PARENT HANDBOOK 830 Kirkwood Avenue Nashville, Tennessee (615)

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1 PARENT HANDBOOK 830 Kirkwood Avenue Nashville, Tennessee (615) Page 1 of 7

2 WELCOME The staff of Grow Academy extends a warm welcome to the enrolled students and their parents. The first few years in a child s life are very important. We are glad that you have chosen to share your child with us during this crucial time of development. Our number one priority is quality care for all students. To reach that goal, it is important that we understand your expectations and communicate to you a clear statement of our purpose and needs. Grow Academy is a child centered program designed to offer a comfortable first step into the world of group education for young children. We encourage socialization, but we never sacrifice individual time or needs in the process. This balance takes a special knowledge that all of our teachers have and will exhibit. It comes with experience and training; it comes with caring. Special attention is given to developing an individualized curriculum to meet specific learning and developmental needs in each child. Experienced teachers work closely with parents to keep them informed of their student s successes and progress. Your child s day will be further enhanced if the staff can depend on you, the parent. We need you to work with us, to become involved with what we are doing, and to support us in whatever ways you are able. Thank you for the opportunity to share in this phase of your child s growth. We will strive every day to make Grow Academy a very special and important place to your child and to you. MISSION AND PHILOSOPHY To a child, each day is an adventure filled with new experiences and lessons. At Grow Academy, our goal is to guide our students on their personal adventures in order to facilitate maximum mental, physical, and emotional growth. We strive to create a nurturing environment, not only for our students to learn, but also for their parents to feel welcome and comfortable. Our mission is to play an integral role in our students lives--to help them as they grow into healthy, productive, well-rounded individuals. Mental Growth Our curriculum provides a stimulating and challenging experience for each student. Each child's progress is tracked to ensure that he or she is meeting his or her potential. At Grow Academy, we recognize that no two children learn in exactly the same way, so our teachers employ a variety of teaching methods to engage every student. Communication and cooperation with parents are key to making the most of a child's education. Consistency at home and at school reinforces the child's learning and helps with retention. Thus, in addition to challenging each child to be his or her best in the classroom, teachers communicate with parents so that the learning can continue at home. We also incorporate programs, such as music lessons, to keep children interested in their daily lessons and expand their knowledge and skills. Emotional Growth Building a child's self-esteem at a young age is essential to his or her success later in life. At Grow Academy, we treat every person with dignity, respect, and understanding. It is our philosophy that by following the Golden Rule and treating others as we would like to be treated, we teach the students to respect and appreciate themselves and others. It takes a thousand compliments to make up for a single criticism, so there is no room for unkind words or harsh tones. Rather, we teach children to communicate with adults as well as their peers by using language that informs without causing harm. Physical Growth It is imperative to teach a child healthy habits at a young age because it provides the foundation for the rest of his or her life. At Grow Academy, we believe that this requires healthy eating habits and regular exercise. Our students have ample outdoor play time everyday to stretch their legs, run, and play. We also incorporate regular programs, such as yoga, that make physical activity fun and interesting to our students. Our menu features healthy foods to ensure students receive the nutrients they need to fuel their bodies. PROGRAM GOALS To provide a safe environment for the growth and nurture of our students and their families. To teach positive values and behaviors. To encourage students to think, reason, explore and question. To encourage development of language and communication skills. Page 2 of 7

3 To develop social skills of the students. To foster a positive self-concept. CHILD DEVELOPMENT GOALS To build self-confidence and a sense of self-worth by allowing choices within limits and by building on successful experiences. Provide a warm, caring environment for the students in which to play and work. Encourage curiosity and a sense of wonder with emphasis on self-motivation. Help students to learn to be able to trust their own feelings about what they learn, hear, see and do. SOCIAL GROWTH GOALS To instill and further a sense of caring for and sensitivity towards others. To encourage recognition of group needs versus individual differences. INTELLECTUAL GROWTH GOALS To instill a sense of curiosity. To provide a wide variety of activities within a routine where cooperative play is encouraged. To offer curriculum areas of art, math, science, cooking, music and movement, practical life, dramatic play, language arts and large muscle and fine motor activities. To provide an atmosphere where children discover and explore. To teach independence through teaching how and where to find solutions. PARENT PARTICULARS Arrival & Departure Students are not permitted in the building before the scheduled opening time. Parents are asked to park in the parking spaces provided and should not block the driveway in front of the building. Always turn off your engine, place your car in park, and never leave a child unattended. Students should be signed in when dropping off. Please do not allow any child, regardless of age, to enter the school unaccompanied. All students are to be taken directly to the designated classroom. We recommend that you tell your child that you are leaving and that you will return, and then depart in a resolute and positive manner so that your child sees that you feel good about his being at school. Our staff is very experienced and will do everything they can to distract your child and encourage involvement in the program. For the first several days, your child will be given extra attention during your departure time, encouraging him to trust and bond with his teacher. Upon enrollment, parents are to list the names of anyone other than themselves having permission to pick up their child. Initially, it may be necessary to ask for some form of identification, preferably one with a picture, from this person until we get to know them. We will not release your child to anyone other than an authorized individual even if we know the person asking to pick up your child. If you wish to make alternative transportation arrangements for your child on any given day, you must call the school or provide written authorization in advance. Grow Academy requests that parents not involve us in custody or visitation disputes in cases of divorce. We cannot keep a parent from picking up his or her child unless we have a restraining order on file at the office. If you or someone that is picking up your child displays behavior that may put the child at risk, Grow Academy reserves the right to contact an alternative pick up person. Before leaving, be sure to check your child s designated area for his belongings. Look for daily work your child has finished, soiled clothes, and any administrative correspondence from the school. Parents are to sign out their children in the same manner used at arrival time. If a student is picked up after 6:00 PM, there will be a $1 00 per minute late charge. Personal Effects We recommend children be dressed in washable, comfortable clothing to accommodate the wide range of activities at school. Sandals and jelly shoes are not suitable; shoes with traction, such as sneakers/tennis shoes are preferred. Paint shirts or smocks are provided for paint and water activities. Please remember that children are Page 3 of 7

