THERE HAVE BEEN A HANFUL OF CHANGES DUE TO COVID. THE HANDBOOK WAS NOT UPDATED BECUASE WE ARE HOPING THAT THINGS WILL RETURN TO “NORMAL” IN 2021
PLEASE SPEAK WITH THE DIRECTOR ABOUT THE COVID POLICIES IN EFFECT
HOURS OF OPERATION
The Berry Patch is open from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., five days a week, twelve months a year.
We are closed eight (8) days out of the year for holidays.
New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day (4th of July), Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday following Thanksgiving, Christmas Day. We are also closed on Presidents Day for our Professional Development Workshops.
We will close at 1 o’clock on Christmas Eve and at 5 o’clock on New Year’s Eve.
Holidays will be celebrated according to the state of Missouri’s observance. E.G. if Independence Day falls on a Saturday, but it is observed as a holiday on Friday, we will be closed on Friday.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services licenses the Berry Patch. In our operation, we meet or exceed all of the standards for child care. These standards relate to our facility, staff, health and safety procedures, nutrition, child-staff ratios and record keeping. State and county health, fire and licensing representatives routinely inspect our Center. All staff undergoes a background screening through Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Family Care Safety Registry. Licensing regulations and reports are available upon request in the office. Staff are mandated by the state of Missouri to report suspected Child Abuse and Neglect. Parents can also report Child Abuse and Neglect. The telephone number to report suspected cases of Child Abuse and Neglect: 1-800-392-3788.
United 4 Children
We are proud to be members of United 4 Children. As a member, we enjoy many special advantages and services. Each room is inspected and observed, videotaped or workshops for the staff are conducted annually.
Suggestions are then made for continuous improvement. United 4 Children has monthly meetings for center directors, workshops for all staff members and library resources. They assist each staff member to realize the psychological as well as the physical needs of your child and help each staff member grow as professionals.
Prior to admission, a pre-enrollment tour of the Berry Patch with parents or guardian is scheduled. The purpose of his tour is to determine the needs of the parents or guardian and child and the suitability of the Center to meet them.
Before a child can start in his/her class, all forms must be completed and returned to the office along with the enrollment fee, one week’s deposit and the first week’s tuition.
No person shall, on the basis of race, color, religious belief, national origin or sex, be excluded from participation, be denied benefits, or be subjected to discrimination.
You will be asked to bring your child to the Center for a visit in his/her classroom before the first full day of care. Please let us know when you are coming. You will need to stay with him/her during this visit, and may stay as long as you like. A midmorning visit of an hour or two is ideal. On the first full day or two, we suggest that you plan to stay for just a few minutes. As soon as your child becomes interested in a toy, the teachers, or another child, please plan your departure. Tell your child you are leaving, when you will return, exchange hugs and kisses and leave quickly. It is best to tell your child you are leaving, as he/she may become quite distressed if your just disappear.
For some children the only alternative may be for you to say “Goodbye”, leave and allow the teacher to attend to the tears. It is NOT recommended that you come back into the room once you leave. This only tends to increase a child”s anxiety or anger. Most children stop crying within a short time. Sometimes it takes weeks before a child feels comfortable about coming to the Center in the morning, even if they are having wonderful days that are free of tears. Feel free to call the Center any time to check on how your child is doing.
When enrolled, an immunization record or exemption card for each child must be provided. All immunizations must be up-to-date. Within thirty (30) days following admission each child must have a physical examination. The form must be signed by a licensed physician. Failure to provide the immunization record and/or the physical examination may result in suspension of services until the form is completed and returned. Government representatives make periodic checks of our files to determine that all children in the Center are properly immunized.
We need to know of any special medical condition in your child, what treatment or medication is being given, how it is handled at home and how you want us to follow through. For example: 1) If asthmatic, what are the triggers? What is the usual reaction? 2) Allergies: seasonal, insect, food? What symptoms? What treatment?
As a center licensed by the State of Missouri, we follow the Missouri Department of Health guidelines for evaluation of the health of the children enrolled at the Berry Patch.
Missouri Licensing rules 13 CSR 40-61.185
(A) Each child should be observed for contagious diseases and for other signs of illness on arrival and throughout the day.
(B) Each child’s parent/guardian shall be notified immediately when any contagious disease occurs in the facility.
