Highlands EduCare Children’s Centre
Table of Contents
Hours of Operation
Definition of Illness
Health and Safety
Suggested Foods for Lunch and Snacks
HIGHLANDS EDUCARE CHILDREN’S CENTRE – PARENT HANDBOOK PAGE 1
Highlands EduCare Children’s Centre
A child’s work is play!
Children need the chance to be just what they are – children!
Through play, they learn about themselves and the world around them. We provide a safe and caring environment,
offering guidance, encouragement, time, and resources to meet the needs of each individual child.
Our caregivers facilitate the children’s play through multi-faceted roles as teacher, manager, planner, mediator,
communicator and observer.
Highlands Educare is a locally owned and operated company of Elaine Oliver and Kent Stralbiski. Elaine and Kent
have raised their families and provided educational and management services to both private and public organizations
in the Okanagan for over twenty five years.
Highlands EduCare Children’s Centre
870 Francis Avenue, Kelowna, B.C., V1Y 5G5
Telephone: 250-762-9508 / Cellular Phone: 250-808-9508 / Fax: 250-763-9501
Victoria Westlake, Centre Manager
Telephone: 250-762-9508 / Cellular Phone: 250-808-9508 / Fax 250-763-9501
Elaine Oliver, Managing Director
Cellular Phone: 250-808-0702 / Fax: 250-769-9246
Kent Stralbiski, Administrative Director
Cellular Phone: 250-808-0701 / Fax: 250-769-9246
HIGHLANDS EDUCARE CHILDREN’S CENTRE – PARENT HANDBOOK PAGE 2
McDuff, McBuff and McBean ChildCare Programs
McBean’s DayCare Program
We provide care for ages 2½ to 5. Programs are story and seasonally theme oriented. We encourage interaction
through play involving story, art, music and drama. Choice and experience for both child and staff are a large part
of our daily program. We are small enough to encourage close ties, and large enough to provide a variety of
friends to be with. The large playground and paved riding area, and large selection of toys, activities and vehicles
provide many choices.
McDuff’s KinderCare Program
Kindercare provides continuity for children previously in childcare, and socialization and development for children
that have not previously attended childcare. We connect with Kindergarten teachers to act as a bridge between
home and school. We are here to help each child adjust to the school setting. We build on a child’s kindergarten
experiences by providing opportunities to further develop confidence in language and expression through stories,
conversation as well as visual and performing arts.
McBuff’s After-School Care Program
We focus on providing opportunities for physical activity and recreation after a day of school. We pursue outdoor
activities wherever possible, including walks, park play and group sports. We provide settings where children can
engage in active play within small groups of friends and others can find space to play games or read. We provide
assistance to a child with homework wherever possible. Our After-SchoolCare Program provides a nurturing
environment that encourages personal growth, independence, self-confidence, and positive self-esteem. Children
learn the importance of having self-control, and the acceptance of responsibility for their actions. Children are
assisted in learning to value their own rights, and the feelings and values of their peers. The program provides a
variety of exercises and activities to help the development of both their gross and fine motor skills.
McArthur Junior Kindergarten Program
McArthur Junior Kindergarten is a theme based program that incorporates all forms of media in the exploration of
discovery. Our focus is on creativity, the cornerstone of our collective future – developing the ability to see and do
things differently. Through play, children are given the opportunities to express themselves in science, art, drama,
music, numeracy and language. The program is filled with developmentally appropriate materials and opportunities to
assist in building cognitive, communication and language, social-emotional, sensor motor and emerging literacy skills.
Whatever level of talent or skill each child expresses through any medium is celebrated. The value is in the experience
and not in the product. Books and other literary materials are a foundation for the program. Through books, children
become aware of language in the written form, learning that letters form words and words form sentences that
magically unleash the imagination. The program emphasizes the exploration and appreciation of life in all forms, from
the care and respect for our resident critters, to the wilds of the world around us. McArthur Junior Kindergarten is
designed to encourage the continuing development of self-discipline without the loss of self-expression that is so
important to a child’s well being, a requirement for children to fully explore andd develop their unique gifts.
