Melody Lane Children's Center
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Parent Handbook 2017-2018

Melody Lane Children’s Center

Here at Melody Lane Children’s Center we strive to provide professional, quality child care services to the community. We strive to provide a developmentally appropriate program for children ages 1-12 yrs. of age, and offer a safe and healthy environment for young children. Melody Lane Children’s Center offers a complete compliment and an array of day care needs.

Open Door Policy

We at Melody Lane Children’s Center have an open door policy; we welcome all parents to visit the school, your child’s classroom or to participate in any field trip or special activity at any time. The school is open at any time during regular school hours.

Teacher Child Ratio

Melody Lane Keeps a 1-12 teacher-child classroom ratio, (preschool) that is 1 teacher to, up to 12 children. Infants are at a 1-4 teacher-infant classroom ratio. That is 1 teacher to, up to 4 infants. School age children’s ratio is 1-14, 1 teacher to, up to 14 students. This allows for the close individual, homelike atmosphere on which we pride ourselves.

Immunizations

Prior to admission, children must be immunized against certain childhood diseases required by the California Administration Code Title 22. This code requires that your child be vaccinated for Polio, DTP, MMR, HEP, HIB and Varicella. Children who have not been fully immunized and who currently need additional required vaccine doses or do not have an immunization record will not be enrolled. Each child must show an updated immunization record before he/she can start.

Pre-Admission Health History/Physicians Report

The State of California requires that all children enrolling in a state licensed childcare center shall have a current physical exam. A licensed physician should perform this physical exam. The physician or the physician’s assistant can sign and date the Physician Report. The Pre-Admission Health History has to be filled out by the parent. Both these forms must be filled out completely before the child’s first day of school.

Identification and Emergency Information

An Identification and Emergency Information form must also be filled out prior to enrollment. This form must be updated every time there is a change in address, phone number or place of employment. This from must be updated every 6 months for our records.

Medical Emergencies

In case of a medical emergency or accidental injury, we will make an immediate attempt to contact the parent. If we cannot reach you, we will call the child’s physician. If it is necessary, we will call the ambulance or paramedics. Until the arrival of the parent, an ambulance, or paramedics, the Director or Director’s Assistant in charge will be in charge of all decisions in regards to the child. You will be expected to assume responsibility for any resultant expense not covered by our insurance. The school will maintain a parent’s consent form agreeing to this provision. It is to your child’s benefit to keep the school up to date on phone numbers, emergency name numbers and other pertinent information.

Medications

Administration of prescription medication to your child shall be at the discretion of the school’s Director. Any prescribed medication shall be handed directly to the Director or Assistant Director. Medication shall not be handed to any teacher or teacher’s assistant under any circumstances. The medication must have an unaltered label with the child’s name prescription name, issuing doctor and the amount to be issued. The parent must also sign an Administration of Medication Permission Slip. Under no circumstances will over the counter medication be administered. Medication is ONLY administered at 11:30 and 3:30.

Clothing

Think of your child’s comfort and dress him/her in washable comfortable, “play” clothes. Your child will then feel free to play, do messy projects and get dirty. We strongly recommend that your child wear tennis shoes rather than boots or sandals. Slip-on sandals are not allowed. Extra clothing (pre-school only) occasional spills and bathroom accidents require that an extra set of clothing be kept at school at all times. All extra clothing should be marked with your child’s name and be kept in a bag in your child’s cubby. If wet or dirty clothes are sent home, please return a clean extra set of clothes for your child’s cubby the next morning. If loaner clothes are sent home, please remember to send them back to school. Also remember that the children are taken outdoors daily (weather permitting) and should be sent to school with the proper jacket, sweaters, caps, etc. Please make sure that their name is written on their items. We will not be held responsible for any missing jacket/sweater.

Child’s Cubby

Your child’s cubby is a small storage area in his/her classroom where he/she can keep extra clothing, nap bedding, lunch box and personal belongings. We do not accept pillows. It is your responsibility to make sure that your child has an extra pair of clean clothes in their cubby at all times. Please check this on a daily basis.

