Parent Handbook

Introduction

Licensed home child care offers *parents the best of both worlds.  It provides the family atmosphere and the individual attention that appeal to parents, while ensuring that legislated standards are met and maintained in the child care provider’s home.  These standards cover, among other things, home safety, nutrition, prohibitive practices, outdoor play, and the ages and numbers of the children in a home.  They are similar to the regulations governing the operation of child care centres.

Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW) is a non-profit organization operating in the County of Lanark with homes in many areas including Lanark, Carleton Place, Almonte, Smiths Falls and Perth.  We are licensed by the Ministry of Education, and follow the home child care regulations as set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA).  A Board of Directors governs our operations.

Our home child care team consists of professionals with training and experience in child development and early childhood education.  They assess, train, support, and provide resources to our child care providers.  They also act as a resource for parents and children registered in the program.

The child care providers meet established requirements based on a health assessment, a police vulnerable sector check, a Family & Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville check, and a thorough home assessment which includes a check by the local Fire Department.  Unscheduled visits by CROW are made to each home, on your behalf, on a regular basis to ensure that standards are maintained. These checks include health and safety inspections of indoor and outdoor environment and sanitary conditions.

The providers benefit from the regular support of their home visitor as well as equipment lending, information packages, drop-ins and other special events, access to training opportunities including CPR and First Aid. Workshops on such topics as nutrition, crafts, and programming for various ages, are offered.

Parents can also benefit from support and contact from the home visitor, whom they may call upon with any questions or concerns and they also may gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing that regular visits are made.

This booklet describes the home child care program and policies and procedures of CROW.

Please remember we always welcome your comments and questions.

CROW Licenced Home Child Care is licenced for children 6 weeks to 13 years of age.  Providers may offer part-time, full-time or on- call flexible care, 24 hours a day seven days a week. Child care subsidy may be available for eligible families via the County of Lanark and the United Counites of Leeds & Grenville.

*Please note that for simplicity’s sake, in all Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW) Licensed Home Child Care documents, the term “parent” shall be used to refer to the adult or agency responsible for the child care arrangements for the child(ren) registered with CROW.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Our mission statement: Children’s Resources on Wheels is dedicated to supporting and strengthening child care, family life, child development and community links in Lanark County.

Program Statement

Children’s Resources on Wheels’ Program Statement includes both programs offered within the organization: Licensed Home Child Care and EarlyON Child & Family Centre.

How Does Learning Happen? states that “Children are competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential. They grow up in families with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Every child should feel that he or she belongs, is a valuable contributor to his or her surroundings, and deserves the opportunity to succeed. When we recognize children as capable and curious, we are more likely to deliver programs and services that value and build on their strengths and abilities.”  How Does Learning Happen? 2014, page 6.

Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW) recognizes that children are capable and curious and delivers programs and services that value and build on their strengths and abilities. At CROW we view children and families as community members with valuable ideas and perspectives.

CROW is guided by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years as a professional learning resource guide for Educators to support pedagogy and curriculum/program development in our early learning programs. This aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Policy Statement on programming and pedagogy.

CROW is committed to supporting the goal of the Child Care and Early Years Act in building a child care and early years system that supports parents and gives children the best possible start in life. We are committed to ensure that the provisions set out in the Act will strengthen compliance, health and safety in our child care settings as well as help parents make informed choices about their options. The individual needs of the child are always to be considered throughout the day.

Children’s Resources on Wheels is committed to:

  1. Promoting the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of the children.

The early years set the foundation for children’s health and well-being. The brain’s architecture is shaped by a child’s interactions and relationships with parents and other significant people in their lives.  Early brain development is stimulated through experiences and interactions with responsive adults.

We understand that in establishing and nurturing health, safety and well-being for children in our programs is through the connections they make with staff, home child care providers, volunteers and students.

We believe that nutritious meals and snacks are critical to promote healthy child development, and that these meals and snacks are provided in a positive environment that is responsive to the child’s cues of hunger and fullness.

CROW endeavors to meet and exceed health and safety requirements of the Ministry of Education and local government bylaws. Information on children with life threatening allergies is posted in Home Child Care provider homes and readily available at other program sites. All parents with children in Home Child Care are provided with the Parent Handbook.  Program staff are available to discuss the Parent Handbook, health and safety policies and protocols.

CROW Licensed Home Child Care provider homes incorporate indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time; into the child’s day.

  1. Supporting positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, home child care providers and staff.

CROW strives to promote a sense of belonging for children and their families in our programs by creating positive interactions and collaboration with families.

We believe that educators are partners in learning with children. We believe that knowledge is socially constructed through relationships with others. With this view, educators build strong trusting relationships with the children, and their families, and learn alongside them. Educators observe and listen to the children and encourage deeper thinking through thoughtful questions, documentation of their thinking and an engaging environment full of a wide range of materials that meet each child’s strengths and interests.

CROW believes every child is entitled to be given the opportunity to develop personal responsibility and social skills; to learn to problem-solve and to learn about diversity and inclusion.

The skills of conflict resolution are important to lifelong learning.  As competent individuals, children are active participants in resolving conflicts. We encourage them to come up with ideas and solutions to problems that arise.

  1. Providing positive learning environments and experiences, focused on active play-based learning, encourages children’s communication, self-expression and self-regulation and fosters children’s sense of belonging.
  • Recognize each child as having equal rights to participate in program activities; inclusive of all children, including children with individualized plans.
  • Recognize and respect the unique qualities of each child and family, including ancestry, culture, ethnicity, race, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, family environment, and developmental abilities and needs.
  • Create strategies that value the culture and first language of all children. Establish programming strategies to foster an inclusive learning environment in which every child can participate.
  • View the diversity of children and families as an asset, and plan programs to reflect differences and enrich the environment.
  • Focus on active play-based learning as the way that children naturally learn best. It is their natural response to the environment around them. When children are manipulating objects, acting out roles, or experimenting with different materials, they are engaged in learning through play. Play allows them to actively construct, challenge, and expand their own understandings through making connections to prior experiences, thereby opening the door to new learning. Intentional play-based learning enables children to investigate, ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking.
  • Our program also recognizes the need for children’s self-regulation, their ability to deal with stress and remain calm, alert and ready to learn. When children are calmly focused and alert, they are best able to control their emotions, pay attention, ignore distractions, inhibit their impulses and understand the consequences of their actions. We are committed to learning about how to create learning environments and programming that helps support children’s self-regulation—to help children remain or return to a state of calm.
  1. Fostering the engagement of and ongoing communications with parents about the program and their children.