4 taken outdoors daily (weather permitting) and should be dressed accordingly. Light jackets and caps are appropriate in the spring and fall; heavy jackets, hats, scarves, mittens and even boots are appropriate in the winter. Water activities, occasional spills, and bathroom activities necessitate that an extra change of clothes be available for your child at all times. Please be sure to include a complete set--that means socks and underwear, too! Parents of potty trainers may want to provide several changes of clothing until training is complete. Remember that all extra clothes are to be replaced with the seasons. If wet or dirty clothes are sent home, please return a clean, labeled extra set the next morning your child attends. We do not provide clothes nor borrow clothes from other children. All personal items must be labeled with the child s first and last name. Loose items should be kept in a labeled bag (e.g., ziploc or tote). All items should be placed in your child s cubby when dropped off. Parents are responsible for providing diapers and wipes for children who are not potty trained. Snacks and Lunch Parents must provide formula or breast milk for children in the nursery. Bottles are to be clearly marked with your child s name. Bottle covers should be labeled as well. Please be certain to inform your child s teacher what formula your child is using and any other pertinent dietary facts. Information Changes Parents are to notify the play School of any change in home or work phone numbers and addresses. Please give the Director written notice of the change as soon as possible. Please place this information in the payment box. Phone Policy When the staff is not available to answer telephone calls, messages may be left on the school s answering machine. The Director or the Assistant Director will check for messages every 30 minutes. School Closings If the school must close due to weather emergencies, parents will be notified as soon as possible via local news station reporting systems. TUITION AND FEES Tuition payments must be paid in accordance with the Parent-Provider Agreement signed by the parent. Tuition payments must be made by filling out a payment envelope and placed in the tuition box located in the upstairs lobby next to the front desk. Payments may be made by check, money order, cash, or credit card. If any form of payment is denied, Grow Academy reserves the right to require a specific form of payment for future payments. Grow Academy reserves the right to require a guarantor to co-sign for any contract at its discretion. The operation of the school is dependent on the prompt payment of tuition, fees and other charges. If family circumstances arise that make these payments impossible to make, please contact the director to make special arrangements. Any accounts that are persistently late or are severely overdue risk termination from the school. No reduction in tuition will be made for absences due to illness, vacation, snow closing, scheduled school holidays or in-service. A blank parent-provider agreement is attached to this handbook as Attachment A. All other payment policies and procedures outlined therein are incorporated into this handbook. A listing of all other fees is also included. WITHDRAWAL Withdrawal of your child for any reason requires written notice. This notice must be provided to the Director at least two (2) weeks prior to the effective date of the withdrawal. Failure to provide at least two (2) weeks notice shall result in forfeiture of deposit. GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF ENROLLMENT Grow Academy strives to provide an environment in which students will be nurtured and loved. Unfortunately, on occasion, there are situations that arise that hinder the school s ability to achieve this goal and require the termination of a student s enrollment. Grounds for termination of enrollment include, but are not limited to accounts that are persistently late or severely overdue (see Tuition and Fees, above); disregard of Grow Academy policies and procedures; abusive language; threats of acts of violence; and any act of sexual misconduct. Page 4 of 7

