Policies and Procedures

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Apples and Bananas

Apples and Bananas Family Child Care
Policies and Procedures

E-Mail: applesdaycare@gmail.com

Website: http://applesanbananas.blogspot.com/

Thank you for considering Apples and Bananas as your child care provider. Apples and Bananas was established in 2006 in order to provide quality childcare for my own child. I believe the care and guidance of young children is very important and am excited about the opportunity to work with your family.

About me: I completed my Early Childhood Education in 1992 at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, BC. Following the completion of my ECE, I completed a Bachelor of Arts at Simon Fraser University. I have also completed my School Age Childcare Training as well as Leadership, Administration and Management in Childcare Settings both through Vancouver Community College. I have a valid first aid and CPR certificate and have a cleared criminal record check through the Criminal Records Review Branch of the provincial government. In addition, I have taken and continue to take various workshops and courses related directly to children, families and childcare.

My goal: To provide your children with a nurturing, stimulating and challenging environment which focuses on each child’s needs and development and the needs of the group as a whole. Taking into account the variety in children, the program will be designed specifically with the developmental needs of each child in mind.

The development of life skills and the establishment respectful social relationships will be fostered through the modeling of mutual respect, positive social values and the acceptance of differences.

I will strive to make your childcare experience a positive one and will provide your children with the best care possible. That said, the policies contained within are intended to clarify my philosophy and principles and clarify the conditions under which I agree to provide care. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have at any time. Welcome to Apples and Bananas!

The following policies and procedures will be adhered to at all times. In the event a circumstance arises for which a policy or procedure may need to be waived this will be done on a case by case basis and at the sole discretion of the provider. In these cases, please be aware that a waived policy applies only to the instance at hand and does not set a precedent that the policy or procedure will be waived in the future.

The policies listed below are set forth by the Childcare provider and become effective upon acceptance into the program and the signing of the Apples and Bananas childcare contract by both the provider and the enrolling parent. Failure to comply with these policies may result in immediate termination and loss of your deposit and/or fees.

About Our Philosophy
Apples and Bananas Childcare adheres to a play based philosophy. It is felt that children learn through a mixture of guided and undirected creative play, positive role modeling and creative exploration. Through play, children will have the opportunity to learn about basic concepts, science, music and movement.

Apples and Bananas Childcare recognizes and respects the personal and cultural uniqueness of each child. Children deserve a safe, nurturing and supportive environment in which to explore their full potential emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually.

Children are encouraged to become self disciplined by balancing their needs with the needs of others. Positive self-esteem is fostered by the child’s awareness of the contributions they can make to their family and community.

Parents and guardians have the primary responsibility for the care and education of their children. They are entitled to open communication and encouraged to be fully involved in the care of their children.

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm
Hours are negotiable and subject to change. Advance notice will be given in the event of vacation and whenever possible in the event of illness.

During the hours your child is in care, please feel free to enter after knocking if the door is unlocked. For the children’s safety the door is usually locked except during normal drop-off and pick-up times. If you need to drop off earlier than scheduled or pick up later than scheduled, you must discuss this with me AT LEAST 24 hours in advance. Additional fees may apply.

Please note that parents/guardians are required to pay full fees for any period of time in which their child is away, including vacation, sickness or other absences.

Deposit totaling 1/2 month’s fee, per child, is due at time of enrollment. This deposit will be credited to your last month care when proper termination notice is given. If the appropriate notice is not given when withdrawing your child from care, this deposit will be forfeited.

Enrollment Fee
There is a one-time enrollment fee of $100.00. This is used towards special events, toy replacement, field trip subsidization and other expenses that occur in order to maintain high quality childcare. This is non-refundable and due at the time of enrollment.

Monthly Rates
We provide two nutritious snacks for children registered in all-day full-time care. Parents are required to provide lunches and any foods required due to special or allergy related diets. Families are required to inform me of any allergies. Under certain circumstances, we may provide lunch. Extra charges may apply.

