Appletree Kids, Inc.
And Policy Handbook
Appletree Kids ~ 919 Henning Drive ~ Sulphur LA 70663 ~ 337.528.2662
Adventure Camp ~ 619 Henning Drive ~ Sulphur LA 70663 ~ 337.313.3852
www.AppletreeKidsInc.com ~ email@example.com
*Please be sure to carefully read over the Handbook, as it covers very important policies and procedures that not only govern our childcare contract agreement, but also pertain to the care of your child. Appletree Kids Inc.’s policies are in accordance with the state of Louisiana, Department of Education, Childcare Licensing Regulations.
Copyright: This Handbook has been created by Jennifer Conner and may not be direct linked, copied, distributed, or posted on any other website without direct consent from Jennifer Conner. Legal Actions to rectify misuse will be taken.
Welcome to Appletree Kids, Inc. We are glad you are enrolling your special person with us for group child care. This handbook is designed to guide you through the policies and procedures that are required in order for you and the center to work together to be able to provide the best possible care for your child. Cooperation between parent and caregiver is essential.
The mission of Appletree Kids, Inc. is to provide quality child care in a loving, fun and safe environment that promotes social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.
#1 – Glorify God
#2 – Love Kids, Parents, & Staff
#3 – Have Fun
#4 – Use Integrity
#5 – Make A Difference
Early Childhood development is a process that is continually changing and expanding, therefore both structured and unstructured activities are offered for children. However, our basic philosophy is one of freedom to learn, grow, and make choices. We believe that children learn through play and we have structured the environment to reflect that belief. That is why we primarily incorporate The Creative Curriculum. The philosophy is that children should be allowed to grow at their own pace and to learn in ways that help them become confident in themselves as learners.
This does not mean that the program is not carefully planned. All activities are steps to growing and developing physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Children learn in different ways, with all their senses. Varied experiences and materials will be provided for multisensory and whole brain learning. Cognitive learning is not overemphasized, but rather children are given ample opportunity for activities and exposed to pre-numbers and activities designed to form a positive self-image. Practice in motor skills is encouraged. Children learn independence, turn-taking, and how to interact with others.
The best atmosphere for learning is one of acceptance, mutual respect, pleasure, fairness, consistency, clear limits and expectations, and encouragement. A predictable, organized environment with caring adults, clear expectations, and appropriate consequences supports the whole child. The outdoor play environment is an extension of the classroom, requiring the same level of adult planning, supervision, and involvement with the children.
No child will be accepted for care until the following are complete:
1) Master Card with Appropriate Signed Releases and Authorizations, COMPLETELY filled out
2) Free and Reduced Meal Application
3) Current Immunization Record, REQUIRED by the State of Louisiana
4) A pre-enrollment interview. During the interview, the family will receive a tour of the school, meet the teacher, see the classroom, and have the opportunity to ask questions. The initial interview does not guarantee enrollment. The meeting is an opportunity for the director to determine whether the center will be able to meet the particular needs of both parents and the child and for the parent to determine if the center meets the needs of their child.
Please make sure that immunization records are updated as well as updates in personal information such as address, phone numbers or job changes that occur throughout the enrollment year.
All charges are per child and per week, each week of the year. There are no multi-child discounts, no credit for days closed, no refunds, and no vacation credits – these days are taken into consideration in the overall weekly price.
Each enrollment is contracted for the school year, with an early termination fee equal to one week of child care.
Parents must provide a VALID email address upon registration; this is our PRIMARY means of communication with you.
Registration fee is $150/child, due upon enrollment for full time children and $75/child, due upon enrollment for before/after school children.
Each child must re-register each year. Our registration renewal is in the month of August and payment is due September 1st.
A separate enrollment period is held for the summer semester. Summer semester begins the Monday following the last day of school and ends the Friday before the first day of school.
Summer semester activity fee is $50/child.
Cost of Care varies dependent on age of child. Tuition is charged weekly on all accounts.
Appletree Kids and Adventure Camp payments are due no later than 6pm each Monday for the current week
A $10 per day late fee is added to each account not paid in full on Monday
By close of the day on Friday, your account must be paid in full (tuition plus all late fees) in order for your child to attend the following week
Payment is due regardless of attendance, tuition is charged for each placement reserved for your child(ren)
No credit is given for days closed, vacation days, or sick days – these days are already taken into consideration in the overall weekly tuition costs
We accept ACH payments only processed through Smartcare (you will need a bank account and need your routing and checking account number – not a debit card number)
Smartcare can be accessed online through the parent portal or through a smartphone application (https://smartcare.com/parents)
Smartcare can be used for single payments, or can be set as recurring payments
Smartcare charges a $5 per month per family technology fee
If you do not have a bank account, you can see the office at Appletree Kids to request payment via money order
Non-payment of tuition and/or charges for five days in a row will result in the services of the center being terminated.
Families receiving any financial assistance, such as Child Care Assistance through the Louisiana Department of Education, are responsible for any tuition and/or other charges that accrue prior to receiving the financial assistance. Families are responsible for paying any tuition and/or other charges that are not covered by the financial assistance.
Financial concerns should be addressed to:
Appletree Kids Inc. is opened from 6am until 6pm, Monday thru Friday. We ask that you please pick up your children no later than 6pm to avoid any late fees.
The office is opened from 7:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday during School Days and from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday during Holidays and Summer.
Children need to be at the center no later than 10am. This is to keep our children and staff on a consistent schedule. If occasional circumstances prevent you from bringing your child before 10am, you will need to let a Director know ahead of time that your child will be arriving late.
