THE CARRIAGE HOUSE EARLY LEARNING CENTER
Updated: May 2011
Welcome to The Carriage House Early Learning Center
Our Mission To provide high quality, nurturing, enriching, developmentally appropriate childcare in a safe environment. We will support the needs of our children, families, and community while contributing to the wholesome growth of our future citizens.
Ages Accepted: 8 weeks through 6 years.
1. PHILOSOPHY OF THE CARRIAGE HOUSE
Carriage House is founded on the belief that the early childhood years are a critical time when children develop more rapidly and learn more readily than at any other period of life. It is for this reason that we believe that young children deserve an environment that fosters discovery and compliments individual learning styles and temperaments. To accomplish this, the Carriage House implements Developmentally Appropriate Practice as defined by the N.A.E.Y.C. (National Association for the Education of Young Children). We believe that growth is organic and each child develops systematically according to an individual pattern. Young children learn in a sensory-motor fashion. They interact with their bodies and draw in information with their senses. Children need responsive adults who read their needs correctly and respond to them effectively and consistently. The first years of a child’s life are actually involved with the development of trust. Carriage House will seek to provide an environment that is predictable and consistent with caring adults so that trust may grow.
We feel it is essential to find teachers who possess patience, imagination, flexibility, curiosity, maturity and a sense of wonder. Teachers need to be able to accept and understand the egocentric nature of the young child. They need to recognize that temper tantrums and oppositional behavior are a part of a child’s development of autonomy. They must be capable of providing safe boundaries while supporting growth and independence.
Language development is enhanced with an environment where children are listened to and where their attempts to communicate are responded to. There should be lots of discussion throughout the young child’s day.
Parents and children from diverse cultural backgrounds need services that are sensitive to cultural values and traditions. We stress the importance of understanding, respecting, and reflecting the cultures of all the families that we serve. We seek to nurture a child’s self esteem and sense of belonging. The individual temperament and learning styles of each child will be respected. Children need to grow at their own pace, with support and optimum learning environments.
The Creative Curriculum is a developmentally appropriate curriculum for children birth to kindergarten. Creative Curriculum is a play-based curriculum that allows children to experiment and investigate through play. Play is the work of young children. Play provides the foundation for academic learning. In our classrooms we help children become enthusiastic learners by encouraging them to be active and creative explorers. The children of Carriage House are independent, self-confident, and inquisitive learners. Each child learns at their own pace and in ways that are best for each individual child
Parents first visit the center or call to be placed on the waiting list. When there is an opening, the assistant director starts at the beginning of the list and calls based on children who meet the criteria for the available spot.
Parents then come for an intake meeting with the assistant director. At the meeting, all necessary forms are completed and a payment of $50.00 (registration fee) is collected. Parents and children are required to spend time in the classroom prior to the start date.
The first day is a major adjustment for both the parent and child. The parent should plan to spend some time with the child in the classroom. Before the parent leaves, the teachers will answer any questions and encourage a parent check-in call for a smooth transition. There is an open door policy at the Carriage House. Parents are welcome to visit in their child’s room as often as they like or call in at any time.
Please let us know if you have suggestions on improving our services. If parents make suggestions for our program or policy change and the changes cannot be implemented, parents may request that the reasons and explanation be given in writing.
We will serve a nutritious morning and an afternoon snack every day. Morning snack is served between 9:30-10:00. Carriage House primarily serves organic snacks, we will not serve meat or fish. Menus will be posted. Occasionally parents will bring in “treats” or we will prepare snacks that are not organic. Parents must provide lunch with a drink. Health regulations prohibit us from heating any foods in the microwave except in the infant/toddler rooms. To heat and serve home prepared foods you must sign a waiver and provide the staff with heating instructions. We are required by licensing to ensure children’s lunches contain one-third the nutritional requirements. If a parent should forget certain food items, (fruits or vegetables, milk products, proteins) we will begin charging $5.00 every time we have to supplement.
The following are suggestions for a balanced lunch from the Food Guide Pyramid for kids from USDA:
One serving of grains: Kid friendly grain foods include bread, bagels, crackers, muffins, pasta, pretzels and tortillas.