Please refer to our fee schedule for current rates.

Extra Charges
Field Trips, special activities, or programs may result in a small fee, payable at the time of activity. Families will be provided with advance notice of any extra charges. Please note that children will not be excluded from any activity due to financial hardship.

Late Pick-Up Fee
Late fees are $1/min with a minimum charge of $5. Once a parent is 30 minutes late all emergency contacts will be called, if no contact is available, I am required to notify Emergency Services of the Ministry for Children and Families. Parents/guardians are required to pay a late pick up fee immediately upon their arrival. Chronic late pick-ups are subject to termination.

Payment and Late Fees
Fees for children registered in full-time and part-time care are due in advance due on or before the 1st of each month. Fees for drop-in care are due prior to dropping off your child.

A late fee of $5.00/day will be assessed for fees not received by 5:00 pm on the first day of the month or in the case of families using drop-in care, for each day following the day care was provided. If payment is not received within 2 days after scheduled pay date, your child will be subject to termination from the program until the outstanding amount and late fees are paid in full.

Payment may be made by cash, money order, email money transfer or by check. The parent agrees to pay a $25.00 service fee for returned checks as well as any fees incurred due to the returned check. For returned checks, after the second incident cash payments only will be accepted. See Vacations and Holidays for more information.

Unpaid Day Care Fees
We depend on parent fees to balance our budget. When fees are unpaid we are unable to meet our expenses. Non-payment of fees will result in the termination of services and the loss of your deposit.

Fee Responsibility of Enrolling Parent
In the case where separated parents are both paying day care fees, the enrolling parent will be responsible to make sure that fees are being paid in a timely manner. All fee payment notices will be given to the enrolling parent.

The provincial subsidy regulations have recently changed making many families who were previously not eligible for financial assistance now eligible. For information about your eligibility, please contact the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance in one of the following manners:

• Visit http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/subsidy_promo.htm
• Call enquiry BC at 604 660-2421
• Call the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance at 1-866-866-0800
• Visit the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance at http://www.mhr.gov.bc.ca/contacts/index.htm

Current subsidy amounts for License-Not-Required Family childcare are as follows:

• 0-18 Months: $438.00 per month
• 18-36 Months: $404.00 per month
• Over 36 Months: $354.00 per month
Families who receive subsidy are responsible for:
• Paying the difference between the day care fees and the subsidy rate;
• Keeping track of when their subsidy expires;
• Renewing their subsidy when it expires.
Families are responsible for the full day care fees. If subsidy payments are not paid for any reason, families will be required to pay the full amount.

Please call by 8:00 am if your child will be late or not attending that day. If we have not received word of absence, and this happens more than once, your child(ren) will be subject to withdrawal from the program.

The operating expenses at Apples and Bananas are the same whether you bring your child or not. Therefore, no deductions in fees will be made for absences.

Toilet Training
Toilet-training is a natural step in a child's development. Children generally indicate their readiness for toilet-training in a variety of ways. Our approach is to follow the child and family's lead. Toilet- training usually begins at home and is supported at the centre.

Clothing and Diapers
If a child is in diapers, families must make sure that there is an adequate supply of diapers and wipes every day as well as the diaper cream ordinarily used, clearly labeled with the child's name.

Families are asked to send a complete change of clothing for all children. Clothing and personal items should be clearly labeled with the child's name. Families should ensure that their child wears appropriate clothes for the weather conditions each day.

Families should provide slippers or runners, clearly labeled with the child's name that can be left at the centre.

Wet or soiled clothing will be bagged and put into the child's cubby for families to take home and launder.

Food and Nutrition

Apples and Bananas provides nutritious morning and afternoon snacks. They include but are not limited to fresh fruit and vegetables, crackers, whole grain breads, muffins and cheese. Parents are required to notify us of any food allergies or restrictions their child may have.