We believe that parents are their children’s first teachers and as such, have much to offer to their child’s program. Parent participation can greatly enhance their child’s program and maximize their learning experiences. The meaningful exchange of ideas between educators and parents support the child as they grow and develop within our program. We encourage parents to be active in their child’s experience in our programs through the many opportunities that we offer.

CROW aims to ensure that families have the support of available, affordable, safe, reliable, high quality programs for their children, which ensures parents peace of mind while their children are in the CROW program. Respect, care, empathy, trust and integrity are core values in our interactions with families.

We believe that our partnerships with our families help our programs to best meet the needs of the children:

The needs of each child are considered in the context of their family composition, values, culture, and language. This approach enriches relationships between early childhood settings, families, and their communities.

In addition to the daily interaction with program staff, we offer opportunities for parent feedback and involvement—such as surveys, board of directors, parent education and training workshops. We use parent input to improve our programs and services.

  1. Involving local community partners and allowing those partners to support the children, their families and staff.

CROW is committed to engaging with local community partners in supporting CROW children, families and staff.

We are active partners with Public Health, Preschool speech and language, Children’s Mental Health (Open Doors), education, Early Integration Program, libraries and other community resources.  We value the relationships we continue to build and believe that families are better served with integrated services.

  1. Caring, responsive, knowledgeable and reflective educators are essential to children’s early learning experiences.
  • CROW program staff are required to be registered with the College of ECE.
  • CROW Licensed Home Child Care providers have various skills and abilities to provide a stimulating learning environment for children.
  • All staff, providers, students and volunteers have completed a Vulnerable Sector Screen.
  • All staff and providers are required to have a valid standard first aid certification including infant and child CPR.
  • CROW staff are encouraged to participate in Professional Development and Continuous Learning activities.

At CROW, we believe that knowledgeable and responsive early educators:

  • Recognize that responding to the unique abilities, needs, and characteristics of each child, family, and community is central to supporting learning and development.
  • Engage with children as co-learners as they explore their environments.
  • Provoke children’s thinking, create meaningful programs, and guide interactions with children and their families.
  • Use a warm and positive approach to support children’s developing ability to express emotions and take other perspectives.
  • Know when to stand back and observe and when to enter children’s play to stimulate thinking.
  • Make a commitment to build self-awareness, regularly reflect on practices and engage in new learning experiences, both individually and with colleagues.

Formal professional learning is vital, but we also know that the most central professional growth happens day-to-day, as our staff co-learns with children and each other as self-reflective professionals.

  1. Documenting and reviewing the impact of the strategies set out (above) on the children and their families.

At CROW, we understand that pedagogical documentation is a way for our program staff to learn.

The purpose of our documentation is also:

  • A way to value children’s experiences and help them to reflect back on those experiences and what they have been learning.
  • An opportunity to make children’s learning and understanding of the world visible—to themselves, to other children, to their parents and other families, to the program staff.
  • A way to reflect on developmental growth over a period of time.
  • A process for program staff to co-plan with children about learning.

Parent Involvement, Communication, Issues or Concerns

We practice open communication between parents, providers, children and CROW.  We believe honest, open communication is the best tool for problem solving. We also welcome you to attend our events for parents such as our Parent Education Workshops, Annual Sprinkler Party and our Annual General Meeting.

If you have a child related concern you should speak directly with your child care provider.  If you are not satisfied that your concern is being fully addressed you should speak with the Home Visitor/Executive Director.

If you have a provider related concern you should speak either to the provider directly or to the Home Visitor. The Home Visitor/Executive Director can facilitate a meeting with the parent and the provider to discuss any unresolved concerns, if applicable.

If you have an administrative or financial concern you should speak with the Home Visitor who, if cannot answer your questions, will direct you to either CROW’s Bookkeeper or the Executive Director.

Parent Issues and Concerns Policy

Purpose – The purpose of this policy is to provide a transparent process for parents, the home child care agency licensee and staff to use when parents bring forward issues/concerns.

Policy – Parents are encouraged to take an active role in our home child care agency and regularly discuss what their child(ren) are experiencing with our staff and home child care providers.  As supported by our program statement, we support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, child care providers and staff, and foster the engagement of and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children. Our home visitors are available to engage parents in conversations and support a positive experience during every interaction. All issues and concerns raised by parents are taken seriously by CROW Licensed Home Child Care and will be addressed. Every effort will be made to address and resolve issues and concerns to the satisfaction of all parties and as quickly as possible.  Issues/concerns may be brought forward verbally or in writing. Responses and outcomes will be provided verbally, or in writing upon request. The level of detail provided to the parent will respect and maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved.  An initial response to an issue or concern will be provided to parents within three business days. The person who raised the issue/concern will be kept informed throughout the resolution process.  Investigations of issues and concerns will be fair, impartial and respectful to all parties involved.

Confidentiality – Every issue and concern will be treated confidentially and every effort will be made to protect the privacy of parents, children, home child care providers, other persons in the home child care premises, staff, students and volunteers, except when information must be disclosed for legal reasons (e.g. to the Ministry of Education, College of Early Childhood Educators, law enforcement authorities or to a Family & Children’s Service (formerly Children’s Aid Society).

Conduct – Our agency maintains high standards for positive interaction, communication and role-modeling for children. Harassment and discrimination will therefore not be tolerated from any party.  If at any point a parent, home child care provider and/or staff feels uncomfortable, threatened, abused or belittled, they may immediately end the conversation and report the situation to the home child care agency head office.

