Kids Safari Learning Center
207 Commerce Parkway
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608.839.9095 / 608.839.9816 fax
Admission and Enrollment Policies
Owner: Linda K. Vial
Administrator: Leighanne Dockerty
Business Director: Beth Horstmeier
Program Director: Terra Perrizo
At least one management staff member and one senior teacher staff member are always within five minutes of the building and are available at any time as need arises. The names and numbers of these staff members are posted next to each phone.
Kids’ Safari Learning Center does NOT discriminate on the basis of age, race, cultural ethnicity, color of skin, gender, gender identity, handicap, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation of prospective or enrolled child(ren) or family in regard to admission, benefit of enrollment, or termination provisions except as to meet requirements for age limitations specified by state licensing.
Kids’ Safari does not discriminate against persons with disabilities on the sole basis of a disability; that is, we provide children and parents with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in our programs and services unless the child’s presence would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others and/or require a fundamental alteration of our program. We make every effort to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services needed for effective communication with all children and/or adults with disabilities.
ADA STATEMENT- Kids’ Safari is a program that celebrates diversity and maintains a commitment to individual and group success and accomplishment. We are committed to the growth and development of all children. Kids’ Safari does not discriminate on the basis of ability. We believe and value the principles set forth in the American Disabilities Act and will pursue all reasonable accommodations to preserve a positive and comprehensive learning environment for all.
Kids’ Safari strives to create a balanced environment that best suits the needs of all children. It is our anticipation that all children will benefit from a program that values and recognizes the importance of individuality, as well as human similarities. Curriculum and the learning experience will be evaluated and modified to provide success and accomplishment for the abilities and developmental levels of individual children.
Success of an inclusive environment is dependent upon the willingness, acceptance, and cooperation of all parents, children and staff. To uphold the commitment of an educational and supportive program that encompasses such diversity, it is imperative that relations between families and staff are open and encouraging. It is our intention that parents, children, and staff receive the educational and supporting resources that are required to fully implement the curriculum and fundamental nature of this program.
Advocating, communicating and educating is the nucleus for success to develop and maintain an environment that enriches and enhances the lives of our children, families, staff and community.
Kids’ Safari offers year round preschool and childcare for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years. We also offer year round before and after school, as well as summer camp for children in K – 4th grades. We are licensed for 302 FTE.
Hours of Operation: 6:00am – 6:00pm / Monday – Friday
Availability: There are three schedules available for enrollment;
- Monday – Friday
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
- Tuesday and Thursday
Full- time care is defined as attending Kids’ Safari no less than 5 days per week at a maximum of 10 hours per day. Part time care is defined as attending Kids’ Safari 2 or 3 days per week with a maximum of 10 hours per day. Part time care is NOT considered ½ days, as a half-day rate is not available. However, there is a 2 ½ hour preschool class offered on a 2 or 3 day per week basis; Separate rates and terms apply.
There are three contracts available for enrollment. The contracts available are:
- Annual- Includes both summer and school year enrollment
- School Year only- This contract includes only the school year months and runs with the Monona Grove School District calendar
- Summer only- This contract includes only the months of June, July and August and runs opposite of the Monona Grove School District Calendar
Posting of License, Rules, and Violations
We meet or exceed the required policies set forth by the DCF 251 Licensing Rules for Group Child Care Centers.
The State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Family Services 251 License for Group Child Care for Kids’ Safari is available for viewing next to the parent information board located in the front entry way of the building.
A copy of any and all violations/compliances from the most recent inspection by a Licensing Specialist of the Wisconsin DCF will be posted for parent viewing on the parent information board located in the front entry way. This information is also posted at http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/childcare/licensed/search.htm for viewing.