Families provide lunches for their children. The Centre will provide milk or water at meals.
Some lunch ideas include: finger foods, sandwiches, soup, fruit and vegetables, whole grain breads, muffins, cheese, meat, yogurt. We ask families not to send sweets, "junk food" or food that might cause your child to choke.

We ask families to send lunch in a lunch bag or box clearly labeled with their child’s name. A refrigerator and microwave are available. Please advise us if you require your child’s lunch to be placed in the refrigerator and/or if something in your child’s lunch requires re-heating. Families are asked to send bottles and sipping cups if their child uses them. All lunch boxes, thermoses, containers, juice cups and bottles must be clearly labeled with the child's name.

A Receipt will be provided when requested. Receipts will be provided to you in January of each year so that you may claim your childcare credit on your taxes.

Communication is very important. Questions, feedback, or discussions of any kind that affect a positive outcome for the child are encouraged. Sensitive issues will be discussed outside of regular hours either by phone or a scheduled conference.

You may call the Centre between 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. If you call during the day, please be aware that I may be busy with the children and may not be able to answer the phone. Please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

I will provide a monthly newsletter that will explain some of the activities we are doing, events that will be happening, days we will be closed, and any other pertinent, fun or helpful information that may be of interest to you. You are always welcome to contribute to our newsletter.

Some children will receive a journal. This is to be used as a 2-way communication.

Infant journals (3m-11m) will have information regarding the following: Bottle feedings, solid feedings, diaper changes, and nap times.

Toddler journals will have information regarding the following: (12m+) Meals eaten, how many diaper changes, naps taken and other important tidbits.

Pre-school children: once they are potty trained the journal will be replaced with verbal daily communication. Please visit http://applesanbananas.blogspot.com for other information and other special features of our program.

All discipline will be initially handled by redirection.

Policy on Guidance & Discipline
Our goal is to help the child develop a positive self-image and self-discipline while balancing group and individual needs.

Apples and Bananas will use a variety of positive guidance techniques that include:

1. Developing an environment that encourages cooperation
2. Modeling both positive behaviors and communication skills
3. Stating expectations in a positive way
4. Setting limits based on the child’s developmental level and the safety of self and others
5. Redirecting children to more positive activities
6. Offering appropriate choices when possible
7. Using positive reinforcement and encouragement
8. Using logical and natural consequences for inappropriate behavior
9. Use of “Time Out” within the play area will be used as the final level of discipline when children are unable to make appropriate choices

If the safety and security of other children is affected by continuing inappropriate behavior of a child, the parents will be invited to a meeting to initiate a plan of action that will address the child’s needs.

If a child has persistent behavioral problems, staff will use a variety of guidance strategies, depending on the individual needs of the child. These strategies may include a behavior management program. Families will be consulted if a child has persistent behavioral problems in the centre that require a consistent systematic approach. Extra support can be accessed for children with emotional and behavioral challenges if families and staff wish it.

Child Illness
Family and Staff Responsibilities
Every effort is made to ensure the health and safety of both children and adults in the centre. Families should inform the staff of any concerns about their child's allergies or health (see Exceptional Health Care Needs).

If a child becomes ill at the Centre or has an injury, the staff will contact the family to take the child home. If the child is seriously ill or injured, emergency procedures (see medical emergency, below) will be followed.

Because we use the outdoors every day, rain or shine, families must provide appropriate clothing for all weather conditions.

Exceptional Health Care Needs
If a child has exceptional health care needs we will require a health assessment from a physician or other health care professional. Then we will need to develop a Health Care Plan that outlines the health care that the child needs while at the day care, such as dietary restrictions, a medication schedule, health procedures, precautions, emergency warning signs and emergency procedures.

The Health Care Plan must be developed by a health care professional in collaboration with the family. Staff training related to the Plan must also be given by a health care professional. The Health Care Plan and staff training must be completed before the child can attend the day care. If there are any changes in the health of the child and the health care needed, both the Plan and staff training must be updated. The child may not be able to attend the day care until the updated Health Care Plan and staff training are completed.

