The Early Learning Center

The ELC is a child enrichment program designed to create the love of learning with a partnership between parents and teachers.

Through discovery, growth, nurturing and creativity the children develop their highest potential. 

 

Family Handbook

The Early Learning Center 2017-2018

 

Dear Families,

WELCOME TO THE ELC COMMUNITY

We would like to welcome your family to The Early Learning Center.

Early Childhood is a time of huge leaps and bounds in a child’s development and learning. It is an honor as a school to be given the opportunity to care for your child in this time of their life. At the ELC, we provide a classroom environment that fosters a love of learning. Our teachers are invested in your children, forming relationships with them, keep- ing them safe, and seeing them thrive in their early childhood development.

As a school we strive to provide parents with a sense of knowing that their child is safe and happy while they are left in our care. Our teachers are qualified and well trained. We strive to hire enthusiastic, well trained teachers, who are devoted to children. As the di- rector, one of my main jobs is to support your child’s teachers so that they can offer your kids their best; offering a peaceful, fun learning experience for the kids. Our school’s hope is to instill a love of learning that our students carry with them throughout their lives.

Thank you for choosing The Early Learning Center. We look forward to providing your child with a caring and enriching learning environment.

Sincerely,

Emily Lambert

Director

Email: emily.lambert@earlylearningaspen.com                            Phone: 970-920-9201
Website: earlylearningaspen.com

Mission

ABOUT US

The Early Learning Center is a child enrichment program designed to create the love of learning with a partnership between parents and teachers. Through discovery, growth, nur- turing and creativity the children develop their highest potential.

Philosophy

We provide an environment in which each child is immersed in stimulating activities, de- signed to strengthen their social and emotional, cognitive, and physical development. More than just the child, we believe that it is the entire family who are incorporated as active members of our community upon enrollment.

The ELC is licensed by the Colorado Department of Social Services and meets all state re- quirements. Further, we continue our evaluations by the CO Shines rating program.

Certifications

1. Colorado Department of Human Services License #78935 Day Care Center 1995-2017 2. Colorado Shines Rated – 3 Star out of 5 stars

Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday from 7:30-5:30

The YellowBrick school building is a secure building. Parent access to the building starts at 7:30 and are expected to accompany their child into the building and sign their child in on a sheet in the child’s classroom.

The building locks up at 5:30 so please be at the school at 5:20 for pick-up. Please allow enough time to arrive, sign your child out on the sheet in your child’s classroom and leave by closing time.

Holidays 2017-2018

We are closed on all major holidays. These days are accounted for in your prorated monthly tution.

09/04/17 Labor Day 10/26/17 Teacher Inservice Day

11/23/17-11/24/17 Thanksgiving Holiday 12/25/17-12/26/17 Christmas Break 01/01/18 New Years Day 01/15/18 Martin Luther King Day 04/27/18 Teacher Cleaning Day 05/28/18 Memorial Day 07/04/18 School closed for the 4th of July

*Parent volunteer hours required 07/06/18 Teacher Wellness Day 08/23/18-08/24/18 Work Days

PLEASE NOTE: For information regarding snow day closures please call (970) 925-3760 x8. We follow the Aspen School District closures. If they are out of session the Board Presi- dent will call a snow day closure. This is based strictly on transportation safety for getting the and from school.

Definition of Family

The ELC refers to family as a parent, legal guardian, sponsor or anyone else who provides for the well-being, best-interest and responsibility of the child in our care.

Admission & Enrollment

Prior to your child’s first day of attendance all admission and enrollment forms must be com- pleted and enrollment fees paid. This includes a physical and immunization records.

Fees Due upon Admission (per child)-

$55.00- One time, non-refundable registration fee
$75.00- Yearly Materials Fee
$500.00- Security deposit is refunded when account is current and a written notice of un-enrollment is received 60 days prior to departure from the program.

Our program accepts children from ages 8 weeks-PreKindergarten (5/6 years of age).

Children are admitted without regard to race culture, sex, religion, national origin, or disabili- ty. We do not discriminate on the basis of special needs as long as a safe, supportive envi- ronment can be provided.

Inclusion

The Early Learning Center believes that children of all ability levels are entitled to the same opportunities for participation, acceptance and belonging in child care. We will make every reasonable accommodation to encourage full and active participation of all children in our program based on his/her individual capabilities and needs.

Non-Discrimination

At the Early Learning Center equal educational opportunities are available for all children, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, or parent/provider political beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation or special needs, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws. Educational programs are designed to meet the varying needs of all students.

Confidentiality

Unless we receive your written consent, information regarding your child will not be released with the exception of that required by our regulatory and partnering agencies. All records concerning children at our program are confidential.

Tution and Fees

Payment -Payment is due on the 5 and/or 20 of every month with no deduction for any absences, holidays, or closures due to inclement weather, power outages, or other situations beyond our control. Payment is due as outlined in the Enrollment Agreement. Rates are included in enrollment packet.

If a child is enrolled at the Early Learning Center and parents are separated or divorced, both parents are equally liable for the tuition bill. If parents have an agreement on who is paying, it is their responsibility to enforce amongst their selves.

Late Pick-up Fees- Late pick-up is not a normal program option. Late fees of $1 per minute until 5:35pm and $5 a minute after 5:35pm. Fee will be charged to your account. If you arrive past 5:40 your child and a teacher will be waiting for pick up by the soda machine off the 215 N Garmisch St entrance of the building.

Late Payment Charges -If payment is not received by the 20th, a late fee of $50 will be applied to your account. If your account has not been paid in full within 10 business days, your child may be discharged from the program. If payment is more than 60 business days past due, we may attempt to recover payment in small claims court and/or your account may be sent to a THIRD party collections agency. You will be responsible for all expenses asso- ciated with these actions including all court and attorney fees.

