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Stepping Stone Academy Handbook

  

       

PARENT HANDBOOK

   

                    

3806 Avenue I #24

Rosenberg, Texas 77471

832-595-8529 

https://stepping-stoneacademy.com
 

ORIENTATION

Parents please read the operational policies in this handbook. Please schedule a time to meet with the director, if you would like a formal orientation. Please check boxes and sign page 2 in the enrollment packet. We encourage parent participation in all our activities here at SSA. 

Your suggestions and opinions a very important to us. The suggestion box is in the entrance area of the center.

OPEN DOOR / SECUITY POLICIES

Parents are always welcome to visit the center and speak with the director. An appointment can also be arranged it you desire more time to speak with the director. Please be sure to always sign your child(ren) in and out of the center daily through bright wheel. 

ALLERGIES

If your child has any allergies including food or special diets. We are required to have this information in writing. Also, a doctor’s statement may also be necessary. We also will provide you with an allergy form that must be filled out. All staff persons are trained in how to handle allergies. Information will be in the child’s class and posted in food prep area.

WATER PLAY

During the summer we will offer light water play, which may consist of sprinklers play, slip & slides etc. On days you must provide a swimsuit, water shoes closed and a towel. You may also provide sunscreen; however, you must add it to the medication authorization form. In addition, the box on the enrollment form must be check stating you child may participate in water play.

PARENTIAL NOTIFICATION

1. Staff will immediately notify the parent or person authorized by the parent/ guardian it the child is injured , has a sign or symptom requiring exclusion from the facility., or has been involved in any situation which places the child at risk. 

2. Staff will notify all parents if there is an outbreak of a communicable disease that requires to be reported to DHHS.

3. Staff will notify parents of any policies changes. This notification will be done in writing. 

MEALS & FOOD SERVICES PRACTICES

We participate in the food CACFP food program. If children bring lunch from home, we will still provide milk, fruit and vegetables to the child.  We do allow parents to provide food for their child’s birthday celebration. However, items must be commercially prepared. However, you may bring ingredient for outside food whereas we can prepare in our state certified kitchen.

· Weekly menus are posted in the kitchen.

· Nutritious, well balance meals are prepared with minimal amounts of salts, fats or sugars. Our menus meals all the food groups, and sufficient amounts of Vitamins A, C and D daily. 

· If your child is on formula your welcome to provide it or we may provide if is the formula used by our center. If your providing please be sure to supply you child with sufficient amounts, of their formula, cereal, jar food etc. 

· Children are encouraged to eat but are not required. Recurring eating issues will be discussed with the parent or guardian of the child.

We provide Breakfast- Lunch and Dinner every day. School-age children will be provided snack upon arrival to the center. In Addition we do not allow home lunches unless special dietary needs are required.

CHILD CARE PHILOSOPHY

SSA provides a safe and secure environment for children during the most important time of their development. We offer care a home away from home. Providing care to children 6 weeks-12 years, to play, socialize and learn. Our goal is to provide quality childcare for your child in……

· A safe environment 

· A nurturing environment

· A learning environment ……learning is not necessarily the ABC’s and numbers but is also the learning of values. The learning of honesty, respect, self-reliance and potential, self- discipline, and moderation, the values of being, dependable, love, sensitivity to others, kindness, friendliness and fairness are the values of giving.

Communication is key to a successful childcare arrangement. The parent and center staff need to have a good working relationship, so they can communicate and work together. Parents, director and teachers need to exchange pertinent information in the child’s life such as changes in routine, special events, or activities, as well as changes such as death, divorce, separation, moving, visitors, etc. All this information can be important in understanding the child’s feelings, behavior, and wellbeing.

Again, we invite you to share with us in writing, by telephone, or schedule a conference anytime to talk about your concerns, on any area that you feel we need to address. We strive to improve in those areas. We want you to feel a part of the family here at SSA.

SAFE SLEEP

It is our policy to only allow infants to sleep on their backs. We do not allow blankets nor other objects in the cribs with the children. However, if it’s medically necessary for your infant to have any other sleep position, we required a signed letter from your child’s doctor.

EXPULSION POLICY

Unfortunately, there are sometimes reasons we may ask that a child be removed from our program, either on a short term or permanent basis. We want you to know we will do everything possible to work with the family of the child(ren) in order to prevent this policy from being enforced. However, if children are required to separate for any reason one week notice will be required and given to find other care. 