Concerns about the Suspected Abuse or Neglect of a Child – Everyone, including members of the public and professionals who work closely with children, is required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. If a parent expresses concerns that a child is being abused or neglected, the parent will be advised to contact the local Family & Children’s Services (F&CS of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville)) directly. Persons who become aware of such concerns are also responsible for reporting this information to F&CS as per the “Duty to Report” requirement under the Child and Family Services Act.

For more information, visit http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/childrensaid/reportingabuse/index.asp

Abuse

The term “child abuse” covers four major conditions: physical abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect and emotional abuse.

At CROW, the safety of your children in the providers’ care is very important. Therefore, we take child abuse and the duty to report suspected abuse very seriously. We also are concerned that people deal with allegations of abuse in a responsible manner.

In the instance where the allegations are against a Provider or Staff of CROW, CROW will follow the lead of Family & Children’s Services. This may involve temporary closure of a Provider or cessation of work duties for a staff member.

Criminal Record Check Policy

As an organization providing direct service to children, Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW) requires a criminal record check, specifically, a Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC) to be conducted of all persons who have contact with the program clientèle. This is in keeping with the PVSC requirements of the Child Care and Early Years Act which requires all organizations serving vulnerable persons, such as children, to have a criminal record check policy in place.

Staff, Students, Volunteers

CROW requires all successful external candidates for full- and part-time positions, student placements and all volunteers who will have contact with the children in care, to provide a Police Vulnerable Sector Check.  A new check must be completed every five years; Offence Declaration forms shall be completed on an annual basis on the years between and completed within 15 days of the anniversary date of signing.  All offers of employment, placements and volunteer work are conditional on the results of the PVSC.  A positive check does not necessarily preclude a person from CROW employment or volunteer service.  The nature and circumstances surrounding the charges and conviction will be taken into account.  Checks are not required for employees making a move within CROW. Preferably, an employee/volunteer will not have access to individuals that CROW support until the results of the check are known.  If circumstances require otherwise, the person will be carefully supervised.  CROW reserves the right to terminate the relationship with the employee/student/volunteer if the results of the check indicate that a person’s behaviour might pose a risk to pose a safety risk to CROW program clientele.

Home Child Care Providers

All providers and any members of the household who are over the age of 19 are required to undergo Police Vulnerable Sector Checks initially and every 5 years, thereafter.  Under the CCEYA, they are also required to complete annual Offence Declarations.  A Family & Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville check is also required for anyone residing in the home over the age of 16.

Confidentiality

All information that is shared, verbal or written by the parent of a child in care or a provider is to be understood as being “private and personal” and will remain confidential.

Such information to be considered confidential includes:

  • Information about children who are/were enrolled in the program with the exception to reporting alleged abuse as well as information that is subpoenaed by the court
  • Information about families of children who are/were enrolled in the program
  • Personal information about staff/providers

A Program Advisor from the Ministry of Education may review the children’s files as needed for the licensing process as authorized under the CCEYA.

All information and files including child, staff and provider files are confidential and only the Executive Director and Home Child Care staff have access to such files which are kept secure.

Staff, employed by CROW and providers contracted to CROW as well as students and volunteers are to abide by this policy. Confidentiality agreements are signed by staff, providers, students and volunteers.

Supervision of Children

The Child Care and Early Years Act stipulates that every licensee (CROW) shall ensure that every child who is in attendance in a private home child care program is supervised by an adult at all times.

CROW requires:

  • No child will be supervised by a person under 18 years of age
  • Although there may be times that a child is left in the presence of an adult that resides or visits the home, direct unsupervised access is not permitted unless the adult is CROW approved.
  • Volunteers and students are not counted as CROW approved adults. All volunteers and students must have Police Vulnerable Sector Checks, sign CROW’S Oath of Confidentiality, review the Program Statement, any Individual Anaphylaxis/Individualized Plans, Emergency procedures and any other applicable CROW Licensed Home Child Care policies and procedures before entering the home.

Waitlist Policy

Policy – CROW will not charge or collect a fee or deposit for the placement of a child on a waiting list for admission to CROW Licensed Home Child Care.

Purpose – To ensure that parents and providers are made aware that CROW does not charge to place a child on a waiting list and to outline waitlist procedures.

Responsibility – CROW is responsible for creating awareness with parents and providers that there is no charge for placement on the waitlist for home child care.

Procedure – CROW will notify parents inquiring about childcare that there is no charge for placement on the waitlist for home child care.  CROW will collect daycare fees after children are placed in a provider’s home.  Once a child care application is received from a parent, the family is automatically placed on the CROW waitlist.  Parents are informed about the waitlist process – how soon they will be contacted and how likely a space will arise for their specific child care needs.  A home child care waitlist does not conform to a typical “first come, first serve” waitlist format that a daycare centre would use. For the most part a centre has one location, one set of operating hours and larger group sizes, making it a simpler process. CROW has many daycare homes throughout the County, each home unique with each home child care provider setting their own hours of operation and programming styles.  When a space becomes available – it would have to be a suitable fit regarding several factors for the family at the top of the list in order for it to be filled- for example – the space must be in the geographical area that is convenient for the family, hours of care required must match the provider’s operating hours, how many days or which days a week required must match what is available, ratios must be met (no more than 2 children allowed in one home under the age of two), parental preferences (programming styles, provider experience, special needs accommodation, no pets in the home, etc.) must all be taken into consideration.  Regardless of the intricacies of the aforementioned factors every effort shall be made to inform parents of their child’s position on the relevant waitlist if possible to be ascertained.  The privacy and confidentiality of any and all families on a CROW waitlist shall be maintained at all times. 

III.       THE PLACEMENT

The Intake

When your completed application has been received you will receive notification of its receipt and your child(ren) will be placed on our wait list.  A parent handbook will also be sent to you.  We will let you know when we expect to have a space available to offer you – typically within 6-8 weeks ahead of your start date. There are many variables that affect the availability of spaces and the ease with which a suitable space can be found for a family.  Never hesitate to contact us with questions about the process in your particular case. We will contact you when a space becomes available and review your child care needs fully to endeavour to place your child successfully. It is important to verify the days and hours of care required, any specific needs (allergies, routine, no pets in the home, diet restrictions, etc.) and any specific qualities in a provider that you are looking for.