Families picking up children after 6:00 pm will be charged $10.00 per child for any portion of the first fifteen minute period, then $1.00 per minute thereafter. Late charges must be paid at the time of pick-up. The center will not be able to serve families who cannot pick up their children on time on a regular basis.
A continuous absence of five days without payment or notification is considered withdrawal. If the family decides to re-enroll the child, then all tuition, late charges, and a new registration charge must be paid before the child can re-enter the program, providing that space is available.
We are closed on Labor Day, Thanksgiving (2 days), Christmas (2 days), New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, and Independence Day.
We will also be closed two additional days for Teacher In Service, to be announced at a later date.
We have several parties at the center throughout the year. When we do, we will post a sign up sheet at your child’s classroom door. We typically ask that you bring a snack item for the entire class and, depending on the holiday being celebrated, an individual candy or treat to be placed inside goodie bags.
1) Non-payment of tuition and/or charges for five days in a row will result termination of care.
2) Any parent or child that causes harm or threatens the safety, health and/or well being of a staff member or another child will result in termination of care.
3) Any parent or child that has reckless disregard for the policies of the center and the state agencies that govern child care providers and/or cause undo stress to center staff or operations will result in termination of care.
4) The use of tobacco in any form, the use or the possession of alcoholic, illegal substances or unauthorized potential toxic substances, firearms (including but not limited to pellet or BB type guns) loaded or unloaded, or knives is strictly prohibited at the center on in the center vans. Possession of any of these will result in termination of care.
5) If the center cannot meet the physical, mental, or emotional needs of the child it will result in termination of care. (Repeated biting or behavior incidents that cannot be controlled by the classroom staff that result in a child requiring one on one care.)
6) Repeated tardiness in picking up a child at closing time will result in termination of care.
7) Repeated late drop off after 10am will result in termination of care.
Please know that dismissal is perhaps the hardest part of the job for any director. Should it become necessary for us to terminate the care of your child, it was a decision that came from a lot of soul searching and is in no way a reflection on you as a parent or your child. Centers, like children, are different and our center may not be the best one suited for your child.
All personal information about families’ financial circumstances, family problems, health problems, and/or actions of parents or children is confidential. Primarily, only the director has access to the children’s files. Files are considered property of the center and the director has the responsibility for the security of them. The bureau of licensing does check a random sampling of the files to insure that they contain all the information that is required by its agency. Neither the director nor the employees will release or discuss any information to a third party without written permission from a parent. Employees will not disclose or knowingly permit the disclosure of any information concerning the child or their family, directly or indirectly, to any unauthorized person. Though the state requires that we keep certain documentation for several years, you may request any and all paperwork that you have provided to us back when you feel our services are no longer needed. A copy will be made of papers the state may require us to keep.
When you arrive in the morning, we ask that you bring your child to her classroom and sign her in on the attendance sheet, notating the time of arrival. Likewise, when you pick her up in the afternoon, sign her out on the attendance sheet, notating the time of departure. State requires a full signature for release of the child; please take the time to help us meet the state requirements.
Also, we use Smartcare to track time and attendance, please use your key card or the Smartcare app on your smartphone to clock your child in and out each day at the kiosk. Each key tag / QR code is personalized to you, so please do not share key tags / QR codes – each authorized person should have their own key tag / QR code.
It is normal for some children to have difficulty separating from parents in the morning. In these instances, please come into the classroom with your child, show her that you are comfortable in this environment and comfortable with her teacher. Smile, be cheerful and give her a good-bye kiss, reassuring her that you will be back later in the day. Please do not say “I’ll be right back” or try to “sneak out” of the door, this will only add to your child’s anxiety. Be firm and loving, reassuring her that you will return. In our experience, children are nearly always quick to get involved in the activities as soon as the parent leaves.
All children must be dropped off before 10am. If you know your child will not be able to be at the center by 10am, please call and let your Director know. By calling, it allows us to plan for room occupancy, the children’s lunches and snacks, and staffing for the day.
We understand that there will be days when your child has a doctor’s appointment or other commitment that means arriving late or leaving early from the center. We strongly urge that you make your appointments for early or late in the day. When children arrive at transitions, lunch or nap time, or are taken out and returned in the middle of the day, it often negatively affects the rest of their day.
Remember that the center closes at 6:00 pm. Please be on time! The child may be released to the parent of the child, an employee of the center that is on duty (school transportation, field trips, etc.) with a signed permission slip, or any other person named on the release form on the child’s master card (called third party release).
A child will not be released to someone we don’t know. Please inform any persons listed on your child’s release form that they will be asked for ID when picking up your child. Center employees will check that individual’s ID against the child’s master card to insure they are indeed authorized to pick up the child.
A third party release cannot be approved over the phone. Temporary permission to pick up the child must be given in writing, text, or email. This is good for one day only, for a more often pickup, the individual needs to be added to the release form on the child’s master card.
Please be in control of your child during pick-up times. Children are not permitted to walk through the center, leave the center or get into their car unattended.
All children should be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat upon arrival and departure. I am required to report incidences where a child is not properly restrained in a vehicle to the State of Louisiana.
A schedule of the day’s plan of activities, allowing for flexibility and change, are posted in each classroom. We follow the schedule closely, but allow for flexibility for individual needs and differences among the children. We provide time and materials for both vigorous and quiet activities for children to share or to be alone, indoor and outdoor play, and rest. Washing, lunch, rest, snacks and putting away toys are also allowed for in the schedule. Active and quiet periods are alternated as to guard against over-stimulation of the child.
The daily schedule for your child is a guide. It provides a framework for planning and organizing the daily routine and play activities for the children. The daily routines for children may be a little different based on the age of your child. Infants follow their own biological needs. They are fed, changed, and nap when they need it. Toddlers are change/taken to the toilet before transitions and as needed. Adjustments to the schedule are made as your child gets older and his needs change. You may also notice that as your child gets older, he may alter his own schedule to fit in with the group.