Summer Funtasia Program
Each week is themed, and filled with adventure: Mardi Gras, Mad Professor, Carnival, Tutti Fruitti, Wild and Wet,
Safari, Around Town, and more. There are a variety of field trips that change from year to year, such as Parrot Island,
Johnson Bentley Pool, Kettle Valley Water Park, Knox Mtn., Mission Park, Vernon Science Centre, and local movie
theatres. There are visitors to the centre such as, the musical entertainment of Matt Dufus, Jurassic Pals, Ali K. Zam,
and the Story Spinner. We have picnics, hikes, kung-fu lessons, bike rides, mini golf, bowling, mystery trips, magic,
carnivals, music, piñatas, etc., etc. There are special days, such as Tacky Tourist, Crazy Hair, Kids in the Kitchen,
Super Science, McDuff Olympics, Artiste, Mystery Adventures. And — the annual Bear Family Reunion! Over 100
unique bears and growing. Count ‘em!
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Hours of Operation
HOURS OF OPERATION – Monday though Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
CLOSURES – We are closed weekends and on the following days: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day,
Canada Day, BC Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day
ARRIVING AT THE CENTRE – Please escort your child into the building and into the care of staff, and sign the
attendance sheet each day that your child is present. Please do not drop off your child before 7:30 a.m. We cannot be
responsible for the care and safety of your child until we open. Please do not let your child run freely outside the
building without you as it creates a dangerous traffic hazard with vehicles coming and going.
LEAVING THE CENTRE – Please come into the building to retrieve your child and sign the attendance sheet to verify
that you have retrieved your child. Please pick up your child promptly at the end of each day. We close at 5:30 pm.
Late fees will apply. Please do not let your child leave the building without you as it creates a dangerous traffic hazard
outside amongst the cars coming and going.
RELEASING YOUR CHILD FROM CARE – Your child will only be released to the person or persons you have listed on the
registration form. Please inform the staff if someone else is picking up your child that day. Designated persons are
required to bring photo identification for verification by staff. Persons not listed on the registration form are required to
bring written authorization and photo identification, and we will contact you by telephone to verify legitimacy. If we are
unable to verify the legitimacy of the written authorization, we will not release the child. We reserve the right not to
release your child if the authorized person picking up your child is intoxicated. We will call you, other emergency
contacts you provided, or Social Services if we cannot reach you or another contact.
DELAY IN PICKING UP YOUR CHILD – If your child is not picked up by closing time, and you have not contacted us in
advance, every effort will be made to contact you. If we are unable to contact you, we will call the emergency contacts
you provided. For reasons of liability, we may have to contact Social Services, should we be unable to locate you or
any alternate contacts.
ABSENCE OF YOUR CHILD FROM CARE – Your child is to be present at the Centre by 9:00 a.m. unless alternate
arrangements are made with us. Please contact us at 762-9508 as soon as you know your child will be absent or late.
If your call is after hours and staff is not present at the Centre, please leave a message.
Definitions of Illness
FEVER – A temperature over 99.5 ºF / 36.0 ºC taken orally, or over 99.5 ºF / 36.0 ºC taken externally from the ear
using a digital infrared ear thermometer. If we must take your child’s temperature, we will use a digital infrared ear
thermometer in accordance with proper sanitary techniques. Your child needs to be fever free without the use of
Tylenol or other fever reducing medication for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to the Centre.
DIARRHEA – Runny or watery stools, or 2 or more loose stools within the last 4 hours.
RUNNY NOSE – Your child may attend childcare if he or she has a common cold (slight cough, clear runny nose,
occasional sneezing). Discharge of any color other than clear is not acceptable.
PARKING – The street in front of the Centre is available for parking. The lane beside the Centre must be kept
accessible as a fire lane but is available for drop-off and pick-up. Please do not block Highlands’ passenger van
unless the driver of your vehicle is staying with the vehicle. Please do not make U-turns in front of the Centre, as it
creates a dangerous traffic hazard. Please do not leave your engine idling while in the Centre, as a safety precaution,
a courtesy to our neighbours, and a friend of the environment.
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RESERVING A SPACE FOR YOUR CHILD – You are contracting with Highlands EduCare Children’s Centre to reserve a
space for your child in our facility, and to receive childcare during our hours of operation. Provincial laws limit our
number of childcare spaces at any point in time and you are paying for the space that you have reserved for your
child, whether or not your child is present. You are required to reserve space 30 days prior to the month needed. Your
child’s space will be held as long as you are paying to reserve it. Even though your child may be absent from time to
time, we may be unable to fill your contractually reserved space and still have it remain available to you. There are no
refunds or adjustments for time missed due to illness, unplanned holidays, or days off.
