Tir na nÓg
Playcare

Please remember that I, as a professional child care provider, own my business and offer services for a fee. I am not a babysitter, your personal Nanny, or an employee of any client. I set my own guidelines, policies and decide which services to offer. 

You, as the parent, must decide if the services I offer meet your needs. In order for our relationship to function, I do expect my clients to show respect for my home, myself and my family. 


My fees, hours and policies are well thought out and are, non-negotiable... I realize the financial burden that child care places on parents. I also hope parents understand that child care places financial burdens on the provider as well. These include, but are not limited to extra taxes, higher grocery and utility bills, liability insurance, safe toys and equipment and maintenance on the house. I also have financial responsibilities to myself and my family. 

Like other self-employed workers, family childcare providers do not receive benefits many people take for granted. These include, health and/or dental insurance, retirement, paid personal days, workers comp, flexible time off and unemployment insurance. These benefits often amount to as much as 35% of a person’s wages. 

Please keep in mind that I am a SINGLE WORKING PARENT! Unlike other businesses, there is no place for growth or expansion because the state dictates how many children I can care for (limit is 4). This is my only source of income and like you, I too have demands on my time and a life outside of the childcare. 

I do NOT offer no pay "vacation weeks" for when you want to travel nor do I credit days when a child is out sick for just a day or two. Here you are paying for a specific spot, not by usage, when you contract care. "Pay by the Day" services are available when a space is open, however the fee per hour is higher than FT care & is not guaranteed to be available at anytime.

If any of my policies seem unfair or unnecessary, please take a moment to think about that policy and how it might apply to your current working situation… I’m sure it will make sense in that light. If you have ANY questions, please ask them! Being a new parent can sometimes be very frightening, but it's also a blessing and it is very important that we communicate openly from the start!

I welcome families of any Race, Color, Sex, Religion, Nationality, Creed, Sexual orientation, or Marital status; I will accept children with sensory, mental or physical disabilities as long as it's within my scope of knowledge and ability to care properly for the child. 

 

I run a specialty infant home for babes 4 weeks-21 months. I respect and appreciate the trust you have placed in me in caring for your child. I believe that parents are the most important people in a child’s world, and I will make every effort to support you as a family. I will try to offer the very best care that I can for your child. 

 

You can help me by keeping me informed about health concerns, favorite foods, fears or special interests. I will try to share information about your child’s growth and activities during the time spent in my program.  Age appropriate activities are scheduled with flexibility allowed to respond to the needs of the individual child.

I will provide your child with tender loving care, patience, understanding, and guidance in a happy home. Chores, such as picking up toys will likely be part of the day for the oldest children. It is here that your child will begin learning social skills and manners that will be needed the rest of their lives.

ENROLLMENT: When I agree to hold an opening, I give up the right to fill that space and to receive tuition from that position. For this reason. In order to reserve your child's place in the program, the first months tuition must be made; this payment will be put towards the first month of care provided, but it is NON REFUNDABLE if you decide not to have your child attend: Parents are always able to place their names on my wait list for free. 

Holds of 30 days or longer, and funds due will be figured dependent on situations and when a space will be opening (i.e. if a an opening is set due to a child aging out, then I require one months fee as a hold; limited to 3 months in advance... should the outgoing child leave before their set date, then additional fees will be required to continue a hold or a the baby that is contracted can start sooner); hold fees for an already open spot will be an amount equal to half the monthly rate that you are contracting for, but the money will not be applied to care... the additional fees are payment to hold a space open specifically for your child. 

NOTE... IF another parent is wanting the space you are wishing to contract at the same time and they want to start immediately and you don't, I will offer you right of 1st refusal and the option to contract at full fee starting immediately.  Should you chose not to accept the proposition, I will contract the other family and you will be put back on the wait-list (or dropped off altogether) and your first month payment will be returned.

Each contract spot in my daycare equals 25% of my income. Consider how losing up to a fourth of your income for weeks or months on end would financially hurt your family. Now imagine 1/2 half of the income gone... it does happen more than you think (especially when 2 kids age out in summertime). I cannot afford to hold spots for free or turn away potential families when a spot is open. I do not have a spouse that brings in income, nor do I depend on the government for support, THIS IS MY CAREER AND ONLY INCOME. 

ABSENCES: There are no make-ups or switched days in the event that a child is sick, out of town or because of Holidays; payments are based on enrollment, not attendance and as such no credit will be given when a child is absent. Think of it this way... one doesn't get to pay less on Rent/Mortgage, a Car payment or Cable just because you go on vacation; the same holds true here.

Monthly fees factor in my unpaid vacation time, pre-planned closings & Federal holidays; regular payments allows the childcare to operate with consistent, predictable care for your children while ensuring clear expectations to the best of my ability… bi monthly or weekly payments will be discussed if one can't handle the full monthly fee all at once.* (see payments policy)

YOUR CHILD'S FILE: I ask that ALL YOUR PAPERWORK, including a copy of immunizations if child is over 6 weeks, an alternate vaccine schedule or written waiver, AND the current physical exam (state mandated for all children under 30 months) be turned in BY drop off time the first day of care; additional paperwork will be required from a child's DR if there are known health issues, including heart problems or seizures that outline a plan of action and medications taken by the child. It's also important to have a way to contact you in an emergency and I need to know your child's allergies, likes, dislikes etc. BEFORE I can properly care for them. Please let me know of ANY changes in your address, phone numbers, updates on immunizations, place of employment or emergency contacts immediately so that my paperwork may be kept current.


NOTE; Failure to update paperwork when moving, changing phones or jobs, will result in immediate termination should I try to contact you in an emergency & I can't reach someone because of out of date ph #'s

ARRIVAL, DEPARTURE & OVERTIME: I have no official open or closed hours; I offer full time child care Monday - Friday. I also offer Drop-in care on the 2nd & 3rd Saturday of each month unless it's a Holiday weekend. My work hours will vary daily because they are based on the requested start and finish times of each family; limit 60 hours week.

