Parent Handbook

 

Introduction

Opening its’ doors in September 2011, Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is a non-profit society that is operated by a voluntary Board of Directors consisting of representatives within our community. 

 

Mission Statement

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is committed to providing our community needs for quality child care services while supporting each child and family we serve. 

 

Philosophy

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is a play-based program that responds to the interests, needs and abilities of children to nourish the holistic child by concentrating on trust as the fundamental component of developing relationships with the children and families we serve.  

 

Licensed Capacity

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is license for 41 children from 10 months to 5 years. 

  • Our Infant and Toddler Room has a license capacity of 12 children from 10 months to 35 months.  Our Infant and Toddler room maintains an adult to child ratio of 1:4 at all times. 

  • Our 3 – 5-Year-Old Room has a license capacity of 21 children from 30 months to school age (a child that has not yet entered Kindergarten).  Our 3 – 5-Year Old Room maintains an adult to child ratio of 1:8 at all times.  

  • Our Multi-Age Room has a license capacity of 8 children from 10 months to 5 years.  The Multi-Age room is used as a transitional room in the morning and evening, or as necessary throughout the day to ensure adult to child ratios.  Our Multi-Age Room maintains an adult to child ratio of 1:8 at all times.

  • Our outdoor play space is completely enclosed and is divided into three designated play areas to accommodate outside time for all rooms at any given time during the day.

 

Staff

All of our staff are trained and qualified to work at Sparwood Treehouse Daycare, in accordance to licensing requirements.  During our screening process, we thoroughly interview potential staff, review at least 3 reference checks, and require a current criminal record check.  Once employed, staff participate in ongoing training and are required to have valid first-aid certification.  In addition, each staff member must renew and maintain their child care certification.  To be eligible for renewal, early childhood educators must complete 40 hours of professional development over the course of their certification term in the following areas: 

  • Child growth and development

  • Child guidance

  • Advocacy for children, families and the field

  • History of early childhood education

  • Self-care as related to supporting effective practice

  • Development of program policies

  • Addressing human resource issues

  • Managing child care programs

  • Maintaining children’s health, safety and nutrition

  • Interpersonal communication

  • Special needs

  • Infant & toddler

 

Hours of Operation

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is open from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Monday to Friday with the exception of centre closures, this includes all STAT holidays and professional development days as needed throughout the year. 

 

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare prides itself on providing a healthy working environment for our hard working and dedicated staff.  In order to preserve the mental health and well-being of our staff and to avoid burnout, Sparwood Treehouse Daycare has scheduled closures each year.  The Centre Closures List is included in the Child Registration Package. Any scheduled closure days that are not indicated on the Centre Closures List will be communicated to parents via e-mail as well as indicated on the monthly child attendance calendars, these closures will be reserved for Profession Development Days.

 

Daily Schedule and Programming

Our Daily Schedule and Program Planning provide and encourage the following:

  • Social development of children

    • Providing an environment for children to work independently and to share and work cooperatively in small groups

    • Providing an environment that fosters positive behaviour in children

    • Helping children appreciate differences and respect the personal feelings and property of others

    • Providing opportunities for social interactions that help children develop appropriate skills for social relationships

    • Providing experiences that facilitate a child’s feeling of belonging to family, community and the world at large.

  • Physical development of children

    • Indoor and outdoor activities that encourage the development of large and small muscle skills appropriate to each child’s level of development,

    • Activities that promote the development of self-help skills,

    • Activities that encourage good health and safety habits

  • Intellectual development of children

    • A flexible daily program that responds to the individual needs and interests of the children

    • An environment that facilitates the development of concept-building skills such as classifying, ordering, determining direction and perceiving spatial relationships,

    • Activities and materials that foster a greater understanding of the environment. 

  • Creative development of children

    • Activities and materials that encourage creative endeavours such as art, music, movement, imaginative play, story-telling and construction.

    • Provide opportunities to foster the children’s creative freedom and individuality.

  • Emotional development of children

    • Helping children develop a positive self-concept and an accurate perception of self

    • Helping children express positive and negative feelings in appropriate ways

Providing a comfortable atmosphere in which children feel proud of their cultural heritage and cultural sharing is encouraged

 

Our Daily Schedule includes time for active and quiet play, indoor and outdoor play, group and individual play, rest (sleep), toileting, nourishment, and sensory play.  More specifically, each room completes program planning for their learning environment as well as weekly activities. 

  • Fine Motor/Manipulative Centre

  • Art Centre

  • Sand/Water/Sensory Centre

  • Dramatic Play Centre            

  • Books/Quiet Centre

  • Block Centre

  • Program Planning – Weekly Activities includes planning for:

    • Outdoor Environment Set-Up

      • The outdoor environment is planned and set up as an extension of the indoor environment. 

