CENTREPOINTE CHILDCARE SERVICES
2016 PARENT HANDBOOK
Welcome to the Centrepointe Childcare Services – Centre-based program. This Parent Handbook has been prepared to guide you through your child’s stay with us. The handbook contains information about many of our policies and procedures and also offers suggestions to parents to make each child’s stay a pleasant one. For more information please visit our website at www.centrepointechildcareservices.com .
History and Organizational Structure
We are celebrating our 25th Anniversary in 2016! Centrepointe Child Care Corporation was established by the City of Nepean in 1991 using the neighbourhood hub model to provide “one stop shopping” for child care services to the growing community of young families in the area. Centrepointe Child Care Corporation is a non-profit, community based organization providing a range of early childhood services to families under the operating name of Centrepointe Childcare Services. We offer Home-based childcare throughout the community, Centre-based childcare here on site and a range of programs through our Resource Centre also on site.
The Corporation is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of community members, including but not restricted to past and present clients of our programs.
The Corporation is committed to supporting parents and families by providing safe, nurturing and stimulating environments for children.
Centrepointe Childcare Services – Centre-based Childcare views children as being
Competent, Capable, Curious and Rich in Potential.
We embrace the document How Does Learning Happen? as the framework to guide our program.
We promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of the children by being attuned to the emotional and physical state of each child and responding in a warm and sensitive manner. By providing nutritious food and beverages, creating positive eating environments, increasing children’s physical activity and finding ways to support each child’s varied physiological and biological rhythms we are able to have a positive influence on child health and well-being.
We support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, child care providers and staff by connecting with each and every one of them and recognizing what they have to offer. Our environments respect and support inclusion, meaningful participation and a sense of belonging for all children. We integrate the unique perspectives and gifts of parents, caregivers, and extended family by inviting them to share their experience with the children and staff. From programmed activities in the classrooms to walks in the community we include community partners and provide opportunities for children to explore, wonder about, care for, and make connections to the natural environment.
We encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate by being attuned and responding to children’s varied cues and communications. We provide time, space, and materials to encourage expression through creative materials that reflect children’s capabilities as well as their social and cultural background.
Language development is a big part of all of our programs. We offer an English program but the children come from a wide range of backgrounds speaking many different languages in their homes. We facilitate communication between children by helping children listen to and express themselves to one another. By documenting children’s communications we are able to assist their growth not only in verbal language but also in recall, problem solving, sharing, passing on knowledge etc.
We foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry and provide child-initiated and adult-supported experiences by designing indoor and outdoor environments and experiences that spark curiosity, invite investigation, and provide challenges that are responsive to individual capabilities to help children extend the boundaries of their learning. We plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported by continuously questioning and testing their own theories and strategies and seeking new ideas to facilitate children’s exploration and understanding of the world around them in meaningful ways.
Our educators plan indoor and outdoor environments and experiences that spark curiosity, invite investigation, and provide challenges appropriate to the age and developmental level of the children in their care. Programs are planned taking into account the children’s interests at the time, seasonal and cultural events and the age and developmental level of the children. The ELECT document (Early Learning for Every Child Today) is used as a measure for skills development at an age appropriate level. Activities which target specific skills are built into the program plans so as to grab the children’s interest. Activities are documented in such a way as to make children’s thinking, learning, and competence visible to children, families, and others.
We incorporate indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time, into the day, and give consideration to the individual needs of the children receiving care.
We foster the engagement of, and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children through:
- Daily write-ups;
- Daily face to face at drop-off or pick-up time;
- Phone calls;
- Message boards;
- Photographs and documentation boards;
- Special event flyers;
- Website (www.centrepointechildcareservices.com)
We involve local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff. Some of the community partners we are involved with are Centrepointe Library, Loblaw’s and Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo.
We support staff, in relation to continuous professional learning by providing paid leave and paid workshops/classes on request.
The impact of the strategies used in our programs is in constant review through documentation in many forms. They include activity documentation boards, log books, and communication journals, notes to parents/staff, phone calls, emails, photographs and conversations. Scheduled monthly team meetings and impromptu meetings are used as an opportunity to assess these documentations and weekly administration time for each program is available to use for program planning and preparation.
|Toddlers||1.5 to 2.5 years||15||3|
|Junior Preschool||2.5 to 3 years||16||2|
|Senior Preschool||3 to 5 years||24||3|
Our support staff includes a cook, housekeeper, administrative assistant and janitor.