The building of a relationship between parents and teachers is the foundation for the child’s positive experiences at the center. We encourage you to talk openly with teachers in order to establish this relationship. Continuity between home and Appletree Kids, Inc. is essential to providing a meaningful experience for your child. It is important that you tell us about any changes or special activities in the home. The more familiar we are with your family, the more understanding, supportive and helpful we can be.
If you have specific questions or concerns, drop-off and pick-up times are generally not the best times to discuss these concerns in depth. The office hours are from 7:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday on school days and from 9am to 3pm on Holidays and Summer, please phone or schedule an appointment during this time when we are able to give you our undivided attention.
Please inform teachers of ANY changes (e.g., one parent has to take a trip, illness or death in the family, moving (even a short distance), parents changing jobs, etc.) before or when they happen. Changes at home often lead to changes in behavior at the center. We can care for and work better with your child if we are aware of the changes at home. If is of utmost importance that you notify the assistant director or the director of any changes in address, phone numbers at home and at work, caregivers or emergency phone numbers.
Parents are always welcome to visit their child’s room anytime. We encourage parents to spend time at Appletree Kids, Inc.. By spending time at our center you communicate to your child that it is a place for your whole family and not just for your child. As parents build relationships with each other, the staff and the other children become a kind of extended family for each other.
At least bi-annually, a sign up list will be posted for parents to sign up for a parent/teacher conference with their child’s teacher; however, can request a meeting with their child’s teacher whenever they feel the need exist.
All the pre-first grade children are asked to take a nap. It is not required that the children sleep, but we do ask that they lay quietly and try to rest. If your child is not sleeping at night, please let us know. Our children play hard and we find that this rest period makes for a happier child. The older children also have rest time. It is a quiet period in which they watch a movie or read a book.
All children will be have at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity.
The center will provide cots for rest period. We ask that you provide a small pillow (8x10 inches) and a small blanket. Mark both the pillow and the blanket with the child’s name. Your child will be assigned a cot upon assignment to his class.
Please mark all children’s clothes with the child’s full name. We ask that you stay away from clothes that have a lot of buttons, buckles and bows. As every parent knows, time is of the essence when a child is on the way to the restroom. A well fitted tennis shoe is suggested for footwear, please no boots. When dressing your child for the day, please be aware that painting, outside play, and other such activities are part of our day.
We do take pictures of the children and sometimes we may even video them. These pictures are to be used by the children as a way to connect with their environment. The pictures might be on bulletin boards within the center or used in learning projects. We also use the pictures on our social media pages and website. The pictures will not be published or used for advertisement without the written consent of all parties. You will have an option on your enrollment paperwork to decline the use of your child’s photograph.
Appletree Kids, Inc. utilizes the webcasting services of Peanut Butter and Jelly TV L.L.C, whereby utilizing live video, recordings, and/or audio of my child while in the center for observation/security purposes. Any parent of an enrolled child can register for an account to be approved by Appletree Kids management. Any relative of an enrolled child can register for an account to be approved by the parent. EACH individual user must register for their own account with Peanut Butter and Jelly TV to ensure the highest level of security and for best utilization of bandwidth. The quality of viewing depends on your personal internet connection speed. Peanut Butter and Jelly TV can be accessed by any internet connected device.
Electronics in a classroom are all activities including, but not limited to, television, movies, games, videos, computers and hand held electronic devices.
Electronic device activities are PROHIBITED for infants and one year olds.
Electronic device activities cannot exceed 2 hours per day for children age 2 and above.
Children age 2-4 are allowed ONLY “G” Rated movies.
Children 5 and up are allowed “PG” Rated movies with a signed parental permission slip.
All video games must be rated for the age of the child playing the game. Any game rated “10+” can only be played by children age 10 and above. Never can a rated “T” or “M” game be played.
With infants commonly on the floor, we want to provide a clean, safe, and healthy environment in the infant room. We practice a “shoe free” policy in this room. We ask that adults entering the carpeted area of the infant room please remove their shoes or slip a pair of shoe covers over their shoes. We take this action to prevent outside contaminants from being brought into the room and spread onto the carpet. The infants spend much of their time exploring on the floor, so it is best that these areas be kept as clean as possible.
Behavior Management at Appletree Kids, Inc. is developed with support and encouragement of positive behavior through a planned environment which provides a variety of activities from which the children may choose. Methods include reinforcement such as verbal praise, smiles and pleasant attention for appropriate stated alternatives when a conflict situation occurs.
The following methods of discipline are prohibited by anyone on the premises of Appletree Kids, Inc., any use of the described practices shall be grounds for immediate termination of staff or volunteers.
Ø No child shall be subject to physical punishment, corporal punishment, verbal abuse or threats by either staff, volunteers or parents while on center property.
Ø Prohibited actions include but are not limited to yelling, slapping, spanking, yanking, shaking, pinching, exposure to extreme temperatures or other measures producing physical pain, putting anything in the mouth of a child, requiring a child to exercise, or placing a child in an uncomfortable position.
Ø Prohibited verbal abuse, which includes but is not limited to using offensive or profane language, telling a child to “shut up”, or making derogatory remarks about children or family members of children in the presence of children.
Ø The threat of prohibited action even if there is no intent to follow through with the threat is prohibited.
Ø No child, or group of children, shall be allowed to discipline another child or bullied by another child.
Ø Unsupervised isolation of a child is never allowed.
Ø The withholding of food, water, a nap or rest, active play time, or bathroom facilities is to never be used as punishment for a child
Ø A child is never to be physically restricted in any way unless his or her actions would bring harm to self or others.
