Wee People Handbook

Please note this is a home, as well as a daycare. Prospective parents must have an appointment for an interview. Thank you!

Ms. Bonnie’s Wee People * * Lic # 159207

2021 Parents’ Guide

The Parents’ Promise

(This is an abbreviated short list of the full detailed handbook below.)

  • Be respectful and have children be respectful of property, pets, me, and friends.
  • Have back-up plans for when I’m closed. Know the dates I’m closed. They will always be posted well in advance.
  • Pay tuition on time, and understand it’s due every week of the year regardless of attendance or scheduled closings.
  • Let me know if your child will not be here or if you’re running late to drop off.
  • Pick up before closing.
  • Never bring your child when sick. “Sick” is defined as not healthy – any symptom that is not typical, such as sore throat, headache, fever, running nose, coughing, rash, not feeling well, etc. And you must keep your child home until their symptoms are gone for 24 hours without medication. That means they must be home feeling well for at least one full day.
  • Know that attempting to mask illness with medicine is grounds for immediate termination. Absolutely no medicine for fevers.
  • Abide by the current covid requirements. I confer with our county health department as needed.
  • Provide 1) full changes of clothing that are seasonally appropriate, 2) proper shoes, 3) weather gear, and 4) diapers when needed.
  • Do not pick up or drop off during nap.
  • Be firm with your child, but no spanking here. Also no cussing, drinking, smoking or loud music in your car when children are present.
  • Never attempt to pick up your child while intoxicated.
  • No toys or items are to be brought in.
  • Understand children in daycare get bumps, scratches, and bruises in the normal course of life playing hard with a group of friends.
  • Fill out paperwork and sign paperwork as needed in a timely manner.
  • Let me know if you are having any issues. Come talk with me about any concerns. Please keep communication open.

Handbook and Contract

About

Hello and welcome to my child care home! My name is Bonnie. I have been working with children in various positions since 1990. I have been a licensed home daycare provider in Japan, Ft Meade, Howard County, and now in Anne Arundel County for 3 decades of teaching young children!  I have certification in first aid, CPR, SIDS, and training in child development, curriculum, and safety.  I have a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have also worked with the state department of social services, as an adolescent substance counselor, and as a contractor with the government for Family Advocacy with children.

To become a licensed daycare home, myself, each resident, and substitute was cleared with background investigations and medical evaluations. Also, our home has been thoroughly inspected by the county fire marshal and the office of childcare for safety and approved according to code. We spent a lot of time remodeling our home, and preparing it for family daycare.

Respect

I consider parents and myself to be a partnership. I spend 45 hours a week or so with your children, we see each other daily, and we all become fairly close. I expect respect at all times. Any intimidation, rudeness, disrespect, threatening, or arguing over these policies is grounds for immediate termination. Please read them and be sure you understand them before signing.

Pets

Our family includes animals that are healthy and immunized, including dogs, cats, chickens, and a sugar glider. All are rescues. However, only two cats and one dog, Lucy, have access to the childcare.  Animals teach children many things, including respect and responsibility and about birth, illness, and death. The animals are prohibited from food service, storage, and preparation areas. All waste is inaccessible. All the animals are healthy and immunized according to requirements. Children’s hands are always washed after visiting or handling pets. Children are never left alone with any pet. I teach that all animals are to be treated gently and with respect.

Philosophy

Children learn through play, while having fun in a safe environment. Studies show that the most dramatic growth occurs during a child’s first five years. In order for the brain to experience optimum growth, it is key to challenge children with increasingly complex and varied experiences while the child feels completely safe and secure. Mr. Rodgers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play really is the work of childhood.”  I offer a safe environment, with a variety of toys and tools, and I offer myself as a guide, a friend, and a role model to scaffold the children’s learning.  I also believe in being a life-long learner, and am constantly trying to improve myself so that I can positively influence the children.  My goal is a healthy, happy atmosphere for all, with great communication so we can meet one another’s needs and ensure the best for your child. Please always feel free to discuss any concerns. I promise to do my best to create a loving, respectful, safe environment for your child to play, sleep, and learn. I will always try to balance the needs of the whole group while being sensitive and responsive to the needs of each individual child.