5 Unless immediate action is necessary, the Director, within a reasonable time after an alleged violation has occurred, will present the student s parent(s) or guardian(s) with a written warning detailing the conduct that violates the standards of the school. If the behavior or offense continues or immediate action is merited, the Director shall determine whether the circumstances require the termination of enrollment. Notice of termination shall be provided to the parent(s) or guardian(s) in writing. Termination shall be effective immediately. However, if circumstances allow and if the Director determines that it would present no risk to Grow Academy students, families, or staff, the Director shall have discretion to allow a reasonable time for other arrangements for care. In no case shall this time to make other arrangements for care exceed two (2) weeks. DISASTER EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS The Tennessee Department of Human Services requires that we are always prepared for an emergency or disaster. Therefore, in addition to the daily items you bring for your child, the following items should kept at school: Children not yet potty trained should maintain a week s supply of diapers. Bottle-fed children must provide an extra bottle and enough formula for three (3) days. HEALTH PRACTICES Medical Records The Tennessee Department of Human Services requires a medical history and an immunization record (or religious or medical exemption, if applicable) for every child in a licensed facility. Students under thirty (30) months must provide a physical exam form that certifies that they were seen by a doctor within the three (3) months prior to enrollment. All health forms are required before the first day of your child s attendance. In addition, Grow Academy requires all children have their immunizations current prior to admission to the program and that immunizations be up-to-date at all times. Illness Children are not to attend school if they have severe colds, undetermined rash or spots, fever, severe headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, or discharge of the eyes or ears. Parents should exercise caution and keep their child home should other unusual symptoms occur. Grow Academy reserves the right to request a written doctor s report when a question of a contagious disease exists. No provisions can be made far a parent requesting a child s restraint from outside play. Parents are notified to pick up children immediately if signs of illness occur during the day. Please use the following guide to determine when your child may return to school. Chicken Pox... 7 days after onset of rash or until all lesions have crusted over Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)... When child has been under treatment for 24 hours Impetigo hours after beginning therapy Measles... 4 days after onset of rash Mumps... 9 days after swelling is gone Strep hours after starting antibiotics Fever... 24hours free of fever without medication Diarrhea hours free of diarrhea without medication Vomiting hours free of vomiting without medication Toilet Training Different children gain bladder and bowel control at different ages, just as they begin to walk and talk over a wide range of time. Waiting until your child is interested and ready is the real key to a smooth mastery of toileting. When you feel it is time to encourage your child to be toilet trained it is important to be relaxed about it. We will work with parents to be consistent and use the same, or similar, methods which prove most effective for your child. However, if a child does not respond to the teacher s efforts and repeatedly refuses to cooperate, we will not require that the child use the toilet. If a struggle develops, we may suggest delaying the training for a few weeks and together try to determine a more opportune time. When training is in progress, be sure to send several changes of clothing (include socks and shoes, too) for those accidents which will occur. For boys especially, dress in clothing that is easy for him to manipulate. Avoid belts, buckles and layers of things to get through. Such clothing often causes the child needless frustration and panic. At three years of age most children are normally dry during the day, although at this age it is common for children to have accidents. We expect that most children will be trained before entering the three year old class. Page 5 of 7

6 Medicines Occasionally your child may require medicine during the course of the school day. Grow Academy will make every effort to accommodate you and your child in this regard. However, because of the wide variety of medicines and methods of administration of those medicines, Grow Academy reserves the right to refuse administration of some medicines. Please personally hand deliver both prescription and non-prescription medicines to the Director or Assistant Director at the time of your child s arrival each day. You should provide specific instructions on the storage of such medicine and complete a medication administration form each day the medicine is to be administered. A completed form will provide permission for the staff to administer the medicine and specifically instruct staff as to the proper dosage and method of administration. Please ensure that your child s medicine is clearly labeled with his/her name. No medicine, including over-the counter medicine, will be administered without the completion of this form. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child s medicine leaves with them at the end of the school day. Accident & Incident Reports Safety is a top priority at Grow Academy. Still, there are times when a child will have an accident, or an incident will occur between your child and another child that is out of the ordinary. Your child s teacher will complete a report for you detailing what happened and the nature of the injuries. If any first aid is administered, the treatment will be described to you. A copy of this accident report, signed by the teacher in charge at the time of the accident, will be provided to you. A copy will be filed with in the Director s office. Medical Emergencies In the event of a medical emergency or serious accident, we will immediately contact the parents. If it is impossible to reach either parent and should emergency treatment be required, the child will be taken to the hospital preference noted in your child s files, or to the nearest hospital if conditions dictate. Your authorization to contact your family physician and to take whatever emergency medical measures are necessary is part of the emergency release form. Rest Periods Each child in the Infant Room has his own crib. The School provides clean crib sheets daily. If you would like to bring some special crib blanket for your child s bed, we will be certain that it stays in the bed. Since all the other children at the school are regularly engaged in stimulating activity, we require that everyone rest on mats after lunch. Each child s rest needs differ and we try to offer alternative ways of resting such as providing soft music, stories, etc., for those who choose not to sleep. All children are generally provided a two-hour rest time. If your child has a favorite sleeping toy, it is welcome at school. After your child has become adjusted, we will suggest that favorite toys are put away until rest time to assure that something so special is kept safe. On Fridays, or your child s last day of the week at school, parents should take the nap mats home for laundering. Please be sure to return them on Monday morning or your child s first day of the week at school. DAILY ACTIVITIES Each classroom will have an activity schedule posted for your information. The children are provided with activities throughout the day that are appropriate for each age group. We will alternate between quiet and loud play, which is intended to promote the social growth of each child. Items from Home Grow Academy has a wide variety of toys, games, and other resources to offer children during their time here. We encourage parents to initiate a home rule of no toys at school except for Show-And-Tell days. Items pertaining to our weekly units and labeled books are always welcome. Please do not allow children to bring toy guns, war toys, other toys of violence or destruction, or money. In consideration of other children, health and safety issues, and classroom and building maintenance, please do not allow children to bring or chew gum in school. Parents are welcome to send cookies, cupcakes or cakes to share with their child s friends on birthdays or special occasions. Please let your child s teacher know in advance that you will bring a treat. On major holidays, each class will have a special party. Parents may be requested to bring treats. Sign-up sheets will be posted outside each classroom. Your decision to participate is voluntary. Page 6 of 7