Ø An adult shall never address a child harshly, with intimidation or ridicule.
Ø Adults are never to discuss a child’s behavior with another adult in the presence of other children or other parents. Written or verbal reports to parents regarding conflicts or disagreements between children shall not include the name of the child who hit, bit, or pushed their child.
Appletree Kids, Inc. staff maintains a safe, non threatening environment. Our staff fosters creativity, encourages children to explore, and allows them to make discoveries. When inappropriate behavior occurs, it is dealt with immediately. Teachers individualize responses to the children’s behavior, in relation to the particular child and the situation. They try to identify the cause of the inappropriate behavior and recognize that repeated problem behavior may be the child’s way of signaling that he needs help in dealing with a certain task or situation. Teachers can then modify the learning environment and/or activities to help resolve the situation. We set limits and encourage self-discipline, because boundaries reassure young children and because order and stability are as important to a child as freedom.
To enforce the boundaries and rules at the center, the adults use the following techniques with the children:
Ø Clear statement of the limit. (“Blocks are for building, balls are for throwing.”)
Ø Stating expectations positively. (“The blocks are for building.”)
Ø Redirection. (“Let’s go see what Camryn is cooking in the kitchen.”)
Ø Supporting problem-solving and negotiation between the children. (“How could you use your words to tell Trevor that you would like to have a turn with that truck?”)
Ø Logical consequences or choices. (“You are having a hard time playing with the blocks without throwing, you need to make another choice, do you want to play with play dough or to read a book?”)
Ø Modeling effective ways to express feelings and emotions. (“I don’t like it when you grab the book from my hands. Which words can you use to let me know that you need something that I have?” with toddlers, give the appropriate script such as, “Leah, say, Can I have the book, please?”)
There are times when all of the above mentioned techniques have been used and the problem persists. It is at these times that we might ask a child to sit quietly by himself until that child can return to play appropriately. This is a time to regroup. Even as adults, we sometimes need time alone to “pull ourselves together.” Children also need this, especially when they have been in a group situation most of the day. If this does not curb the undesirable behavior then a “time out” will be issued. This is where the child sits away from the group at the edge of the room for a period of one minute per year of age. At the end of the “time out” period, the child returns to the group.
Time out will not be used for Infants or One Year Olds. Time out will not exceed one minute per each year of age. For children 6 and up, time out will not exceed 5 minutes.
There are times when these actions will still not stop the undesirable behavior. In these situations we will follow the following steps:
1. If the behavior does not improve with “time out”, the child will be brought to the director. The Director will talk to the child and try to find the root of the issue while the child sits in “time out” in the office. A behavior report will be written for the parent explaining the situation and steps taken.
2. If the child displays repeated inappropriate behavior and shows little progress toward changing that behavior, the director will call upon the child’s parent(s) to work cooperatively in developing strategies that will meet the child’s needs. A behavior modification plan will be documented in the child’s file.
3. If the child still exhibits the inappropriate behavior after we have followed these steps, and it becomes a detriment to the classroom environment and an ongoing, constant interruption of activities, then the Director will request a conference with the child’s parent(s) explaining and documenting steps we have taken, but have had no success in, in changing the child’s behavior. The child will be suspended from care for three days at this point.
4. After a child returns from suspension, if the situation has not improved and the child is still restricting the productivity of the classroom, the parent will be asked to remove the child from care.
5. If at any point a child’s behavior escalates to a violent or threatening nature, requiring one on one direct care to keep himself, other children, staff and parents safe, then the parent will be called and asked to pick up their child immediately. This will be documented in the child’s file.
a. A second occurrence within a 1 month period will result in a 3 day suspension period.
b. A third occurrence within a 2 month period will result in termination of care.
Children biting other children are unavoidable occurrences of group child care, especially with toddlers. It is a common happening in any child care program. When it happens, and sometimes continues, it can be scary, very frustrating, and very stressful for children, parents, and staff. Every child in the Infant and Toddler classrooms is a potential biter or will potentially be bit. It is important to understand that because a child bites, it does not mean that the child is “mean” or “bad” or that the parents of the child who bites are “bad” parents or they or not doing their job as parents to make this stop happening. Biting is purely a sign of the developmental age of the child. It is a developmental phenomenon – it often happens at predictable times for predictable reasons tied to children’s ages and stages.
Every child is different. Some bite more than others; or some may not bite at all. The group care setting is where the biting derives its significance. If a child has not really been around other children very much, he probably would not bite because neither the cause for biting or opportunities have presented themselves. There is always the possibility that any child, including your own, can be either a biter or be bitten. Group care presents challenges and opportunities that are unique from home. The children are surrounded by many others for hours at a time. Even though there are plenty of toys and materials available for all the children, two or three children may want that one particular toy. The children are learning how to live in a community setting. Sometimes that is not easy. Biting is not something to blame on the child, parents, or caregivers. Confidentiality is also practiced with biting. We cannot tell a parent who bit their child.
There are many possible reasons as to why an infant or toddler may bite:
2. Impulsiveness and lack of control. Babies sometimes bite just because there is something there to bite. It is not intentional to hurt, but rather exploring their world.
3. Making an impact. Sometimes children will bite to see what reactions happen.
4. Excitement and over stimulation. Simply being very excited, even happily so, can be a reason a child may bite. Very young children don’t have the same control over their emotions and behaviors as some preschoolers do.
5. Frustration. Frustrations can be over a variety of reasons – wanting a toy someone else has, not having the skills needed to do something, or wanting a caregivers attention. Infants and toddlers are simply lacking the language and social skills necessary to express all their needs, desires, and problems. Biting will often be the quickest and easiest way of communicating.
