most important is encouraging self esteem and competence in children by giving them the freedom and responsibility to listen and negotiate with each other. We emphasize the use of problem solving as a method for guiding children's behavior. We do this by using techniques such as active listening, negotiation, and I-messages to help children learn to develop an internal locus of control. Our philosophy: Positive Discipline: Kindness and Firmness at the same time. Kindness: We believe that children need to feel unconditional love and acceptance from the adults who care for them. We talk to them, listen to them, play with them, sing with them, laugh with them, and learn from them. We give them choices whenever possible. We get down on their level, look them in the eyes, and speak using a calm voice. We accept all of their emotions and help them find words to express them. We give them the responsibility of working out their own problems. Our main goal is to help children develop an internal locus of control, instead of relying on external means for controlling their behavior. We are human, too. When we make mistakes we apologize and start over. We give them time to react and time to make decisions about their behavior. Firmness: We accept all emotions, but we are firm about which behaviors are acceptable. We do not allow children to hurt each other, themselves, or the environment. We mean what we say and we follow through with our word. We don’t do anything for a child that they can do for themselves. We don’t give in to whining, crying, and coaxing even though it may be “easier”. We realize that becoming a capable person is a difficult but rewarding process. We use natural and logical consequences. Example One: Two year old Owen throws food on the floor during lunch time. We kindly and calmly remind Owen that throwing food is not acceptable. We say, “After you pick the food up you can finish your lunch.” Owen refuses and begins to scream and cry. We tell him that we understand he is feeling angry, frustrated, and upset but we remind him that he can finish his lunch when he picks the food up. We don’t give in or give up. If he still refuses we remove him from lunch following through with our words. We always tell that child that we believe they will make a different choice next time. Example Two: Three year old Alivia is being loud during circle time and pushing her body into the children around her. We ask Alivia to calm her body down and stop talking so the other children can hear and see the story. When Alivia does not calm down we tell her that she can chose to stop moving and talking or she can chose to go to her mat and miss the story. Alivia continues to be disruptive. We ask Alivia to leave the circle and go to her mat. She may cry and insist that she will sit quietly. We tell her that we understand she may be feeling upset and frustrated and she can try again tomorrow. We don’t give in or give up. We lead her to her mat following through with our words and we tell her that we believe she’ll be able to sit without being disruptive tomorrow. FEES & HOLIDAYS- Septe mber 2010 to Septe mber 2011 Age Group 5 Days 4 Days 3 Days 2 Days 1 Day Drop- in Rates Toddlers & Preschoolers $1100/ $1000/ $875/ $575/ $275/ 7-5:30pm $65/ 7-5:30pm (12 months to Month Month Month Month $200/ 9-4pm $35/ 8-1pm 5 years) $50/ 9-4pm Monthly Tuition includes the following holidays and vacation days (except the February Vacation week): Monday, September 6, 2010- Labor Day Friday, October 8, 2010- Staff In-Service Day Thursday, November 25, 2010 & Friday, November 26, 2010 – Thanksgiving Break Friday, December 24, 2010- Friday December 31, 2011- Winter/ New Year Break Monday, January 17, 2011 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, February 21, 2011 – Friday February 25, 2011- President's Day & Winter Break (February tuition will be pro-rated to deduct this extra week of vacation.) Friday April 22, 2011 – Staff In-Service Day Monday, May 30, 2011 - Memorial Day Observed Monday July 4, 2011 through Friday, July 8, 2011 – 4th of July Summer Break _____________________________________________________________________ Payment Plan- Tuition will be paid in advance on the 1st of each month, or half on the 1st and half on the 15th . A late fee of $25.00 is added to any payment received after the 3rd or the 18th . Tuition is based on scheduled days not attendance. Refunds and credits will not be given for days your child does not attend due to illness or other reasons. You may be refunded for vacation days if another family uses that day for drop-in care. This refund will show up on the following month’s tuition bill. ________________________________________________________________________ Hours of Operation- Monday through Friday- 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Daily Schedule- Waddlers, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (12 months and older) - As children begin to become self-reliant they need opportunities for practicing new skills and exploring their abilities within a safe environment. We believe that having a schedule for children allows them the comfort of predicting what will happen next. Our daily schedule is very flexible, however, to allow for unplanned events or other opportunities that may arise throughout the day. (e.g. Children who show signs of sleepiness will be allowed to sleep, regardless of the schedule.) All of the children and caregivers go outside twice everyday to play in the yard, back deck area, go on a neighborhood walk, or take a bus ride. We will still go out if it is raining, however, we may stay out for a shorter period of time. Our Daily Schedule Approximate Time Activity 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Arrivals & Free Play 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast & Clean Up 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Diapers and bathroom breaks/ Free Play 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Circle time / classroom activities 10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Clean Up/ Diapers or bathroom break/ Job responsibilities 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. Neighborhood walk or Outside Time 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Diapers, Potty Time, individual reading 12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Story time- group reading Quiet Time (Naptime for the younger children and rest time 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. for older children). 