If the child is medically fragile and his/her health care requires close monitoring and assessments or medical judgments to be made, then nursing support will need to be provided while the child is at day care.

As immunizations are one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of communicable diseases, we recommend that all families have their child’s immunizations brought up-to-date prior to starting at Apples and Bananas. Once enrolled, please provide updated immunization information as necessary.

While we are sensitive to the stress that illness may cause for families, we are not licensed to care for children when they are ill. A child needs to be well enough to participate in all the daily activities, both indoors and outdoors. We do not have the facilities for the care of sick children. For this reason families will require alternate care, someone who will care for their child in case of illness. You will need to keep your child at home, or make alternate arrangements, if your child:

1. Has a communicable disease
2. Has a contagious infection, including pink eye
3. Has a fever over 38 degrees Celsius
4. Is vomiting or has diarrhoea
5. Has a skin infection or an undiagnosed rash
6. Is not well enough to participate in all programs and activities including outdoor play

Please notify us immediately if your child has a communicable disease so that other families and the Community Health Department can be notified.

If your child becomes ill during the day, we will attempt to contact you. If you are unavailable, we will try to reach your emergency contact/s. We will provide a quiet, resting area and close supervision until you, or one of your emergency contacts, can pick up your child. If the situation becomes urgent, we will follow the emergency procedures outlined below.

If you are not sure your child is well enough to attend Child Care, call and discuss it with us. Masking your child’s symptoms with over-the-counter medications and bringing them to care anyway are grounds for immediate termination with loss of deposit and fees.

If your child is away ill, regular fees still apply.

Your child may attend care if they have a common cold (which means a slight cough, clear runny nose, sneezing); however we will call you if your child is exceptionally uncomfortable (crying, repeatedly asking for you). We reserve the right to determine when a child should be sent home.
At Apples and Bananas we are responsible for the health and well being of all the children in our care so we will closely follow licensing regulations when it comes to illness. I understand and respect your need to be at work, but your cooperation is extremely important on this issue. Please call by your normal drop off time if your child will not be attending that day. The less illness at Apples and Bananas, the less likely we are to have to close due to staff illness.

When a Child is Too Ill to Attend Childcare
Children in child care programs are grouped together at the ages when they are most susceptible to infections. To determine what is a significant illness in a child is difficult for both parents and staff. There are three important issues in determining when a child is too ill to attend a child care program:

1. The protection of other children from communicable disease.
2. The comfort and safety of the child who is ill.
3. The capacity of the program staff to look after an ill child.

With these issues in mind the following guidelines are given:
Any child too ill to participate in normal activities of the day care should be excluded.*

Children with upper respiratory infection but no fever need not be excluded for the protection of other children. Respiratory viruses are so common that it does not make sense to single out for exclusion those who exhibit minimal symptoms.*

Children on antibiotics who don’t have a fever and are otherwise well, need not be excluded.*

Children with suspected or known measles, mumps, rubella or chickenpox should be excluded until non-infectious. Children with generalized rash and fever are suspect of having measles and should be excluded pending diagnosis.*

In addition to the illnesses mentioned (4), there may be other less common communicable diseases which would necessitate exclusion for a period of time.

In the case of diagnosed communicable diseases, the child care should advise the Public Health Nurse at the local health unit.*

Children with a chronic symptom such as persistent cough or persistent fever warrant medical evaluation. Once appropriate medical evaluation is obtained, they need not be excluded from the child care program unless they fall under the terms of 1), 4), or 5) above.*

Whenever a child attending a child care program develops new symptoms of illness (whether mentioned above or not) or has worsening of symptoms, the parent should be notified to take the child home.*

Children with gastro-intestinal problems (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea) should be excluded from the program.*

Trumpp, C.E., Karasic R: Management of Communicable Disease in Day Care Centres. Pediatric Annals 12:3, Pages 219-229.

