Brightside Children’s Center Inc.
Parent handbook: Policies and Procedures
We welcome you and your family to Brightside Children’s Center, Inc. We are very pleased that you have chosen our center. Brightside thrives to provide quality care for ages birth to 12 years.
Brightside was built by the owner’s, Ryan and Leslie Pierce. Brightside was Leslie’s long time dream and it was finally fulfilled in the summer of 2007. In the summer of 2009, they were presented with another incredible opportunity to open a second building, which is now the beautiful infant center that opened in the fall of 2009. Leslie has a background in Early Childhood Education and a BS in Child and Family Development from the University of Central Missouri State.
They welcome each one of you, with open arms and warm hearts. The mission here at Brightside is to provide a safe, loving, educational and developmentally appropriate environment for all children.
We are located at two different buildings. The pre-school is located at 861 E. Walnut and the infant center is located at 869 E Walnut on the corner of J highway and 58 highway in Raymore, Missouri.
II. HOURS OF OPERATION
Brightside is open from 6:00am-6:00pm Monday through Friday.
Brightside is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Parents will be charged for these holidays.
IV. BAD WEATHER CLOSINGS
If weather conditions occur which may pose a threat to those traveling to our center, we will close until those conditions improve. Generally, we do not close due to weather conditions unless they are very severe. Please call when conditions are questionable.
***In this case, weekly tuition is still due like normal.***
Tuition payments are due every Monday for that week. There is a lock box at the entrance of Brightside where you can drop your payment. If you are paying cash, please put it in an envelope with your name on it. If you feel uncomfortable dropping your payment in the lock box, feel free to hand it to the Owner or the Office Manager. Please do not give anyone else your payment. This is to ensure proper controls over tuition payment.
A. Late Payments
Weekly tuition payments are due on Mondays, however, we will accept payments through Tuesday evening. Payments made after Tuesday evening will be considered late. There is a $5 penalty per day beginning on Wednesday mornings until tuition is paid. When tuition becomes one week late there will be a $10 per day late fee until it is paid.
B. Tuition Increases
When a decision has been made to increase tuition rates, parents will be given 1 month’s notice.
C. NSF checks
When we receive an NSF check there will be a charge of $50.00. Payment for that check will be due in cash on the day we receive the NSF check notice. After we receive three NSF checks from a parent then that parent will be put on a cash-basis from then on. This means that we will only accept cash for tuition payments in the future.
D. Extended Hour Fees
Parents will be charged for early release days and no school days. These extra fees will be added to your regular weekly tuition and will be due during the week they are incurred.
Brightside cares for children ages birth to 12 years old. We do not require that children be potty trained before enrolling, however, we do start potty training only when the parents are ready.
B. Enrollment Status
Full time applicants have the highest priority at Brightside. We do accept part time applicants, however, there are special rules regarding enrollment. In order to be enrolled as a part time student, Brightside must have another part time match, which equals a full time position. At Brightside, we are very empathetic to those looking for part time care, as it is sometimes very difficult. We try very hard to find a match for all of our part time applicants.
C. Enrollment Fee
There is a $50.00 enrollment fee per family. Once you have completed an application form, you will either be enrolled at that time or placed on the waiting list depending on availability. Your $50.00 enrollment fee can also hold your spot for 30 days if you do not wish to start immediately.
D. Enrollment Package
All parents receive an enrollment package, which contains an application. Additional applications will be given to parents with more than one child. The enrollment package also includes a parent handbook and other applicable forms, which need to be completed at the time of application. We will also need a copy of your child’s immunization records.
VII. WAITING LIST
Applicants who are not immediately enrolled will be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list will prioritize according to application date (the date on which the application is completed and fee is paid). Once space becomes available, we will notify the applicant immediately. You may contact the center Director to inquire about your waiting list status.
Once enrollment has been confirmed, we will then schedule a new student orientation. During this visit, we will review our program, policies, procedures and philosophy. You will get a chance to meet your child’s teacher, the rest of the Brightside staff and spend some time in your child’s classroom.
Once you have been enrolled at Brightside for 6 months, you will receive 2 weeks of free vacation time. We ask that you give us advance notice of any vacation you plan to use. This free time can be used for anything. Before the initial 6-month period is over, you will be charged for any absences from the center. After the 6-month period, if you have used all of your 2- week free time, you will be charged for any absences from the center. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you disenroll for any reason and decide to reenroll later you will loose your vacation and it will start over six months after you return to the center.
We require a written notice two weeks in advance of your intention to withdraw enrollment from Brightside. You will be billed for this two-week period if you fail to provide this notice.
As the owner of Brightside Children’s Center, I Leslie Pierce, reserve the right to withdraw a student from the center. I will evaluate the situation, contact and warn the parents, give two weeks notice and then withdraw the student. I am sure that this will never happen, but these are the steps I will take if your child needs to be dismissed.
XI. CHILDREN’S FILES
All parent/child information including medical forms, applications and any other confidential information will be kept in individual files in the office area. Only the Owner, Director, and Office Manager will have access to that information. Teachers are encouraged to create their own individual files for their classrooms containing information pertinent to the education of their students. No confidential information will be contained in those files. Parents may request access to the files at any time.
XII. OPEN DOOR POLICY
We strongly encourage parent interaction at Brightside. Our goal is toinvolve parents in all aspects of their child’s daily activities. Our door is always open. Parents can drop in at any time to visit their children, talk with staff or simply observe. We want parents to feel very comfortable at our center and very familiar with their child’s classroom. Family interaction is the key to your happiness at Brightside.
XIII. SIGNING IN AND OUT
We have an automated attendance tracker. At the entrance of the center there is a keypad where parents check in and out as they drop off and pick up their children. Parents are allowed to choose a 4-digit code, which is kept confidential. The code is entered on the keypad at the time of the drop-off, which automatically keeps track of the time you checked in your child. The same process takes place at the time of check-out. This is a very time-efficient process that does not inconvenience parents and offers a safety check so that only persons with the code can check in and out children.
A. Age limit for persons allowed to take children form the center
Anyone who comes to take a child from the center must be at least 16years of age. This person must also be on the list as someone who the parent gives permission to take their child from the center. This list is in the child’s file. We will enforce this rule.
B. The chain of custody rule: All parents are required to drop their child off in the appropriate classroom each day. A parent cannot drop their child off in the hallway, in the parking lot or anywhere else but in the child’s classroom. Also, the parent must acknowledge the child’s teacher before leaving the center, so that the teacher is aware that the child is present.
C. Late pick up fees
Our business hours are 6:00am-6:00pm Monday through Friday. After 6:05pm, if you have not picked up your child from the center, your account will be charged $1.00 per minute until your child is picked up.
Your child should not come to Brightside if any of the following occur:
- Your child has temperature of 100.0 degrees orally within 24 hours of attending Brightside
- Your child vomits once within a 24-hour period of attending Brightside.
- Your child has two occurrences of diarrhea or abnormal bowel movements within a 24-hour period of attending Brightside.
- Your child’s eyes are red, glazed or contain discharge.
- Your child’s ears are red, sore or discharging.
- Your child has a continuous cough.
- Your child has a contagious disease such as whooping cough, chicken pox, mumps, measles, etc. Please report this type of disease to Brightside immediately.
- Your child develops ringworm, lice, or impetigo.
- Your child should remain at home for 24 hours after starting an antibiotic for an infection.
Your child may return to the center when symptoms disappear for a 24-hour period or with a physician’s note.
A. When symptoms occur at the center
When your child gets sick at Brightside, we will do the following:
- Take the child’s temperature and report all symptoms to person in
- Contact you and determine the appropriate course of action.
- When we ask you to pick up your child due to illness, we expect you to arrive at the center within 60 minutes.
If your child is sent home sick, they need to stay home for the whole next day.
**ALSO, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO USE OUR JUDGEMENT IN INDIVIDUAL CASES OF ILLNESS. EACH CASE OF ILLNESS IS DIFFERENT FROM ANOTHER AND WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR ALL OF THE CHILDREN ENROLLED AT BRIGHTSIDE.
B. Administering medication at Brightside.
Brightside staff will administer medication to children according to the physician’s instruction on the medicine label. Medication will only be administered at NOON (once a day). It is the responsibility of the parents to keep staff informed of the child’s daily medication needs. You must complete a MEDICINE REQUEST form located in the medicine cabinet in the kitchen in order for Brightside staff to administer medication.
The following guidelines must be followed:
- Prescription medication must have a pharmacy label with the child’s name on it.
- Non-prescription medication such as Sudafed, Triaminic, ect. Will be administered for up to three consecutive days. After such time, a physician’s note will be required to continue administering non-prescription medication.
- Allowed medication must be brought in its original bottle. Staff will always follow physician’s instructions if they differ from the parent’s.
- Medication will be sent home at the end of each week.
- Fever reducers such as Tylenol, Advil, etc. will NOT BE ADMINISTERED by Brightside staff.
Please notify the center immediately if your child is exposed to or contracts a communicable disease. The following information needs to be provided:
- Physician’s confirmation of the type of disease
- Source of exposure
- Child’s last visit to the center
- Physician’s recommendation for the course of action for the child and center.
If a child is diagnosed with a communicable disease, notification will be posted in the center (child’s name will not be used). If your child is diagnosed as having one of the following diseases listed below, he/she may not attend the center for the specified number of days following the onset of illness.