One serving of protein: Meat, hard-boiled eggs, (please peel at home) chicken, peanut butter, beans and cheese.
One or two servings of vegetables and fruit: Use fresh vegetables and fruit when you can. Cut the fruit and vegetables into child size wedges so it is easier for your child to eat. When fresh fruit isn’t possible, send canned fruit, dried fruit, or fruit leather. (Fruit Snacks are NOT fruit). Pack a couple of fruit choices and let them choose-they feel more in control of what they are eating.
One milk serving: Since all of our lunches are in the fridge, we really encourage you to pack cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese or milk. Please try to avoid artificially colored yogurts with candy sprinkles.
We will notify parents if we should have to supplement and will charge them $5.00.
4. DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS
Every family will have a folder in the lobby that should be checked at drop off and pick up. Bills, book orders and other notifications will be in there. Newsletters will be emailed to parents. If you do not have access to the internet, we can make sure you receive a hard copy.
Ages and stages developmental screening will be completed two times a year. Parent teacher conferences are held annually but parents may meet individually with their child’s teachers at any time to discuss progress.
5. ATTENDANCES AND MAKE UP DAYS
Parents should call by 8:30am if their child is going to be absent. If we do not receive a call your child will not be eligible for a make-up day.
-Vacations:P arents are required to pay for services whether children attend or not. Make-up days for vacations are not offered.
-We have incorporated holidays into our tuition fees so holidays will not be offered as make up days (the teacher training day will be offered as a make up day.)
-Absences due to illness: You are responsible for paying your childcare for days absent due to illness. Make up days are given on a space available basis. Children have 30 days for a scheduled make up.
6. ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
The center opens at 7:30 am. No child will be accepted before 7:30 am due to program preparation. Parents are required to bring children directly to center staff in classroom and check in to insure that the classroom staff is aware of the child’s presence. Parents are required to sign children in and out of the building at the front desk. A signature or initials and the time are required by state regulations.
Children should arrive at the center by 9:30 am. We strongly encourage children to arrive by this time so they can participate in the morning activities. If you are going to be later than 9:30 am please call and let us know. Children may only participate in activities away from the Carriage House if the child leaves from the Carriage House. You are not allowed to meet us for safety reasons due to ratios We will assign your child an alternative room if you should miss the outing/fieldtrip.
Field Trips: Classrooms will occasionally leave the center. We complete a field trip form and leave it at the front desk with our departure and return times in addition to our destination. Peschoolers will occasionally take Town of Breckenridge busses. We do not transport by private vehicle
The center closes at 5:30pm. Children must be picked up by 5:30 pm. If you are late, you will be $0.01 per minute for the first offense, $1.00 pr minute for the second offense. The rate will continue to go up in $5.00 increments after the third offense. We appreciate you being on time.
If you should fail to pick up your child by 7:00pm, Summit County Social Services will be contacted after every attempt to call all authorized individuals.
7. PHONE NUMBERS
The center must ALWAYS have a phone number where parents can be reached during the day. It is your responsibility to make sure that this information is updated. You must inform the center if you number has changed or been disconnected. If you do not have a number where you can be reached, you must give us the number of a person who can reach you or who can take the child in case of emergency. It is best to have several emergency numbers we can try. We will update authorization forms every October.
8. ALTERNATIVE PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF EMERGENCY RELEASE
Parents are requested at intake to identify individuals in writing who are authorized to pick up their child. If staff does not know this person, a photo ID will be required for pick up. Parents may also call in to authorize a non-listed person to pick up their child.
Please note that any person listed as a pick up on intake forms may take your child from the center at any time. If you wish this to be a limited authorization you must indicate this on the intake form. Please do not send siblings under 18 years old or other children to pick up your child. This is true even if you are in the parking lot waiting. Staff is only authorized to release children to adults.
9. FEES AND PAYMENTS
There is an annual $50.00, non-refundable fee. This fee is charged for new children at registration and for ongoing children October 1st. Children who register in the summer months will not be charged again in September. Snack/activity fees are charged monthly for all children except infants. This charge is $10.00 for +2.5 days a week and $5.00 for 1 to 2 days a week.
