There are some things that I believe are important for you to know about the enrollment process prior to making an appointment with me. I may go over some of the items during the interview.
It is very important that your child accompany you to the first meeting. This gives both your child and myself a chance to meet each other.
It is a good idea to write questions down as you think of them before the interview so you do not forget. However you may ask any questions you have at anytime. You can email me before and / or after the interview if you would like or ask them all at the interview.
Should you decide to enroll your child into my program at any time, the first payment must be made before your slot is guaranteed.
A deposit for the last week of care will also be required when you sign the contract. This deposit is used for the little one's last week of care regardless of when that may occur. For contracted slots of 30 hours or more the deposit can be broken over 5 weeks if needed.
Please note: If you would like me to hold a slot for more than 2 weeks - a non refundable payment equal to half your weekly rate must be received for each week your child is not in my care. This payment will guarantee you the slot you requested. This payment is non refundable and is not used for future care.
*Are you OK with the fact that there is less structure in a home daycare than a center? While there are certain things that are done by a clock and or calendar.., my program is far more relaxed than centers.
*If you get a call at 6 AM that the provider has to close for that day.., will you be OK with this? Rarely.. it may happen. I try to give as much notice as possible but as much as I try I cannot control when my children get sick. The sick policy with them is the same as my clients to avoid the spread of anything.
*Are you OK with the fact there is more free play in a home than a center?
*Do you dislike packing lunches / snacks every day for your child? All food and drinks I serve are provided as needed, free of charge.
*Do you prefer your child to be in a small group of children? There will never be more than 6 children in my home at one time.
*Are you OK with the fact that your child may be with older or younger children?
*Can your child entertain him/herself for a small period of time, occasionally through the day? I do not have an assistant, therefore during potty time, making meals etc. I may be out of sight for a few moments through out the day. The children are never out of hearing range.
If you answered YES to all or most of the above then a Home Daycare may be perfect for you.
If you answered NO to most or all of the above, then you may want to consider a center based program for your child.
He/she will get individual attention but in a group setting - a small group but still a group. Therefore he/she will also gain social skills.
He/she will have structured time but also some unstructured time to promote the use of their own creativity and imagination.
You will get peace of mind at a great price - but your child will still receive the care and attention he/she needs.
Your child will get an education tailored to his/her personal development. I will create the lessons according to what your child is capable of accomplishing. Once he/she masters a skill we will move onto the next. They are never forced to complete any project.
Hours of Operation:
Daycare hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If your child will not attend, please notify me before 7:30 a.m. that day. Your hours of care are as listed within our contract. The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends a restriction of ten (10) hours per day for a child in daycare for the welfare of the child. I will provide care for your child as per the hours listed within this agreement, which is based on your work hours and commute time. Fees will be applied accordingly for late pick-ups and early drops offs. Please note there is a 10:00 AM cut off for drop offs. If your child does not arrive by 10 AM, he / she will be marked absent for the day.
Payment Schedules / Fees:
Weekly tuition is due in advance of services being provided. Payment should be made on Friday and will be considered late if not received by Friday afternoon. If payment is not received prior to your child arriving on Monday, I will reserve the right to deny your child's admittance to daycare on Monday and until payment is made. A late charge of $5.00 per day per child will be charged for payments received late. If you know that you will be off on Friday, payment should be made earlier in the week and I will hold your check until Friday.
You may pay by cash or check. A $45.00 fee will be assessed for returned checks. In addition, you will also be responsible for reimbursing me for any other charges that are assessed on my account due to non-payment of your check. Two returned checks will result in your account being placed on a "Cash Only" basis.
Please be aware that there is a late fee for ALL late pick ups. The fees will vary depending on your pick up time and will be written in your contract. A fee of $9.75 per hour or fraction thereof will be applied for early drop offs not previously discussed.
Please do not ask me to hold any payments beyond the due date. All checks will be deposited / cashed on the date they are due. There are no exceptions.
Please do not bring a child to daycare if they are experiencing a fever of 99.9, diarrhea, vomiting, have green/yellow nasal discharge, or have a contagious illness. If they are too sick to go outside or participate in daily activities, they are too ill to be at childcare. When a child is uncomfortable from any ailment (sunburn, poison ivy, etc.) to the point where supplying care to that child begins to impact the other children's day, you will be required to pick him/her up immediately.
My daycare has an "open door" policy. However, I ask that courtesy be exhibited. I ask that these visits not be made between the hours of 11:30 to 3:15 as this is lunch and nap times.
I ask that your presence does not disturb the harmony of the daycare environment. Also keep in mind that I must continue to give the children my undivided attention
Withdrawal or Discharge Policy:
Reasons for possible discharge are as follows:
1)If a child is having an extremely difficult time adjusting to his/her parent leaving or is making it difficult for me to properly care for the other children. It is not abnormal for most children to be upset upon being dropped off at a new day care; I will try my best to help the child adjust to their new schedule however in some incidents the child may not adjust.
2)If a child exhibits severe emotional or social problems which are detrimental to the other children in my daycare home.
