Roots & Wings

Early Learning Centre

Family Handbook


Welcome
Welcome to Roots & Wings Early Learning Centre. Roots & Wings is a double license Infant Toddler and Multi-Age Child Care Centre that complies with the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and the Early Childhood Educators of BC Code of Ethics. Roots & Wings provides a warm and nurturing environment for your children to grow and learn.


Roots & Wings Philosophy

I feel that Early Childhood Education provides a significant opportunity to affect change in our world by providing an environment in which the future generations will learn the skills required to become successful and confident adults. Roots & Wings provides a safe and secure place to grow and develop. Our environment embraces child development and provides daily opportunities for growth in all areas – physical, social/emotional, creative, and cognitive.


Staff to Child Ratio

The infant toddler program is licensed for twelve children with a maximum of four children to one qualified educator.
The group (thirty months to school age) program is licensed for sixteen children with a maximum of eight children to one qualified educator.
The group (school age) program is licensed for ten children with one qualified educator.

Roots & Wings operates with a Primary Care System meaning that your child’s primary caregiving needs (diapering/toileting, feeding, sleeping) are met by the same care provider throughout each day. This care provider will be your primary contact regarding the daily care of your child.

However, considering the importance of building a relationship with each and every child and their families, staff work on rotation between the infant toddler and group program.


Hours of Operation

The Infant Toddler Program at Roots & Wings operates Monday-Friday 7:45am-4:00pm.
The Group Program at Roots & Wings operates Monday-Friday 7:45pm-4:30pm

All children are required to arrive before 10:00am. Please contact us as early as possible if your child will not be attending or will be arriving late. This allows us to best plan our meals and daily activities and ensures that should the group go off premises for a walk someone remains on site to accept your child into care upon their later arrival.


Daily Schedule

I feel that children learn best through play and, therefore, have a schedule that allows for long blocks of free play both indoors and out. This allows the children to become engaged in their play and allows us to encourage each child based upon their individual interest at the time. We will come together once a day for group time if there is an interest to do so. During this time we will read a story, sing a song, play a game, and provide each child with an opportunity to share something about him or herself.

Our daily schedule is outlined as follows. The schedule is a general outline of the day at Roots & Wings. It is very flexible to accommodate the children’s needs and interests, as well as weather.

arrival; free play

morning snack

activity time

outside free play

lunch

story time

nap/quiet time

free play

afternoon snack

outside free play; departure


Additional Programming

Roots & Wings strives to provide additional programming each year. These programs may include music, yoga, language, and story time. Please see current newsletter for information on what is running.


Admission

Admission to Roots & Wings is open to all families; however, full time enrolment will take precedence over part time. As a licensed childcare centre, there are limitations to enrolment based on age grouping. There can be no more than four children per staff. I will do my best to meet the requests of all families; however, these are the licensing limits and cannot be exceeded.


Probationary Period

Although all will be done prior to admission to ensure that the centre is the best fit for your family/child, there is a two-week probationary period. If your family has concerns about the centre not meeting your needs or if I feel that the centre is not the best fit for your family/child, notice can be given at the end of the second week by either party to terminate the contract. In either case, you have the remaining two weeks of the month to find alternate care arrangements. If you terminate care and withdraw your child before the completion of the month, you are responsible for payment of the month’s fee. If I give notice to terminate care and you withdraw your child before the completion of the month, you will be responsible only for the time in attendance and will be refunded the remaining sum.


Withdrawal from Care

For withdrawals that do not fall under those in the probationary period, one month written notice is required if you wish to withdraw your child from care. Note: one month is from the 1st - meaning if you want to withdraw your child on January 31st, I must have written notice no later than January 1st.

If one-month notice is not possible, then payment of one month’s fees is required in lieu of notice unless there is a waiting list and the space can be filled immediately. Prior to withdrawal from care, payment of all monies owing on account is required. If your child is absent for twenty days or more, I reserve the right to terminate care without notice.

Respectfully, if Roots & Wings finds reason to terminate our centre/client relationship we reserve the right to do so at any time. A minimum of one full month notice (1st to the 1st) will be provided in writing.

Once your child has been withdrawn from care, you have thirty days to ensure you have collected all personal belongings. Any items remaining after this time will become property of Roots & Wings.


