Parent
Handbook
Home Away From Home Child Care Center, Inc.
7523 Flora Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143
(314) 644-2425

Director: Ann Bouwhuis
Policies and Procedures
Home Away From Home Child Care, Inc. strives to be the next best thing to your child’s own home through a creative and interesting environment where the whole child is nurtured and respected.

We allow each child to develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually at their own pace through age-appropriate activities and experiences and through play — a child’s most effective avenue for learning.

In accordance with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, we believe that knowledge is not something that is given to children as though they are empty vessels to be filled. Rather, children acquire knowledge about the physical and social worlds in which they live through playful interaction with objects and people. Children do not need to be forced to learn; they are motivated by their own desire to make sense of their world.

Goals
To provide quality child care in a loving, supportive, nondiscriminatory homelike atmosphere for children ages 6 wks-6 years.
To be considered an extension of the family, by working with the family to achieve the best possible care for the child.
To provide a safe and creative environment where children enjoy learning and living.
Help children develop decision making and problem solving skills by using questions and discovery as avenues for learning.
To foster the child’s natural desire to learn through age-appropriate activities and experiences.

Every member of the staff is an experienced early childhood educator. To remain alert to the changing needs of today’s families and to keep abreast of the latest research findings, staff members actively participate in in-service education and other studies for professional growth.

Home Away From Home, Inc. is open to all children between the ages of six weeks and six years of any race, color, national and ethnic origin as to all rights and privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available at the facility. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethic origin in the administration of its policies or programs.

Admission and Tuition Policies
To enroll your child in Home Away From Home Child Care, Inc. you must submit a completed enrollment application with a $45 non-refundable registration fee per child. In order to reserve a spot the tuition deposit ( see #2) must be paid in full, this is only refunded with two weeks notice of withdrawal or in the event that a Reserved spot is relinquished notice must be given in writing 2 weeks prior to the agreed start date.

1. Tuition is charged weekly at a rate of $198 per week or $45 per day (for less than 5 days) for children 2-6 years of age and $305 per week or $66 per day for children 6 weeks to 2 years of age. Tuition is due every Friday for the following week.
Note: A late fee of $25 will be assessed, per individual child,  if tuition has not been received by closing time the following Tuesday. A 10 percent charge will be assessed every week thereafter on any outstanding balance.

2. A tuition deposit equal to one week’s tuition is due on the first day of attendance and will be refunded upon withdrawal, provided two-weeks notice is given.

3. Due to ongoing staffing requirements and expenses, tuition is expected to be paid in full regardless of illness, absence or holidays. There will be one week of vacation credit per child, per year, beginning on the first day of attendance. (Example: If your child’s enrollment is September 4, 1996 through September 3, 1997, then they are eligible for a week’s worth of vacation on the first day). For staffing reasons, please give a week’s notice before using your child’s vacation days. Note: Vacation days do not accrue from year to year.

4. Any tuition check returned due to insufficient funds will be subject to a $15 return check fee and possibly a late tuition fee of $25. If more that one check is returned in a six-month period, all future payments must be made in cash..

5. Receipts will be given for every payment received.  Please save these for tax purposes as year end statements are not provided.

6. All fees and tuition are subject to change with a minimum notice of 30 days.

7. We reserve the right to suspend service to families if accounts become delinquent. Any account that exceeds two weeks past due could result in services terminated and the child’s spot relinquished.

Hours
Home Away From Home Child Care, Inc. will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Children may arrive and depart anytime during these hours. Please keep in mind that a consistent and regular schedule helps children feel safe and secure. Variations in routine can be disturbing for a young child. Arriving later than 9:30 will also mean that the child will miss out on most of the day’s activities.
Arrival Procedures
In order to assure a safe and secure environment, it is mandatory that you escort your child inside and sign them in each day. Likewise, morning communication between parents and teachers helps to start your child’s day on a good note. We truly value the link between home and school.

If anyone else is dropping off your child, please be sure they are aware of the procedures outlined here. If possible, please notify us of any changes in your child’s routine. This will prepare us for possible anxiety your child may experience.
Departure Procedures
We will only release your child to people you have authorized in writing. If there is any change in this list, it is your responsibility to notify us in writing. To insure your child’s safety, any new person picking up your child will be asked to show some form of identification before your child will be released. Please make any authorized persons aware of this policy to avoid confusion or embarrassment. When departing for the day, be sure to talk with a teacher and sign your child out in the attendance book.