All of our staff are required to undergo a comprehensive screening process when they are hired and their performance is reviewed annually. The teaching staff are trained in Early Childhood Education at a post secondary institution recognized by the Association for Early Childhood Education and have a thorough knowledge of early childhood development. All teaching staff who have a certificate in Early Childhood Education are also registered members of the College of Early Childhood Educators. All staff keep current with Standard First Aid and Level C CPR. Team teaching provides a model of cooperation and team effort for the children.
Days and Hours of Operation
The Centre provides full time care only. Our hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. daily from Monday to Friday. The Centre is open year round except for the following statutory holidays:
New Years Day (January) Canada Day (July)
Family Day (February) Civic Holiday (August)
Good Friday (March or April) Labour Day (September)
Easter Monday (March or April) Thanksgiving Day (October)
Victoria Day (May) Christmas and Boxing Day (December)
The centre closes at 2 pm on the last working day before Christmas. We close on one additional day between Christmas and New Year’s day.
2016 Toddler rate – $58.50/day Preschool rate – $45.00/day
We offer 3 options for fee payments – cash, cheques or pre-authorized debit. Bank deposits for cash and cheques are made on or soon after the 1st and 15th of each month. Pre-authorized debits are taken also on the 1st and 15th. You can pay the full months’ fees on either the 1st or the 15th or you can split the month and pay half on each of those dates each month.
There are no rebates or reductions for unused days of care for any reason including statutory holidays, family holidays or absence due to illness.
The bank’s service charge in the amount of $15.00 will be charged back to parents in the case of cheques returned for non-sufficient funds for pre-authorized debit.
For children in diapers we offer 2 options. You may choose to either pay $30.00/month for diapers ($15.00/month when using diapers only at sleep time) or you may provide your own diapers.
Centrepointe Childcare Services reserves the right to adjust the fees accordingly. You will be given sufficient notice of these adjustments.
Income tax receipts are issued at year end. You will receive them by the end of February.
Partially subsidized families pay all fees directly to the City of Ottawa.
Daycare subsidies are available through the City of Ottawa. Visit their website at www.ottawa.ca for more information and to fill out the application.
Admission and Discharge Policies
The City of Ottawa maintains the Child Care Registry and Waitlist (CCRAW) for parents to register their children for care in the city and to apply for subsidy if required. The city assigns a priority ranking to all subsidized families and those families will be offered space in order of that ranking. Full fee families will be offered space in order of date of enrollment on CCRAW.
An interview will be scheduled, prior to enrolment, to complete the necessary registration documentation which includes a registration form, emergency information, medical and immunization information and consent forms. Please bring your child’s immunization card as well as addresses and telephone numbers for your child’s physician and emergency contacts.
An orientation week can be scheduled during the preliminary interview to ensure that your child adjusts well by building up gradually to a full day in the program. Some children benefit from this slow integration and some do not need it so we rely on you the parent to decide whether or not to plan for a slow integration.
The staff have found it helpful to review each child’s adjustment to the program after a one month probationary period. Very rarely a child may experience extreme difficulty adjusting to the group environment and the head teacher may need to meet with the director to discuss possible solutions. Assistance in finding alternate child care will be provided to parents if notice of termination is necessary.
Children transition to the next age group as they reach the appropriate age and when a space becomes available. We will make every effort to accommodate your child in the appropriate program however, if space does not become available we will discuss alternate arrangements with you. The teaching staff will schedule orientation time in the new program to ensure a smooth transition.
A minimum of two weeks written notice is required prior to withdrawal to allow sufficient time to fill the vacant space.
Arrival and Departure
Because young children depend on regular routines for their sense of security, parents are encouraged to establish regular hours to drop off and pick up their child and to limit their child’s day to no more than nine hours. If there is an occasional change in your routine, please advise the teaching staff.
Please notify the Centre if your child will be late or absent. Parents are asked to drop off children no later than 10:00 a.m. except for the occasional special appointment. Centrepointe Childcare Services reserves the right to refuse care for your child if he/she arrives after 10:00am.
Please enter and leave the building through the main entrance and note your child’s arrival and departure time on the sign in/out form in each program. Because the morning drop off time can be hectic, please make sure your child has removed all outdoor clothing before dropping him off with a teacher. Please try to spend a few minutes with your child before leaving and always make sure your child knows you are leaving. The teaching staff will step in if your child is having a hard time letting you go.
At the end of the day, please notify a teacher that your child is leaving. Children will not be released to anyone not on the pick up list so please keep this information up to date.
If you must occasionally send someone else to pick up your child, please inform the teacher in your child’s classroom at the time of drop off or by phone throughout the day. Your child will not be released to anyone if we have not been informed of the change by you even if they are on the pick up list.