The Match Visit

In order to introduce you to a suitable provider we will make available to you a provider’s contact information and you can set up a match visit at a time mutually agreeable with your family and the provider.  The provider and the home will be approved before you embark on a “match visit”, and we will also have discussed the proposed home with you.  Your decision about where to place your child will be based on these visits.

You and your child(ren) will feel more comfortable in a home child care situation if the provider’s expectations are similar to yours and if daily routines are handled in a similar fashion.  Therefore, it is important for you to think about the following before the arrangement is finalized:

  • Do you feel comfortable entrusting the care of your child to this provider?
  • Will you be able to communicate easily with her about the care of your child?
  • What is her reaction to your child? To other children?  To her own children?
  • How does she set limits?
  • Are the nutritional habits and eating schedules agreeable to you?
  • What kind of activities will she provide for the children?
  • Does she seem flexible and spontaneous with the child or more structured? How does this fit in with your preference for your child?

Once you have found a provider you are comfortable with, you simply contact us and we follow up with part two of the intake process where we meet with you and fully explain our program, answer any questions you may have, as well as complete paperwork in order to finalize your child’s registration with CROW Licensed Home Child Care.

The First Days

It is important for your child(ren) to be prepared for this new experience of being cared for in someone else’s home. For this reason your child(ren’s) presence at the match visit is very important.  Some children require more than one visit to enable them to feel comfortable and trusting in a new environment.  Initial “warm up” visits may be arranged prior to the day you require full time care.

It should be explained to your child(ren) that they will be staying there to play, eat, and rest while you are at work/school.  Your child may feel more relaxed if allowed to take along a toy or “treasure” for the first few days of care in a new child care home.

When a child is first separated from their parents, it is very normal to cry or fuss.  It is very important to the child that the parent who is leaving says “goodbye” and also says they will return.  Time concepts for young children are best described by the activities experienced.  For example, the parent might say, “I’ll pick you up shortly after you have had your afternoon snack”.

The first two weeks of care is considered a trial period.  During the trial period, parent and provider have a chance to decide upon the suitability of the match.

Follow Up

After a child has been placed with a provider, and has completed a “settling in” period of four to six weeks the Home Visitor will check in with you to see how you feel things are going and give you a chance to discuss any concerns you may have relating to the care situation.

We will also ensure the contracted drop-off and pick-up times are appropriate for you.  It is of utmost importance that parents respect the fact that although providers don’t physically leave their place of work at the end of the day, they are not available to care for children after the agreed upon pick-up times.

Mutual support

Home child care is a partnership arrangement between parents, provider and CROW, to ensure the best possible environment for the children and worry free days at work/school for you, the parents.

The CROW Home Visitor will be visiting the home regularly to ensure your provider is following the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA), and to supply support and resources.  The Home Visitor will document these visits and will contact you periodically to discuss how your child is doing and address any questions or concerns you may have at that time.  You know your child best, and see the provider daily, so we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

THE PARTNERSHIP

As a parent with Children’ Resources on Wheels Licensed Home Child Care, you will be part of a “partnership” that will ensure quality child care for your child. By working together, everyone in this partnership can ensure

the needs of the children are being met.  The following are the responsibilities of each “partner”:

Provider’s Responsibilities

  • The Provider cares for the children placed in her home and provides for their emotional, social, physical and intellectual needs by planning activities that are developmentally appropriate and comply with the Child Care and Early Years Act. The provider will communicate to parents any changes in the child’s health and well-being.
  • The Provider will consult with parents regarding their menu plans, supplying your child the agreed upon meals and snacks as outlined in your contracted day. These meals will comply with the nutrition requirements as set out in Canada’s Food Guide. Children under one year of age are fed in accordance with written instructions supplied by a parent.  Any food or drink brought to the provider’s home by a parent must be labelled with the child’s name.
  • The Provider agrees to comply with all requirements and expectations stipulated in the Child Care and Early Years Act and CROW Policies and Procedures. Failure to comply may result in termination of their contract with CROW Licensed Home Child Care.
  • The Provider is responsible for the children from the time they arrive at her home, until they leave. If the children walk alone between the provider’s home and school, bus or home, the parents are responsible for them during this time.
  • Children will not be allowed to walk home on their own without written permission signed by parents and provider (Outdoor Supervision Plan). A copy will be kept on file at CROW.
  • Children may not be left in the care of a person who has not been approved by CROW. In the case where a provider must temporarily leave her home as a result of an unforeseen emergency, she will ensure the parents are notified and there is a capable adult (18 or over) available to care for the children in her absence.
  • The Provider agrees to allow the CROW Home Visitor access for her regular visits and to work with her to provide developmental activities for the children placed in her care.
  • The Provider agrees not to give a child any medication without prior written instructions from the parent (Medication Authorization form), along with any doctor’s instructions which may accompany the medication.
  • In the event of an accident or illness that requires medical attention, the provider agrees to immediately obtain emergency medical assistance for the child (911), and notify the child’s parent(s). In the instance of a life-threatening accident or illness, once the child has been cared for, the provider agrees to contact CROW as soon as possible and fill out a serious occurrence form describing the incident.
  • The Provider will record the attendance of all the children in her care daily and ask parents to sign her invoice weekly. The Provider will send her invoice to CROW on a weekly basis.
  • The Provider must inform the parents and CROW as soon as possible when:
    • she is ill or unable to care for the children
    • she plans to be temporarily unavailable to provide care
    • she plans to move
    • any other CROW approved adult will be caring for the children
    • she plans to cease caring for children
    • any changes in the living arrangements of the provider’s home (e.g. Boarders, etc.)
  • The Provider will be responsible for, and take care of, any equipment loaned to her from CROW and complete a daily safety check of indoor and outdoor equipment.
  • The Provider will not provide care through private arrangements for children registered with or already placed by CROW. Failure to comply with this responsibility may void the contract between CROW and the Provider.
  • The Provider will advise CROW of her intention to end her association with CROW one month in advance.
  • The Provider understands she is required to complete Standard First-Aid and CPR – Level C (including infant and child CPR) training and will be required to re-certify every three years as regulated under the CCEYA.

