The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint you with my program, philosophy, policies, schedules and procedures, and to answer questions you may have about Lots-4-Tots child care. If you have additional questions after reviewing this handbook, please discuss them with me.
Home Child Care
goal of Lots-4-Tots child care is to provide high quality care in a fun, safe
and nurturing environment. I take my job
and responsibility seriously and make every effort to meet the needs of the
children, as well as provide parents with peace of mind that each child is in
the best care that is available for them.
child care program is based on the sound principles of child development and
provides a learning environment that emphasizes the importance of wonder,
discovery and creativity through play. I strive to give children a sense
of self worth by helping them develop at their own individual pace while
learning basic and advanced skills. I am committed to promoting and
supporting all phases of a child's growth in an atmosphere of respect. I want each
child to feel secure, confident and loved enough to explore and grow in a
stimulating, educational and social setting. I believe in teaching children to
be kind, polite, honest and respectful through gentle guidance, encouragement,
positive influence and great examples. I think an ideal learning environment
should be fun, memorable, and help the children to grow in all aspects –
physically, socially, emotionally, morally, and intellectually. I know every
child is unique and has potential. I
will always encourage every child to set and reach goals and be the best that
they can be.
is licensed to operate group child care for a maximum of 12 children at any one
time. This license, number 09-85-6810-G,
is issued subject to the provisions of North Dakota State Law. This license
needs to be renewed every year. I will always follow state guidelines and
directions to ensure the child care I offer is safe and sanitary at all times.
provide service to children three months through six years of age and their
families. I accept all children regardless of what their needs may
be. I do not discriminate based on race, color, sex, disability, national
origin or public assistance status. If an opening is not available,
parents may put their child’s name on a waiting list where vacancies in the age
ratio available will be filled as they occur.
parents of each child enrolled at Lots-4-Tots will sign a contract. By signing the contract, you agree you have
read and will abide by my policy and procedure handbook. I may amend the
handbook at any time. I will provide a new copy of the handbook and
contract at least 30 days before the changes will go into effect. In fairness, I will enforce this handbook to
all families in my care and I expect everyone in turn to respectively follow
it. Any failure to enforce one or more terms of your contract agreement
does not waive the right of Lots-4-Tots to enforce any other terms of the contract
the child’s provider and teacher, I spend more hours with your child then
anyone else outside of your immediate family. I know that the first years
of a child’s life are the most important in forming who your child will
become. I do not take my job lightly and will do my best at any given
time. I run my business according to what I would expect from my child
care provider if I needed one. These standards are set high.
refer to the tuition rate sheet. This rate is based on contract not
attendance. Tuition will be reviewed
yearly in August; if rates increase it will be no more then 3% of current
tuition rate. You will be notified 30 days in advance of any changes.
are responsible to pay the same tuition regardless of your child’s
attendance. Absent days may include, but are not limited to the following
-Child is ill
-There is an emergency in
-Closure due to power
outage or other inclement weather emergencies
have the option to pay their tuition weekly, biweekly or monthly. Child care tuition
is due the Friday prior to the following week or weeks of care. It is
important that payments be made on time. If I have not received tuition, I will
not accept your child into care. A check or money order made out to
Lots-4-Tots, in the amount due, is strongly recommended, as cash payments are
difficult to manage. A $35.00 charge will be assessed for NSF
checks. Accounts are subject to a cash/money order only basis after the
second returned check. A year end statement of all child care tuition paid will
be provided within the first 4 weeks of January.
am more than happy to work with parents receiving assistance from the North
Dakota Child Care Assistance Program. All child care payments will be made
upfront and the NDCCAP program will reimburse you directly. If you are
receiving Child Care Assistance you are responsible for co-payments and any
other payments or fees not covered by the program. In addition, if your child
is absent from care it is your responsibility to contact Child Care Assistance
to arrange for payment to continue, or to cover those payments yourself.
party payments (including Child Care Assistance payments) are accepted only when
prior arrangements are made. A special payment schedule must be agreed upon and
a payment contract signed and submitted by parents before third party payments
operates under contracted hours and does not carry open-closed hours. Child
care hours provided for each family are based upon each individual family’s needs/work
schedules. These agreed upon hours are contracted hours of service that are
covered by your weekly tuition. Your
child’s daily hours cannot exceed 9.5 hours per day. Lots-4-Tots opens and closes when your child
arrives and is picked up. Please note
that ‘late drop offs’ do not warrant ‘late pickups’. If it has passed
your contracted hours and I have not heard from you, and I have not been able
to reach any of the emergency numbers provided, I will assume the worst and will
call the police for assistance. If you
wish to change the contracted hours you are required to notify me at least two
weeks in advance, these hours must remain between the hours I am available and
a new contract will be signed.
is important that children be picked up at their contracted time of
departure. An evening rate of $5.00 per
15 minute increments will start after a child’s pick up time exceeds 15 minutes
of the specific contracted hours for that day.