Medical Emergency
If your child is injured or becomes ill while at Apples and Bananas, we will quickly assess the situation to decide what action/attention is required. Outlined below are three procedures that may be followed:

If First Aid Treatment is Required, staff will:
1. Provide First Aid treatment
2. Acknowledge the child’s feelings
3. Provide close supervision to ensure that the child does not require further first aid or medical attention
4. Complete an Incident Report and process
5. Inform the family when they come to pick up the child

If medical attention is required, staff will attend to the needs of the child and then:
1. Contact the family/guardian, then the emergency contact(s) if the family/guardian is not available
2. Contact the child’s doctor if the family/contacts cannot be reached
3. If the child’s doctor is not available, proceeds as if it is an emergency medical situation
4. Access transportation to take the child to a medical facility as required
5. Access the child’s file for medical information and permission
6. Accompany the child or the family/guardian to the medical facility with medical information, or decide which staff member should go
7. Provide information to doctor and family/emergency contact
8. Support the child and the family/contact person
9. Complete the Incident Report and process

If emergency medical attention is required, staff will administer First Aid until ambulance attendants arrive. staff will:
1. Call and request an ambulance
2. Contact family and/or emergency contact(s) as above to meet staff at the emergency facility
3. Access medical information as above
4. Accompany the child to the emergency facility
5. Provide information to the doctor and family
6. Support the child and family
7. Complete Incident Report and process

If you would like us to administer prescription medication to your child, the Child Care Licensing Regulation requires that we have certain information and follow certain procedures. We require that the medication be provided in the original container and a Medication Consent form be completed with instructions on administering the medication. We will not administer medication that is not prescribed by a doctor (e.g. “over the counter” drugs or drugs such as Tylenol).

If you plan to give prescription medication to your child during the day, please ensure that it is given directly to a staff person so it can be placed out of the reach of children.

All minor injuries will be properly cleaned and treated as needed. Parents will be notified if the provider deems the situation serious. Apples and Bananas staff are CPR and First Aid certified. Please refer to Medical Emergencies for our policy/procedures for life threatening emergencies and/or medical emergencies.

Rest Time
There is a rest time every afternoon for all children. This gives them the opportunity to nap or relax and unwind after a stimulating morning.

The centre provides a sleeping area, sheet and blanket for rest time. If a child has a special blanket, pillow or nap toy, parents can send them to day care. Please ensure your child’s special things are clearly labeled.

Arrival and Departures
Children are to arrive clean and ready for the day. It is preferred that there are no pick-ups or drop-offs during the designated daily quiet time. In the event you must drop off your child during quiet time, he or she will be expected to remain quiet (they may play/read quietly) until quiet time is over, so that others will not be disrupted from their naps.

It is normal for some children to have difficulty separating from parents, or cry when dropping off. Please make your drop off brief, the longer you prolong the departure, the harder it gets. A smile, cheerful good-bye kiss, and a reassuring word that you will be back are all that is needed. Children are always quick to get involved in play or activities as soon as parents are gone.

Please be brief at pick up times, as well. This is a time of testing, when two different authority figures are present (the parent and the provider). All children will test to see if the rules still apply. Please be in control of your child during pick up times. Do not let your child leave the house until you are leaving. They can be in the street in an instant or any other number of things could happen.

Drop-off and pick-up times are not good times to discuss serious problems. It is not appropriate to be discussing a child in the presence of anyone but their parents. Topics that concern day-to-day events or light-hearted discussion are fine.

Late Pick Up
If parents are late more than three times, they will be asked to make other day care arrangements for their child. If a personal emergency occurs, parents should notify the centre before closing time so that we will be aware of the difficulty. In the event that a parent or authorized person fails to pick up a child by closing time, the following action will be taken unless suitable arrangements have previously been made:

• The staff on duty will attempt to contact the parent at home, school or place of employment, and if unsuccessful will attempt to contact the other parent, if applicable.
• If still unsuccessful, the staff will attempt to contact the person(s) named by the parent as alternate care.
• If the staff is unable to contact either parent or alternate, (s)he may contact the District Supervisor, Ministry of Children and Family Development to take custody of the child until the parent can be located.
• Children will not be released to any person who has not been identified as an authorizied pick-up person

Authorized Pick Up
Anyone picking up a child who is not a parent or guardian of the child must be authorized by the parent to do so. Parents will provide authorization in writing on the child’s registration form. Alternately, in an emergency, parents or guardians can advise staff in person or on the telephone if someone other than the parent or guardian will pick up the child, identifying a predetermined password that must be provided by the individual collecting the child. Photo ID must also be provided. If anyone comes to pick up a child who has not been authorized, we will not release that child.