Special Activity Fees -From time-to-time there will be additional fees associated with spe- cial activities or field trips. These fees are due prior to the event, activity or trip.

Returned Checks/Rejected Transaction Charges- All returned checks or rejected ACH (automatic debits) or credit card transactions will be charged a fee up to $40.

This charge may be collected electronically. Two or more returned checks or rejected transactions will result in your account being placed on “cash only” status.

Additional Fees Credits
Vacation - to retain your child’s spot during vacation, 100% of your regular tuition is due.

Schedule Changes- Two weeks notice must be given to the Office Manager for permanent schedule changes such as adding or dropping days. There is a $25 fee for schedule changes. PLEASE COMMUNICATE ANY SCHEDULE CHANGES TO THE OFFICE.

Buy A Day- There are days that you may need to buy an extra day of care within the pro- gram. This is an option when there is availability in your child’s room. The Office Manager must be consulted ahead of the time. Payment for the extra day will be added to your ac- count the day of. Buy a day rates are based on the age of the child and what room the child attends.

Attendance and Withdrawal
If your child is going to be absent or arrive after 8:30 AM, please call us at 970-920- 9201 or

Absence
email admin@earlylearningaspen.com

Make-Up Days
Year-round children are eligible for make-up days. The number of make-up days each child receives is equivalent to the number of days per week your child is enrolled as of the current academic year. Make-up days may be redeemed for a day’s attendance for days missed. Make-up days can only happen when there is space that day in your child’s classroom.

Closing Due to Extreme Weather                                                 Should severe weather or other conditions (i.e., snow, storms, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, loss of power, loss of water) prevent us from opening on time or at all, notification to the families will be announced on our Facebook page and school closures, please call 925-3760 x8. If the Aspen School District is CLOSED, the Early Learning Center is also CLOSED.

If it becomes necessary to close early, we will contact you or your emergency contacts as soon as possible. Your child’s early pick-up is your responsibility to arrange.

Withdrawals
A written notice, 60 days in advance, is required by the center when a child is being with- drawn. If a child is suddenly withdrawn from the program without a 60 day written notice of withdrawal, and deposit of $500 will not be refunded. Families who withdraw and later re-en- roll will be charged a re-enrollment fee.

Transfer of Records
Whether transitioning to the next program setting or to a new classroom, your child’s records will be transferred internally. If your child is transitioning to a new school, a written request from you with instructions to where the records should be sent is required. What to Bring

Leave toys from home at home. They create many arguments between children because it is hard to share a special toy.

Below is a list of needed supplies for each age of student at the ELC.

Infants: Bottles and milk for a day’s use, at least 6 diapers per day, wipes, diaper cream, at least 2 changes of clothes per day, a crib sheet, wearable blanket (blankets are not allowed in the children’s cribs per safe sleep regulations), a pacifier if needed, sunscreen and a sunhat. Winter- warm clothes, mittens, hats, snowsuit.

Toddlers: Bottles and milk for a day’s use or a sippy cup/water bottle, at least 6 dia- pers per day, wipes, diaper cream, at least 2 changes of clothes per day, a crib sheet, blanket, a pacifier if needed, sunscreen and a sun hat Winter- warm clothes, mittens, hats, snowsuit and winter boots.

Older Toddlers: at least two changes of clothes or more per day if going through the toilet training program. Sippy cup/water bottle, at least 6 diapers per day, wipes, dia- per cream, a crib sheet, blanket, a pacifier if needed, sunscreen and a sunhat. Win- ter- warm clothes, mittens, hats, snowsuit and winter boots.

Preschoolers: at least two changes of clothes or more per day, water bottle, at least 6 diapers per day if needed, a crib sheet, blanket, sunscreen and a sunhat, a backpack for bringing home school work. Winter- warm clothes, mittens, hats, snowsuit and winter boots.

Pre-Kindergarteners: at least two changes of clothes or more per day, water bottle, at least 6 diapers per day if needed, a crib sheet, blanket, sunscreen and a sunhat, a backpack for bringing home school work. Winter- warm clothes, mittens, hats, snow- suit and winter boots.

Please label all items brought from home with your child’s name (i.e., clothes, bottles, diapers, pacifiers, crib sheet, blanket, etc.) to prevent items from be- coming misplaced or lost. The ELC will not be help responsible for lost or dam- aged items.

Cubbies

Upon enrollment each child will be assigned a “cubby.” Cubbies are labeled with your child’s name. Please check your child’s cubby on a daily basis for items that need to be taken home. It is the parents responsibility to keep their child’s cubby clean and organized.

Lost & Found

You can look for lost items and bring found items to the Lost-and-found Box located at the office. Please note that we are not responsible for lost personal property.

Drop off and Pick Up

General Procedure

Drop off and pick up times are wonderful times to communicate with your child’s teachers about information they need to know, or that they need to share with you. Please be avail- able for these interactions.

Children often cry when being dropped off at school. To help with this please create a routine with your child for drop off. Bring your child into their classroom and greet their teachers, put their belongings into their cubby and wash your child’s hands. After washing hands help your child check into school for the day. If your child needs additional time to say goodbye have them show you a toy, help them to tradition into play and then say goodbye. Routine will help your child to transition from home to school because they will know what to expect.

Authorized & Unauthorized Pick-up

Your child will only be released to you or those persons you have listed as Emergency and Release Contacts. If you want a person who is not identified as an Emergency and Release Contact to pick-up your child, you must notify us in advance, by email. Your child will not be released without prior written authorization. The person picking up your child will be required to show a picture ID as verification. Please notify your pick-up person of this policy.

If a child has not been picked up after closing and we have not heard from you, attempts will be made to contact you, and the contacts listed as Emergency and Release Contacts. Pro- visions will be made for someone to stay with your child as long as possible, but if after 15 minutes we have not been able to reach you or a person listed as an Emergency and Re- lease Contact, we will call the local child protective services agency.