Once you choose a regular schedule for the month, a monthly rate is set for that schedule; the amount billed does not change each month unless your schedule is altered.
A bill for the month will be given to parents by the 30th of the preceding month. Parents must pay for the entire month. All fees are due on the 1st of each month. A late fee of $25.00 will be charged after the 7th. A termination process is then started. There is a $25.00 processing fee for returned checks.
All checks should be made payable to the Carriage House. If you need to make payment arrangements, please speak with the Executive Director.
To help insure quality service, the Carriage House does not accept children on a drop-in basis and we require a minimum of one month of scheduled service and at least a one-day a week schedule.
Parents may add days on a space available basis with the approval of the program director. You will see the added charges on the following bill. Parents are requested to pick a set schedule for the month prior to the 20th of the preceding month.
Parents must give a two-week notice in writing of their intention to terminate or change a schedule. The Assistant Director will approve requests for schedule changes if space is available.
No refunds will be given for any prepaid services within the two-week notice period.
11. ITEMS BROUGHT FROM HOME
Children may NOT bring candy, money, pets or toys (except sleeping toys or for special activities) to the center. All belongings should be labeled with the child’s first and last name. Labeling is crucial as there is a tremendous amount of clothing, winter apparel, equipment and other personal belongings each day at the center
12. REQUIRED ITEMS
Parents are requested to bring two (2) sets of extra clothing (shirt, pants, socks, underwear, etc.) to the center at all times. All personal items should have the child’s name on item. Please be sure to dress your child appropriately for “messy” play.
The center provides sheets and blankets. You may provide your own blanket if you like.
Children in diapers are required to have four (4) diapers available every day. These can be brought daily or in large supply. Parents are required to bring one box of unscented alcohol free wipes each month. Children who are learning to use the toilet need to have four (4) pairs of underwear and some diapers. Potty training will be a team effort with parents, however due to health regulations, the teacher has the discretion to put a diaper on if necessary. Children who are completely potty trained should still keep some extra underpants and clothes at the center in case of accidents.
We expect the children to have boots for rainy or snowy days and to be dressed warmly in the winter with: a waterproof winter coat, snow pants, hat, waterproof mittens or gloves. The children must have slippers or shoes so they can remove their boots while inside.
Parents of infants must supply diapers, pacifiers (if used), infant foods as needed and a box of unscented alcohol-free wipes monthly. Parents must bring in bottles mixed and ready to go, licensing does not allow us to mix bottles.
13. INCLEMENT WEATHER
We are open on snow days even when the public schools are closed, unless town or county government officials declare a state of emergency. We will base participation of skiing and skating on visibility, temperature, and wind chill. Activities may be cancelled due to weather conditions at anytime.
Parents should apply sunscreen to their child before or as they arrive in the morning. If we should experience excessively hot weather, we will limit outdoor exposure. We will re-apply sunscreen every two hours in the summer months as long as the permission slip has been signed in the registration packet. Children will be directed indoors if thunder and lightening occur anytime throughout the day. If on a field trip and thunder and lightening should occur – the group will seek immediate shelter and notify the center.
14. SCHEDULED CENTER HOLIDAYS
THE FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
NEW YEARS DAY
FOURTH OF JULY
STAFF TRAINING DAY - Last Friday in April
Parents are welcome to bring cake or other treats for all of the children in the room to celebrate a birthday. Please do not pick up groups of children from the Carriage House to attend a private birthday party elsewhere since this may upset children who are not invited.
16. SCHOLARSHIPS/SLIDING SCALE
As a non-profit community based organization we are proud to provide scholarships to families in need. Our scholarships are funded by various grants. We offer scholarships for three separate periods each year starting September 1st, January 1st and June 1st. Parents receiving assistance need to reapply each period. To apply speak with the Executive Director. The scholarship committee (management team) will review all applicants and make recommendations to the Executive Director. All information is held in strict confidence. The continuation of allocated scholarships is dependent on available funds each month.