Pick Up by an Allegedly Impaired Person
If the person picking up a child is, in the judgment of on duty staff, impaired (under the influence of drugs or alcohol) and unable to adequately care for the child, the staff person will not release the child to that person. Staff will offer to call a relative or friend to pick up the person and child.

Gradual Entry
As starting childcare is an important and often overwhelming event, we encourage the gradual entry of children and families into care. Our goal is to help children and families feel welcome and supported by ensuring:
• That separation between the child and family be gradual and positive;
• That the child and childcare staff develop a positive relationship before the child is left on his/her own;
• That the child and family are gradually introduced to, and become familiar with, the routines, activities and philosophy of the centre;
• That the child has a secure start to his/her childcare experience with the support of both family and childcare staff.
While we understand that gradual entry is not always convenient for families, it is a key component to a positive adjustment to childcare. Usually gradual entry begins in the mornings, but we can be flexible, scheduling gradual entry around families' schedules. Before the child attends the day care full-time we require a minimum of three visits of increasing length by the child and his or her family.

Each child will be accepted on a probationary basis for a two-week period, at which time the suitability of the centre may be reviewed.

Recommended Gradual Entry Steps:
1. Your child and a family member come for a tour and orientation.
2. Your child and a family member stay for two or three hours. The family member takes a short break away from the child, but remains close by.
3. Your child will remain for a typical day.

Consultation between the family and staff will determine a timetable. For children who require additional support, your support team will be involved in the gradual entry plan. Steps for a gradual entry plan will be developed based on the needs of the family, needs and availability of the staff, and the availability of space in the program.

Philosophy of Inclusion
We believe in the value of inclusion. We respect and are enriched by such diversity in our community as culture, language, religion, socio-economic status, and ability. Being an inclusive centre in which all children and families are welcome offers countless benefits for everyone.

We believe that children with extra support needs should be accepted and respected. They should be able to attend Early Childhood Educational settings with their peers. Extra support needs might include: language and other developmental delays, emotional, behavioural, physical challenges and exceptional health care needs.

Individual Planning
Children with extra support needs participate in every aspect of our program according to their ability. Programs may be individualized in consultation with parents and professionals such as Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and Supported Child Care Consultants in order to meet each child's specific needs for growth and development. A written Individual Plan will outline the child's strengths and needs, specific goals and timelines and the supports needed to implement those goals.

Assessing the Physical Environment
When a child has extra support needs, the family and staff must assess the environment in relation to the child's needs. Safety, access, equipment and storage needs must be considered to determine if the environment is suitable and/or if any modifications or adaptations can be made to accommodate the child.

Family - Staff Communication
We recognize families as their children's most valuable resource, and as such, we welcome families' input and involvement. We schedule two conferences per year for children with extra support needs and others as requested by the family or childcare staff. We also encourage ongoing communication concerning the child's development, progress and concerns both at home and at school. As well, we participate in team meetings with families and the professionals involved with each child.

Parent Vacations and Extended Leaves
Parents/guardians are required to pay full fees for any period of time in which their child is away, including vacation, sickness or other absences.

In cases of your potential absence due to maternity leave, summer, or extended leave from your job, Apples and Bananas will not hold positions unless full monthly fees have been paid. You may choose to re-enroll if an opening is available when you need to return to work.