Right to Refuse Child Release

We may refuse to release children if we have reasonable cause to suspect that any person picking up a child is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or is physically or emotionally impaired in any way that may endanger the child. To protect your child, we may request that another adult listed as an Emergency and Release Contact pick-up or call to police for as- sistance to prevent potential harm to your child. Reoccurring situations may result in the re- lease of your child from the program. Our teachers and office staff will first ask if you are in a state to safety take your child home. The ELC will offer to contact your emergency contact person to pick you up or call you a cab to get home. If a parent who is not fit to take home their child refuses help and tries to leave with the child to school will contact the police for assistance. At this time we are legally required to contact police due to mandatory reporting.

Staffing

Staff Qualifications-Our classrooms are staffed in compliance with the state requirements and qualifications of each teacher as a base minimum. The ELC staff are constantly partaking in professional development to stay up to date with current Early Childhood Education best practices and research. Typical staff certifications are as follows:

Our Early Childhood Teachers at the school either has a BA in the field of Early Childhood Education or has taken specific Early Childhood Education courses + has a certain amount of time of experience working with children under the direction of a Early Childhood Teacher.

Our Assistant Teachers are partaking in Early Childhood Education courses and working towards their Early Childhood Teacher Qualifications.

Our Aides have a natural ability with kids, experience, and are working towards starting their professional development. They work under the direct supervision of an Early Childhood Teacher.

Teacher’s shift times:

Infant Rooms- 2 teachers a day working ten hours shifts- 7:30-5:30. Planning time is built into their staffing schedules.

Toddler-PreK rooms- Early shift- 7:15-3:00 (1:00-3:00 planning time) Middle Shift 8:30-when at ratio (12:00-1:00 break)

Late Shift-10:00-5:30- (10:00-12:00 planing time)

Child to Staff Ratios

Children are supervised at all times. We maintain the following standards for child to staff ratios:

Infant Room (8 weeks to 15 months) 4 children to 1 teacher. Maximum group size 8. Younger Toddler Rooms (12 months to 2 years) 5 children to 1 teacher. Maximum group size 10.

Toddler rooms (2 – 3 years old) 6 children to 1 teacher. Maximum group size 12.

Preschool rooms (2.5-4 years old) 7 or 8 children to 1 teacher Maximum group size 16. PreK (4-6 years old) 8 children to 1 teacher. Maximum group size 16.

Communication & Family Partnership

Daily Communications- Teachers in each classroom will send out a daily email to par- ents. These will keep you informed about your child’s activities and experiences at the center and important information for your child’s classroom. There will also be daily photos sent in this email from the classrooms day. Notes will be sent home as needed. Please check in and out with your teachers so they can share with you about your child’s day, and you can share any needed information with the teachers about your child.

Bulletin Boards are located throughout the center, bulletin boards provide center news, upcoming events, faculty changes, holiday closing dates, announcements, etc.

Monthly newsletters- provide center news, events, announcements, etc. These newslet- ters are available emailed out from the office and will be available from your child’s teacher.

Office Communication- Emails from the office will be sent out to relay important information, announcements, event invitations, newsletters and general updates. Please read information sent to your via these emails to stay in the know.

Family visits- in the classrooms are highly encouraged. Please feel free to visit class- rooms, volunteer, come along on a field trip, or eat a meal with your child. Your child’s teacher can let you know when a good time would be so please communicate ahead of time and sign in with the office when you get to the school. Each family is a child’s first teacher. We value families as partners in the growth and development of children in our program. We encourage parents and other family members to be involved in the program, visit children’s classrooms, participate in events, and provide feedback on the program. We offer a variety of ways in which families can participate in helping us establish and reach goals set for our school and students.

Family Night- Family nights are scheduled on a regular basis. These nights include snacks, drinks and fun filled age-appropriate activities for families. Family Nights allow families and children time to share, learn, and have fun. Families have an opportunity to be a part of their child’s learning experience and connect with other families. (e.g. - Thanksgiving Play/Potluck and classroom parties)

Parent/Teacher Conferences- Twice a year we will schedule parent/teacher conferences. These conferences are an opportunity to discuss your child developmental areas, how they are doing in class, and set goals that we can be working on together. As a school we us T.S. Gold observation reports to guide these discussions. You may request additional conferences regarding your child’s progress at any time. We encourage you to communicate any concerns you may about your child.

Ways to Be Involved

We offer a variety of ways for families to participate in the growth and improvement of our program. We encourage families to take an active role.

Below are some ways to be involved.

Parent Advisory Committee – meets 4 times a year to review progress toward annual goals.
Classroom Representative – serves as a liaison between classroom parents and teachers

Fundraiser Committee – meets monthly to plan fundraisers

Family Events: We have several events throughout the year that bring our entire community together. Watch for the announcements! If you would like to help plan one of these events please touch base with the office.

Open House, Back to School Night, Holiday Gatherings, Raising a Reader, Fall Festival, Annual Family Picnic/Camping

Classroom Activities: Enjoy and help your child’s class with these special activities.

Share a meal with your child, Chaperone field trips, Read to children at arrival or pickup, Volunteer in the classroom, Donate requested items,
Serve as a parent representative, Welcome new families, Contribute to class Pot Luck Meal, Family Teacher conferences

Family/Parent Workshops: Our menu of family workshops changes annually. Below is a list of workshops we can typically offer. See the monthly calendar for scheduled topics. We welcome requests for workshop topics. eg. Positive Guidance and Loving Discipline,Toilet Training, Safety in the Home,ChildProofing Your Home, Brain Development, Nutrition and Exercise for Small Bodies, Supporting Your Child in Times of Stress, Food Allergies, How to Prepare for a Conference, Warning Signs for Developmental Delays, Value of Reading to Your Child, Everyday Math

Open Door Policy-

We are delighted to have family members participate in our program. Parents/Guardians are welcome to visit the program any time during regular program hours. The infant room welcomes parents/guardians to nurse or feed their infants.