Care Holding Fee
non-refundable holding fee is required to hold an opening when a child is on an
extended leave or their start date is more than two weeks after enrollment.
This fee will be 75% of the regular weekly rate of the child. This payment is
due the Friday before each week that the opening is to be held. Beginning
on the date the opening becomes available. If payment is not received by 5:00
PM Friday, the opening will no longer be held and any fees or payments that
have been made will be forfeited.
holidays and birthdays are celebrated throughout the year. Holiday
celebrations are an ideal opportunity to teach children about our culture,
traditions and values. Holiday/Birthday gifts and or treats are always
welcomed but never expected.
is closed in observance of many holidays each year and full pay is required for
those days listed below:
-New Years Day
a holiday falls on a Saturday it will be observed on the preceding Friday; if a
holiday falls on a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday and
Lots-4-Tots will be closed. If there are any additional days added to
this list, you will be given a 30 day notice.
will be allowed 10 paid personal/sick/professional training days per calendar
year. Unused days will not be transferred into the next calendar
year. If an excess of 10 days are used, you will be able to deduct the
cost of care for the day out of your weekly tuition.
are responsible for having backup child care if I must close my business, if I
am unable to care for your child or if I am unable to provide substitute
staff. This may include, but is not limited to the following reasons:
-I am ill
-I take a vacation
-There is an emergency in
our family (death, serious illness, accident, etc.)
-Closed due to
personal/sick/professional training day
-Closed due to bad
weather or other weather related emergencies
severe weather please listen to your radio or television; Lots-4-Tots will be
closed if the West Fargo School District closes. If this takes place you will
be promptly notified. If you have not heard from me, make sure you call or text
me before you attempt to bring your child. In addition, at my discretion I
reserve the right to open late or close early when necessary due to the
regulations require that I ensure your child arrives safely at Lots-4-Tots each
day. If a child does not arrive within 15 minutes of his/her contracted time
without notification that the child will be late or absent, I am required to
contact the child’s parents to determine the whereabouts of the child. Out
of common courtesy, let me know as promptly as possible of any day your child
will be absent or late. If your child
will be arriving late or will be picked up early, provide me with the estimated
arrival or departure time of the child. This is important so I can
accurately plan our day and meals.
you need to make an appointment during the day for your child it would be
appreciated if you made the appointment first thing in the morning or later in
the afternoon. It tends to be very
disruptive to the child’s routine when they leave and return.
ask that you respect our home, and us, and in return we will do the same for you
and your property. Our home is used as a business and we expect you to
treat it as you would any other business establishment. Lots-4-Tots doors will be locked at all times
unless it is a contracted time for an arrival or pick up. This is for the safety of our home as well as
ensure that each child is safe and supervised at all times a parent must
accompany each child into Lots-4-Tots each morning and get him/her settled.
Please inform me to the best of your ability as to who will be dropping off and
picking up your child on any given day. Children will not be sent home
with other parents or adult friends unless I have been notified in
advance. If someone is legally not allowed to see or pick up the child, I
will need a copy of the court order on file. I am responsible for your
child until you physically make contact with them upon entering our home.
off and pick up times are very common times for children to misbehave or get
upset. This is the most stressful part of our day. It is confusing to have two different
authority figures present and children will test boundaries to see if the rules
still apply. It is very important that
you back up my rules at this time. Spending
a few minutes checking on the child’s day is very important, keep these times
as quick as possible in order to make these transitions easier for your child
as well as the others in care.
is not a good time to discuss serious problems.