SERVICES PROVIDED – Fees pay for staff wages, building costs, maintenance, insurance, training, toys, equipment, art
supplies, transportation, utilities and all of the other items that your child will use.
FORMS OF PAYMENT ACCEPTED – We accept payment by cash, cheque or VISA / MasterCard credit card. We do not
accept debit cards at this time, as there is a significant service charge for their use. We do not prefer the use of credit
cards for the same reason, but we recognize short term cash flow sometimes requires their use.
GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES – We participate in the BC Employment Assistance Child Care Subsidy Program, reducing
the portion of our fee that you are responsible for paying. Please remember to renew your subsidy on time,
otherwise you will be responsible for paying our full childcare fee. We will reimburse the fee when we receive
authorization from the Subsidy Office. If you forget to renew the subsidy and are unable to pay our full fee, we may
regretfully suspend childcare services until the subsidy is renewed. If you are eligible for any other subsidy program
please discuss it with the Manager and we will review the program to see if we wish to participate.
PAYMENT DUE DATES – Fees are due and payable on receipt of the invoice, or by the first business day of the
month, whichever is later. If we do not receive payment promptly, and we have not agreed to other arrangements,
we may regretfully suspend care until your account is paid in full.
ALTERNATE TERMS – Alternate terms may be arranged at our discretion, provided payments are received on time and
accounts are kept up to date.
TAX RECEIPTS – We provide receipts for tax purposes at the end of the calendar year.
RATES – Childcare service rates and other charges are subject to change. Reasonable notice will be provided.
REGISTRATION FEE – There is a non-refundable registration fee of $45.00 per child, due at the time of admission.
EVENT FEES – On occasion, your child may have the opportunity to participate in a field trip, or attend a special event.
There may be a small fee required for participation.
LATE PICKUP FEE – We charge $5.00 for every 15 minutes that you are late in picking up your child, which, if levied,
will be added to your next month’s invoice. We may regretfully suspend service to parents who consistently require
after hours care, unless mutually agreeable arrangements are made in advance.
NSF CHEQUES – There is a $25.00 service charge for a cheque written on an account with insufficient funds. Should
we receive an NSF cheque from you, further payments for care may be required in cash or by credit card.
INTEREST CHARGES – Interest of 2% per month may be charged on all accounts over 30 days past due.
DEBT COLLECTION – Outstanding accounts will be turned over to a collection agency.
WITHDRAWING FROM CARE – Please notify us in writing 30 days in advance of the date on which you are going to
withdraw your child from our Centre, so that we may open the space to another child. Fees may be charged where
notice is not provided.
TERMINATION OF CARE – We reserve the right to terminate services without notice if fees are not paid, policies are not
respected, the contract is breached, or any parent or guardian behaves in an abusive manner.
REFUND OF PREPAYMENTS – In the event of termination of childcare services by us for reasons other than those
outlined under Termination of Care, the balance of any unused prepayments for childcare services will be refunded.
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EVALUATION – We encourage you to visit our Centre, meet our staff, look over our programs, and decide if we are
providing what you are looking for. Prior to registering, we would like to discuss your child’s level of development, the
type and term of care your child needs, and any special needs your child may require. We wish to mutually determine
if the care we provide would be in the best interests of your child and the children of our other clients.
REGISTRATION – We require the following information:
school information ( school, grade, teacher )
parental contacts ( names, places of work, telephone numbers )
emergency contacts ( names, places of work, telephone numbers )
health history ( chronic conditions, allergies, medications, vision, hearing, speech, special diets )
emotional concerns ( behavioural problems, relocations, parental separation, life changes )
custody requirements ( visitations, pickups )
recent exposure to communicable disease
CHILDCARE SERVICE CONTRACT – We require that you sign a Childcare Service Contract (of which this Parent
Handbook forms a part) that defines the terms and conditions of our services, and contractually reserves a space in
the appropriate program in our Centre. The agreement is for our mutual benefit by assuring you an uninterrupted
space in our program whether your child is present or not, and assures us of the resources to provide quality childcare
IMMUNIZATION RECORD FORM – Prior to admission, your child must be immunized as recommended by the local
provincial medical officer, if you wish your child to continue to attend the Centre in the event that another child has
come into contact with or developed a communicable disease. We require a copy of the immunization record.