Occasional overtime that is needed must be approved IN ADVANCE by ME (minimum 12 hours notice)... if you request it and I say NO, I can't do it, then you must make other arrangements to have your child picked up ON TIME.  I may have another child scheduled for the spot based on the hours your child is actually scheduled to leave or I may have made other plans already.


Failure to pick up on time when OT care is denied will result in family being charged Late Pick up fees; Late fees must be paid no later than child's next day of care @ drop-off. (CASH ONLY)


Hours of care will be discussed in person and a fair commute time will be added and this will become your personal contracted schedule... Pre-authorized overtime will be charged $5 per hour (or part of)... this means any care needed over your normal contracted hours IF I AM ASKED & APPROVE OF in advance. If you just show up late without prior approval then late Pick up fees will apply and care will be denied until the fees are paid.

Babies are to arrive clean, in weather appropriate clothing and fed unless arriving just before a meal time. I will try my best to send your child home with a clean diaper, and would appreciate the same consideration when you drop off. 

I only work the hours and days you have booked for your child each week. If you have changing hours or rotating days each week, then a WRITTEN  copy of your schedule will need to be in my hands no later than your child's last day of care each week AND the hours must stay between those that have been contracted for. My home will not be "open" to accept schedules changes, payments, texts or phone calls once I close on Friday until Monday opening. 

If you wish to only pay for the days you use instead of contracting a Full-time space, then Drop-in care is an option. Daily care/Drop-in families pay a higher rate for the privilege of not being locked into a full time contract, however the trade off is there may be times a space isn't open when requested; This type of care is not regularly scheduled, so priority scheduling goes to my full time clients first, then if a space is open I will schedule daily Drop-ins. Limit of 3 days weekly

Drop-in policies... I request 24 hours notice to reserve a spot and they are 1st call, 1st booked. Hours available are 6am-9pm only Monday thru Friday... Payment is due no later than child's drop-off that day. I also require a minimum 12 hours notice to cancel a reserved space, otherwise full fee will still be due regardless of child's attendance. 

If you do not cancel properly, you will not be allowed to reserve a spot again without pre-payment at the time of booking. Pre-paid fees are non refundable in the event your child does not attend, however, when proper cancellation notice is given, fees can be used towards a future booking (within 30 days); Cancellations will not be considered complete unless I verbally talk to you or have replied to a TEXT message. 

Doors to my home are unlocked 5 minutes prior to the 1st reserved start time each day and will vary day to day depending on parent schedules regardless if you are contracted or drop-in. I reserve the right to close early, on any given day after the last scheduled pickup or when all children have been picked up for the day. 

Parents need to keep me informed of schedule changes so I can plan accordingly. I will close for the day without notice to parents if no children are scheduled for that day. 

First Arrivals; 2017... If you are scheduled to arrive between 6:00-9:00 AM, there is a possibility that you are the first arrival for the day as everyone has a different start time; If you are running late or will not be attending, you MUST contact me a MINIMUM of 30 minutes prior to your scheduled arrival time as I plan my arrival time based on the first scheduled child to arrive. If scheduled children have not arrived within 30 minutes of their scheduled drop off time and parent or guardian has not called or texted to report late arrival then I will go on with my day as though you have called your child in sick (or I will close if you are the only family scheduled). It will then be your responsibility to find and pay for other care for the day should you show up late without a call and I am gone; After 3 "no-show/no-contacts" I will terminate services


I am not available to accept payments, schedule changes, texts or calls after 5:30pm on Friday (last PU at the moment); unless its a TEXT stating your child is ill and will not be in attendance Monday morning, I will not respond to any form of contact until after 7am Monday morning at this time.

AGAIN; If you need to Drop-Off early or Work Overtime one day, PLEASE ASK and GET MY approval at least 12 hours ( or more) in advance. I may or may not be able to accommodate the change due to my own plans for that day. 

I don't mind or charge for OCCASIONAL lateness for pick ups due to verifiable traffic accidents or extreme weather if you call or text me, however don't assume it's OK to pick up late just because you forgot to tell me you were still sitting at a Dr's appointment or decided 10 minutes past pick up time to tell me you are still 30 minutes away in traffic, decided to go to the store last minute or are working unplanned OT; Late fees are assessed based on the time MY Digital phone shows; Fees are $10 for every 10 minutes (or part of) that you are late picking up. Excessive late pick ups may result in termination of care. 

If you find you need to extend or change hours, (say for a new job), please give me at least 2 weeks notice and we can rewrite the contract provided it works with MY schedule. New contracts are subject to updated rates; If you choose not to accept the new rate, then I will give you 2 weeks notice to find other care.

I work my private life around parents contracted schedules and I really don't wish to work un-scheduled overtime nor am I required too; I try to help when I can, but I do have commitments outside of the childcare that will keep me from working overtime some days, or another child might be scheduled for an evening shift once your child is scheduled to leave. Late Arrival also does not mean you can pick-up late. Arrival and departure times are very important to maintaining the proper rhythm for the day; the babies come to depend on it.

 

NOTE; If you tell me you are picking up early on a certain day (say for a Dr Appt on a Fri) please do not text 30 minutes prior & say you are not picking until normal time... or worse just not showing; I may have had to wake your child from afternoon nap (or kept them awake) because of a planned pick up and then it affects everyone when that child has a meltdown.

Cell phone use in my home will be discouraged at drop-offs and pick ups unless there is a medical emergency.  I ask that you give full attention to me and your child for a minute or two so that we may discuss the days events - sometimes there is information I may need to tell you or I might need to remind you to bring more supplies. 

If you need to bring your child into child care later than your scheduled time or if you will be picking him early, PLEASE let me know in advance. Also, While I want to encourage you to visit during the day, I need to know if children will be arriving or leaving during a meal, at nap time or activity time. I prefer you not visit (or drop off/ pick up) between 11am-2pm unless you are coming to nurse your child because that is lunchtime & when most the babies take a longer nap; it's hectic enough during this time and when routines get disrupted it can make for cranky children. 