Health Regulations

Your child’s health is a matter of major importance to all of us at Melody Lane Children’s Center therefore it is necessary that parents cooperate fully with the school’s health regulations. Our regulations are designed to protect the wellbeing of each and every child and to safeguard as much as possible against avoidable absences due to health reasons. Your child should be kept at home for the following reasons:

  • A temperature. If your child has been sent home with a fever he/she may not return the next day
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe Diaper Rash
  • Heavy nasal discharge
  • Discharging eyes
  • Discharging ears
  • Fussy, Cranky or child not happy and uncomfortable

Parents shall exercise every precaution and keep their child at home if there is any indications that the child is not well enough for group activities. If your child becomes ill at school, he/she will be immediately isolated from the other children. There will be a phone call placed to you immediately to inform you of the issue. You will then be required to pick up your child immediately. Please be aware that the child cannot stay if any of the above mentioned illnesses are present. You must make arrangements for someone to pick up the child at once. Your child may be readmitted to school by the Director or teacher if:

  • A simple cold is over
  • The child’s temperature has returned to normal and has remained normal for 24 hours.
  • If your child has been out for more than three days, he/she must have a doctor’ note stating the reason why they were out and that they may return to school.

If your child has been exposed to a contagious disease or any infectious illness (measles, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, strep throat, pin worm, ring worms, viral infection, infected ears or glands, it should promptly reported to the school so that we may alert other parents so they may watch for certain symptoms. The normal duration period for some childhood illnesses are as follows:

  • Bronchitis (2-4 days)
  • Chicken Pox (7-10 days)
  • German Measles – Rubella (3-6 days)
  • Strep Throat (4-6 days)
  • Measles (8-10 days)
  • Mumps (6-10 days)
  • Roseola (5-6 days)
  • Scarlet Fever (6-8 days)
  • Croup (4-5 days)

Attendance / Arrival

Daily attendance is important to a child’s development and parents are encouraged to have their child at Melody Lane by 7:00 a.m. if the child needs transportation to school. Children who stay for pre-school must be at Melody Lane by 9:00 a.m. no later than 10:00. Children will usually feel unhappy and uncomfortable when arriving after their peers have arrived and have begun classroom activities. Also most of the curriculum takes place in the morning so it is important for everyone to be in their classrooms early. Melody Lane does not accept children during Lunch/nap time, which is between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. You can bring them in before or after nap is over.

Sign In / Sign Out

A monthly attendance log is located at the front entrance of the school. Parents are mandated under State Licensing Title 22 Section 101229.1 to sign their child in and out on a daily basis with their full legal signature, not initials. For those parents whom have subsidized programs and are required to sign their end of the month payment sheets, it is your responsibility to make sure that you sign them by the end of the month. Not signing them is cause for termination and you may be liable for your child’s tuition.

Authorization To Pick Up Child

No child will be released to any person that is not authorized to pick up the child. The person that will be picking up the child must be on the Identification and Emergency Information form and show identification. If the person is not listed on the form, a verbal or a written consent from the parent must be received. If you are deleting a spouse/parent off of the emergency card you must have court documentation stating that you have custody of the child/children.

Overtime Charges

There will be an overtime charge for children not picked up at the close of the schools regular schedule, which is 6:00 p.m. This charge is paid directly to the teacher forced to remain overtime. These late fees must be paid at the time the child is picked up; if this fee is not paid your child may not be permitted to school the next day. If for some unavoidable reason you will be late, please contact the school immediately so we can reassure your child and make the necessary provisions for your child’s care. Consistent lateness will be cause for your child to be withdrawn from the school.

Nutrition

Children may bring a sack lunch from home or take part in the lunch program available at school. Melody Lane will provide a snack in the morning at 9:00 a.m. (example: milk/juice, cereal, graham crackers, hash browns), a hot lunch at 11:00 a.m. (for the babies) 11:30 a.m. (for preschool) and an afternoon snack at 2:30 p.m. (example: milk/juice, cookies, carrots/ranch). Parents can choose to send an extra snack for their child to have. Parents are also welcome to send snack for their child to share with all his/her classmates. Children are not to bring candy, gum, junk food or sweets to school. Soda is not allowed. Melody Lane cannot provide refrigerator space nor can we heat up food.