All visitors to the Carriage House must sign in at the front desk and list address.
The Carriage House is a non-profit parent-cooperative community agency, which depends on the support of its members like you for its success. To improve the quality of our programs and help keep our rates affordable, we ask that you assist us in any way that you can... Please support our fund raising efforts throughout the year. Please watch for the volunteer signs up on the doors and bulletin boards. Parents are requested to volunteer one hour per month or a charge of $40.00 per month will be charged quarterly. Parents are responsible for recording their volunteer time in the volunteer logbook in the lobby. Did you know volunteering allows you to be an integral part of your child’s experience at the Carriage House? Studies have shown increased parent involvement contributes to child’s long-term success in school, and that the act of helping others is the best way to build strong moral character. Volunteering teaches preschoolers and toddlers about compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude and community.
19. PROGRAM EVALUATION
Each year parents are requested to assist the board and staff in an annual evaluation of our programs. We will ask you to complete a survey on our services. At this time we will study our effectiveness in meeting the needs of children and parents, as well as our ability to provide adequate salary and benefits for staff.
20. SPECIAL NEEDS
Carriage House services children of many different abilities. Parents of children with special needs should identify those needs at intake. The Executive Director will determine at that time if the Carriage House can reasonably accommodate those needs. Accommodations could include special staff training or the use of specialized equipment or resources provided by the parents or other sources.
21. SAFETY AND HEALTH CARE POLICY
All staff members are responsible for daily monitoring of the environment. The Directors will assess removal and/or repair of hazards both inside and out. The Lead Teachers will maintain the injury log. Staff members will submit injury reports to the Assistant Director and will ask parents to sign a notification of injury form. The Assistant Director will place the report in the child’s file.
Heath Care Consultant: 970-668-9196
Fire Department: 911
Poison Control: 1-800-332-3073
Emergency Health Care: 970-668-3300
The Carriage House has retained the services of a heath care consultant at Summit County Nursing for the purpose of obtaining information and guidance both as needed and during periodic structured meetings. These policies have been reviewed and approved by the health care consultant.
When a child is injured or becomes ill at the center, trained staff will perform first aid. If emergency medical attention is required, the staff will call the parent and an ambulance, if necessary. In the event of an injury or illness requiring immediate medical attention beyond the first aid administered by the staff, the director or teachers will call for an ambulance. Once help is on the way, that person will try to reach the parent, informing them of the emergency so that they can meet the child at the hospital.
If the child is transported to a hospital a staff person will take the child’s file containing his/her medical form and medical authorization and remain with the child until a parent arrives.
If the injury or illness is not life threatening, the parent will be contacted first and they will take the child to get the appropriate medical care.
Staff members are First Aid and CPR certified. Mini first aid kits are located in each classroom. The Health Liason will check the first aid kits every month to ensure that kits are adequately supplied. The classroom teacher must inform the Health Liason when first aid supplies are low. On field trips, the classroom staff will bring small first aid kits with them. The staff trained in first aid will attend to the injured child. The classroom teacher will check traveling first aid kits prior to leaving the building on field trips.
The executive director is responsible for assuring that evacuation drills are practiced with all groups of staff children at least every two months. She/he will maintain a document log of the date, time and effectiveness of each drill. Directors are responsible for the orderly evacuation of their children and accounting for all children once outside the building. When directors are not present, a staff person will be assigned to this task. We rely on our sign-in sheets for an accurate account of children and staff present at any given moment.
When the fire alarm sounds, the children and staff will remain outside of the building. If the building is not safe, the children will utilize one of our alternate emergency sites, which are the Breckenridge Recreation Center or the Breckenridge Police Department Building. If the area (Breckenridge) is being evacuated we will wait (either in our building or at alternate site) for instructions from the fire department. We will notify parents by phone as to our location and our voice mail will be updated. Our teachers are instructed to take waivers, parent phone numbers, all medicine, and sign-in sheets when they leave the building.
When an emergency condition arises which does not cause the alarm to sound, the director or the person discovering the condition will make the announcement to evacuate. The procedure will then be the same as if the alarm sounded.
