Greenhouse Preschool Policies and Procedures
There are many forms that I must have completed and in my possession before I can assume the responsibility of caring for your child. You will be required to keep me informed of any change in addresses, telephone numbers, and other pertinent information on these forms as they arise. This includes notifying me of additional childhood immunizations. I do charge a yearly non-refundable enrollment/materials fee of $200.
When enrolling your child, I will need a health statement from your child’s physician stating that he/she is healthy and able to partake in a daily preschool routine. I have a prepared form that you may want to fax or take to the physician. It must be signed and dated. This form is required by the state and must be completed before your child can start preschool with me.
All new children will be cared for on a ten day (Monday-Friday) trial period beginning on your child’s first actual day of care. During that time the parent or provider may terminate the child care agreement at any time. No pre-paid fees will be credited upon cancellation during the trial period. After the trial period, a two week notice is required by either party to terminate the agreement (see Termination Policy). Your enrollment fee is non-refundable. In cases of non-payment, legal actions may be taken and parent will pay all incurred legal expenses, including small claims court.
Tuition and Fees: $7200.00 a year
The tuition rate is conveniently broken down into 12 monthly payments of $600 a month. Payment is due on the first of each month and will begin on June 1 of each year. If the first is a weekend or a holiday, then payment will be due on the Friday before the weekend or holiday. The rate will remain the same every month (June-May) even if the school is closed for a holiday. If you or your child are ill, your payment is still expected unless other arrangements have been previously made. If I close the child care due to my own illness or emergency, payment will be accepted on your first contracted day back to child care. Payments may be made by check (made payable to Christy Zamora) or cash. No post-dated checks will be accepted. There will be a late fee of $20.00 for each day (including weekends) that payments are received late. If your check is returned to me for insufficient funds, you will be billed $30.00 plus all bank fees I incur as a result. Please do not put me in an uncomfortable position of having to ask for tuition, including late fees. You will be given a 30 day’s notice of any increases in your tuition fees. A year-end statement of all daycare fees paid during the year will be given to you in January of the next year for tax purposes. You will be given a 30 day's notice of any increases in tuition or fees.
Summer Tuition and Enrollment and Materials Fees
Since I keep a traditional school schedule, I will be closed during the months of June, July, and the first 1-2 weeks of August (depending on the Flour Bluff ISD school calendar). However, since tuition is broken down into 12 monthly payments, your child's tuition payments will begin on June 1 prior to school starting. This will go towards the yearly tuition rate. You will also be responsible for the $200.00 yearly enrollment and materials fee. This will be due at the time of enrollment in the spring.
In cases of your potential absence due to maternity or other circumstances, I still require full child care payments for the entire time of your absence to hold your child’s position.
Paid Holidays/Vacation/and Personal Days
The Greenhouse Preschool will follow the Flour Bluff ISD calendar and will be closed on the following holidays as well as any additional days that the district is closed: Labor Day, Thanksgiving Break, Christmas and New Year’s Break, Spring Break, Good Friday and Memorial Day. The tuition rate includes full pay for holidays with no credit for absent days (due to your child), including parent’s vacation time and 5 sick/personal days for the provider. My children are active in the 4-H program. Depending on the livestock show schedule, I usually close for a couple of days in January or February so I can take them to their shows. I will let you know at least 30 days in advance these dates so you can make other arrangements.
I reserve the right to terminate care for the following reasons (but not limited to):
*Lack of compliance with handbook policies
*Failure to pay, pay on time, or bounced checks (more than once)
*Failure to complete required forms
*Lack of parental cooperation or disrespect
*False information given by parent either verbally or in writing
*Physical or verbal abuse of any person or property
*My inability to meet the child’s needs regarding “one on one” care
*Serious illness of child or provider
I would appreciate as much advance notice as possible if you choose to terminate care with me.