Parent’s Responsibilities

Parents are encouraged to respect the work of their child care provider and to, as much as possible, work cooperatively with her in providing the best care possible for each child.  Parent responsibilities therefore include:

  • Agreeing to comply with the hours of child care they have contracted with their provider.
  • When a parent will be late or requires overtime, parents are expected to contact their provider to see if she is available to work beyond her normal hours. Parents are responsible for the overtime arrangements if the provider is unavailable.  Parents must accept and respect the fact that the provider has a right to charge a fee for overtime services or bill another category of care as outlined in CROW’s fee schedule.
  • The need to inform their provider as soon as possible when:
    • a child is ill or will be absent;
    • someone other than the parent is picking up the child.  If a third party is involved in the pick up or delivery of your child, the parent’s prior authorization must be in writing (person listed on the Emergency form as an adult allowed to pick up the child).  Identification will be required before the provider will release your child to anyone unknown to the provider.
  • Being available to verify and sign the provider’s invoice every week, confirming their child’s schedule and that they are responsible for the amount billed as per the invoice.
  • Agreeing to notify the provider and CROW of any change in contact information (home/ e-mail addresses, home/work telephone numbers). Parents of school age children should inform the school of the provider’s name, address and telephone number.  Parent must also inform their provider of any school professional activity days when their child will be requiring full day care.
  • Understanding and respecting that, during pick up and drop off time, parents remain responsible for their child while they are present at the provider’s home. Providers are responsible for the children only after they arrive at their home and until they leave.
  • Being aware that, for reasons of safety, children will not be allowed to walk home on their own without written permission signed by the parent. Permission kept on file by provider and a copy kept by CROW (Outdoor Supervision Plan).   If the children walk alone to and from the provider’s home or school, the parent is responsible for them during this time.
  • Agreeing to keep the child at home if he/she has an infection or serious illness which could infect others in the provider’s home or if a child is too sick to take part in regular indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Signing medical consent forms and supplying the provider with written instructions before expecting a provider to administer medication to their child (complete a Medication Authorization form. Providers will have blank copies for a parent’s use).
  • Supplying a change of clothing and appropriate clothing for current weather conditions for the child to wear while in care.
  • Informing the provider of any allergies, special dietary or eating problems of the child. In case of special diets, the parent is responsible to supply the food and provide information of the child’s dietary needs in writing.
  • In the case of infants, supplying baby food, formula, diapers, wipes and written instructions for feeding the child. When the child begins eating regular table food, the provider will supply this food unless substantially different from food normally served in her home.  The transition must be discussed between the provider and the parent and recorded on the infant feeding schedule which will be returned to CROW, signed by the parent, on the completion of the transition.
  • Discussing progress and/or concerns regarding the child or the child care arrangement with the provider and/or CROW.
  • Agreeing to respect that the child care provider is a valuable resource to CROW and therefore not making any private child care arrangements with the provider.
  • Agreeing to give CROW and the provider at least two weeks’ notice of termination of care with a provider and one week’s notice for a reduction of services.

CROW Responsibilities

Initially, CROW Licensed Home Child care will introduce the family and the provider to one another and coordinate the placement of the child in the provider’s home.  A Home Visitor will then make regular, unscheduled visits to support the provider and monitor the home.  Every third month a complete health and safety check of the home and outdoor environment will be done to ensure CCEYA standards continue to be met. During her visits, the Home Visitor may bring activities or ideas of activities for the provider to use with the children.  She will be available to discuss concerns and problems relating to all aspects of the care of the children.  In addition, her responsibilities include:

  • Drawing upon her knowledge and expertise, the Home Visitor may lend material to assist the provider in developing her child care skills. This may include lending of relevant books, resources and information regarding workshops and courses.
  • While respecting budget limitations, lending appropriate equipment (e.g. safety gates, playpens, booster seats, strollers).
  • CROW will facilitate conflict resolution if required by meeting with parents and/or providers to discuss and resolve contentious situations.
  • If required, regularly communicating with the parents to discuss each child’s development and needs.
  • Assisting the provider to plan meals which meet good nutritional standards and provide information in food handling preparation.
  • Being a resource about how to create learning environments and programming that helps support children’s self-regulation—to help children remain or return to a state of calm. This may be in the form of direct help or through referral to another agency.
  • Upon request by the parent, and subject to the availability of a suitable provider, arranging alternate care during times when the child’s regular provider is unavailable to provide care.

 

V. ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

A.  Statutory Holidays

CROW recognizes the following statutory holidays:  New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, August Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

For example, if your child is normally in care on Mondays, you will pay for Thanksgiving Monday even though the provider will not be providing care. On the other hand, if your child is not normally in care on Saturday and Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, you will not pay for Christmas Day.

B. Vacation

Scheduling your vacation:

Parents are required to give providers 2 weeks’ notice of vacation time in writing. As CROW Providers are contracted to and not employed by CROW they are not reimbursed for sick days or holiday time taken.

Changing or canceling your vacation:

Your spot is guaranteed for the time of scheduled vacation only if you advise us of any change 2 weeks before your scheduled vacation. If you cannot give 2 weeks notice, we will try to make arrangements with your usual provider or attempt to find alternate care. In any event, you have to notify your provider 48 hours in advance to ensure that the provider can comply with the CCEYA.

Payment

CROW requires a 2-week payment in advance based on a signed contract prior to your child starting care.  This deposit will be applied to your child’s last two weeks in care.

Full Fee payment policy:

There is no charge for placement on the waitlist for home child care.  CROW will collect parent fees after children are placed in a provider’s home.

Fees are payable every two weeks by pre-authorized debit.  Payments must be made every two weeks according to the schedule provided.    