Please remember for the safety and protection of the children, external doors will be kept locked at all times. Parents have their access to the building during school hours, and other family members can sign in with Kids First.

Our team will always do their best to speak with parents/guardians. Staff are devoted to car- ing for children. If they are busy with their students and a situation requires a longer discus- sion, kindly arrange for an appointment.

Publicity-

Unless the family indicates that they want their child to participate, we will not use pictures and names of children for publicity.

Fundraising

As a non-profit the ELC depends on parents to assist the program in a wide variety of ways. With parental help, everyone benefits, and the quality of the children’s experience at school is greatly enhanced.

The ELC is funded primarily by tuition, subsidies provided by Kids First, and grants received through the school year. This money, however, does not cover the cost of operating the school, and each year there is a need to raise additional funds through grant writing and fundraisers. Our fundraisers require participation from both parents and teachers.

Fundraisers scheduled each year include, but are not limited to: th

July 4
and creates a great fund for our school to be able to do great activities for the kids at the: On July 4th we host a carnival in Aspen. This fundraiser is always a huge success school. We hold a silent auction at the event and require each parent to donate two NEW items, or one NEW item with the value of $200.00. The business’ in the valley are always happy to donate items for this auction. If you are unable to provide the silent auction items you can make a $200.00 tax deductible donation to the ELC. Every year, each family MUST volunteer two hours on the day of this event. In case of not being able to fulfill your volunteer hours you can send a family member or babysitter to fill in for your volunteer hours or make a $200 tax-deductible donation to the school. Hands helping for the event is the most help- ful. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Each family is also asked to purchase or sell at least 10 ducks for the Ducky Derby which takes place in August each year.

THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS AND THE BOARD WILL ASSESS FINES FOR NON-PAR- TICIPATION BASED ON WHAT IS REQUIRED OF A PARENT OF ELC.

CURRICULUM & LEARNING

Learning Environment

We provide a learning rich environment with curriculum that is developmentally appropriate to the specific ages in each classroom. We have a flexible day routine that allows children to advance at their own pace. We strongly believe that learning happens through play. Learning and exploring are hands-on and are facilitated through learning centers. Our program is de- signed to enhance children’s development in the following areas: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development.

Curriculum

Each group of classroom teachers get together once a week to plan their weekly curriculum as well as talk about different development needs of their students. They use the creative curriculum to plan a study. Teachers adjust curriculum to children’s needs by observing them and plan activities for the classroom from the interests of the children. The room is then transformed into the theme. The learning centers in each classroom are set up to enhance and nourish the children, as they acquire knowledge and skills through play.

Our school features 7 classrooms. Each room is arranged into learning centers filled with developmental appropriate materials to enrich the each student’s play. Through facilitating play children have exposure to concepts in the areas of math, science, literacy, art, and lan- guage. For more detail on what your child is learning in each of these areas in their specific classroom please feel free to talk to the director, curriculum support, or your child’s teacher.

In each classroom you will find learning centers that offer play with these types of materials/ play; Art Supplies, Blocks and Accessories, Books and Posters, Dramatic Play Area,Large Muscle Equipment, Manipulative Toys, Musical Equipment, Science Materials.

TS Gold

The Early Learning Center uses curriculum, we gather information about each child’s devel- opmental abilities and evaluate progress so we can modify and adjust what we are doing in our classroom so as to deliver the best individualized instruction for each child. This evalua- tion is communicated to families periodically during the school year using various formal and informal tools, forms, and resources.

For information about your child’s day, please see copies of daily schedules and lessons plans posted in each classroom.

Outings & Field Trips

Weather permitting; we conduct supervised field trips around the community of Aspen. Chil- dren are accounted for at all times. A permission statement for participation in walking trips is included in the enrollment package. A schedule of the field trips ternary will be kept at the schools office.

Often the classrooms plan field trips to places such as ACES, up the Gondola, The Aspen Art Museum, parks, etc... if you have the time we encourage you to join your child on the trip.

For field trips, please dress your child appropriately for the season. Shoes that your child can walk comfortably is a must.

The safety of children and staff will be guarded in all activities of child care programs. Proper restraint systems (seat belts) and the correct use of them are critically important during trav- el to/from the child care program as well as during field trips.

If your child is late to school and the class is already gone for the daily field trip the office will contact the teachers and set up a place and time for you to unite with the class for drop-off.

Television Time

Our normal daily routine does not include television watching, but from time-to-time, we may record a television show without advertisements as a teaching aid and discussion stimulator. Television consumption will not be longer than [one] hour and the program will be screened prior to showing. Programs will consist of non-violent and high-quality educational material. Our focus is to provide your child a positive experience with increased understanding of the world.

Electronic Media

Electronic Media are limited to 20 minutes or less per day per child. Internet sites and soft- ware are pre-screened to contain non-violence and high-quality educational content.

Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is vital for all children because it sets social goals and promotes respect for all people and the environment we inhabit. We utilize books, music, games, and a wide range of activities as aids to teach our children respect for our world and the diversity of life upon it.

Celebrations

Our holiday policy encourages an enhanced understanding of and respect for different cul- tures and beliefs of children, families, staff and community.

Developmental Delays and Additional Resources.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development please talk to your teachers or the director of the school. Our goal is to see each child thriving and we can work together to make goals fro your child. If the need for further assistance is seen as a team of parent, teachers, and director we will contact Kids First who can give a Child Find referral to obtain further resources to best help your child thrive at school. This information will be kept confi- dential.