I will give the same courtesy in return. You are required to give two weeks’ notice when you decide to terminate child care. The two weeks will be paid in full, regardless of whether or not your child is in attendance. Should you notify me of a future termination date, you will be responsible for keeping that date because I fill spots as they are made available. If you must change the termination date already in place, you will be responsible for all tuition between the two termination dates. Likewise, I will give two weeks’ notice of termination for which tuition is due, whether or not your child is in attendance. I reserve the right to give notice of immediate termination where there are extreme circumstances that affect the well being of me or the other children in attendance. In this situation, the two weeks' payment of tuition is still required. Termination notice will not be accepted while the provider or parents are on vacation. You may pay two weeks fees in lieu of two weeks’ notice in this case.
I am dedicated to using the least amount of chemical control of pests at the preschool in order to provide the healthiest environment possible for the children. In order to control pests, I attempt to prevent infestation by:
*Taking out the trash daily
*Cleaning trash can regularly
*Keeping trash cans covered
*Keeping grounds clear of food and trash
*Storing food in sealed plastic or metal containers
*Cleaning and sanitizing all dishes, utensils, and surfaces for eating or food preparation after meals and at the end of each day
*Preventing pest entry into the home by sealing cracks and holes, and using and repairing window screens
*Controlling moisture by maintaining plumbing and water drainage systems
*Mulching plant beds
*Occasional treatment of grass using natural products (this is only done on Friday afternoons after children have gone home)
Hours of Operation
Normal daytime hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (August-May). If you drop-off before or pick-up after your contracted hours, you will be charged $1.00 for every minute. All children must arrive no later than 9:00 a.m. to attend for that day. This will help us stay on schedule.
Open Door Policy
I maintain an open door policy for parents during specific contracted child care hours. You are required to let me know of your presence before entering my home. Please knock, and then you may enter. My front door and side door are kept locked for the safety of the children. I would appreciate your taking into consideration my schedule when dropping in or calling, and remember that visitors (even parents) usually cause the children to react in an excited manner that does not normally occur when I am alone with them. I ask that drop-offs, pick-ups, and visits not be made during our daily naptime.
Arrivals and Departures
It is normal for some children to have difficulty separating from parents in the morning or not wanting to leave when it is time to go home. Please be very brief (5 minutes or less is sufficient) during these transition times. The longer you prolong the departure, the harder it gets, and I need to focus my attention on all of the children. A smile, cheerful goodbye kiss, and a reassuring word that you will be back are all that is needed in the morning. In my experience, children are nearly always quick to get involved in play or activities as soon as parents are gone. This is a time of testing when two different authority figures are present (parent/provider). All the children will test to see if the rules still apply. During arrivals and departures, I expect parents to back up my rules (see House Rules). If you do not, I will remind the child that their behavior is inappropriate and take action to correct the behavior if needed. Children are not permitted to go outside or to their car unattended at pick-up times. I will only release your child to you or someone else you designate in writing. If someone else is to pick up your child, please notify me ahead of time. A verbal notice is fine, but I will be checking his/her driver’s license to confirm identity.
Child Absences and Notifications
You are required to notify me prior to 7:30 a.m. if your child will not be coming for the day or if you will be arriving late (to prevent breakfast waste). It is your responsibility to call. There will be no refunds or adjustments made to your tuition fee for time missed due to illness, holidays, or days off. You are required to inform me if you are at any location other than the one that is listed on your Enrollment Form, and you must provide me with a telephone number for that place as well. An emergency could arise with your child at any given time, and I may need to reach you.
Even the best planned child care arrangements can be disrupted from time to time (illness, death, injury, jury duty, etc.). By planning ahead and knowing your options, you can be prepared for the unexpected. My mother, Shirley Thornton, will act as my substitute when she is available to do so. She is CPR certified and aware of how the preschool is run. If she is not available, alternative care may be needed. Visit as many potential caregivers as possible. You will be looking for a safe, healthy, and comfortable place to leave your child. I will do my best to notify you in advance when possible, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a back-up person.
I am a participant of the Child Development and Nutrition Food Program. Nutritious meals are served to children at no extra cost to you. You are responsible for feeding your child if he/she arrives to school after a meal has been served.
Breakfast: 8:00-8:30 a.m.
Lunch: 12:00-12:30 p.m.
Snack: 3:15-3:45 pm.
Except for special occasions when requested, please do not send any food, drink (included morning sippy cup), candy or gum with your child. All morning snacks on the way must be finished in the car before coming in the home.
