What You Need To Know
The work of young children is play and we will get MESSY! We encourage all sorts of experiences from water and sand to goop and paint. We will also go outside daily rain or shine. Please make sure your child has appropriate comfortable clothing and shoes that can be worn for any type of activity, as well as provide extra clothes for changing.
Each child will have a bin to keep personal belongings
They will need to have the following items in their bin
- Extra clothing for times that are messy or weather appropriate clothing and shoes
- Sunscreen when necessary (labeled with your child’s name and dated as this is considered a medication)
- A blanket for rest time-we have extras but prefer you to supply a blanket regularly for your child that gets washed regularly
- Reusable bag for dirty items-we have plastic bags if needed but prefer you to provide a bag regularly for items that need to go home for washing
Infants Will Also Need
- Diapers (cloth or disposable)
- Wipes Diaper cream (labeled with your child’s name and dated as this is considered a medication)
- Reusable bag for soiled cloth diapers or clothing Reusable bag for dirty bottles/food containers
- Breast milk or formula in bottles that are clearly labeled and Dated with lids
- Infant cereal Prepared food Please clearly label items.
We do our best to keep things in their place but sometimes items do get misplaced. Please check your child’s bin regularly and replenish items as needed. Also check our lost and found bin regularly.
Our day together
We offer a variety of experiences for our group throughout or days together. We all work and play together in our mixed age environment which provides an element that is very valuable for young children. It encourages leadership, patience, understanding, and respect for one another. We offer a loosely structured, play based learning experience that offers a general theme outline which is based mostly around seasons, and what is happening in our community, but largely child driven, meaning that we will follow their lead and try to expand on their interests and ideas.
Infants are given the opportunity to be fully engaged with the whole group and while they are generally in the arms of a caregiver or very near by they get a variety of experiences throughout the day with all of the children. Once they are mobile we give them space for safe and monitored exploration throughout the child care space at their pace. We try to follow their natural rhythms of eating and sleeping as closely as we can.
We will provide your child snacks and lunch throughout the day. The meals are healthy, vegetarian and homemade, using a variety of fresh and mostly organic ingredients. A daily menu is posted for your reference. If your child has any food sensitivities or restrictions please talk with us and we will work out substitutions, and we may require you to supply food. We require parents to supply food for children less than twelve months of age and/or eating a variety of foods.
Family Style Meals
We serve our meals family style and give each child the opportunity to learn how to serve and feed themselves. Care givers join the group and help facilitate healthy eating habits and developmentally appropriate table manners.
If you are bringing food from home including breast milk and formula we will have an area for you to keep it stored/refrigerated. Please label and date everything clearly with your child’s name and date it was prepared.
Toys from home
We appreciate the need for children to bring toys from home. Our policy is if it can be shared it is fine, but if not it will need to stay home or in their bin for the day. If it is for quiet time it can be brought out to rest with. Please do not allow your child to bring any violent toys/weapons or action figures with weapons.
We plan for diaper changes and toileting opportunities at regular intervals throughout the day or when needed. Please supply enough diapers for your child daily. If you provide cloth diapers, we need to have enough diaper covers for each insert. We do not reuse diaper covers.
The initiation of toilet training should always be based on the child’s developmental level rather than on the child’s age. Initiating toilet training before the child is developmentally ready can create stress and anxiety for the child and the family, as well as increase the length of time it takes to train the child. It is important for the child to begin toilet training when he/she exhibits signs of interest and readiness. Readiness should be viewed as a valuable window of opportunity that parents and caregivers can respond to.
At Children’s Song, we like a child to be confidently using the toilet at home for a few weeks before we begin toilet training here. However, we are happy to ask your child if they would like to use the toilet during diaper changes while they are toilet training at home or if they are showing interest in using the toilet. We prefer not to offer the child treats or other rewards to use the toilet and feel it works best for us if you continue to use regular diapers (no pull-ups) until your child is ready to begin wearing cloth underwear.
Toilet training is best started when the child is not experiencing any other change (eg- moving, new siblings, new school, new child care situation). Readiness cues include the following: The child can imitate his/her parents’ behavior. The child begins to put things where they belong. The child can demonstrate independence by saying “no.” The child can express interest in toilet training. Toilet readiness cont. The child can walk and is ready to sit down. The child can communicate his/her need to eliminate (urinate/defecate). The child is able to pull clothes up and down (on and off).
It can be helpful, once your child is toilet training at home to have them use the toilet upon arrival and at pick up with you. It familiarizes them with our toilet and provides them a sense of security, which is helpful during any developmental milestone.
We will go on outings regularly within our neighborhood. We will walk, use carriers or strollers.
We ask that on days when sunscreen is necessary that you apply it to your child before or upon arrival so we are ready for our first outdoor time. We will reapply during the day as needed with sunscreen we provide for everyone. We will let you know which sunscreen we will be using and have you sign the permission form specifically for that. If you prefer to provide your own sunscreen for your child please make sure it is clearly labeled and dated and we will store it for you. If you do not want sunscreen applied to your child please let us know.
Computer, television, and electronics are avoided except the use of I pod’s/I pad’s for audio music and stories.
You are welcome to provide a treat on the day your child is celebrating and we can let you know how many children to plan for as well as any diet restrictions.
Photography and video
We may photograph or take video of children in the group during our days together to share with each other and use on our website. If you do not want your child photographed please let us know so we can have you sign an opt-out contract.
If your child needs to be given medication during the day please let us know and we will keep it stored for later use. It needs to be in the original container and clearly labeled and dated.
staff and parents
- Respect the children
- Model and teach respect for others
- Model and teach respect for property
- Encourage the children to be genuine
- Be authentic yourself
- Stay positive
- Listen to your tone of voice
- Promote independence and self-respect
- Be firm, fair, and consistent
- Talk with children, not to them or at them
- Enjoy children and have fun with them
- Redirect children before a problem occurs to avoid conflicts
- Be willing to admit mistakes, smile and start again. Typically in a group child care setting you will find that the children will have conflict with one another from time to time and this is normal. Conflicts provide opportunities for the children to learn about boundaries, appropriate ways to handle situations, and how to function successfully in a larger group of peers.
We believe in a positive approach when guiding children. Our goal in guidance is to encourage mastery and independence by providing the children with opportunities to feel competent. We support your child’s feelings and promote their individuality by allowing for choices throughout the program. We strive to be warm, caring, nurturing, respectful, and supportive caregivers.
If your child is lethargic, running a fever (100 degrees or above), vomiting, has diarrhea, has a severe cough, unusual yellow color to skin or eyes, skin or eye lesions or rashes that are severe, a stiff neck and headache with one or more of the symptoms above, difficulty breathing or abnormal wheezing or complains of severe pain, they should not attend child care and should not return to child care for at least 24 hours of a normal temperature and/or normal activity un aided by any pain or fever relievers. If your child develops an illness while in care, you will be notified immediately and you will be expected to pick them up as soon as possible. We do not offer credits, refunds or make up days for any days your child misses due to illness.
In the event of an emergency a staff member will call you as soon as possible. In the event that you cannot be reached the emergency contact person you list will be notified. In the event the emergency does not allow re entry into the child care space your child will be required to be picked up when notified. If we are able to re enter the building we will resume our day until it is time for normal departures.