A copy of the DCF 251 of the Wisconsin DCF Division of Early Care and Education, Licensing Rules for Group Child Care Centers, is located in the Director’s Office or online at: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/childcare/licensed/pdf/dcf_p_205.pdf
Posting of center and classroom information
Parental notices and information will be posted on the parent information board located in the front entry way, each program hallway, as well as individual classroom parent information boards located in the classrooms and the hallways. Center policies are available in the Parent Policy Handbook and are provided to parents at time of enrollment. Additional copies of the Parent Policy Handbook may be obtained in either the Director or Business offices at any time. Any amendments to Kids’ Safari policies will be posted on the parent information boards located throughout the building as well as communicated via email on the Creative Curriculum© portfolio website.
Families interested in enrollment at Kids’ Safari Learning Center can call, write or visit to obtain information about the program. Tours and classroom visitations will be accommodated by a scheduled appointment to ensure director availability.
Enrollment priority will be given as follows:
- Children of current staff members.
- Currently enrolled children.
- Siblings of currently enrolled children.
- Families working for Monona Grove School District, Johnson Health Tech, or any business located in the Cottage Grove Commerce Park.
- Families on the waiting list prioritized by date of initial contact.
Enrollment is determined by availability of space in the individual classrooms as determined by the directors in accordance with state licensing rules and regulations in regard to child –to-staff ratios and maximum group size.
Considerations that may be taken into consideration in the decision of child placement in classrooms:
- Scheduling needs of classrooms and families
- Age of children in enrolled
- Licensing teacher–to–child ratios
- Peer groupings
- Parent request
- Special needs of a child or family
Acceptance of enrollment will be established after the child and parent have fulfilled a (1) tour of the facility (2) overview of center policies (3) brief visitation session with the child’s prospective classroom and teachers.
Upon acceptance of enrollment and BEFORE or ON the first day of enrollment every child must have completed and on file the following forms by the stated timeline:
DCF (CFS-0062) Child Care Enrollment Form
DCF (F-44192) Day Care Immunization Form
DCF (CFS-0060) Child Health Report signed and dated by a physician
- State law requires all children in child care centers to present evidence of immunization against diseases within 30 days of admission to the center.
- An electronic printout of the Wisconsin Immunization Registry or other registry maintained by a health check provider may used in place of the DCF Immunization Form
DCF (CFS 2345) Health History and Emergency Care Plan
- Children under the age of 2 must have an initial health exam not more than 6 months prior to first date of attendance at Kids’ Safari and have a follow up exam at least once every 6 months while in attendance.
- Children over the age of 2 must have an initial health exam not more than one year prior to the first date of attendance and a have a follow up exam at least once every two years while in attendance.
DCF (CFS 104) Alternate Arrival/Release Agreement (School Age only)
DCF (CFS 0061) Intake Form for Children Under 2 (Infants and Toddlers only)
Kids Safari Learning Center Contract for Services
- Children under the age of two must have an intake form completed by a parent or guardian every three months while in attendance. A copy will be kept in the child’s office file and classroom file for reference.
Kids Safari Learning Center Security Code Form
Kids Safari Learning Center Family Information Form
Creative Curriculum Invitation Letter
Parent’s access to children’s files and records, including observations, medical logs, incident logs, and enrollment information, can be obtained through verbal or written notice. These files and information will be available for viewing at the parent’s request within 2 hours of that request.
What to Bring
- Parents are responsible for bringing an extra change of weather appropriate clothing including, socks, underwear, shirt, and pants. Parents will be charged a “rental fee” for clothes that are borrowed from Kids’ Safari. Parents of potty training children are required to bring in more than one change of clothing.
- Parents of children who are not potty trained are responsible for bringing in diapers, wipes, and ointments (if necessary) for their child.
- Parents of infants are required to bring in prepared formula or breast milk bottles, baby cereal and other necessary nutritious items if the child is not yet eating table foods. Parents must bring in enough bottles equal to the number of times per day an infant/toddler has a bottle. (Table foods and milk will be provided when nutritiously and age appropriate for a child.) Please label all bottles and food.
- Parents are responsible for bringing in a blanket, crib sheet, and pillow or child-size sleeping bag if their child is required to have rest period (all children under 5 years of age). Mats will be provided by the school.