Note: We close promptly at 6 p.m. to allow our staff time to spend with their own families and to attend continuing education classes and workshops. Although unfortunate delays do happen, a late fee of $1 per minute will be assessed starting at 6 p.m. Likewise, your child may find your late arrival to be scary or unsettling as others have already left for the day.
Immunization and Medical Exam Policy
The State of Missouri requires proof of a current medical exam and age-appropriate immunization records to be on file at our facility. These records must include the following:
The name and signature of your child’s doctor
Vaccinations, including month, day and year of administration
Documentation of Lead – Blood Screening

Health Policies
Home Away From Home Child Care, Inc.’s health policies, as outlined below, have been established to protect the health and safety of all children and adults. We cannot accept responsibility for a child who is not well; or in good conscience, expose other children to the illness.

According to the Missouri State Licensing Guide Lines, if a child exhibits any of the following symptoms while in our care they must be sent home:
Diarrhea, more than one loose stool.
Severe coughing, or if the child gets red or blue in the face or makes a high pitched croupy or whooping sound after coughing.
Difficult or rapid breathing.
Yellowish skin or eyes.
Pinkeye, redness of eyelid lining, irritation with swelling or discharge of pus.
Unusual spots or rashes.
Sore throat or trouble swallowing.
An infected skin patch(es) – crusty, yellow, dry or gummy area of skin.
Unusually dark or tea colored urine.
Gray or white stool.
Fever of 100° F by mouth or 99° F under the arm.
Headache and stiff neck.
Vomiting more than once.
Sever itching of the body or scalp, or scratching of the scalp. These could be symptoms of lice or scabies.
To be readmitted, your child should be free of fever and/or other symptoms for 24 hours. (without taking over the counter fever reducers such as Tylenol or Motrin) If antibiotics are needed, the child should have begun taking them 24 hours before returning. If your child should become sick while in our care, you will be notified so that arrangements to pick up your child can be made.

Medication Procedures
If you child should need to receive medication while in our care, you must fill out a Medication Authorization Form. All prescription medicines must be labeled with the patient’s name, date, doctor’s name, name of medication, dosage and schedule. All prescriptions must be in their original containers as received from the pharmacy. Note: Pharmacies will split a prescription in two bottles if you ask. Splitting the prescription will eliminate the need for you to transport it back and forth each day or forgetting it all together. We can not administer Aspirin to children due to its connection with Rye’s Syndrome. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin) will not be administered; both are temporary fever reducers and could mask a potentially contagious condition.
Meals and Snacks
Home Away From Home will serve breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack daily. Each meal will meet the Missouri State Licensing Guidelines as follows:

Breakfast
One serving of each of the following: milk, fruit or vegetables and bread or cereal

Lunch
One serving of each of the following: milk, meat or protein equivalent, bread or cereal
Two servings: fruit or vegetables

Snack
Two servings total: milk, meat, fruit or vegetables or bread, from 2 different food groups
Menus will be posted on the bulletin board every Monday, In cases of food allergies, alternatives will be substituted upon request. A doctor’s note may be required in some cases.

Infants and Toddlers will be fed according to the meal plan that is outlined in writing by the parents or guardians. Formula and/or Breast milk must be supplied by the parent/ guardian. Cereal and other solid foods will be provided as the child is ready and written permission has been given by the parent/guardian.

Home Away From Home Child Care participates in the Child and Adult Food Program that is administered by United 4 Children in conjunction with the Agricultural Department. Parents are required to complete an annual enrollment form.

We aim to make meal times enjoyable for all as well as provide proper nutrition for your child. Children will be encouraged to taste but never forced to eat. All children will be expected to wait for everyone to be ready and sing a short “grace” before eating. Good table manners are also encouraged. We also believe that food should not be used as a reward or denied as a punishment.

Cooking activities are regularly planned for the children. Cooking activities allow the children to work with and taste foods that they may not have previously been exposed to. It also introduces early math and science concepts

Home Away From Home will be open year round with the exception of the following holidays:
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Friday Following Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve- Close at 1:00
Christmas Day
New Years Eve- Close at 1:00
New Years Day
Presidents Day
Good Friday
*If a holiday falls on Saturday we will be closed on Friday, if it should fall on Sunday we will be closed on Monday. ( with the exception of Christmas Eve and New Years Eve)

Holiday Celebrations
Like many families the Home Away From Home family feels it is important to celebrate holidays through out the year. With that said we are open to celebrating any developmentally appropriate holiday with the children. HAFH feels that it is important to educate children on the different types of holidays and traditions that many families celebrate. Please feel free to educate us on any of the holidays or traditions that your family has; so that we can use that knowledge to educate the children.

Emergency Closing Procedures
If we need to close due to an emergency situation (i.e. weather, power outage, etc.) we will make every effort to contact you by calling the phone numbers listed in your child’s file. For weather related closures watch KSDK channel 5 for school closing information or go to school closing information on their website. For this and other reasons, it is very important that you contact us with any changes to the information contained in your child’s file.