Fees

Fees are paid on a monthly basis. They are to be paid on the 1st of each month for that month of care. I reserve the right to charge $5.00 per day on overdue accounts and terminate care when an account becomes fourteen days overdue. A $20.00 fee will be charged for any returned cheques and cash will be required as payment. Following two returned cheques, only cash will be accepted for all future payments.

The monthly fee for care at Roots & Wings is charted below. The monthly fee is inclusive and will not change for months that include holiday closures, school district mandated building closures, staff professional development closures, loss of service closures, or for days your child does not attend. (eg. illness, vacation, or otherwise).


In the instance that the centre is closed due to staff illness or staff vacation your fees will be adjusted and you will not pay for these days.


Scheduled closures will follow the school district calendar and may include December break, March break, PRO-D days, holidays, and summer break. Notices will be sent out in advance and care is always reflective of need and staff availability.


I reserve the right to adjust fees; however, advance notice of changes will be given. 


Please note, fees change the month following your child’s 3rd birthday.


Child Care Subsidy

Subsidy is accepted at Roots & Wings. For more information see office or contact the Ministry for Children and Families. To find out if you are eligible, how to apply, and what the subsidy rates are you can call 1-888-338-6622. If you are a first time subsidy user please ensure you file the necessary paperwork ASAP because it is quite demanding and takes a fair bit of time to process. Also, I will do my best to remind you when your reassessment is due; however, it is your responsibility to ensure that funding remains in place.

If you qualify for childcare subsidy, it is also due on the first of the month for that month of care. If subsidy coverage is not received in advance, you will be responsible for payment of full fees, which will be reimbursed when subsidy is received. Your parent portion of fees is due on the 1st of the month. At any time there is not subsidy authorization available, you are responsible for the full fee amount which will be refunded to you once subsidy is authorized and claim is received.


Summer Care Policy

Throughout this policy section, the terms “Summer” and “Summer Care” are used. Summer is referred to in this policy as July 1st through August 31st annually.

Roots & Wings provides care to students participating in the School District Young Parent Program and therefore has high demand for care September through June of each year. To avoid disruption in care for those families not involved with the YPP, Roots & Wings is committed to year round operation. Due to the unique operation of our facility, however, policy adjustments need to be made for summer care to ensure that staffing is arranged to reflect actual care demand and vice versa, that care demand remains adequate for arranged staffing.


The following policies apply to summer care at Roots & Wings:


  • There is an April 30th deadline for changes to your child’s weekly schedule for summer care 
  • Summer care is inclusive – my commitment to provide year round care needs to be mirrored by your family’s commitment to that care and therefore, your child’s space (and your fee obligation) is for July and August
  • Note: the above policy overrides the standard Roots & Wings one month notice withdrawal policy; notice cannot be given to withdraw from care July 31st
  • The Roots & Wings fee policy applies:  The monthly fee is inclusive and will not change for months that include holiday closures, school district mandated building closures, loss of service closures, or for days your child does not attend (eg. illness, vacation, or otherwise)

Families who do not require summer care but are returning in September are required to reserve their child’s space at a rate of $400. This fee is due July 2nd.


Late Pick Up

There is a one dollar ($1.00) per minute charge for pick up after your program designated end time. If your schedule does not allow for said pick up, please speak with me and I will do my best to accommodate your needs.


If you were expected and have not picked up your child within thirty minutes and all others listed as authorized to pick up your child have been unreachable, the Ministry of Children and Family Development will be contacted and an intake worker will pick up your child.

The same policy applies to extended hours of care if you have not picked up your child within half hour of the designated pick up time.


Sign In & Out

Roots & Wings has a sign in and out policy. This provides me with a record of attendance as well as information regarding who dropped off and who picked up your child. Please ensure that you allow adequate time to sign your child in and out and transition him or her in and out of care each day.


Release of a Child

Roots & Wings will only release a child to the parents or authorized pick up individuals listed on the registration sheet. In the circumstance that someone you did not list is required to pick up your child, you must notify me in person and in writing. In the case that an authorized person who is unfamiliar picks up your child, they will be asked for photo identification. Please ensure that all persons authorized for pick up are aware of this policy.

Please also note that if a pick up person arrives at the center and appears to be intoxicated or heavily scented with alcohol or drugs, other arrangements for pick up must be made. Assistance by staff will be given to make these arrangements as necessary.


