Table of Contents
Parent Handbook (PDF)
Center Location, Hours and Days of Operation
Admission Requirements and Enrollment Procedures
Fees and Procedures for Payment
Family Participation and Involvement
Behavior Management Policy
Health Policies and Care of Ill Children
Child Safety Center Policies
The UNK Child Development Center provides a high quality early childhood care and education program that allows each child the respect and opportunity to develop physically, socially, intellectually, and emotionally to his/her full potential.
The UNK Child Development Center provides a high quality early childhood care and education program that allows each child the respect and opportunity to develop physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally to his/her full potential. The classroom is a mini-society and teaching should reflect and establish the skills and talents necessary for each child to reach his/her full potential, while feeling loved and secure, and to provide avenues for future success in the larger technological, international society. Our teaching will reflect a high regard for each child’s uniqueness with respect and understanding of societal and cultural diversity. This is done with sensitive, caring staff working in partnership with parents and families.
The UNK Child Development Center was originally established in 1948 as a Laboratory for preschool children. Construction was completed on Otto Olsen in 1955 and the current Center is located in this original site. The classroom was constructed with a one-way observation window that allowed viewing of the children. The Lab setting provided an opportunity for students studying the many aspects of early childhood an on-campus opportunity to observe and interact with children. In 1987, the Laboratory was renamed the Wilma A. Larsen Child Development Laboratory, to honor Mrs. Wilma Larsen upon her retirement as Family and Consumer Sciences Department Chair for her many contributions to the Lab and its program. The Observation Room was renovated and renamed the Jill Lynn Lindsay Preschool, Infant, and Toddler Observatory in 1990 and “dedicated in memory of her love of young children”. This Observation Room provides opportunities for parents, students and faculty to observe children without disturbing their natural play environment. (See attached History of Wilma A. Larsen Child Development Laboratory/Center by Dr. Phyllis Markussen.)
In 2001, the childcare needs of the parents who are students, staff, and faculty members of the University became an issue of extreme importance to Chancellor Gladys Styles Johnston and the former Lab was licensed as a child care facility. Children six (6) weeks through six (6) years of age are provided a quality program that not only meets a child’s physical needs, but also allows him/her to develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually through stimulating activities in a nurturing and accepting atmosphere. The Center promotes the University’s educational mission by providing an environment where its’ students can observe and interact with young children in preparation for future professional contact.
Play is the natural medium for young children to learn, grow, and develop. Play affords children opportunities to explore, discover, attempt varying roles, relate to others, and exercise creativity (Simlansky, 1990).
It is important children have the opportunity to explore the world around them while in a safe, nurturing environment. Opportunities will be provided for just such exploration, through play, as a part of the daily program. Programming will include infants (six weeks – 12 months), toddlers (12 months – 2 years), 2 & 3 year olds, 4 & 5 year old, plus opportunities for mixed-age group activities. Care for School aged child will be provided during the summer months.
The daily schedule for 2& 3 year olds and 4 & 5 year olds will include: large motor activities, both indoor and out; fine motor activities, with manipulatives in the pre-math area and with a variety of table toys; sensory play in water and sand tables; discovery and exploratory activities in the science and social science areas; language development in the book corner, listening center, writing center, and dramatic play area; social skills in the dramatic play and puzzles and games areas; a time when they will be read to and have the opportunity to read books themselves; and music and movement activities. The children will also engage in a variety of small and large group activities designed around a thematic integrated curriculum.
Infant and Toddler programs will be planned to assure the individual needs of each child are met in the areas of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. Children will be exposed to a variety of experiences to enhance growth and development in these areas, to include being read to. Children will participate in self-directed, center based play. This approach encourages learning through child directed, hands on experiences. We believe this is the best way to tailor our program to meet each child’s individual needs and to encourage each child to successfully develop to his/her full potential. Families will receive monthly activity calendars via e-mail.
Each classroom follows a daily schedule to provide a consistent and predictable routine for the children. See the Daily Schedule for your child(ren)’s specific age group. These are posted in each classroom.