    • Teacher Directed Activity

      • Each day a teacher directed activity will be implemented which will included but is not limited to math concepts, science experiments, music & creative movement, cooking, language & literature, games, social development, field trips, special days & celebrations, family or community invitations. 

    • Art Activity

      • Each day at least one art activity will be planned and offered.  

    • Circle Time Activities

      • Each day, circle time will be conducted by a teacher which will included but is not limited to games, music & creative movement, action rhymes, reading aloud, learning concepts, visuals, flannel/magnet boards, and experiments. 

 

Snack and Meals

Parents are required to provide snacks and meals each day while their child is in attendance.  Food provided must follow Canada’s Food Guide and must be prepared in a manner appropriate to the child’s eating abilities.  For example, an infant will be provided with pureed foods or finely cut foods to avoid choking and to limit preparation time for our caregivers.   

 

As recommended by Canada’s Food Guide, meals (breakfast and lunch) should include 3 - 4 food groups while snacks should include 2 or more food groups.  Parent must ensure that enough food is provided to satisfy their child’s appetite; if not enough food is supplied, the parent will be contacted immediately to bring more or to take the child home for the day.  Parents are invited (and encouraged) to provide extra food to be stored onsite in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Non-perishable foods such as crackers, granola bars, oatmeal, and fruit bars with long shelf life are preferred. For more snack and meal resources please visit https://www.interiorhealth.ca/yourhealth/infantschildren/pages/nutrition.aspx

 

As outlined in our Daily Schedule, snacks and meals will be served at the following times:

  • Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.           

    • If your child has eaten breakfast at home before arriving at 8:00 a.m., you may provide a snack instead of a full course breakfast

  • Snack at 10:00 a.m.

    • Consider packing a little protein or healthy fat for longer lasting energy (cheese, plain yogurt, avocado, beans, egg, tofu, seeds)

    • Remember, most packaged, processed snack foods have too much salt, sugar or unhealthy fats – Read labels carefully. 

  • Lunch at 12:00p.m.

  • Snack at 3:00 p.m.

 

Foods that will not be served while in care includes but is not limited to:

  • Chocolate bars

  • Chips/Popcorn

  • Sport/energy drinks, pop, and/or caffeinated drinks

 

Your child’s food will be stored in their cubby.  It is recommended that food is stored in an insulated storage container with cold packs to preserve the food.  If food requires refrigeration, please inform our staff upon arrival so accommodations can be made to ensure your child’s health and well-being.  Microwaves are available in each classroom for re-heating food.  All food must be ready to eat and must NOT require cooking.    

 

Children will be given water freely in a water bottle provided from home.  Please ensure the water bottle provided is suitable for daily dishwashing and is clearly labelled.  If the water bottle is showing any sign of deterioration a replacement will be requested. 

 

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is a nut free centre with the exception of milk alternatives, if your child drinks almond or other milk products, the beverage must be provided in its original packaging, served in a personal cup and clearly labeled with the child’s name. These beverages will be stored in the kitchen fridge out of reach of the other children.

 

Nap Time

The schedule for nap time will be flexible to accommodate children who require a longer/shorter or earlier/later nap.  Caregivers will make reference to the Child Record Form which indicates sleeping patterns and parent preferences.  Staff will respect parent preferences and follow the children’s needs for napping and relaxation.  In the infant and toddler room, the children will be provided with their own crib and crib sheet, blankets and comfort items are to be provided from home. In the 3-5 program the children will be provided with a nap mat as well as a pillow, the parent is responsible for providing a sheet (if wanted) a blanket as well as a comfort item.

 

Clothing and Supplies

The following clothing and supplies must be provided at all times:

  • Full change of clothes (possibly 2 or 3 for younger children)

    • When soiled clothing is sent home, a replacement must be provided the next day.

  • Indoor and outdoor shoes/boots

  • Suitable clothing for indoor and outdoor play, taking into consideration the weather conditions of the season.

    • Children are required to wear a summer hat, appropriate shoes and sunscreen in the hotter months.

    • Children are required to have winter boots, snow pants, warm coat, mitts and a winter hat during winter months.  Scarves are not permitted.  When selecting winter gear, please consider providing water proof materials. 

    • Our building has air conditioning in the summer.  Please dress your child in layers so they can adjust their clothing to a comfortable temperature.

  • Diapers and wipes, if needed

  • Special blanket or comfort item

  • Water bottle, sippy cup and/or bottle

  • Family picture for our wall display

All items brought from home must be clearly labelled.