*Food and drinks will be disposed of if brought to the child care.*
Children are offered a variety of foods, but they are not forced to eat food. I do encourage each child to try one or two bites of everything. Sometimes they are surprised by what they like! If a child refuses to eat the meal I serve, there will be no other food offered until the next designated meal/snack time. I will not administer a modified diet to your child unless I have a written statement from a physician detailing food allergies or the necessary diet. It is simply not feasible to prepare individualized meals.
Belongings and Supplies
Do not send toys with your child. No exceptions. They could become lost or broken, and many times the children do not want to share their toys from home. Children may bring a blanket for naptime. Blankets will be put in the storage closet until that time so that it doesn’t come in contact with other children (runny noses due to colds and allergies). A minimum of two full changes of clothing (including socks and underwear) appropriate for the weather will need to be maintained in the storage closet at all times. All items need to be labeled with your child’s name. When soiled clothing is sent home, a clean change of clothes should be brought back the next day. This is very important because I don’t supply extra clothes for the children. Appropriate outerwear for the cold season (such as coats) must be available in order for your child to participate in any outdoor activities.
Your child’s shot records must stay current at all times. When your child has immunizations as required by law, please bring his/her shot record so that I may make a copy. Copies will be kept on file for inspections. This is required by the state and your child may not start school here until all immunizations are up-to-date and a copy of the immunization record is on file.
Communicable Diseases: Not permitted by law in child care include (but not limited to):
Infectious Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Impetigo, Hepatitis A, Scabies, Ringworm, Diarrhea, Chicken Pox, Scarlet Fever, Lice, and/or Strep Throat
If your child is thought to have a communicable disease, you will be notified and asked to pick him or her up. Your child will be accepted back into care when he/she is no longer contagious. All other parents will be notified of the possibility of a communicable disease and what to watch for.
FEVER: Not permitted
(Fever in excess of 100 degrees)A child needs to be fever free for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to child care. That means the child is fever free without any aid of any fever reducing substance.*Administering Tylenol to reduce your child’s fever so that you can bring him/her to daycare is grounds for termination.
RUNNY OR CRUSTY EYES: Not permitted
Watery, matted, and/or red/pink eyes are not acceptable in child care under any circumstances.
LICE: Not permitted
Children are not to return to child care until after the second hair treatment. There should be no sign of eggs or nits.
RUNNY NOSE: Permitted (clear only)
Your child may be brought to child care if he/she has a common cold (slight occasional cough, clear runny nose, occasional sneezing). Discharge of any color other than clear is not acceptable in child care. A constant runny nose which needs to be wiped continually is not acceptable in child care. If your child has a clear runny nose which lasts longer than a week and you suspect it may be due to allergies, I will require that you bring a doctor’s note stating the same.
VOMITING: Not permitted
If your child vomits while at daycare, you will be notified immediately. It is expected that you (or someone else authorized to pick your child up) will come and pick your child up immediately. The child must stay home until 24 hours have passed with no vomiting episodes.
EXCESSIVE CRANKINESS: Not Permitted
If your child is irritable, excessively whining or crying, wants to be held constantly, or requires more attention than I can provide without jeopardizing the health, safety, or well being of the other children in my care, you must keep your child home regardless of the presence of other symptoms. If this occurs during child care hours, you will be called to come pick your child up.
Both non-prescription and prescription medications, ointments, and creams can be given to your child if needed. Parents are required to fill out the proper forms and to supply all medications in their original containers. These must be labeled with the child’s name and date. I may not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended dosage unless I have a written physician’s statement that includes instructions on administering non-prescription medication.
In case of an EMERGENCY, I will administer first aid to your child. The Corpus Christi Police Department or Paramedic Unit will be called and your child will be transported to the hospital designated on your Emergency Transportation Authorization Form. YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I am prepared with emergency caregivers in cases of unplanned absences of short duration caused by unanticipated circumstances such as illness or an accident. You will be notified when an emergency caregiver will be used. If an emergency caregiver cannot be located, you may be requested to pick up your child. All costs involved in emergency treatment and/or the cost of an ambulance is your responsibility.