DAILY INFORMATION SHEETS
Every family at the center will receive a daily report of their child’s day. These daily report sheets are laminated sheets placed in the child’s mailbox at the end of the day. These daily report sheets provide the parents information about their child’s day including how the child ate during the day, activities the child participated in, children their child played with, and diapering or toileting documentation. When parents have finished reading about their child’s day, we ask that the sheet be returned to the Daily sheet holder by the mailboxes so they can be used the next day. In the event that your child needs diapers or wipes, a laminated note will be placed in their mailbox. After receiving this notice please place it in the Daily sheet holder so it can be reused.
TRANSITIONING TO A NEW ROOM
For a child to be moved to the next room, a number of factors are taken into consideration. Some of these factors include the child’s age, developmental progression, and availability in the next room. In some cases input from the teachers and a parent is solicited prior to the room change. When it becomes time for a child to move to a new room, parents will receive a Room Change Notice. This notice will give parents important information about what to expect when their child moves to the new room. It will give parents information about their child’s new daily schedule, items requested to be brought, and who their child’s new teachers will be. In the weeks prior to the actual room change we will have the child meet the new teachers if needed, visit the room, and even participate in activities in the new room in small time increments.
CENTER LOCATION, HOURS AND DAYS OF OPERATION
UNK Child Development Center is located on the first floor, south end, of Otto Olsen. This location allows parents to conveniently visit their children while working or attending classes at UNK. The location also enables faculty to use this facility as a lab site for students studying all aspects of child development.
The UNK Child Development Center closes when the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus closes. This may be due to inclement weather or special circumstances. This may include full or partial days. Information will be distributed via television, internet, and radio. The Child Development Center will remain open if only classes are cancelled.
CENTER SIGN UP DAYS On days that there are no classes but campus is still open, the Center will designate these days as sign up days. Families will be responsible to sign their children up for care on these days on sign-up sheets on the Information bulletin board. Children that are not signed up on these days will not be able to attend as staffing will be based on the number of children signed up. Standard fees include these days.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES
Parents must complete all forms in the Enrollment Packet, including the Child Care Time Slot Contract. A $50.00 non-refundable family deposit is required to attain enrollment. The family will receive a $25.00 credit to the balance of their first month at the Center. Enrollment is on a first come, first serve basis with priority given as follows:
In order for a family to qualify for the part-time rate their scheduled attendance must meet the following requirements:
*A family may change a child’s weekly schedule, as long as they request the change at least a week in advance and the center is able to accommodate the change. The family will be charged the full-time rate for the week.
**A Family may change a child’s part-time schedule to another option only at the beginning of a semester and if the Center is able to accommodate the change.
*** If a child’s weekly attendance is over 25 hours, the family will be charged the full-time rate for the week.
CENTER WAITING LIST
In the event that the Center enrollment is at capacity, families wishing to enroll will be asked to complete the waiting list form located on the UNK Child Development Center web page on the UNK website. When there is an opening in a room the Director will find a child to fill the opening by starting at the beginning of the waiting list looking for a child in the same age group of the opening. The waiting list priority is based on the date the family submitted the waiting list form.
FEES AND PROCEDURES FOR PAYMENT
Fees vary depending on your child’s age and their scheduled time at the Center. All fees are pre-paid. Unless paid through UNK Payroll Deduction, monthly fee contracts are due by the third of each month and weekly fee contracts are due Monday morning for the upcoming week. For monthly fee contracts, a $5.00 late payment charge will be added to your account if your monthly fee is not paid by the 3rd of the month, an additional $5.00 will be charged each Friday after the 10th that the monthly fee is not received. Child care can be terminated for habitual late payment. There is no refund for missed days as billing is based on a child’s schedule, not attendance.
All families with a parent employed at the University of Nebraska are required to participate in Payroll Deduction. For bi-weekly paid employees, fees are divided in half and taken out of the first and second payment of each month. For monthly paid employees, fees are taken at the end of the month like other benefits.
