I am pleased to have you and your child(ren) in my Family Child Care home. We have formed an important partnership. You have entrusted to me precious little minds and bodies and I take that responsibility seriously. I promise to provide a safe learning environment and to treat them with respect and courtesy. I feel each child is special and deserves attention and to know that they are loved. It is my goal that every child will make the most of his/her abilities, have a firm understanding of right from wrong, and to respect themselves and others.
Children should come fully dressed, including shoes for children who walk. Infants should come dressed, changed and bottle-fed. Parents please accompany your child(ren) on the walkway and into the house. Please close the gate behind you upon entering and leaving. Hang bags or coats on the hook; put any refrigerated items in the refrigerator. Let me know if your child is having a bad morning. Sometimes they need extra attention or to be left alone before entering the group. Children go through cycles of separation anxiety. Please feel free to discuss these anxieties with me.
Please dress your child(ren) in appropriate play clothes. We go outside whenever possible and I encourage self-feeding. I do try to keep the children as clean as possible, but sometimes these activities may cause staining. A full change of clean clothes should always be available, either brought daily or left at my home, for that occasional accident. If your child is potty training, they should be dressed in clothing that can be easily removed. For health and safety, please try to dress your child(ren) in soft-soled shoes.
Toys From Home
Toys brought from home are discouraged. This will avoid problems with breakage, loss and sharing. If your child insists on bringing a toy from home, they are responsible for it and asked to share it with others. If there is a problem the toy will be put on the shelf until they go home. If a child wishes to bring a book or video from home, that is fine, time permitting. However, with videos, I will use my discretion as to the appropriateness for the group. The older children (4-5yrs) will have opportunity to bring things from home. I will go into more details about that at a later time.
I encourage parents to call when they need to check on their child(ren) or need to communicate something to me. I know your time to make phone calls is limited and I will try to be available, but I do not answer the phone while changing diapers, or other activities that need my full attention. If when you call you get the answering machine, please leave a message so I can get back to you. Please keep in mind that I am working with small children and need to interact with them. Any lengthy discussions will need to take place during rest time or after hours.
Learning to use the toilet, like all learning, should be as positive and relaxed as possible. I will be glad to assist you in the toilet training process. I believe that it cannot occur until the child is ready and is able to communicate his/her needs. When you are ready to begin, I ask that you first begin at home. I will require that your child still wear a diaper until he/she stays dry all day (except during naps) for at least two weeks. Then if a diaper is required for naps only, they may wear underwear the rest of the day. I do not punish for accidents. I do feel that positive reinforcements, like praise and sometimes M&M’s, are vital.
My childcare will be closed on the following holidays (as scheduled by Gwinnett County Schools): Labor Day, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Spring Break, Memorial Day, and any other school closings. No tuition discount is given except if the childcare is closed for an entire week as stated in the Parent/Provider Contract.
Meals and Snacks
Breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack are provided for all children over 12 months of age. Formula and food for infants shall be provided by the parents. Food shall be served in accordance with the parent's wishes and within the guidelines of the “Gwinnett Children’s Food Umbrella” food program. Meals will contain dairy, vegetable, fruit, grain and a protein. Children will be encouraged but not forced to eat. Please inform me of any special needs or diet restrictions. Children should not bring gum or candy, but they may occasionally bring food or snacks to be shared by all.
All children in childcare are required by law to have rest time. We will rest from approximately 12:30-2:30. No child will be required to sleep, but they will be asked to rest quietly. Infants and toddlers will sleep in portable beds provided by the parents. Older children will rest on an assigned cot on the playroom floor.
I encourage positive behavior with self-discipline and redirection. I occasionally use a timer to encourage taking turns. I generally use “time-outs” only if someone needs to calm down or is repeatedly disobeying the rules. Please do not be offended if I correct your child in your presence. I need to enforce the rules at all times. At the same time, feel free to correct him/her yourself, as needed. Many times children will “test the waters” to see who is really in control and what rules apply when. We need to work together to avoid confusion and help them feel more secure.
Illness or Injury
For the protection of others, I am unable to care for sick children. If your child has any symptoms for which he/she must see a doctor, please do so before bringing them so it can be determined if they are contagious. Please keep in mind that viruses, although not treatable, are still contagious. Ask your doctor if it is advisable for them to be around other children. Children must be on an antibiotic and free of fever (non-medicated), vomiting and diarrhea for a full 24 hours before returning. If medication is to be given, a Medication Form must be completed. In case of illness or injury, you will be notified and asked to pick up your child as soon as possible. If your child needs emergency care, the paramedics will be called.
The entrance to the childcare is the back patio door. It is important that children walk with their parents at all times when arriving and leaving. I ask that PARENTS open and close the door. For safety and security, the door will be locked during the day and unlocked during expected arrival and departure times. If you come when the door is locked, just ring the doorbell. If you should need to come during rest time, I ask that you call first. That way the doorbell does not wake any sleeping children and I can have your child ready for you. I try to be aware of safety hazards in and around my home and do regular safety checks. If you should see any dangers, I would appreciate you telling me about them. Very often the most obvious dangers are the ones overlooked.
Payment is due on Monday or the first day your child is present for that week. If you know in advance that your child will not be coming until late in the week, payment should be made at the end of the prior week. Checks are made payable to me, Kim Ussery, for the amount stated in the contract.
I will take the children outdoors as much as possible. We may occasionally take walks up and down the street. We typically do not go on outings in the car, but on the rare occasion that we would, you will be notified in advance. All children will be required to ride in a child safety seat. I am a very cautious driver, having had no tickets or accidents since I started driving at 16 years old.
Hours of Operation
The childcare will be open from 7:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday during the school year. It is important that each child be picked up prior to closing time. Please call if you anticipate being delayed (the late fee will still apply). Children can sense when their parents are late and may become anxious. In addition, I owe my family time and attention and also lead a very busy life after-hours, with numerous appointments, meetings and music practices. An occasional early arrival or late pick-up is possible with prior arrangements of at least 24 hours.
During the summer weeks, the childcare will be open from 9:00am – 4:00pm on most Wednesdays, as notified.
We will have a variety of activities during the day. We will have “school” time when we do activities such as songs, games, art, crafts, calendar, and discuss the letter of the week. It is not mandatory for the children to participate, but I do encourage them to and usually they look forward to this part of the day. I will encourage the children to develop age appropriate skills during this time.
They have opportunities for self-selection activities which include books, puzzles, blocks, cars & trucks, animal figures, “homeliving” (dolls, kitchen, etc.), dress-up, and imaginary play. It is important for a child’s development to allow them to make decisions on what they would like to do. I also take this opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with each child.
Small children need structure and routine. For the most part our day is very routine, but I am flexible as the needs of the children may differ from day to day.
Things to Provide
Spill-proof Cup (marked with child’s name)
Portable crib or playpen (depending on age of child)
Certificate of Immunization (form 3231) available from your child’s doctor
The above items can be left here and replenished as needed.
In addition to the above, infants will need:
Bottles of formula or breast milk each day (marked with child’s name)
Jars of food (brought each day or a supply left here)
I welcome your input to help make this a positive experience for all. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to talk with me. I will be more than happy to discuss any situation with you. COMMUNICATION IS OUR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST MISUNDERSTANDING. I feel we are partners in your child’s care and education and open communication is a necessity.