Parent Handbook

Little Treasures Christian Childcare Center Handbook

August 2014 (Revised)

Welcome to Little Treasures Christian Childcare Center. We sincerely hope this will be the beginning of a rewarding and trusting relationship between your family and us. This handbook is intended to serve as a guide to what you should expect from us. It also details what your responsibilities are. Of course, always feel free to visit with us if you have any questions or concerns about these policies and procedures.?From all of us at Little Treasures, please accept our thanks for placing your trust and your child with us. Welcome to our family!

At Little Treasures Christian Childcare Center (LTCCC), we’re dedicated to giving your child the best start on life by laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning and a love of Christ. From our dedicated staff to our secure facility, every element of LTCCC is designed to enrich your child’s mind, body, and spirit. The fundamental reason and long-term goal for the kind of developmentally appropriate, child-centered, experiential learning we advocate is to help children to develop personal integrity and fulfillment, in addition to enable them to think critically, work cooperatively, solve problems creatively, and make the life-long decisions necessary to participate fully in society. Our meaningful curriculum for all age levels provides experiences which enable children to make sense of what they are learning and to connect or integrate their knowledge in ways that lead to rich conceptual development

We believe that a school’s excellence is ultimately measured by the quality of its staff, which is why we’re extremely selective when it comes to our faculty. All our classes are led by well educated and experienced teachers, assistants, and specialty teachers. All teachers and administrators are required to participate in diverse workshops, seminars, and continuing education courses.?Every employee at Little Treasures CCC, from Director to House-keeper, is held to the highest standards and must complete a rigorous pre-employment screening process. This includes a thorough background check, education, experience and personal reference verification. All staff members are required to have emergency?response training and current first aid and CPR certification. Fire, severe weather, and evacuation drills are practiced regularly. You can be sure your child is always in the best hands while he/she is at Little Treasures CCC.

We kept two things in mind when designing Little Treasures CCC—safety and atmosphere, which is why every part of our campus was designed to make you and your child feel secure and comfortable. You’ll notice our commitment to your child’s safety begins at our front door. Our doors are locked at all times and you have a specific family code to enter. You and the people you permanently authorize to pick up your child, after once inside, will find only students, staff, parents, and other authorized adults are permitted to enter our classrooms during regular school hours. If a medical or any other type of emergency situation occurs, we will take whatever steps are needed, including calling 911 if necessary, to obtain an appropriate and expeditious response. Parents will always be contacted as quickly as possible and advised of the situation. Please make sure your child’s registration information is up-to-date at all times. It is extremely important we have and all your emergency contacts’ current home, work, and cellular numbers. It’s important to us to take proactive steps to protect your child’s well-being at all times, but from time to time, accidents do occur. All injuries will be documented carefully and you will be fully informed. Medicine must be kept in the office and the “Medication Release” sheet must be filled out and signed.

We welcome parents to visit us and their child throughout the day; but we do ask you not to disturb the class during naptime. However, if it is necessary for you to pick-up or drop-off your child during naptime, please let us know in advance, so we can minimize interruptions to the daily routine. If you would like to have lunch at Little Treasures with your child, we ask you to arrange it with his/her teacher beforehand.

Little Treasure’s goals for children address all the domains of child development—emotional, social, cognitive, creative, and physical.?Children enrolled in Little Treasures CCC will:

  • develop an awareness of Jesus Christ and his love for us.
  • develop a positive self-concept and attitude toward learning, self-control, and a sense of belonging.
  • develop curiosity about the world, confidence as a learner, creativity and imagination, and personal initiative
  • develop relationships of mutual trust and respect with adults and peers, understand perspectives of other people, and negotiate and apply rules of group living
  • understand and respect social and cultural diversity
  • know about the community and social roles.
  • use language to communicate effectively and to facilitate thinking and learning.
  • become literate individuals who gain satisfaction, as well as information, from reading and writing
  • represent ideas and feelings through pretend play, drama, movement, music, art, and construction
  • think critically, reason, and solve problems
  • construct understanding of relationships among objects, people, and events, such as classifying, ordering, number, and space, and time
  • construct knowledge of the physical world, manipulate objects for desired effects, and understand cause and effect relationships
  • acquire knowledge of and appreciation for the fine arts, humanities, and sciences
  • become competent in the management of their bodies and acquire basic physical skills, both gross motor and fine motor.
  • gain knowledge about the care of their bodies and maintain a desirable level of health and fitness

Child-to-Teacher Ratios:
To ensure personal attention and individualized instruction, our child-to-teacher ratios and group sizes are often lower than minimum standards requirements.