Smoking

Please note that Roots & Wings, inside and out, is a non-smoking environment. All employees, students, volunteers, and families are not permitted to smoke on the property or during walks or other outings with the children.


Communication Book

Each family will receive a communication book upon admission. This book will be sent back and forth on a daily basis. It can be used to record information about your child’s evening, if they slept well or poorly, how much breakfast they had, if they are not feeling well, or got hurt or if you are planning a vacation, have a question, or anything else you would like to share. We will use it to relay messages to you such as how your child ate, slept, toileted, what they did each day, as well as reminders and feedback to anything you have written.


Illness & Medication

Roots & Wings has an illness policy that is based upon:

  • The comfort and safety of the sick child
  • The staff’s ability to accommodate or care for a sick child
  • The protection of the other children, staff, students and parents from communicable diseases and conditions

Children with infectious illnesses should not attend daycare. If a child becomes sick while at daycare the family will be notified and prompt pick up arrangements will be made. In an emergency, medical aid will be immediately sought.


If a child is sick, unable to play outdoors, and/or unable to participate in the centre's regular program, alternate arrangements for care must be made and Roots & Wings must be notified.


A child should not attend daycare when:

  • he/she has a fever of 100 degrees (38.8 C)
  • he/she has consecutive bouts of diarrhea, or any nausea or vomiting
  • he/she has skin infections, undiagnosed rash, sore infected eyes, or signs of any contagious disease
  • he/she has any parasite related condition
  • he/she has an unexplained or undiagnosed pain
  • he/she has a bad cold, difficulty breathing, or a sore throat with trouble swallowing

Children suffering from a common cold will be assessed on an individual basis. Factors of consideration include:

The developmental level of your child in congruence with the staff’s ability to limit the spread of germs:

  • the younger your child, the more difficult it is to keep the spread of germs down – hand to face contact, mouthing of toys, uncontrolled nasal discharge, uncovered sneezing and coughing etc.

The staff’s ability to provide high quality care:

  • when caring for an ill child, the ability to provide high quality care to everyone is jeopardized

A child may return to daycare when he or she is free from symptoms and no longer infectious. The child should also be well enough to actively participate throughout the day. The child must also be without fever for 24 hours. In any case of serious or unexplainable illness and all rashes a doctor’s medical clearance is required prior to admission back into care.


Staff at Roots & Wings will administer prescription medication stored in the original container with pharmacy label intact. I recommend asking the pharmacist to provide you with an extra labeled container so that you do not need to pack the medicine back and forth. A permission to administer medication form must be completed by parent/guardian prior to administration of medication. The only exception is for teething medication (labelled as such in original container). As with prescription medication, a permission form is required. Tylenol will not be given.


Religious Practices

At Roots & Wings we have a neutral, non-sectarian policy on religious holidays. I feel that this respects that not all share the same religion and also, does not lead to the children’s over stimulation. This does not mean that discussion, drawings, or otherwise are banned; it simply means that religious holidays will not be a part of the planned curriculum at Roots & Wings.


Nutrition

Roots & Wings has two nutrition policies:

  • Roots & Wings is a peanut free centre.
  • Roots & Wings also follows the food guide for healthy eating and is a junk food free centre.

Roots & Wings provides all daily meals at no additional charge to you. Monthly meal schedules will be given out in advance. For infants, we will work closely with you to provide a meal schedule that meets the needs of your child.


Clothing

I request that a change of clothing be left at the centre for each child and that clothing be updated with the seasons. Rain gear and rubber boots are required to be left at the centre for rainy days, as we will still venture outside. For ease of dressing a group of children and having the children covered and dry, preferred rain gear is the one-piece rain suit available from Mountain Equipment Co-op.


Toilet Learning

Roots & Wings supports and positively encourages the toilet learning of your toddler or preschooler. We support the use of underwear for children who are ready and learning but do ask that you keep in mind that in a group care facility, the health of all children in care is of very high importance. Therefore, we ask that you consider your child’s level of readiness when sending him/her in underwear.


What’s my approach? We feel that the best way to approach toilet learning is by following the child’s lead. When he or she shows interest we provide encouragement, support, and opportunity. And equally as important, we have lots of patience and clean up accidents matter-of-factly.


If your child is toilet learning, please have three full sets of extra clothing left at the centre.