- A one-inch binder with divider tabs to be used as the child’s work portfolio.
A personal computer entry code will be chosen by each family to use for signing their child(ren) in and out. Each member of the family must have their own unique four digit code. The personal entry code should only be used by family members and others authorized for pick-up and drop-off. The computer system is located in the front entry way to the right of the office window and the rear entry way to the right of the door. The child’s attendance record will be automatically stored for verification and documentation purposes.
In addition to the computer recorded attendance every child will be marked in and out on a weekly written attendance record by the teacher of the child’s designated classroom. Parents/guardians must walk their child into his/her classroom and have acknowledgement from the teacher that their child is in attendance. These attendance records will be cross referenced with the computer for accuracy in record keeping.
Families will provide a written schedule of their child’s assumed attendance on the Contract for Services form provided by the center at time of enrollment. Request for schedule changes must be written and turned into the administrator or director. The administrator will accept the schedule change if it does not interfere with appropriate staff-to-child ratios and will notify the business director of the change. If it is not possible to accommodate the schedule change, the administrator will notify the family and seek other possible solutions.
A parent of a child, whether it be the father or mother, has the legal right to pick up his or her child at any time with the exception of a COURT ORDERED loss of parental rights. In which case, a copy of the court order must be filed with Kids’ Safari. If an estranged parent (by court order) tries to retrieve a child from the school, the staff will call *911 immediately and take every precaution to ensure the child remains in the safety of the school and its staff. A parent’s request to deny the other parent’s right to their child will not be upheld without a court order.
Release of Children
A child can only be released to those who are authorized by written permission from a parent or legal guardian listed on the child’s emergency form. If a child needs to be picked up by someone other than who is listed on the emergency card, the parent or legal guardian must notify the school prior to the time of release. To enter the building the authorized person will have to buzz the front office and will need to present a photo id such as a driver’s license to the staff before the child will be released. The staff will contact the parent or legal guardian if ever unsure about the release of a child.
If a staff member feels that an adult (other than the legal guardian or parent) picking up a child is incapable of safely driving (under the influence or otherwise), the staff member reserves the right to (after speaking with a director):
- Call another authorized person
- Call for a cab and/or
- Call for law enforcement officials
If a staff member feels that a parent or legal guardian is incapable of safely driving (under the influence or otherwise) the staff member must release the child. If the parent does not agree to either #1 or #2, staff will allow the parent to leave the premises with the child(ren) and then immediately call the local law enforcement to report a suspected “driving while impaired”.
Children will not be released to a minor without written consent from the child’s parent/guardian.
If a child is absence from the center for any reason, the parent is responsible for calling the center by 9:00 am and informing the staff that the child will not be attending school.
If a child is absent from the center on a regular contracted day for any reason the tuition is still owed for that day. (Please see vacation policy)
Extended absences must be requested in writing. A family that seeks an extended (2 weeks or more) absence will be removed from the active roster and placed on the waiting list. If the child’s spot has not been filled, the family may reenroll the child without paying the supply fee (within a year’s time). If a family withdrawals a child and does not fill out an extended absence request and later decides to return to the school, the supply fee will be paid again.
Center Emergency Closing
In the event of a natural or environmental emergency resulting in the temporary closing of Kids’ Safari, reasonable and adequate notice will be given as much as possible under any given circumstance. The Administrator will evaluate the situation and will make the decision and will inform the staff. The Administrator will be responsible for notifying parents by phone if the center is already open. If the center is already closed, the notification may be posted in writing on the entry doors or by phone call. Such closings can be caused by, but not limited to, dangerous and/or hazardous weather, chemical or biological hazards, loss of heat, electrical outages and pandemic illness. Tuition is non-refundable.
Holiday and In-Service Closings
Kids’ Safari is a family-friendly learning center that promotes family togetherness for both our families and staff. It is our practice to close on the following national holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day (professional training for staff)
- Thanksgiving Day
- Friday after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Eve (close at 3:00p.m.)