Daily Schedule Sample
-Schedule may vary depending on weather, or moods and needs of the children.

Morning Schedule
Anytime after
6:30 a.m. Arrival- free choice
8:30 – 9 a.m. Clean up, bathroom, breakfast
9 – 9:15 a.m. Circle Time – Calendar/Weather Stories
9:15 – 10 a.m. Outside*
10 – 10:15 a.m. Music and Movement
10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Activity Time
11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Clean Up
11:30 – 12:00 a.m. Wash up for lunch, set table
12 – 12:30 p.m. Lunch

Afternoon Schedule
12:30 – 1 p.m. Prepare for nap
1 – 3:30 p.m. Nap/Quiet Time
3:30 – 4 p.m. Wake Up/Toilet/Diaper Change/Snack
4 – 4:30 p.m. Circle Time/Stories or Games
4:30 – 6 p.m. Outside or Free Play

*This time will be held indoors during extreme hot and cold weather, precipitation or other inclement weather.

Developmentally Appropriate activities are planned daily for the children. Young children thrive when given a balance of Quiet and Active activities, Group and Individual activities, and Indoor and Outdoor activities.

Discipline and Guidance
We follow the National Association for the Education of Young Children Guidelines on discipline, as well as the laws of the State of Missouri. Our staff uses no form of physical punishment or verbal abuse. There are three basic rules that we expect all staff and children to follow.
1. Do not hurt others, physically or emotionally.
2. Do not endanger yourself or others.
3. Do not misuse or destroy property.

Children are capable of living by these rules. If they know what’s important to adults, it becomes important to them as well. This is especially true if the child and adult like and respect each other. It is our promise that your child will arrive at Home Away From Home to find loving care, reasonable order, consistent age-appropriate expectations and interesting, stimulating activities. Through an environment like this, your child will easily learn respect for themselves and others. Likewise, in most cases discipline problems are greatly reduced.

Praise and positive reinforcement of good behavior help to develop good self esteem as well as self control. Experienced teachers can recognize potential problems before they occur and redirect the behavior before it becomes unacceptable. Logical consequences are a part of life for children as well as adults. Example: If a child chooses to color on the table instead of paper, they will be asked to clean it up before they can continue to play.

When a conflict arises between two or more children, they will be encouraged to “use their words” to come to a peaceful resolution. For younger children this may take some adult guidance. However, as they mature, they will be able to solve most problems on their own.

Occasionally, a child may become disruptive or lose control. In some instances, the child may need to spend a short time alone (time-out) to regain control and be reminded of appropriate behavior. They will then be invited to rejoin the group.

Communications
There will be a newsletters sent home regularly. It will include upcoming special events and activities as well as special parenting information and notes from the director.

At the time of enrollment, you will be asked to fill out a Child History Form which will help us get to know your child. It will include allergies, health concerns, likes and dislikes and fears.

Informal communication will be a regular occurrence. We welcome and encourage any input regarding your child. Consistency between home and school is a vital part of your child’s healthy development. We will be happy to meet with you anytime throughout the year to discuss your child’s progress and development. Simply contact us to make an appointment.
Things to Bring
Please bring diapers, wipes and ointment if necessary. You will be reminded when your child’s supply runs low.
Please bring an extra change of clothes labeled with your child’s name (appropriate for the current season).
Please be sure your child is prepared for the seasons outdoor activities. (i.e. boots, gloves, and hats for winter . Swim suits, towels, water shoes, mosquito repellant, and sunscreen for summer.)
A small blanket will be necessary for rest times and will be sent home each Friday to be laundered. Remember to bring them back each Monday. (A pillow and sheet will be provided.)
A recent photograph of your child to be displayed next to his or her personal Cubby.

*Please do not bring toys except on designated “Show and Share Days.” Toy weapons will not be allowed on the premises. We have an ample supply of toys for everyone.
Beautiful Junk
You probably throw away many of the following items. Next time bring them to us. You’ll be amazed what your child can create with “Trash.”

Margarine tubs with lids
Styrofoam trays
Newspapers
Yarn and ribbon scraps
Material scraps
Scrap paper
Empty spools
Shoe boxes
Gift wrap scraps
Wallpaper scraps
Bows and ribbons
Old buttons
Corks
Old jewelry
Old scarves

A Few Extra Thoughts to Parents
We invite you to look into our busy, happy, and oh yes – sometimes noisy – creative rooms at any time to see your child at play.
We welcome frequent discussion of what your child is learning.
We want you to remember that parents and teachers working together can help your child develop to his or her full human potential.