 

Please do not bring the following:

  • “Good” clothes – the children will be engaged in messy play such as painting, sand, water, and outside play.  Please bring your child in daycare friendly attire. 

  • Toys from home, with the exception of Show and Tell Thursdays

  • Valuables.

  • Anything else that you are concerned about, daycare can be hectic and things can go missing or get broken. We cannot be held responsible for lost or broken items.

Sunscreen

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare will strive to protect children from sun exposure by implementing the following procedure:

  1. Avoid exposing children to direct sun between 11:00a.m. and 2:00p.m on high UV days. 

    1. If children are outside during this period, staff will ensure children have access to shaded areas and drinking water.

  2. If the UV index is higher than 3, children will be required to:

    1. Wear protective clothing and a summer hat. 

    2. UV protective sunglasses are recommended but not required. 

  3. All children will have sunscreen applied to all areas that will be exposed to the sun at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. 

  4. Additional protection can be offered by the parent/guardian by dressing the child in light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a hat when necessary.

The child’s parent must provide sunscreen.

Insect Repellent

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare will strive to protect children from insect bites by implementing the following procedure:

  1. Insect repellent will be applied 20 minutes after sunscreen application to ensure both products work effectively. 

  2. Insect repellant will be applied as indicated for the child’s age:

The child’s parent must provide insect repellent, if they want their child to use insect repellent while in care.

 

Screen Time

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare believes that play is essential to a child’s learning and acknowledges that sedentary screen time is associated with detrimental effects on aspects of cognitive and psychosocial development and may be associated with adverse effects on body composition. 

 

In the event that screen time will be a part of the program at Sparwood Treehouse Daycare, the following guidelines will be implemented:

  1. Screen time exposure will be limited as follows:

    1. Children under 2 years will not be exposed to any screen time while in care

    2. Children 2 – 5 years old will be permitted one 90 minute movie per month (this will be reserved for days with unfavorable weather for outside play)

  2. Screen time programs will be previewed to ensure that they are developmentally appropriate, unbiased, culturally sensitive and current to the children’s interests and will be researched on IMBD by staff and or the daycare manager.  Violence and sexually explicit material will not be viewed by any child.

  3. Screen time will be indicated on the whiteboard in the coatroom of each program area. The whiteboard will state the following.

3.1 Name and rating of the movie/show.

  1. During the screen time activity, staff will:

    1. Actively supervise the children as outlined in the Supervision of Children policy

    2. Participate in the screen time activity – assist the children in making the connection of what they are seeing on the screen and how it relates to the real world and the curriculum of that week.

    3. Provide alternative activities for children that are not interested in participating in the screen time activity.

Screen time includes but is not limited to TV, computer, cell phone, tablet, electronic games, etc. 

Staff are permitted to show one educational video or other electronic visual once per week, the visual must be for learning purposes, support the theme of the week and will remain between 5 and 10 minutes in length

Medication Administration

  • Only prescription and/or emergency medication shall be administered

  • Written consent shall be obtained from the parent with accurate completion of the appropriate medication form prior to the administration of any medication

    • Daily Medication Form

      • The Daily Medication Form will be used for short and long term use medications.

      • The Daily Medication Form must be completed by the parent prior to administration.

      • Examples for use of the Daily Medication Form include but are not limited to antibiotics, eye drops insulin or other medications such as behaviour management medications.  

    • Emergency Medication Form

      • The Emergency Medication Form will be used for medications that are administered upon observation of signs and symptoms indicated in the Medical Treatment Plan.

      • The Emergency Medication Form must be completed by the parent along with the Medical Treatment Plan if necessary.

      • Over the counter medication, such as Benadryl, will only be administered with a physician’s signed Medical Treatment Plan indicating the need for the Emergency Medication.

      • Examples for use of the Emergency Medication Form include but are not limited to an Epi-pen for an anaphylaxis reaction, inhaler for asthma or Benadryl etc. for Allergic reactions.  

      • Emergency Medication must be stored on-site at all times or brought in daily.  If emergency medication is not on- site, the child shall be denied services until appropriate medication is provided

  • Medication shall be current and in the original labelled container with the child’s full name and clear instructions

  • Medication shall be administered according to the labelled directions

  • Medication shall be taken home after the authorized administration period

 

Supervision of Children

Supervision requires that staff can easily see, hear, and easily reach the children, and that they are actively attending to them.  Note that all three (see, hear, and easily reach) are required.  Staff must be physically present and alert in order to supervise children appropriately. 