7 Parent Visits Teachers welcome opportunities to confer with parents from time to time regarding their children. Fall and spring conferences will be scheduled. However, we encourage you to ask your child s teacher for an additional conference if you feel it would be helpful. Parents are invited to visit the classrooms at any time. We ask that parents refrain from doing so during the first three weeks of school. This is a period of adjustment for the child, especially if it is his first experience away from home. The presence of the parent at this time is sometimes confusing and upsetting to the child. Please wait until after these weeks to make your visits. Most importantly, keep open the lines of communication with your child s teacher. If unusual circumstances arise at home, please let us know. We can be a much stronger resource for your child if we know something of his situation. DISCIPLINE All students are to cooperate with the school staff. Teachers at Grow Academy are trained in using positive reinforcement as a means of discipline. In addition, we attempt to redirect the child s actions. If a problem arises, the parents are notified for assistance and a possible conference with the child s teacher and the Director. Our goal is to find solutions and to provide the very best environment for your child. If we cannot achieve a mutually agreeable solution, the child will be asked to leave the school. CHILD ABUSE DETECTION & REPORTING The State of Tennessee requires that Grow Academy and all staff be on the lookout for and report to the State and appropriate authorities, any reasonable suspicions of abuse to a child. NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY Grow Academy admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Grow Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. Page 7 of 7

8 Parent-Provider Agreement 1. This agreement contains the terms that are agreed upon between (hereinafter referred to as Parent ) and Grow Academy (hereinafter referred to as Provider ), for the care of: Name of Child Date of Birth Days/Time in Care: Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday to Friday to Name of Child Date of Birth Days/Time in Care: Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday to Friday to Name of Child Date of Birth Days/Time in Care: Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday to Friday to Name of Child Date of Birth Days/Time in Care: Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday to Friday to 2. Contact Information. The addresses and phone numbers of the parties to this agreement are as follows: Provider: Grow Academy 830 Kirkwood Avenue Nashville, TN (615) EIN: Parent: Name(s): Address: City, State Zip: Phone: SSN(s): 3. Date of Agreement. This agreement shall come into effect on. 4. Payment Due Dates. Parent shall pay according to the following schedule: Weekly (with payments due on Mondays) Bi-Weekly (with payments due on the first Monday of the two (2) week period) Monthly (with payments due on the first day of the month) Page 1 of 4

9 5. Full-Time Rate Schedule. Full-time care rates apply when attendance days specified in Clause 1 is four (4) or five (5) days. Age of Child Weekly Rate Bi-Weekly Rate Monthly Rate 6 Weeks to 11 Months $ $ $ 1, to 23 Months $ $ $ to 35 Months $ $ $ Months+ $ $ $ Before-School Care K+ $ $ $ After-School Care K+ $ $ $ Full-Time Care K+ $ $ $ Part-Time Rate Schedules. Part-time tuition is permitted only if Parent specifies days of the week in which the child(ren) shall attend (e.g., Mondays and Wednesdays) in Clause 1. Parent must specify at minimum two (2) days per week for attendance. Should Parent specify four (4) days per week, full-time rates apply. Said specified days may not be modified due to absence, holiday closings, or weather closing days. Should Provider consent to modification of the schedule, such consent shall not operate as consent for any subsequent modification, nor shall it waive this clause. Two (2) Days Per Week: Age of Child Weekly Rate Bi-Weekly Rate Monthly Rate 6 Weeks to 11 Months $ $ $ to 23 Months $ $ $ to 35 Months $ $ $ Months+ $ $ $ Before-School Care K+ $ $ $ After-School Care K+ $ $ $ Full-Time Care K+ $ $ $ Three (3) Days Per Week Age of Child Weekly Rate Bi-Weekly Rate Monthly Rate 6 Weeks to 11 Months $ $ $ to 23 Months $ $ $ to 35 Months $ $ $ Months+ $ $ $ Before-School Care K+ $ $ $ After-School Care K+ $ $ $ Full-Time Care K+ $ $ $ Deposit. Parent shall pay a deposit equivalent to two (2) weeks of tuition before beginning care regardless of payment in part or in full by any third-party. 8. Need-Based Discount. Should Parent demonstrate financial need, a fifteen percent (15%) discount shall apply. Said discount shall apply to the base rate without regard to any other discount or any other payor. Financial need shall be presumed if Parent receives benefits through any of the following programs: (1) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); (2) Families First (FF) Cash Assistance; or (3) Families First (FF) Child Care Assistance. Parent shall provide proof of receipt of benefits and shall be attached to this contract as an addendum. Parent shall be responsible for updating such documentation as necessary. Failure to update said documentation shall result in termination of the need-based discount. Termination shall be effective the following week after last date of proof of receipt of benefit. Otherwise, financial need shall be determined by referencing the most current Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) income and eligibility guidelines. In this case, if Parent qualifies for either free or reduced price meals, then financial need is demonstrated. Parent must prove income and eligibility by providing documentation in the form of either: (1) a tax return for the most recent tax Page 2 of 4

10 year or (2) a verification of non-filing issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Said documentation shall be attached to this contract as an addendum. Parent must update said documentation annually by June 1 st. Failure to update documentation by June 1 st shall result in immediate termination of this discount. 9. Sibling Discount. Should Parent enroll two (2) children for full-time care, then a ten percent (10%) discount shall apply to the older child s tuition. Should Parent enroll three (3) or more children for fulltime care, then a ten percent (10%) discount shall apply to the oldest child s tuition, and a five percent (5%) discount shall apply to all other children s tuition. In order for this discount to apply, all children must belong to the same household as Parent. 10. Absence and Late Attendance. Tuition is due and payable regardless of the child s absence. Tuition is not prorated based on late attendance or absence. 11. Holidays. Tuition is payable regardless of holiday closings. Should a holiday fall on a date in which tuition is due, the due date of said payment shall be the following day that Provider is open. A listing of holidays in which Provider shall close follows: New Years Day (January 1 st )* Veterans Day (November 11 th )* Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3 rd Monday of January) Thanksgiving Day (4 th Thursday of November) Presidents Day (3 rd Monday of February) Day after Thanksgiving (4 th Friday of November) Good Friday (Friday before Easter) Christmas Eve (December 24 th )* Memorial Day (Last Monday of May) Christmas Day (December 25 th )* Independence Day (July 4 th )* Day after Christmas (December 26 th ) Labor Day (1 st Monday of September) *Should holiday fall on a Saturday, Provider will close on the Friday prior to the holiday. Should holiday fall on a Sunday, Provider shall close on the Monday following the holiday. Provider shall close at 1:00 pm on the following days: Day before Thanksgiving (4 th Wednesday of November) Day before Christmas Eve (December 23 rd ) 12. Weather-Related Closings. Provider reserves the right to close or alter hours of operation due to inclement weather. Should Provider close or alter hours due to inclement weather, Provider shall notify Parent via any reasonable means as soon as practicable. It is presumed that reporting the closing or alteration of hours to a local news station is reasonable. 13. Other Fees. Parent is responsible for the following additional fees: Enrollment Fee 12 Activities Fee 1234 Rest Mat & Cover Fee 123 Late Pick-Up Fee 156 Returned Check Fee 67 Late Payment Fee 68 $ $ $ $ $ % Sheet/Blanket Laundering Fee 9 - Initial if Desired: $ Per Child 2 Due at Time of Enrollment 3 For Children one (1) year or older 4 Due annually 5 Per Minute 6 Added to Following Week s Tuition 7 Per Item 8 Assessed on Day Payment is Late and Every Month Thereafter 9 Weekly Fee 14. Late Payments. Late payments shall be subject to a five percent (5%) fee assessed on the day the payment is late. Late fee shall be assessed every month thereafter on overdue amount. Shall Parent s account become more than two (2) weeks overdue, care shall be terminated until account is paid in full and new enrollment fee is paid. Any accommodation or waiver of late fees by Provider on an overdue account on a particular occasion shall not be deemed a waiver for any subsequent occasions. 15. Receipts. Receipts will be available on the date payment is delivered. Upon request, a year-end summary will be provided by January 15 th. Page 3 of 4

11 16. Childcare Certificates. If tuition is paid in part or in full with a childcare certificate issued by the Department of Human Services, Parent is responsible for maintenance of said certificate. Should certificate be cancelled, Parent is responsible for entire amount of tuition. 17. Change in Information. Parent shall notify Provider in writing of any changes in contact information or any change in circumstance that may affect this agreement. Changes in contact information shall be provided as soon as practicable. Any other changes in circumstance shall be provided at least four (4) weeks prior to the changes are to take effect. 18. Adherence to Rules & Policies. Parent shall abide by all rules, guidelines, policies, and terms set forth in the Parent Handbook provided by Provider. Parent shall abide by all terms of this agreement. Provider agrees to respect all opinions and comments made by Parent and to provide adequate care for the child(ren) listed in Clause 1. Parent acknowledges receipt of the summary of licensure rules for childcare centers issued by the Department of Human Services. 19. Termination of Contract. This agreement shall remain in effect indefinitely. Should Parent wish to terminate this agreement, Parent shall provide written notice at least two (2) weeks prior to child s last day of care. 20. Integration. The parties listed herein intend this written contract to be the final and complete statement of their agreement. No extrinsic evidence shall be admissible to vary, alter, or contradict any term of this contract. 21. Effect of Agreement. By signing below, Parent acknowledges that this is a legally binding document. Parent understands that providing false information or violating the terms herein shall be grounds for termination of childcare services, forfeiture of deposit, or both. Parent Signature Date Parent Name (Printed) Parent Signature Date Parent Name (Printed) Guarantor Signature Date Guarantor Name (Printed) Provider Signature Date Provider Name (Printed) Title Page 4 of 4

12 TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES SUMMARY OF LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILD CARE CENTERS This summary is a guide for parents of children in child care centers. It outlines some of the requirements child care providers must meet in order to be licensed. The Department of Human Services is legally responsible for licensing child care centers with 13 or more children. The purpose of licensing is to protect your child. Questions about these requirements or concerns about an agency s compliance should be referred to the local DHS office. You may ask your provider to see the complete set of center rules or you can access the rules through the Department s website at: Ownership, Organization, and Administration Every child care center shall have an on-site director. General liability, automobile liability and medical payment insurance coverage shall be maintained on the operations of the child care agency s facilities and vehicles. Enrollment of children under six (6) weeks of age is prohibited. Children shall not be in care for more than twelve (12) hours in a twenty-four (24) hour period except in special circumstances. Written documentation that the parent performed an onsite visit to the agency to review the agency s facility and child care policies & practices prior to enrolling the child. A copy of the agency s policies, procedures, and the Department s Summary of Licensing Requirements shall be supplied to the parent upon admission of the child. Parents shall be permitted to see the professional credential(s) of staff upon request. During operating hours, parents shall be permitted immediate access to their children. Children shall be signed in and out of the center by the parent or other person specifically authorized by the parent or the appropriate staff person. Children s Records Written consent for emergency medical care. Written plan stating to whom the child shall be released. Written transportation agreement between parent and the center regarding daily transportation. Daily attendance that includes time in and time out for each child. Prior written permission of parent for each off-site activity. The records of any child who is five (5) years old in an agency which lacks approved kindergarten status shall include a signed acknowledgment by the child s parents that recognizes that the child s attendance does not satisfy the mandatory kindergarten prerequisite for the child s enrollment in first grade. Incidents, accidents and injuries shall be reported to the parent as soon as possible, but no later than the child s release to the parent or authorized representative. Incidents, accidents and injuries to children shall be documented immediately and must include: date & time of occurrence, description of circumstances, and actions taken by agency. The agency or agency staff shall not disclose or knowingly permit the use by other persons of any information concerning a child or family except as required by law. During hours of operation the current license and agency report card shall be posted near the main entrance in a conspicuous location. Supervision All areas of the building and grounds shall be visually inspected for children prior to closing the agency for the day. Children six (6) weeks through nine (9) years of age: Adult must be able to hear the child at all times, be able to see the child with a quick glance, and be able to physically respond immediately. Exception: during mealtime an adult must be in the direct sight and sound of children ages six (6) weeks through five (5) years of age, not in kindergarten, while the child is eating. Children ten (10) years of age and older: Adult must know the whereabouts and activities of the children at all times. Each child shall be greeted and received by a specific caregiver who will have ultimate responsibility for their supervision and care. When children leave a caregiver s assigned area and go to another, the center shall implement a system to track the whereabouts of each child and recognize the transfer of responsibility from one caregiver to another. When children ages ten (10) and above are grouped with children under ten (10) the minimum supervision requirements for children six (6) weeks through nine (9) years shall apply. When more than twelve (12) children are present on the premises a second adult must be physically available on the premises. When more than twelve (12) children in first grade and above are present, a separate group, space and program shall be provided for them. Each child must be on roll in a defined group and assigned to that group with a specific caregiver(s). Infants shall not be grouped with children older than thirty (30) months, and a separate area shall be provided for them. Children shall be kept with the same group throughout the day and shall not be moved, shuffled, or promoted to a new group until required based upon the developmental needs of the child, however Groups, excluding infants & toddlers may be combined for short periods for special activities of no more than thirty (30) minutes per day Groups, excluding infants & toddlers may be combined for up to one (1) hour at the beginning & end of the day as outlined in the A:C ratios: Revised July 6,