Little ears and minds hear and understand everything. Instead we can set up a time where the issues
can be discussed in private.
maintain an open door policy during child care hours. Which means parents are
welcome to text, call or stop by anytime their child is in my care. Please take
into consideration our schedule and remember that visitors usually cause
children to react in an excited manner.
not come to my house under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or any
medication that impairs your ability to operate a vehicle or care for your
child. If you do, I cannot legally keep your child from you, but I will
contact the authorities. Also,
Lots-4-Tots is a smoke-free environment. No one is permitted to smoke in my
home or on my property; either during or after child care hours.
believe that my connection to your family is critical to your child’s
development. I try to create deep, caring connections with each family and child
in my care. We truly need to work
together as a team to raise your child, and communication is key. I will
initiate verbal communication with parents on a daily basis in an effort to
keep the communication channels open and to enhance commitment for honest,
friendly, and sincere communication. Parents are encouraged to
communicate to me any significant information regarding their child such as a
sleepless night, injury, illness, family issues, etc. This will help me
to better understand your child's mood and behavior. If you have ideas or know
of something that will provide your child with better care, please feel free to
share them with me and I will consider them.
report sheets are completed for infants. Information includes their
diaper changes, what they ate, nap times, and any other important information
you may need. There is also a communication board above the cubbies that
includes our daily menu and important information about activities that are
coming up as well.
Guidance and Discipline
use positive guidance techniques such as modeling and encouraging expected
behavior, redirection and setting clear limits. Time outs are used at my
discretion when necessary with one minute per year of age used as the maximum
time away from regular activities. After returning from time out the
child will explain or be told why they were in time out and will need to
apologize to the appropriate people. If I express to you that your child
is having a persistent behavior problem, please know it is because it is
affecting our day. All of the children deserve to be in a fun, happy and
stress free learning environment. When a child persistently acts up it takes
away attention from other children and in turn they also start to act up.
I expect you to work with me as a team to find a way to correct the behavior
problem. When an incident of biting or physical harm occurs, all parents
of the children involved will be informed. Parents need to be willing to
work with me to get the behavior under control and bring it to an end. If
it is apparent I am not receiving cooperation from the parent and the child’s inappropriate
behavior is persistent, the child may be asked to leave the program.
have many positive incentives set in place to encourage children to be on their
best behavior and to make good choices. Such as:
-Praise, hugs and high
-A good choice reward jar
-Sticker charts used to
earn prizes when filled out
-A classroom incentive
system used to earn Friday Fun Days
daily schedule includes individual, small and large group activities, quiet and
active, indoor and outdoor activity periods.
Every child will be provided with a variety of play equipment and
materials that are appropriate to their age. We follow a daily schedule
to help children set routines, however it is subject to change.
Children’s diaper changes and bathroom needs, along with infant feedings and
naps are taken care of as needed by the individual child.
are taught a 26 week preschool curriculum during the fall/winter months, with
weekly classroom newsletters emailed directly to parents. This curriculum meets
the standards of The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale. It is
academically enriched and reinforces cognitive skill development, which are the
underlying mental skills required for learning. It will prepare your child for
kindergarten and increase their ability to succeed in school.
daily schedule is designed to provide appropriate experiences in the following
early childhood development areas:
along in groups
responsible behavior (such as taking turns)
experience with math and science
children's curiosity about the world by encouraging observation, exploration
reading and writing skills
imagination and creativity
speaking, following directions
numbers, relational concepts and classification skills leading to problem
large and small muscle skills
eye-hand coordination and perceptual skills
rhythm and movement
positive self image
independence, initiative and trust
textures, sounds, sights, tastes, smells and patterns in the world around us
play is an important part of Lots-4-Tots curriculum. Children have the
opportunity for fresh air and physical activity on a daily basis throughout the
year, weather and temperature permitting. Outdoor activities take place in a
secure play area in our fenced in yard or at one of the many neighborhood parks that are
available for us to walk to. The children will be supervised at all
times. It will be the parent’s responsibility to provide their child with
appropriate clothing for the weather of the day. In the summer months we use a wading pool/water slide, the
Pool Permission Slip must be filled out before your child can
participate. You will be asked to provide sunscreen and insect repellant
for use in the summer and appropriate snow gear in the winter.
use gatherings, such as meal times as social times. Therefore, I teach
the children conversation skills and table manners. In addition, they are
involved in setting the table, cleaning up after they are done eating and
throwing away their own trash. Every child is
offered a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. Breakfast will be served at 8:00 AM.