It is our job to provide a safe setting in which no child needs to hurt another to achieve her ends and in which the normal range of behavior is managed (and biting is normal in group care). Again, the name of the child who bites will not be released because it serves no useful purpose and can make a difficult situation even more difficult. Punishment does not work to change a child who bites; neither delayed punishment at home, which a child will not understand, nor punishment at the center, which will not be used and would make the situation worse.
There are several things the teachers do to assess the biting situation and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Teachers can try to minimize the behavior by:
Ø Letting the biting child know in words and manner that biting is unacceptable.
Ø Avoiding any immediate response that reinforces the biting, including dramatic negative attention. The teachers will tell the child that “biting hurts” and the focus of caring attention is on the bitten child. The biter is talked to on a level that she can understand. The teacher will help the child who is biting work on resolving conflict or frustration in a more appropriate manner, including using language if the child is able.
Ø Examining the context in which the biting occurred and looking for patterns. Was it crowded? Too many toys? Was the biting child getting hungry/tired/frustrated?
Ø Not casually attributing willfulness or maliciousness to the child. Infants explore anything that interests them with their mouths, and that includes others’ bodies and limbs!
When biting changes from a relatively unusual occurrence (a couple of times a week) to a frequent and expected occurrence, it will be addressed with added precautions.
Ø Children biting in the center needs to be treated very seriously.
Ø First Aide must be given to the child immediately.
Ø The child that has bitten must be reminded that “biting hurts” and help the victim in which she has bitten.
Ø An incident report must be written and the parents notified for both the victim and the child doing the biting.
Ø We do not provide one on one child care. If a child’s biting is requiring a teacher’s full time attention to prevent biting then the director needs to be notified. Extreme circumstances of repeated aggression will require the child to be picked up from the center and remain at home until the biting subsides.
o The 10th biting behavior report within a 15 day period will be documented along with an action plan to modify the behavior
o The 20th biting behavior report within a 30 day period will be documented, a 3 day suspension period will be issued, and an action plan to modify the behavior when the child returns will be agreed upon by the parent and the center
o The 30th biting behavior report within a 45 day period will result in the child being removed from child care
Immunizations must be current or the child will not be allowed to attend, this is a REQUIREMENT from the State of Louisiana.
The parent or designated person will be notified immediately in the following situations:
Ø Allergic reaction
Ø Skin changes, e.g. rash, spots, swelling, etc.
Ø Unusual breathing
Ø Any illness requiring professional medical attention
The Following Are Reasons a Child May Be Excluded From Care
1) The child has not been free from fever for a minimum of 12 hours
2) The child has not been on antibiotics for a full 24 hours
3) The child has an undiagnosed rash
4) The child has lice and has not been treated or live nits are still present
5) The child has diarrhea that is not contained by the diaper, or the stool is liquid
6) The child is vomiting
The child may return to care when the appropriate criteria is met
1) Immunizations are current
2) The child has not had fever for 12 hours
3) The child has been on antibiotics for 24 hours
4) A doctor’s note stating that the child is not contagious
5) The rash is no longer present or a note from a doctor stating that the rash is not contagious
6) After treatment of hair for lice, staff will inspect child’s hair to determine if nits are dead
7) The child must be free of symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting for at least 12 hours
If a child has an infectious disease, he cannot be allowed to attend until he is well enough to insure that the illness will not be passed on to the other children. Each illness is different, so please contact your family doctor and he will let you know how long the contagious period is for the illness.
Should your child become ill at the center, he will be excluded from the group and under the supervision of an adult until you can make arrangements for him to be picked up. We consider a reasonable amount of time for this is one hour.
If you need medication given to your child, the following procedure must be followed
1) Place the medication in a zip lock bag
2) Mark the outside of the bag with the child’s name
3) Place the measuring device (if needed) into the bag
4) Bring the medication spec sheet from the pharmacy
5) Bring written doctor’s orders on how much medicine to take, how to take it and when to take it (example: 1 tsp by mouth every four hours)
6) Fill out the medicine administration form from your caregiver
All medicine must be signed in, even over the counter medicine. Make sure the age/weight of the child is covered on the directions, if not, we will need written doctor’s orders as to how to administer the medication to the child (i.e.…children’s Tylenol states for ages two and up, if you have a one year old, we cannot give him the medicine without doctor’s orders stating how much and when to give it to him).
This is a timely process, so please allot yourself enough time, without the proper documentation; we will not be able to give your child his medication.
Incidents, injuries and accidents are all documented. You will be notified when you pick up your child of the incident and asked to sign the incident report. However, under a few circumstances we will contact you immediately:
Ø Blood not contained in an adhesive strip
Ø Head injury
Ø Human bite which breaks the skin
Ø Any animal bite
Ø An impaled object
Ø Broken or dislodged teeth
Ø Any injury requiring professional medical attention
1) All Appletree Kids, Inc.’s meals meet or exceed USDA standards for a healthy and balanced diet. We participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program sponsored by the USDA.
2) No food may be brought in for consumption while in the center (except for special events, your director will post these events, please see below for foods that cannot be served to children under four)
3) We provide breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack for full day students. We provide afternoon snack for our aftercare students.
BREAKFAST: 8:00am – 8:30am (6:45am – 7:15am for before school children)
LUNCH: 10:45am – 11:30am
LATE SNACK (not including aftercare only children): 4:00pm
All meals are well balanced and your child will be fed until full. We do not force feed the children; we place an attractive balanced meal before them and ask that they try it.
If your child has a special diet or has a food allergy it is required that a doctor’s order must be on file to reflect the diet or allergy.
1) Please mark all personal items!
