Department of Early Education and Care
Family Child Care Parent Handbook
As a licensed Family Child Care Educator, I would like to congratulate you on choosing licensed Family Child Care. You have made an important child care decision for you and your family. The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and I invite you to join in a partnership with us to ensure a high quality child care environment. This parent handbook and enrollment packet outlines many of your my policies and procedures that relate to the care of your child, as well as the information I am required to give to you when you enroll your child in my care. This handbook will also acquaint you with some of the key EEC standards designed to ensure a safe, healthy and educational child care experience.
I encourage you to maintain an open dialogue with me, as communication between parents and Educators is the foundation for a solid working relationship, and a good child care experience. Before filling out your child care enrollment form, please read through the information contained in this parent handbook.
A Word from EEC
EEC is the agency that oversees the early education and care and after school services for families in Massachusetts. As the agency that licenses child care, EEC has quality standards for all licensed programs to ensure high educational value, as well as health and safety. Having a license means that I have demonstrated that I meet the standards outlined in the EEC regulations.
To obtain your own copy of EEC Family Child Care Regulations, you may download them from the EEC web site at: http://www.mass.gov/Eeoe/docs/EEC/regs_policies/20090122_606_cmr.pdf
For information about my regulatory compliance history, you may contact our local EEC regional office, whose contact information is as follows:
Department of Early Education and Care
10 Austin St Worcester MA 01609
My current licensed capacity is 6 , which is posted on my license. At any one time, I can only care for the number of children that I’ve been licensed for, which may include my own children, depending on their ages. In addition, EEC regulations state that I cannot care for more than three (3) children under the age of two (2) without an assistant, with one of those children being at least 15 months old and walking unassisted. If you have concerns or questions about the number of children in my care, please feel free to discuss them with me.
Use of Assistants
I may have an assistant to help care for the child care children, provided they are approved by EEC. If and when I use an assistant, I will let you know ahead of time, and you will have an opportunity to meet the assistant that will be working in the program. I may also use volunteers from time to time, and although they will not be directly responsible for the care of children in the program, they will be on the premises and assisting me.
[ X ] I am not currently utilizing an assistant.
Program Hours / Closures (See Attachment A)
Attached to this handbook is a parent / educator agreement that outlines my policies regarding hours of care, late fees and termination. We will review this together and note any additional information that is specific to you and the care of your child(ren).
I can care for mildly ill children in my program, however there will be times when you will need to keep your children out of the program due to illness. If your child has a fever, diarrhea or vomiting, you should keep them out of care until those symptoms have resolved for 24 hours.
Plan for Meeting Potential Emergencies
EEC regulations require that I have a plan for meeting potential emergencies that may occur either during child care hours or at any time if they may affect the operation of the program.
In the event of an evacuation emergency, I will contact the local authorities to determine whether or not to evacuate the program, or to remain sheltered at the program.
The escape routes from each floor of the licensed child care space are as follows:
I have a fire exit side door to the living room. Since I have single floor living space I am able to easily get out from the windows in all the rooms
In the event that a child goes missing from the program, I will immediately call authorities as well as the parents.
Should the program need to be evacuated in the case of a fire, natural disaster, loss of power, heat or hot water, or any other emergency situation, we will meet at an alternate location. The designated meeting place(s) outside of the program for emergencies are:
If the circumstance called for us to be out of the neighborhood, we would meet at the Cooperate offices of Dunkin Donuts located at 150 Depot St. Bellingham Ma 02019
If the program needs to be evacuated, I will notify all parents, as well as the appropriate authorities (fire, police, etc.) and EEC. My method of doing that is by cell phone
EEC regulations require me to maintain an individual written record for every child I have in care. These records include the information that parents complete at enrollment, as well as progress reports, incident reports and other documentation regarding your child’s care. Records are updated at least annually, but may be updated as frequently as is needed.
As a parent, you have access to the record that I maintain for your child, and you have the right to add information or to request that information in your child’s record be changed or deleted. You also have a right to receive a copy of your child’s record; however I may charge a reasonable fee for that copy.
Please let me know about any questions you have regarding your child’s record.