I have also found that if parents schedule well baby & doctor visits early in the morning or later in the afternoon, the children's routine is not disrupted as much as those mid-day appointments. Please write down doctor appointments and other planned absences for me or at least tell me a few days in advance... For unplanned absences, please call the night before or at least one hour before you child's scheduled arrival time. 

We are a shoe free home! Please remove shoes upon arrival and leave them by front door when dropping off or picking up. This is mandatory due to eco certification & the fact I have babies learning to crawl. Policy will be waived if special needs require special shoes/leg braces for either a parent or child.

When dropping off your child, please inform me of anything that may affect your child’s day. (if they woke up early, the time of their last feeding, any medicine they were given, etc.) If your child will be dropped off late or picked up early for any reason, please let me know as soon as possible to allow me to make adjustments to the day’s planned meals and activities. 

Keep in mind it is normal for children to have difficulty separating from parents sometimes and your child may cry when being dropped off. Typically, the longer you prolong your departure, the more difficult it gets for your child.  A smile, a cheerful good-bye kiss and a reassuring word that you will be back are all that is needed. 

NO CHILD WILL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE MY HOME WITH ANY PERSON WHO IS NOT PRE-AUTHORIZED BY THE PARENT. Should I be unfamiliar with an authorized person, they will be asked for photo identification and the name must match what is in your file. This is for the protection of your child and you, so please ask anyone you authorize to pick up your child not to be offended by this policy.

Also, I expect there to be a designated driver for pickups for special events (inc Weekend Drop-in care) that I might offer care for (like Fall football). If I suspect you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol  at anytime you arrive to get your child, I will request that you  1) call a cab to take you & the little one home, or  2) call a back-up driver to come pick you up. While I cannot legally stop a parent from leaving with their child, I can call 911 AND Child Protective Services immediately for child endangerment. 

CUSTODY ISSUES: This daycare has no legal authority to refuse either parent the right to pick up their child unless a court has granted temporary or permanent custody to one parent or to a third party and I have been furnished with a copy of the order bearing the court's signature. I will write ONE CONTRACT per family and take payment from the contracting party only; if parents share payments, it's between them on how one parent gets the fees from the other. The following was put in because of problems years ago that I do not want to repeat... 

1. All custody issues must be resolved outside of the childcare; this includes paternity cases. If accusations are aimed at me because I refuse to take sides, I will file  in court for liable and any damages that were done (this includes slandering my business and false charges called into CPS). This has been an issue in past and it won't be tolerated.
2. Problems between custodial & non-custodial parents or involving me in disputes in anyway will be cause for immediate termination after ONE warning. Non-notice termination fees in the amount of 2 weeks payment will apply.  
3. I MUST HAVE custody paperwork showing in writing the terms including visitation rights and they may not interfere with my home life or business... this includes not making the daycare home the drop point between parents, nor am I to be the point of supervised visitation at anytime. 
4. Do not request that I do anything for you other than the normal array of service you have received in the past. I will NOT document anything other than legitimately suspected mistreatment, so don't ask me to spend time evaluating your ex's parenting skills or capability as a parent. If the court feels they need my opinion, they will provide me with a list of written questions I will answer to the best of my ability. I operate an honest business and consider my integrity and trust two hallmarks of my home.

NON CUSTODIAL PARENTS
1. Non custodial parent's must call and make an appointment to visit the daycare. The custodial parent must state in writing the terms of the visit and allowable times and it must match court documents. This also applies to phone calls and texting. 
2. Non custodial parents that cause problems when picking up their child at the daycare will be permanently barred from the premises. If you show back up, you will be charged with trespassing.
3. Do not call and ask me for information about your child. You will have to obtain this from the custodial parent.
4. Do not call and ask if your child is in care. I am not at liberty to divulge this information to anyone than those authorized on the child's forms. If you want this changed then go through the custodial parent and the courts for authorization. I am a daycare provider, not a mediator for custody issues. 

If either parent in a dispute goes as far as to have me subpoenaed to testify in a child custody case, the parent that had the court document issued will be required to pay for all lost wages for the days I have to close; it not only affects me & my income but also the other families in care... 

VISITATION:  Any parent or guardian of a child who is enrolled is encouraged to visit at anytime their child is in care UNLESS I have court papers saying otherwise. Please, DO NOT bring unannounced  guests with you when you drop-off, pick-up, visit or interview. It not only disrupts the children, but puts me in an uncomfortable position. My door is open to Contracted parents & guardians only during the hours their child is in my care; showing up during off hours will result in a call to me & possibly the police, by my back up if she knows a parent isn't suppose to be on my property on a certain day or time. ( she lives across the street)

“Open door” does not mean unlocked. Doors to the house are kept locked unless a parent is expected for pick-up or drop-off; this is for the safety of your children and myself and to keep strangers or barred parents from just walking into the house. If you plan to arrive outside of your scheduled times, please text in advance to let me know. 

PHONE CALLS: I will try to answer phone messages quickly, but please keep in mind that I may not be able to take a phone call immediately as the children's needs have priority; last thing I worry about is answering a call if I am changing a diaper or soothing a fussy child. Texting is a better option, especially at NAP TIMES because then I can just text back when I am free.

CAR SEATS; Please leave car seats/carriers in your vehicles for drop-off or pick ups: I cannot store car seats on the property or in the house while you are at work due to space and safety issues, plus they can transport hitch-hiking germs, bedbugs, lice etc from a Gym, Hotel or other facility. 

I know it's not always possible, but suggest that you try and have one car seat per vehicle that picks up... the reason behind this is, if one of the cars is in an accident and an alternate must pick up, the car seat that was in the accident CANNOT BE USED due to possible damage (even if none is visible) - your insurance will replace that seat; parents that have to juggle seats between 2 vehicles have also found themselves without a seat last minute due to their spouses OT at work and it makes for late pick-ups and frantic calls. 