DISCIPLINE AND GUIDANCE

· A proper approach to discipline….Since children occasionally need discipline, it is important that you as parents and we as teachers share similar philosophy so that your child is not too confused as to where the boundaries are and what is expected of him/her. Children are taught which behaviors are inappropriate, and why, and given alternatives that are acceptable. In this way, the behavior is being changed, without making the child fee “bad” or unloved. This helps develop their self-esteem and teaches them how to handle difficult situations themselves in the future. Teachers express their disapproval (without attaching character). Teachers state their expectations and show your child how to make amends. We give choices, and in extreme situations a child may be given a “ time out”, because at times a child may be having trouble making choices of their own and they just may need a couple of minutes to calm down, and think about their choices.

· And to foster unconditional love this kind of love is very important because children should not grow up feeling that in order to be loved and cared for, they must meet numerous conditions.

Teachers will try the following: 

*Redirect the child from negative behavior 

*Reassess classroom environment, appropriate of activities, supervision.

*Always use positive methods and language while disciplining children

*Praise positive behaviors

*Consistently apply consequences for rules

*Child will be given verbal warning 

*Child will be given time to regain control

*Child’s disruptive behavior will be documented and maintained in 

confidentiality. Parent/ guardian will be notified verbally.

Parent/ guardian will be given written copies of the disruptive behavior that might lead to expulsion.

The director, classroom staff and parent/guardian will have a conference(s) to discuss how to promote positive behaviors

The parent may receive literature or other resources regarding methods for improving behavior

Recommendation of evaluation by professional consultation

Recommendation of evaluation by local school district child study team

SCHEDULE OF EXPULSION

If after the remedial actions above have not worked, the child’s parent/ guardian the warranting an expulsion action is meant to be a period, so that the parent/ guardian will be informed regarding the length of the expulsion policy.

The parent /guardian will be informed about the expected behavioral changes required in order for the child or parent to return to the center

PARENTAL ACTIONS FOR CHILD’S EXPULSION

Failure to pay/ lateness in payments and late fees

Failure to complete required forms including the child’s immunization records

Verbal abuse to staff

Parent threatens physical or intimidating actions towards staff members

Habitual late pick-ups after center is close. Please note late pick-up fees are to be paid in cash to the staff on duty.

Failure to comply with any of the policies in this handbook

CHILD’S ACTION FOR EXPULSION

Failure of child to adjust after a reasonable amount of time

Uncontrollable tantrums / angry outburst

Ongoing physical abuse to staff or other children

A CHILD WILL NOT BE EXPELLED 

If child’s parents:

· Made a complaint to childcare licensing regarding the center’s alleged violation of the standards

· Reported abuse of neglect occurring at the center

· Questioned the center regarding policies and procedures, without giving the parent sufficient time maximum five days to make other childcare arrangements. 

** If after the remedial actions above have not worked, the child’s parent/ 

guardian the warranting an expulsion action is meant to be a period of time so 

 that the parent/ guardian will be informed about the expected behavioral 

changes required for the child or parent to return to the center.

CONFERENCES 

We will conduct educational conferences twice per school. These exchange conferences will discuss your child’s growth & development, as well as their skills and milestones. November & March. However, we may require more conferences if necessary.

HEALTH CHECKS 

SSA staff will do visual health checks of children upon arrival each morning. If a staff member notices anything unusual, they are required to point this out to the parent at that time. If your child has an accident overnight, please notify staff members when dropping off so that we can assist in watching the child for side effects.

BREASTFEEDING

Mothers are welcome to come breastfeed their child. We will make sure you’re comfortable and privacy is provided if desired. We encourage you to visit www.mambaby.com for helpful tips on breastfeeding. KellyMom.com has local and online support groups and counselors.

ILLNESS AND EXCLUSION CRITERIA

We are NOT allowed to care for SICK children. If your child has a fever or a contagious disease. Children must not attend the center until well. A doctor’s note will be required. If your child becomes ill while in care, you will be notified to pick-up your child immediately. We are not allowed to pick up sick children from school. Your child will need to be 24-hour fever free to return to the center. If the child attends the next day and develops fever again, you will be called to pick up the child immediately and return with a doctor’s note. SIGNS of possible illness may include the following: 

Unusual lethargy, irritability, persistent crying, difficult breathing, uncontrollable coughing, etc.

Uncontrolled 

METHODS OF PAYMENT

Credit cards or money orders NO CHECKS

MINIMUM STANDARDS AND CCL INSPECTIONS / CONTACTING CCL

Parents may read and review all our licensing inspection report posted on our entrance wall, or via CCL website. A copy of the minimum standards is also available to parents to read at the center anytime or view it on the CCL website. www.hhs.state.tx.us. Parents may contact CCL at 713-940-3009.

