My Daycare Philosophy
From my experiences as a mother and childcare provider, I have observed how many young children blossom when placed in a comfortable, positive & supportive environment. I strive to offer children a place where they are familiar with the people involved in their lives and they have stability in their daily routines. A place where they feel safe to explore encouraged to play and be themselves without judgment or limitations. A place where they feel involved and have healthy choices offered. My goal is to provide an environment that understands, respects, responds to and nurtures each child’s uniqueness, an environment that focuses on building a child’s sense of self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.
Children are active learners, capable, curious and interested in life and the world around them. My program is based on play and developed through careful observation, conversation and reflection.
It has long been known that there is a strong link between play and learning. Children are full of natural curiosity and they explore this curiosity through play. When kids are playing, it's the perfect time to learn. Play teaches kids how to problem solve, how to make friends, how to express themselves, how to enjoy the world around them, and how to recognize letters and numbers. All of these skills form the foundation of a love of learning.
Throughout the day I attempt to structure play to create learning moments. While children play, they’ll chat with their friends, and figure out how to stop their block tower from falling. They'll draw pictures and role play. And they'll tell stories, and sit quietly to listen to others. All of these activities help kids develop, learn, and eventually acquire the skills that they will need to prepare for school and life beyond.
Drop off & Pick up Policy
I ask all parents to drop their children off by no later than 9am, this is so we can start our daily activities all together or head out on our outings.
I will release day care children only to their parents or guardian, or to person(s) authorized by their parent(s)/guardian in writing on the Permission to pick-up from Katherine's Home Daycare form. I must have a list of these authorized persons completed during enrolment & these “persons” must show ID to me when picking up your child for the first time. Also during enrolment the parent must come up with a “secret” word, which only I & the parent know & will be used for pick-ups by new people not on the list for emergency reason.
I ask that no child is to be dropped off or picked up during nap-time because it is very disruptive for the children who use this time to take their naps. If you have to make an appointment for your child please do so before 1pm or after 3 pm.
My time is very valuable to myself & my family, as is yours to you & I expect that you follow our schedule, but I understand traffic happens, cars break down & accidents occur so I have a 15 minute grace period for late pick-ups ONLY WITH A PHONE CALL. After your 15 minutes are up, I will charge $1 for every 1 minute you are late. With no phone call you will be charged $20 for your tardiness & must pay on your next scheduled payment day. 3 strikes you're out policy, therefore if you do not call me to inform me that you are going to be late & this becomes a habit, 3 times & your contract is subject to termination.
See separate illness policy form for my policies on if your child becomes sick.
As for myself, in the rare case that I may become sick, meaning I have something that I might pass on to the children or if I am unable to do my job to my full extent, then my husband Jason is second in command . If he is unable to take over for the day(s) that I am sick then parents are responsible to use their back-up. Parents MUST have someone set up as back-up care for the rare incidents of emergency daycare closures. I will notify families as soon as possible of any daycare closures due to sickness. I have 5 paid personal sick days per calendar year.
Our nap time is daily from 1-3pm. Nap-time is not negotiable. From my research, children between the ages of 1-4 require 11-13 hours of sleep per day to allow their bodies and minds to function to their fullest potential.
"Naps are critical to growing children, research suggests that physical and mental development takes place when kids sleep-both at night and during the day," says Daniel Lewin, Ph.D., director of paediatric behavioural sleep medicine at Children's National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.
What's more, studies find that kids who nap have longer attention spans and are less fussy than those who don't. And perhaps the best reason of all: When kids rest during the day, they tend to sleep longer and more peacefully at night
If your child has outgrown their naps then they have outgrown my daycare.
I ask that no child is to be dropped off or picked up during this time because it is very disruptive for the children who use this time to take their naps. If you have to make an appointment for your child please do so before 1pm or after 3 pm. I understand that some children under 21 months might still require an AM nap; therefore the AM nap depends on your family's drop-off time.
Injuries & other Emergencies
Emergency phone numbers, as well as each child's parent contact number are located near each phone. If a medical emergency arises, I will try to contact a parent first, unless doing so endangers the child's life. In that case I will take necessary steps, putting the child first (calling hospital, ambulance, doctor, poison control, etc.). I will then contact the parent to inform them of what hospital your child is being taken to. If a parent is unable to be reached, I will notify the emergency contact person & keep trying the parent until they are reached.
In the event of a fire, we would evacuate the house immediately (3 exits are available & 2 large scale windows) and gather outside.
Minor cuts and abrasions suffered while at the daycare will receive proper care. I am CPR/First Aid certified.
A daycare space will not be held for a child who is gone on vacation when the daycare is in session, unless a prepayment is made to hold that spot. You must pay for your contracted hours. Single days cannot be used as vacation days.
As for myself, I will take 2 weeks off within the summer months and the days between Christmas Eve to New Years Day with pay. I will give parents a minimum of 2 weeks notice of my vacation time. I may take the 2 weeks at once or split them up, but you will be well informed of when I decide to do so.
I own an American Staffordshire terrier. He is kid friendly & all up to date with his shots & tags, as well as neutered/micro chipped. He will never be around the children; he will never be downstairs within the daycare area or out in the backyard during daycare hours. He prefers to be upstairs in our apartment during these hours where he enjoys sleeping the days away. The daycare & our apartment are treated as & are two separate apartments; I like to keep my work & my home separate for my own privacy & sanity. I have never had any issues concerning our family's pets & my daycare children. *NEW* we now have a beautiful adult bearded dragon.