Measles 4 days
Mumps 9 days
Chicken Pox 7 days
German Measles 7 days
If your child is injured at Brightside, staff will provide initial emergency care. For more serious injuries, staff will initiate emergency first aid as required by the condition and call for help. Staff will record all injuries on the classroom accident report. Accident reports will also go in the child’s individual file.
When a child requires medical attention, staff will notify Owner or Director for assistance. Next, parents will be notified of the situation. You may be asked to provide transportation to the emergency room. If you cannot be reached, a decision will be made by the Owner or Director as to whether to proceed to the emergency room via ambulance, center van or staff car. We will continue to try to contact someone in the family for notification.
You will always be notified if your child receives an injury that is minor but more serious than a small scrape or bump. You will never be surprised at the end of the day by your child’s condition or be left to discover injuries later in the evening after leaving Brightside.
XVI. STATE REGULATIONS
Brightside Children’s Center, Inc. is licensed by the state of Missouri and complies with all regulations. A copy of Licensing Rules for Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers is available in the office area.
XVII. BRIGHTSIDE STAFF
All staff meets or exceeds the following:
- The teacher/child ratio established by Missouri child care licensing regulations.
- Physical exam requirements
- Child abuse and neglect screening requirements
- Drug and alcohol screening requirements
- Criminal background check requirements
- At least 12 hours of continuing education in child care related studies per year.
- First aid and CPR training requirements
**All staff wear the Brightside uniform.
XVIII. EDUCATION PROGRAM
We hope to provide a loving, safe, fun and educational environment for your child here at Brightside. Your child will be learning new and exciting things everyday. The curriculum touches on every core subject and Spanish. We also believe that having fun is a great part of growing up. The children will get plenty of time to be a child and just have fun!
Each classroom’s program will vary due to different age levels. All activities and lessons are age appropriate and geared to assist development at all stages of a child’s life. Below is a brief description of the program goals and structure.
A. Lesson plans
Each classroom has a weekly lesson plan, which is posted near the entrance of the classroom for parents to view. Lesson plans will include a 5-day schedule including curriculum planning, special activities, crafts, meals, outdoor play, etc.
B. Monthly newsletter
At the end of each month, Brightside will release a newsletter for the following month, which will inform parents of the upcoming themes, activities and fieldtrips. Also, it will include any center announcements, new policies, etc. This is primarily to keep parents informed of upcoming events and involved in their child’s development.
Pre-school: We have 5 classrooms in the center. Each classroom is designated for a specific age group. Other considerations are made for children with special needs or circumstances. Our goal is to place children in classrooms that suit their needs. We try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to each child.
Infant Center: We have 3 classrooms in this center. They will be organized by three age groups; younger infants, middle infants, and older infants. The infant center will be a very warm, quiet, nursery type of center.
XX. FIELD TRIPS
Staff will be scheduling field trips for their individual classrooms. The director approves all field trips. All parents are notified of any upcoming field trips through monthly newsletters, weekly lesson plans and verbal communication. All parents are encouraged and very welcome to join us on field trips.
Brightside staff considers the following when arranging field trips:
- Developmentally appropriate
- Arranging for transportation using the Brightside vans
- Bringing first aid kit
- Carrying an attendance list of all children
- Partaking in frequent head counts
- Utilizing buddy system
- Thoroughly monitoring all children
- Complete check of Brightside vans after evacuation of all children
- Keeping field trips short because children tire easily
- Making sure that field trips do not conflict with meals and or naptime
If it is your child’s birthday, you are welcome to bring birthday treats for your child and his/her class. We encourage parents to come celebrate with their child and his/her friends. Our staff keeps track of all upcoming birthdays and will talk with parent about bringing snacks.
Television and videos are used sparingly in the classrooms. Staff consults with the director about the suitability of any programs or videos. Television is not used as a babysitter at Brightside. Each class will only have one day out of the month for a special “Movie Day.”
XXIII. OUTDOOR PLAY
Children play outdoors for a minimum of 1 hour each day unless prevented by weather conditions or special medical reasons. Weather conditions where the heat index is at a dangerous level or the wind chill is below freezing level would prohibit children from outdoor play.
Staff makes sure that each child is dressed appropriately before going outside. Parents are responsible for providing appropriate clothing for outdoor play such as hats, coats, gloves, sun block, etc.
Your child may stay inside if parents submit a doctor’s written request and there is space and staff available inside.
Staff maintains close monitoring of children outside. They use this time as an extension of the classroom to participate in activities outdoors. If children are on climbing structures there is always a staff member around keeping close tabs.