CONSENT FORMS – There are several consents for which we need your written authorization on file:
if you wish us to administer prescribed medications
in the event that medical attention is required, we may need to respond quickly. We need your written authorization
on file permitting us to take your child to the Mission Medical Walk-In Clinic, contact your physician, and/or call an
ambulance, should this become necessary.
if you wish your child to participate in walking trips to nearby parks, beaches, stores, and/or the local bird sanctuary,
we need your written authorization on file permitting us to involve your child in these activities
if you have no objections to having your child included in group photographs or individually, for the general purpose
of recording activities, we need your written authorization on file permitting us to to include your child in these
activities. We may, on occasion, use general photographs for advertising of the Highlands EduCare Children’s
Centre only. Under no circumstance will photographs be sold, or used for any other commercial purposes. The local
media may also take photographs, such as when we are playing in the parks.
COURT ORDERS AFFECTING YOUR CHILD – In the event that there is a custody dispute, we will release your child only
to those persons authorized in writing by the authorized parent or guardian. If there is a court order, we must have a
copy of that order in the child’s file, and will ensure that all staff are aware of any court order that is in effect.
ADJUSTMENT PERIOD – The first two weeks of enrollment are an adjustment period. If either you or we believe the
arrangement is unsuitable, either party can terminate the contract immediately, without penalty.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS – Please keep us informed of any change in addresses, telephone numbers, or any other
information that you have completed for our records as part of enrollment.
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DAILY SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES – A daily schedule of activities is available for you at any time. Please ask the
appropriate Program Supervisor and they will be happy to provide one. Please note that the schedule of activities is
general in scope, and may not include all of the specific activities for any given day.
FIELD TRIPS AND SPECIAL EVENTS – We may occasionally take children on field trips or to a special event. You will be
asked to complete a Field Trip Permission Form if you wish your child to participate.
REST – All children in the daycare program are provided with opportunities to rest during the day, however we will not
attempt to force a child to sleep. We provide mats or cots and bedding to children in the childcare program.
QUIET TIME – Quiet time consists of activities such as listening to music, looking at books, story time and puzzles.
SUITABLE CLOTHING – We require that your child have shoes with non-marking soles for indoor use to help keep our
floors in good condition. During the course of the day, your child may play in the sandbox, paint, colour, etc. Please
send your child in appropriate clothing, as we cannot be responsible for stained or soiled clothing. We will take
reasonable precautions by providing a paint shirt for your child. Please dress your child in clothing appropriate to
weather and physical activity. This includes:
Summer – sunhat, closed-toe shoes only (we will provide sunscreen at a minimal cost to you)
Winter – boots, mittens, snow pants, jacket and toque.
CHANGE OF CLOTHING – Please provide your child with at least one full change of clothing to keep at the Centre.
LABELLING CLOTHING – Please label clothing with your child's name. We cannot be responsible for lost clothing.
RESPECT – We will communicate with you in a positive and supportive manner that encourages your parent-child
relationship. Every effort will be made to communicate with you when you drop-off and pick-up your child.
PARTICIPATION – You are welcome to stay with your child for a short time at the beginning of the day during the first
week of the daycare program. We also welcome parents to visit us at anytime. We welcome questions.
NOTICES – We will endeavour to keep you informed through a periodic newsletter, notices or posted announcements.
CONFIDENTIALITY – Information with regard to family issues and personal lives will be handled confidentially.
CONDUCT – We will make every effort to communicate with you in a mature and respectful manner, and we would
appreciate your respect in return. We take health and safety very seriously, and will terminate your childcare services
if you do not behave respectfully.
CONFERENCES – We are available for conferences at any time, provided it does not interfere with our requirements for
proper childcare supervision. Please contact the Managing Director or the Facility Manager to schedule a conference,
if it cannot be arranged with the appropriate Program Supervisor in the normal course of the day.
STUDENT PRACTICUMS – Students enrolled in Early Childhood Education programs may be doing practicums at the
Centre. As part of their practicum, they are required to observe and record children’s behaviours and activities. These
notes will be made in the strictest of confidence. Names will not be used.