Columbus Day is reserved for the continuing education of our staff. It is the belief of Kids’ Safari and State Licensing that teachers and assistant teachers maintain a commitment to self education to improve and better their skills for the benefit of your children and our community. Please understand that we are aware of the inconvenience this may cause some families, but we strongly believe that the benefits of proper education and training for our staff exceed the inconvenience some may experience.
All holidays and school closings are considered paid tuition days. If a family has accrued vacation credit (please see vacation policy) it may be taken for a holiday closing only if a two week written notice is given prior to the closing.
Kids’ Safari offers families vacation days in which tuition will not be charged for families who are contracted for year-round services. This credit is based on the number of days that your child attends on a weekly basis. If your child attends five days per week, then your vacation credit, per contract year, is five days. If your contract is four days, than your vacation credit, per contract year, is four days, and so on.
A vacation request is required at least 2 weeks prior to the dates of vacation. Vacation requests may be used in any increments (one day at a time, two days, one week, etc.) Please pay your weekly contracted rate. When you have accumulated your contracted weekly vacation days, we will credit you a full week. For example, if you take three days in September and two days in October, your account will not be credited until all of your contracted weekly vacation days have been used. There is no fee for maintaining the child’s roster spot while a family is on vacation. These days must be used within the family’s contractual year.
Vacation credit can only be used for planned absences. There is no carryover of days for unused vacation credit to the next contractual year. All vacation credit must be used or it is lost.
EXCEPTIONS FOR VACATION CREDIT
Children attending either only through the school year months and leave for the summer or children that attend only during the summer months and not during the school year are NOT eligible for vacation credit. If a child is absent for any reason, you are still responsible for the contracted tuition payments.
Withdrawal and/or Termination
Center Initiated Termination:
Kids’ Safari Learning Center reserves the right to terminate any child’s privilege of enrollment at any time. Termination will be determined by a collective voice including the child’s teacher, and directors. Notice of termination will be in written form and signed by the Administrator and kept in the child’s file. Please see discrimination policy.
Written notice of the pending termination will be made one week prior to the actual act of termination and a parent consultation will be scheduled. Parent consultation will be made prior to the signing of the termination and a written copy will be available to parents after termination has been executed. Every effort will be made by Kids’ Safari to find a workable solution (conferences, meetings, changes, etc) before beginning the termination process.
Reasons for termination of enrollment include the following:
- Failure of the parent or legal guardian to observe the policies and regulations of the school set forth in the Parent Policy Handbook.
- Failure of proper and on time payment by a parent or legal guardian for enrollment of a child in which they are financially responsible.
- Failure of the parent or legal guardian to submit required child health information and other pertinent state licensing requirements.
- Inappropriate behaviors or actions made by parents or family members while visiting, picking up or dropping off at the center.
- The inability of the child to benefit from the curriculum, experience, or opportunity of learning at Kids’ Safari. If we feel that a child is not benefitting from our program due to special needs, an outside agency or resource may be contacted for assistance. If an outside agency is incapable of providing the necessary assistance to provide quality care and education for the child while maintaining appropriate and necessary care for all other children, the center reserves the right to continue with the termination of care. (Please see special needs policy.)
- Inappropriate and unsafe behavior that can be harmful to the child or others while in attendance at Kids’ Safari. Inappropriate and unsafe behaviors will be documented in the classroom incident log for a time period of no less than one month before a determination of center-initiated termination is made.
- The inability to perform and appropriately participate in school activities including curriculum, fieldtrips, and daily routines. Teachers will keep parents informed and up-to-date with the child’s progress through the Creative Curriculum © online journal, verbal communication, and progress reports prior to any termination decision being made.
In the event that Kids’ Safari terminates a family’s privilege of enrollment, any unused tuition and the supply fee are not refundable.