Curriculum and Assessment:
Any preschool can help a child learn basic skills like letters, numbers, or shapes. But at Little Treasures, we help children learn how to learn. We encourage children to question why and discover the answer for themselves, with an emphasis on teaching the moral reasons why. This approach inspires our students to think more creatively, thus strengthening their problem-solving abilities. What’s more, our programs include character-building activities that teach children the importance of fairness, integrity, and honesty. We believe highly appropriate curriculum and assessment should be planned based on the best knowledge of theory and research about how children develop and learn, with attention given to individual children’s needs and interests. Our curriculum is an organized framework that represents a broad range of relevant content and skills that children need to learn, the processes through which children achieve these identified goals, what teachers do to help children achieve them, and the context in which teaching and learning occur. The most effective curriculum develops knowledge and skills in a meaningful context, not in isolation. For example, children learn numerals and number concepts best by counting and manipulating real objects, not by filling in workbook pages. Children learn letters and their sounds by using them in their names, signs, or stories that are engaging to them rather than by tracing them on a page or reciting the alphabet repeatedly.

We use assessment, the process of regularly and systematically observing and documenting what children do and how they do it in light of realistic and attainable content goals, as a basis for a variety of educational decisions that affect the child from toddler-hood on, including curriculum planning for groups and individual children and communicating with parents. The following are our basic assumptions about the interactive process of teaching and learning:

  • Children learn best when their physical needs are met and they feel psychologically safe and secure.
  • Children construct their own knowledge through repeated social interaction with adults and other children or through physical experiences with objects.
  • Children’s learning reflects a recurring cycle that begins in awareness and moves to exploration, to inquiry, and finally, to utilization.
  • Children learn through play.
  • Children’s interests and “need to know” motivate learning.?*Human development and learning are characterized by individual variation.

Hours of operation:?Little Treasures CCC is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

*Morning drop off is from 6:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m. Our curriculum begins at 8:30 am.

Please make every effort to be here by then.

If you must arrive past 10:00 it is mandatory that you contact the office by 9:00 by phone or email. 972-247-3400 or lovelittletreasures@yahoo.com

The typical daily schedule for your child’s class is posted outside the classroom. Our holiday closings are listed in Section 26.

Drop-off/check-in procedure:
When you drop off your child, please be sure to park in the parking spaces, and not undernearth the white car port because this hinders good traffic flow and visibility. Before you take your child to their classroom, please check them in using our ProCare check In/Out system. Each building has a touch screen computer on the right wall, when you walk through the door. When you enroll in Little Treasures, you will receive a keyless entry code that will get you into the building. Each code is personal to each family. That code, is one of two codes that you will use to check your child in and out for the day.

Check In-Out Station Steps

  • Step1: Touch Start Here
  • Step2: Touch Bypass
  • Step3: Enter personal ID Number (Your keyless entry door code) and touch Enter
  • Step4: Enter the school password number (2013) and touch Enter
  • Step5: Touch your child’s name to check them in or out
  • Step6: Touch Finish

Pick-up/check-out procedure:
When you pick up your child, please park your car and come in.. You do not need to notify us if you are picking your child up early, unless it will be during naptime. Please note we will only release your child to individuals you have designated as an “Authorized Person” on your child’s enrollment form or after that, in writing, or notify the office by email. Giving a note or verbal permission to your child’s teacher is unacceptable. In an emergency, if you need to make arrangements over the phone to give permission for someone who has not been authorized to pick up your child, please ask to speak to an administrator. In all cases in which you authorize the release of your child to a person who has not picked up your child before, or whom is unknown to the staff member on duty, they must first go to the office for proof of identification with photo ID.