ABSENT LUNCH FEE If your child is scheduled to attend the Center during Lunch time, we will order a lunch for your child from UNK Dining. In the event that your child will not be attending the Center during the lunch time, you must notify us either by telephone or writing it in the Center Communication notebook prior to 9:00 a.m. that day. If we do not receive notification by 9:00 a.m. that your child will not be at the Center for lunch and we order your child a lunch, you will be charged $2.50 to reimburse the Center for the lunch that cannot be claimed with the Federal Food Program. Please do not e-mail your notification as there are days e-mails are not read until after 11:00 a.m.
ABSENCE POLICY If your child is gone from the Center, the part time rate for your child’s age group will be charged to your account to retain your child’s position in the center. Your payment should be received the same as your contracted pay schedule.
LATE PAYMENT POLICY
When you register your child at the center you sign a contract, either for a monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly pay schedule. For monthly fee contracts, a $5.00 late payment charge will be added to your account if your monthly fee is not paid by the 3rd of the month, an additional $5.00 will be charged each Friday after the 10th that the monthly fee is not received. For weekly fee contracts, a $1.00 per day charge will be added to your account if your weekly fee is not paid by Wednesday of each week. The late fee will be due on the day you make your payment. Child care can be terminated for late payment.
For families receiving Title XX reimbursement with a family fee, these family fees are due by the last day of the month. Failure to submit the family fee by the last day of the month will result in the same late payment procedures as the monthly fee contract policy.
LATE PICK-UP FEES
Children picked up after 5:45 p.m. will be charged $1.00 per child for every minute after the closing time. If late more than three (3) times, that fee will be increased to $2.00 per child per minute. This fee is due upon pick-up. The Center has no choice but to call appropriate authorities if a child has not been picked up by one-half hour after closing and if no relative or emergency person can be located. We would appreciate notification if your child(ren) will be staying later than their scheduled time to accommodate staffing changes.
FAMILY PARTICIPATION AND INVOLVEMENT
The Parent Advisory Group (PIK- Parents Involved for Kids) normally meets monthly to discuss issues related to Center programming. All parents are invited to attend and participate in the PIK group. Classroom reports are given at each meeting.
Parent-Teacher conferences will be held twice during the school year. These conferences are designed to keep communication lines between the parents and teachers open. During the conferences teachers and parents will discuss developmental assessments of the child, transition to a new room, day to day concerns, and any other issues the parent would like to discuss with their child’s teacher.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
Two parking stalls on the west side of Otto Olsen, outside the west building entrance, will be available for drop-off and pick-up. You may also park on the east side of the building for drop-off and pick-up if space is available. All children must be brought into the center by a parent/guardian and must be signed in and out. Children must be taken to their classroom when arriving, and the parent/guardian must inform the classroom teachers when they are taking their child.
BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT POLICY
The UNK Child Development Center uses positive guidance and redirection of the child’s behavior. The goal of discipline is to help children build their own self-control; and to modify behavior that is socially unacceptable or non-productive in nature. Discipline is guidance and learning, not punishment. Techniques used will be applied in a way to maintain or enhance the child’s self-esteem. Consequences will immediately follow the behavior. Talking with children after they gain self-control will help them understand why the behavior is undesirable. Time out will be used when a child has lost control and is unable to reason. Time outs will be short amounts of time (1-2 minutes). These are used just to stop the unacceptable behavior and let the child gain their composure. Discipline of a child shall be administered by the staff as follows:
In the event that time out is not effective and a child has to be removed from the classroom setting and has not regained control after 15 minutes or has caused bodily harm to another child or teacher, the parent will be notified and the incident will be documented. In the event that two (2) documented incidents occur in one day, the child will be sent home for the remainder of the day. In the event that the child develops a behavior pattern that disrupts the classroom on a regular basis, the parents will be contacted to meet with the Classroom teacher and Director to develop a mutually agreeable plan to address the behavior. If a mutually agreeable plan cannot be agreed upon, the parents will be asked to remove their child from the program.
In the event that a child causes bodily harm to another child, depending on the severity of the incident, the child may be sent home for the remainder of the day.