CLOTHING: Children should arrive dressed for play. We like to have fun! Having fun involves outdoor play when the weather allows, so make sure that your child is dressed appropriately. Please don't dress your child in nice clothing and expect them to be spotless when you arrive to pick them up. Clothing should be comfortable, well fitting and seasonally appropriate; this includes sun hats/bonnets for babies in summer. 

Please Make sure to send hats, mittens, boots and coats for cold weather. I will not allow indoor wear hoodies at any time for any child. The babies may have hooded jackets/sweats for outerwear only - and yes I know unhooded clothing is difficult to find now, but it is mandatory because it can cause suffocation or strangulation when a baby is put down to sleep.

Please bring at least 2 extra sets of seasonal clothing that may remain here; I will ask that you switch out clothing every 2-3 months so that clothes are fitting properly and are weather appropriate (babies grow so fast). 

• Please don’t send your child in with extra blankets, diaper bags or stuffed animals... 
• When you send in cloth items, it is best to send them in a labeled Ziploc baggie

Once care is terminated parents have 5 business days to collect their child's belongings from daycare. As of the 6th business day, belongings become the property of my childcare home and I may do with them as I wish. 

DIAPERS: I change babies every 2 hours or as needed. Parents are to send their preferred diapers each week; please make sure to send the correct size diaper so that everything is contained when a child has a BM. I require a  minimum of 1 diaper for every 2 hrs in care plus at least 1 extra each day... you will be charged $1 per diaper that I have to supply if you don't send enough for each day. I supply wipes so no worries there.

I am more than willing to accept children who wear cloth diapers! A clean, parent provided wet-bag must be brought along with enough diapers & covers for the day. Because of health and safety regulations soiled diapers cannot be rinsed or washed here. I recommend the use of flushable diaper liners for the cloth diapers so that it catches most of the excrement. I will remove the liner and flush it and the diaper will be placed in the wet bag and sent home daily. If you choose cloth liners, diapers will be folded, poop & all and put into the wet bag - Again, I cannot rinse off excrement because it's considered bio waste.

 

NOTE: I request that you properly strip cloth diapers a minimum of every 5-6 months due to the ammonia smell alone. Refusal to properly clean or strip cloth diapers will be cause to ask for parent to supply disposables only. Improper stripping causes for some unsavory smells that can affect everyone.

DISCIPLINE: No child is different, they just want someone to love them and a little love goes a long way.  Discipline for infants is a matter of safety. There is no such thing as a bad or naughty baby. They do not understand rules or consequences. A safe environment is provided to prevent problems by: Removing and keeping the child away from harmful areas Saying "no" in a calm but firm manner when s/he is in danger Child-proofing areas where infants play, helping older children understand what things need to be kept away from babies and why. Infants in the state of Tennessee are considered children ages 0-15 months...

Tweenies & Toddlers (age 16-30 months) are beginning to understand simple directions, but they are unable to remember things, so rules are repeated frequently. Because they are struggling to understand his/her world, s/he often exhibits acceptable behavior with unacceptable objects; i.e. throwing blocks. Safety procedures used with infants are used with toddlers as well as: Keeping things out of reach Removing him/her from frustrating situations Talking to him/her about his/her feelings and giving him/her words to express those feelings Redirecting attention Focus on "do*s" instead of "don*ts" and outline for them how to handle the situation in a better way.

NOTE: Even though biting is a perfectly normal stage of development during childhood, it is required that I maintain a safe and healthy environment for all children in care. Biting occurs for many reasons whether it is teething, a lack of language, frustration, attention getting, being overly tired or simply just trying to get a reaction from someone. Some things that Tir na nOg does to minimize biting in the child care setting are:

▫ Shadow the biter so that he is she is always near the provider or within arms reach.
▫Provide lots of language such as "Biting hurts" and "We use our teeth for food".
▫ Provide frozen teething rings for those who need something to chew on.
▫ Provide supportive information to parents who are worried about their child biting and offer suggestion of how to stop the biting habit. 
▫ If the biting continues and is severe to where it becomes necessary to send the offender home or is adding undue stress on the other children or the environment it may become necessary to terminate child care arrangements. This is not something that I would want to do and please know that this would be a last resort.

I AM A MANDATED REPORTER: I am under mandatory obligation to report SUSPECTED abuse or neglect to Child welfare. Please be aware that to make the call, I only need to have a strong suspicion, not proof and I am to report it without fear of repercussion (that means If I make a report in good faith, I have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal regardless of the findings). 

The following methods of discipline will never be used on any child at any time; spanking, hitting, pinching, slapping or any forms of physical force restricting a child's movement by binding or tying him, mental or emotional cruelty depriving meals, snacks, rest or toilet use or confining a child to a closet or locked room.

 

I also do not have cameras in my home because it is a privacy issue… I’m sure that you wouldn’t want someone else having the option to see me change your children’s diapers, or be privy to our private conversations, and it is MY HOME. If video is a make or break issue then please look elsewhere for care; our foundation and work relation is based on trust.

HEALTHY/GREEN CHILDCARE; This childcare has been an endorsed eco-healthy childcare for over 6 years. Because of the standards required, certain policies including fragrance free & no smoking will be strictly enforced, Thank you for your cooperation in making this a Healthy childcare. 

FRAGRANCE… WE BECAME A FRAGRANCE FREE CARE HOME IN 2010. I stay fragrance free in this house with the exception of food smells and my natural disinfectants (Benefect and Thieves oil) - this means no smelly candles, spray air fresheners, fragranced plug ins or scented laundry soap are used at anytime. 

Due to certain fragrances being worn by parents and visitors that can cause adverse reactions to me and some of the babies I care for, I require that you not wear perfume or cologne, aftershave, scented hand lotion, fragranced hair products, and like items while in my home.  

 

I also require that you use unscented laundry detergent AND NO SOFTENER of any kind (it's the chemical left on the clothing, not just the fragrance that affects me). AXE, Snuggle, floral perfume, plug in scents and Gain detergent are some of worst scent offenders because they can aggravate my asthma and can cause severe migraines.