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Table activities, diapers or bathroom break/ Job responsibilities 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Afternoon Snack 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Outside Time 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Wind Down for pick-up/ Stories or table activities/ late snack Meals & Snacks- Please do not send meals from home. If your child requires an alternative menu item I will substitute and accommodate food allergies and intolerances. Our goal is to offer food that unprocessed, wholesome, and delicious. Each day we serve a hearty breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. These meals and snacks conform to the Washington State Department of Health Guidelines. A monthly menu is distributed and posted near the door. Optimum health produces happy children so we provide the very best quality food available. We serve whole grain bread products and a variety of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. We use soy and rice milk in all recipes to accommodate intolerances to dairy. We use only natural sugars sparingly; like honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar. Cow’s milk (or a milk substitute by request) is served with breakfast and lunch. Water is served to each child multiple times/day and by request. We do not serve juice. Staffing- Director, Owner, and Teacher- Jena Inghram Jena has a BA in Human Service from Western Washington University and fifteen years of early childhood experience. She has worked as a nanny, an infant teacher, toddler teacher, mentor teacher, program supervisor, and a director. She is also a trained facilitator of Steven Glenn’s Developing Capable Young People parenting series. She loves working with children and considers it her life’s work. Teacher- Carrie Caldwell Carrie grew also grew up in Burlington, Iowa. Carrie started babysitting at the age of eleven and has continued to work in the field of early childcare as a nanny and caregiver to children, age newborn through preschool, ever since. Carrie began working with Jena as an infant, toddler, and preschool teacher in 2005. Carrie has completed 20 Hours STARS childcare course work and has also completed Jane Nelson’s six-week Positive Discipline workshop. Teacher- Jennifer Garvin Jennifer grew up in Michigan with most of her family still living in the greater Detroit area. She is very close to her family and tries to visit as often as she can. She began caring for children beginning at home with her younger brother and has been drawn to it ever since. She volunteers on the weekends working with 11-13 year olds and has been a mentor, preschool teacher, school age before and after school teacher and program supervisor. She went to Northern Michigan University on the beautiful southern shore of Lake Superior earning degrees in Psychology: Preschool/Family Life Services and Theatre. Teacher- Jenna Mitchell Jenna grew up here in Seattle and is currently living in Beacon Hill. She attends Seattle Central Community College and plans to transfer to a University in California in the next few years. Jenna has been working in childcare since she was 13, starting by babysitting then becoming a nanny at age 17. She also attended the Seattle Children’s Theater Drama School and took acting classes there for four years. For current staff bios, please see our website: www.jenashomechildcare.com Staff Absences- When staff intends to take time off work for a planned absence we will notify the parents via email at least two weeks in advance. In the case of illness or unforeseen circumstances, we will not be able to give advance notification. We will only use qualified substitutes if the normal staff is absent from the childcare. Things to Know About Drop Off 1. Please sign your child in and out each day using your full signature. Licensing law requires this. There is an attendance roster posted near the front door. This is used to keep a record of attendance each day and helps us do a head counts for fire drills and field trips. 2. Please let staff know about anything out of the ordinary and record it in the parent/staff communication notebook. Let us know any details that could help us care for your child during the day. For instance, please let us know if your child had a rough night with sleep, is coming down with a common cold, recovering from an ear infection, has a diaper rash, or is being picked up by someone other than a parent. Things to Know About Pick Up 1. Please remember to sign your child out at the door. 2. Check your child’s mailbox for any notes, receipts, or art to take home. This is a large blue file box. 3. Remember to retrieve all soiled clothing, toys from home, loveys, etc. when you leave at the end of the day. 4. It’s usually a good time of the day to discuss any concerns, ideas, vacations coming up, schedule changes, etc. Open Door Policy- Parents and guardians have free access to all Tiny Tribe’s areas used by your child, your child’s records, and the staff during operating hours. Parents are welcome to drop-in unannounced for whatever reason. Toilet Training Policy- We understand that the potty training process is different for all children and families. Some children are potty trained by age two while others are more developmentally ready around age three. Stages of Toilet Training: 1. Even before age two, we begin talking about using the toilet and reading books about potties. Toddlers are interested in observing other children using the potty and may begin to want to try the potty out by themselves. 2. Part of using the toilet involves the ability to dress and undress themselves, climb onto the toilet, and wash their hands in the sink. We practice these skills even if the child shows no interest in actually using the potty. 3. We begin changing them near the toilet while standing. This encourages toilet use and observation. At this time, if you wish, you can provide pull-ups or underwear with plastic pants and we will have the child use the potty at every diaper change or more frequently if the child shows interest. 