The UNK Child Development Center reserves the right to remove any child or family from the program based on the child’s compatibility with the Center.
Biting is a behavior that is both age and stage appropriate for children under the age of 3 years. Even in high quality settings, where staff is vigilant, a variety of activities are available, and all preventative strategies are used, biting may still occur. Understanding the reasons for biting, taking the necessary preventative measures, and communicating with families will hopefully bring an end to the problem. We understand the frustration from both sides of a biting incident and our staff works very hard to ensure that the biting incident is handled in a way that respects both families involved in the incident.
We handle biting incidents as follows. The child who is bitten is attended to immediately. We take the child to a quiet area and examine the wound and comfort him or her. The Teacher and the child who bit the other child, clean the wound thoroughly and put ice on it to prevent swelling. If the skin is broken we contact the parent to let them decide if they wish to seek medical consultation. After the child is taken care of we focus on the biter. We tell the child in a firm voice “no biting” or “biting hurts” to communicate the seriousness of the child’s act. We also explain how to touch others gently and demonstrate acceptable behaviors. If the incident happens repeatedly, we have the child continue to help the child that was hurt, but the attention given to the biter may vary to avoid establishing a predictable and routine pattern, which might become positive reinforcement to the biter.
An incident report is completed for both the child who was bitten and the child who bit. With respect to confidentiality we do not report the name of the biter to the parents of the child who was bit.
Some of the strategies the staff may use to prevent biting incidents from happening include:
TERMINATION OF CHILD CARE FOR BEHAVIORAL ISSUES
The child’s adjustment to the program and the appropriateness of this particular child care arrangement for an individual child may not be in the child’s best interest. If we do not feel our program is meeting the child’s needs, or because of concerns we might have for the Center, we reserve the right to terminate the child care arrangement on a timeline that is in the child’s best interest.
HEALTH POLICIES AND CARE OF ILL CHILDREN
Health Regulations are determined by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. For the protection of all children enrolled in the program, UNK Child Development Center requires current immunization records at the time of enrollment. (See ENROLLMENT PACKET) UNK Child Development Center will report all cases of contagious diseases to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and to the parents as soon as the disease is identified.
**Parents will be called to pick up their child(ren) from the Center and the child must remain out of the Center for 24 hours if:
The child should be kept home if he/she:
|DISEASE||INCUBATION PERIOD||RULES FOR ATTENDANCE|
|Chicken Pox||14 – 21 Days||Child must be absent until scabbed over and dry|
|Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease||3 - 7 Days||Child must be fever free for 24 hours and all sores must be dried and scabbed over.|
|Impetigo||4 – 10 Days||Prescribed medication and 48 hours.|
|Child must be absent until area is clear.|
|Lice or Crabs||7 – 10 Days||Child must be absent until treatment;|
|(Pediculosis)||Physician’s note is required|
|Measles||8 – 14 Days||Child must be absent for 7 days after rash appears.|
|Mumps||12 – 21 Days||Child must be absent until all swelling|
|Pink Eye||24 – 72 Hours||Prescribed medication and 48 hours.|
|(Conjunctivitis)||Child must be absent until eyes are clear.|
|Ringworm||10 – 14 Days||Child must be absent until treatment|
|(Tinea Infections)||and negative under Wood’s Lamp Test.|
|Rubella||14 – 21 Days||Child must be absent for 4 days.|
|Scabies||4 – 6 Weeks||Prescribed Medication and 24 hours.|
|RSV||Varies per case||Physician's note required.|
|Rotavirus||Varies per case||Physician's note required.|
Medication should be given at home, if possible. Our staff shall give or apply medication either prescription or nonprescription, only with prior permission and written instructions from the parent and physician. All medication must be signed in daily on the Medication Permission Form in the Infant room. Medication must be in the original container, stored according to the directions, clearly labeled for a named child with time and amount of dosage, and returned to the parent or destroyed when no longer needed. The Center will not share prescribed medication. The Center shall maintain a record as to the time and amount of medication given or applied. Labels of non-prescription medication (i.e. Tylenol, Motrin, cough medication) must list dosage instruction by age and weight of the child. If the label does not list specific directions, a physician must sign an Over-the-Counter Medication Permission Form. Medication must be given directly to the staff upon arrival. Children should not be allowed to carry the medication in or out of the Center, nor should medication be left unattended.