Roots & Wings does not use an external reward system; our focus in supporting your toileting child is on their sense of pride and accomplishment through verbal acknowledgement of his/her efforts.


Please speak with staff if you are using cloth or other non-disposable diapers; we are willing to accommodate.


Guidance

Roots & Wings takes pride in having a positive guidance policy that is reflected in practice at all times. The guidance philosophy of Roots & Wings is as follows:

The guidance a child receives in his or her early years will greatly impact his or her life on many levels. All guidance is positive and supportive of the child’s level of development and protective of the child’s self-esteem. Guidance interactions are viewed as opportunity for learning and are treated as such. All guidance interactions focus on the child’s behaviour rather than the child and occur at the child’s level in language that meets his or her level of development. All guidance is clear and concise. Children are given ample opportunity to speak and solve their own conflict. No child is ever ridiculed, belittled, ashamed, or isolated. No matter what the behaviour or situation, the child is always shown respect and acceptance. Roots & Wings does not use time out as a means of guidance and discipline.


Family Involvement

Roots & Wings has an open door policy and welcomes your attendance at any time during the day. I believe that each child comes into care as a unique individual and also as a part of a network of people who he or she is close to. I feel that in order to provide the best care possible for each individual child, daily connection with families is important and welcome all family involvement in the Roots & Wings program.


Parents who wish to take their child away from the centre during the day are welcomed to do so. However, please respect the routine of the centre and be aware of your child’s individual needs. If your child suffers from separation anxiety and/or finds transitions challenging, then it may not be in his or her best interest to leave the centre until home time.


Confidentiality

Roots & Wings holds all information pertaining to the care of each child and their family confidentially.


Volunteers & Students

We were all students once and were fortunate to be welcomed in many different care settings and, therefore, students and volunteers will be welcome at Roots & Wings. All students and volunteers will have a current criminal record check on file and be supervised at all times. Students and volunteers, as well as any staff, will have received a copy of the handbook and have signed a contract stating that they have read and are aware of all of the policies at Roots & Wings. Consent will be requested each and every time a student requires photos or video documentation for their course work.


Charitable Donations

Roots & Wings makes a charitable donation each year to a child related charity or organization. The amount of the donation is dependent upon available funds. Please let us know if there is a charity, organization, or cause you would like Roots & Wings to donate to.


Safety & Emergency Policies


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

In order to prevent the tragic occurrence of SIDS, all children under one year of age will be placed to sleep on their backs unless a written note from the child’s doctor is on file stating otherwise. Soft objects are never placed in cribs; blankets will be tucked around the child away from his/her face; and sheets will be tight fitting. No child will be put to bed with a propped bottle. Our centre has a filtered air circulation system and all smoking in or near the facility is banned. All of the staff at Roots & Wings are non-smokers.


Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)

All staff is trained to never shake or roughly handle any baby or child.


Child Abuse

As indicated in Keeping Our Young Safe the child protection policy provided with your registration, staff is obligated to log and report all suspected signs of abuse.


Emergency Care

In the event that an emergency requires a staff member to leave the centre, we will arrange for emergency supervision. The emergency caregiver will be experienced in caring for children, familiar with our policies, and able to arrive within five minutes of notification.


Evacuation

In the instance of an emergency that requires evacuation, we will assist the children to exit through the closest available exit. We will gather on the side of the Henderson field fence, north of our facility. Our sign in form, emergency contact sheets, cordless and mobile phone, and emergency kit will be taken with us. Families will be notified as necessary.


Fire & Earthquake Drills

Being prepared helps children feel less frightened should we face an emergency situation so Roots & Wings completes monthly fire and earthquake drills.


First Aid

All staff hold valid and up to date child care related first aid and CPR.


Injury

Licensing requires that all injuries be recorded. All minor injuries requiring treatment are logged in our Log of Non-Reportable Incidents binder. You will be shown and asked to sign that you have read the report at the end of the day. If a serious injury occurs requiring emergency care, this will be recorded in the Vancouver Coastal Health Incident Report log and filed with licensing.


Loss of Services

Should the centre lose use of heat, water, or electricity at any time during the day, the situation will be assessed and if it is found that care cannot be provided without a loss to quality and safety, the centre will shut down and you will be required to pick up your child. Due to liability reasons, Roots & Wings follows Brooks closures for snow days.