All children must be signed out using the Check In/Out touch-screen system.

You have probably visited us on one or more occasions and our intent is for you to have a smooth and informative enrollment and orientation process. In addition, we want you and your child to feel as comfortable and welcomed on your first day at Little Treasures as possible. We understand no matter how well prepared and excited a family may be, the newness can also be a little intimidating for everybody. We don’t consider any questions or concerns you may have unimportant or silly. Please come in and we will greet you warmly, escort you to your child’s classroom, and help you get your child settled. Sometimes saying goodbye isn’t easy. We recommend you keep it reassuring, short, and sweet. Prolonging the inevitable often does not help the situation—just a few minutes should do it.
We will be glad to take your phone call later in the day if you need reassurance on how your child is doing. Please know if we ever think you need to be told about anything concerning your child, we are going to call you, if necessary, or speak with you at drop-off or pick-up times, so that you can help us decide a course of action.

At Little Treasures we serve healthy, nutritious meals and snacks. Our weekly menus are posted outside the classrooms as well as on our website. Although breakfast is not provided, you may bring a healthy breakfast between 6:30-8:00. Mid-morning (9:00am) and mid-afternoon snacks (3:00pm) are provided, and lunch is served between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Children are encouraged to try new foods, but may refuse what they do not want to eat. Withholding food is never used as a form of discipline. We reserve the right to substitute any menu item if the listed item is unavailable. Parents may provide a labeled sack lunch or snack for their child if there is a particular food he/she does not prefer or to substitute for food he/she may be allergic to. We ask you not to send soft drinks, candy, or gum. When parents choose to provide a child’s meals and/or snacks from hone, it is with the under-standing Little Treasures is not responsible for its nutritional value or for meeting the child’s daily food needs.

If your child is allergic to any foods, please let us know. We strongly urge you to monitor our menus for possible reactive foods. In particular, if your child has an allergy that can cause a life-threatening reaction such as anaphylactic shock, we urge you to work with our Director to make sure we have an agreed-upon plan for emergency situations.

We are a NUT FREE SCHOOL. Our menus do not include nut or peanut products. ?Parents may not bring any food items to Little Treasures CCC that has these ingredients.

This is a special time of the day to release energy and simply enjoy the physical rewards of active play. Little Treasures is equipped with commercial grade outdoor play stations, with more-than-required cushioning material in the fall zone areas. In addition, our spacious indoor activity room is a wonderful place to allow physical play when we cannot go outdoors due to inclement weather or ozone alerts. We actively monitor the air quality and temperatures for the day, and keep children indoors when the air quality is hazardous or when it’s too hot or too cold. In the hot summer months, we schedule our outdoor playtimes early in the day to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures. Please make sure your child brings a coat or jacket to wear when he/she will use the playground on breezy and chilly days. Please label them with your child’ s name. In addition, sunscreen is a very effective protection against the sun’s rays. If you would like us to apply sunscreen to your child prior to outdoor playtime, we will gladly do so, provided you supply us with your preferred sunscreen brand. Please make sure to write your child’s name on the container with a
permanent marker and give it to your child’s teacher for safe storage. Under no circumstances may sunscreen be left in a child’s backpack.

Every day, after enjoying our lunchtime meal, the children have a 11?2 to 2 hour naptime. While all children are encouraged to take a nap, they are never forced to sleep and may have a quiet, peaceful rest time instead. Your child may bring a blanket, pillow, and/or stuffed animal for naptime, but they must be small enough to be stored in his/her backpack when not in use.