Please no toys, gum, sweets, or food shall be brought into the daycare as this causes too many issues amongst the children. Your child may bring a blanket, stuffed animal or soother to daycare that he/she sleeps with, with the understanding that it will be put up until nap time.
Parents are expected to provide everything that would be needed for an infant. Examples bottles, disposable diapers, formula, wipe, spit towels, oral gel etc.
Same goes for children who are still not potty trained, please be aware that parents are responsible to supply, diapers or pull-ups, wipes, creams, baby powder etc...
A few changes of clothes are required to be left at the daycare for each child. I ask parents to dress their child in comfortable "play clothes" for each day of daycare. We do a lot of fun but messy activities and I do not want to feel guilty by ruining special outfits. If I require any seasonal clothing I will let all parents know.
Please label all your child’s belongings.
Termination of Care
If for any reason you decide to stop bringing your child to my program, then I require a two week written notice before you can use your deposit week. Payment is due for the three week notice period whether or not the child is brought to daycare. Any outstanding fees must be paid on or before the child's last day.
If it becomes necessary for me to resort to legal action to collect fees, the parent(s) will be responsible for legal fees incurred on my part.
If I can no longer watch your child for one reason or another, I will give you three weeks’ notice. There might be a time when immediate termination could be warranted with no notice. We both understand it is not easy to find daycare therefore it is important for policies to be understood and abided by.
Examples of why I would terminate your child's care with or without notice include (but may not be limited to):
**Failure to complete required forms.
**Lack of parental cooperation/ lack to follow policies & contract.
**Failure of child to adjust to the daycare after a reasonable amount of time.
**My inability to meet the child's needs without additional staff
**Lack of payment
**Lack of respect for the provider or other children, by the parent or child
** Violence upon any person or child, continuous biting, hitting or physical/verbal aggression by child or parent(s). All monies will be forfeited.
My philosophy about discipline is that it is for teaching not punishment!
I believe that children need guidance, understanding, and a few easy-to-follow rules in order to learn appropriate behaviour. It is my policy to help children learn appropriate behaviour by establishing clear limits, explaining those limits in a positive way when it is necessary for a child to understand why the limit is there, & by using time-outs method to calm a child when necessary. I believe one minute per the child's age is a sufficient time-out period.
I have 3 simple rules:
(1) YOU MAY NOT HURT YOURSELF
(2) YOU MAKE NOT HURT OTHERS (PHYSICALLY OR EMOTIONALLY)
(3) YOU MAY NOT HURT THINGS, FURNITURE, TOYS ETC
Hopefully these types of behaviours are ones you want your child to adopt too, so they will be reinforced at home as well.
Children who cannot be managed using these measures & are constantly presenting discipline problems for the caregiver will be required to withdraw from my care.
Children are never punished for lapses in toilet training or for accidents (spilled milk, for example). Punishment that is humiliating or frightening to a child, such as hitting, spanking, shaking, or verbal abuse, withholding or forcing food or punishment for lapses in toilet training and other forms of physical punishment are prohibited. These forms of punishment will never be used, even at the request of the parent.
Please also understand that I am a mandated abuse reporter and if I suspect there is an abusive situation I am required by law to report it. I document all things that are out of the ordinary, either in daycare or out for the health and safety of all the children in my care.
I allow limited TV viewing. On occasion I allow the children to watch a program usually in the morning before everyone is dropped-off or just before pick-ups. Children are never required to sit & watch TV, & TV is not offered in place of learning activities.
All children in my program must wear sunscreen in the summer on outings or while in the backyard. I ask that you apply sunscreen to your child prior to drop- off and I will re-apply when needed throughout the day.
Our scheduled diaper changes are as follows, after am snack, before nap and after nap and as needed.
The initiation of toilet training should be based on a child's developmental level rather than on their age. Physical, communicational, cognitive, motor, as well as, social/emotional readiness signs need to be present before parents should begin potty training. I will be happy to share the checklist with parents that feel their child might be ready.
When we’ve confirm that your child is potty ready I will gladly continue your potty training routine at daycare. I suggest parents begin the initial potty training at home over a long weekend or during vacation time. Pull-ups are required during this transitional time. Your child is ready for big girl/boy underwear when they can stay dry for at least a two week period.
Safety is my main consideration for the families in my program. Therefore, the daycare will close when the Hamilton-Wentworth District Catholic School board declares a ‘snow day”. These announcements are usually made on the local radio/television stations. There is no refund for days in which the daycare closed due to inclement weather.
I feel that religious teachings should be left up to the parents. That does not mean that God is never mentioned in my daycare. If you have any restrictions or concerns, please feel free to address them to me.
We also usually have parties at Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. If you do not wish to have your child participate in these you are welcome to keep them home.
Changes to Policies
Changes may be made to these policies as needed with a 2 week notice in writing to parents. The policies, contracts, consents, and forms will be reviewed and updated, if needed. Please give written notice of any changes that may occur, especially of name or address, or of updated immunizations, new pick-up or drop off times & days of attendance.
Before enrolling your child in Katherine's Home Daycare there are several things you must do:
Read through and become familiar with the Policies. You will be required to sign a form that indicates you have read, understand, and agree to ALL the Policies as outlined.
*An acquaintance visit must be made. I will not care for children unless they have had at least one visit to my Home Daycare to become familiar with me and the service provided.
*All appropriate forms must be filled out, signed, and on file PRIOR to admission.
*The deposit and 1st weeks fees must be made prior to your child's first day in care.
All necessary forms/consents will be given to you in your admission package.
Getting Acquainted Form
Illness Policy Acknowledgement
Policies & Procedures Acknowledgement
Permission to Pick-up/Drop-off
Written 2007, Updated 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015