POLICY ON INFANT SLEEPING POSITION
The U.S. Public Health Department and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend that infants be put to sleep on their backs to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). All infants at The UNK Child Development Center will be put to sleep on their backs in beds. A note from a physician will be needed if a parent requests their child to sleep in anything other than a crib.
We provide cots and sheets for each child who naps. Families are responsible for bringing a blanket and pillow for their child. Nap time is scheduled daily at 12:30 p.m. for children in the Toddler, 2 & 3 Year Old, and Pre-K room. Adjustments to sleep time can be made as needed. Infants nap as needed. We ask all children 3 years and younger to sleep or rest during the scheduled Nap time.
Scratches and scrapes are inevitable when children play or as they are learning to walk and are becoming more mobile. Minor accidents will be treated properly, immediately, with lots of care and attention, and an accident report completed. If a serious situation should arise, the parents will be notified immediately.
EMERGENCIESIn the event the parent cannot be reached, the emergency contact person will be called. If need warrants, the child will be taken to the hospital emergency room if parent or emergency contact person cannot be reached. Parents must keep emergency phone numbers and addresses current.
MEAL TIME POLICY
The children will be served breakfast, lunch, and a snack in the afternoon. Please be aware of the children’s eating times as we will not be able to serve children meals at times other than the scheduled meal times. If you are planning on bringing your child after the scheduled meal time, please plan on feeding your child before you come to the Center. Lunches will be catered by Chartwell’s. Monthly menus will be posted in the Center and sent home via e-mail. We ask that you do not send fast food, drinks, pop, donuts, candy, snacks, etc. to the Center with your child(ren) unless it is a special occasion and you have discussed this with the Director. All families are required to fill out a food program form upon enrollment in the program and then yearly after that.
|Classroom||Breakfast||AM Snack||Lunch||Afternoon snack|
|Infants||Children are on their own eating schedule|
|Toddlers||8:00 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||11:00 a.m.||3:00 p.m.|
|2 & 3 Year olds||8:00 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||11:00 a.m.||3:00 p.m.|
|Pre-k||8:00 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||11:45 a.m.||2:30 p.m|
ALLERGIES AND FOOD REACTIONS
If your child has food allergies, the completed CACFP forms are required for him/her to receive alternative food while at the Center. The Child Development Center does provide a lactose free milk as an alternative for children who show lactose allergies.
CHILD SAFETY CENTER POLICIES
Under Nebraska law, staff members are mandated reporters suspected child abuse and/or neglect. We are required to report any and all suspected cases of abuse and/or neglect to the proper authorities.
FIRE DRILL PROCEDUREIn case of a fire at the Center, the staff shall determine the safest route of exit and quickly and quietly lead the children to that exit and out of the building. The staff is required to keep a count of the children in their care at all times. In compliance with State regulations, we conduct fire drills monthly. A direct access line to the local fire and police departments is active.
TORNADO DRILL PROCEDURE
In case of a tornado warning, the staff shall quickly and quietly lead the children to an interior hallway away from windows. Children will be instructed to assume the “crouch and cover” position. Infants will be covered with blankets. It shall be the staff’s responsibility to keep the children calm during these drills. In compliance with State regulations, we conduct a tornado drill four times a year.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE
In the event the Center is required to evacuate the premises, the children will be taken over to the Conference room in the Theater Department at the Fine Arts Building. The children will remain in the Conference room until either the parents picks their child up or we are allowed to return to the Center. A notification message via email and text will go out to all parents notifying them of the evacuation.
Each room at the Center has a key code entry door. Parents and Staff will be given the code to access all rooms at the Center. The Child Development Center requests that this code is only used by parents and staff. University Campus Security will be notified immediately in circumstances detrimental to the Center’s children, parents, or staff.