If we should experience blizzard conditions the staff will begin to notify the parents by phone to pick up their children. We will contact the Colorado State Patrol for confirmation. If the roads should become closed and parents are unable to arrive to pick up their children, staff will stay with the children until authorized to leave to maintain ratios. We have the sleeping capabilities if necessary and food and water supplies would be organized as necessary.
When children are on field trips the staff will carry a first aid kit and copies of the medical care authorizations. If a child is injured while on a field trip, trained staff will provide first aid. If medical attention is necessary, one staff person will call the center and an ambulance. The other staff member will remain with the injured child and the other children. There will be a minimum of two staff with children when leaving the Carriage House Property.
The staff at the center will call the parent and have them pick up the center or meet the child and staff at the hospital.
If the child is transported to the hospital, staff from the center will go to help bring the other children on the field trip back safely. The staff member who accompanies the child to the hospital will remain with the child until a parent arrives.
Staff are required to do head counts every ten minutes when away from our facility. Children are asked to remain where they are if separated from the group. One staff person will retrace steps while others remain with the other children. A child missing for ten minutes will be reported to the police.
22. PLAN FOR MANAGEMENT OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Children who are ill are not admitted to the center. When children develop an illness during the day, the center may call you and ask that your child be picked up. Conditions which mandate exclusion are: communicable, infectious diseases such as chicken pox or measles, strep throat, R.S.V., conjunctivitis etc. or any conditions which your doctor or our health consultant have identified as a health threat to the group.
Symptoms, which may alone or in combination, exclude a child from attending or remaining in child care are: (staff will use discretion based on the child’s overall condition and other factors.)
Children may return when these conditions are met:
23. PLAN FOR ADMINISTERING MEDICATION
Children who are on medication may take it while at the center. Only authorized medications will be given. The staff will make sure that the child gets any doses, which are needed while the child is in the center. The parent and prescribing physician must fill out a medication form listing the medicine, the amount and the time of dosage. The staff member who gives the medication will record the dosage and sign the form. Completed forms will be put in the child’s file. The above conditions must be met before the center can administer medication. Medication must be in original prescription container.
The child’s name must be on the bottle with a current date. No medicine may be administered if not in the prescription container. We ask that parents give medicines directly to staff. DO NOT put medications or vitamins in lunch boxes.
Must have doctors note (i.e. Tylenol, Cough syrup), which addresses the time frame and dosage amounts.
The parent must give a written note with their signature, which will be valid for one year (i.e. sun screen, Desitin, Vaseline).
Medicine will be stored in the kitchen refrigerator. Leftover medicine will be returned to the parent.
24. CARE OF MILDLY SICK CHILDREN
Mildly ill children will be allowed to rest quietly on a mat or in a crib. They will be given toys or a book if they desire. Food and liquids will be offered. If necessary, the child will be moved to the quiet room to rest while supervised. Parents will be notified to pick up the child. If a parent cannot be reached within an hour, their designated emergency person will be notified and asked to pick up the child. Appropriate care will be given until the child is picked up. If you feel it is inappropriate for your child to be outside due to their condition please do not send them to the center. Outdoor play is a consistent and vital daily activity at the center. We cannot reduce our supervision of outdoor play for the purpose of leaving staff inside with one child.
25. NOTIFICATION OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
When the center becomes aware of any communicable disease, parents will be notified by posting on the program door.
26. PLAN FOR INFECTION CONTROL
Staff and children will wash their hands with liquid soap, running water, and friction. Staff and children will wash their hands at the following times or as needed:
After each use:
The center will use a disinfectant liquid of ¼ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water (or 1 TBSP per quart for the sanitizer). This solution shall be made fresh each day and will be labeled. It will be stored out of the reach of children.
The Assistant Director will be responsible for ensuring that staff understand and follow the plan for infection control. Classes will be observed to be sure that the plan is being followed.
27. PLAN FOR MEETING SPECIFIC HEALTH CARE NEEDS
A parent will identify allergies. Children with allergies or special diets will have their specific allergies and/or diet restrictions posted in the classroom so that staff will always be aware of and reminded of such allergies. The staff will ensure that the child will not come into contact with or ingest an allergen.
