Before a child is enrolled, they will visit their prospective classroom. If you are satisfied with your child’s interaction with the children and teacher and if we believe they would benefit from our program, we will give you registration forms to complete. These forms must be complete before your child can start, including at least one local person as an emergency contact.
The State of Illinois requires that all children in a day care facility have a Birth Certificate and a physical examination Lead and TB test no more than six months prior to enrollment as well as up-to-date immunizations. The physical form must be signed and dated by the doctor. Physicals must be updated every two years; immunizations should be reported to the center as they are received.
Our classroom programming begins at 9:00a.m. If your child arrives after 9am, it disrupts the class activity. If your child has an early morning appointment, we can make arrangements for him/her to catch up if they must arrive late. All students must be at school before 11:30am.
When a child arrives in the morning, any changes of behavior, rashes, marks, bruises, cuts, injuries or illnesses will be noted. A parent must then complete an incident report prior to leaving. If a teacher suspects abuse or neglect, they are mandated by law to report it to authorities.
DCFS requires that children arrival and departure times be logged in every day and that the person picking up sign their name (not initials).
Please call by 9:00 if your child will not be attending. If your child has a part time schedule, you may choose to add additional days. However, there is no adjustment if they do not attend their scheduled day. There is no refund for absences including illness, holidays, or center closing due to weather.
Upon arrival children must wash hands.
Use warm, running water wet hands and a small amount of soap
Lather and rub your hands together—front, back, around fingernails and between fingers—for 15 to 20 seconds (it’s the friction that really does the cleaning)
Rinse your hands under running water
Use a paper towel to dry hands and turn off the faucet
Discard the paper towel in a trash can (avoid letting your clean hands touch the trash can)
Consider using a hand lotion to prevent chapping of hands
We try to control the spread of illness by frequent hand-washing and daily toy disinfecting. We ask for your help by keeping your child home when he/she is ill, not only for their health and comfort, but for that of their classmates as well.
We follow DCFS guidelines when allowing children to attend or requiring that they go home or be dismissed from the program. Please keep your child home if he/she has a temperature of 100° or 101° according to the age requirement listed below or has active symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, an undiagnosed rash, contagious disease, severe cold or cough or inflamed eyes.
A child cannot return to the center until he/she has not had vomiting or diarrhea for 48 hours. The child must also be fever-free (without the use of Tylenol, etc.) for 48 hours.
We follow DCFS guidelines when allowing children to attend or requiring that they go home or be dismissed from the program.
6 months and younger:
- A temperature of 100° or higher for children under six months of age.
6 months and older:
- A temperature of 101° or higher
- A temperature of 100° or higher with other symptoms.
- Three occurrences of diarrhea
- Any infectious, contagious, or communicable disease
Children with a fever must be fever-free (without the use of Tylenol, etc.) for 48 hours before they can return. If the child is already at school and has three occurrences of diarrhea, he or she should be sent home.
Prescription medication must be in the original container with the child’s name, directions for administering, date, physician’s name, prescription number, pharmacy name and list of possible side effects. Over-the-counter medication must be in the original container with a note from the physician giving the medication name, dosage, and course of treatment.
Parents will be asked to fill out a form with complete information and instructions for administering the medication. The first dose of any medication should be given by parents at home with sufficient time to allow for a reaction.
If a child has received medical procedure – emergency or scheduled – a physician’s release is required for the child to return to the center. The release should state the child’s name, treatment received, date the child can return, and special instructions for care.
We review student files and note children who have food, medication, or other allergies. We post allergies to bee stings or insect bites by the Playground Inspection Logs. Due to children allergies outside pets will not be allowed in the building.
The children are served breakfast @ 9:30am, lunch @ 11:30am, and afternoon snack @ 2:30pm. We follow the guidelines provided by the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program. Please fill out Eligibility forms provided by USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program. Menus are posted in front of the office on the parent board.
If your child has a food allergy, please provide a note from his/her physician documenting which food(s) cannot be eaten. If your child is on a special diet for other reasons, please provide a written note with the reason. We will work with parents to substitute appropriate food items.
Birthdays are a special day for the children in our center. If you would like to provide a special snack for your child, please let the teacher know a day in advance. They will be able to tell you of any food allergies. Food items must be purchased, not homemade (DCFS regulation). Please do not send candy, cupcakes, and/or cookies. If you would like to send goodie bags, we will put them in the children cubbies for them to take home.
Birthday party invitations can be distributed at the center only if all the children in the class are invited.
Note for infants and toddlers especially: Mini muffins are much easier for the children to handle and are an age-appropriate serving size.
When children reach 4 months, we will begin to introduce cereals and other foods as appropriate. You will be given a menu to circle the foods they have had at home and we will incorporate that into their meals at the center. Children will eat according to their own schedule. Mr. Anthony pureed all the infants’ fruits and vegetables.