First, I will obtain emergency assistance or medical treatment for the child. I will maintain regular contact with the child’s parents to keep them informed of the situation and actions to be taken. I will remain with the child until relieved by the parents or the paramedics.Next, I will notify my husband (Jacob Zamora) or my mother (Shirley Thornton) to come and assist with care/supervision. Either my husband or my mother will notify all parents of the situation and decide what course of action should be taken regarding the care of the remaining children.Finally, as soon as possible, TDFPS will be notified by phone, followed by a written report, describing the incident.
Daycare will be closed, per my discretion, during any weather alerts. If schools and businesses are closed, the daycare will be closed as well. Tuition shall not be affected due to the nature of the circumstances.This applies to FBISD and CCISD schools.
Parent Communication and Participation
Family involvement and communication is essential in keeping our day flowing smoothly. I urge you to please share any thoughts, concerns or changes in your child’s daily routine that may affect their day while in care. If you try to call during preschool hours and we are outside, preparing meals, or just extremely busy playing or painting with our toes, don’t be surprised to hear the voicemail. Please leave a message and a phone number and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
As a parent, I understand the need to discuss questions or concerns you may have regarding your child. Therefore, I ask that you assist me in keeping the communication lines open between us. We can talk when you drop-off or pick-up your child, or you may call me in the evening. I want to do what is best for your child, and in order to do that we have to work as a team.
House Rules for Children and Discipline
Discipline is used to teach a child, not as a punishment. I achieve this with love, consistency, and firmness. I stress two main patterns of behavior: respect for other people and respect for property. The children are reminded of the rules of the child care home frequently, so they are familiar with the guidelines.
*There will be no jumping on furniture, running, or screaming in the house.
*There will be no hitting, pushing, biting, grabbing, pinching, or kicking.
*There will be no standing on toys, chairs, tables, or throwing objects at any time.
*There will be no roughhousing, climbing on, or pulling on other children.
*There will be no walking around the house with food or cups.
*There will be no mistreatment of toys (bashing, throwing, chewing, tearing off stickers, etc.).
If I feel there is a chronic behavioral issue that needs attention, I will let you know so that you and I are handling it in the same way so that there is continuity in discipline between our homes. These types of behavior might include such things as biting, use of bad language, chronic hitting, etc. Together we will try to find a solution.Some techniques that I use are: intervention and discussion, loss of privileges, positive reinforcement, redirection, taking a time out if needed. Infants are too young for time out and will not be punished for acting out their wants and needs. Toddlers may take a time out once they reach the age of three. The time out is one minute for each year of their age. (ex: 3 years old=3 minutes). As a childcare provider, I have a responsibility by law to recognize and report any evidence of child abuse (physical, emotional, or neglect) to the proper authorities.
Rules for Parents
*No foul or profane language.
We are surrounded by little ears. Please be mindful and respectful of them.
*Please do not block the driveway for an extended amount of time.
Other parents will be coming to drop off and pick up their children as well.
*Please do not bring toys or food.
*No smoking on the premises and please do not dispose of cigarette butts on the street.
*Any person picking up your child that I feel is inebriated or on drugs will be encouraged to allow me to find alternate transportation.
*I cannot legally withhold a child from a legal guardian (this includes parents going through a separation or divorce). If guardianship or custody changes, please notify my ASAP and provide me with the proper documentation from the court system.
Naptime is from 1:00-3:00. I ask that parents refrain from dropping-off and/or picking-up during the time when children may be sleeping. It is very disruptive to the children who need their rest. All children must lie down in the afternoon for naptime. Even older children need a break from the day to rest and rejuvenate. Children will sleep on nap mats. I provide all bedding and wash it weekly or more often as needed. If your child picks at or tears up his/her nap mat, you will be responsible for replacing the nap mat.
Children need and thrive on a routine. It helps to make bedtime the same every night. Children’s health and behavior are affected when their sleep habits are irregular. A sleep-deprived child has trouble with concentration, memory, physical performance, and decision making. A good night’s sleep can help your child grasp and retain the next day’s learning and reduce behavior problems. When your child does not get enough sleep, he/she may have a short attention span, or become irritable or restless. They may act out in a way that is more tearful, anxious, touchy, defensive, or impatient than usual. Your child could possibly by sent home if behavior becomes a problem due to a chronic lack of sleep. I cannot change the routine of our school day to accommodate your child’s irregular sleeping patterns.