Lunch will be served at 11:15 AM. Snack will be served at 3:30
PM. If a child is not present at the scheduled mealtime, it is the
parent's responsibility to see that the child is fed.
nutrition is vital to children's physical and mental development. My
child care menus have been carefully designed to fulfill requirements with the
SENDCA Child Food Program guidelines and to promote good nutrition and
encourage the development of good eating habits that will last a
lifetime. Children are offered food from each food group and are
encouraged to try everything on their plate. However, if they do not want
to eat something they are not required to do so. It is my goal to teach the
children to have a healthy relationship with food so I will not reward or
punish them for eating. Daily menus are included on the communication
board for your review.
provide a limited number of formulas for infants up to one year of age, as well
as, other nutritional food that the infant may need. If your child is on a
different formula than I provide you may chose to supply your own formula. If
you are breastfeeding the breast milk can be stored fresh or frozen, please
label and date.
do not bring food from home unless you bring enough for everyone to share.
and Rest Time
well rested child is a happy child. Each child will be encouraged to nap
or rest at a regularly scheduled time each day as it gives a much needed break
from the day. Depending on the children,
nap time generally runs from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM. There will be no pick-ups during
naptime as it interrupts those that need their rest. Clean, separate
blankets are provided for each child. You may bring a special blanket or other
security item to be used at nap time that will be stored in their cubby.
under the age of 12 months will be laid down to sleep on their backs in a
portable crib, to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A
written parental permission form will need to be filled out for an infant to
sleep with a blanket, sleep sack, pacifier or security item.
child must have completed and up to date immunization record according to the
rules of the Department of Human Services, which will be updated annually. It is also necessary that a Parent’s
Statement on Health of Child be completed.
Both will be placed in the child’s record file.
goal is to keep your child as healthy as possible so his/her energy can be used
to grow and learn instead of to fight germs. Each child's health needs to be
important to all of us as it can affect our families and home life. I strive to
maintain a healthy, clean environment. I also encourage the children to cover
their sneezes and coughs with their elbows, and to wash their hands frequently,
especially before and after eating and after using the bathroom. I teach
children appropriate ways to be germ fighters and expect them to be germ
fighters after they leave our home.
no circumstances may a parent bring a sick child to Lots-4-Tots. If the child
shows any signs of illness, or is unable to participate in our normal routine
and daily activities your child must stay home. Your cooperation on this issue
is extremely important. It is unfair to expose one contagious child to a room
full of others risking their health as well as the providers. Most parents know that taking care of one
sick child can be difficult, but for a child care provider this means one sick
child in addition to the rest. I ask that you please be honest about any
illness that your child has incurred so we can try extra hard to prevent it
from spreading amongst our family’s. I
will inform parents if their child has been exposed to a contagious illness so
that they are able to watch for signs or symptoms.
will be visually screened when they arrive in the morning. In the event a child becomes ill and needs to
leave, parents will be notified and are expected to pick the child up within
one hour. The child will be cared for and given an appropriate place to rest
until a parent arrives. Children will be excluded to reduce the transmission of
illness for the following reasons:
-Fever above 100° F.
-Diarrhea: 2 or more
runny, watery stools in a 4 hour period.
-Vomiting: 2 or more
times in a 24 hour period. Please do not
bring your child if they have vomited in the night.
-Breathing trouble, sore
throat, swollen glands, loss of voice, hacking or continuous coughing.
-Runny nose (other then
clear), draining eyes or ears
-Pink eye until on
-Impetigo until 24 hours
-Strep throat until 24
hours after treatment
-The child is infected
with a communicable disease
-The child is irritable,
continuously crying, or requires more attention then I can provide without
compromising the health and safety of other children
who have been excluded may return when:
-They are symptom free
for 24 hours
-They are free of fever
for a full 24 hours without the
use of Motrin or Tylenol
-They are free of
vomiting or diarrhea for a full 24 hours
-The have been treated
with an antibiotic for a full 24 hours
-They have a doctors note
stating that the child is no longer contagious
need to inform me within 24 hours when a child is diagnosed with a contagious
reportable disease such as lice, impetigo, chicken pox, measles, mumps, scarlet
fever, infectious hepatitis or meningitis.
medications will not be administered unless the Consent for Non-Prescription
Medication Authorization form has been completed. All medications will be
kept out of the reach of children. Any non-prescription medications that are
administered to children will be provided by parents and documented on the
medication authorization form. No
prescribed medication will ever be administered.
must sign a form authorizing emergency care for their child. This form will
list important information concerning your child in case of an emergency. I am trained in First Aid and CPR biennial.
