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      Small Fries Child Care has implimented a policy handbook required by the State of Texas. It protects the children, sets health/safety policies, and sets business policies. This booklet can be referenced to resolve most questions and issues you may have.

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"Policies Foster Mutual Understanding"
709 W. Hopkins St., San Marcos,TX --78666--- 512-878-1196

Policy Handbook

Small Fries Goals and Philosophy
       Small Fries Child and Learning Center offers quality care for children from infants to six year olds, Spacious clean class rooms allow your child the freedom to interact with the teacher and classmates. We strive to maximize their social, learning, and creative skills.
       Quality instruction for your child is very important to the staff of Small Fries Day Care. Every effort will be made to offer your child enriched instructions and play environments.
      Clean surroundings and loving-care are essential for the development of each and every child. The love and respect afforded all children will brighten their outlook.
Table of Contents
A thru C D thru L M thru Z
Absences Discipline Meals & Snacks
Arrivals & Departures Enrollment Non-Discrimination
Authorization Form Grievances & Procedures Parties
Bad Weather Health & Medical Returned Checks
Change Policy Hearing & Vision Termination of Enrollment
Child Abuse Holidays & Closings Toilet Training
Child Care Reg. Hours of Operation Tuition
Clothing & Belongings Late Pick-Up Visitation

Enrollment
      Children may be enrolled for existing openings by completing all Enrollment forms, providing updated shot records along with a physician's note okaying child for daycare, and submitting the required non-refundable fees. All of this must be completed and turned in 24 hours prior to beginning.

Hours of Operation/Schedule
      Small Fries is open year-round (except listed holidays) from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
      Each classroom has a daily schedule posted inside the door that reflects a typical day for that class.

Holidays & Closings
       Small Fries will be closed for the following holidays and special days:
Good Friday (April)
Monday After Easter (April)
Memorial Day (May)
4th of July
Labor Day (Sept)
Thanksgiving (3 days)
Christmas Eve through January 2nd
Staff Work Day (end of Aug) - August 22, 2014

Bad Weather
       In bad weather situations (such as icy roads,flooding, etc.) listen to the local news; if the San Marcos CISD closes for bad weather then the center will also be closed.

Tuition
       Tuition is due and payable on the first of each month. Payments Made after the 3rd business day will incur a $10.00 late fee each day thereafter.
      There is a $75 non-refundable enrollment fee required in order to hold a spot in a classroom.
      A $60 supply fee will be billed each August and will be due September 1st. A pro-rated Supply Fee is due if registration occurs after September.

Late Pick-Up Charge
       If a child leaves the Center after 6:oopm for any reason, a late pick-up fee of $1.00 per minute will be due and payable.

Return Checks Policy
       A $35 processing fee will be charged for any returned checks. After this we will ask that you pay with cash or money order. Failure to reconcile returned items will result in the check(s) being turned over to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution.

There are no refunds or credits for any reason under any circumstances.

Absences
       If your child will be absent from the Center for any reason you must call and let someone in the office know.

Arrivals & Departures
       Children may not enter or leave the Center unless accompanied by an adult(an individual at least 18 years of age-per TDHS). Please be sure that a staff member is fully aware (per verbal communication) that your child is arriving or leaving. Upon arrival, please be sure a staff member is fully aware (per verbal communication) that your child is arriving or leaving. These times can get chaotic when there are several families arriving all at once, so for the safety of all please verbally communicate with the staff member on duty to ensure that your child is being signed-in or signed-out. The Center is required to maintain daily attendance records. These 'Sign-In & Sign-Out Attendance Sheets' are extremely important to ensure that all children are present and safe throughout the day and during evacuation drills as well.
       We ask that if you have more than one child in the center that you pick-up the youngest first or drop off the youngest last. This is a big concern in the infant room due to the 'No Shoes' rule that we try to enforce.
       ****Parents may not use cell phones during drop-off or pick-up*****
       If you need to use the phone do so outside the Center before or after coming onto Small Fries Property.