Lost Articles

Melody Lane Children’s Center will not be held responsible for lost articles. It is recommended that all personal items (sweater, coats, blankets, sheets) be labeled with your child’s full name, first and last. At the time of disenrollment you must take all your child’s items. After 30 days all items will be donated back into the school.

Nap Time

We at Melody Lane schedule a two-hour nap /quiet period every afternoon. Your child will be encouraged to take a nap but will not be forced to do so. If your child does not take a nap on a particular day he/she will be provided a quiet activity to occupy the time period. State Licensing Title 22 section 101230 requires that each child have both a sheet and a blanket to cover the cot and himself/herself. We ask the parents to provide these coverings and to see that they are taken home every Friday to be washed.

Photographs

Photographs of your child participating in different activities at Melody Lane may be used in publicity or advertising without compensation. If you wish to be excluded please ask for an exclusion form.

Parent Information

Please check with your child’s teacher to find out what activities are planned for the coming month so the teacher can keep you informed of any special activities that will require you to send any special items (cookies, juices, gift etc.). Your child might also be required to dress for special occasion or activity such as a Halloween party, Christmas Party or water play. Your child’s teacher will usually require that you sign up for any particular items, a sign-up sheet will be provided by your teacher in the classroom or in the sign-in/out book. The teacher will always post a sign or a bulletin advising you of these activities. When you sign up for an item for any class party please make sure you bring it in immediately as this will ensure a successful party for your child.

Child Abuse/Neglect

The State of California requires that all members of a State Licensed Child Care Center report to State any and all cases of abuse to a child. Melody Lane Children’s Center and its staff are mandated reporters (Penal Code ("PC") § 11165.7(a)(10) and are obligated to report to the State any suspected case of abuse and or neglect.

Tax Benefit

Families with both parents working and single parents can take a Federal Tax Credit for the cost of childcare. (pre-school, Infant, and extended day care) Please consult with your accountant or tax advisor for the amount you can claim on your tax return. All Balances must be paid in full at Melody Lane before you receive our Tax I.D. number.

Insurance Claims

Children injured while attending school or are being transported by our school van are not automatically covered by the school insurance policy. Any injury will be reported to our insurance company for information only. Parents refer all their claims and or medical bills to their own medical insurance.

Registration / Tuition / Late Fees

There is a $75.00 non-refundable registration fee per child due at the time of enrollment and every September thereafter. It is your responsibility to make sure the registration fees are paid by September 15th. A late fee will apply if registration fee is not paid on time. Tuition is due prior to the week of service (Monday), a late fee will apply on Tuesday. Please remember to submit your payment prior to an extended leave of absence to avoid any late fee charges or loss of your child’s place. There will be a re-registration fee if your child is taken out for any reason. If tuition is not paid on time, there will be a $25.00 per week late fee added on until the balance is paid in full. There are no adjustments in fees due to any absences or unscheduled vacations, holidays or days off. Tuition is figured on a per week basis. The following holidays are included in the tuition:

  • New Year’s Eve (Close at 1:00 OR 3:00)
  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve (Close at 1:00 OR 3:00)
  • Christmas Day

If the holiday falls on a Saturday, the center will be CLOSED the Friday before. If the holiday falls on a Sunday the center will be CLOSED on the Monday after. You may not change days due to the holidays. There is no fee adjustment for holidays.

Vacation (Applies to all students)

With a written two–week notice, only ½ rate will be charged. This is limited to one week per year; also your child must have attended Melody Lane for 6 months prior to receiving vacation time.

Return Check fee

There will be a fifty dollar ($50.00) fee for any returned checks. Accounts will be placed on a “cash only” basis after 2 returned checks for non-sufficient funds.

Late pick up

A late charge of $5.00 per minute will be charged for children left after 6:00 p.m. and is payable and due to the staff member on duty at the time of pick up. Your child may be denied child care until the late fee is paid.

No Show Upon School Pick Up

If we go to pick up your child and your child is not there, and we did not get a phone call to tell us that your child will not be there, we will charge a $5.00 fee each time this happens. We have a tight schedule and looking for children who are not there makes us late to the other schools. It is your responsibility to inform daycare if your child will not be at school, has left school sick, has minimum days or early days.