Children should be dressed and prepared for the day when arriving for care. Please do not bring them in their pajamas. We have a busy day planned, and there is little time for changing clothes. Children must also wear shoes to school. Children are not allowed to wear makeup to school. It is a distraction and can get quite messy when we play.
Please be sure to send your child in clothing that he/she is able to remove and put back on independently. There are times when they will need to be able to do that on their own. Spills and accidents will happen from time to time. Young children may become messy at meal times. I will do my best at keeping clothing from becoming stained and/or ruined. Bibs will be placed on younger children. If there is time, and I have a load to wash, I do not mind washing out food stains. If your child should have a toileting accident while in child care, I will place the garment in a plastic bag and send it home to be washed. Remember, your child should always have two extra complete sets of clothes at school at all times.
I have quite the assortment of pets in my home. I have 2 friendly dogs (Oreo and Leo) that the children may come in contact with. I will check the play area to make sure that it is free of feces before the children play. I also have 1 horse, 7 goats, 13 chickens, 8 ducks, and 3 donkeys. The children will not have unsupervised direct contact with these animals. They will, however, have the chance to observe, enjoy, and learn about all of these animals. Please let me know if your child has any pet allergies.
There are times that I take photographs of the children so that you may share in the experiences that your child is having. If you do not wish for your child to be photographed, please let me know in writing.
Natural Learning Environment and Preschool Curriculum
Mixed age groups teach children to take care of each other and themselves. This is not a classroom setting, but rather a natural learning environment. I will be teaching your child new concepts each and every day. There will opportunities daily for whole group instruction as well as small group instruction. The level of support or assistance in our preschool time will depend on the activity and/or concept being taught, as well as the ability of each individual child. Lessons are prepared for each day. However, sometimes these lessons change based on what is going on that day. For example, maybe it starts to rain and storm, so we learn about the weather that day. We will have preschool time daily. Your child will learn concepts such as letter recognition, number recognition, shape recognition, colors, music, storytelling, simple science, simple social studies, poems, and arts and crafts. My teaching includes a combination of the Reggio Emilia and Waldorf approach. Some of the content taught will come from E.D. Hirsch’s core knowledge for preschoolers. I believe that by teaching your child this way, they will become well-rounded learners who discover and take ownership of their own learning experiences.
Birthdays and Holiday Parties
Each child’s birthday is his/her “special day”. You may supply a special treat such as cupcakes or cookies for all the children on your child’s birthday if you’d like. I also have holiday parties throughout the year. Donations and treats are greatly appreciated and help make the parties fun! For our Christmas party, the children take part in a gift exchange. Each child is to bring an age appropriate gift that is wrapped with a tag with the name of the person it is for. Names will be drawn the week before the party. Please do not spend more than $10.00 on these gifts.
I have a written fire evacuation plan for the preschool. We will practice a fire drill at least once a month. In addition, I incorporate a fire safety unit in my curriculum in the month of October during Fire Safety Week. I also keep a written tornado and severe weather plan and practice it at least 3 times a year.
The Greenhouse Preschool DOES NOT carry liability insurance. Licensed daycare homes and centers are not required to carry additional liability insurance in the state of Texas.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS)
One of the most important elements in licensed child care homes is mutual respect between both parents, the provider, and the parents of other children in my care. There may come a time when I will need to enforce a new policy or make changed due to the TDFPS. It is important that parents understand that I have a set of guidelines called “Minimum Standards” which I must follow in order to maintain my child care license. Parents are welcome to view a copy of the minimum standards and the most recent licensing report at any time. You may also wish to contact TDFPS to obtain information about regulated child care operations. Their website is www.texaschildcaresearch.org. The child abuse hotline is 1-800-252-5400. You may also contact them in writing at: 5155 Flynn Parkway Suite #451, Corpus Christi, TX 78411.