Please note: According to the law, even when separated or divorced, both parents have equal access to their child and to any information about their child. The teaching staff cannot deny access to any parent unless there is a written court order on file.
The Centre closes promptly at 5:45 p.m. This means that all children must be gone from the building at that time. Please give yourself enough time to get your child ready and out the door on time. This is especially important when the cold weather is here and more time is required to get your child dressed in outdoor clothing. The closing staff will help with this by having the children who are still here begin to dress themselves in their coats, hats, mittens etc. at 5:35pm. Parents who are unable to arrive by closing time are expected to make alternate arrangements to ensure that their child is picked up on time and to advise the staff of the change in pick up arrangements.
A late fee of $5.00 for the first five minutes plus an extra $2.00 for each additional five minutes will be charged for late departures and is payable in cash to the closing staff within the week.
If you are late picking your child up more than 3 times your child may be discharged from the program.
Arrangements for holidays should be discussed with the staff in advance. We would like to know about summer and Christmas holiday plans early to help adjust our staffing requirements. If your child is in a subsidized space he/she has 36 paid absent days/year which can be any combination of vacation and sick leave. Any days taken above the 36 days will be billed in full directly to the parent.
Behaviour guidance is used as a means of redirecting inappropriate behaviour and assisting the child to express feelings in a socially acceptable way. Emphasis is placed on the behaviour and not the child. Behaviour guidance strategies used by the staff are positive, consistently applied, age appropriate and timely.
Centrepointe Child Care Services prohibits the following practices when guiding children’s behaviour:
- Corporal punishment of the child;
- Physical restraint of the child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purposes of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose of preventing a child from hurting himself, herself, or someone else, and is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent;
- Locking the exits of the child care centre or home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency and is required as part of the licensee’s emergency management policies and procedures;
- Use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
- Depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
- Inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.
Staff are required by law to report suspected child abuse to the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa.
Nutrition, Rest, Outdoor Play and Off Premises Activities
The Centrepointe Childcare Services provides a morning snack, a hot, nutritious lunch and an afternoon snack, planned and prepared in our kitchen by a qualified cook. Our menu is planned to meet the recommendations set out in the Health Canada document “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide”. Our cook provides an alternate meal or snack for any child who cannot eat what is on the menu due to diet restrictions or allergies. Please provide breakfast for your child prior to arrival and be sure to inform one of the teachers if your child has not eaten well.
To ensure a varied diet, children are encouraged to taste all of the foods presented to them. They are always welcome to have extra helpings.
A seasonal six week menu plan, including any changes to the plan, is posted in the front vestibule. Special dietary restrictions and allergies are posted in the kitchen and dining room.
A rest period of two hours is provided in each room. Children are encouraged to sleep but may choose to rest quietly on their beds. Children who do not sleep will be permitted to get off their beds and engage in quiet activities after a suitable rest period.
- Every child is assigned to an individual cot labeled for his/her use only. The educators observe the child’s sleep habits closely for the first week to month and decide on the best cot placement for that child. Once it is determined what is the best placement for that child the cot will be placed in that same spot every day until such a time as it is determined that a change is warranted. Any change to the assignment of cots is made in consultation with the teaching team in the room and communicated verbally to the housekeeper and in writing on the bed map in each room;
- Children under 18 months will be placed in a playpen for sleep;
- A sheet and blanket are provided and are laundered every week and any other time it is required due to soiling;
- Parents are consulted about their child’s sleep arrangements at the time of enrollment and at any other appropriate time, such as at transitions between programs or upon parents’ request.
- Special instructions for sleep arrangements are passed on to the educators using the “Transfer Information” form when the child moves to a different group;
- Significant changes in a child’s sleeping patterns or behaviours during sleep will be communicated verbally to parents and, if necessary, will result in adjustments to the manner in which the child is supervised during sleep;
- A direct visual check of each sleeping child will be performed periodically (every 15 to 30 minutes) starting as soon as all children in the room are settled on their beds. These visual checks will be recorded on the visual sleep check chart in each room;
- The children sleep in their own playroom. The attendance sheet for the group will be in the room when the children are sleeping.
All of the children get a minimum of 2 hours per day outdoors weather permitting. This includes play in the 3 playgrounds and weekly local community walks. Please ensure that your child has clothing for outdoor play that is weather appropriate. They will need a sun hat with full brim in the summer and full winter dress including boots, snow pants, coat, mittens, hat and neck warmer (no scarves please). We have a limited supply of extra outdoor clothing for any child who arrives without the proper outdoor gear.