Discipline

Consistency is important in the lives of children. They like to know what to expect of adults and what the limits are. Setting limits gives the child a sense of security, in knowing what he/she can do and cannot do. Rules are explained in a cheerful, clear manner to make them understandable and acceptable to your child. Discipline is handled without force.

We have a three strike rule:

  • The first time a child is talked to about any uncontrollable behavior we will be having a conference with the parent.
  • The second time for the same incident the parent will need to pick up the child for the rest of the day.
  • The third time your child is talked to for the same incident we will be asking the parents to make other arrangements for the child’s day care

We have a policy with our state-licensing agents and in this policy it states that we need to protect the rights of every child in our care. In order to protect the rights of all our children and your child we must be sure to apply all these state rules and regulations to any and all children and parents at Melody Lane.

Adjustment to School

Our staff is prepared for and capable of handling your child’s adjustment to a school environment. Children should be brought to the classroom and parents are encouraged to leave immediately during the child’s initial adjustment period. Parents are reminded to use positive approaches in dealing with the reluctant child.

Withdrawal

A two-week written notice to the school Director is required when withdrawing your child from Melody Lane. If we do not receive the notice in writing you are still obligated. If for any reason your child is not adjusting or we feel his/her needs are not being met at our school. We reserve the right to request that you remove your child from Melody Lane. Prior to termination the school will make every effort to meet with the parents and discuss the matter in question. If there still is the problem in question the school reserves the right to request you remove your child from the school. At this time you will be given either a verbal or receive a written notice. This will take effect immediately.

Causes for Termination

Children will be terminated for the following reasons:

  • Inappropriate behavior from child and / or parents
  • Violating other children’s rights
  • Violating school property
  • Biting another child/teacher, the first time, we will ask that you pick the child up immediately. The second time we will ask that you remove the child from the center for one day, If it happens a third time we will ask you to make other arrangements for your child’s daycare.

All tuition owed must be paid at this time. Otherwise there will be a $25.00 per week late fee added on for each week not paid. If after 4 weeks, your account is not paid it will be forwarded to my collection agency.

Birthday

We celebrate birthdays during afternoon snack time (2:30 p.m.). We encourage parents to let their child’s teacher know a week in advance so she can add songs, games, stories etc., during the day to make it special for your child. Parents are welcome to send cookies, cupcakes or a cake to share with your child’s classmates. Please notify the teacher in advance if you plan to do so. Please ask the teacher how many children and make sure if you bring a treat that you bring enough for all the children.

Toys from Home/ Sentimentally Valuable Items

Toys from home/ sentimentally valuable items should NOT be brought to school. If a toy or sentimentally valuable is brought to school, the school cannot be responsible for these items. Guns, war type or other toys of violence or destruction are not allowed at school. It must be kept to one toy and it must be able to fit in their cubby. Please tell your child a little about their special toy they brought like where they got it, who they got it from, why they got it and most important what the toy is. Please make sure the toy has their name on it.

Field Trips

Field trips (school age only) and short neighborhood walks are considered an important part of our educational program and will be taken periodically to nearby places. Walking trips to visit places and things (parks, library etc.) allow your child to become familiar with his/her neighborhood environment and to make observations on how things and people work (during the summer). Field trips to Zoo, museum, Fire Department or other places of interest help your child enlarge his/her scope of knowledge.

If your child is attending a field trip with his/her school and are not back on time, Melody Lane cannot go back and pick up your child. The parent must make arrangements for the child to be picked up. It is also your responsibility to call Melody Lane and let us know if we do not have to pick up your child due to a field trip or there will be a $5.00 charge if the driver goes to the school and your child is not there.

Parent Bulletin Board

The teacher has set aside a parent’s bulletin board where each teacher will illustrate the activities she has planned for her classroom each month. Please take the time to look and read the board, it is there to keep you in touch with what your child is doing at school.

Parent Conferences

Parents are welcome to schedule parent/director or parent/teacher conferences at any time. Please check with the teacher and the director for the best time where they can meet you in private.

Child Progress Report

Preschooler, a written report on your child’s progress will be prepared upon request. Parents are invited to inquire about their child’s adjustment, social and educational progress at any time.

Please feel free to contact the center’s Director for any question and or concerns you may have. We at Melody Lane Children’s Center believe that by working together we can make your child’s learning experience a pleasant one.