The family has the right to appeal the school’s decision to terminate enrollment if made in writing within 30 days of the termination date. A conference will be scheduled within 10 days of the date of appeal. The conference will be attended by the family, director, primary staff, and a mediator. An Administrator will determine if and when a child can reenroll in the school. The decision will be made within 48 hours of the conference closing.
A parent or legal guardian may withdraw his/her child at any time with no less than a two-week written notice. Without written notice of withdrawal, the parent or guardian will be responsible for tuition payment until such notice has been given to Kids’ Safari. In the event of withdrawal prior to beginning of attendance, the supply fee is non-refundable.
If a child is withdrawn for medical reasons affecting the child and a physician’s statement is provided to the school, the parent or legal guardian will be liable only for fees already incurred. The supply fee is non-refundable.
Supply and Tuition fees
A non refundable supply fee will be determined annually by the Administrator and is due prior to the first day of enrollment. The supply fee will billed to your account annually on the date of your enrollment anniversary. Supply fees for children attending only the summer season (June, July, and August) will be due by June 1st each year for summer season enrollment. All families entering enrollment at times varying from the fall and summer registration times will pay supply fees before first day of attendance once enrollment has been established. Supply fees are determined by the management team and are non-refundable.
Weekly tuition fees are due on the Friday prior to the coming week of attendance. Tuition may be paid weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly provided it is paid PRIOR to the attendance that is being paid for. Tuition is based upon the age (which determines child-to-teacher ratio) and contracted attendance for each child. Contracted fees are based on the full-week, MWF, or TR attendance policy. A late fee of 5% is added weekly to the tuition fee if payment is not received on time. Tuition fees are non-refundable.
We accept personal checks, cash or checks sent through bill-pay of financial institutions. Checks should be made payable to Kids’ Safari. Any check returned to Kids’ Safari for insufficient funds will have an additional $35.00 service charge and check writing privileges may be revoked. Personal checks and cash payments should be placed in the tuition mailboxes in both entryways. Checks paid through financial institutions should be received by mail on the Friday prior to the upcoming week of attendance. Requests for receipts will be honored and will be available upon request.
The management team will determine the tuition rates and will include the rates as an addendum to the Parent’s Handbook. Tuition is based on cost of operations, inflation, and competition. Tuition is also determined and classified by the program a child is enrolled in (based on the child’s age) and number of days in attendance. Kids’ Safari reserves the right to adjust tuition rates as needed with a minimum 30 day written notice given to parent/guardians.
A 10% discount will be given to families with two or more children enrolled. The discount will be applied to the oldest child’s tuition.
- Kids’ Safari reserves the right to charge additional fees for (but not limited to) fieldtrips, curriculum activities, transportation, and lunch that is served by the center on brown bag lunch days.
- The cost for fieldtrips may or may not be refunded according to the activity that is planned if a child is absent on the day of the trip.
- Curriculum activities include the Creative Curriculum© electronic portfolio, “Let’s Find Out” magazine orders, 'à la carte programs and additional items as deemed necessary.
- Transportation fees include but are not limited, to transportation to and from schools, extra-curricular activities and fieldtrips.
- A charge may be incurred (not to exceed $5.00) for a center-provided lunch on a designated brown bag lunch day.
Late Pick-Up Policy
Kids’ Safari expects that children will be picked up no later than 6:00p.m. This means that the child and parent/legal guardian are out of the building at 6:00pm. If you show up at 6:00pm and are still in the building, you will be considered late and be charged for every minute the staff remains after 6:00pm. The fee for late pick up is $1.00 a minute per child and is payable to the staff that has stayed. **** A late fee will also be charged for children who remain at the center past the 10 hour limit. The same rules apply as the 6:00 late pick up.
If a child is picked up late, the following procedure will take place:
- On the first occurrence, an oral and written warning will be given to the adult who picks up along with a charge slip stating the amount that is owed for the late pick up.
- On the second occurrence, a written warning and charge slip will be given to the adult who picks up. The incident will be reported to the proper Director.