2) We ask that you bring a change of clothes, a blanket, plenty of diapers, baby food (if eaten) and a pacifier (if taken) to keep in the child’s cubby – no stuffed animals from home and no strings or ribbons attached to pacifier designed to attach to child’s clothing.
3) You will need to bring each morning the bottles (pre-made) your child will take that day. Bottles must be marked with the child’s name and covers on all bottles. The bottles will be stored in the refrigerator and warmed with a bottle warmer. Please bring one more bottle than you think your child will need just to be on the safe side!
4) Please bring baby food in unopened jars. Please mark your child’s name on each jar.
5) We ask that you bring a large package of diapers and replenish when low. We do not share or barrow diapers from other children. If your child runs out, we have diapers at the center. We reserve the right to charge you for the diapers if your child is continually using center diapers. We do keep a diaper change log which is available for your review at any time.
6) Please refer to the medication policy in this handbook, teething gel and diaper rash ointment are considered medications. I know that most parents carry these, plus children’s Tylenol and gas drops in their diaper bags, but these items cannot be brought into the center unless you are following the medication policy. Please do not carry these items in your diaper bag. If you do bring a diaper bag, it needs to be emptied out into the child’s cubby. This way we will both know that the children will be safe and dangerous items are not in their reach.
7) The center provides diaper wipes. If your child has sensitive skin you are welcome to provide her with her own wipes that will be for her use only.
8) If your child is a on a feeding schedule or requires special instructions, you are required to provide these instructions in writing. These instruction need to be updated each time schedule changes.
9) All infants must be placed on their backs for sleeping. Written permission from the child’s physician is required for any other sleeping position. Infants will not be placed in positioning devices for sleeping unless the child has a note from the doctor authorizing the device.
While on the van, everyone is expected to follow the rules, without fail. Anyone who is unwilling or unable to do so will be asked to make other arrangements for transportation.
1) Each child and adult is required to wear seat belts and to follow all safety laws and center rules.
2) Children must remain seated at all times.
3) Children must speak quietly.
4) Carry on items are to be placed under your seat – hands empty.
5) Food and drinks are not allowed.
6) Children must stay in their space – keep hands and feet to themselves.
7) Back door is to remain locked.
8) Any device with headphones (CD, MP3 player or the like) is not allowed.
9) The use of tobacco, in any form, the use or possession of alcohol, illegal substances or unauthorized potentially toxic substances, firearms (pellet or BB gun) loaded or unloaded is prohibited on the van.
We take several field trips with all the classes above the age of five during Holidays and Adventure Summer Day Camp. You will need to sign your child’s name and your full name on the permission slip for each event. A child may not attend if the parent does not sign the permission slip.
Transportation to and from select schools can be made. The release has to be filled out on the child’s master card stating the school year, which school and whether drop off and/or pickup is authorized. This form must have parent’s signature. Children are only released to a duty teacher at school.
Our child care center’s philosophy is to keep your child(ren) safe at all times when he/she is in our care. With recent world and local events, we have developed an emergency plan that will be put into place in the event that special circumstances require a different type of care. Plans for these special types of care are reviewed annually. Staff is trained in the appropriate response and local emergency management is aware of these plans. The specific type of emergency will guide where and what special care will be provided.
This plan would be put into place in the event of a weather emergency or unsafe outside conditions or threats. In this plan, children will be cared for indoors at the center and the center may be secured or locked to restrict entry. If local authorities consider the outside air contaminated, the center will be locked and openings in doorways or windows will be sealed shut. A sign on the door will indicate “Shelter In Place” and NO PARENTS, CHILDREN, OR STAFF WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER OR EXIT THE BUILDING DURING A SHELTER IN PLACE UNTIL WE RECEIVE OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION THAT ATHE DANGER HAS PASSED. Any time a Shelter In Place is needed, the parent will be notified no later than at pick up time that day. Parents will be notified if they need to pick up their child before their regular time.
There could be situations that may result in harm to persons inside center, including shooting, hostage, intruder, trespassing, disturbance, or any other situation deemed harmful at the discretion of the director or other safety personnel. In these cases, a “lockdown” procedure will be followed. In this plan, the children will be cared for inside their classroom or other designated safe location away from danger. The building will be locked and NO PARENT, CHILD OR STAFF WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER OR EXIT THE BUILDING DURING THE LOCKDOWN. Any time a Lockdown is needed, the parent will be notified no later than at pick up time that day.
Fire drills are conducted once per month at various times of day. Should we have an actual fire, Appletree Kids will evacuate to Adventure Camp / Adventure Camp would evacuate to Appletree Kids. The parents will be contacted through phone or text making them aware of the situation and informing them of where they can pick their child up at.
Tornado drills are conducted once per month in the months of March, April, May and June. In the extreme event that we would have to evacuate the center after a tornado has passed through; please refer to “Emergency Evacuation” policies.
This plan would be put into place in the event that it is not safe for the children to remain at the center. In this situation, staff has predetermined alternate sites for care. The choice of site is determined by the specific emergency and what would be an appropriate alternate site.
In the event of an emergency located within the center, Appletree Kids will evacuate to Adventure Camp / Adventure Camp would evacuate to Appletree Kids.