Off Premises activities are limited to those that are within walking distance. We take occasional walks to the library, Loblaw’s, the splash park and duck pond in Centrepointe Park and, more frequently, neighborhood walks in the immediate vicinity of the Centre.
We invite outside community partners in to share activities with the children. Some of our regulars include Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Mad Science and The Rhythm Room.
The City of Ottawa Health Department requires that each child be immunized as recommended by the Medical Officer of Health prior to admission to a child care program and also monitors the updating of immunizations. Please keep Centrepointe
Childcare Services informed when your child receives vaccinations in order to keep your child’s file up to date.
To safeguard the health of the children, any child with an infectious disease must observe the isolation period set out by the City of Ottawa Health Department and may return to the centre only with a signed doctor’s certificate. A child who contracts chicken pox must be absent from the centre for five consecutive days or until the pox are completely dried up, whichever is shortest. Please inform the centre of any infectious diseases so that a Health Alert can be posted for the other parents.
In the best interest of your child and the other children in the program, you will be required to keep your child home for a minimum of one full day free of the following symptoms.
- a bad cold, accompanied by coughing and fever
- fever of more than 102°F/38.8°C
- two bouts or more of diarrhea
- any unknown illness when the child is excessively lethargic or irritable
This period will be longer if there is an outbreak in the child’s program.
For the following symptoms, the City of Ottawa Health Department requires that an “Assessment Certificate for Communicable Diseases” be completed and returned by your child’s doctor.
- an unusual rash
- eye infection (any leaky discharge from the eyes)
When medication is prescribed for these conditions, your child must receive the medication for a full twenty-four hours before returning to care.
In the event that your child becomes ill while in care, you will be contacted immediately and expected to make arrangements to have your child picked up as soon as possible. If you are unavailable, your emergency contact will be called so please select an emergency contact who is willing and able to pick up your child when necessary. It is also important to prepare and arrange for emergency back-up child care in the event of your child’s illness particularly during the first few months of your child’s participation in the group setting when infection is more likely.
Administration of Medication
All medication brought into the Centre must be in its original container and clearly identified with your child’s full name, date of purchase, name of drug or medication, dosage and instructions for storage and administration. Parents are required to complete and sign a medication authorization form with the details of administration including the dosage, frequency and start and end dates and must inform the teaching staff if medication was given the night before or prior to arrival in the morning. The staff will keep a record of the dosage and times the medication is given. No drug or medication will be given to mask symptoms indicative of illness (ie. Tylenol will not be given for fever).
All children with allergies enrolled in Centrepointe Childcare Services – Group Care program and Co-operative Nursery School Program will be protected and supported by the teachers, staff, parents and children.. For children requiring an EpiPen® it is the parents/guardians responsibility to provide a current-dated EpiPen® along with written instructions identifying why the medication has been prescribed, how many EpiPens® should be kept on site and when to administer the medication. The parent/guardian will fill out a medical authorization form with instructions for administering the EpiPen®.
Each child’s EpiPen® is placed in a designated bag which will be clipped to the room backpack, the child’s picture along with a sign for EpiPens® will be posted on the wall where backpacks are kept. The EpiPen® is to be brought with the child to the dining room and outside or to the door closest to outside. All medication, which is required because of life-threatening allergies or serious illnesses, must accompany the child on walks. If the EpiPen® is outside then precautions will need to be taken e.g. wearing the EpiPen® close to the body to prevent it from freezing and/or keeping it out of direct sunlight.
The requirement for an EpiPen® for children and permanent staff is included on the allergy list posted in the dining room, kitchen, and classrooms.
If a child arrives at the Centre without their EpiPen® they are to leave/remain with their parent until their EpiPen® arrives. Parents are advised to have an EpiPen®(s) that can stay here at all times to eliminate the possibility of forgetting it at home. The Head Teacher in each program will be responsible for checking the expiry date each month and informing parents when expiry date is approaching.
This anaphylaxis policy is reviewed and signed by all staff, including supply teachers, annually. All student teachers will review it and sign it at the beginning of their placement. All staff are trained in the use of an EpiPen® using a sample auto-injector at the time of the Level C-CPR renewal.
If an adult staff person/volunteer/student at Centrepointe Childcare Services – has an EpiPen® it is their responsibility to inform the centre, specifically their closest teammate of their allergy information and the location of their EpiPen®.