- On the third occurrence, a final written warning will be given and the following charges will apply $25.00 + $1.00 for every minute per child. A conference may be called between a director and the parents/legal guardian to seek a solution.
- Any subsequent occurrences will result in termination of care. A two week notice will be given to the parents or legal guardian regarding the conditions of the termination of enrollment. Supply fee is non-refundable; however, any unused tuition will be refunded.
If a child is still at the center at 6:10pm, the child’s home will be called, followed by work and emergency numbers for all contacts. If a child still remains in the care of the staff at 6:30pm, the Administrator will be called followed by a call to Child Protective Services and/or Local Law Enforcement.
Waiting List Policy & Information
Request for enrollment at Kids’ Safari Learning Center must include a desired start date (month and year) for child care and one of the following: (a) your child’s date of birth; (b) your child’s estimated due date; or (c) proof of an adoption application. Kids’ Safari cannot accept placeholder applications that do not include a birth date, due date, or proof of adoption application.
- Kids’ Safari operates under a priority system for enrollment purposes.
- Children of Kids’ Safari employees have first priority.
- Siblings of children presently enrolled in the program have second priority.
- Children of employees of the Monona Grove School District and employees of the Commerce Park businesses have third priority.
- All other applicants have fourth priority.
Because of this priority system, an applicant’s place on the waiting list order is not fixed. Within each category, applicants will be offered space in the program on a first-come, first-served basis. Nevertheless, regardless of the date of your application, you can be bumped by a subsequent applicant from a higher-priority category.
Placement on the waiting list does not guarantee that a space will be available when you want it, even if you are in a high-priority category. The earlier you apply, the greater your chances will be for future enrollment. Kids’ Safari requires only a two week notice of intent to withdraw a child currently enrolled in the program. As a result, the availability of space for new enrollees is sometimes known only two weeks in advance. In general, we will not contact you until we can offer you an opportunity to enroll. We therefore encourage you to periodically check on the status of your place on the waiting list and changes in anticipated spaces for new enrollees. In particular, if you apply before the birth or adoption of your child, you should make contact when your child is born or adopted to update your waiting list application with the child’s name and date of birth, and updated contact information for you, if applicable.
Your child’s application will be maintained on the waiting list in the order it was received, subject to the priority categories outlined in sections 3 and 4 above, until you reach the top of the list. At that time, your child will be offered the next available space in the room for which s/he is age eligible.
Upon being offered a space, you have 48 hours to either accept or decline the space. Upon acceptance of a space at Kids’ Safari, a nonrefundable supply/enrollment fee must be paid within three working days to secure the slot. Should you change your mind regarding enrollment in the center prior to your child’s start date, the deposit is nonrefundable.
Kids’ Safari will consider, on a case by case basis, requested changes to your anticipated start date and waiting list placement that result from complications in the birth or adoption of your child, or unanticipated health issues affecting your child.
Program Procedures and Policies
Any person, staff member, or resource member with access to a child’s or family’s personal records and information will not discuss or disclose information to anyone not directly involved with care of that child. This does not apply to the following:
- Any parent or person authorized by a parent (must be submitted in writing) to receive such information.
- Any agency assisting in the care and education of the child with written parental consent.
- Agencies authorized under 48.78 of the Wisconsin Stats.
- All records required by DCF for licensing purposes may be reviewed by a DCF licensing specialist.
Any parent, upon request, has access to all records and documentation maintained about his or her child.
Open Door Policy
It is the policy of Kids’ Safari Learning Center to encourage parent/family participation throughout the year. As well as offering fieldtrips, family gatherings, and open houses, we encourage parents and other family members to visit their child’s classroom and get to know the child’s daily routine and happenings. We believe this strengthens the bond between teacher, child, and parent and builds positive relations. “Surprise” stops are acceptable, but to ensure that you will have adequate interaction time it is recommended that the child’s teacher is given prior notice. This will help avoid interruption to the other children’s routines and down times such as “rest time”.