XXIX. NAP AND REST TIME
Pre-school: Nap and rest time begins at 12:00pm and ends at 2:30pm. Brightside provides cots for children to nap and rest. Children who do not fall asleep on the cot after 30 minutes are allowed to engage in quiet play (reading a book or coloring) while sitting on their cots. Staff cannot keep a child awake during naptime at the request of a parent. All children are required to partake in naptime with the exception of school-age children.
Infant Center: We will try to keep all infants on their own napping schedule.
XXVI. PARENT SUGGESTION BOX
At the entrance to the center, there is a tuition payment box. This is also used as a suggestion box. Parents are always encouraged and welcome to discuss issues of any kind with the owner or director. However, there are times in which parents might feel intimidated or apprehensive about voicing opinions or concerns. We understand this. Please feel free to write down any of these comments or concerns on paper and drop them in the suggestion box. We would like any and all of your suggestions and comments.
You will need to bring an extra change of clothing for your child to Brightside. This extra change of clothing will be kept in the child’s cubby. Additional clothing such as coats and gloves may be necessary for outdoor play. Staff will help you in deciding what and how much to bring. Children need to be dressed for play and free from worry about ruining good clothes. Accidents can happen and children tend to get dirty during outdoor play.
XXVIII. PERSONAL ITEMS
We ask that you do not bring toys from home to the center, unless suggested by the teacher on special days. We cannot be responsible for any breakage or damage. However, you are permitted to bring a special blanket or security item to help make your child feel at home for naptime.
XXIX. TOILET TRAINING
We do not require that children be potty trained before enrolling at Brightside. However, we do require that they at least wear pull-ups or underwear while potty training. We will start potty training as soon as the parents are ready.
XXX. HAND WASHING
Hand washing will take place before and after all meals, after outdoor play and after any special activities in which hands might get dirty. Staff also follows this policy. We feel this is the best way to prevent the passing of infectious diseases. This is part of the daily routine.
XXXII. DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR
At times, discipline is necessary in a child’s development. At Brightside, we have adopted a discipline policy that is one which encourages problem solving, not punishment. Our discipline policy is modeled after the Ozanam philosophy of “grace and accountability”. Each staff member is given a copy of the teacher handbook What To Do When Kids Say “NO”. All staff members have been informally trained using this handbook.
This philosophy encompasses a 5-step problem solving method:
1. Laying the groundwork
2. Approaching an upset child
3. Identifying problem behaviors
4. Understanding and managing feelings
5. Developing a plan for change
Instead of focusing on punishment, which can provoke aggressive behavior, damage self-esteem and promote other hostile emotions, we move toward problem solving. This allows children to be a part of the decision making when it comes to choosing how he or she is going to change to a more positive behavior. One of the key elements is using firm, positive and supportive communication. This philosophy of discipline focuses on making children feel safe through supportive relationships with their teachers.
The teacher handbook is a very good tool, which helps teachers understand a child’s perspective. Also, it offers many situational examples in which they may encounter. It walks teachers through the process of the 5-step problem-solving method in these examples and exhibits the use of positive and supportive language.
Part of the problem-solving process is for the child to take some time to figure out how, together, we are going to change his/her disruptive behavior toward more positive behavior. In simple terms, this is usually going to be a “time-out” period. State regulations state that this period of separation should be based on the guideline of 1 minute for each year of the child’s age.
The following are types of discipline that will never occur at Brightside:
Parents are welcome to read our teacher handbook at any time. We encourage you to become familiar with our policies.
If there are persistent problems with a child, which have not been resolved over a period of time, parents will be asked to work with the center to correct disruptive behavior. If a sufficient reasonable time period has passed with no improvement, Brightside reserves the right to dismiss the child.
Safety is our #1 concern at Brightside. All activities, field trips and outdoor play times are planned with safety in mind. Staff relies on the following guidelines and procedures to ensure the overall safety of their program:
Coming and Going:
XXXIV. NO SMOKING POLICY
Smoking or the use of tobacco in any fashion is prohibited in the Brightside building and on the playground area.
XXXV. CHILD ABUSE SUSPICION POLICY
Missouri licensing law requires us to report immediately any suspicious incident of child abuse or neglect to the Missouri Division of Family Services. The State may impose penalties for failure to report such incidents.
Staff will be informed of the Missouri Child Abuse law, which includes:
XXXVI. CHILD CARE CREDIT
If you wish to deduct your child care expenses for the year on your annual tax return, we suggest you keep good records of all tuition payments made (cancelled checks, weekly bills). At the beginning of the year, we can provide parents with a report totaling all child care expenses for the previous year (current tax year).
We are very happy that you decided to join our family at Brightside Children’s Center. We hope this parent handbook has helped you understand our policies and procedures. Please feel free to inform us of any important topics you would like to see addressed in this handbook. This is an evolving process and we need and appreciate any comments and suggestions you might have. We are here for you and want to make this a wonderful experience for you and your children. Thank you.