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Phone:
410-553-6694

E-mail:
cathy@cathyscare.com

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Cathy's Care Handbook 2016

REGISTRATION # 40652
NATIONALLY ACCREDITED PROVIDER
LEVEL 6 MARYLAND CREDENTIAL
MARYLAND EXCELS LEVEL 5


PROFESSIONALISM

I have chosen as my profession the field of family child care.  I began this career in 1992.  I love what I do.  I am honored that you have chosen me to care for your child.  In addition to being registered by the Child Care Administration, State of Maryland, as a licensed family childcare provider, I also hold a Level 6 Credential, National Accreditation and MD EXCELS Level 5.  I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/Special Education with Teaching Certification at Washington Adventist University.

The Maryland Child Care Credential is a voluntary program that recognizes child care providers who go beyond the requirements of State licensing and registration regulations.  There are six credential levels, each one recognizing a child care provider’s achievement of a specified number of training hours, years of experience and professional activities which lead to quality child care.  Participating providers complete training in topic areas in order to develop the knowledge and skills they need to provide the highest quality care for the children and families they serve.  The Credential is valid for one year and may be renewed annually.  I am a level 6 and I have had my credential since 2001.

The National Association for Family Child Care developed and implements the National Accreditation Program for Family Child Care.  National Accreditation assesses family child care providers and their facilities.  There are six quality standard areas that must be assessed.  These include Relationships, Environment, Activities, Developmental Learning Goals, Safety and Health, and Professional and Business Practices.  There are requirements within these standards that must be met before a provider can receive National Accreditation.  Providers must complete a minimum of 90 hours of training, complete a self-study, and be observed by a nationally approved early child care observer.  Once all the requirements have been met and the observation visit has been successfully completed, National Accreditation is awarded for a period of three years.  I received my first National Accreditation in March 2003 and I am current through January 2016.

Maryland EXCELS is a voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). A QRIS is a program that awards ratings to family providers, center-based and public school child care programs, and school age before and after school programs that meet increasingly higher standards of quality in key areas.  Maryland EXCELS includes standards in different areas of early care and education, including licensing, learning environments, staffing and professional development, developmentally appropriate learning and program practices, child assessment, program administration and policies, and accreditation.  I hold the highest level, Level 5.

PHILOSOPHY


I offer an inclusive child care program for children from birth through age 12.  I believe that children learn by doing – that they learn by experiencing life through all their senses.  I provide opportunities for learning through play, family activity events, preschool activities and outdoor experiences. 

Our curriculum encompasses the whole child and reaches all 7 domains (social and personal development, language and literacy, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, the arts, and physical development and health).  I utilize the MSDE approved curriculum for Family Child Care, Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care as well as the MSDE approved curriculum Little Treasures from Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Publishing (http://reading.macmillanmh.com/ltreasures/).  I also refer to the MD Common Core State Curriculum for Pre-K for each academic domain as supported by MSDE.  The curriculum is also supplemented with My Big World with Clifford, a Scholastic resource.  Lessons are developed based on the interests and skills of the children in care and incorporate multiple learning experiences.  Differentiation is included based on the individual needs of the child.  For children with an IFSP/IEP, these documents are used to develop individuated lesson plans.  For children under the age of two, Ages and Stages and Healthy Beginnings are the tools used to provide developmentally appropriate activities based on the individual needs of each child.  Activities are based on the child’s age, abilities, strengths and weaknesses, cultural and social background and personal interests.  I have extensive education and experience in working with children with special needs.

Research has confirmed that children do their most important learning before age 5.  That’s why emergent literacy is a vital component of our program.  Anytime is a time for learning, growing, and developing the skills necessary for living a full life.  Children learn at different levels and abilities and it is important to provide them with developmentally appropriate tools for learning.  We have fun and we learn.  We value manners and we respect each other.  Personal and social skills are woven into the curriculum as well as cognitive and physical development.

Throughout any given day, I use a variety of teaching styles.  I use teacher-directed style when I am introducing a new activity at pre-school.  I use modeling to introduce a new finger play.  I use scaffolding to help a child build on what they can already do.  I use play-based teaching on a daily basis to teach concepts from all seven domains.  Regardless of the style used, I focus on asking open-ended questions, challenging questions, visual as well as verbal cues and a variety of cues for transitions.  I am warm and nurturing towards the children in my care.  Building trust is the foundation of my program. 