Routines

Each classroom in the ELC has a flexible daily schedule that the teachers and students fol- low. Included in this routine are: play time, snack time, bathroom times/diaper changes, large group instruction, small group instruction time, outside time, lunch, rest, gym play, and other activities. Following to this routine helps children to thrive at school by knowing what is next in their day to day routine.

Meal Time

At meal time everyone sits together at the small tables. Children are encouraged to serve themselves from food passed around each table. Good table manners are modeled and en- couraged.

Teachers who are trained/certified in first-aid for choking are present at meals.

Food Allergies * ELC IS A NUT FREE CENTER

If your child has a food allergy, you must notify us in writing so that we can make appropriate substitutions. The written notification should list appropriate food substitutions and must be updated at least annually.

Food allergies can be life threatening and each child with a food allergy should have an ac- tion plan for emergency care completed by the family physician. The ELC staff will be dele- gated to by our nurse consultant about your child’s food allergy.

Breakfast

Please make sure your child has had a well rounded breakfast before coming to school.

Snack Time

The ELC provides a morning snack and afternoon snack in the toddler-prekindergarten classrooms. These are healthy food options that will keep the children energized for their day. Food prepared for or at the center will be properly planned, prepared and portioned ac- cording to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/care/) and the state requirements for food service.

Lunch

Parents are required to bring their children lunch to school. Please pack it in a lunch box that can be out of the refrigerator for the day and in containers that can be directly served from.

Food brought from home is permitted under the following conditions per state regulations:

Perishable food to be shared with other children, for special occasions-i.e. birthdays, holidays, must be store-bought and in its original package.

Baked goods may be made at home if they are fully cooked, do not require refrigeration and were made with freshly purchased ingredients. A list of ingredients is required to check for allergens, and there must be enough food for all children.

If a child brings a meal from home that does not appear to meet current USDA child and adult care food program meal pattern requirements, the center will have foods available to offer as a supplement to that meal.
Please label food with your child’s name, date, and type of food.

Children will not be allowed to share food provided by the child’s family unless the food is intended for sharing with all of the children.

Leftover food will be discarded except for foods that do not require refrigeration and/or come in a commercially-wrapped package that was never opened.

Lunch Ideas for a healthy meal

1⁄2 turkey sandwich Celery sticks

Raisins Chicken strips

Infant feedings

Orange wedges Broccoli
Sun butter on graham crackers Apple slices
Carrot sticks Milk/water Yogurt
Crackers
Sugar snap peas
100% juice Milk/water

We follow the following procedures when feeding the infants in our care. Bottle-fed infants are fed while being held or sitting up.

Infants are fed “on demand” to the extent possible (at least every 4 hours and usually not more than hourly).

Breastfeeding is supported by providing a place for nursing mothers to feed their babies. Expressed breast milk may be brought from home if frozen or kept cold during transit. Fresh breast milk must be used within 48 hours. Previously frozen, thawed breast milk must be used within 24 hours. Bottles must be clearly labeled with the child’s name and the date the milk was expressed. Frozen breast milk must be dated and may be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Please bring your child’s bottles for the day with dry formula measured into the bottle. Formula will be diluted at the child care site according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer or from the child’s health provider, using water from a source ap- proved by the local health department. Formula brought from home must be labeled with the child’s name and how much water

Bottles will be sent home at the end of each day to be properly cleaned by parents. Solid foods will only be introduced after a consultation with the child’s family.

Toddler Feedings
Children are encouraged to self-feed to the extent that they have the skills. Children are encouraged, but not forced to eat a variety of foods.
Round, firm foods that pose a choking hazard for children less than 4 years of age are not permitted. These foods include: hot dogs, whole grapes, peanuts, popcorn, thickly spread peanut butter and hard candy.

Rest Time

Infants sleep according to their own schedule and are put to sleep on their backs for safe sleeping. Our staff are all trained on the best safe sleeping practices for infants.

After lunch, all children less than 5 years of age participate in a quiet rest time. Children are not required to sleep and may be given quiet activities if they do not fall asleep at nap times.

Children 5 and up, although not required, are provided an opportunity for a regular rest peri- od if the child desires. For children who do not want to rest, a space and time for quiet play will be made available.

Diapering

If your child is still in diapers, you must supply a consistent supply of diapers and wipes. Our teachers change diapers at routined times of the day, and as needed. The teachers follow the best practices for clean and sanitary diaper changing.

Toilet Training

The most important factor in making the toilet learning experience successful and as low- stress as possible is family/teacher partnership which supports the child. Research indicates that children cannot successfully learn how to use the toilet until they are physically, psycho- logically, and emotionally ready. Many pediatricians say that most children under 24 months of age are not physically capable of regulating bladder and bowel muscles. Most positive toi- let training occurs after children show signs of physical control or awareness of their bodily functions and when they demonstrate an interest or curiosity in the process. We are commit- ted to working with you to make sure that toilet learning is carried out in a manner that is consistent with your child’s physical and emotional abilities and your family’s concerns.

Per state regulations there shall be no attempt to toilet train children under the age of 18 months. Toilet facilities must be provided for children 2 year of age or older, and are not re- quired for children under the age of 2.

Children in the process of potty training will be reminded frequently to try to use the toilet. Health laws prohibit the use of potty chairs. Supply LOTS OF EXTRA CLOTHES as it takes a while until children get the knack of using the toilet at school. If a child feels extremely un- comfortable using the toilet at school, the teacher will use diapers until the child is ready.

When your child is in the midst of potty training, please bring your child into the toilet at drop off time and pick up time. It reinforces the entire potty training experience.

Transitions

Your child’s transition in child care should be a positive and exciting learning adventure. We will work with you and your child to ensure the smoothest possible transition occurs as new routines and new people are introduced. We will schedule a meeting with you to discuss the transition period and allow for visiting your child’s new classroom before starting at the school.