In the event of an emergency located outside of the center, requiring us to leave the center, we will evacuate to one of the following locations:
If we have to leave the neighborhood, we will evacuate to Jennifer Conner’s house; 3535 Woodland Drive, Sulphur LA 70665
If we have to leave Sulphur, we will evacuate to the Lake Charles Civic Center; 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles LA 70601 or Lake Charles Public Library; 301 West Claude, Lake Charles LA 70605
If we have to leave Calcasieu parish, we will evacuate to Beauregard Parish Library; 205 South Washington, DeRidder LA 70634 or Dry Creek Baptist Camp; intersection of Louisiana Highways 113 and 394, Dry Creek LA 70637
The center’s van plus any available employee or parent vehicle will be used to transport the children. Infants will be transported in their infant carriers or car seats, other children will be transported in car seats and/or booster seats if needed. The parents will be contacted through phone or text making them aware of the situation and informing them of where they can pick their child up at.
During an emergency, children can become separated from their families. Please make every effort to list all phone numbers to contact you and your emergency contacts. Also please list any third party persons to whom your child(ren) can be released to on the Enrollment Mastercard. Please make every effort to keep all numbers and contacts current throughout the year. In the event of an actual emergency, these numbers listed are the only link between your child(ren) and you.
We recommend for all families to utilize the NEFRLS (National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System). Families can register online at www.fema.gov. Call centers may be reached at 1-800-588-9822, 24 hours/day when it is activated. NEFRLS enables FEMA to provide a web-based system for people to voluntarily register and share specific information on their post-disaster well-being or location with specified family members.
By going online or calling the Family Registry System, people who have been separated from their families and friends can provide information about themselves and where they can be found. At the same time, families looking for a lost family member also are urged to go online at www.fema.gov or call the toll-free number as they search for them. For those who have become separated from children 21 years of age and younger, FEMA will activate the National Emergency Child Locator Center (NECLC) to help families, local governments, and law enforcement agencies track and locate children separated from their parents or guardians because of the disaster.
The toll-free number for the Emergency Child Locator Center is 1-866-908-9572 and is staffed 24-hours a day.
If a child remains in our care and it is not possible to locate the child’s parents or another trusted individual, we will notify the local emergency management office and the state child care licensing office and the NECLC. When requested, we will provide a digital photo of the child and the information required by the Center. We will keep the child safe and comfortable until contacted by the child’s parents or another individual the parents have approved to take the child from the program. If no one can be found to release the child to, and we are unable to provide continued care for the child, we will contact the state Department of Children and Family Services to obtain temporary foster care for the child.
Weather permitting; all children will spend 15 minutes to several hours per day in outdoor play. It is necessary that children have freedom of movement, so it is requested that children are dressed accordingly. Shoes and socks are preferred and they are mandatory for field trips. As we encourage children to explore, there may be times when he may become messy or rumpled. For this reason, we request that parents send one complete change of clothing to remain at the center. Parents are to be sure to label all articles of belongings.
Children will be outside unless the temperature is below 38 degrees, weather conditions permitting. Accommodations cannot be made for children to remain indoors if they are feeling “under the weather.” A child too sick to be outside, is probably too sick to be around other children.
Water activities include water play on the playground as well as swimming at the public pools for our Adventure Summer Day Camp children. Each activity will be posted with a permission slip for the specific field trip prior to each event. If you choose not to have your child participate, then simply do not sign. In addition to the individual permission slip, state requirements are that your child has a water permission slip on file. These are in your child’s master card.
Appletree Kids, Inc. maintains an open door policy. You are welcome and invited to come in and observe any area you wish. We do ask that you use discretion and not disrupt normal activities. Just check in with the office and a staff person will accompany you.
There is no smoking in the center, or in the center parking lot. We ask that you put cigarettes out before you pull into the center parking lot. And please, do not throw cigarette butts into the parking lot. Our children walk daily thru the parking lot and we don’t want any little fingers picking up your trash. You will be asked to leave the premises for smoking on Center property!
The use of tobacco in any form, the use or the possession of alcoholic, illegal substances or unauthorized potential toxic substances, firearms (including but not limited to pellet or BB type guns) loaded or unloaded, or knives is strictly prohibited at the center on in the center vans. Possession of any of these will result in termination of care.
It is Appletree Kids, Inc.’s policy to conduct several fundraisers through out the year to subsidize our program. Tuition will not cover the total cost of materials and personnel. Money raised through fundraising activities may go toward upgrading the inside/outside environment, increasing teacher salaries or contributing to their professional development.
If at any time you feel our services are no longer needed, please let the director know when the last day of care will be. Our policy is to provide a minimum of a five day notice. For any days that your child does not attend and you fail to inform the director of withdrawal, you will be charged for tuition. Account balances must be paid upon withdrawal, any balance unpaid will pursued thru collections and/or Sulphur City Court lawsuit proceedings. If you are on Child Care Assistance, they will also be notified of your balance, in which a hold is put on your account and you are unable to apply for Child Care Assistance for any other Center until your balance is cleared.
In accordance with the Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Appletree Kids, Inc. does not discriminate against any person(s) on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability or whether the child is being breast fed.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Appletree Kids, Inc. is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write:
Office of Adjudication
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410
Or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
The employees of Appletree Kids, Inc. are required legally and ethically to report child abuse in accordance with LA R.S. 14:403. If an employee sees suspicious marks on a child or if a child says something that causes us to be suspicious, we are mandated to report this to the Child Protection Agency. No employee has to report to director or any other source prior to reporting to OCS.
Louisiana Children’s Code legally defines abuse and neglect as follows:
Abuse is any one of the following acts which seriously endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health of a child:
Ø The infliction, attempted infliction, or as a result of inadequate supervision, the allowance of infliction or attempted infliction of physical or mental injury upon the child by a parent or any other person.
Ø The exploitation or overwork of a child by a parent or any other person.
Ø The involvement of the child in any sexual act with a parent or any other person, or the aiding or toleration by the parent or the caretaker of the child’s sexual involvement with any other involvement of a child in sexual activity constituting a crime under the laws of this state.