I believe an effective teacher is a caring teacher.  You must show care and concern for each and every child in your care.  Also, an effective teacher has to possess the skills necessary to impart essential knowledge to each student.  I find these two components to be essential in conveying information to students.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION


Registration Process: The first step in the registration process is to schedule an interview. This can be scheduled at your convenience. This will be your opportunity to meet me and visit my home. We will review the contract, discuss hours and fees and discuss your needs. After the initial interview, it is up to the client to contact me if they are interested in a second interview. During the second interview we will complete the contract and you will pay the registration fee. At this point I will give you all the forms that need to be completed prior to your child beginning in care. At this point, your child is registered to begin care on your assigned date.  It is recommended that children receive a staggered entrance into child care.  This would be the time to schedule those initial visits prior to the actual start date, if schedules permit.

Registration Fee – A registration fee is required. This is a non-refundable fee used to hold your child’s "spot" until their scheduled start date. The fee is equal to one week’s fee. If your child fails to start on their assigned start date, the fee is forfeited and the "spot" will be lost.

Initial Trial Period – Each child has an initial trial period of four weeks.  During this time, service may be terminated by either the parent or provider without any further obligation.  No fees will be refunded. 

I WILL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING:


  1. A loving environment in which your child can grow and develop.

  2. Planned activities incorporating all 7 domains of early childhood education.

  3. Meals and snacks that are approved by the USDA and Let’s Move Child Care.

  4. Comfortable space for nursing mothers to feed their babies.

  5. Sleeping facilities, high chair, playpen, crib, toys, books, etc.

PARENTS/GUARDIANS WILL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING:


  1. An extra set of clothing for each child.

  2. Adequate diapers and wipes.

  3. Completed Enrollment Forms, Medical Forms and Emergency Card.  These MUST be updated annually.

DAILY SCHEDULE
May be adjusted to meet the needs of individual children


Arrival Free Play – This allows for transition to the child care setting. Several activities are set up, such as puzzles, books and writing activities, and the play room is open to allow children to choose an area for free play.
Transition* Children clean up and take care of personal needs – music is used to aid in this transition as they prepare for breakfast.  They help prepare and set up for breakfast.
Breakfast - 7:30am Meals are served family style and adhere to the guidelines established by the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Let’s Move Child Care.
Learning Centers Children have the choice of area to play.  I am there to assist in any way they may need, either in parallel play or by providing guidance and prompts.
Transition* Children clean up and take care of personal needs – music is used to aid in this transition as they prepare for morning snack.  They help prepare and set up for snack.
Snack Meals are served family style and adhere to the guidelines established by the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Let’s Move Child Care.
Transition* Children transition to preschool through visual prompts, such as the daily schedule.
Pre-School We begin with The Pledge of Allegiance, Good Morning Song, Weather, Calendar, Days of the Week Song, and Apple Tree Song. We then have our lesson and stories.  Lessons incorporate a variety of delivery styles to meet the diverse learning styles of the children in care.  All lesson plans incorporate differentiated instruction to meet each child at their point of need.  15 minutes of reading s included.
Transition* Children take care of their personal needs and prepare to go outside.  Music is used as a transition tool, as well as verbal and visual prompts.
Outdoor Play* Children engage in gross motor play. Our goal is to move and engage in a variety of activities that promote an active lifestyle. There are planned activities as well as the opportunity for free choice.
Transition* Children transition to lunch through verbal prompts and music. They take care of personal needs and help prepare and set up for lunch.
Lunch - 11:30am Meals are served family style and adhere to the guidelines established by the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Let’s Move Child Care.
Transition* Children transition to story and nap through verbal and visual prompts.  Children take care of personal needs.
Reading/Rest Provider reads to the children as they prepare to rest.  Children nap as their personal schedule permits.
Transition* As children awake, they take care of their personal needs and prepare for their afternoon snack.
Snack – 2:00pm Snacks are served family style and adhere to the guidelines established by the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Let’s Move Child Care.
Transition* Children transition to outdoor play through stories reflecting movement and play.
Outdoor Play Children engage in gross motor play.  Our goal is to move and engage in a variety of activities that promote an active lifestyle. There are planned activities as well as the opportunity for free choice.
Transition* Children clean up and take care of personal needs – music is used to aid in this transition as they prepare for dinner.  They help prepare and set up for dinner.
Dinner – 4:15 Meals are served family style and adhere to the guidelines established by the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Let’s Move Child Care.
Transition* As the pick-up time nears for each child, that child is prompted to prepare for leaving by cleaning up, gathering their personal belongings and saying good-bye to their classmates.
  • Transitional strategies are developed and implemented based on the individual needs of the children in care.
     
  • All children will go outside, weather permitting. Please dress them accordingly.
     
  • Infants and young toddlers follow their own schedule. Developmental activities are provided based on the individual needs of the child.
     
  • Children with special needs adhere to the above schedule as they are able. Developmentally appropriate activities are provided as indicated by their individual needs.