Payment is required for all contracted days which include the child’s sick days, statutory holidays, and child’s holidays when child would normally be in care.  Payment is not required when the provider is unavailable to give child care.  Receipts for fees paid will be sent to parents once a year.

Subsidy:

Parents may access child care fee subsidy as CROW is a licensed agency.  Subsidy is available through Lanark County Children’s Services and parents should contact their office at 613-267-4200 ext. 2304 if they would like to see if they are eligible. (For parents who reside in the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville, the contact number is 613-342-3840 ext. 2361).

Parents receiving subsidy are required to sign pre-authorized debits for any portion of the child care costs for which they are responsible.  Fees are payable every two weeks by pre-authorized debit.  These must be paid every two weeks according to the schedule provided.

Any changes to your work or school schedule must be reported to the subsidy office as soon as possible to ensure coverage for these changes. Lanark County Children’s Services will pay for days a child is absent up to the maximum of 25 days per calendar year. This will be pro-rated for a child who is scheduled for less than 5 days per week.  Any absentee days beyond this limit without written permission from the subsidy office is the parent’s responsibility and you will be billed directly.

Overdue Accounts:

As a non-profit program we depend on parents fulfilling their financial obligations promptly and willingly.  In order to maintain our fees at an affordable level for the majority who do pay their fees regularly we have no alternative but to take the following measures for overdue accounts.

-An interest charge may be added to all overdue child care accounts (over 30 days in arrears) based on the previous month’s balance, calculated at a rate of 1.25% per month (15% per annum), not compounded.

-there will be a $35.00 charge for NSF payments

-if your fees are not paid in full by the end of each month, we reserve the right to terminate                   your contract with CROW with 24 hours’ notice.

Withdrawal, Termination, Cancellation, Reduction of Services

If you wish to withdraw your child from the program, we require a minimum of *two weeks written notice.  Regular fees will be charged until the date for which two weeks’ notice was given.  *Except if care is terminated by either parent or provider, within the first two weeks of care (trial period).  During the trial period, parent and provider have a chance to decide upon the suitability of the match.

If CROW Home Child Care finds it necessary to have your child withdrawn from a Provider’s home for any reason, except non payment of fees, two weeks’ notice will be given. 

If you require a reduction of service (your schedule changes and you will require fewer days/hours) we require a minimum of one week’s written notice.   Regular fees will be charged until the date for which one week’s notice was given.

Alternate Care

CROW will attempt to provider an alternate provider when your provider is unavailable.  However, parents should always have a back-up person of their own in case we are unable to find an alternative space for your child.  If your provider informs you that they will not be available to provide care and you would like CROW to attempt to find alternate care for your child please contact CROW promptly.

Your child’s ability to adjust to an alternative care situation depends upon their age, stage of development, and personality.  If you expect that alternate care may be upsetting for your child, then you may prefer to make your own back-up care arrangements.

The provider must inform the parents and CROW any time a child is left with an alternative provider. Children may never be left under the supervision of someone who is not an approved CROW provider, unless the parents have arranged their own alternate care outside of our responsibility.

Scheduled Users

We recognize that some careers function with a weekly schedule with varying days each week.  Our policy is a minimum of 2 billable days contracted per week.  A provider may/may not agree to guarantee additional space with some flexibility for a fee as outlined in CROW’s fee schedule. There is no exchange of agreed/contracted days.   The parents are responsible for payment of days booked but not used. We do not exchange statutory holidays for another day.  Should you wish to do this it will be dependent upon availability of space and an additional daily rate will apply.  This can be discussed at intake and at the match visit.

C.PROGRAM INFORMATION

A. Meals

Nutritious meals and snacks are provided as per CCEYA requirements – namely following Canada’s Food Guide.  Infants are fed as per a parent’s written instruction. Infant meals are supplied by the parent (i.e. formula, baby food, homogenized milk). Safe food handling/preparation is practiced, and providers receive information and training opportunities.

All food, brought to the provider’s home by parents for their child, must be labelled with the child’s name.  If a child has severe allergies, a provider may declare her home to be free of certain products e.g. “nut-free home”.  In this case all day care parents will be asked to respect this health hazard by ensuring that their children do not take the banned food into the home. Parents are required to supply food when a special diet is required or preferred. Written intention of supplying their child’s food is required.

Equipment Lending

CROW will lend the provider infant and toddler equipment e.g.  playpens, gates, double strollers, cots, booster seats, baby monitors, etc., if required and subject to availability. For safety reasons, as recommended by CHEO, the following equipment will not be allowed to be used for children in care through CROW:

  • jolly jumpers
  • baby walkers
  • water beds for children under six years of age 

Field Trips/Daily Outings

Providers are encouraged to involve the children in daily outings (e.g. walks, playgroup, library, park) and special field trips (outside the local community). These will be discussed at the Match Visit. Parents will be required to give written permission to allow their children to participate in field trips.

Program Development

CROW works with the provider in creating and implementing developmentally appropriate programming.  CROW also, delivers program activities/supplies to each provider from time to time when funding is available.  CROW encourages and supports providers in the development of quality assurance activities.  Providers are encouraged to participate in professional development activities and are provided with information and opportunities.  Providers are required to have valid Standard First Aid and CPR-Level C and to re-certify every three years as stipulated under the regulations in the CCEYA.

Outdoor Play Supervision

Parents are required to view the daycare home’s outdoor play space, which has been approved by CROW, as well as discuss any local parks, playgroups, play dates etc. the provider may take the children to at the Match Visit.  Children under the age of six years old must be constantly physically supervised by the provider during outdoor play.  An Outdoor Supervision Plan for children over the age of six may be developed between the parent and provider.  For example, the parent and provider may agree that an eight-year-old child may play in the provider’s fenced in backyard on their own within visual/audio distance of the provider.  This agreed upon plan requires documentation and sign off by all parties as regulated under the CCEYA.