13 Ratio Chart - First/Last Hour of Each Day Only Group Size Years 1: Years 1: Years 1:20 A:C ratios must be maintained while children are indoors and on the playground. A:C ratios and group sizes may exceed the required limit by up to ten percent (10%) no more than three (3) days per week, provided however: Infant & toddler groups may never exceed the required ratios & group sizes. The licensed capacity of the classroom may not be exceeded. Adult:Child ratio and grouping chart: Age of children at Minimum Maximum beginning of school year Adult:Child Ratio Group Size Infants (6wks mos.) 1:4 8 Infants/Toddlers (6wks mos.) 1:5 10 Toddlers (12 mos mos.) 1: years (24-35 mos.), 1: years 1: ½ - 3 yrs. (30-47 mos.) 1: ½ - 5 yrs. 1: ½ - 12 yrs. 1: years 1: years 1: yrs. 1: yrs. 1: years 1: yrs. 1:20 No Max School-Age (K & above) 1:20 No Max Ratios can be relaxed during naptime and nighttime care but one (1) adult must be awake and supervising the children in each nap/sleeping area (infant/toddler ratios must be maintained). Supervision During Off-Site Activities A:C ratios for preschool children doubled during offsite activities. A:C ratios for school-age children during off-site activities must equal the number of trained caregivers required in the classroom plus additional adults: Number of Children Trained Caregivers Additional Adults Total Adults Required A minimum of two (2) adults is required for any off-site activity. Supervision During Swimming: Age Group Ratio Infants (6wks 12 mos.) 1:1 Toddlers/Twos ( :2 mos.) Three Year Olds 1:4 Four Year Olds 1:6 Five Year Olds 1:8 School-age & Above 1:10 Group swimming is not prohibited but it is also not recommended due to the high risk. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Precautions: Infants positioned on backs when placed in crib for sleeping. Staff Soft bedding is prohibited for infants to avoid risk of smothering. Infants touched by caregiver every fifteen (15) minutes in order to check for breathing and body temperature. At least one adult available on the premises at all times during child care hours must be able to read & write English. Caregivers must be at least 18 years of age. Staff under 18 years must be supervised by an adult while in the presence of children. Each group of children must have at least one caregiver present who has a high school diploma or equivalent. Substitutes providing services for 36 or more hours in a calendar year must have a physical and a criminal background check. Volunteers can not be used to meet the adult:child ratios unless they meet the qualifications for substitutes. Criminal background checks are required for employees who have contact with children. Equipment for Children Individual lockers or cubbies, separate hooks and shelves or other containers, placed at children s reaching level, shall be provided for each child s belongings. In infant/toddler rooms, equipment and space shall be provided for climbing, crawling, and pulling without the restraint of playpens or cribs. Indoor equipment, materials, and toys shall be available to provide a variety of developmentally appropriate activities so that each child has at least three (3) choices during play time. Climbers, swings and other heavy equipment must be anchored even if they are designed to be portable. Resilient surfacing is required in fall zones around playground equipment. A quiet rest area and cots or mats shall be available for all children who want to rest but no child shall be forced to nap. For health & safety reasons each crib, cot, bed or mat shall be labeled to assure that each child naps on his own bedding. Program Each caregiver shall be responsible for providing consistent care for a specific infant(s)/toddler(s) which includes but is not limited to: planning, and recordkeeping for the child, communication, general interaction with and routine care of the child. Children shall not be left in restraining devices such as swings, car seats, or high chairs (in excess of thirty (30) minutes). Stimulation shall be provided to children in those settings. Programs, movies, computer games, and music with violent or adult content (including soap operas ) shall not be permitted in children s presence. If television, video tapes/dvds, video/computer games, and/or movies are used, they shall be limited to two (2) hours per day, or the length of a movie if more than two (2) hours in the case of school-agers. Other activity choices shall be available to children during television/movie viewing or computer use. An opportunity for outdoor play shall be extended to children of all ages who are in care for more than three (3) daylight hours unless outdoor play is prohibitive. Revised July 6,

14 Children shall be provided an opportunity for outdoor play when the temperature range, after adjustment for wind chill and heat index, is between thirty-two (32) degrees and ninety-five (95) degrees Fahrenheit and not raining; children shall be properly dressed and the length of time outside adjusted according to the conditions and the age of the child. During outdoor play caregivers shall be alert for signs of dehydration, heat stroke, frostbite, etc., dependent upon the season. Spanking or any other type of corporal punishment is prohibited. Discipline that is potentially shaming, humiliating, frightening, verbally abusive, or injurious to children shall not be used. Discipline shall not be related to food, rest, or toileting. Staff shall plan ahead for developmentally appropriate activities; written lesson plans shall be provided for children of each age group. For ages three (3) though school-age, a curriculum shall be offered that shall include instruction, at least once a year, in personal safety parents notified of and given an opportunity to review the curriculum. For school-age children the curriculum shall include instruction on reporting physical, verbal or sexual abuse. Health & Safety Children shall be checked upon arrival and observed for signs of communicable disease during the day. Symptomatic children shall be removed from the group until parents are contacted and health issues are resolved. At least one staff with certification in first aid and one certified in CPR on duty at all times. The agency, in consultation with appropriate local authorities, shall develop a written plan to protect children in the event of disaster. All home/work contact numbers for parents shall be readily available to all staff. Impetigo and diagnosed strep shall be treated appropriately for 24 hours prior to readmission to the center. Children diagnosed with scabies or lice shall have proof of treatment and be free of nits prior to readmission. Serious injuries or signs of serious illness shall be reported to the parent immediately to arrange for emergency treatment. Accidents, injuries, and every sign of illness shall be reported, or a reasonable attempt made to report, to the parent as soon as possible, but no later than the child s release to the parent or authorized representative. All medications, prescribed and non-prescribed, shall be received from the parent by a designated staff person or management level staff person. Medication shall never be handled by children or administered in bottles or infant feeders unless authorized by a physician. All medications shall be inaccessible to children. Unused medication shall be returned to the parent. Smoking is not permitted in the presence of children. The use of alcoholic beverages is not permitted in child care centers during the hours of operation of the center. Firearms shall not be on the premises of a child care agency, in any vehicle used to transport children or in the presence of a child. Staff s personal belongings(purses, backpacks, coats, etc.) shall be inaccessible to children at all times. Food For the protection of children and adults, the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for handwashing and diapering procedures shall be followed. If older children are enrolled who lack independent toileting abilities, rules regarding diapering of preschool children shall apply; they shall be changed in a location designated for that purpose and which provides privacy from other children and adults. In order to avoid the spread of airborne diseases children shall be positioned on mats in a face to feet alternating pattern during naptime. All staff, substitute staff, volunteers are required to immediately report any reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect. If any agency provides meals, the agency shall provide developmentally appropriate meals, snacks, and drinks for each child that are of sufficient proportions and nutritional value to meet each child s health needs. A meal shall be offered to children who arrive before 7:00 a.m. and have not had breakfast at home. All special needs diets shall be prepared as prescribed by a physician or by the written instructions of the parent. Staff shall support and facilitate a parent s decision to continue breast feeding. Children shall not be permitted to carry a bottle with them throughout the day. Caregivers and children shall wash their hands with soap and water. At mealtime, children shall be seated at tables and chairs of appropriate size, and adults shall sit with them. Frozen breast milk shall be dated when expressed. All formulas remaining in bottles after feeding shall be discarded. Microwave ovens, bottle warming devices, and crock pots, including cords, shall not be accessible to preschool children. School-age children shall use microwaves only under direct supervision. Previously opened baby food jars shall not be accepted in the center. If food is fed directly from the jar by the caregiver, the jar shall be used for only one feeding. Children shall never be left without adult supervision while eating. Home canned food and raw milk are prohibited. Physical Facilities All facilities shall annually pass an inspection verifying compliance with all applicable state and local fire and environmental requirements. At least one (1) working, land-line telephone shall be present in the agency. If used, answering machines/voice mail shall be monitored at thirty (30) minute intervals except when staff and children are off premises. Parents informed that answering machines/voice mail are used. A minimum of thirty (30) square feet of usable indoor play space must be provided for each child. Outdoor play areas shall contain a minimum of fifty (50) square feet of usable play space for each child using the area at one time. Window blind cords and electrical cords on equipment shall be inaccessible to children. Revised July 6,