General Information


1.  I provide an inclusive child care program.  ALL children are welcome.

2.  Communication – You may reach me in a variety of ways:
            Cell phone/text – 410-###-####
            Home phone – 410-553-6694
            E-mail – Cathy@CathysCare.com
I provide a monthly newsletter sent via e-mail.  A paper copy is also provided, one is placed on the bulletin board and one is on the “Parent’s Page” of the website at www.CathysCare.com.   Correspondence to clients may be sent via e-mail, text or phone call, depending on the preference of the client.

3.  Four weeks advance notice must be given for termination of services after the initial trial period.  Payment for the final four weeks is required regardless of the child’s attendance.  Holidays and Vacation Dates are NOT counted towards the final four week’s notice.

4.  LATE FEE – There is a late fee of $15 per child for the first 15 minutes a parent is late picking up their child and $15 for every 15 minutes after that.  This fee is due the day the lateness occurs.  This late fee is assessed in all cases.  Calling to say you will be late is appreciated; however, the late fees will be assessed.

5.  I do not provide child care to children that are ill.  Children with a fever, vomiting, having diarrhea, or exhibiting any other symptoms of illness will not be accepted*.  Do not give your child a fever reducer before bringing them to child care.Any medication you have given your child within the last 24 hours must be recorded on the sign-in sheet.  Failure to do so may result in immediate termination of services by the provider.

6.  If children become ill during the day, parents will be notified and are required to pick up their child IMMEDIATELY.  It is your responsibility to have arrangements in place for someone to pick up a child that becomes ill.Children must be free of all symptoms for a complete 24 hours before returning to child care*.
*A doctor’s note may be required before the child can return to child care.  I will notify parents on an individual basis if this is required.

7.  Immunizations should be scheduled for the afternoon or on a day the child has off.  I will not accept a child in care who has received immunizations on the same day.

8.  Medication will not be dispensed without written authorization from the parent or guardian.  This must include the name of the child, name of medication, dosage and time to be given.  The medication must be in the original container with the child’s name on the label.  If children are prescribed an antibiotic, they are required to be on the antibiotic for a complete 24 hours before returning to child care.  If the doctor instructs you to use an over the counter medication, I must have a note from the doctor to indicate the medicine, dosage, time to be given and duration of treatment.  Please put a note in the sign-in book when leaving a medication.

9.  All parents must sign their children in and out using the sign-in book. 

10.  Family Involvement – Families are encouraged to participate in our program as they are able.  Family members are encouraged to visit their child at any time.  Opportunities include guest reader, chaperone for field trips, attending parties both on and off site, providing supplies, fundraising, making copies, and other opportunities as they arise.

11.  Classroom Management – I use positive behavioral supports including distraction, redirection, problem solving, and reflection.  Visual supports are used to encourage appropriate behavior.  Clear rules and expectations are developed in September of each year with input from current students.   Motivational strategies, transition strategies and conflict resolution strategies are also in place.  Whenever possible, children are provided the opportunity to make choices.  Finally, communication with the families is a vital component to classroom management.

12.  Sunscreen Authorization – You give permission for me to apply/assist in applying sunscreen to your child.  The parent is required by MSDE to provide the sunscreen.

13.  Photograph Agreement – You give permission for your child to be photographed.  These pictures will be used to demonstrate the activities your child has participated in. 

14.  Touch Policy - Child care providers and parents teach safe touching by modeling appropriate touch for the children. Appropriate touch takes into account respect for the personal privacy and personal space of others. Appropriate touch takes into account the wishes, safety, health and well being of the child.  Inappropriate touch violates a child’s right and is a form of exploitation of the child’s lack of knowledge of touching.  Using appropriate touch keeps children safe and protected.  Touching is a learning experience which teaches young children cooperation and self-control.

15.  Safe Nap Policy - Children under the age of 1 nap on their backs in a Pack and Play or crib within sight and sound of the provider.  Children over 12 months of age are transitioned to a sleeping bag.  Children 12 months to two years of age can remain in the pack and play or crib with a signed request from their parent/guardian.

16.  Nutrition/Physical Education Policy – I provide support for breastfeeding clients.  I provide a comfortable area for clients to nurse their children and followsafety procedures for storing and using breast milk.  I provide all meals and snacks, including infant formula.  I participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.  CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group child care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children.  I also participate in the “Let’s Move Child Care” initiative by committing to serve healthier foods, including whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables (at least four times per week) and limiting fat, sugar and salt, as well as promoting physical activity.  Physical activity (which is appropriate to their age and stage of physical and emotional development) is incorporated into the daily schedule.

17.  Pick-Up Policy – Children will only be released to those individuals listed on the Emergency Form, once they have provided proper identification.  In an emergency, a text message will suffice to allow another individual to pick up – they will still need to provide ID.  If someone attempts to pick up a child while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the appropriate steps will be taken following MSDE regulations.