Substitute

The substitutes are my daughter Alanna, family friend and resident Abbey, and neighbor Laura. Substitutes are fingerprinted, have background checks, and undergo health physicals. Substitutes allow the provider to keep appointments without having to close.

Back up care

When choosing Family Child Care it is imperative that you have reliable back up care available. In the event of my illness, vacation, or personal time off, it is the ultimate responsibility of the parent to arrange alternate care. I am reliable and will make the utmost effort to remain open when at all possible.

Closings

After 30 years of this, I know that my mental health is important and I require time off to get things done and relax, just like you do! Therefore, ….

Holidays:  I will be closed for the following PAID days each year–
1) Martin Luther King Jr. Day;
2) Presidents’ Day/Washington’s Birthday;
3) Good Friday;
4) Memorial Day and the Friday before
5) Independence Day and the Friday before
6) Labor Day and the Friday before
7) Columbus Day;
8) Veterans Day;
9,10) Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after;
11,12,13) three days for Christmas;
14, 15) two days for the New Year
Specific days will be posted in advance.

Sick, vacation, personal days:  Other than the holidays listed above, I take up to 7 paid personal days for vacation, training, or appointments, family activity, training, vacation, or personal days. I will try to provide a substitute so I don’t have to close for appointments. If I close, other than for sickness, I will give you two weeks notice so that you will have time to make alternative plans for care. In case of illness or emergency, I will call and notify you as soon as possible.

Loss of Power:  I’m not allowed to operate without basic utilities. If we lose power, I will notify you by text, post to facebook, and attempt to call. Please confirm you have received the message and pick your child up within the hour.
If we lose power overnight, I will contact you as early as I can.

Child absences

 Tuition is due year round, regardless of attendance. If you pay by the month or quarterly, one free week is factored in as an incentive for ages 2 and up.  Otherwise, full tuition is always due.  You are paying for the slot, similar to rent or cable, regardless of whether or not you use it, as I am limited to the number of slots I have by the state, and I must make a certain income to pay the bills and stay open. However, arrangements may be made for very special circumstances.  I do not make up any time for missed hours or days. If you are late in the morning, you cannot pick up late in the evening to make up for it.

Supplies

Parents Supply:  Parents must provide 1) change of clothing (seasonally appropriate and marked with child’s name), 2) outside weather appropriate jacket & shoes, 3) food for children on a special diet, 4) diapers or pull ups (see potty training policy).

* Dress your child in clothes you don’t mind if they get messy. Your child will play hard, get dirty, and will get clothes soiled with food, dirt from playing outside, markers from coloring, etc.
** Do not dress them with difficult buttons, snaps, etc.  If you do, I may change them into different clothes, (because older ones are encouraged to take their own pants on and off at changing time and they are rough on my fingers). Sweat pants are ideal.

Provider Supplies:  Meals, snacks, and wipes (fragrance free, sensitive).

Open door policy

I have an open door policy, which means parents with children in my care may visit to check on your child during the day. It does not mean my door is unlocked so that anyone may just walk in. Please knock, and wait patiently as I am busy with the children and it may take me a moment to get to the door. If you visit, please know your child will expect to leave with you. Also, visitors cause children to react in an excited manner that does not normally occur. There are no pick-up or drop-offs during naptime. You should arrange to pick your child up before or after nap so as not to disturb the other children. Always feel free to call or text to check up on your child.

Naps

All children have a rest time daily. The normal afternoon nap is 2 hours and is sometime between noon and three p.m. Rest is an important part of preschool children’s development. If your child has a special blanket or stuffed animal he/she sleeps with please feel free to send it along to stay here. Rest toys must be soft and quiet. See above for more info.

Discipline

All children engage in challenging behaviors at times and they all make mistakes. Discipline means to teach, not punish. This is a safe place, and there is no corporal punishment allowed in the home. Respect of the home and others is taught by positive commands – with “do” rather than “don’t” (ie: “walk” rather than “don’t run”, “be gentle” rather than “don’t hit”). It is always important to assess if behaviors are related to physical illness. Often, out of character behaviors might be the first warning sign of sickness. If not, discipline focuses on effective guidance. Examples of this include positive reinforcement (giving a high five or thumbs up for positive behavior), natural and logical consequences (not being able to play with a lost or abused toy), prevention and redirection (it’s not safe to pull a toy from a friend, let’s find another toy to play with), consistency, and firmness. It is important to work together with the family in a consistent manner to naturally decrease challenging behaviors.