Arrival Time
       ****Your child must be in their room by 9:00am*****

       For the convenience of our parents, the Center opens daily at 7:00 am. Depending on their age, children may need to be dropped off in rooms other than their assigned class, since teachers have different starting times.
       We ask parents to bring children to the Center no later than 9:00 am each day they attend. There are several important reasons for this, all of which involve the welfare and happiness of all the children.
       1.Many of the most important activities of each day take place during the morning hours starting at 9:00 am. Children who skip some of these activities because of their late arrival often "miss out" on a favorite play period, circle time, story time, or art project. When children arrive late it is disruption for the other kids that are focused on aproject or in the middle of circle time.
       2. When children arrive late it is a disruption for the other kids that are focused on a project or in the middle of circle time.
       These morning hours usually include planned group activities, which are important in helping children develop social skills and abilities involving interaction with their peers as well as self-discipline.
       If you expect to bring your child to class late, please make arrangements with the teacher prior or contact the Center ahead of time.
       It is difficult for our teachers to properly plan and conduct their classes if children are allowed to "drop-in" at any time.

Child Release Authorization List
       Children will only be released to people authorized on the Release Form. There are no exceptions. ID's will be checked.

Saying "Goodbye" (Separation)
       To help achieve the goal of allowing your child to become independent, emotionally healthy, and well adjusted, we recommend the following practices with children age two and older:
       *If possible, children should be walked in, not carried
       *Present your child to the teacher on arrival. The greeting between teacher and child is invaluable. Many things about the child's health and state of mind can be determined in that brief time and nothing should interfere with it. The teacher will then help the child join into classroom activities.
       *Goodbyes at school should be part of a normal, everyday routine every child goes through. Separation should be sweet and brief, with reassurance about the planned pick-up time.
       *Parents should encourage children to make friends with the teachers and look forward to being at school without feeling guilt or disloyalty to a parent.

Safety
       The following safety precautions have been established to help ensure the safety of children and staff:
       *Emergency evacuation drills are held regularly without notice. Parents present should participate in the drill.
       *Emergency exit plans are posted in every classroom.
       *The daily record of children's arrivals and departures is used as an attendance checklist during safety drill.
       *All classroom staff are trained in First Aid and CPR.

Visitation
       The Center has an Open Door policy on parents visits. We recognize and support parents desires to see and spend time with their children whenever they can.

Naptime
       To avoid disrupting the class, please refrain from bringing your child into the Center during naptime.
       *Parents may visit anytime, including during naptime. Parents who pick up during nap should be respectful of other sleeping children. (Please note: Small Fries believes it is developmentally inappropriate to wake children from sleep, unless they are being picked up to leave.)
       *If a child awakens during naptime with their parent present, the parent should help them resettle or should take them from the room until it is possible to reenter without disrupting others. This may mean waiting until naptime ends.

Discipline & Guidance
       The Center has a philosophy of positive guidance, incorporating creative teaching and involvement to help children develop self-discipline and inner control over their actions. It is based on mutual respect and an understanding of children's needs and development. Positive guidance uses redirection, verbalization of misunderstandings, consistency, and acceptance of feelings, firmness, and fairness. Children are encouraged to express their feelings verbally as well as to discuss and resolve conflicts rather than 'act out' their feelings. In certain situations, a brief 'quiet time' may be used to allow a child to calm down and recover self-control before resuming group activities. This time is limited to no more than one minute per year of the child's age.

Aggressive Behavior
       All children need to be able to participate in Small Fries planned activities and be able to follow simple directions. As with all aggressive behaviors parents are notified with each incident. Aggressive and hurtful behavior includes, but is not limited to: biting, hitting, kicking, pushing, and pinching. Such behavior is not appropriate. We will use every appropriate method to help children control their:
         Step One: Teacher/Director Coaching the child and contact with the parent.
         Step Two: Director, Teacher, Parent Conference make suggestions.
         Step Three:Second Conference at which time the parent maybe asked to find alternate childcare.
       Any or all of the steps may be skipped or omitted as deemed appropriate, based on the extent of the aggressive behavior and circumstances.

Child Abuse
       The Center is required by law to report any apparent incidence of child abuse or neglect defined as "non-accidental infliction or threat of infliction of physical, emotional, or mental harm to a child."
      All such reports must contain the name and address of the child, the name and address of the person responsible for the care of the child, and any other pertinent information.