Transition from home to center

Prior to your child’s first day, you will have an opportunity to tour the center, meet with your child’s peers and teachers, and communicate any anticipated concerns. At this time please share the best communication methods that the teacher may use to reach you.

Transitions at classroom move-ups

Children are transitioned to the next program based on age, developmental readiness, state licensing requirements, and space availability. During the transition, current and future teachers will meet with you to propose a plan to introduce your child into the new program.

Transition to elementary school

Transition activities such as a field trip to a local elementary school, creating a mural of spe- cial friends and special times at our center will be part of your child’s education at our center. We will provide you with information on local schools, what to expect, and ideas on how to talk to your child about going to elementary school.

General Procedure

Guidance

The ELC is committed to each student’s success in learning within a caring, responsive, and safe environment that is free of discrimination, violence, and bullying. Our center works to ensure that all students have the opportunity and support to develop to their fullest potential and share a personal and meaningful bond with people in the school community.

Thoughtful direction and planning ahead are used to prevent problems and encourage ap- propriate behavior. Communicating consistent, clear rules and involving children in problem solving help children develop their ability to become self-disciplined. We encourage children to be fair, to be respectful of other people, of property, and to learn to understand the results of their actions. Our program wide rules are to keep yourself safe, keep your friends safe, and keep the school safe.

Challenging Behavior

Children are guided to treat each other and adults with self control and kindness.

When a child becomes verbally or physically aggressive, we intervene immediately to pro- tect all of the children. Our usual approach to helping children with challenging behaviors is to show them how to solve problems using appropriate interactions. When discipline is nec- essary, it is clear, consistent and understandable to the child. We maintain a zero tolerance to bullying. If you have any concerns about this at any time, please report it to the Director of the Center.

Physical Restraint

Physical restraint is not used or permitted for discipline. There are rare instances when we need to ensure a child’s safety or that of others and we may restrain a child by gently hold- ing her or him only for as long as is necessary for control of the situation.

Notification of Behavioral Issues to Families

If a child’s behavior/circumstance is of concern, communication will begin with the parents is the first step to understanding the child’s individual needs and challenges. We will work together to evaluate these needs in the context of our program.

On rare occasions, a child’s behavior may warrant the need to find a more suitable setting for care. Examples of such instances include:

A child appears to be a danger to others. Continued care could be harmful to, or not in the best interest of the child as determined by a medical, psychological, or social service per- sonnel. Undue burden is placed on our resources and finances for the child’s accommoda- tions for success and participation in the ELC program.

Resources with Behavioral Issues

As a school we work with psychotherapist Mia Wilson to learn tools to help us in the class- rooms to elevate challenging behaviors. Mia offers two free counseling sessions for families who find themselves needing support. We work as a team with Mia, parents, teachers, and the school director to find tools that will help our students to best participate in our school program in a way that is safe for all and promotes every child to be able to thrive in their leaning environments. For more information about Mia please see http://www.miawilson- counseling.com.

Health

Immunizations

Immunizations are required according to the current schedule recommended by the U.S. Public Health Services and the American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org. Every Jan- uary, we check with the public health department or the American Academy of Pediatrics for updates of the recommended immunization schedule. Our state regulations regarding atten- dance of children who are not immunized due to religious or medical reasons are followed. Children who are not immunized are excluded during outbreaks of vaccine preventable ill- ness as directed by the state health department.

Immunization records are required to be up to date as your child receives them. Within 14 days of each new school year we are required to have a new immunization record on file for your child.

Physicals

Routine physicals are required according to the current recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org. A copy of your child’s physical should be received be- fore but must be received no later than 6 weeks after your child begins the program.

A new physical form needs to be given to the ELC before the first day of attendance and the by the first day of each following new school year attended. It will be placed in your child’s file.

Illness Policy

Sick children may not be dropped of for care at the ELC. We understand that it is difficult for a family member to leave or miss work, but to protect other children. The center has the right to refuse a child who appears ill at drop-off. You will be called and asked to retrieve your child if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms. This is not an all-inclusive list. We will try to keep your child comfortable but he/she will be excluded from all activities until you arrive.

Illness that prevents your child from participating in activities. Illness that results in greater need for care than we can provide.

Fever of 101
Diarrhea – stools with blood or mucus, and/or uncontrolled, unformed stools that cannot be contained in a diaper/underwear or toilet.
Vomiting – green or bloody, and/or 2 or more times during the previous 24 hours.

Mouth sores caused by drooling.
Rash with fever, unless a physician has determined it is not a communicable disease.

Pink or red conjunctiva with white or yellow eye discharge, until on antibiotics for 24 hours.
Impetigo, until 24 hours after treatment.
Strep throat, until 24 hours after treatment.
Head lice, until treatment and all nits are removed. Scabies, until 24 hours after treatment.
Chickenpox, until all lesions have dried and crusted. Pertussis (Whooping Cough), until 5 days of antibiotics.

Hepatitis A virus, until one week after immune globulin has been administered. Children who have been ill may return when:

They are free of fever without the use of fever reducers, vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours.

They have been treated with an antibiotic for 24 hours.
They are able to participate comfortably in all usual activities.

They are free of open, oozing skin conditions and drooling (not related to teething) unless: The child’s physician signs a note stating that the child’s condition is non-contagious, and;
The involved areas can be covered by a bandage without seepage or drainage through the bandage.

If a child had a reportable communicable disease, a physician’s note stating that the child is no longer contagious and may return to our care is required.

There are no exceptions made for our sick policy. If your child is sick please respect this policy and wait to bring your child back to school until you are confident that they can partake happily and not spend sickness to others in the community. We need everybody's help to keep sickness at bay.