Please be firm but do not give or threaten to give spankings, etc, in our home (or driveway). Please keep us posted of any behavior issues you are having at home ESPECIALLY any kind of physical or violent acting out. We will be happy to help with advice or work on the issues here. Do NOT use profanity while on the premises and especially not in front of the children.

TOUCH POLICY:  This is a family day care home and the children are treated as family. The children need adult physical contact for their care and healthy development. This contact can be described in three ways:

1). Nurturing: Holding, rocking, hugs and non-intimate kisses, hand holding, gentle tickling, caring and cuddling. This type of contact is never made against the wishes of the children.

2). Safety and Guidance: This includes restraining children from harmful situations, separating physically conflicting children, directing children by leading or guiding them and administering first aid to injuries.

3). Hygienic: This includes face and hand washing, assisting with bathroom duties (as appropriate to the age of the child), diaper changes, examining rashes or unusual marks, nose blowing, applying sun screen and assisting with or conducting necessary clothing changes.

It is also normal and healthy for little children to express affection with their peers. This includes hugs and kisses and hand holding. This type of contact is never made against the wishes of the children. I teach them to respect “no.”

Child abuse

Licensed daycare providers are mandated reporters. I am obligated to report any and all cases of suspected child abuse. This includes any suspected abuse or neglect including physical, emotional, medical, or sexual. Examples would be severe or unexplained bruising (note that spanking a child is not legally considered abuse, but leaving marks is) or leaving a child alone unattended.

Intoxication

Please do not pick your child up if you have been drinking. If you have been drinking have a relative or friend pick your child up. If you insist on leaving with your child when you appear to be under the influence, I am required to give your information to the police.

Technology/Media

We do not view passive technology. Videos are educational or celebrate special occasions. No technology is viewed during meals or snacks. Media with commercials for unhealthy food or drinks is not allowed to be viewed. Interactive technology, including computer or visual technology that is educational and age-appropriate is allowed to support physical activity, hands-on exploration, social interactions, and other developmentally appropriate learning activities for children 2 years and older.

CONFIDENTIALITY

 Personal information about children in my care and their families is confidential. Please do not ask me to reveal information about children other than your own.  Although I will maintain confidentiality, please know that the children are very observant and often share information with one another.  A health history and other family information will help me provide the best care for your child.

SPECIAL NEEDS

I am committed to meeting the needs of all children. Children with special needs will be accepted into my program, and all families will be treated with respect. It is important for me to know if your child is currently on an IFSP/IEP and to receive a copy in order for me to do my best to work with any special health care providers or services that your child may need.

ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE

Children must come prepared for the day: healthy, dressed for the weather, and hair brushed, bringing no toys, blankets, or food.  Babies must come with a clean diaper and having had a bottle before arriving.   Orchestrating arrivals and departures is one of the biggest challenges of successfully running a home day care. Young children are typically fussy at this time as they do not like transitions. Please know this is normal and don’t allow it to stress out your day! Please be respectful of my neighbors and drive carefully through the neighborhood. Be extremely careful of children as you drive in and out of the driveway.

INJURIES and ILLNESS

State regulations prohibit a child to enter or remain in care when ill. Assess your child before coming to the day care. If your child is ill s/he can NOT attend. Children showing signs of illness upon arrival will not be admitted. Call in advance to discuss your child’s condition if you have any questions regarding their ability to attend.

Your child can NOT attend child care if s/he is (but not limited to) VOMITING, DIARRHEA, FEVER, unknown RASH, or feels unwell enough to participate in activities.

You MUST notify me at drop off of ANY medication given to the child within six hours of the drop off.

Do NOT medicate your child (Tylenol, Motrin, Cold Meds, etc) to mask illness!