 

Guidance and Discipline

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare believes that positive child guidance and discipline are a fundamental component to a child’s long-term social and emotional success.  Sparwood Treehouse Daycare also believes that through positive child guidance and discipline children will be kind, competent, empathetic, self-reliant and responsible individuals that are capable of making thoughtful choices. At Sparwood Treehouse Daycare, the foundation of our guidance and discipline will be to teach each child to be kind to themselves, kind to others and kind to their environment

 

Active Play

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines requires:

  • Infants (less than 1 year) are physically active several times daily, particularly through interactive floor-based play.

  • Toddlers and Preschoolers should accumulate at least 180 minutes of physical activity spread throughout the day.

At Sparwood Treehouse Daycare, the toddlers and preschoolers partake in physical activity for 120 minutes or more through regularly scheduled activities.

 

Extreme Weather

Children will be provided a minimum of one hour of outdoor play each day, weather permitting.  The staff will assess the weather conditions each day from Environment Canada.  If weather conditions are not suitable for outside play, staff will keep the children inside.  In this case, staff must provide alternative gross motor activity inside. 

  • If any part of the outdoor play space is not safe (slippery due to ice, dangerous objects), the area will be isolated and children will not have access until it is deemed safe for use

  • If the temperature is -25 degrees Celsius or colder, including the wind chill factor, children will remain indoors

  • If the temperature is between -20 to -24 degrees Celsius, including the wind chill factor, the amount of time children will play outside will be limited to a maximum of ½ increments with very diligent observation of the children.  At first glance of a child in discomfort or cold, all children will be taken inside immediately. 

    • Children will remain active in order to keep their bodies warm.  Younger children that are not as mobile may not go outside during such temperatures

  • If the temperature is 30 degrees Celsius, including the humidity index, children will remain inside

  • If the temperature is above 20 degrees Celsius, children will have access to drinking water and shall wear a summer hat.

  • If it is thundering or lightning, children will remain inside

  • The Sunscreen and Insect Repellent policy will be followed at all times

 

Illness Policy

Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for staff as well as children and families who attend the center. In the event of illness the following policy will be implemented for all children.

Exclusion

Where a caregiver knows or has reason to believe that a child is exhibiting signs or symptoms of illness, the child’s parent will be contacted for the immediate removal of the child from the program premises.

  • The child shall not return until Sparwood Treehouse Daycare is satisfied that the child no longer poses a health risk, and the child has been symptom free for a full 36 hours without the aid of symptom reducing medications. 

  • A child must be excluded from the program if:

    • The child is not able to fully participate in regular activities

    • The child requires additional care and/or supervision that has the potential of compromising the care and/or supervision of other children in the program

    • The child has exhibited the following in the last 36 hours

      • Unexplained Pain

      • Difficulty breathing

      • Fever of 38.3 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit

      • Sore throat or trouble swallowing

      • Infected skin or eyes, or an undiagnosed rash

      • Headache and/or stiff neck

      • Consecutive bouts of unexplained diarrhea or loose stool

      • Nausea and/or vomiting

      • Head or Body Lice

      • The child is exhibiting signs or symptoms or has a confirmed communicable disease as listed in the Schedule A or B of the Health Act Communicable Disease Regulations of BC. 

  • The parent must communicate all signs and symptoms of illness, whether the child is in attendance or not.

  • The parent must inform Sparwood Treehouse Daycare within 24 hours of:

    • The diagnosis of a serious illness or communicable disease in their child, or\the exposure of the child to a serious illness or communicable disease in any other member of their family. 
       

Procedure for Illness

In the case of illness, caregivers will

  • Notify the priority #1&2 contacts, emergency contacts and authorized individual as indicated on the most recent Child Record Form as soon as possible

  • Keep the child comfortable, in a quiet and clean resting area

  • Ensure the sick child is kept as far away from other children as is practical, while maintaining close supervision.

  • Obtain medical assistance when necessary

  • Report all illness to daycare manager/designate as soon as possible.

 

 

Children’s Records and Information

  • It is a licensing requirement that all files are kept current.  Please inform the centre of any information updates immediately.  This includes but is not limited to change of address, work place, phone numbers, immunization, etc. 

  • Parents are required to update information once yearly or when things change.

 

Emergency Plan

At Sparwood Treehouse Daycare, we are prepared to respond appropriately to all emergencies. Children will be taught what to do in the case of fire and other emergencies. Evacuation drills will be practiced in all weather conditions so please ensure that your children have appropriate indoor shoes at all times.

  • In the event that a closure is necessary, each child’s parent/guardian and/or emergency contacts will be contacted to pick the child up immediately.

  • If the emergency is not resolved by 6.00 a.m. the next day, the centre will remain closed until it is deemed safe for use. 