Classroom pets shall be limited to hamsters, guinea pigs, and fish. Reptiles, amphibians, and birds may be allowed dependent upon type and equipment needed to properly care for the pets and provided they do not have potential to cause harm to any child. Classrooms will be limited to a maximum of two pets at a time. All pets will be properly housed in cages or other confinement structures. Children will have access to pets as it pertains to feeding and grooming with an adult’s assistance. Parents will be notified of a pets presence by a written notice posted on the parent information board. If a new pet is to be brought into the building, there will be a written notice PRIOR (at least one-week notice) to the pet being brought. This notice will also be posted on the parent information boards. (All children’s allergies will be checked BEFORE a pet is entered into the environment.) No pets will be allowed in food preparation areas.
Philosophy and Practices
Based on the blended perspectives of theorists such as Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, and Lev Vygotsky, it is our belief that all children are unique individuals that learn best when an opportunity is provided for them to explore, experiment, ask questions and problem solve through interactive play and learning activities.
To help stimulate and enrich the learning experience a balance of self-directed activities and teacher-directed activities are included throughout the day. These include, but are not limited to: dramatic play, language development, music and movement, creative art, outdoor activity, and early math skills.
All learning activities and materials are based on the developmentally appropriate practices set forth in the NAEYC’s National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. By assessing children’s development, our caregivers act as facilitators to encourage children to participate in activities that will accentuate their success and growth in all developmental domains.
The Caregiver’s Routine is the gentle and compassionate care of children in a safe and loving environment; enhancing and nurturing individual development through the acknowledgment of diversity and individuality of every child. The routine is a special opportunity to enhance the relationship between caregiver and child that will provide consistency, a sense of worth, security, and a feeling of belonging for the child. The caregiver’s routine is an important opportunity to make a positive difference in a child’s life.
Kids’ Safari integrates several practices that are essential to the development of a high-quality educational program. The following practices are incorporated into the program:
- Child-to-Adult-Ratios and Group Size- Research has shown that the number of children per adult has a direct effect on a child’s overall well-being. Lower ratios allow for staff to be more responsive to the individual needs and interests of the children in their class. Kids’ Safari always remains within the state of Wisconsin’s Licensing Requirements for adult to child ratios and group size maximums.
- Staff Training - Kids’ Safari is committed to furthering the education of the staff and offers one paid continuing education training a year with focus on various child development topics. Kids’ Safari also supports the Wisconsin TEACH initiative and REWARDS program. Kids’ Safari is resolute that their staff complies with the licensing requirements for continuing education.
- Staff Retention- Research has shown that fewer staff turnovers in early childhood settings allow children to build long-lasting and trusting relationships with their teachers and caregivers. These relationships build positive self-esteem and self-reliance in children. It is our goal to offer bonuses and awards to staff that pursue excellence in early childhood. We will treat staff with respect and ensure that they know they belong and are welcomed as a staff member of Kids’ Safari.
- Primary Teacher- Children will identify with a primary teacher or caregiver during their day at Kids’ Safari. These primary relationships will form trusting bonds and an intimacy between the child and the teacher. Families will receive information and support from their child’s primary teacher.
- Teamwork- Although the bonds formed by primary relationships are extremely important, it is also important for the secondary staff to build positive relationships with every child. These relationships will build social trust and security. It is important for the goal of every individual to work together for the best interest of the child and to support each other as necessary.
- Diversity- We embrace diversity in our teaching techniques by modeling positive behaviors and recognizing that our efforts now will instill values that will carry forward as a child grows. Thus, we have made the commitment to create a program that reflects the varied lifestyles of the children, their families, our staff, and our community.
- NAEYC- The mission and philosophy of the National Association for the Education Young Children is an intricate part of our program. It is our goal to become accredited and maintain that commitment throughout.