Maintaining a Safe Environment
EEC has a number of licensing standards related to safety in a Family Child Care Home. Most of these standards outline common safety precautions such as making dangerous materials inaccessible to children, covering outlets, having a first aid kit, practicing evacuation drills, gating stairs, windows, or heating elements, posting emergency numbers, and maintaining a clean, hazard-free indoor space. Also, the outdoor space must be safe and hazard free and there should be no access to a busy street, water, construction materials, rusty or broken play materials, debris, glass, or peeling paint.
Lead Poisoning Prevention
All Family Child Care Educators are required by EEC to provide parents with information regarding the risks of Lead Poisoning. The following are some facts that all parents should know about lead and lead poisoning:
o Upset stomach
o Trouble eating or sleeping
o Trouble paying attention
As mentioned earlier, if your child is over nine (9) months of age, you will need to provide documentation to me that your child has been screened for lead poisoning. Most children will be screened annually until either age three (3) or four (4), depending on where the child lives.
I am required to disclose to you if I am aware of any known sources of lead in my home. Information regarding known sources of lead in my home is as follows: No Lead
For more information on lead poisoning, you can visit http://www.mass.gov/dph/clppp or call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (800) 532-9571.
Supervision is critical to keeping children safe. I and any assistants in my program will appropriately supervise children in order to ensure their health and safety at all times. I will use good judgment and consider several factors in determining the appropriate level of supervision for children including age, developmental needs, behavioral characteristics, the nature of activities and the space we are using, as well as the number of caregivers present at any given time. If you have any questions about how I supervise the children in my program, feel free to ask me.
Supervision of children is equally important during the times that a child is sleeping at the program, particularly when that child is an infant. EEC has very specific regulations around safe sleep practices. All infants are placed on their backs to sleep, unless a child’s physician orders otherwise (such an order must be given to me in writing). I check on children every 15 minutes during naptime. If your child is less than six months old, I will directly supervise them during naptime for the first six weeks they are in care. For more information regarding Safe Sleep, please feel free to review the ‘Family Child Care Policies’ section of www.eec.state.ma.us.
All children under the age of 5 will have a rest period. No child is forced to sleep, however they must remain quiet. Older children, and those who wake early, will participate in a quiet activity until Rest Time is over. Please try not to schedule pick ups or visits during this time to lessen disturbance to the resting children. All children will rest on their mats with individual linens.
Curriculum and Progress Reports
All Family Child Care Educators must carry out a routine that is flexible and responds to the needs and interests of children in care. The routine must include things such as; meeting the physical needs of children in care, sixty minutes of physical activity every day, child-initiated and Educator-initiated activities and daily outdoor play, weather permitting. Additionally, the Educator must develop a curriculum that engages children in developmentally appropriate activities by planning specific learning experiences. The curriculum must include things such as; learning self-help skills that foster independence, opportunities to gain problem solving and decision making competencies and leadership skills and opportunities to learn about proper nutrition, good health and personal safety. I am also responsible for providing an environment that promotes cultural, social and individual diversity.
In addition, progress reports must be completed periodically for all children in care. For infants and children with identified special needs, I will be completing progress reports every three months. For toddlers and preschoolers, those reports are completed every six months, and school age children will have a yearly progress report completed for them.
I will be sharing your child’s progress reports with you, as well as offering an opportunity to meet and discuss your child’s progress. Feel free to ask me about curriculum and progress reports and how they are implemented in my program.
When it comes to interactions and the guiding of children’s behavior, the goal of all Educators is to maximize the growth and development of children, as well as keep them safe. My Child Guidance Policy is as follows:
Some people call it discipline. I prefer guidance. No child will be hit, spanked, belittled, or otherwise intimidated at Miss Minnie's Munchkins Daycare --even with parental permission. No corporal punishment will be used. Children will be treated with courtesy, respect, and patience. Guidance will be according to age and understanding level. Younger children, babies and toddlers, will be redirected to another activity. Older children will be given time outs depending on the severity of the offense (almost always 1 minute per year of age, never to be more than 15 minutes). If a child becomes a persistent behavior problem, I will address it with you and we will try to resolve it together. AT NO TIME WILL A CHILD BE SUBJECTED TO PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT OR SHAMING, FRIGHTENING OR HUMILIATING METHODS BE USED, OR ANY TYPE OF VERBAL ABUSE, THREATS, DEROGATORY REMARKS, OR DEPRIVATION OF A MEAL OR ANY PART OF A MEAL BE USED. NO CHILD WILL EVER BE PUNISHED FOR TOILET ACCIDENTS
We believe a child’s early experiences enrich and stimulate future growth. Children deserve to be treated and respected as individuals in an environment that welcomes reason, exploration, question, and imagination. We respect each child’s need for love, security, acceptance, warmth, and stimulation.