Neglect is the refusal or willful failure of a parent or caretaker to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, care, treatment, or counseling for any injury, illness or condition of the child, as a result of which the child’s physical, mental or emotional health is substantially threatened or impaired. The following are not considered neglect:
Ø The inability of a parent or caregiver to provide for a child due to inadequate financial resources shall not, for that reason alone, be considered neglect.
Ø When, in lieu, of medical care, a child is being provided treatment in accordance with the tenets of a well-recognized religious method of healing which has a reasonable, proven record of success, the child shall not, for that reason alone, be considered neglected or maltreated. Nothing shall prohibit the court from ordering medical services for the child when there is substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.
If we suspect that a child in our care has been or is suffering from any form of abuse, whether in the home or from some other person or persons, we are required according to LA R.S 14:403 to report it to the local child protection agency. 1-855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437)
We will do our best to please our families, however if a family should have any concerns regarding the way their child is being cared for, a problem with a staff, or questions regarding the operations, please follow these suggestions:
Ø Discuss the concern with the child’s teacher. If she can’t help the family then she will know who can help.
Ø If a family is still concerned, then they should discuss it with the assistant director or the director.
THIS FACILITY IS A TYPE III CENTER, LICENSED BY THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. SHOULD YOU HAVE AN UNRESOLVED COMPLAINT OR QUESTION, OR KNOW OF A POSSIBLE UNLICENSED CHILD CARE IN OPERATION: CONTACT
Louisiana Department of Education Licensing Division
or by calling (225) 342-9905 or toll-free at 1-877-453-2721.
Type III regulations and information on licensed child care centers are available online at www.LouisianaBelieves.com
PLEASE CALL 337-558-6612 JENNIFER CONNER
337-794-8734 JENNIFER CONNER CELL PHONE
Department of Education Child Care Assistance Program 1.877.453.2721
Quality Start Child Care Rating System www.qrslouisiana.com
Department of Health and Hospitals1-888-524-3578 www.dhh.louisiana.gov
LA CHIP 1-877-252-2447 www.bhsfweb.dhh.louisiana.gov/LaChip
Early Steps 1-866-327-5978 www.new.dhh.louisiana.gov
Medicaid 1-888-342-6207 www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/?ID=92
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) 1-888-524-3578 www.dss.louisiana.gov
Child’s Medical Home www.louisianaschools.net
Sulphur Housing Authority 527-5248
Sulphur Fire Department 527-4545
Sulphur Police Department 527-4550
American Red Cross of Southwest Louisiana
Child Safety Education 478-5122
Water safety, babysitting training, CPR and first aid training, at home alone safety, educational training in disaster and fire related topics (fees vary)
Poison Control Center 800-256-9822
Louisiana Kidline (parent help line from 8am – 8pm) 1-800-CHILDREN
Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 800-843-5678 www.missingkids.com
Lake Charles Office of Family Support 491-2211 www.dss.louisiana.gov
Big Brothers Big Sisters of SWLA 460-5437
Calcasieu Parish Public Library
Children Services 475-8798
Family story times, free internet access, children’s computers with educational fun software
Calcasieu Parish School Board
Head Start 437-8387
La4 (Pre K Program) 491-1787
Developmental Delay Preschool Classes 882-0234
Counseling Services of Southwest Louisiana 431-7194
Counseling Services of SWLA serves adults and children, individual counseling, grief, anger management, and family therapy (fees vary)
Disney and Associates serves clients with Medicaid for Mental Health rehab programs, works with client in office and home settings to address basic skills of everyday life, mental health, physical health, basic needs, education, employment, recreation/leisure and financial
Excellence for Children
Child Care Resource and Referral Agency 337-332-8551
Provides information and referrals to families in need of child care.
Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana 494-1544
Office of Child Protection (report child abuse or neglect) 855-452-5437
United Way of SWLA – Success By Six 433-1088
Provides information of development and milestones; assists with health screenings and referral of children in need of special services, prenatal and parenting programs.
Appletree Kids, Inc. Health Guidelines
Please refer to the guidelines suggested below for routine questions regarding symptoms and their implications for group care. If you are not sure of what the symptoms might indicate, please call your child’s health professional for an appointment and/or more accurate information. It is crucial to know whether the other children in the center are at risk for infection so we can take the necessary measures to inform other parents of potential changes in their children’s overall health status.
Should child/staff stay home?
When can child/staff come back?
When all the blisters/pox have scabbed over
NO (without fever)
YES (with fever)
Refer to Fever
Coxsackie (hand, mouth, and foot disease)
Diarrhea (two or more stools or over and above what is normal for child)
Diarrhea is resolved.
NO (with doctors diagnosis)
Fever of unknown origin (100 degrees F oral or 101 rectal or higher) and some behavioral signs of illness
Free of fever for 12 hours and fever reducing medications have not been given in the past 8 hours or on prescribed medication for 24 hrs.
When diarrhea subsides or Doctor approves readmission
Well and proof of non-carriageor cleared by Physician.
One week after illness started and
fever is resolved
AIDS (or HIV infection)
Until child’s health, neurologic development, behavior, and immune
status is deemed appropriate (on a case by case basis) by qualified persons, including the child’s physician chosen
by the child’s parent or guardian and the Director.
When treatment has begun
When 1 treatment has been given
Well and proof of non-carriage
24 hours after treatment has begun
Undiagnosed generalized rash
Well or cleared by child’s physician as non-contagious
No (keep area covered)
24 hours after treatment has begun and fever free
Severe Cold (with fever, sneezing, and nose drainage)
Refer to fever
NO (should seek treatment)
Any child with a sudden onset of vomiting, irritability or excessive sleepiness
Evaluated and cleared by a physician