Parents need to supply diapers for their child. We ask that you supply a replacement package of diaper wipes per month- non-allergic, non-scented. If your child should have an allergy to wipes, please supply your own wipes on a monthly basis and be sure your childcare provider is aware of this allergy (should be posted in the classroom). Children will be changed every three hours and their diaper changes will be recorded on their daily summaries in the infant and toddler one rooms. Potty training is handled on an individual basis. We are happy to help you and your child with this process. Please meet with your child’s teacher to discuss how we can help. If your child has an accident, the soiled clothing will be put directly into a plastic bag for you to take home. Potty training is a team effort, however, due to health regulations, the teachers may use their discretion and put your child in a diaper if necessary.
State regulations require that we maintain a record of each child’s successful immunizations. At the time of admission, the parent must provide documentation of the child’s immunization and it must prove to be appropriate for that age. Additionally, parents are responsible for bringing documentation of each immunization the child receives while enrolled at the center. No child shall be required, under this regulation, to have any such immunization if his parent(s) objects, in writing, on the grounds that it conflicts with their personal beliefs or if the child’s physician submits documentation that such a procedure is not necessary. Every October, the immunization records will be updated so that we meet state regulations.
29. DAILY ROUTINES
All teacher/child interactions are:
Activities for the children should:
31. DISCIPLINE POLICY
General rules for staff concerning discipline
The following steps will be taken for dangerous situations:
-Written reports will be sent to parents describing your child’s behavior.
-After two written notices, parents will be required to meet with staff to discuss the child’s behavior and set up a plan to resolve the situation. Failure of a parent or to respond or cooperate will result in termination.
32. POLICY FOR REPORTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
P.O BOX 326
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Approximately between ages eight (8) months and one year, most children begin to develop a fear of separation from Mom and Dad. This is a normal, healthy developmental process. This separation fear seems to emerge about the same time in all cultures. At the Carriage House, we view separation problems as a normal part of the adjustment to the center. Tantrums and hitting of Mom and Dad are even quite normal. Crying hard until Mom and Dad reach the door is also normal. Here are a few suggestions to make it easier for you and your child to move through this period.
Separation problems usually disappear within two weeks of consistent attendance. You may soon find your child does not wish to leave the Carriage House when you come to pick them up!
34. ADMINISTRATIVE PLAN
By enrolling at the Carriage House parents become members of the organization. Members may vote for the Board of Directors at the annual meeting in May, and address issues with the board at monthly meetings. Minutes and meeting notices are posted on the parent boards. The Board of Directors may change service policies at any point. Notice of changes in services, rates, etc. are posted and communicated via newsletter from the Executive Director. Parents are encouraged to come to meetings, participate in committees, volunteer services, and offer feedback. The Board of Directors is responsible for the Directors and teachers.
The Assistant Director is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the center (i.e. teachers and children’s schedules). The Executive Director is responsible for collecting tuition and the general operation of the business. He/She, along with the Board of Directors, will be responsible for maintaining the financial well being of the program including fund raising. The Program Director is responsible for curriculum and assurance in maintaining developmentally appropriate interactions along with assessments and special needs situations.
35. LINES OF AUTHORITY
Carriage House is a non-profit agency. If a parent has an unresolved disagreement or problem with a policy or any staff member at the Carriage House, he/she should inform the Program Director. If the problem is still not resolved, the parent can contact the Executive Director. If the problem still is not resolved, the parent may contact President of the Board of Directors. The president is listed with other board members at the back of this manual. Parents must agree to act respectfully and speak appropriately in classrooms and in common areas where children and families are present.
If a parent wishes to file a complaint or review our licensing file, they can do so by calling 1-800-799-5876 or writing:
Colorado Department of Human Services
Division of Child Care
1575 Sherman Street, First Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714
36. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jenny Haser- President
Brooke Shotts-Vice President
MJ Hayhurst- Secretary
Executive Director- Martha Meier
Assistant Director- Katy Fiedler