Provider Vacations and Personal Days
Apples and Bananas will close for 2-weeks of Vacation per year (10 days). Advance notice of no less than one month will be given in regards to specific dates. Families will receive a minimum of one-month notice for any other planned closures. For families registered in full-time care, monthly fees will remain the same for the month closures occur, regardless of whether backup care is provided or not.

We will be closed annually from Christmas Eve until January 2nd.

In the event that the provider is required to take a personal/sick day, families will notified as soon as possible. For families registered in full-time care, monthly fees will remain the same in the event of closures due to personal and/or sick days, regardless of whether backup care is provided or not.

In addition to vacation time (as noted above) Apples and Bananas will be closed on the following days: New Year’s Day; Good Friday; Easter Monday; Victoria Day; Canada Day; BC Day; Labour Day; Thanksgiving Day; Remembrance Day; Christmas Day; and Boxing Day. For families registered in full-time care, monthly fees will remain the same despite any such closures.

Please refer the Holiday schedule/Newsletter for specific dates we will be closed. Fee discounts/reimbursements will not be made for these days - regular monthly fees still apply. When a Holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, Apples and Bananas will close on the following Monday. These days will be noted on the schedule.

During the week we will visit a local parks or community drop in programs. We may also visit a children's festival, go on a science expedition or have lunch at a restaurant. Typically, the cost for these trips will be included in your Monthly Fee (excluding Special Events).

While on these Out-trips we may travel by foot, public transportation or by privately owned, insured vehicle. Any transportation done by vehicle will be done in accordance with all local laws and regulations regarding both the manner in which the vehicle is driven and the provision and installation of the appropriate number and types of car seats.

Notice of out-trips that require special gear or other special attention will be posted with a weeks notice.

As noted above, all children may at some time be transported by privately owned, insured vehicle, on public transportation or by stroller/walking. Depending on current need, you may be requested to bring a provincially certified age-appropriate car seat. Children will not be seated in the front seat of a vehicle and will not be left unattended at any time.

Special Events
From time to time we may plan a Special Event for the children. Some of these events will be done in co-operation with other caregivers in our neighborhood. An example of such a trip would be an outing done by bus to see a special age-appropriate theatrical production or to visit a pumpkin farm in October.
These Special Events may require an extra fee. While we will try to keep these fees as low as possible, children will not be excluded because of financial difficulties.

If you choose for your child to not partake in a Special Event, you will be responsible for arranging care for your child for the duration of the event. In the event you decide your child may not participate in such an event, your monthly fee will remain the same.

Size of Group
The size of our groups will be based on our daily attendance and number of staff hired. This number will always be in accordance with current licensing regulations for family childcare facilities.

Staff and Assistant Providers
From time to time as attendance or events may require, we reserve the right to hire additional staff on a daily, weekly or ongoing basis.

Other staff hired could include, but are not limited to: professional entertainers, additional assistants for outings or Special Events and public service professionals (e.g.: a fireman or community safety officer, public health nurse).

Family members may be asked on occasion to help with the care of the children as required. This will be rare but necessary in the event of emergencies. Once your child is registered, a list of any emergency back-up personnel will be provided to you. Primary attempt will be made in emergencies to provide care in my home if I must leave, if this is not possible parents will be contacted for immediate pick-up.

Alternate care is the responsibility of the enrolling parents when Apples and Bananas is closed for Holidays, scheduled vacations and all other closings.

All new children will be cared for on a two-week trial basis. During this trial period, either party may terminate care. After this trial period, one month written notice is required by either party to terminate the child care agreement.

Termination notice will NOT be accepted while provider or parents are on vacation. Parents are financially responsible for the final month of care whether or not their child attends my program. Parents may pay for one month in lieu of notice.

Apples and Bananas Family Child Care provides a non-smoking environment for the health and welfare of the children. Please refrain from smoking on the property.

Parent Conferences
Parent conferences may be scheduled periodically. This will allow you to meet with me in a relaxed environment without the distractions of other children and parents, to discuss things such as your child’s development, discipline strategies, and needs. Feedback is encouraged.

