I. Child Guidance
The Early Learning Childcare Centre has a role in helping children become self-disciplined & to develop socially acceptable & appropriate behaviours. We provide the necessary environment where children are treated with respect, staff are caring & activities are planned based on children’s needs.
We recognize each child as an individual whose age, experiences, environment, developmental level & family background influence his or her behaviour.
We understand the needs of children & how to meet those needs by providing appropriate environments & activities.
Positive Guidance Strategies
- Plan for positive outcomes: Plan for the needs of the children, their developmental level & personality. Arrange the environment to meet the needs. Be aware of the physical & emotional environment & intervene before the activities deteriorate.
- Recognize positive behaviours: Show your genuine feelings when children are engaged in positive behaviour (positive for the child and the group). Reinforce positive behaviours as children often feel the only way they can get attention is by causing problems.
- Project a cheerful attitude: Be enthusiastic & call upon your sense of humour. Let children appreciate the funny side of things.
- Offer choices: Choices must be real choices that are clearly understood by the child & acceptable to both the child and you.
- Give praise & compliments: Praise is given for what children do or accomplish, it is not flattery. Non-verbal or indirect praise can reinforce children’s good feelings about themselves. Non-verbal praise includes a smile, nod, & a pat on the shoulder. Encourage children. Encouragement indicates we appreciate the child’s effort. Encouragement helps strengthen their self-confidence.
- Relate clear messages: Make requests in clear, precise terms in keeping with the child’s developmental level. Say what you want to happen, not what you don’t want to happen.
- Do not reinforce inappropriate behaviour: If using this method, all staff must work together so that one staff person is not reinforcing the poor behaviour that others are ignoring. At times, the child may need to be removed from the group or the group from the child.
- Be flexible: Sometimes you can change your mind but safety must be maintained. Rules can change if it is sensible and appropriate to change them.
- Use natural or logical consequences: Clarifying logical consequences can help develop understanding and self-discipline. Have the group decide most consequences before the behaviour occurs.
- Promote discussion: Let the children own the problem, assist them to talk & listen to each other. They have the power to change & make appropriate decisions. This could include the child wanting to be on his or her own.
- Provide time on own: In some situations, a child may need time away from peers to cool down & or to regenerate. The child may choose to do an activity on his or her own (to kick a ball or read a book) or staff may use as a strategy to help a child regarding composure. For the child, this can be a “face saving” exit from a situation. There are no time limits put on how long the child is to work on his or her own. Allow the child to determine when he or she is ready to return. Reinforce that it is the behaviour that is the problem not the child.
- Recognize your own anger: Working with children at times can be frustrating. Learn to recognize your own anger & why you feel annoyed, take steps to express your anger rationally & appropriately. Model for the children how to express anger & frustration in an appropriate way. End the conflict on a positive note. If you cannot get your feelings under control, withdraw from the situation. It is good teamwork to ask a colleague to step in for you or for a colleague to intervene when he or she sees a situation escalating.
- Model: Adults should model the behaviours & attitudes they want children to learn.
- Other resources: When a child has not responded to the above methods, consultation with other community resources may be necessary. Parents should be involved before this step occurs.
The following are prohibited practices that put children at risk or inhibit growth, self-esteem and healthy development, thus unacceptable:
- Any form of abuse including corporal punishment & sexual abuse
- Depriving a child of food, shelter or participation in activities when the child or others are not at risk
- Leaving children unattended & unsupervised
- Demeaning/ demoralizing behaviour such as humiliation, threats, swearing, harassment, yelling, sarcastic comments & discussion of a child within another child’s hearing
II. Health & Illness
The primary purpose of our health care policies & procedures is to protect, maintain & improve the health of each child in care.
According to the health department, a child is considered too sick to attend when he/she has any of these symptoms:
- Fever of 38 degree Celcius or higher
- Difficulty in breathing (wheezing or a persistent cough)
- Sore throat or trouble swallowing
- Infected skin or eyes, or an undiagnosed rash
- Headache or stiff neck (should see a doctor)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe itching, dry skin of either body or scalp caused by head or body lice or scabies
- Is infectious
- Has a communicable disease
-Staff will refer to the Sneezes and Diseases binder as to when a child is able to return.
-The child may NOT return to the centre until 24 hours after the above symptoms have subsided and is well enough to participate in all areas of the program including outdoor play.
-If a child comes to the centre ill, parents will be asked to find alternate care for that day.
-Children with a communicable disease may return to the centre upon doctor’s approval. Parents will be asked to bring a doctor’s note.
-Parents will be notified as soon as their child is determined ill. If the parent cannot be reached, other people listed on the emergency form or the child’s physician will be called.
-A comfortable and supervised space away from the other children in play will be allocated for the sick child while waiting for the parents to arrive. Staff will change soiled clothes, if necessary, and be as reassuring as possible.
Nonprescription medications as well as medications prescribed by a doctor can be administered. Prescribed medication must be in original container stating the child’s name, dosage & time to be given. Parents must complete the Consent to Administer Medication form. Medication is to be kept in the first aid cupboard away from the children or in a lockbox if needed to be refrigerated. In the event that a child gets a reaction to the medication, depending on severity, the parents and 911 will be called.
A record of children with emergency medication (e.g. Epipen, inhalers) will be posted on the fridge so staff are aware of what to do during an emergency and know when an emergency occurs.
Written record of each child’s immunizations must be on file. Children’s immunizations should be kept up to date. If a child is not immunized, a letter stating so must be provided. If an outbreak of a communicable disease occurs, the non-immunized child will not be allowed to come to the centre.
The Early Learning Childcare Centre will make every effort to accommodate children with allergies but cannot guarantee an allergen free environment. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that all information on their child’s allergies is kept current & to supply any necessary medication.
- Parent/ guardian completes Appendix G (Allergy Form).
- Staff will add children with allergies on the Restricted Foods or Allergy List.
- Information is on file on managing the child’s allergies/asthma including symptoms/reactions, preventative strategies, medications and handling emergency situations.
- Plan is developed for sharing information with all staff and substitutes.
- Allergy List posted on the fridge
- Emergency cards to include allergy information
The Early Learning staff are expected to promote healthy eating and nutritional habits.
- Snacks are planned in accordance with the Canada Food Guide (CFG). Children are offered a healthy snack from at least two food groups from the CFG.
- If the child’s record includes, or the child has a care plan that includes, instructions respecting food or drink for the child, staff must comply with those instructions.
- Eating is recorded on each child’s daily journal.
- No Nuts policy is strictly enforced.
- Preparation of food is done according to the manufacturers’ instructions.
- An emergency food supply is to be kept on site. This includes canned goods, canned fruit, crackers, granola bars & canned soup.
- Children eat their meals while sitting down & are carefully supervised by staff.
The following foods are cut lengthwise & crosswise for children:
- hot dogs
- raw apples
- raw carrots
Children are not to be served the following:
- any form of nuts
- spoonfuls of peanut butter
- junk food
Staff must not:
- Feed infants by a propped bottle.
- Force a child to consume any food or drink.
- Leave children unsupervised while consuming food or drink.
- Use food & drink as reward or punishment.
Our responsibility is to ensure children’s health, safety & security. Staff is responsible for establishing & implementing safety checks & maintaining appropriate levels of supervision as per divisional/regulatory standards.
- Children are to be supervised at all times.
- Staff to child ratio of 1:4 for infants and toddlers and 1:8 for children 3 to 5 years is maintained at all times.
- Staff should be actively supervising & scanning (visual check of where the children are & what they ate doing) at frequent intervals and be aware of & are responsible for what children are doing at all times.
- Head count checks are done frequently to ensure all children are accounted for.
Arrival & Monitoring
- As per Child Care licensing regulations, staff must keep a daily attendance record for each child indicating the whether the child is absent or present (attendance book) & the time of arrival & time of departure (sign-in sheet). Staff is responsible for monitoring if parents or guardians are signing their child in and out of the program & recording the times in the allotted space on the time in sheet.
- A head count, to check the accuracy of the daily sign-in log, should be completed at intervals during the day. Some of the best times are:
- on the playground
- after transition times
- during arrival & pick up time
Departure & Release of a Child
A child will not be released to anyone other than a parent or guardian or an authorized person listed on the registration unless staff is notified in writing. Photo identification will be required to verify the identity of the person picking up your child. A child will not be released to a parent with a court order on file that restricts one’s access to the child. Instead, the child’s authorized pick-up list will be contacted.