4. Once you feel that you (the parents) are ready to officially complete the training process at home, we recommend a transition to underwear exclusively. We will talk about growing up and using the toilet like the older kids do. Once the child has transitioned to underwear they will definitely have accidents for the first few days. We will have them undress themselves completely, wipe themselves down, and put new underwear and clothing on. This gives children responsibility for their actions. They will be less likely to ignore the urge to use the toilet if they realize they spend more time undressing and dressing themselves when they’d rather be playing. Of course we make sure they are wiped and cleaned properly and that they wash their hands. 5. We will encourage success by first having the child use the toilet at scheduled times throughout the day. Once the child is regularly using the toilet w/out accidents (this usually takes a week or more) we will give them more freedom to decide when they will use the toilet. Some children will need to continue to wear pull-ups or diapers while napping until they wake up consistently with dry diapers. Child Protective Services- We are required by law to report to Child Protective Services any situation where we suspect child abuse, neglect, or exploitation. We are, of course, governed by the same law and required to adequately supervise any staff members. Each staff person is required by law to submit a criminal history report check by the Police Department. Smoking Policy- We ask that staff who smoke do so only on their scheduled break time behind the garage in the alley, twenty-five feet from the door, and out of sight of the children. Thank you. Pet Policy- We do not currently plan to have any pets in the home. Religious Activities- Jena and her husband, Scott, are Jewish. Because the childcare is located in their home, religious items may be displayed. However, religious activities will not be a regular part of the Tiny Tribe experience. Books and posters may represent different religions and cultures and the holiday seasons will bring up ideas and examples of different traditions. Immunization Records - We require a copy of your child’s current immunization record kept on file at Tiny Tribe. We will ask you to update your record every six months if new immunizations have been administered. If your child is on a modified or delayed vaccination schedule due to medical or personal reasons you may submit a signed waiver with your child’s immunization records. Sleeping- Once your child is at least 12 months old and shows signs of needing only one nap each day, they will move to a napping mat on the floor. You provide a blanket to stay here. We provide individual cots and sheets for each child and wash them weekly. Field Trips- Older Children go outside twice each day to play in the back yard. We will often take walks through the neighborhood, to Lincoln Park, or Gatewood Elementary School. We will often take field trips on the city bus, which stops on California Avenue. We can access many different parks and community centers conveniently by a short bus ride. You will be notified of the bus route, chaperones, and specific details of all field trips made by bus. All field trips within West Seattle will maintain a 1:4 ratio and all field trips outside of West Seattle will maintain a 1:3 ratio. Parents are always welcome to come along on field trips. Supplies and Clothing- Your child may be participating in activities that may get their clothes dirty. We use only washable paints and markers, but stains are possible. Please dress children in play clothes. Since we go outside rain or shine, we ask that you provide rain boots, raincoat, warm hat, and warm coat when appropriate. Please check their cubby each day for dirty or wet clothes. Each child will be assigned a small cubby near the front door for shoes and a hook for their outerwear. Please label these items with your child’s name. Their cubby (near the changing table) should include the following: 2 changes of clothes, including socks Diapers and/ or undies- enough for two weeks Diaper cream- labeled with your child’s name (must be stored out of reach of children) Their coat cubby should store appropriate shoes, boots, coats, and hats dependant on the weather. Toys From Home- We do allow children to bring toys from home into the classroom. Children must first understand ownership before they can truly master the concept of sharing. By allowing children to bring in small classroom appropriate toys from home they are provided the opportunity of taking responsibility for their own belongings within the group setting. They are responsible for their own personal items, putting the toys away in their cubbies when they don’t feel like sharing them, and working out trades with their friends. We do not allow children to take home each other’s toys, even if they have agreed on a trade. Illness Policy – Please try to advise the childcare prior to 9:00 am if a child will not be attending due to illness. Parents agree that a child who is ill (with an unexplained fever over 100.1, infection, diarrhea, communicable disease, or any other type of illness that may be passed on to others, with the exception of the common cold) will be kept at home to protect the well being of other children. The parents further agree that should a child become ill while in care, immediate arrangements will be made to remove the child from the childcare home. Children will not be allowed to return to childcare until they have been symptom free for 24 hours. In some cases, a note from a doctor may be necessary. Late pick-up- We realize that unforeseen circumstances do come up. Please notify us by phone as soon as possible if you know you are going to be late. Being ten minutes late occasionally due to horrible traffic is not the same as being ten minutes late every day. Please respect the staff’s personal time and be on time to pick up your child(ren). Late pick-up Fee- When you arrive late to pick up your child, a caregiver must be paid extra money in wages to stay late with your child. You will be charged a $10 late fee for any portion of each ½ period of time that you are late. (ie. if you are ten to thirty minutes late you will be charged $10 and if you are 30 minutes to 60 minutes late you will be charged $20). _________________________________________________________________ Liability Insurance: We do carry additional liability insurance through Morgan and Associates, Inc. Tiny Tribe is owned and operated by Tiny Tribe, LLC.