 

HOLIDAYS & CLOSINGS for 2017... I am closed for a total of 20 business days each year. I schedule 6 (six) Federal Holidays and 14 days of vacation time/days off; if a holiday lands on a weekend, then I will close on the day the government observes (the Friday before or Monday after)

Holiday closings 2017


Monday, January 2                           New Year’s 
Monday, May 29                               Memorial Day
Tuesday, July 4                                 Independence Day
Monday, September 4                       Labor Day 
Thursday, November 23                    Thanksgiving Day 
Monday December 25                       Christmas Day 
Monday, Jan 1, 2018                         New years day (counted in 2018)

Open at 10am on ALL voting days (TN labor law requires up to 3 hours be given with no reduction in pay; Title 2-1-106).

UPCOMING VACATION TIME ;

May Fri 26 -Tue May 30             Extended Memorial day

July Mon 3 - Fri the 7th               Summer Vacation Time
Wed, Nov 22 - Friday, Nov 24     Thanksgiving Holiday
Mon Dec 25-Jan 1, 2018             Winter Vacation

Monthly fees are figured with ALL planned vacation time and holiday closings already deducted. My 14 unpaid vacation days/days off are given at least 60 days in advance (M-F)... if I need to change them, I will try to give at least 14 days notice, however, I reserve the right to exchange a planned vacation day last minute for time off  in case of family death or my Navy daughter getting last minute leave.

"Procrastination and disorganization on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." Parents are responsible for having a BACK-UP PLAN for ANY DAY that childcare is unavailable including Holidays, unexpected closings (i.e power outage) & in case of illness (your child's or mine). 

ILLNESS: I am a well baby childcare home… Under no circumstances should you bring your child to care sick; fever of 100.5°f or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, continuous coughing, runny nose other than clear, draining eyes or ears, unexplained rash, lice, etc. Because of Measles, FLU, RSV and other illnesses, I will strictly enforce my policies... I reserve the right to terminate immediately any clients that do not adhere to, are argumentative, or are not respectful of the illness policies.

Most of my charges are too young to get the Measles Vax - In the event of outbreak of contagious illness covered by vaccination, unvaccinated children may not be allowed to attend for an amount of time specified by the Health Dept. I have no control over these situations and must follow the law. In such an event that your child can not attend more than 5 days in a row due to being unvaccinated, Half payment will still be due each week in order to hold your child's position in my care. If any of my babies come down with measles, they will need to stay home from daycare until the fever and rash are gone. This usually takes about 8 days, so the half pay clause will come into play then also...
 
If you are not sure your child is well enough to attend child care call and discuss it with me. Masking your child’s symptoms with over-the-counter medications and bringing them to care anyway is not allowed; It is also inconsiderate to all families involved - what one family considers minor could be a life threatening situation to another. If you are unable to stay home with your sick child it will be necessary for you to make arrangements at your own expense. Please have a plan in place BEFORE it's needed... 

Your child may be brought to care if they have a common cold (which means a slight cough, clear runny nose, sneezing); however I will call you for pick up if your child is just plain miserable (whiny, lethargic, extreme cough etc).  

If your child is teething, Teething may cause the following symptoms:

  • Increased drooling
  • Restless or decreased sleeping due to gum discomfort
  • Refusal of food due to soreness of the gum region
  • Fussiness that comes and goes
  • Bringing hands to the mouth
  • Mild rash around the mouth due to skin irritation secondary to excessive drooling
  • Rubbing the cheek or ear region as a consequence of referred pain during the eruption of the molarsImportantly,

 

teething is not associated with the following symptoms:

 

  • Fever (especially 101 F or above)
  • Diarrhea, runny nose, and cough
  • Prolonged fussiness
  • Rashes over the body 

 

I exclude children from care for Symptoms, NOT actual ailments, conditions or diagnoses. 

    •Fever (100.5°f or higher); child needs to be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of medication
    •Signs of possible illness, including unusual lethargy, persistent crying, difficult breathing.
    •Diarrhea (2 bad diapers in 24 hrs - stay home); symptom free for 24 hours without the aid of medication (not only a health issue but it's a sanitary issue)
    •Vomiting - sent home after one incident; stay home if child vomited during the night. Must be symptom free 24 hours without medication. If the child eat solids, they must be able to hold food down before returning, not just liquids. (I am not a DR, I exclude for symptoms)
    •Runny nose with green/yellow colored discharge; check with the pediatrician as to cause
    •Extreme coughing; I will ask for a note from Doctor 
    •Rash; check with doctor; I will ask for a note as to diagnoses
    •Discharge from eyes or ears
    •Lice; child needs to be treated & nits removed before return
    •Communicable disease; chicken pox, measles, mumps, pink eye, influenza, etc. 
    •Staph Infections (MRSA); If child has a boil (pimple-like) on their body, you must take them to the doctor ASAP to confirm if it is/is not MRSA. A child will be excluded until oozing stops and wound must stay covered until healed

A child may return to care when the incubation and contagious period is passed for any illness (virus or bacterial) and the child is well enough to resume normal childcare activities. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Often times doctors or nurse practitioners will give parents a note stating a child is cleared to be re-admitted into care. While their medical expertise is appreciated, ultimately it is up to the provider whether or not a child is well enough to return to care as the child's health is only one aspect of what is required to participate with regularly scheduled daily activities.  

It is imperative that parents remember that when a child does not feel well, those feelings are amplified when thrust into an environment that is loud, noisy and active.  It also places additional responsibilities onto the provider which in turn can take away from the care and supervision the other infants require.  

If your child develops any of the above symptoms while in my care, you or your alternate will be required to pick up your child immediately. If the child is not picked up within one hour of my first call to you, an additional $10 charge for every 15 minute (or portion thereof) will be assessed for ill childcare. Failure to pick up within 2 hours will mean a call to Child Welfare and possible termination of care. 