    • Parent/guardians will be informed of the closure as soon as possible via email, phone call, Facebook, and/or written notification posted on all classroom entrances. 

 

Muster Point & Relocation Destinations and Routes

  • The muster point is located in the daycare parking lot in the northwest corner by the chain on the chain link fence. 

  • In the event we are unable to re-entre the building for an extended period of time we will walk to the Sparwood Recreation Centre, located at, 367 Pine Ave Sparwood, B.C.

  • If in the event the neighbourhood is evacuated we will walk or drive to the Sparwood Fire Hall, located at 479 Pine Ave Sparwood, B.C.

 

Your Child’s First Day

Each child is assigned a cubby labeled with their name for their personal belongings.  Be sure to label all of your child’s belongings clearly.  Sparwood Treehouse Daycare cannot prevent loss of items. Toys/action figures or other materials that promote violence, swearing or other inappropriate behaviour will not be permitted on the premises. 

 

Separation may be difficult for some children.  In order to prepare your child, we recommend you discuss where your child will be going and what you will be doing while they are in care.  When you arrive, take a few minutes to put your child’s items in their cubby, look around the room with your child, and greet the teachers and other children who are nearby. 

  • Establish trust; tell your child that this is a safe place and that the teachers will take care of him/her while you are away.  If you are nervous and show that, your child will have a harder time accepting the new environment. It is important to show that you are confident by smiling and/or talking about the fun things we do at daycare.

  • Acknowledge feelings; it’s typical for children to be upset during the first few days/weeks of attending.  Take the time to validate your child’s feelings and give them comfort by telling him/her when you will return (eg. after nap time) and then leave. 

  • Never “sneak out” on your child.  By sneaking out you will not establish trust; this will create anxiety and fear of your unknown and unexpected disappearance. 

 

Parent Routines for Drop-off and Pick-Up

  • Children MUST be dropped off with an on-duty caregiver.  Please make sure to have open communication with your child’s caregiver by communicating day-to-day information regarding your child’s demeaner, health and well-being at drop-off and pick-up.  

  • It is a licensing regulation for children to be signed in for the day upon arrival and signed out upon departure.  The child attendance book is located in each classroom in the coat room.  During practice evacuation drills the child attendance book is used to ensure all children have evacuated the building; if your child is not signed in for the day, s/he may not be accounted for. 

  • Parents are welcome to observe at any time without notice.  You may go into your child’s classroom.  If you enter the classroom, keep in mind that your child may expect to leave with you.  If you must return to school or work, you will need to help your child with this transition. 

  • Check your child’s cubby for notices, soiled clothing and artwork.  Artwork will be disposed at the end of each week to avoid clutter. 

  • Inform the Daycare Manager (in writing) of any changes in your child’s routine that may affect his/her needs or behaviour including health and any events at home.

  • If you are not at your usual contact site, please inform staff.  We must be able to contact you in the event of an emergency.

  • Should an emergency arise and you will be late picking your child up, please contact the centre immediately so we can make staffing arrangements. 

 

Authorized Pick Up

Children will only be released to the authorized persons you identified on the registration form. They must be at least 12 years of age and have picture ID if that person is unknown to staff. Should the names of people authorized to pick up your child change we must receive written notification.

 

Safe Release of a Child

It is our legal responsibility, to the extent possible, not to release a child to an authorized person who appears unable to adequately care for a child. This could include, but is not limited to: appearing to be under the influence of drugs, alcohol, if the person is emotionally distraught or extremely ill. If we believe that a child may be at increased risk we will:

a) Offer to call the emergency contact, a friend or relative to pick up the parent and child

Or

b) Call a taxi

If a presumed impaired person chooses to get in the car with or without the child, we will immediately notify the RCMP. The Ministry of Children and Families will also be contacted if it is felt the child is in need of protection.

 

Confidentiality

As there are many parents in and out of the daycare on any given day, it is important that everyone understands the importance of confidentiality; this applies to parents, staff, board members and guests of the center. Please refrain from discussing things heard within the daycare to be courteous and conscious of others privacy. If you have any concerns regarding confidentiality please bring it to the attention of the daycare manager.

 

Who to Contact

If you have questions regarding your account, please contact our Account Manager at sparwoodtreehouseoffice@gmail.com.  If you have questions regarding the daycare operations, please contact our Daycare Manager at 250.425.4443 or sparwoodtreehousemanager@gmail.com.

 

Thank you for entrusting Sparwood Treehouse Daycare for the care and education of your child!

250-425-4443

421 Pine Ave
Sparwood, V0B 2G0
Canada

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