In the event your child is sick and will not be attending, please notify me as soon as possible and at least by your normal arrival time. Parents will be notified if their child becomes ill and the child must be picked up within 45 minutes. Children must also be awake and alert before you leave. In case of accidental injury or emergency illness, you will be notified immediately after emergency medical services have been summoned.

Safety: I do everything in my power to keep children safe. However, accidents happen. Children get bumps, bruises, and scratches in the normal course of their day as they play hard. Children will wash their injury, get an ice pack if needed, and/or a bandaid as appropriate.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

For typical outdoor activity we go out in the fenced yard or a walk through the side yard or woods in the back. Occasionally we may go off property on a walk, to the park, a local mall, or food establishment, etc.  A signed travel permission slip is required in your child’s file.  All children will travel in car seats. Parents are expected to always, daily bring their child weather-appropriate outdoor gear.

EXTREME DISASTER

In case of disaster, I have registered a plan with the state which includes taking the children to our neighbors next door on the other side of the culvert, or going to Southgate Elementary or Old Mill, depending on the nature of the emergency. Otherwise, I would follow the state’s required plan of action. I would try to notify you by text, phone, facebook, and possibly radio. We have a disaster kit comprised of NOAH radio, water, food, and some necessities.

The closest police station is Police Headquarters, 8495 Veterans Highway, Millersville, MD 21108, (410) 222-8050.

NUTRITION

I am a participant in the Child and Adult Care Food Program of the US Dept of Agriculture. I provide breakfast and lunch and one afternoon snack daily. Healthy, nutritious foods facilitate a child’s physical and learning development. Children eat approximately three hours apart to help keep them fueled and active. Helping children to enjoy healthy foods, like proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables is an important concept that will affect them their entire life. I encourage children to try two “practice bites” of each food, to drink lots of water, and to enjoy the taste of natural, whole foods.

Curriculum, SCREENINGS, AND CONFERENCES

I use the Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care and OWL (Opening the World of Learning). Both are recommended curriculum recognized and approved by the MSDE and aligned with the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. MSDE has a new State regulation that all early childhood educational programs need to have developmental screenings conducted. These are brief methods completed by the parent and/or provider to identify the child’s progress through milestones. Results indicate those children that would benefit from full evaluations and assessments. Upon screening completions, we will meet with you discuss the findings and whether a referral to another agency is necessary. The screening tool that will be used is  use the ASQ Pro Assessments. A conference with parents is another new regulation that will be conducted twice a year to discuss your child and my program. Sign ups will be posted on the parent information board near the sign in sheet.

POTTY TRAINING POLICY

First things first: children need to learn to take their pants up/down at diaper change.  Before I can potty train them, they must be mature enough to be left on the potty in the bathroom without playing.  Once they show signs they are aware of when they pee/poop (around age 2) we will have them sit on the potty after meals instead of simply changing them.  I will NOT put them on every hour, limit drinks, and I am not legally allowed to clean out underwear.

Children must be COMPLETELY accident free HERE for two full weeks before wearing underpants. This is for sanitary reasons.  The child must sleep through nap for one month without an accident to move into underpants during nap.

The GOAL of a FULLY potty trained child:  1) to TELL me they have to go potty BEFORE they have to go.   2) to pull down their underwear and pants and get them back up without assistance.  3) to wipe themselves (front to back) after using the toilet.  4) to get off the potty by themselves.   5) to wash and dry hands.  6) to postpone going if someone else is in the bathroom or if we are outside and away from the house.

Naptime training:  Some kids nap train right away when they are awake trained. Most children are not able to do this and it is many months and sometimes years before they are sleep trained. Be patient. Children are given diapers/pull ups during nap time.

If you want them potty trained than dress them correctly: Easy on and off pants during training. Sweat pant like bottoms are ideal! Nothing that requires us to remove the top to get to the bottom during training. No overalls or shirts with snaps at the crotch. If you really want them to learn to potty, send pull ups. They cannot do diapers themselves and the goal is independence. No cloth diapers or underwear with plastic pants.

If you have great success at home we can do the training with the underwear and a pull-up over the underwear during the training. If the child has regular accidents in the underwear we will switch them back to regular diapers and try again at another time.

Following these policies are the contract and permission slips.

License # 159207