We understand that an important part of your life is finding out about your child’s day and progress at Little Treasures CCC. In our infant class through the Twos, our “Daily Report” form, in addition to the on- going, informal conversations you will have with your child’s teacher(s), is one way of sharing with you what, why, and how we do things. We encourage you to read these report forms and, when he/she becomes verbal, talk with your child about his or her accomplishments, further reinforcing the pride and competency your child will surely have.?Our teachers are very special people who spend a great deal of time with your children and want to build mutually trusting relationships with you. We know you will use good judgment and not monopolize their time while they are supervising children. If you ever have any concerns, call us or stop in the lobby and we’ll address them immediately. If you want to arrange a meeting or conference with a teacher or an administrator or both, please email the office at lovelittletreasures@yahoo.com. We also have a Parent Resource Center page on our website and informative parent information bulletin boards in our hallways where we post monthly newsletters and menus. In addition, we have parent-teacher conferences scheduled two times (April and October) throughout the school year, special programs, family events, and holiday celebrations. We always welcome and encourage your involvement and suggestions.

We believe the best way to prepare children to live successfully and productively is to help them develop self- control, resolve conflicts, and become increasingly responsible for their actions and behaviors. Adults must model desirable behavior in order for children to learn to understand, acknowledge, and cope with their feelings. We accomplish this through the use of positive guidance techniques that offer developmentally appropriate choices and set clear and consistent rules and consequences. We know children must be involved with each other, with teachers, and with materials and equipment to learn how to work and play harmoniously.

Sometimes children may be separated from the group for short periods when they need a quiet place away from the overwhelming emotions of peers and play. At Little Treasures, this cooling-off period, often called “Time Out,” is only used when needed. We firmly believe children should never be made to feel humiliated or rejected. Physical, verbal, or emotional punishment or abuse is never allowed. If we have concerns about a child’s behavior, we will inform his/her parents as soon as possible and collaborate on a plan of action for positive change. On rare occasion, if aggressive behavior does not change, the child will be sent home for the day. If the issue still persists, the family may be asked to find another child care center. The same goes for biting. We will work extremely hard to help a child overcome a biting habit. However, if it is of an aggressive nature and does not stop, the family may be asked to find childcare elsewhere.

The only allowed shoes are closed-toed athletic shoes with non-skid, non-marking rubber soles to be worn with socks. Please remember, a big part of your child’s day at Little Treasures will be participating in physical play, such as running and climbing. Dress shoes, boots, and sandals are unsafe and not suitable for active outdoor play.?From time to time, toileting accidents or spills will occur at school, which require your child to have change of clothes. Therefore, please make sure you have a complete change of clothes, including underwear and socks, in your child’s backpack.

Please make sure the backpack and clothing tag are clearly labeled with your child’s name. Embroidered monograms or designs are allowed.

Children who wear diapers are checked at regular intervals throughout the day. Every effort is made to change each child’s diaper at the first sign of wetness or soiling. Please provide your own child’s diapers and diaper cream. We ask that you legibly write your child’s name on each diaper. We will provide wipes.

We recognize that toilet training is an important step in the early development of all children. At some point during the school year, when you believe your child is ready to begin the process, discuss what you plan to do with his/her teacher . The teacher will have suggestions to assist you. Your child will have the greatest success when parents and teachers work together in a consistent team effort. If the timing’s right, it should be a natural progression, not an ordeal to worry about. Children who are in the toilet training process must have several changes of clothing on hand every day. We recommend your child wear underwear at this time.

When potty training, please provide us with easy open side pull-ups.

It is your responsibility to make sure everything your child brings or wears to school has his/her name clearly written on it in permanent marker.?All children love to bring personal items to school with them, but please understand we have plenty of toys and materials at our school already. If your child brings an item to school, it may be lost or damaged. The risk is yours and Little Treasures cannot be responsible for personal belongings. We do our best to keep track of such items, but if it’s precious, it’s best left safe and sound at home. We will put unclaimed, unlabeled items in our office. If they are not claimed after a month, they will be donated to charity.?Your child may not bring to school any weapon or replica of a weapon or any other item that may encourage overly aggressive play. Small or delicate items, such as coins and china, which could be easily swallowed or broken, should never be brought to school. All items brought to school should fit in your child’s backpack. Please do not bring larger items unless it’s something needed for a special assignment/project that has been previously arranged with your child’s teacher.