Centrepointe Childcare Services – Centre-based Program is a designated nut-free program to protect children who are severely allergic to nuts. This includes oils, butters, nutmeats or other foods, sunscreens or cosmetic products which contain or may contain nuts. Although it is a nut free program we cannot guarantee that there will never be nut or other allergens in the building.
Although the children are supervised carefully at all times, the occasional accident may happen. In the event of a minor injury, first aid will be administered immediately. If the injury is significant but not serious the teaching staff will contact you to discuss the appropriate medical treatment after first aid is administered. If the injury is serious, the child will be sent to the hospital by ambulance for immediate medical attention and the parent will be notified. In all cases an Accident Report Form will be completed and presented to the parent or designated pick up person for a signature. A copy of the signed accident report will be provided to the parents.
All of our staff are fully trained to handle all emergencies. In the unlikely event of an emergency situation (weather conditions, loss of power, fire), parents will be notified immediately and required to pick up their children as soon as possible. We have 3 designated emergency shelters. They are Centrepointe Community House at 101 Draffin Court, Bethany Baptist Church at 382 Centrepointe Dr. and Sir Guy Carleton High School at 55 Centrepointe Drive. In the event of an evacuation parents will be notified which location to pick their child up at.
All information collected in your child’s file is for the use of the teaching staff only. Information is kept in strict confidentiality and can only be released with the consent of the parent.
Clothing and Belongings
Because the teaching staff encourage a hands on approach to learning, please dress your child comfortably in something washable that won’t hinder your child’s participation in active play.
Please provide at least one complete change of clothing that can be stored in your child’s basket for use if needed. If your child is toilet training be sure to have extra underpants and pants and socks for them.
The staff make an effort to keep track of each child’s clothing but the Centre cannot be held responsible for the loss of any clothing or any other personal belongings, especially items not clearly labelled. Please leave valuables at home and clearly label all of your child’s clothing using a permanent marker.
Parents are welcome to ask questions and give feedback but please remember that the teacher’s first responsibility is the supervision of the children in her/his care. Opportunities to chat at arrival and departure time may be limited but please arrange a convenient time to meet with a teacher or leave a note for the teacher. The staff will be communicating with you on a regular basis by phone, email, newsletters, postings and verbal and written reports.
If you or someone you know has a hobby or proffession that you think would be fun to share with the kids please talk to the teachers. Some examples of parents who have shared with the kids are: a mom who gave a couple of zumba lessons and another who works as a veterinarian who brought in some bunnies.
Parking is available on the west side of the building to parents when dropping off and picking up their child(ren). On street parking is also available. Stopping is not permitted in the entrance of the driveway as it is a fire route and a crossing area for children and parents going to and from cars. If you are being dropped off with your child ask the driver to pull into a parking space before exiting the car.
Personal information is:
- Information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual;
- Objective information such as name, address, phone number;
- Subjective information such as child accident reports or how your child is doing in care.
We collect Personal Information for the following reasons:
- To enable us to contact you;
- To enable us to contact another adult if necessary in case of emergency;
- To enable us to collect payment for goods services provided from you, the City of Ottawa and other support agencies such as Children’s Integration Support Services;
- To comply with government audits;
- To comply with obligations required by the Ministry of Education, the City of Ottawa and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency;
- To identify you as a potential client and share information with you regarding our services;
- To effectively communicate with you regarding your child’s care and the programs and services offered;
- To allow us to properly assess your child’s needs and progress, and to make referrals as needed;
- To allow teaching staff to prepare and implement appropriate programs for all of the children in care;
- To ensure the children’s health and safety at all times;
- To allow us to asses our continued viability in a competitive market;
- For screening and assessing potential staff and private contractors;
- To process payments to staff and private contractors.
We will only Disclose your Personal information to third parties if required to do so by law; explicit consent is provided; or for the purposes outlined above.
You Consent to the Collection of your Personal Information when you fill out our registration forms for enrollment in one of our programs. Centrepointe Childcare Services then has access only to the personal information provided by you that is required for us to fulfill our obligations to you and to outside agencies governing our operations (ie. Ministry of Education, City of Ottawa and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency). You may withdraw your consent at any time upon reasonable notice, subject to legal or contractual restrictions. Please note that due to our statutory and regulatory obligations withdrawing consent may affect our ability to continue to provide you with the services you have or would like to receive.
We collect only what we are required to have in order to fulfill our obligations listed. We retain your personal information and ask for updates for as long as you are an active client and only for as long as required by law after you are no longer an active client.
Hard copies of personal information are stored in lockable cabinets and/or rooms and soft copies are protected by firewalls and passwords in the computers.