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Health and Safety
LUNCH AND SNACKS – Please provide a nutritious lunch and two healthy snacks for your child each day. Lunch should
contain foods from each of the four food groups. Snacks should contain foods from each of two food groups.
ALLERGIES – Please make sure we are aware of any allergies your child may have. Due to the risk of severe
allergies in some children, peanuts or any peanut containing products (sandwiches, cookies, squares, etc.)
are not permitted. To be safe, nuts of any kind are not permitted.
DISCIPLINE – All children will be disciplined in a positive manner at a level that is appropriate to their actions and their
age in order to promote self-discipline, ensure health and safety, and respect the rights of others. We use conflict
resolution skills to defuse any situation before working with your child to resolve the problem. Choices may be given
according to your child's age and abilities. Your child may be redirected to another activity or toy. All children will be
encouraged to solve problems by talking to each other and finding the best possible solution. All children are
encouraged to communicate respectfully instead of hitting or kicking. Our caregivers do not use physical discipline.
GENERAL ILLNESS – You must keep your child at home if he or she has a fever, diarrhea, has been vomiting in the
previous 24-hour period, or has an unexplained rash. Your child must be able to participate in our daily routine, which
includes both indoor and outdoor activities. If your child is unable to participate in the full program, he or she cannot
attend, as we are unable to provide the individualized care necessary to properly care for sick children.
COMMUNICABLE ILLNESS – You are required to inform us if your child has or comes in contact with a communicable
illness. If your child has a communicable illness, he or she must stay at home for a minimum of 36 hours once
medication has been administered. Some communicable illnesses require a longer quarantine time. Please check with
us for the date your child will be allowed to return. A doctor's note may be required before they are allowed to return,
depending on the nature of the communicable illness.
MEDICATIONS – We must have a written authorization before we can administer prescribed medications. All
medications must be prescribed by a physician licensed to practice in the Province of British Columbia and in the
original bottle with the original prescription instructions clearly legible. You must sign medication in and out each day.
Please give all medication to the staff so they may place it in a locked container. Please DO NOT leave medication in
the child's bag.
ONSET OF ILLNESS – We will call you by telephone if your child has a fever, diarrhea, is vomiting, or shows signs of a
communicable disease such as a rash. Please make arrangements to pick up your child within the hour.
ACCIDENT – We will contact you by telephone immediately if your child has an accident. We will also contact your
physician and/or an ambulance if needed.
EVACUATION – In the event of a disaster that would require evacuation of the Centre or the neighborhood, such as a
fire, natural gas leak or a neighborhood emergency, we will assemble at Raymer Elementary School, which is located
on the corner of Richter St. and Raymer Ave. Should Raymer Elementary School be unavailable to us due to inclusion
in the evacuation area, we will assemble at the Parkinson Recreation Centre, on Highway 97, or as directed by
INSURANCE – Insurance is provided by ING Insurance Company of Canada through Capri Insurance of Kelowna.
SMOKING – Please do not smoke while on the grounds or in the building at Highlands EduCare Children’s Centre. We
wish to promote good health for the children in our care, and smoking is, by law, not permitted within the building.
TRANSPORTATION – All transportation to and from school and on field trips will be provided in the Highlands EduCare
Children’s Centre passenger van or other vehicle properly licensed and insured for this purpose.
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT – Please note that we are required by law to watch for signs of child abuse and neglect,
and to respond to disclosures of child abuse and neglect. We are required by law to report any observations of child
abuse or neglect. Our staff adheres to a comprehensive set of guidelines relating to the prevention and reporting of
child abuse or neglect.
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Suggested Foods for Lunch and Snacks
raw vegetables, such as celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green peppers, green beans, cucumbers, mushrooms,
or zucchini served with a low fat dip
fresh fruit in season, cut in slices or halves, such as apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, grapefruit, grapes,
melons, pears, plums, or strawberries
lowfat quick breads and muffins, such as pumpkin, zucchini, banana or bran
non-sugared cereals, snack mixes made with popcorn and whole grain cereal
low fat granola bar
raisins or other dried fruits
crackers with jam
popcorn or pretzels
vanilla wafers or graham crackers
fruit juice or skim milk
We discourage children from bringing their own toys to the centre unless it is for a special purpose activity
(e.g. Show and Tell) which will be arranged and announced by the caregivers. We cannot be responsible for lost or
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