According to state licensing standards, all Little Treasures parents must be notified 48 hours in advance if animals, whether family pets or those part of a special program such as a visiting petting zoo, are present on Little Treasures premises. Therefore, please do not bring any animal to school without prior approval from the Director.

State licensing standards require specific medical and immunization information to be on file for each child upon enrollment. The Texas Department of Health audits our records regularly. Your child will be excluded from attendance at Little Treasures if this information has not been submitted, is not current, or is incomplete. State regulations also require children who are four- and five-years-old to have had vision and hearing screenings. Please arrange to have these screenings performed at your child’s pediatrician’s office and provide us with the results so we can report them to the proper state agency. Whenever your child receives an immunization, it is very important for you to give us a copy of its documentation from your child’s health care provider in order to keep your child’s records up-to-date.

If your child becomes ill or injured while at school, we will notify you immediately for you to make arrangements for pick up; and we will do our best to comfort him/her until you arrive. If it is an injury, we will fill out a Boo Boo Report and have the parent or person who picks up, sign it. To avoid the spread of disease, state licensing standards require ill children to be isolated from their group and picked up from school as soon as possible, but no later than one hour after notification. If emergency medical care is required, we will call 911 for immediate assistance. To attend school, your child needs to be well enough to function in group care. If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms, he/she must be excluded from attendance:

  • Has or has had a fever at or above 101 F. within the past 24 hours, regardless of its cause. This includes fever that you or your pediatrician believe is caused when infants or toddlers are teething
  • Is vomiting, has an upset stomach or diarrhea
  • Has loose stools that are not able to be contained within the diaper
  • Shows evidence of a communicable disease, such as chicken pox or pink eye
  • Has an undiagnosed rash
  • Has discharge from the eyes, ears, and/or profuse, colored nasal discharge
  • Has unusual lethargy, irritability, persistent coughing, or difficulty breathing

In order to return to school, your child needs to be free of all symptoms for 24 hours. Children who have had a communicable disease may only return with a statement from their doctor stating that they are no longer contagious. As a courtesy to all Little Treasure families and staff, please help us keep the transmission of colds and other illnesses to a minimum by keeping your child at home at the onset of such illness. If you know your child has been exposed to any contagious illness, let the Director know so we may alert other parents to be extra attentive to their children. To reduce the spread of infections, children and staff wash their hands, using anti-bacterial soap, many times during the day but especially after toileting and before eating, and we do not allow children to share cups, utensils, etc. In addition, toys, doorknobs, water fountains, and all other items that are handled or contacted on a regular basis by children are disinfected regularly with an anti-bacterial solution.

We recognize the administration of medications is an important part of helping to maintain your child’s overall state of welfare and health. We will administer in the office only all prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) medications according to the following requirements:

  • All medications must be in their original containers. For prescription medications, the pharmacy label with the child’s and physician’s names, the prescription number, dosage, and frequency must be current and legible. For non- prescription medications, the child’s name needs to be clearly written on the container with permanent marker. Non- prescription medications will only be administered with a note or fax from your child’s pediatrician stating the specific name of the medication, the dosage, and its frequency.
  • With the exception of prescription allergy and asthma medications, medicine will not be administered on an as- needed basis. A specific time must be indicated on the authorization form.
  • An “Authorization to Administer Medication” form must be completed in full by the parent and given, along with the medication, to an administrator. Forms are available in the office. Do not give medication to your child’s teacher. For on-going medication, a new form must be submitted every week.
  • Clearly indicate it if the medication needs to be refrigerated.
  • We recommend you have your pharmacist prepare your child’s prescription in two containers, one for home and one for school, in case you forget to take the prescription medication home at the end of the day.
  • Medication can be very dangerous in the hands of children and must never be left in a child’s backpack where it might be accidentally available to any child.

If your child will be absent due to vacation or illness, please notify the school via email or phone before 9am.

Solicitation of Little Treasures teachers for work such as private tutoring or baby-sitting is not allowed.