In the event of any injury other than minor scrapes, bumps and scratches, the
parents will be notified immediately. I will assess the child and provide home
first aid. In the event of a serious
injury parents will be notified immediately and necessary steps will be taken
to obtain medial aid.
is not responsible for injuries due to an accident during active play, the
child’s own coordination, or by the hand of another child. Parents are responsible for the insurance
coverage of their own children.
have annual fire inspections and abide by all state fire regulations. A fire evacuation plan and alternate plan are
posted and discussed with the children monthly. Our smoke detectors and
fire extinguishers are checked regularly. Should a fire occur, the house
would be evacuated, 911 will be called, and parents will be notified
immediately of our location.
our area is placed under a tornado warning, the children will be kept calm and
moved with pillows, blankets, flashlights and a radio into the basement
bathroom or under the basement stairs. We will remain here until the warning
has lifted. Parents will be notified by text of our plan and location.
severe weather conditions require Lots-4-Tots to close, parents will be
notified to pick up their children as soon as possible.
is children’s work so they need to wear washable, comfortable clothing that could
get paint-y, messy, sticky and dirty. Make sure the child’s clothing is also
weather appropriate. You must provide extra clothing for your child that is suitable
for the season and the size of the child; this will be kept in their
provide many appropriate toys for all of the age groups. Children are
allowed to bring a toy, stuffed animal or doll to child care but will be
expected to take turns with it. If the item creates a problem with the
other children, it will be put away for the remainder of the day. I will
do my best to make sure all belongings are kept in good condition, but
accidents do happen. I am not
responsible for any lost or damaged belongings.
I do not allow toys or books that could be interpreted as violent in my
home. This includes any toy that appears to be a gun, knife, or any other
to Use the Toilet
to use the toilet is a big event in a young child’s life. Because toilet
training is a complex process, there are many issues caregivers and families
must consider before and during the process of toilet training for it to be a
successful experience for everyone. If you think your child is ready, we
will discuss readiness together. If the child has most of the needed
skills mastered, the process should go pretty quickly. You will begin
potty training at home during the weekend.
I will follow through and encourage your child while in my care. The
child will be kept in pull-ups or 5 ply training pants at all times until they
are accident free for one week. If the child is being toilet trained; please
provide several sets of clothing each day. Their pants should not have snaps,
zippers or be tight as these obstacles make it difficult for children to remove
in a hurry.
only field trips we will take are walking field trips. They include
walking around the neighborhood and walking to the nearby parks.
will not be transporting children in any vehicle.
staff and volunteers are selected according to the guidelines set forth by the
North Dakota Department of Social Services. Their information is
given to my licensor and a background check is completed on them. I will
always give my best effort to have substitute staff available for the children
if I need to leave because of an emergency or for an appointment during the
of Records/Privacy Act
will do all that I can to protect your family’s privacy and will abide by the
state privacy law. I will keep all records and information about your
child and your family private and confidential, unless I have your permission
to reveal specific information. We also ask that you respect the privacy
of our family by not sharing any information you learn about us without our
that are enrolled in my child care will have a folder that includes their
records. You are responsible for updating their records immediately when any of
the information changes. These folders are only open to the provider, the
state licensing agency and the child’s parent. You may ask to access your
child’s folder at any time.
children get bumps and bruises as a part of growing up. It is important
that you tell me about any unusual injuries or conditions your child has.
I am a mandated reporter, if I suspect child abuse or neglect it will be
documented and the appropriate people will be informed.
parent who has a complaint against Lots-4-Tots, who is dissatisfied with the
quality of care received, or feels their child is being discriminated against,
may file a complaint with my licensing agency, Cass County Social
Services. In order to do this, parents
should contact Dede Wienckowski, Child Care Licensing Specialist at (701)
any parent feels the complaint or concern does not warrant a report to Cass
County Social Services, please discuss it with me as soon as possible.
Withdrawal of Child
you decide to withdraw your child from my program, you need to notify me by
written notice 30 days prior to your child’s last day of enrollment. If
it is not given, full, normal tuition charges will be billed for the last 30
days of care.
it is necessary for me to stop caring for your child I will give you 30 days
notice prior to the last date of service.
rare cases of severe problems, I may be forced to release your child from care
without giving any notice. If this occurs
child care tuition already paid for the week will not be refunded. Care
may be terminated without notice for the following reasons:
-Child is increasingly
unhappy and unable to become comfortable at Lots-4-Tots
physically or verbally harms other children
-Child destroys any
-Parent routinely abuses contracted
drop off and pick up times
-Parent does not pay
child care tuition on time
-Parent does not work
with me as a team to provide consistent guidance and discipline
information regarding Lots-4-Tots Child Care is also available on my website: