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Enrollment Policy Agreement

Enrollment Policies

Registration Fee: $45 Non-Refundable registration fee per child at time of enrollment. $50 Annual Renewal Fee. If you terminate childcare services and are gone more than 90 days and wish to return to Mother Hen, you must pay a $25 re-application fee. Last week security deposit: Each parent when enrolling must pay an amount equal to one week’s childcare as a last week of care security deposit. This payment may be made in installments but must be paid in full within 30 days of enrolling unless your payments are subsidized. Part-time Monthly rate is for care under 126 hours per month. Full-time Monthly rate is for care over 126 hours per month. Daily rates are for drop-ins.

Good communication is of the utmost importance. When a new family is accepted into Mother Hen, we like to be sure that we can share openly about any concerns or questions that may arise. There are several forms the make up the enrollment packet. This enrollment packet must be completed and in our possession before we can assume the responsibility of caring for your child. This is to ensure that your child will get the very best care possible and satisfies the record keeping requirement of state licensing guidelines. All forms will be reviewed annually. Meals: We participate in the U.S.D.A. Food Program and all meals will be provided at no cost to parents. All parents will be required to fill out the USDA Eligibility Form regardless of eligibility.

Tuition / Payment Procedures / Late Fees

Your specific rates will be outlined in your Contract and Rate Agreement. Tuition is payable in advance and is due no later than 12 NOON on Friday each week for the following week’s daycare, unless another arrangement has been agreed upon. Payment may be made by check, money order or cash. A $5.00 per 15 minute late pickup fee will be assessed for all children picked up after assigned pick up time. This must be paid in cash at the time of pickup, or before the child’s next regularly scheduled day. This will be strictly enforced, and habitual tardiness may result in termination of services.

Hours of Operation / Arrival and Departures

We offer both full and part time care, 24 hours a day. Full time is considered from 30-50 hours per week. Part time is considered less than 29 hours per week. Add-ons or schedule changes may be accepted to our daily schedule only if there is a position open for that day, and they will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Children are to arrive clean and fed (unless arriving just before a meal time). Our normal procedure is to release the child only to his/her parents, or someone else the parents designate on the Authorized Pick up and Emergency Contact Form. It is required by state law that all parents sign their child in and out each day. For your convenience, a sign in/out sheet, pen, and a clock are located by the door, this gives us a written record of the child’s attendance, hours, and the person who brought/picked up the child each day.

Holidays / Vacations / Absences

Childcare fees are based on enrollment (a reserved space), not on attendance. To maintain a reserved space, fees must be paid during the absence of a child due to illness, holidays, vacation, or for any other reason. Mother Hen Daycare will be closed all federal holidays: New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1, Martin Luther King Jr.: Monday, January 21, President’s Day: Monday, February 18, Memorial Day: Monday, May 27, Independence Day: Thursday, July 4, Labor Day: Monday, September 2, Columbus Day: Monday, October 14, Veterans Day: Monday, November 11, Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 28, and Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25.

Clothing / Attire / Personal Belongings

Children should arrive dressed for play. We like to have fun! Having fun involves outdoor play and lots of messy activities, so make sure that your child is dressed appropriately. Please make sure to include hats, mittens, boots and coats for cold weather. We prefer that children do not bring toys from home unless it is something that can be shared with the entire group (i.e. books, videos, etc.). Exceptions to this policy will be that a child may bring a favorite sleepy toy for naptime only, and toys may be brought for show and tell activities. We are not responsible for any loss or breakage of personal items. All personal items must be clearly marked with the child’s name. Parents must supply the following items to be kept in their cubby: Diapers, wipes, pull-ups, powders/ointments, binkie (preferably on a binkie string), bottles, bibs, saline drops/gel and nasal syringe, blanket for rest time, and a complete change of clothes (replace when soiled). All personal belongings should be marked with your child’s name. Eating utensils, cups and dishes will be supplied. If any of these items are brought, they must be marked with your child’s name, to avoid mix-ups with other children.

Schedule

Infants and toddlers will not necessarily follow the same schedule as the preschoolers. Infants are always fed on demand. Breast feeding infants need to have an adequate supply stocked and properly labeled. Toddlers usually eat meals and snacks on a set meal schedule. Preschoolers enjoy a structured schedule that allows for flexibility. A schedule helps the day to flow more smoothly and allows the children to anticipate upcoming events. We will adhere to our written schedule to the best of our ability. There will be times when we have to make adjustments to the schedule. We appreciate families considering our schedule when picking up or dropping off children.

Cleanliness / Hygiene

We do our best to maintain strict cleanliness and hygiene standards. Children’s hands are washed before and after meals and after toileting. We use paper towels for drying hands, so children do not have to use the same towel. If parents provide a toothbrush and toothpaste, teeth will be brushed as well. All employees are required to wash their hands frequently. Infants sleep in separate cribs or pack and plays, with clean sheets used only by them. Beginning at toddler age, washable nap mats are used. Each child has a separate cot; with a sheet and a blanket that are washed weekly (unless soiled, then they are washed as often as necessary) and mats are wiped with disinfectant weekly.

Toilet Training / Nap / Quiet Time

When you feel your child is ready for toilet teaching, we ask that you begin this teaching at home for 2 weeks BEFORE we begin. We will follow through and encourage your child while in our care. Parents need to supply training pants with plastic pants or pull-ups, plus a couple of extra changes of clothing each day (don’t forget the socks!). During toilet training, we ask that the child be dressed in “user friendly” clothing, as much as possible. The best items are shorts and pants with elastic waists, or dresses. There will be a designated nap/rest time each day. All children must nap, rest, read or play quietly during this period. Rest time gives children a much-needed break during the day. Infants nap at varying times and their schedules will be accommodated. Somewhere between 12 and 18 months, children usually drop down to one nap per day. At this time, we will attempt to put them on the scheduled nap/rest period.

Activities / Curriculum

Our main objective is to have fun, improve social skills, and encourage creative expression. We will utilize a variety of activities to accomplish this goal. Free play, computer programs, reading, arts and crafts, music/singing, dancing, dramatic play/pretend, puzzles, and educational TV/videos are just some of the activities we will be doing. Music helps to develop young brains and will play a strong role in day-to-day activities. We may have special music activities and may also play music during other activities, for example, during arts and crafts or meal times. Some of the music we will be using may include, classical, children’s songs (by a variety of artists), foreign language tapes and others. Television will be used as a tool to help children learn, unwind and relax. We usually watch no more than one hour of television per day, and some days none. Children of all ages will be taught age appropriate curriculum daily. Our educational program is one of the most highly advanced learning programs in the State of California.

Daycare Rules

There are certain center rules that all children will be taught and expected to follow. This is for the safety and well being of everyone. There will be no running permitted inside. Hitting, pushing, biting, grabbing, kicking, spitting, or pinching other children/infants/adults will NOT be allowed. No standing or climbing on chairs or tables. There will be no use of obscene, derogatory or disrespectful language. Children may not walk around the center with food, cups or bottles. Respectful treatment of other people and all property, toys, and furniture is expected. Willful destruction of property will be charged to the parent at the cost to replace the item. Please support us in the enforcement of these rules, in order to create a better environment for all (see Departure and Arrival). No smoking is permitted on the premises as per state law; this included parents and staff.

Reporting Requirements

As a licensed daycare we are mandated reporters to Child Protective Services if we feel a child is being abused or neglected. Always be sure to let your director know when you drop your child off if he/she has any unexplained cuts or bruises. All children that come to daycare with injuries have them logged into the child’s file. We are required by state law to do one fire drill per month at each location. We vary the time of day to help the staff and children prepare to evacuate the building quickly and safely. We will not do fire drills when the temperature is below 20 degrees or above 85 degrees. Evacuation cribs with wheels are used to transport infants and non-walking toddlers to the emergency meeting area.

Indoor / Outdoor Play

Indoor play: We provide a variety of age-appropriate toys for indoor play. Toys may be rotated or placed temporarily out of use so that the children do not become bored. Younger children have less-developed organizational skills and can get easily frustrated or upset when there are too many toys to choose from. It is also more difficult for them to help with clean up when there are toys everywhere, because it is so overwhelming to them. For this reason, during free play times, each child may select one or two things at a time to play with. They will be shown how to put those things away before selecting something else.

Outdoor play: We will be playing outdoors every day that weather permits. Please make sure that your child is appropriately dressed (see Clothing/Attire section) for outdoor play always. Our activities will include walks, playground, water play (sprinkler in summer), and others. We are mandated by state law to take the children outside. Parents who feel that their child is not well enough to participate in outdoor activities must keep them out of daycare until they are able to participate in all activities.

Discipline

We maintain a positive discipline policy, which focuses on prevention, redirection, love, consistency and firmness. We stress two main patterns of behavior: respect for other people and respect for property. The children are explained the rules of the center frequently, so they are all familiar with the guidelines. Please keep in mind that there WILL be disagreements between children. Young children have a hard time expressing their feelings. Sometimes they hit, throw toys, bite, etc. We will try to prevent problems, redirect when appropriate, discuss inappropriate behavior, encourage making amends when offense involves another person, and sometimes withdraw privileges based on the principle of “natural consequences”. An example might be where a child is misusing a toy then he/she will not be allowed to play with the toy for a period. The use of time outs will be rare except when a brief cooling off period is needed. Sometimes when children are fighting or throwing toys, we will put the toy in a short time out, and then bring it back into circulation a little later. This seems to work better than giving the child a time out.