Child Care Regulations
       The office has posted copies of the Center's License, most recent licensing inspection report, and other required notices. A copy of the Texas "Minimum Standard Rules for Licensed Child Care Centers" is available in the office and on the web at: www.tdprs.state.tx.us/child-care/child-care-standards=and-regulations/pdf/final1746.pdf
Parents should also be aware of the following important contact information:
      Local Child Care Licensing Office   753-2233
      Texas Child Abuse Hotline              1-800-252-5400
      Child Care Licensing Web Site        State Child Care Licensing Web Site
       Gang-related criminal activity or engaging in organized criminal activity within 1000 feet of a child care center is in violation of the law and is therefore subject to increased penalties under state law.
       We meet Hays County Health Dept Requirements & at this time they do not require any specific vaccinations of caregivers.

Clothing and Personal Belongings
       Children's clothing should be comfortable, allowing complete freedom of movement, washable, and suitable for daily indoor and outdoor activities. Since children spend time outdoors almost every day, parents should consider weather conditions when planning daily dress. To encourage development of independent bathroom skills, children's clothing should be easy for them to manipulate with a minimum of assistance.
      Children must wear shoes which are practical as well as comfortable. Sandals and flip-flops are prohibited. Girls should wear shorts under dresses and skirts.
      A complete change of clothing should be kept at the Center.
      Except for special items needed to smooth the transition from home, toys and personal belongings should remain at home. This will avoid lost possessions and hurt feelings. The Center will make reasonable efforts to safeguard children's personal belongings and clothing, but will not be responsible for lost or damaged items.
       Candy, gum, and money should never be brought.
      Everything that your child brings or wears to school should be permanently labeled.
      Candy, gum, and money should never be brought.
      Anything left at the center more than 30 days after termination of services will be discarded due to room space.

Meals & Snacks
       Infants' parents supply formula and all baby foods. All containers and lids must be labeled with the child's name. Ages 1 and above will need to bring a nutritious "sack lunch" and drink. Lunches can not be heated up or kept in a refrigerator. There will be a $10.00 charge if you fail to bring lunch.
       Breakfast will not be provided; therefore please ensure your child is fed prior to coming to the Center. Food and drinks are not allowed on the playgrounds.
      Nutritious morning and afternoon snacks, milk, and juice are provided by the Center. Posted weekly, snack menus are varied, with fresh fruits and vegetables included whenever possible.
      Notify the Director of any special dietary restrictions. The Center must receive the written statement of a physician or a licensed dietician for special therapeutic diets.
      Fridays are 'pizza days'. For $2.00 your child can receive pizza this day instead of bringing a lunch from home.

Parties
       Birthdays and holidays are an especially exciting time for young children and the Center will be pleased to help your child celebrate with classmates and staff. Please discuss this with your child's teacher prior to the date. We must post any snack schedule changes 48 hours in advance. Also, all parties need to be scheduled a minimum of 30 minutes after nap-time.
      Since licensing regulations prohibit any type of open flame in the Center, birthday candles are not permitted.