3)If a child is prone to destructive behaviors which result in constant, severe, or recurrent damage to others, the home, or it's contents. Please be advised that if your child causes any damage or destruction to the home or its contents, you will be held liable for at least 50% of the replacement cost.
A two week notice is required when you plan to withdraw your child. You are responsible for two weeks of tuition if you do not give the required notice. Absences of over one week without notification or payment of tuition will result in an automatic withdrawal. You will still be responsible for the two weeks of tuition. Re-admittance will include all back pay including late fees. The client must pay for this time period regardless of any other term
I shall report or cause to be reported to the Health Department any suspected case of notifiable diseases as defined in the rules and regulations of the department of Human Resources.
I shall report or cause to be reported to the County Department of Family and Children Services any suspected child abuse and/or neglect in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Department of Human Resources Family Children Services.
How many children are in my care?
I am currently licensed for Family Plus - which means I can have six children under the age of 5 plus two school aged children. In most cases there are between 5 and 6.
We are required by law not to have more than 3 children under the age of two. One of those 3 must be 15 months and walking unassisted.
How long have I been caring for children?
I have been officially licensed since 2005 however I have been caring for children since I was 11. This time period includes taking care of my children, family as well as friends of the family. From 1994 - 1996 I was an assistant for a home day care provider.
Am I certified in CPR?
All Licensed providers must be certified and have the course yearly, so yes I am certified in CPR & first aid.
Is my home smoke
Business hours or not.., no one is ever allowed to smoke in my home.
Is the television on all day?
No.., On occasion I may insert an educational DVD. The DVD's are not cartoons.., they feature cartoon or puppet characters that teach small children through music & dance. Subjects may include rock n learn alphabet, Elmo Exercise, my potty & me, Sign Language, Talk with puppy dog - Shapes & colors etc.
Will the children learn while in my care?
The children will learn through various methods, however please do not confuse my program for a school or daycare center. While I try to teach the children regardless of what they are doing.., we do not follow a strict schedule. Certain things are based by the clock and or calendar however some activities are not.
Due to the times children arrive and or leave as well as the ages of children, I have found that trying to stick to a written schedule sometimes just adds chaos. :)
What did I do before becoming a Daycare Provider?
I have been asked this question a few times so I figured I would add it to my FAQ. Previous to caring for little ones I was an Administrator for US Filter working on my Associates degree in Accounting.
What qualifies me as a Daycare Provider?
Besides the experience I have as a parent - I am also mandated to take several courses through out the year in all aspects of child care. From nutrition to discipline, we must have variety in the courses we choose.
In addition - Daycare providers are mandated to teach the children in our care. During the week we must educate them in several areas. Notes and progress reports are put in the children's folders.
What special circumstances relating to children have I been faced with?
With my own children I have been faced with febrile seizures. One of my girls has had only one, one of my other girls has had 4 so far, one while the daycare children were present. Very scary for anyone - but I think it has shown me how to be calm in emergencies. The down side to this is I think I am a little bit more crazy about illnesses and germs in my home than other daycare providers.
With daycare children, I had one little boy whom had alot of allergies as well as skin sensitivity. He was allergic to dairy of all sorts ( milk,eggs etc.) he was not lactose intolerant - he was allergic to it. He was also allergic to strawberries and peanuts. And things such as applesauce could make him break out a little bit. This little one was with me for about 2 years - I adjusted our meals to his sensitivities for the entire time he was here. It was difficult at first but once you get into a pattern it becomes second nature. His parents and I would converse back and forth on new food finds that he could have. The other children were allowed peanuts etc. only on the days he was absent. It was easier and safer this way.
Will you be locked into a contract?
Your contract is basically based on two weeks at a time. You may at any time for any reason pull your child from my care. However a 2 week notice must be given. You will be required to pay for the last two weeks even if you choose not to send your child.
If for any reason I decide to terminate your contract, the time given to you to find alternate care will depend on the severity of the issue.
I have been asked "why should I pay you to go on vacation?"...more than once so I feel I should add the explanation here before you sign a contract :0)
While I understand that during my time off parents must find back up care, parents must also understand that this is a business and aside from the fact this my "job" that I truly enjoy trust me Providers "need" vacations. We need to revive ourselves to better care for your children. Parents always have plenty of notice to find care before the vacation. It took me along time to realize that if you have a full time job..you get paid vacations and why should I be any different?
What makes me different from other Providers?
Something I feel most parents may try to sort is what makes each one different. Each and every provider has their own schedules, their own methods and their own personality. Parents must read through all of this to find the perfect match for them. It is not just about what we teach or how much we charge, but can you and I get along? Do our personalities mesh or clash?
I am a very open friendly person. The majority of my clients (past and present) I have become friends with. The majority, I still remain in contact with to this day.
I am also very truthful, which may or may not be a downfall for me in this business. I do not sugar coat things..if you ask me how your child's day was..I will tell you exactly how their day was :-0). I will not however tell you every little thing that may have gone wrong. I will highlight the day and choose what is most important for you to know about. Just like adults, children have bad days too! Having parents aware of their child's personality is important to me. We both need to know when they are out of sorts to detect if something else is going on with them. Also if we are struggling with a certain topic, having Mom and Dad on board and talking to their child about it..HELPS.