While in my care your child will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities, which promote all aspects of development. Family childcare provides for children the comfort and experience of belonging to an extended family. I provide a home like setting; therefore I do not follow a strict routine. My approach to childcare is child centered and child directed. Children are offered choices whenever possible.
EEC has regulations requiring Educators to have a policy regarding the administration of medication to children in care. As a licensed Family Child Care Educator, I am also required to take medication administration training. The following guidelines are common to all programs that are licensed by EEC:
Topical Ointments and Sprays
Proper oral health begins at home, and I will be reinforcing good oral health practices with your child each day. If your child is in care for more than 4 hours per day, or he/she will be receiving at least one meal while in care, I am required to assist your child with tooth brushing at the program.
[ X ] I would appreciate it if you would provide me with a toothbrush and toothpaste for your child, which I will store in a safe and sanitary manner at the program.
[ ] I will be providing tooth brushing materials at the program.
All supplies must be labeled with your child’s name. You will need to provide the following things to be left here:
1. 1 complete change of clothing (more if we are toilet training) to be left here. This includes shirt, pants, socks, and underwear.
2. Any over the counter medication that you may wish to be used. This must have the child’s name on it. Remember, I will always ask your permission before administering.
FOR CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 18 MONTHS (and those not yet potty trained and/or weaned from the bottle)
1. Diapers or Pull-ups, 1 full package. They will be stored in your child’s cubby and I will notify you when the supply is low.
2. 1- box of baby wipes.
3. 2 - bottles and 1 pacifier and pacifier fastener to be left here. It will not be necessary for you to send bottles daily.
4. 2- changes of clothing (T-shirt, sleeper, outfit, and socks). Careful attention must be paid to maintain current sizes left here. I will launder these as needed and notify you when more are needed.
5. Any cream, powder, etc. that you wish me to use.
6. Baby Tylenol or Oragel, if you wish it to be used.
I will assist you in toilet training your child with the understanding that it will be successful only if we work together. I will use cotton underwear or pull-ups supplied by the parent. Send your child ONLY in easy on/easy off clothing until they are able to completely undress and dress themselves. I required at least 5 complete changes of clothing during Toilet Learning.
I am required by EEC regulations to notify you of certain information about my family child care home. These notifications include, but are not limited to:
At times, we may plan a field trip or it may be necessary for me to transport your child by car. A permission form is provided upon enrollment. All traffic and safety laws will be followed. No child will ever be left unattended in a vehicle. Also, because this business is run out of my home, it may be necessary to run occasional errands with the children. Parents will be notified at drop off time or with a phone call. The only time we may leave without notice is in the case of an emergency, in which case a note will be placed on the door leaving instructions where the children can be found. Unless it is an emergency, you will always be notified prior to any outing from Miss Minnie's Munchkins Daycare and reserve the right to refuse. If I do not have your permission to transport your child, you are expected to pick up your child immediately and make alternate childcare arrangements for that day.
As a licensed Educator in Massachusetts, I must operate my program in a way that protects children from abuse and neglect. As such, I am a mandated reporter (under M.G.L. c.119 s51A) and must make a report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) whenever I have reasonable cause to believe a child in the program is suffering from a serious physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse inflicted upon the child, or from neglect, no matter where the abuse or neglect may have occurred or by whom it was inflicted.
What I Need From You
The first day your child attends child care, I need a copy of the attached Family Child Care Enrollment Packet. Without these completed documents, which must be updated annually, I cannot care for your child. The reason for this is so I have all the important information and phone numbers I will need in order to provide the best possible care for your child.
Explain clearly and carefully your wishes and expectations about how your child will be cared for. Also provide updates on problems and progress that you child is making. Good communication helps us work together in the best interest of your child.
Agreement on Terms or Arrangements. You should fully understand the terms of the contract and the policies and procedures that you as the parent are agreeing to.
Honesty and Trust:
This includes being honest about how you believe the arrangement is working. Although you need to be vigilant in order to safeguard your child, you should trust me as your childcare provider to do the best for your child. Show you trust by asking questions rather than jumping to conclusions when apparent problems develop.