(C) Unusual behavior shall be monitored closely and parents shall be contacted if the behavior continues or if other symptoms develop. These behaviors include, but shall not be limited to :
1. Is cranky or less active than usual;
2. Cries more than usual;
3. Feels general discomfort or seems unwell; or
4. Has loss of appetite.
(D) The parent/guardian shall be contacted when signs of illness are observed.
(E) If the children exhibit any of the following symptoms, they must be sent home:
1. Diarrhea–more than one (1) abnormally loose stool. If a child has one (1) loose stool, s/he shall be observed for additional loose stools or other symptoms;
2. Severe coughing–if the child gets red or blue in the face or makes high pitched croup or whooping sounds after coughing;
3. Difficult or rapid breathing (especially important in infants under six (6) months);
4. Yellowish skin or eyes;
5. Pinkeye–tears, redness of eyelid lining, irritation, followed by swelling or discharge of pus;
6. Unusual spots or rashes;
7. Sore throat or trouble swallowing;
8. An infected skin patch(es)–crusty, bright yellow, dry or gummy areas of skin;
9. Unusually dark, tea, colored urine;
10. Grey or white stool;
11. Fever over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (100F) by mouth or ninety-nine degrees Fahrenheit (99F) under the arm;
12. Headache and stiff neck;
13. Vomiting more than once and;
14. Severe itching of the body or scalp, or scratching of the scalp. These may be symptoms of lice or scabies.
You will be called to pick up your child if he/she becomes ill while at the Center. A reasonable amount of travel time is expected but we are unable to accommodate parent requests to wait for the conclusion of business matters. It is, therefore, essential that parents arrange reliable plans for alternate care of a child who becomes ill while in our care. Children must remain home for 24 hours after the disappearance of all symptoms including fever.
Please notify the Center if your child is absent due to illness. Notify us immediately if it is a communicable disease. You will be notified if your child is exposed to a communicable disease.
Medication can only be given at the Center when the parent/guardian has signed and filled out the authorization form. These forms are kept in each classroom. All medication is to be kept in the teacher’s closet in the medicine basket or in the refrigerator in the office. All liquid medicine must be in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Ziploc Bags are available for that use. All medicines must be in their original pharmacy containers with the child’s name on them. All over-the-counter medicine must have the child’s name written on it. All medicines must be taken home after the ending date on the medicine authorization form. One form must be completed per medication.
An accident report is filled out for cuts, scrapes, bruises etc. The report describes how the injury occurred and where the injury is located. The X on the sign in/out sheet under A/R (Accident Report) informs you that your child has an accident report on the Accident Report Clipboard. Please read over the report, sign it and the report will be filed in your child’s file.
We ask that you complete an authorization for emergency medical treatment. Of course, we hope we never need this authorization, but we want to be sure your child receives the attention needed should such an emergency develop. If your child is injured while in our care, our first step is to administer any necessary first aid. Staff is trained in basic first aid and CPR. We will make every effort to contact you and/or the doctor you have chosen to treat your child. Please keep your telephone numbers and that of your doctor current. In the event that we cannot contact you or your doctor, we will make sure that your child receives the necessary emergency treatment until we can reach you.
BAD WEATHER CLOSING
The Berry Patch will try to remain open during inclement weather. If we would have to close due to the weather, our closing will be posted on KSDK Channel 5 and our website. If we close during the day, a staff member will call you. Please keep your work, cell and home numbers current.
Parents are asked to see that children do not bring toys to the Center. The Jamberry and Raspberry rooms have Show and Share on Friday. The children may bring an item from home for Show and Share. We ask that the children not bring weapons, e.g. toy guns, swords or knives.
Books and CD”s are welcome any time. Your child may bring a soft doll or stuffed animal to sleep with. Please make certain your child’s name is on their items.
Parents are welcome to bring a simple birthday treat for the class. All food items must be purchased items with the ingredient and allergy label attached. We prefer you do not bring favors as it causes competition among the children.
Each classroom has a bulletin board outside the classroom. This board will contain the weekly lesson plan, daily schedule and goals for that room. Each classroom also has a parent/teacher communication board with notes, the weekly menu and class information. Children have a communication slot above their coat hook in the classroom. Please check the communication slot for notes.
A Center bulletin board is located across from the office. Information of interest, the menu and child related articles are posted.
Parents are welcome to call anytime during the day. For lengthy conversations, the teachers have more time during nap time (1:00-3:00).
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
Parents are to bring their child into the building, sign the child in and see that the child is under the supervision of the teacher before leaving the premises. Any unaccompanied child will result in the parent being called. If the incident happens a second time, further care of the child will be terminated and no refund will be given. This is for the safety of your child.
When picking up your child, please reminder to sign him/her out, check the communication board and your child’s bucket area.
Only the parent or guardian may pick up a child unless written or verbal notice has been given for someone else to pick up the child. Persons picking up the child will have to show the proper identification. Proper legal documents much be provided to the Center in cases where a noncustodial parent is not allowed to pick the child up.
Parents are to use the school parking lot for pick-up and departures. Please respect the NO PARKING areas and the Handicapped Parking spaces since we do share the parking lot with the Cure of Ars church.
A nutritious breakfast , lunch and afternoon snack are prepared at the Center and served daily. Every meal and snack is planned to meet the child’s nutritional requirements.
The teachers eat lunch with the children to create a home-like atmosphere. During this time, we teach the fundamentals of good nutrition , sound eating habits and table manners.
Food exceptions will be made for individual children for medical (with doctor’s notification) or religious reasons.
Several of our children enrolled have life threatening food allergies. Please have your child wash their hands before coming into the classrooms.
The Berry Patch uses Project Construct Curriculum. Project Construct is a learner-centered curriculum. It was developed from research demonstrating that learner construct knowledge through interactions with their physical and social environments. Project Construct: uses students” interest to motivate and engage them in learning; encourage children to collaborate and work together; allow children to take initiative, express opinions, and make choices; view children”s errors as learning opportunities; assess children”s thinking, as well as their work in order to teach more effectively.
AN ORDINARY DAY
Children are greeted and checked as they come in. They engage in quiet play, gym play or outside play.
BREAKFAST is served between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
GROUP TIME is a learning and sharing time. The children work on a skill such as sequencing, number or letter recognition.
MUSIC TIME occurs throughout the day. The children learn songs, play musical instruments, listen, sing and dance. They are exposed to different kinds of music and a variety of sounds. This provided a great opportunity for an emotional and physical outlet.
ACTIVITY/OPEN CLASSROOM TIME is a time when the children can choose what interest centers they want to play in. They are free to move from one area to another. The interest areas include:
Block Center: Here a child develops large muscles, a sense of balance, line and space. Much self-expression and emotional release takes place in this area.
Art Center: Here a child learn to work with different textures and sizes, They are introduced to art activities of many kinds. Creativity and self-expression are enhanced along with small muscle development and reasoning.
Dramatic Play: Here children can play “make believe”. They learn to interact with other children, to role play, to work out feelings and fears. They will also develop language, imagination and socialization by experimenting with many different relationships. Prop boxed are sometimes used to extend play. Examples of these are “grocery store””doctor”s office””beauty shop”.
Manipulative Center: Small muscles are developed and math skills are learned through puzzles and small manipulative toys. This lets children enjoy a sense of achievement.
Science Center: Encourages the development of sensory experiences (smelling, touching, tasting, seeing, hearing) helps children become aware of his/her surroundings and gives the opportunity to learn to care for plants and animals.
Book Area: Books are open to children for quiet and relaxing moments. Books help a child increase their attention span and vocabulary.
Sensory Table: This is used to help develop math skills, volume, weight and measuring as well as numerous sensory experiences.
Computer Center: Computers are available in the Jamberry and Raspberry Rooms. A variety of software is used.
STORY TIME occurs several times during the day. Listening and verbal skills are increased at this time. Stories can be from books or involve puppets, flannel board or memory.
LUNCH is served and eaten family style. This is an excellent time for developing manners and conversational skills with each other and the teachers. Children help set the table and are responsible for cleaning up their place.
NAPTIME occurs after lunch. The children are lulled to sleep with music and sometimes a back rub.
AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES: When in the classroom, children will be able to choose from the various interest centers. They will have an opportunity for gross motor play in the gym or outside if the weather permits.
OUTSIDE PLAY, weather permitting takes place several times a day. It is a part of our daily program for the children to get some fresh air so be sure they are dressed appropriately for the weather.
Two parent-teacher conferences will be scheduled each year, early fall and late winter. A progress report will be written on your child’s development and shared with you at the winter conference. A copy of the progress report is placed in your child’s file. Your child’s file is available to be reviewed by you at your request.
Parents are always welcome to request a conference any time with the teachers or the director.