If I have to call a parent to pick up a child that has been dropped off for care too ill to participate in the day the child will also be required to stay at home the following day. Your child may return to care 24 hours AFTER `symptoms of illness end. Which means if your child is sent home with a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting they cannot return until they have been symptom free for a MINIMUM of 24 hours without the aid of medications.

I am responsible for the health and well being of many babies so I will closely follow health department regulations when it comes to illness. I understand and respect your need to be at work, but your cooperation is extremely important on this. 

I am a parent and I understand that things can go wrong at the worst time… In cases where a child is/will be out for illness or injury for 5 or more "contracted" days in a row (Mon-Fri only), I do offer a 50% credit towards the next weeks/months care, PROVIDED I have a letter written and signed by the DR stating illness or other medical diagnoses and the number of days child will be excluded from care; if no verifiable letter is received by me for extended absence within the first 48 hrs of child being out, the credit will not be given. 

Should I become ill or need to take additional days due to death of family member or similar event (see holidays and vacation), I will credit any FULL DAYS I must close AFTER 2 DAYS, to the next months fees. This does NOT include weather closings or closing early due to no power/electric. See Inclement Weather policy....

IMMUNIZATIONS; I need to have an UP TO DATE copy of your child's Immunization records OR the State Exemption allowing a waiver in my files at all times; please make sure I have a copy by the time I receive your registration paperwork. If you have paperwork for an alternate vaccination schedule, that too is accepted. 

I suggest trying to have immunizations, inc Flu shots, done late on a Friday afternoon so that way you don't have to miss as much work time; your child cannot come to care for 24 hours after a vaccine has been given. I cannot devote 100% of my time nor do I want the responsibility of watching for seizures or other negative reactions - I have other babies in care (liability issue). If your child should start running a fever of 100.5 or higher, they are to be kept home until fever free for 24 hrs (without medication) as stated in my illness policy. 

INCLEMENT WEATHER: In the event of bad weather or other severe situations, I will make every attempt to stay open unless my power/heat goes out, however I do expect my families to use common sense. Based on State regulations, child care will close with short notice due to extended power outages. If outages are expected to be 2 or more hours, I will call the primary contact person after half an hour of no power (Alcoa estimate). This is due to lack of heat (or in summer, AC), flushing toilets & running water... 

If the weather is such that officials are asking non essential personnel to stay off the roads, (a State of Emergency is declared), or road conditions are deteriorated to the point where emergency vehicles would not be able to get to my home in a timely fashion, then I will CLOSE. As these days are rare, payment is still due. This policy is in accordance with state regulations which strongly discourage operating on days weather and road conditions make attendance at child care unsafe. Exceptions will be made ONLY for mandatory workers (police/nurses etc) provided I have power...

There will be ABSOLUTELY NO PICK UPS OR DROP OFFS DURING TORNADO WARNINGS or SIRENS. Please shelter in place and continue normal drop off/pick up routines once the danger has passed. NO EXCEPTIONS!!  A few of my provider friends in other states have had families trying to drive in tornado conditions to get children. I cannot stop you, however common sense says the children are safer OFF THE ROAD  - late pick up fees WILL NOT  be applied for being cautious during a tornado

Knowing about an upcoming ice storm and similar weather isn't necessarily an excuse for me to close, it also cannot be used as an excuse for late pick ups or getting an ill child in a timely manner... that said, I do understand accidents & severe storms such as tornadoes can happen with no warning - circumstances will be taken into consideration if you are called to pick up earlier than normal within reason; lateness that cannot be confirmed, will impose late PU fees.

Use of my driveway and walkway during winter weather is AT YOUR OWN RISK...I ask that you park on the street during icy or snow events, the children are priority, not shoveling snow or de-icing; I do clear the deck & walkways first thing in the morning & I put de-icer out, however, I cannot leave the house for even a few moments to treat the driveway once a child is here. 

Note: Extended closings due to weather/power outages (after 48 hours of no power)... these days will be credited to the next month if they should ever occur; short term closings will not be credited. I also will not give credit for times you decide to stay home because of bad weather if I am still open and available to work... 

I also keep at least 2 days water on hand for everyone, in case of Water main breaks that happen in my neighborhood... if I was fully licensed, it would be mandatory for me to close within 2 hours, just like having no electric. Being license exempt gives me some leeway.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE:  Regardless of your child’s attendance as your tuition is based on “securing” your child’s position and is not based on your child’s actual attendance. Because the few children I care for are only here from 3 - 18 months or so, I do not offer discounted time off for teachers, strikes or maternity leave... 

LICENSING; I am considered license exempt under TN regulations. Under the rules I can legally watch up to four (4) unrelated children at any given time. Providers that have 5 or more unrelated children in care at anytime are required to be licensed in this state regardless the number of providers in the home. 

MEALS & SNACKS: I am NOT on the government food program and am NOT reimbursed for any food I provide, however, I do follow federal guidelines for meals. Your fees cover your child's food except formula

I follow child led weaning practices. I will provide up to 2 meals and 2 snacks daily for all children dependent on when a child attends care (3 meals for 12 hour children); this does not include formula for babies. Parents are to supply their preferred formula or breast milk until their child's first birthday when they transition to whole milk or a milk alternative. Special and Cultural diets will be accommodated within reason... 

Please note that while I will happily accommodate your child’s specialized diet, it must meet food program requirements, and that one family may not impose expectations on the entire group (such as requiring all the children to eat Vegan, for example). Please be aware I am a pork free home and will not serve anything that contains pork or pork fat in anyway...  My home also uses as many natural and local foods as possible; Fresh fruits & vegetables are bought at local Farmers markets and Kefir, greek yogurt and homemade bread products are part of our diet - they do not contain aspartame, msg or high fructose corn syrup. 

The number of meals and snacks vary daily and are dependent on the hours a child attends; infants under 12 months are fed on demand and are worked into the regular schedule as they get older; older children have scheduled meals so they learn that routines are expected. If a child 12 months or older will not be in attendance at a scheduled mealtime, please feed them before dropping them off; older children who miss a meal must wait to next scheduled meal or snack to eat.