VENDORS WE ARE AFFILATED WITH WEBSITES

Texas Rising Star- texasrisingstar.org

Workforce Soluntions-twc.texas.gov

CACFP Food Program-squaremeals.org

INSURANCE

SSA does carry liability insurance. However, we have an extensive safety awareness program along with frequent inspections and regular maintenance of the building, playground area and equipment, accidents may happen. Most accidents occur as a result of running, playing testing their abilities and interactive skills. When such accidents occur and require medical attention, you will need to contact us so we can make a report to CCL. 

SEVERE WEATHER / EMERGENCY PLANS

SSA has well-define plans for severe weather or evacuations if necessary. If this should happen you will be notified immediately, if it is necessary to close the center due to severe weather Children will need to be picked up when notified. If LCISD post its school’s closing because of inclement weather SSA will also be closed. In the event we must evacuate we will re-locate to the George Memorial Library located at 1001 Golfview Dr. Richmond, Texas 77469. Parent will be notified immediately. If it’s temporary maybe an hour or less children will no need to be picked up early, as we will return to the center. However, if it’s not safe to return we will require parent’s pick up their children early from the library. We will make sure we are complying to ensure we are transporting children in a safe manner. 

LATE DROP OFF AND PICK-UP  

Please call the center if you will be late dropping off your child. It is very important to schedule our staff according to the ratio of children in daily attendance. If after 9:00am you have not informed us of your child not attending the center, we reserve the right not to accept children after that time. As we may have sent staff home. 

RELEASE OF CHILDREN

Parent’s/ Guardians we are not able to release your child(ren) to anyone under the age of 18 years old. Also, friends and family having authorization to pick-up children must have a proper state ID or driver’s license. If you need to authorize emergency authorization you may request this on bright wheel. However, it still needs approval from the director and the person must have a valid state picture license or identification.

HOURS OF OPERATION & TUITION / LATE FEE POLICIES

SSA hours are 6:00am-6:00pm Monday-Friday. With the exceptions of holiday closings. Tuition fees are due Monday- Tuesday. On Wednesday you will be charged a late fee of $25.00. In addition, you will be charged a fee of $10.00 per day.  Children will not be permitted to attend the following week if all fees are not paid in full by Friday of that week. Children must be picked up by 6:00pm. However, you do have a 15 minutes grace period, if your child is picked up at 6:16 you must pay $10.00 plus an additional $1.00 for every minute thereafter. This fee must be paid in cash upon pick-up to the teacher(s) on duty. 

Infant - $185- weekly

Toddler- $145- weekly

Pre- School- &135- weekly

After- school- $100.00 weekly

ABSENSES and FEES

Full tuition fees are required if your child attends the center two days or more. If your child only attends the center one day or does not attend at all ½ of their tuition is due to secure their space. We do not allow any vacation time.

EMPLOYEE VACCINATIONS

SSA does not require employees to be vaccinated however, we do practice handwashing throughout the day. And any sick employees will not be allowed to in the center.

SUPPLIES 

Parents must provide diapers, wipes, formula, bottles/ cups and bottle water. To eliminate the daily bundle of items to carry you may bring me a package of each item to leave at the center. Teachers will notify you when items are running low. All items will be marked with the child’s name. 

Parents will provide a change of clothes daily or keep a change of clothes at the center until needed. – replacing as needed. Infants may require more than one change of clothing daily; please provide a few more change of clothing based on your own experiences with your infant. 

DRESS CODE

CLOTHING Children are engaged in various activities during the day; some of these activities can be messy, and/or athletic in nature. Additionally, children are engaged in outdoor play daily, weather permitting. Due to these activities, children are required to be dressed in seasonably appropriate, comfortable, and clothing. Coats and hats must be provided in the winter months. Children are not permitted to wear open toed, and/or open backed shoes. The most appropriate type of shoes for participation in school activities are rubber-soled, sneakers/tennis shoes. Children ages 3 through 5 are always required to have one seasonably and size appropriate complete change of clothing at the center. Children under 3 years of age are required to have two seasonably and size appropriate, complete changes of clothing at the center always. A complete change of clothing includes shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and shoes. Teachers will post reminders for parents to update changes of clothing as the weather begins to change. All clothing items must be clearly labeled with the child’s first and last name. This includes coats and hats. SSA is not responsible for lost or damaged items of clothing.