Allergy Prevention

Families are expected to notify us regarding children’s food and environmental allergies. Families of children with diagnosed allergies are required to provide us a letter detailing the child’s symptoms, reactions, treatments and care. A list of the children’s allergies will be posted in the main area and kitchen. We are trained to familiarize ourselves and consult the list to avoid the potential of exposing children to substances to which they have known allergies.

Medications

Medications will only be administers with a completed Medication Administration form in which your doctor has specified the frequency and quantity of dosages. This includes all medications including and not limited to; fever reducers, laxatives, teething tablets, diaper cream used to treat a rash, skin lotions used to treat a rash, inhalers, api-pens, Benadryl, antibiotics, vitamins, and more. Medicine has to be administered and recorded by a trained staff member who has been delegated to by our school’s nurse. Medicine will only be admin- istered as directed by a doctor and not given to children deleted in a drink.

Communicable Diseases

When an enrolled child or an employee of the center has a (suspected) reportable disease, it is our legal responsibility to notify the local Board of Health or Department of Public Health. We will take care to notify families about exposure so children can receive preventive treat- ments. Included among the reportable illnesses are the following:

Bacterial Meningitis,Botulism, Chicken Pox, Diphtheria, Heamophilus Influenza (in- vasive), Measles (including suspect), Meningoccocal Infection (invasive), Po- liomyelitis (including suspect), Rabies (human only), Rubella Congenital and Non- congenital (including suspect), Tetanus (including suspect), H1N1 Virus , Any cluster/outbreak of illness

Hand Washing

Hand washing is one of the best tools in controlling the spread of infections. We ensure that all of the children perform good hand washing, which will greatly reduce the amount of sick- ness in your facility. The technique: Use soap and warm running water. Rub your hands vigorously for 20 seconds when soaped. Wash all surfaces, including the backs of hands, wrists, between fingers, and under fingernails. Rinse your hands well. Dry your hands with a paper towel. Turn off the water, using a paper towel, instead of bare hands.

Please wash your child’s hands when they arrive at the facility and when you pick them up.

Our staff ensures that the children’s hands are washed after they use the toilet and before they eat or drink. We wash the children’s hands for them if they are too young to do it for themselves. We also teach children that good hand washing controls the spread of germs.

Safety

Clothing

Please dress your child in practical clothing that allows for freedom of movement and is ap- propriate for the weather. Your child will be involved in a variety of activities including: paint- ing, outdoor play, sand, weather, and other sensory activities. Our playground is used as an extension of the center, and daily programs are conducted outside whenever weather per- mits.

One particular aspect of concern is the risk associated with children’s clothing that may be- come entangled with climbing or sliding equipment that could lead to choking or other seri- ous harm. All drawstrings from children’s clothes should be removed as a precaution.

Sandals and flip-flops are not appropriate for center play and make it difficult for your child to participate in some activities.

Extreme Weather and Outdoor Play

Outdoor play will not occur in inclement weather. Additionally, outdoor play will be cancelled if the air quality rating is 50 or below.

Communal Water-Play

Communal, unsupervised water play is prohibited. Supervised children are permitted to en- gage in water-play. Precautions are taken to ensure that communal water-play does not spread communicable infectious disease.

Injuries

Safety is a major concern in child care and so daily safety inspections are completed inside and outside the center area in order to prevent injuries. First aid will be administered by a trained caregiver in the event that your child sustains a minor injury (e.g., scraped knee). You will receive an incident report outlining the incident and course of action taken. If the in- jury produces any type of swelling or needs medical attention, you will be contacted immedi- ately. Please inform us if your child sees a doctor due to a school related injury so we can document it appropriately. Each classroom is equipped with a first aid kit meeting the state regulations.

In the event of a serious medical emergency, the child will be taken to the hospital immedi- ately by ambulance, while we will try to contact you or an emergency contact.

Biting

Biting is a normal stage of development that is common among infants and toddlers – and sometimes even among preschoolers. It is something that most young children will try at least once.

When biting happens, our response will be to care for and help the child who was bitten and to help the biter learn a more appropriate behavior. Our focus will not be on punishment for biting, but on effective behaviors that address the specific reason for biting.

Incident Reports will be written to the family of the child who was bitten and the biter’s family. We will work together with the families of each to keep them informed and to develop strate- gies for change.

Please respect that under confidentiality we can not tell you what child hurt your child in these cases.

Smoking

The poisons in secondhand smoke are especially harmful to infants and young children’s developing bodies, therefore the indoor and outdoor center environment and vehicles used by the center are non-smoking areas at all times. The use of tobacco in any form is prohibit- ed on the center’s premises.

Prohibited Substances

The use of alcohol or illegal drugs is prohibited on the center’s premises. Possession of ille- gal substances or unauthorized potentially toxic substances is prohibited. Any adult who ap- pears to be inebriated, intoxicated, or otherwise under the influence of mind-altering or pol- luting substances is required to leave the premises immediately.

Dangerous Weapons

A dangerous weapon is a gun, knife, razor, or any other object, which by the manner it is used or intended to be used, is capable of inflicting bodily harm. Families, children, staff or guests (other than law enforcement officers) possessing a dangerous weapon will not be permitted onto the premises.

In cases that clearly involve a gun, or any other weapon on our premises, the police will be called and the individual(s) involved will be immediately removed from the premises. This policy applies to visible or concealed weapons.

Respectful Behavior

All children and families will be treated with respect and dignity. In return, we expect the same from all of our families. We will not tolerate hostile or aggressive behavior. If this oc- curs, we reserve the right to ask you to control your behavior or to remove your children from our care.

Child Custody

Without a court document, both parents/guardians have equal rights to custody. We are legally bound to respect the wishes of the parent/guardian with legal custody based on a certified copy of the most recent court order, active restraining order, or court-ordered visita- tion schedule. We will not accept the responsibility of deciding which parent/guardian has legal custody where there is no court documentation.