If Dallas Independent School Districts are closed due to unsafe weather conditions, Little Treasures will also be closed.. Public school closings are announced on local TV and radio channels. If delayed openings are announced, we will make every effort to open Little Treasures, but since our staff commutes from different locations, we maynot be able to do so. The director will send an email out as soon as a decision is made. In the case of a severe mid-day storm, please do not call the school. We will notify you if your child needs to be picked up early through email.

We enjoy celebrating your child’s birthday at Little Treasures. If you would like to bring a simple yet special treat for the class, please limit it to small nut free items such as cupcakes, muffins, or cookies. For safety reasons, we do not allow candles and/or balloons to be brought to school. We ask you to make arrangements in advance directly with your child’s teachers as to how much to bring and when. Special birthday treats will be served at our afternoon snack time. We strongly discourage exchanging birthday gifts at school. The distribution of birthday party invitations at school is allowed, provided the whole class is invited.

Little Treasures CCC will be closed in observance of the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday)
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • Martin Luther King Day

In addition, we will be closed for one staff development/preparation day per year in August. The date will be announced in advance. There may be other infrequent special occasions when we close to allow staff to attend early childhood education conferences.

Application and/or Registration Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.Registration Fee: $150.00 per child due upon initial enrollment and annually thereafter to re-enroll for the upcoming school year.

Tuition: Tuition is due on the first day of the week. (We offer weekly or monthly payments) This is an automatic ACH withdraw through Tuition Express. Little Treasures reserves the right to increase tuition and other charges upon one month’s prior written notice.

Late Payment Fee: If payment in full is not received when due, there will be a late fee of $30.00. All late fees are subject to change with reasonable notice. LTCCC follows state specific required time frames on tuition and modification notices. If your account is delinquent for more than one week, you may be asked to withdraw your child until your account is made current. LTCCC cannot guarantee a child’s spot will be held when a child is withdrawn due to non-payment of tuition.

Late Pick-Up Fee: LTCCC is open from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm M-F all year, except for holidays. If you fail to pick up your child by closing time, you will be charged a late fee of $15.00 per every 15 minutes or portion of fifteen minute period, per child, until the child is picked up.

Declined Tuition Express Fee: There is a processing fee of $30.00 for all declined TE payments which are returned for any reason. If more than two ACH payments are declined within a two month period, a credit card will be required on file.

Absences: Tuition must be paid in full, without deduction for absences of any duration or for any cause, and without substitution of other days of attendance as “make-up” days. This is necessary due to staffing and operational costs that are incurred on the basis of fixed levels of enrollment. If your child is absent from Little Treasures for two consecutive weeks without notification to the Director, your child will be considered withdrawn from our school. If you choose to re-enroll your child, depending on space availability, you will be charged another registration fee.

Withdrawal: The obligation for full payment of tuition continues until the date indicated by the parent or guardian as the date of withdrawal. The parent or guardian agrees to furnish Little Treasures with at least two (2) weeks written notice of such date of withdrawal. Little Treasures does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national or ethnic origin in the admission of children to our programs or in the administration of our policies and procedures.

All personal records of children and families are kept in the strictest confidence. Information pertaining to admission, progress, health, or discharge of a child shall be confidential, unless we have written permission for disclosure from the parent or guardian.

Little Treasures CCC reserves the right to exclude the new enrollment of or terminate the existing enrollment of a child at any time, including, but not limited to, children whose behavioral and educational needs cannot be met?at Little Treasures without fundamental alterations of or undue burden to our existing programs, procedures, or practices, as deemed by Little Treasures, and/or children whose fees and/or tuition payments are in arrears. This Parent Handbook contains general information concerning the policies and procedures of Little Treasures CCC. The policies and procedures described herein are not intended to be and should not be interpreted as a contract between Little Treasures and any other person, This information does not constitute a legal document, nor does it constitute a contract. It does not confer any legal rights, not does it create any contractual obligations, expressed or implied. Little Treasures reserves the right to change, revise, supplement, or delete any of our policies and procedures, including all those covered herein, at any time. Changes will be effective on the dates determined by Little Treasures CCC and will be communicated to parents by e-mail.