18.  Parent/Provider Conferences and Transitions – Conferences are scheduled and conducted on a semi-annual basis.   Children four years of age begin the process of transitioning to kindergarten.  This includes out-of-area transfer information, home school information, registration information, IFSP/Special Needs information, and portfolio and assessment information.  With the permission of the parent, provider is available to discuss assessment information with future teacher.

19.  Observation Practices and Developmental Screenings – Screenings are conducted by the provider within 90 days of enrollment.  Thereafter, screenings are conducted semi-annually – prior to parent/provider conferences.  Screening/Observation tools used include the Ages and Stages Questionnaire and the CDC Ages and Stages Developmental Milestones.  The provider uses both formal and informal observations.  Observations include anecdotal notes, checklists, and portfolios.  Results are shared during the semi-annual parent/provider conferences.

20.  Media Policy – Due to recent research on the effects of screen time (Passive and Interactive) as it relates to the development of children I have initiated a media policy.  There is no screen time for children under 2.  Children 2 and over may have limited screen time that relates directly to, and enhances, their daily learning experiences (Limited to no more than 30 minutes of passive technology per week).  For children under the age of two, alternate developmentally appropriate activities are provided to meet the needs of the individual child.

21.  Technology Education – Technology Education is incorporated in the curriculum planning process.  Children over age 2 are exposed to computers, keyboards, a mouse, and touch screens through a variety of educational software and programs.  All applications are developmentally appropriate and structured throughout the seven domains of early childhood education.

22.  Curriculum – I utilize the MSDE approved Curriculum for Family Child Care, Little Treasures and the Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care.  I also refer to the MD Common Core State Curriculum for Pre-K for each academic domain as supported by MSDE.  The curriculum is also supplemented with My Big World with Clifford, a Scholastic resource.  Lessons plans are developed based on the interests and skills of the children in care and incorporate multiple learning experiences.  Additionally, lesson plans incorporate culturally competent and developmentally appropriate activities.  Assessments, observations and input from family members provide further information used in lesson preparation.   Differentiation is included based on the individual needs of the child.  For children with an IFSP/IEP, these documents are used to develop individuated lesson plans.  For children under the age of two, Ages and Stages and Healthy Beginnings are the tools used to provide developmentally appropriate activities based on the individual needs of each child.

23.  Resources – A Resource Book is maintained by the Provider and is located near the sign-in book.  Clients are encouraged to routinely look through the book and copies/links will be provided upon request.  The Resource book is updated quarterly.

24.  Lending Library – I have an extensive library of children’s books.  Clients are provided a list of books and can check them out at any time.  Once a request is made, I gather the books, and they can go home with the child in the afternoon.

25.  I may need to transport children on occasion.By signing this contract, you are giving me permission to transport your child in my car should the need arise.

26.  I am certified by the American Heart Association in CPR and First Aid.

27.  I am a member of the following child care/education organizations:
            Anne Arundel County Family Child Care Association, Inc.
            Maryland State Family Child Care Association, Inc.
            National Association for the Education of Young Children
            National Association for Family Child Care

CLOSINGS

On days that I am closed, it is YOUR responsibility to arrange back-up child care.

1.  I will be closed for the following holidays with pay:
-Federal Government Holidays -


-Good Friday and Easter Monday, March 25 and 28
-Provider Appreciation Day (Second Friday in May), May 6
-Thanksgiving Friday, November 25
-Christmas Eve thru New Year’s Day, December 23-January 2

2.  Provider Leave – I have 20 days paid leave per year.(These include sick days, training days, personal days, vacation days, bereavement days, etc.).  As much notice will be given as possible.  Clients are responsible for providing their own back-up child care.

3.  Emergency Closings – If I am without water or electricity, I will be closed.  I will notify you as soon as possible and I will re-open as soon as possible. 

4.  Weather Related Closings – I follow the Anne Arundel County Public School Policy on closings for weather related conditions. However, if schools are delayed two hours, I will open on time.  If schools are closing two hours early, I will close at 5pm.If schools are closed, I am closed.  Please listen to your local news stations for this information.  You may also sign up for free email alerts at www.schoolsout.com.  (Select Anne Arundel County). 

5.  State of Emergency Declarations – When a State of Emergency is issued by local or state officials, I will close immediately and will re-open when the State of        Emergency has been lifted.

6.  Emergency Preparedness – If an emergency “Stay in Place” situation occurs the children will remain in my care until the parent arrives.  If an emergency situation arises and we are “Ordered to leave the home”, we will go to my daughter’s home.  If we are “Ordered to leave the area”, we will transport the children to my sister’s home in Allegany County Maryland.  Clients are provided specific information after enrollment.

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