Custody and Access
Apples and Bananas cannot become involved in the marital or custody issues of our families. Our professional role requires that we stay completely impartial as we often work closely with both sets of separated parents. If a parent is divorced, separated or going through custody negotiations, childcare staff must be informed of the relevant custody and parental access details. If there are any restrictions on parental access such as no visits or no pick-ups, we will require official documentation to that effect, such as a court order or a restraining order. Without proper documentation, we cannot deny a parent access to their child. The day care staff will only be accountable to the enrolling parent, who will provide the day care with all relevant information and documentation.

Unauthorized Parents Policy:
1. If an unauthorized parent comes to visit or pick up their child, we will request that he/she leave. In case of difficulty we will call the other parent and 911 immediately.
2. If an unauthorized parent forcibly takes his or her child, we will not attempt to physically restrain him/her. Rather, we will release the child, call 911 and the other parent immediately. The reason for this policy is that we cannot risk children and staff safety by a physical confrontation.

Suspected Child Abuse
The Child, Family and Community Services Act states that all children in the province of British Columbia "are entitled to be protected from abuse, neglect, harm or threat of harm." The Act also states that any person who has reason to believe that a child needs protection must promptly report the matter to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Childcare staff are legally required to report any suspicion of physical or sexual abuse or neglect of the children in our program. Failure to report such suspicions is an offense.
If families need any help or information about parenting or community resources, childcare staff are happy to assist.

At no time will any person to bring weapons or firearms of any kind to the centre. The only exception is for any Law enforcement officer in uniform. This policy also includes all toy guns and other toy weapons such as swords. If your child arrives with an inappropriate toy, it will be handed back to you to take. Toy guns and swords may be fine for pretend play at home, but they are not suitable for a group care environment.

Emergency Preparedness
In case of a major emergency such as fire or earthquake, we must be prepared to respond appropriately. Our emergency preparedness procedures include doing fire and earthquake drills with the children, practicing our emergency evacuation procedure and storing emergency supplies.

If we have to evacuate the building in case of fire or earthquake, we will meet at our designated meeting spot, which is located on the grassed area on the east side of Scotia Street (across the street from the centre).

If, due to an earthquake or other emergency, we are unable to reenter the building for an extended period, we will walk to the closest Emergency Response Centre. Once at this location, all attempts will be made to contact families and/or their designated emergency contact persons.
If we are required to go to any place other than the centre or the alternate location, parents can reach staff by calling the cell phone number that will be posted on the front door. If possible, a staff member or volunteer will return to the centre to direct parents to their children.
In our emergency preparations we also ask parents to send the following provisions for each child. These provisions will supplement day care supplies in case of an earthquake or other emergency. In the large Ziploc bag provided by the day care, please include:

1. Small flashlight with batteries.
2. Emergency aluminized polyester blanket (Canadian Tire).
3. A few Band-aids.
4. 3 non-perishable food items (e.g. cereal bar, power bar). CAUTION: NO NUTS!
5. A small comfort toy.
6. A small favorite book.
7. A picture of the family.
8. A comfort note.
9. A small package of baby wipes.
10. A small bottle of water.
11. Emergency Consent Card.

In the event that a major emergency occurs, we ask parents to come and pick up their children immediately at the day care centre, the designated meeting area, or at the alternate location.

Fire Drills will be conducted monthly and earthquake drills quarterly. These are done in a relaxed way so that children become familiar with procedures.

If there is a fire in the home: you will be notified as soon as possible and immediate pick-up may be needed, additional information will be provided shortly after.

Immediate pick-up will be required, ONLY if it is safe. We have all emergency contact information in our first aid kits. We will assume total care of your child if no contact can be obtained. In order to make sure we can obtain emergency medical treatment for your child, we ask that you ensure you have provided us with your child’s care card number and other emergency and pertinent personal information. Only people on your emergency contact list will be able to pick up your child in a disaster situation, NO exceptions will be made.