Breakfast is provided to children arriving before 7am, morning snack is done between 8:15-8:30am, Lunch is scheduled between 11-11:30a, a drink is offered when children 1st wake from nap and afternoon snack is between 2:30-3pm. Dinner is supplied to children in attendance at 6pm or later. I supply 4oz of whole milk for each meal, whole fruit for snacks, and water is available to children at all times. Mothers that breast feed are encouraged to send pre made bottles or milk bags (re-heated in a hot water bath) for their child.
 
*Note... breastfeeding moms please make sure your child will take a bottle AT LEAST 2 weeks prior to starting care; it's best to have a friend or someone other than you or dad try so the baby can get used to different people holding them. I will ask that a parent prove the baby is taking a bottle at least 24 hrs before their first day of care. If a breast fed child cannot/will not take the bottle from me, then care will be postponed until it is proven the child can take a bottle.

I stick to a chemical free, organic diet due to my own health issues and because it's better for the children... I do not allow outside foods to be brought in unless a child has a special dietary need that can be verified in writing by a physician; That being said, I am gluten intolerant due to an autoimmune disease & I also care for a Celiac child on occasion - I use a number of nut flours among other things for baking... I cannot guarantee to be a nut free home for this reason alone; the danger of cross contamination is something that cannot be avoided here.

We also eat at the table family style most days and I like to avoid someone wanting another child's lunch just because it's different. If the kind of food I serve doesn't work for you, I can work with you to see what we could change the menu a little.  

Media - We are a TV free childcare home; that means no cartoons, PBS, Babies can Read or other DVD's however we listen to music constantly. Music is considered the "media" of choice in this home. If you do not want your child listening to music, this program is not for you. I use music to introduce the babies to different cultures and to expose them to a unique section of Fine Arts. Depending on the day a variety of different types of music from Classical to Zydeco will be playing.

MEDICATIONS: I prefer not to administer Tylenol or other fever reducers, unless your child has a specific condition which requires this during the day (i.e. pain from diagnosed ear infection or teething). I WILL NOT administer prescription medication (antibiotics, breathing treatments and such) unless it must be given 3 or more times daily or is for a medical issue that could threaten a child's life. Prescriptions have to be in the original container and must include Dr's name, child's name, dosage on the label and be for current medical condition.

Non-prescription Ibuprophen/Motrin, sunscreen and teething remedies will be administered according to package directions. Parents are responsible for providing any medications their child may need for teething, eczema or like issues and outdoor play. If a child needs medications for allergies with the exception of an Epi-pen for emergencies, parents must give it to a child before drop-off or after pick-up AND I must be notified at drop-off that the child has allergy medication in them.  

PAYMENTS:As much as I love what I do, Late Payments affect how I am able to run my business and care for my home and family. Childcare payments cover groceries, utilities & so much more, so promptness is imperative. 

A payment is considered late when it is not received ON or BEFORE the time and day it is scheduled to be made. All fees are paid in advance to reserve (guarantee),  your child's space for the upcoming month: it's simple; NO PAY, NO PLAY. I am not available to accept payments on weekends; Contracts will automatically change to Drop-in status should fees not be paid when due... fees of $35 per day will be expected in order to retain care unless you have your full fee that is due with you at child's next drop off, CASH ONLY. I will not offer further services except Drop-in care if a parent is a no show/no call. 

Fees listed on the Rates page are not negotiable long term, however I sometimes will make short term exceptions based on a clients situation; I can accept payments by credit card (and debit) as long as they have a Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover logo on them, however, Cash payments are preferred - parents that pay cash receive a 3% discount over CC pay (Fees listed on rates page are Cash prices); I am able to take chipped cards, as well as magnetic strip - receipts are given for payments.  

Monthly fees are expected no later than your child's Drop-off time on the 1st of each month (Friday before if the 1st lands on a weekend or holiday). Weekly & Bi-weekly pay will be discussed if a family can't do monthly all at once, however weekly/Bi-weekly pay will be accepted only for the first 2 months of care then I expect parents to be on the monthly pay schedule. 

Bi- Monthly pay is due no later than your child's drop-off time on the 1st & 15th of the month. Weekly fees are due no later than your child's pick up time on the last day of attendance each week, in Advance of next weeks care

If your child is absent or not scheduled on a due date, the due date still applies. Should a parent not pay their fees, their child will be excluded from care until I have been paid in full... after 3 days of no payment I will cancel the contract and start looking for a replacement family; no exceptions!  Parents who find themselves in financial predicaments, have the option of paying the Drop-in rate of $35 day until they pay their fee in full (keeps you from missing work, but costs more in the long run) - I will not take a child without payment upfront regardless of the reason so please don't ask. 

NOTE: My home is officially closed no later than the last child's pick up time on Friday until first arrival Monday morning unless notified otherwise (i.e. Winter Holidays); I am unavailable to accept schedules & payments on weekends.
 
* A minimum of 2 week (14 days) written notice is required if you need to terminate care before your contract ends... 30 days is preferred - notices will be accepted only on a Friday. Full fees will still be due if the parent withdraws the child before proper notice is given, or at any given time during the notice; failure to pay or show will result in me filing for collections or in court. Termination notice cannot be given while I am on vacation. 

Pre paid fees are non-refundable in the event services are terminated before contract end date... In the event I have to terminate the contract immediately due to violence, threats or other dangerous situation, the parents/guardians or other offenders will be barred from premises also. 

PHOTO/NEWS: On occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, and other “fun-filled” times, photos are taken. The photos are used in daycare promotion, sharing with others, teaching tools, craft projects, news related articles, handmade gifts for parents, and for display on this website. A child's photo WILL NOT BE USED for projects or otherwise when a parent requests. Names are NEVER used unless it concerns newspaper/TV and the parent must give written permission to the requesting party. 

REFERRALSThere is no better (or inexpensive) way to advertise than through word of mouth. If you make a referral to TNN and the family enrolls their child and he/she is in care for at least 4 consecutive weeks without major infraction (paying on time etc), I will credit you one or two days of free care for the following month dependent on if they are full or part time.  