Swimming:  No child under six years old who receives home child care at the premises is permitted to use or have access to any standing or recreational body of water on the premises. CROW may consider the allowance for children who are six years old or older who receive home child care at a provider’s home to use or have access to a standing or recreational body of water at the premises, if the provider can ensure that, at all times when the children use or have access to the body of water, a lifeguard is present, however, CROW providers who have lifeguard certification will not be eligible to act as a lifeguard during operating hours.

Sleep Policy

CROW will ensure that a child who is younger than 12 months who receives child care in a provider’s home is placed for sleep (on their back) in a manner consistent with the recommendations set out in the document entitled “Joint Statement on Safe Sleep:  Preventing Sudden Infant Deaths in Canada”, published by Public Health Agency of Canada, as amended from time to time, unless a child’s physician recommends otherwise in writing.  Children under 18 months may sleep in a cradle, crib or playpen – children over 18 months will sleep on a cot or bed. Each child will have their own bedding.  Sleeping children will be checked on periodically by the provider during their naptime.

Car Seats

On any outings which require use of a vehicle, a car seat, provided by the parent, must have a “Canadian Highway Traffic Act” certified sticker. 

Non-Smoking Policy

To provide a healthy and comfortable environment for children, smoking is not permitted in a Home Day Care setting at any time under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2005 and the CCEYA. 

Prohibitive Practices

CROW forbids physical punishment and other harmful disciplinary practices to protect the emotional and physical well-being of children.  These practices are never permitted by CROW, at a home child care premises or at other premises, where children are being cared for by the home child care provider.  Providers must use positive methods to guide the children’s behaviour.  It is important for providers dealing with children on a daily basis to have enjoyment and a respect for each child as an individual.

The Home Visitor will discuss, with the provider, appropriate approaches that encourage positive interactions with other children and with adults, rather than from a negative or punitive approach to managing unwanted behaviour.  Under the CCEYA providers are required to sign and review CROW’s Program Statement (see page 4 in Parent Handbook).

According to the CCEYA the following methods of child management are not acceptable by provider, any persons residing or visiting the daycare home, staff, students, volunteers, or parents and are deemed Prohibitive Practices:

  1. corporal punishment (which may include but is not limited to, hitting, spanking, slapping, pinching);
  2. physical restraint of children, including but not limited to confining to highchair, car seat etc. for discipline or in lieu of supervision unless for the purposes described in the regulation (to prevent self-harm, harm to others and only until risk of harm/injury is no longer imminent).
  3. locking the exits of the home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency
  4. use of harsh, degrading measures, threats or derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, share or frighten the child or undermine their self-respect, dignity or self-worth
  5. depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
  6. inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.

If you have any concerns regarding prohibitive practices, please contact the Home Visitor immediately.

D  Serious Occurrence Policy

CROW is required to notify the Ministry of Education within 24 hours of any Serious Occurrence (a life-threatening injury to or a life-threatening illness of a child; an unplanned disruption of the normal operations of the child care home that poses a risk to the health, safety or well-being of children receiving care, etc.).  Providers notify and submit information to CROW.  CROW in turn files the information with the Ministry.  A non-identifying notice of the serious occurrence is posted at the provider’s home for a period of ten business days. 

Health Guidelines

Our health regulations stipulate that the only medication to be given to children is prescribed by a doctor or an over the counter medication that is recommended by a doctor for a specific condition.  An exception to this is an over the counter fever reducing medication for infants (0-12 months) which may be supplied to your provider. A medication authorization form must be filled out with the particulars before any medication may be administered.  If a doctor places a child on an antibiotic, the child should not be brought to the provider’s home until he/she has been on the medication for at least 24 hours.

All medication is to be kept in its original container and inaccessible to children at all times.  A child may be permitted to carry their own inhaler or epi-pen.  These emergency medications, if not carried by a child shall be kept easily accessible, but still out of the reach of children.  All medication needs to have current dates.  Any medication that is expired will be returned for disposal and replacement.  No medication of any kind should be kept in the children’s bags.  This includes vitamins.

When is a baby or child too sick to be brought to the provider’s home?  If a child is too sick to take part in regular indoor and outdoor activities, he/she is too sick to be brought to the provider for care.  If children are well enough to attend, they are well enough to play outdoors (weather permitting).  Asthma:  children with severe asthma may be considered exceptions.  In order to protect your child and the other children in the home, guidelines outlining when to keep your child at home have been created for your clarification.

These guidelines are set out by the local District Health Unit. Please note the provider has the right to refuse, or request parents to pick up, any child who shows any of the following symptoms.

High fever – Underarm temperature greater than 38.5⁰C (101⁰F) and/or signs of communicable disease.

Diarrhea – (watery or green bowel movement that looks different and are much more frequent than usual) -exclude from care until child has had normal bowel movements for at least 24 hours.

Rashes – unidentifiable rashes must be diagnosed by a physician before returning to care.

Roseola – exclude until advised by a physician.

Vomiting– (in the case of infants more than the usual “spitting up”.)

Procedures and Information regarding communicable diseases:

Chickenpox:  exclude until child is able to take part in regular activities.

German Measles (Rubella): exclude until 7 days after the rash starts.

Impetigo:  exclude for at least 24 hours following beginning of appropriate oral antibiotics or until sores are completely scabbed over.  N.B.: Creams or lotions are not acceptable treatments by themselves.  Medical certificate required for re-entry.

Measles:  exclude until 4 days after the appearance of the rash.

Pediculosis (Head Lice): child may return after treatment and is nit free.

Conjunctivitis – an eye infection commonly referred to as “pink eye”.  The eye is generally red or             pink with some burning and there is a thick yellow, white, or clear discharge.

Purulent conjunctivitis – exclude until seen by a physician and on antibiotic drops or ointment for 24 hours if diagnosed to be bacterial or possibly bacterial.

Non-purulent conjunctivitis – exclude only if the child will not wash hands carefully after touching affected eyes.

Ring Worm: exclude until treatment has been started. Medical certificate required for re-entry.

Scabies:  exclude until after treatment has been completed.  Medical certificate required for re-entry.