15 All rooms used by children shall be maintained at a temperature of between 68 to 78 degrees by means of heating, cooling or ventilation sources approved for use. Swimming pools and/or wading pools shall not be used without prior approval by the Health Department. If animals or birds are kept in classrooms as pets, they shall be caged away from the food storage and preparation area, and cages kept clean. Transportation An adult must be in the vehicle whenever a child is in the vehicle. A passenger log with the first and last name of each child shall be used to track the loading and unloading of children during transport. If the child was loaded from home, the parent or other authorized person will additionally sign the log indicating that the child was placed on the vehicle. The log shall be updated as children are released from the vehicle. When the child is released to a parent or other authorized person, that person must sign the log indicating the release of that child to them. Immediately upon unloading the last child the driver must walk through the vehicle to confirm that all the children are off the vehicle. If a monitor was on the vehicle they shall walk through the vehicle as well. A designated agency person who did not ride on the vehicle shall also conduct a walk through of the vehicle. Drivers must obtain certification from Department of Safety. Drivers must submit to an annual health examination and pass a drug screening test. Drivers and monitors have certification in CPR and First Aid. All child care vehicles designed by the manufacturer to carry ten (10) or more passengers must be inspected by the Department of Safety. Effective January 1, 2007 all child care vehicles designed to carry ten (10) or more passengers must conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for school buses. Child passenger restraints must be used in accordance with state law. Signage that includes the agency name and phone number and the Department s toll-free Child Care Complaint phone number must be on child care vehicles. Children shall not spend more than forty-five (45) minutes traveling one way to or from the agency s facility or to and from school (this provision does not apply to field trips). Care of Children with Special Needs When children with disabilities are enrolled, all reasonable and appropriate efforts shall be made to provide each child an equal opportunity to participate in the same program activities as their peers. The agency shall have written individualized emergency plans for each disabled child who requires more assistance in emergencies. Sick Child Care This type of care includes the supervision, protection, and meeting the basic needs of children who have short term illness, symptoms of illness, or who have a medical or technological dependency that requires continuous nursing intervention. Agencies that provide sick child care either as an exclusive service or as a component of an existing child care service must comply with additional rules specific to this type of care. You can access the Department s website at: A wealth of child care information can be found on the Department s website. You can: Learn more about the rules Learn more about the types of regulated care Locate a child care provider Learn more about the Report Card and Star Quality Program Locate the local child care licensing office Review the current personal safety curriculum View recent correspondence to providers Read about new initiatives Locate the nearest child care certificate office Find info on choosing child care Locate a resource and referral center And much more! Child Care Center Rules The full set of the official child care center rules can be found on the Secretary of State s Web Site: Report Card & Star Quality Program Child Care Resource & Referral Centers Currently, there are eleven CCR&R centers located throughout the state. The centers help parents find the type of care that is best for their child or children. These community resources also give providers technical assistance to better serve the children in their care. Contact information for the CCR&R centers can be found on the Child Care Services web page. Child Care Resource & Referral Complaint Hotline NASHVILLE AREA: LONG DISTANCE: If you have a concern about an existing child care agency or wish to report an illegal operation you can call the Department s complaint hotline. Department of Children s Services Report Child Abuse or Neglect Hotline Revised July 6,

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