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will there be any spanking, physical abuse, verbal abuse, name calling, or isolation used. Neither food nor sleep will ever be withheld from children as a means of punishment. If a discipline problem arises that does not respond to the above-mentioned techniques, we will hold a conference with the parents. Together, we will try to find a solution. You may be called to remove your child if his/her behavior prevents us from being able to properly care for the other children. If the problem continues, other arrangements for the care of the child will have to be made, for the safety and wellbeing of all.

Illness

Mother Hen Daycare is a “well-child care facility”. At no time do we provide sick childcare. The following illness policies will be strictly enforced, for the health, wellbeing and safety of all concerned.

Sick Child Policy: Under no circumstances may a parent bring a sick child to daycare, if the child shows any signs of illness, or is unable to participate in the normal routine and regular day care program. Sick children will expose all children and staff members who they meet. These people can in turn expose the other children. Sick children want care from their parents in the comfort of their own homes. If other children become ill due to exposure to your sick child, either because he/she was returned to day care before full recovery or because he/she was not picked up promptly upon notice of becoming ill, other parents will be unnecessarily inconvenienced. This is disruptive to other children and their families, your cooperation on this issue is extremely important.

Every effort is taken to reduce the spread of illness by encouraging hand washing and other sanitary practices. Children will be visually screened when they arrive in the morning. In the event a child becomes ill and needs to be picked up, the parent(s) will be called and are expected to come pick the child up within one hour (60 minutes). If the parent(s) cannot be reached, or have not arrived within an hour, the emergency contact person will be called and asked to come pick the child up. For the benefit of our staff and other children in our care, a sick child will not be permitted to return to care for 24 hours after condition has returned to normal. The child may return 24 – 48 hours (depending upon the illness) after they have received the first dose of an antibiotic. If a child receives an antibiotic for an ear infection, he/she may return to daycare immediately if he/she has been free of other symptoms mentioned for at least 24 hours. If you aren’t sure about whether to bring your child to care, please call your onsite director to discuss it. Allergy related symptoms, and non-communicable illnesses do not require exclusion if you have a note from your doctor.  

Symptoms requiring removal of child from daycare:

Fever: Fever is defined as having a temperature of 100°F or higher taken under the arm, 101°F taken orally, or 102°F taken rectally. For children 4 months or younger, the lower rectal temperature of 101°F is considered a fever threshold; (a child needs to be fever free for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to daycare, that means the child is fever free without the aid of Tylenol®, or any other fever reducing substance.) Fever AND sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, irritability, or confusion. Diarrhea: runny, watery, bloody stools, or 2 or more loose stools within last 4 hours. Vomiting: 2 or more times in a 24-hour period. Note: please do not bring your child if they have vomited in the night. Breathing trouble, sore throat, swollen glands, loss of voice, hacking or continuous coughing. Runny nose (other than clear), draining eyes or ears. Frequent scratching of body or scalp, lice, rash, or any other spots that resemble childhood diseases, including ringworm. Child is irritable, continuously crying, or requires more attention than we can provide without hurting the health, safety or well-being of the other children in our care. Just a note: Many times, our child care may get blamed for the illness of a child, meaning that we have “allowed” sick children to come here. Parents may not stop to think that when sick children are brought to our center, our entire staff is also at risk of exposure.

Medications/ Medical Emergencies

We do not administer medication, at all. Inhalers or other lifesaving will be considered as an exception with documentation from doctor. Minor bumps and scratches are inevitable, but we make every effort to keep the children safe through supervision and childproofing. Minor injuries receive appropriate first aid, and if an emergency injury or illness occurs, you will be contacted as soon as possible. If necessary, your child will be taken to the nearest hospital where you will be asked to meet us. If you are not going to be at your usual place of employment, or at home, please make sure that we have a number where you can be reached. Parents are responsible for all costs involved in emergency medical treatment, including emergency transportation, if required. The owners of Mother Hen Daycare, will not be held liable for any sickness/injury of either parent/guardian or child while on these premises.

Termination Policies

We reserve the right to terminate a child for the following reasons (but not limited to): Failure to pay, Routinely late picking up your child, Failure to complete the required forms, Lack of parental cooperation, Failure of child to adjust to the center after a reasonable amount of time, Physical or verbal abuse of any person or property, Our inability to meet the child’s needs, Lack of compliance with handbook regulations, and Serious illness of child. We appreciate as much notice as possible when terminating and will give the same courtesy in return. Parents are required to give two weeks written notice when they decide to terminate child care. The two weeks will be paid in full, regardless of whether the child is in attendance.  We will give two weeks’ notice of termination for which full tuition is due, whether the child is in attendance. The provider reserves the right to give written notice of immediate termination where there are extreme circumstances that affect the well-being of the provider or other children in attendance. Anyone who terminates daycare and has a balance that is outstanding will need to have the account settled within 30 days. All accounts not settled within 30 days will be turned over to a collections agency regardless of amount owed. All accounts turned over to collections will have a $20 per week late fee plus 35% collections fee added to amount due.