REST TIMES/NAPS:  All bedding will be provided by me and state guidelines are followed; A separate pack-n-play or floor mattress (Montessori concept) is provided for each child in care along with clean cotton sheets; an organic cotton blanket or Sherpa is provided dependent on weather if a child needs a cover. Boppy's, pillows and bumper pads will not be put in or used in any playpen.

SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT: ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING OR TOBACCO PRODUCTS ARE USED IN MY HOUSE AT ANYTIME. Parents (or other family members & friends) that come to pick up a child will be warned if they are caught smoking on my property, if they toss butts on my lawn or if they light up with a child in the car. Thank you for your cooperation. 

NOTE; please do not smoke in your car just prior to picking your child up... I have had parents walk in reeking of smoke & it sets off my asthma and leaves an after smell in my home (just like certain colognes). I understand it's an addiction, but I have other babies in care & my and and their health trumps your habit... after 3 warnings, I will ask parents to find other care if they cannot go without smoking just an hour or two

TAX INFORMATION: Provider's EIN will be written on the last receipt of the year for tax purposes. Should families need a total amount paid over the course of the year, a balance will be provided but will be provided only AFTER the provider's taxes have been completed. This can be any time before April 15. Should a family require a total balance before that date, it will be the family's responsibility to track these totals and their receipts... there are no exceptions to this policy because ALL my paperwork & receipts will be at an accountants office and unavailable to be accessed.
 
TERMINATION OF CARE: In most cases the provider will give at least two weeks’ notice if she needs to cancel the contract. The childcare however has the right to terminate the contract at any time without notice or refund of any prepaid fees, (sometimes immediately), if the client should breach the contract by failing to follow any of the policies in the contract and  handbook.

 

These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to comply with the policies set forth in the contract or handbook
  • Failure to complete ALL required forms by due date. Putting false info on paperwork
  • Omission of known medical issues on paperwork or not getting me a plan of action in writing from a Doctor
  • Disruptive, disrespectful or hurtful behavior by a child or client that persists
  • Intentionally and/or frequently bringing a sick child to child care.
  • Non-payment of tuition or persistent late payment; refusal to pay late pickup or any other fees
  • Deliberate disrespect, threats, damage or injury to the provider, other families, any property, furnishings or other belongings by a child, client or other person. 
  • Any behavior by a client that poses a possible risk to others such as, but not limited to, being under the influence of drugs/alcohol.
  • Failure to bring a child for three days in a row without any communication.
  • The inability to meet a child’s needs without additional staff, equipment and/or remodeling.


TOILET TRAINING: Should your child show signs of being ready while in my care (but usually not before 18 months) I will assist provided the parents have started the process at home. Watch your baby, not the calendar, for the following signs...

    • Imitates your toiling
    • Verbally communicates other sensations, such as hunger
    • Understands simple requests, such as "go get ball"
    • Begins to pull diapers off when wet or soiled, or comes to tell you he's dirty
    • Follows you to the bathroom
    • Able to pull clothes off
    • Climbs onto the potty-chair or toilet
    • Has dry spells: stays dry at least three hours
    • Investigates his or her body equipment

I cannot do "diaper free" Elimination Communication for sanitary reasons. 

TOUCH POLICY: It is my belief that children need nurturing and adult physical contact for their daily care and healthy development. This contact can be described in three ways…

1. Nurturing: This includes hugs, gentle tickling, caring and cuddling. This type of contact is never done against the express wishes of the child
2. Safety and Guidance: This includes restraining child from harmful situations, separating physically conflicting children, and administering first-aid.
3. Hygienic: This includes hand and face washing, assisting with bathroom duties (age appropriate), diaper changes, examining rashes or unusual marks, nose blowing and assisting with changing clothes. This type of contact is never done against the express wishes of the child.

TOYS:The toys provided are non-toxic, open ended toys and natural materials specifically made for children under 2.5 years of age and many are handmade; i.e. wooden blocks, play silks, shape sorters etc. I do not allow play guns, knives, swords, and other toys that could hurt another child in my home!  Parents are expected to pay full replacement value for Toys that are purposely damaged by an older child.

TRANSPORTATION; I do not transport children in my vehicle at anytime... this includes emergencies. If need be, 911 will be called to take an injured child to the emergency room of the local hospital.

TRANSITIONING: I specialize in INFANT CARE...  Once a child is 18 months of age it is up to the parent to start looking for another facility or childcare home for their family so that their child has the time to transition properly to their new childcare once they are 21 months old; Under certain circumstances a child is not quite ready to transition that why I allow a little leeway (provided that there isn't a younger infant waiting for the spot), however, ALL little ones will be aged out before their 2nd birthday... I will help with the search and let you know when I hear of openings. 

VACATIONS/CLOSINGS: If you are going to be gone on vacation please let me know at least a week or two in advance so I don't worry about your child and your family. Fees are expected to be paid before your departure if your vacation time covers a payday, otherwise I will assume you are forfeiting your child's space without notice. 

Being a childcare provider is extremely rewarding, yet a very demanding job. In order to provide your child the best possible care, I must remain in good physical and emotional health. Please understand that having a few holidays and taking vacation time each year are necessary for me to avoid burning out from working long hours. My vacation days are listed with Holiday closings.

REVISIONS: Please be aware there will be revisions to policies each January and when deemed necessary by me. I may also have to increase fees due up to 5% yearly due to Cost of living expenses. This will be done in January when needed and will only apply to new incoming families (or if your contract hours/days change) in order to reflect increases in operating costs. 

You will given 30 days notification of any policy changes unless it is because of a state or federal mandate that occurs immediately. 

I am always open to suggestions and feel communication is a very important part of this business. If there are any problems or concerns, I encourage you to talk to me about it. If a lengthy conference is needed that is convenient will be scheduled, as the other children still need attention during my busiest hours. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and your child, and I look forward to the future.