- Inform the Center if your child will be late or absent. The morning educational program begins at 9:00.
- Parents are asked that children not bring food, gum, or money to the center.
- Please have your child wash their hands before entering the classrooms.
- Notify the Center of any changes in address, phone number, employment, and authorized people to pick up.
- Children’s cot sheet and blanket will be sent home the last day of your child’s week; they need to be washed and repaired if necessary the first day back the next week.
- Children must wear closed toes shoes. Tennis shoes are the best footwear for children. No sandles or Flip Flops.
- Please notify the Center when someone other than a parent or guardian will be picking your child up.
- Three week’s notice is required in order to receive your security deposit back.
CLOTHING AND BEDDING
We encourage children to wear clothing that is comfortable and washable. We have many messy activities and your child won”t have to worry about dirt and stains. Keep in mind we go outside daily so your child should have a coat, boots, mittens, etc. when the weather is wintry. Shoes are important for safety. Shoes must have a close toe and a strap in order for the children to ride the tricycles and play on the climber. Please do not send your child in flip flops, slide on shoes or shoes with a slick sole. When children wear those types of shoes, they are not allowed on some of the equipment. Children should wear tennis shoes on a daily basis. Please make sure the children’s shoes have a proper fit. Shoes that are too big make it impossible for the children to run, take walks and play.
Parents are asked to provide a complete change of clothing from the skin out, including underwear, socks and shoes. Please replace the extra set of clothing as the season or growth of your child changes.
A small blanket and small pillow should be provided for nap time. The small blanket and small pillow must both fit in a bag. One cot sheet is provided by the Center. All bedding is sent home every Friday or your child’s last day of the week to be washed. Please make any repairs and return the bedding the next week. State licensing requires a cot sheet on each cot. Additional or replacement cot sheets can be purchased through the office.
EVERYTHING YOUR CHILD BRINGS TO THE CENTER SHOULD HAVE HIS/HER NAME ON IT.
DISCIPLINE AND GUIDANCE
Our Center, in accordance with Missouri Child Care Licensing Regulations, never uses corporal punishment or any disciplinary techniques which will frighten or humiliate a child.
Our goal is to develop self-discipline in young children and to have them happily, constructively involved through out the day. To that end, we will try to prevent problems from occurring by guiding and directing children as they make choices and interact with each other. We will help them talk about and solve their own problems. We will use “positive reinforcement:-that is praising a child’s helpful, constructive actions, and redirecting them away from troublesome behaviors. if a child’s behavior is clearly out of control, a brief “time-out” to calm them down is used.
In the event a child has any ongoing disciplinary problems, we or the parents, may ask for a conference in which we will work out together a plan to help the child.
Should the Director feel that your child cannot adjust to the Center’s program, you will be given at least one week’s notice before your child must be withdrawn.
In the case of withdrawing your child, you are required to give three week’s notice prior to withdrawal. This gives us time to prepare your child and his/her friends for the approaching separation. It also gives the Center time to have a new child ready for admission.
Parents withdrawing children without proper notice of at least three weeks shall not receive reimbursement of any payments made and shall forfeit the original week deposit. If proper notice is given your deposit will be applied toward the last week’s tuition.
Weekly charges are due and payable on Friday for the following week. They are considered past due if not paid by Monday noon and a late charge will be assessed then. Holidays are not deducted. Services will be terminated if payment is overdue by one week unless special arrangements have been made and approved by the Director
Our general policy is to adjust fees annually. Other adjustments may be required occasionally. Parents will receive one month notice, in writing, of any fee changes.
Families enrolling more than one child will receive a 10% discount off the oldest child’s tuition fee.
Because staff assignments are based on enrollments, we cannot extend any credit for absences of only a few days. If your child is absent for a period of one week or more due to either illness or vacation, the tuition rate will be adjusted to 50% of the normal charge.
Each child is allowed three (3) weeks per year at the 50% rate. The year will run from January to December.
A charge of $1.00 per minute after 6:oo p.m.. This fee must be paid within 24 hours in cash to the closing teachers. Continued late pick up may result in the child being expelled.
A late payment of $5.00 per week is assessed on past due accounts. Accounts are past due after 12 o’clock noon on Monday.
Returned checks result in a $35 minimum charge. Recurring returned checks will cause the account to be collected on a cash basis only.
Charges may be assessed for screenings, photography etc. which may be offered to you on an optional basis.