Pick up on time:
I have a policy that for every 15 minutes of late pick up it is an additional $20.00. My time is just as valuable as yours. When you have a specific time allotted, I work to accommodate you, and I would appreciate the same consideration. Of course there are circumstances beyond our control, but it can not become a consistent problem.
Please understand that this is an IN-HOME daycare, not a daycare center. I am just one person, and I need you to have some flexibility with me as I will also have some flexibility with you.
Medical information about your child must be given to me within one (1) month from the day your child begins care. There are three (3) pieces of medical information I will need:
1. A statement from a physician or health care professional that says that your child received a physical exam within the past year;
2. Evidence that your child has been immunized as recommended by the Department of Public Health;
3. If your child is nine (9) months of age or older, a statement from a physician or health care professional which says that your child has been screened for lead poisoning.
Please note: Your child's immunization record must be updated and given to me in accordance with the Department of Public Health's immunization schedule. Also, your child's lead screening report must be updated as required by Department of Public Health Regulations. This report must also be given to me. If your child is school age, I can accept a written statement that the required information is on file with the child’s school.
Communication and Staying Involved
It is important to keep an open dialogue with me as your child’s Educator, and to maintain an active role in your child’s care. Feel free to visit, not just at pick up and drop off time, but at a variety of times during your child’s day—it’s your right as a parent. Please also make sure to follow-up with me if you have any questions about the program or your child’s care.
I look forward to working with your family and providing a great experience for your child(ren)!
Program Hours / Closures
Miss Minnie's Munchkins Daycare is open from 7:30 AM until 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Hours of care will be contracted from child to child. No childcare will be provided on Saturday and Sundays or on the following holidays:
New Year’s Eve (close at 1:00 PM)
New Year’s Day
The day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve (close at 1:00 PM)
Christmas Day and day after Christmas
The above are paid holidays for Miss Minnie's Munchkins Daycare if they fall on a contracted day for your child. In addition, Miss Minnie's Munchkins Daycare may close for 2 weeks of paid vacation per year . Notification of at least 2 weeks will be given prior to any closed days, with the exception of emergencies or illness. Please have a backup childcare provider for these occasions. Miss Minnie's Munchkins Daycare is not responsible for finding alternate care for your child. In the event that I will be away for a period of time less than three hours (Doctor appointments, errands, etc.) substitute care will be provided by my Mother.
Fee Schedule: rates per child
Full Time: $230.00 per week infant 6 weeks – 2 years
Full Time: $200.00 per week toddler and up
Part Time: $195.00 per week infant 6 weeks- 2 years
Part Time: $165.00 per week toddler and up
Drop Ins: $10.00 an hour ( min.of 3 hours)
I will talk to you about my prices during our interview.
A fee equal to the amount of 1 week of childcare due upon enrollment. This is due the first week of care.
Late Payment Fee $25.00 per day that payment is not received
Returned Check Fee$20.00, and additional costs incurred, along with my late fee if a check is returned to Provider. There after payments will be cash.
No Payment: You will be liable for cost fees, late fees and any cost for loss of wages if there is a small claims case.
Full Time: Childcare contracted on a set scheduled time slot 4 hours or more per day or 4 - 5 days per week.
Part Time: Childcare contracted on a set scheduled time slot 4 hours per day , 3 days per week or less. Part Time Childcare occupies a Full Time position. Should a potential client need a full time position, termination notice may be given with the option of parent paying the full time rate to preserve the child’s slot. Daycare can only be guaranteed to children that attend full time, or part time and pay full time rates.
Before/After School: Includes breakfast and afternoon snack. Care will not begin before 7:30 AM or end later than 5:00 PM. any day that school is not in session, a full day rate will be charged.
Drop Ins: I do except children if I have the open spot for them.
Termination of Care:
Care can only be terminated with 2 weeks notice by the parent. I reserve the right to immediately end care for non-payment, failure to respect me, my home, my neighborhood, behavior of the child, which is harmful to the physical or emotional well being of the other children, or failure to abide by my policies. If you terminate care without giving appropriate notice, you will be responsible for payment of the final 2 weeks of care whether or not your child attends. Please be advised that you will be charged the No Show Fee in addition to your scheduled daily rate until you notify me that your child will not be returning. *Provider has the right to terminate a contract without notice in the case of harm to other children or a dangerous situation due to that child has caused intentionally or otherwise.