While children are in diapers, parents are to provide disposable diapers and wipes. When your child begins to use pull-ups, please provide the ones with Velcro sides. Two- and early three-year-olds in the Blue Room are taken to the bathroom at regular times, but are never forced to do so.
We will not begin toilet training until parents have begun the process at home and the child can tell us when he/she needs to go to the bathroom. When toilet training begins, be sure to send extra clothing!
Independent toileting is required for our Pre-School (Green) and Pre- Kdg (Yellow) classrooms.
Thank you for choosing to allow our staff to support your child’s development. We are committed to each child’s social emotional development and so we do not dismiss children from our program because of regular concerns with behavior. Behavior concerns tell us that children need more time, support and practice to develop their social and emotional skills. When serious concerns arise, we will partner with parents and professionals who specialize in supporting children’s social and emotional health. On rare occasions, we may work with families to seek the best care for their child if all parties agree that our program can no longer meet the needs of an individual child and when the behavior of a child rises to the level of terrorism and bodily harm of staff or other children.
One of our goals at Once Upon A Time is to help each child develop appropriate self-control and to assume responsibility for his/her behavior. We provide discipline in a positive way by telling a child what he/she can or cannot do and by redirecting them to a different activity. If a child is unable to control his/her behavior, they may be removed from the group for a short time so they can calm themselves away from distractions. If behavior problems persist, the teacher will talk with the parents. If the behavior problems still persist, your child will be removed from the program.
Learning how to interact with other people can be a very difficult process for children. Unfortunately, some behaviors, such as hitting, yelling, name calling, biting, etc. are developmentally appropriate. However, it is our intention to help them learn socially acceptable behavior in managing their frustration/anger and in interacting with their peers and adults.
As a member of 4C, we have access to the services of a social worker and nurse.
They make regular visits to our center and classrooms and assist teachers in assessing any special needs of the children. When it is appropriate, they may talk with parents about a referral to another agency. The social worker works free of charge with families of children enrolled in our program.
Expulsion Prevention Policy
We believe that all domains of learning are supported during play and through strong, positive, interactions with adults. Promoting healthy social and emotional development, including self-control, is one of the fundamental responsibilities our program. The preschool period is a critical time for children to learn to control their thoughts, feelings, attention, impulses, and behavior. They are learning how to get along with others and how to be a friend. Children are not born with these skills. Teachers and caregivers must teach social-emotional skills just as they teach washing hands, or learning colors and shapes. We know that when children are given the opportunities and support to develop (learn, practice, discuss, etc.), self-control and other social and emotional skills, it gives them the foundation needed for academic and life success. We support this development through:
· We provide children with materials and engage them in activities that are appropriate for their age and respectful to them as individuals
· We develop schedules to meet the needs of young children and avoid long periods of wait time without activity
· We are flexible in our schedule and follow the interests and needs of the children’s cognitive, physical, and biological needs
· We regularly observe the environment and the children as they interact in it to ensure it promotes healthy social interactions (ex. Having multiples of the same toy)
· Our Teachers work to develop a relationship with each child
· Encourage peer relationships by creating social opportunities and working with children to resolve conflict
· Always speak to children in a calm tone, especially during redirections
· Put words to children’s emotions (ex. “Billy, I can tell you were mad when James took your block.”)
· Use social stories with young children to teach healthy social skills
Behavior Support Policy
· Communicate regularly with staff to ensure consistency in guidance between home and school
· Partners with us and allow us time to work with all children, including those needing higher levels of support
· Understand and acknowledge that we do not expel children as they are learning these skills. We strive to serve individual needs while ensuring the safety of young children
· To best serve children, we may need to partner with social and emotional experts to help give a child the best foundation for academic and life success Our Children
· Learn how to handle conflict in a healthy manner (using appropriate words and not hands)
· Develop confidence and self-efficacy
· Develop skills to help them control their behavior and emotions
Expulsion Prevention Procedures
When a teacher is faced with a child with challenging behaviors, the following steps are taken before a decision to exclude is considered:
1. The Teacher should document the child’s behavior over a 2 week period. If the challenging behaviors are at the beginning of the school year, then the teacher should wait until the 2nd week to start the documentation so the child can get acclimated to his/her new environment and schedule.
2. Teachers are encouraged to provide redirection, transition strategies, special attention, communication, ensure the child is getting adequate food prior to class, change from AM session to PM session – if needs a nap, gentle touch and encouragement to the child during the observation period to assist the child in changing the behaviors.