A child will not be released from care when the person appears incapable of providing safe care (e.g. intoxication, drug use). Staff will suggest that the parent call a friend or taxi for alternate transportation. If an authorized person arrives to pick up a child and the person appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, staff needs to determine if the person will be driving the child home. If they answer yes then:
- Inform the person that it is in the child’s & their own best interest to make other transportation arrangements.
- Offer suggestions for alternate methods to reach home. Suggestions could include calling another family member or friend, calling a taxi, public transportation, etc.
- If the person insists on taking the child, staff will call the police as the child is at risk. If possible, staff will get the license plate number & call the police to report the situation.
Children must be picked up by 6:00 pm or parents will be charged a late penalty of $1 per minute after getting three late warnings (noted on a Late Pick-up Notice you have initialled). Note that for any child not picked up by closing time, the following procedure will occur:
- First, every effort will be made to reach the parents & the emergency contacts.
- If no contact is made by 6:30 pm, staff will call the Ministry for Children and Family Development- Emergency Services, who will arrange for the child to be picked-up.
-includes not letting go of the rope and looking at one’s left then right before crossing the street.
-The children are not to be discussed with anyone along the route.
-No pictures can be taken of the children.
-A bag containing a First aid kit & children’s emergency consent forms is brought along. The staff should also bring a cellphone.
Accidents and Injuries
- Staff must take a prevention approach to meet the basic element of providing a safe environment for the children.
- Staff are responsible for preventing injuries by implementing practices that will minimize the risk of an accident occurring on off and site.
Abuse and Neglect
When a Child Discloses Abuse or Neglect
Children who may have been abused or neglected are particularly vulnerable. It is critical that, in responding to their needs, staff take every caution to avoid upsetting or traumatizing them any further. If the child is in immediate danger, staff should call police first. When talking to the child, be sensitive to his or her needs and follow the general guidelines below. Our primary role is to support the child, gather basic information and report it to a child welfare worker as quickly as possible.
Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect
Duty to Report
The Child, Family and Community Service Act requires that anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected, and that the parent is unwilling or unable to protect the child, must report the suspected abuse or neglect to a child welfare worker.
Reporting an Allegation of Abuse or Neglect
- Treat the allegation seriously and confidentially.
- Report to the licensing officer and complete a Reportable Incident Form if the suspected abuse is within the facility.
- Contact other local authorities (Ministry of Children and Family Development) if the suspected abuse is out of the facility.
Communication with Families
Plans are posted next to the fire extinguisher. In the event of an emergency/earthquake where staff take children to the alternate meeting place, a notice will be posted on the front door to inform parents where to locate their child. The families are also informed about our out-of-area emergency contact number: 647-267-4451 on the Information/ Registration package, which is given when they enroll their child. It is also posted on the centre website and noted on the back of our business card, in which we ask parents to carry in their wallets. Also, emergency procedures are included in newsletters periodically.
Earthquake drill will be practiced once a year and the date and time of drill will be recorded on the earthquake drill form. In the event of an earthquake, staff will help and assist the children to safety following appropriate procedures for their program areas.
Fire drills will be practiced once a month by all children and staff. The date and time of the drill will be recorded on the fire drill form.
VI. Fees and Payment
Fees are due and payable on the 1st of each month. Parents will be asked for six (6) post-dated cheques for the period of January to June and another six (6) for the period of July to December. If starting in the middle of the period, the number of post-dated cheques should cover the number of remaining months.
It is necessary to pay the full fee in order to maintain the space despite of your child’s absence due to sickness or vacation and also during statutory holidays and centre closures (one week in August and one week in December). If part of the child care fee is paid through Ministry of Children and Family Development Child Care Subsidy, parents are responsible to apply for and keep current your child care subsidy and understand that you are responsible for the full child care fee if you fail to renew subsidy. Failure to pay the full child care fee can result in termination of your child care space.
A deposit of $300 is required to secure a space, which is refundable when a month’s notice of withdrawal from the centre is given.
An additional month’s fee will be charged if a month’s notice of withdrawal is not received. Upon withdrawal, if there are outstanding fees the Early Learning Childcare Centre may release your personal information to a third party collection agency for the purpose of recovering any outstanding debt. Deposit will not be refunded.
A refund is applicable only when a notice of withdrawal is given a month before the start date of enrolment.