Health & Medical Policies
       The Center is required to have on file a physicians report verifying overall good health and required immunizations. Current information on immunization status must be maintained while the child is enrolled. If your child is behind on immunizations, the Center has the right to refuse care until they are current. The parent is still responsible for tuition during this time.
      Children are to be checked upon arrival each day for any visible indications of illness. If a child appears ill while at the Center, parents will be contacted and asked to pick up the child immediately. If the child remains at the Center after one hour has lapsed, a sick child care rate of $15.00 per hour will be due at pick-up. The main reasons for excluding children from the Center are:
      *****Parents are required to was their child's hands upon entering the Center*****
    An illness prevents the child from participating in routine activities;
    An illness requires more care than the staff can provide without compromising the needs of the other children in the group;
    A child's presence poses an increased risk to others with whom the child may come in contact.
      The Center cannot admit any child appearing to be sick without a written statement from a doctor or registered nurse certifying no contagious disease is present.
    Children should be kept at home when they meet the following exclusion criteria:
    Rectal temperature of 100.4 or higher or underarm temperature of 99.4 or higher, in the past 24 hours.
    Conjunctivitis ('pink eye'), redness of the eye and/or lids, usually with yellow discharge and crusting.
    Bronchitis, which begins with hoarseness, cough, and a slight elevation in temperature. The cough may be dry and painful, but gradually becomes productive.
    A rash you cannot identify which has not been diagnosed.
    Impetigo: red pimples, which become small vesicles surrounded by a reddened area. When blisters break, the surface is raw and weeping. Look for signs in neck, creases, groin, underarms, face, hands, or edge of diaper.
    Diarrhea three or more times within 24 hours (watery or greenish BM's that look different and are more frequent than usual).
    Vomiting within 24 hours (more than usual 'spitting up').
    A severe cold with fever, sneezing, and nose drainage.
    An unknown illness without obvious symptoms other than unusual paleness, irritability, tiredness, or lack of interest.
    A contagious disease, including measles, chicken pox, mumps, roseola, strep throat, etc.
       The Child must be clear of all symptoms for 24 hours before returning. (this means no Tylenol/Motrin during these 24 hours)
      While we regret the inconvenience caused by strict adherence to these guidelines, our concern for all the children dictates a very conservative approach when dealing with health matters. Because of conflicting medical opinions about the advisability of re-admitting children receiving treatment who still appear ill, the Center will err on the side of safety when making such decisions and ask for your tolerance and understanding.
      Should your child contact a contagious illness, please notify the Center immediately so other parents can be alerted to the possibility of exposure. Guidelines issued by the Texas Department of Health dictate re-admission criteria. Contact the office for details.
      Parents are encouraged to administer medication outside the Center. At the discretion of the Director, a Center staff member may administer medication, on a 'best efforts' basis.
      The Center and its staff accept no responsibility or liability for any error or omission regarding administration of medication.
      All medication must be furnished in the original prescription container, with an appropriate dispense, marked with the child's name, date, and directions for use; placed in a labeled plastic (zip-locked) bag, and handed to a staff member with a fully completed MEDICATION AUTHORIZATION FORM.
      In the event of an injury or medical emergency, trained staff will immediately administer first aid and notify a Director if further assistance is needed. If we believe the situation may call for parent involvement or professional medical attention, the Center will attempt to contact a parent or other authorized emergency contact. If the condition is serious, the Center will call 911 for an EMT response or will transport the child to a hospital Emergency Room.

Authorization Form
      In the event of an injury or medical emergency, trained staff will immediately administer first aid and notify a Director if further assistance is needed. If we believe the situation may call for parent involvement or professional medical attention, the Center will attempt to contact a parent or other authorized emergency contact. If the condition is serious, the Center will call 911 for an EMT response or will transport the child to a hospital Emergency Room.

Hearing & Vision Screening
       All children enrolled in a licensed facility who are 4 years old must have hearing and vision screenings on file at the Center. If your child is currently 4 years of age we must have this at the time of admission.

Toilet Training
       With cooperation from the parents, our program will help toilet train children. When the parents and staff agree that the child is ready for toilet training, they will discuss training methods that should be consistent between both at home and during child care times. Your child must be potty-trained to advance to the Pre-K classroom.

Grievance Procedure
      If a problem exists, the Center wants it corrected as quickly as possible. This can only be achieved if it is identified immediately. Parents with concerns should first discuss them with the classroom teacher. If the classroom teacher is unable to resolve the concern independently and to the satisfaction of the parent, then the matter should be brought to the attention of the Director. If the Director is still unable to arrive at a solution satisfactory to the parent then the matter should be brought to the attention of the owner.

Termination Of Enrollment
      Enrollment will be considered terminated if:
    The Center receives one full month advance written notice of withdrawal, effective the last day of the month;
    Payment is delinquent beyond the 5th day of the month;
    The Parents fail to comply with this Agreement, the Parent Handbook, or any other rules of the Center;
    The Center, in its sole discretion, determines it is unable to meet the needs of the Child, or that it is not in the best interest of the Center or other children enrolled to have the Child continue in attendance;
    There is serious illness or death of the Child;
      The Center and its staff retain the sole right and responsibility to determine any disputed factual matters regarding termination of enrollment.

Non-Discrimination
       Small Fries Child Care does not discriminate. Children and staff of all races, nationalities, and religions are welcome. The Center respects cultural diversity and incorporates it into the daily curriculum.
      We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Change To The Parent Handbook/Policies
       The Center, at its discretion, may change any policy contained in the Parent Handbook. Parents will be notified of any changes by email or written notice distributed to children's cubbies.