3. If the challenging behavior rises to the level of violence to staff or other children, the teacher should immediately meet with administration to request a parent meeting to get their input into strategies they may be implementing at home or how they believe we can better help their child. The plan should include support strategies for the child, i.e. scheduled changes, picture charts, or other modifications of the classroom environment. A written plan should be developed at this time and agreed upon by all parties.
4. After the two week documentation period and after a written plan has been in effect for an additional two weeks, if the challenging behavior persists, then the teacher will meet with the administrator to contact the mental health specialist and request an observation with the permission of the parent. The teacher will then meet with the mental health specialist to discuss the challenging behaviors and other pertinent information prior to the observation day.
5. After the mental health specialist has completed her observations, staff and parents meet to discuss her classroom strategies with the permission of the parents.
6. The teacher then documents behaviors of the child for another two week period. If the behavior persists and all strategies are exhausted, another parent/staff meeting is scheduled to discuss the Behavior Support Plan, future steps and in some cases the parent will be directed to discuss the issues with their child’s doctor and report any changes, suggestions, medications that their doctor may advise.
7. If the child receives an updated medical plan, then staff continues to work with the child an additional two weeks to determine if there is a change in behavior.
8. If staff determines that the child needs a need a one-on-one aide, then a behavioral study is requested from the local school to determine if the child is better served by their early childhood special education services. This is only done with the permission of the parents.
9. If the behavioral study is conducted and the school personnel determine that the child is suspected of having a developmental delay, disability, or mental health issue, a referral may be made to refer the child’s parents to the mental health system, the State’s early intervention program, or their local school for information regarding evaluation for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B or C programs. These systems will conduct an evaluation, so that if the child is eligible, he or she may receive the appropriate services and supports as soon as possible. Children eligible for services under Part B or C are also likely entitled to protections under Title II and Title III of the ADA, such that programs must make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that children with disabilities are not suspended or expelled because of their disability-related behaviors. 9,14,22,24.
10. Should a situation arise where there is documented evidence that all possible interventions and supports recommended by a qualified professional, such as an early childhood mental health consultant, have been exhausted – and it is unanimously determined by the family, teacher, program, and other service providers that another setting is more appropriate for the well-being of the child in question – all parties, will work together to develop a seamless transition plan and use that plan to implement a smooth transition into another program, if possible.
Examples of when a child can be immediately expelled are threats of terrorism and causing major physical harm to staff or others.
If the child has a disability, including children receiving services under Part B of the IDEA, additional procedural safeguards and nondiscrimination requirements apply. When making decisions about transitioning a child and family to another program, specific attention will be addressed to ensure that the new program is inclusive and offers a rich social context and opportunities for interactions with socially competent peers to ensure that children can optimize their learning, and develop their social skills alongside their peers in a natural environment.
OUAT program staff will continue to evaluate and identify specific areas of training that could assist children with challenging behavior in the future and incorporate those trainings in future staff development plans. (Each year OUAT staff attends a minimum of one behavioral training, i.e. autism, behavioral management, classroom transitions, etc.) No “time-out” in the classroom punishments will be used. A child, may however be removed from the classroom for calming.
Both the day care center and the nursery have locked doors that are opened by a teacher. If a parent or other person appears to be angry/violent or impaired by drugs or alcohol, they will not be admitted into the center. The director may choose to step outside to talk to them. If the situation is sufficiently threatening, the director will call the police, informing them that the call is coming from a day care center.
If a person becomes angry or violent while inside, the director will suggest they follow her to the front to discuss the situation out of sight and earshot of the children. The use of a calm and polite voice may help to defuse the situation. The personal of the center will treat parents with respect therefore we ask that in turn you do the same. If you fail to adhere to this request, your child will be taken out the program and you will be asked to leave the facility. Our goal is for the teachers and families to interact in a friendly and positive manner around the children.
Snow and Winter Weather
In the event of severe winter weather that develops after hours, the center will follow the decision of the DeKalb and Sycamore School Districts. If the schools do not plan to open, the center will not open. The decision to open or remain closed will be made by 6:00 a.m. The local television stations will include the center in their closing announcements. The message on the center phone will be changed to say whether we are open or closed and announced on Facebook.
If severe weather threatens to develop during the day, the director will determine whether it is safe to remain open. If the decision is made to close, parents will be notified to make arrangements to pick up their child as soon as possible. Staff will be able to leave as long as the center is able to maintain the appropriate teacher to child ratio. The director will remain until all children have been picked up.
A two weeks’ written notice is required when requesting a change in schedule or withdrawal from the center from the parent and/or Director. We reserve the right to terminate the contract at any time for any reason, including but not limited to late payment, misbehavior, or unruliness of the child parent. We will make every effort to give a two week notice to allow parents to find alternate care.
Payment that is delinquent by four weeks will result in your child not returning to school until your balance is paid in full.