ADDITIONAL CENTER POLICIES
We ask that parents send their children in comfortable, play appropriate clothing. Please refrain from short dresses. We highly recommend children wear tennis shoes daily. Flip-flop style sandals are not allowed at the Center.
UNK Child Development Center will take occasional field trips. The majority of Center field trips will be to places on campus. In the event that the children have an off campus field trip planned, parents are encouraged to drive and help with these trips, if possible. Signed permission slips will be necessary for all field trips off campus.
You are welcome to visit the classroom at any time. All visitors must register with the office. Please enter quietly and do not talk in a loud manner that would disrupt the atmosphere. Please inform the staff if you have a special talent or interest you would be willing to share with the children and/or if you can assist with field trips or special projects. The Jill Lynn Lindsay Preschool, Infant, and Toddler Observatory is available for your use, also. Any visitor that is not approved to be in the Child Development Center will be asked to leave.
STUDENT VOLUNTEERS AND OBSERVATIONS
Students attending UNK may use the UNK Child Development Center to complete assignments required for their field of study. Students may volunteer in the classroom, facilitate an activity with the children, work one on one with a child, or simply observe and document activities at the center. Each student will have a completed background check done through the Nebraska Central Registry of Abuse and Neglect and the Nebraska Adult Protective Services Central Registry prior to starting their volunteer time.
CHILDREN’S MAILBOXES AND CUBBIES
The Center provides a mailbox and cubbie for each child attending the Center. The mailboxes are to be used for communication between teachers and parents, and a place for children to place their projects they want to take home. The cubbies are to be used to keep children’s extra clothes, blankets & pillows for nap, coats, hats, gloves, and boots. We ask that families periodically organize their child’s cubbie and take home any unnecessary items.
Birthdays are special events for children! If you are planning a birthday party at home and wish to invite children from the Center, please do not distribute birthday invitations at the Center. We request that you mail invitations to parents or call them. If addresses or telephone numbers are needed, please contact the Director and she will help you attain this information. We ask that families do not bring Birthday Treats (food) to the Center. We have children with food allergies and it is not safe for us to distribute food to children if we do not know all the ingredients. We will celebrate your child’s birthday during the day.
The Center encourages donations of household items such as tissue, first aid supplies, art supplies, napkins, paper towels, etc. Any donations, cash or materials, made to the UNK Child Development Center are tax deductible. Please contact the Director is you would like to make a donation. A receipt can be provided by the Director for your tax records.
This program is licensed by the State of Nebraska and will comply with the regulations of the State Department of Health and Human Services. Periodic inspections will be conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Fire Marshal to ensure the center meets or exceeds the standards.
CENTER PERSONNEL POLICIES
Director Qualifications- The Director of the UNK Child Development Center must meet one of the following requirements:
1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in early childhood education, education, or child/youth development;
2. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with at least six credit hours in early childhood education, education or child/youth development;
3. Have an associate degree from an accredited college or university in early childhood education, education or child/youth development;
4. Have a Child Development Associate Credential; or
5. Have a high school diploma or GED and 3000 clock hours of verifiable experience in organized group activities for children age birth to 13 as indicated by a positive reference from a former employer or supervisor and:
Teacher Qualifications -To be employed as a teacher in a licensed child care center, an individual who is not a certificated teacher must be at least 18 years of age and of good moral character, and must meet one of the following requirements:
1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in early childhood education,
education or child/youth development;
2. Hold an associate degree from an accredited college or university in early childhood education, education or child/youth development;
3. Have a Child Development Associate Credential; or
4. Have a high school diploma or GED; and
Teacher Training Requirements: The Center will ensure that each Teacher Completes the following trainings:
STAFF TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
Director Training Requirements: The Director of the UNK Child Development Center will be required to complete the following trainings:
1. DHHS approved Director Orientation
2. Safety Training
3. Child Care Management Training
4. Nebraska’s Early Learning Guidelines Training
5. Must obtain a minimum of 12 clock hours of training annually