Strep Throat and Scarlet Fever: exclude until 24 hours of adequate and effective medication has been taken, provided that the medication is continued for 10 days.

Whooping Cough: exclude until 5 days, after the beginning of antibiotic treatment or until 3 weeks have passed since the start of the illness.

Other communicable diseases – re-entry as recommended by the latest Health Unit guidelines.

Providers are asked to contact CROW when children in their care exhibit symptoms of ill health or if anyone in their home contracts a communicable disease, such as chicken pox, mumps, or measles. A child’s symptoms of ill health are recorded and kept on file by the Provider and CROW.

Parents will be notified, by Provider/CROW of any reportable communicable diseases that their child may have been exposed to. Providers and CROW staff are encouraged to refrain from working should they be unwell and are required to report communicable diseases, as well. Providers are provided with information and training in universal precautions and personal care routines such as diaper changing and hand washing.

Anaphylaxis Policy:

All children with severe allergies which require possible use of an Epi-pen must have an “Individual Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan” completed by the parent and the child’s physician.  The parent is responsible to clarify and inform CROW and the provider of all allergens, symptoms and reactions particular to their child as stated on the individual plan. A parent is to train the provider on how to use the Epi-pen.  The child’s Individual Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan must be reviewed by the provider, all persons ordinarily resident in the daycare home, the Home Visitor, any student or volunteer on placement at the home.

Immunization:

All children are to be immunized as recommended by the local medical officer of health before they are admitted to the Provider’s home.  A copy of the child’s immunization form is expected to be submitted at intake.  Children who are in attendance at a school within the meaning of the Education Act are not required to submit a copy of their records.

Where the parent of the child objects on the grounds that the immunization conflicts with the sincerely held convictions of the parent’s religious beliefs or conscience or a legally qualified medical practitioner gives medical reason as to why the child should not be immunized.  In such cases of exemption, the parent is required to complete the appropriate Ministry form.

Health and Safety/Safe Water:

Providers are expected to follow universal precautions in their homes in relation to the health and well-being of the children in their care, therefore maintaining sanitary and safe conditions in their environment.  Home visitors monitor homes regularly for these practices.  If basic requirements are not being met, closure of a home may result after verbal and written warnings. Providers who live in rural areas are required to test their home water supply every six months and provide CROW with the results.  A negative test may be reportable as a serious occurrence.

Clothing

Every child must have at least one full change of clothing to be kept at the daycare home.  The age of the child and the stage of development will determine their needs for extra clothing (infants and toddlers in the midst of toilet training will obviously require more supplies!).  Varied activities with sensory experiences include “messy play”, so no good/expensive clothes please.  We cannot guarantee they won’t get dirty, stained, or damaged.

Providers are required by the CCEYA to provide daily outdoor play, weather permitting.  Please ensure that your child is appropriately dressed for all weather conditions.  Discomfort interferes with a child’s enjoyment of outdoor gross motor activities.  We recommend the following items seasonally:

Summer:  Sun hat, sunscreen, t-shirts and shorts, sneakers (safer on outdoor play equipment than flip flops or flimsy sandals).

Spring and Fall:  Jacket, hat, sweater, raincoat, splash pants, boots & mitts.

Winter:  Warm clothes to include a toque, 2 pairs of mitts**, boots, coat and snow pants, **long, warm socks can work well for little ones in place of mittens. 

Human Rights Policy / Inclusion

CROW believes that everyone; staff, providers, parents, children and volunteers have the right to be treated with dignity. The Human Rights Code states that every person has the right to freedom from discrimination based on; race, sex, place of origin, creed, handicap, sexual orientation, and age. All staff, providers, parents and children have the right to be free from harassment, slurs and jokes in the workplace on the grounds of the above.

CROW staff, providers and parents will be investigated by the Executive Director/Board for allegations into misconduct related to this policy. Termination of contract may result from confirmation of allegations.

CROW believes that each child is unique, and in partnership with families and providers, we are committed to meeting the developmental/educational needs of all children.  In order to facilitate the planning that may be required for children with special needs, we encourage parents to share any special requirements during the intake process.  An individualized support plan will be developed in conjunction with parents, provider and any health professional with knowledge of the child’s specific needs in order to support the child’s participation in the child care program.

CROW will make every effort to find suitable providers for children with special needs.  Assistance from available community programs such as the Lanark Early Integration Program for example, are accessible and welcomed into the Parent/Provider/CROW partnership in providing appropriate care for children with special needs.

All children and their families will be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.  In the instance where CROW and/or a provider is having difficulty adequately meeting a child’s needs, having exhausted all resource avenues available, notice of withdrawal will follow the same guidelines as outlined in the Parent/Provider/CROW contract.  This applies to a parent’s withdrawal from the program as well, in the event that they feel the program is not a good match for their child.

Change of Provider

 When a provider does not follow the CCEYA, her association with CROW will be reassessed.  If, in the sole opinion of CROW Licensed Home Child Care the provider does not meet the requirements of the Child Care and Early Years Act, CROW policies and/or fails to provide a level of care and environment acceptable to CROW, the Provider’s association with CROW may be discontinued and, subject to availability, you will be offered a space in another child care home.

Questions or concerns:

The role of the staff at CROW Licensed Home Child Care is to be a resource to both parents and providers. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us: 613-283-0095

Executive Director:           Sue Cavanagh           Extension 303          scavanagh@crowlanark.com

Home Visitor:                     Janice Kelly            Extension 306          janice@crowlanark.com

Bookkeeper:                   Peggy Lavigueur          Extension 302         plavigueur@crowlanark.com

 

We look forward to helping you find quality care for your family.

Thank you for your interest in

CHILDREN’S RESOURCES ON WHEELS INC. (CROW)

Licensed Home Child Care  

Children's Resources on Wheels
EarlyON Child & Family Centre

4 Ross Street
Smiths Falls, ON K7A 4L5

Phone: 613-283-0095 extension 300 or
Toll Free: 1-800-267-9252 extension 300
Fax: 613-283-3324
Email: info@crowlanark.com

 

 

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