Legal Disputes between Parents/Guardians

As your child's school provider our main interest is the well-being of your child. We will not be involved in child custody disputes, divorces, separations, or any other legal dispute be- tween parents/guardians. Other than complying with an order of the court, we will not write letters, testify, or otherwise provide support in any legal dispute between parents/guardians.

Suspected Child Abuse

We are required by law to report all observations of child abuse or neglect cases to the ap- propriate state authorities if we have reasonable cause to believe or suspect a child is suffer- ing from abuse or neglect or is in danger of abuse or neglect, no matter where the abuse might have occurred. The child protective service agency will determine appropriate action and may conduct an investigation. It then becomes the role of the agency to determine if the report is substantiated and to work with the family to ensure the child’s needs are met. Our center will cooperate fully with any investigation and will maintain confidentiality concerning any report of child abuse or neglect.

If you suspect abuse or neglect happening to a child please call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS or Pitkin County Department of Human Services at 970-920-5235 to report it.

Emergencies

Lost or Missing Child

In the unlikely even that a child becomes lost or separated from a group, all available staff will search for the child. If the child is not located within 10 minutes, the family and the police will be notified.

Fire Safety

Our center is fully equipped with alarms, lights and rolling cribs etc.
Our fire evacuation plan is reviewed with the children and staff on a monthly basis. In the case of a fire in the building the teachers will evacuate the building with their students, once the director as all the children and staff accounted for outside of the building the children and staff will walk to the Jewish Community Center at 435 W Main St, Aspen, CO 81611 to be reconnected with parents.

Lock-Out

In the case of an unsafe circumstance happening outside of the yellow brick building the school will be places on Lock-Out. At this point the people inside of the building will remain safely in the building. No one will be let into the building during a lock out. The Director will be in communication with parents of the ELC and when the lock-out has lifted parents will once again be let into the school.

Lock-Down

In the case of immediate danger in the school building the school will be placed on a lock- down. The classrooms will all be locked and the teachers will keep their students out of sight from windows and doors. Once the police have opened and released the teacher and stu- dents from the classroom because the danger has been cleared the lock-down will be lifted. At no time during a lock-down will any person be allowed in or out of the building unless emergency personal. The teachers of the ELC are trained to minimize fear for the children in such a situation.

Evacuations

If there is a need to evacuate the YellowBrick building the staff and students of the ELC will safely evacuate to the Jewish Community Center at 435 W Main St, Aspen, CO 81611. Par- ents/emergency contacts will be informed of the evacuation and able to pick their child up at that location.

Emergency Transportation

In the event your child needs to be transported due to a medical emergency, if no other au- thorized person can be contacted and the need for transportation is essential, an ambulance will be called for transportation. A proper escort will accompany and remain with the child un- til a family member or emergency contact arrives.

Early Learning Center Complaint/Grievance Procedure for Parents

If a parent or staff person has a worry, concern, suggestion or complaint, we want to address the problem immediately, directly, clearly, and respectfully. We understand that conflict can- not always be avoided, and that not people have the same personality style when dealing with issues. We are committed to a process whereby we can work out differences in a fair, compassionate, and timely manner.

If you have a complaint or grievance please follow the following procedure:

1. If the problem is simple of minor, you should first talk directly to the person involved. It is important that each person has a chance to speech, and that each person not just hear, but also listen. It can be helpful to repeat the persons words back so that it is evident that a person is attempting to understand (and in fact that the person actually does or does not understand). Pick an appropriate and conductive time, and talk with an open mind. Be willing to work out an agreement as well as compromise if and when necessary. It may mean you give a little from your position and they give a little from their position. Be mind- ful of your tone, body language, and intentionality at all times. Gossip and carrying grudges are to avoided at all cost. Work to not take things personally or to pass judgments. It can be helpful to give others the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes it helps to pick your battles. At no time is it helpful to lose your temper. Count to 10 or take a break if necessary.

  1. If the situation does not get resolved, you should ten of to the lead teacher in the class- room. Schedule an appointment and review the problem and what steps you have taken to try to work things out.

  2. If the situation does not get resolved at that time, you should then go to the director. Schedule an appointment and review the problem and what steps you have taken to try to work things out.

  3. If the meeting with the director does not solve the problem the next step is to go to an of- ficer of the ELC’s Board of Directors.

  4. If you or the director believes that this is a subject that needs to be reviewed by the Ex- ecutive Board of Directors, then schedule and appointment. The ELC Board of Directors has the final authority regarding all parent or staff differences and disputes. The ELC Board of Directors also has the authority to call in a mediator if deemed necessary.

If a parent of a staff member believes that an ELC school policy or procedure is wrong, un- fair, not correct, or illegal then they need to follow this procedure:

  1. Write down the policy, rule, or situation that you feel needs to be changed.

  2. Write the reasons you believe there needs to be an adjustment or change in the policy, situation or regulations.

  3. Write how you would change the policy so that your concerns are addressed. Specifically state what would you do differently and how you make this policy better.

  4. Schedule an appointment with the director to discuss your concerns.

  5. If you or the director believe that this is a subject that needs to be reviewed by the Board of Directors, then schedule an appointment and your concerns will be directly addressed.

  6. The ELC Board of Directors has the final authority regarding all ELC school policies. The ELC board of Directors also had the authority to call in a mediator if deemed necessary.

  7. Any problems not resolved locally, including the reporting of suspected licensing com- plaints, should be referred to the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care at or call 1-303-866-5948 Center Policies1575 Sherman St. First Floor Denver, CO 80203-171

Our center policies not included in this handbook are reviewed [quarterly] and updated as needed. They are available for review upon request to the center director.