JEWELRY Children are not permitted to wear jewelry of any kind. It is a safety hazard for your child as well as the other children enrolled in the program. In addition, SSA will not to be responsible for lost or stolen valuables. It is the parents’ responsibility to enforce this policy with their children. SSA is not responsible for damage to or loss of and articles of clothing.

DHHS LICENSING CONTACT INFORMATION

2221 West Loop S,

Houston, Texas 77027

713-287-3238

ABUSE HOTLINE

1-800-252-5400

GANG FREE ZONES

As a result of House Bill 2086 that passed during the 81st Legislature, Regular Session Chapter 42 of the Human Resource Code includes section 42.06, effective September 1, 2009. This new statute requires that information about gang-free zones be distributed to parents/guardians of children in licensed childcare centers. The gang –free zone is within 1000 feet of our childcare center.

The purpose of the gang-free zone is to deter certain types of criminal activity in the areas where children gather by enforcing tougher penalties.

As a licensed childcare facility, we must inform parents or guardians of children attending the center about the new gang-free zone designation. This means parents or guardians need to be informed that certain gang-related activity or engaging in organized criminal activity within 1000 feet of our center is a violation of this law and is therefore, subject to increased

CURRICULUM

We provide a Pre-school Fun & Readiness learning program. However, we utilize the Early Start curriculum for ages 2-5. Children learn mathematics, language arts, science, music, movement and social skills. These programs teach pre-writing skills, perceptual skills and number concepts. It also helps develop children’s motor skills through activities involving crayons, pencils, cutting and pasting. 

· HOLIDAYS 

SSA will be closed in observance of the following holidays:

v New Year’s Eve

v New Year’s Day

v Memorial Day

v Independence Day

v Labor Day

v Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday)

v Christmas Eve

v Christmas Day

DHHS LICENSING CONTACT INFORMATION

2221 West Loop S,

Houston, Texas 77027

713-287-3238

ABUSE HOTLINE

1-800-252-5400

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

We will invite parents to twice a year to discuss plans and ideas for the center.

Families will be invited once a month to participate in academic topics and fun learning such as, math night where we will have games to make learning easy. The parent’s will learn new ideas on how to teach their young children in a fun way.

We will also plan events away from the center such as barbeques at the park, parent’s will be able to bring food to share with other. We will also plan events in which we can get discounted rates for baseball games, fairs and circus. 

We have a Thanksgiving feast each year where parents, come and eat with their children. For Christmas we also have pictures hot chocolate and baked goods with Santa. Parent’s come and take pictures with their kids.

REFUND POLICY & WITHDRAWL POLICY

We understand that circumstance may happen, that may prevent you from continuing participation in our program. Unfortunately, we do not refund any fees, Registration nor tuition. However, we can give you a credit should you wish to re-enroll.

If your going to be dis-continuing your childcare, we must have at least one week notice for you to receive any credit. 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES

The children will go outside in the playground twice daily if weather permits. However, if we are not able to go out because of the weather. We will do indoor music, dancing and exercising. We bring balls, parachutes, bubbles etc. Staff have children run, singing ring around the roses and other fun out-door activities, to develop their gross motor skills. 

SCREENTIME POLICY

Children are not allowed to bring in any electronics, such as: tablets, phone and/or handheld games. We will provide a screening for the children if it’s a part of their curriculum for that week. Only children two and up- will be allowed to participate in this activity.

KEEPING US INFORMED

Parents please log on to our bright-wheel portal and keep us up-dated. Such as: new address, phone numbers, work number etc. 

HEALTH & SAFETY

We make sure the water in the hand-washing sinks, liquids and/ or not hotter than 100. In addition, we ensure that all flammables and cleaning products are out of the children’s reach. 

We have a temperature gage in both our refrigerator and freezer. We maintain the appropriate temperatures as required by the state’s health department.

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

We’re always providing various training to parents, as well as sending out information through bright-wheel portal, in the form of a newsletter. Each year we will set up a parent advisory group for parenting tips. Parent’s helping parent’s: Topics may include but not limited to: 

1. Nutrition

2. Food and other childhood allergies and reactions

3. Healthy lunch & snacks for children

4.  Monthly menus, as well as sample menus for parents to prepare healthy meals.

5. Also our curriculum early start will provide parents with healthy snack ideas for 

children.

CELL PHONE POLICY

Parent’s we prohibit the use of cell phones once entering the center, you can go as far as the foyer to sign children in/out with phones. Because of health & safety requirements. Phones must be stored before entering. Please sign children in /out before entering the door to the center. We reserve the right to dis-enroll families that do not comply with our policies, after the second warning which will be in writing on your bright-wheel portal.  

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