- DAP- Developmentally Appropriate Practice is the incorporation of an infant, toddler, or child’s individual development and learning ability based on observation and the staff’s knowledge of child growth into the daily learning environment. Also incorporated are the strengths, interests, and needs of the individual child. Finally, applying our knowledge of the child’s social and cultural customs and traditions to the child’s daily routine at Kids’ Safari will give lasting meaning and understanding of the concept being learned. Simply stated, DAP is an interactive approach to learning in which the role of the teacher is to guide, observe, facilitate, pose problems, extend activities, and in Vygotsky's (1978) words, "create a natural moment" in the child's environment. To learn more about DAP, there are many resources available in the Parent Resource Area or you may speak with the child’s teacher or a director.
Within the classroom we strive to provide a nurturing and safe environment that stimulates growth and development, self-image, value and belonging; while supporting every child’s creative independence and self- expression.
The environment is open for exploration with soft areas, large-motor areas, quiet and active areas, and offers a variety of equipment that is developmentally appropriate for the children in care. The equipment is sized appropriately for the needs and independence of the children.
The environment is designed to offer opportunities and experiences involving science, math, language and literacy, large motor, small motor, writing, creative art, dramatic play, and constructive design. Interest centers are set up to allow self-exploration and manipulation of materials and equipment.
Caregivers and Educators
Caregivers are gentle, loving and compassionate. Caregivers are attentive to each child and are responsive to the child’s needs in an appropriate and timely manner. The individuality of every child is recognized and respected. Every child will receive appropriate attention with love and interest no matter their abilities, skills, talents, or personality traits.
Culture, Traditions and Diversity
We embrace cultural diversity in our teaching techniques by modeling positive behaviors and recognizing that our efforts now will instill values that will carry forward as a child grows. Thus, we have made the commitment to create a program that reflects the varied lifestyles of the children, their families, our staff, and our community.
Holidays and celebrations are an opportunity for learning about the traditions and values of our families. We strive to provide a learning environment that is non-biased and reflective our community’s ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity. Exposing the children to the valued traditions of others will encourage the respect and understanding of individuality and uniqueness, as well as discovering the commonalities that unite our families and communities collectively. We encourage family participation in teaching the children the important values and traditions of your individual culture by entering the classroom and participating in an interactive celebration and observance in relation to your family’s ethnical and cultural history.
Families are always included and acknowledged in the development of individual activities, guidance and values for their child. The parents and caregivers shall work together in unity to provide consistent loving care that encourages and supports the child’s growth and development. Daily communication and an active participation are essential of all parents to provide the best possible care for their child.
All children have the right to be cherished, treasured and loved no matter the child’s and family’s race, ethnic, or economic background. Diversity and cultural differences shall be acknowledged, celebrated, and valued.
The daily program is designed to incorporate an array of thematic activities that enhance a child’s development and learning about themselves and the world around them. The curriculum is founded on our knowledge of child development and learning as well as individual needs and interests. The curriculum is inclusive and adapts to the development and abilities of every child.
A sense of routine that offers predictability and consistency is important to young children as they form their ideas about their world and how they can operate within it. It creates a sense of trust and reliability and establishes an awareness of independence and self-image. The daily routine is developed with the experience and abilities of individual children as well as group needs. It is a balance of teacher-directed activities and child-initiated activities, active and quiet times, large muscle and small muscle activity, and indoor and outdoor activity.
Parts of the daily routine include:
- Transitions (limited)
- Meals and Snacks
- Diapering and Toileting
- Sleeping and Resting
- Small and Large Group Activities
- Outdoor Activity
- Discovery Time (child initiated choice)
Infant’s and toddler’s routines are individualized to the needs and interests of each child and are coordinated with the existing child’s home schedule of development and care.
Transitions - Our teachers use a variety of techniques to minimize the uncertainty some children may experience when transitioning from one activity (or area) to another. Transitions are also limited to help maintain consistency and stability in the child’s day.
Meals and Snacks- Meals and snacks are used to encourage socialization, as well as good nutritional habits and mealtime manners.
Diapering and Toileting- For infants and toddlers this time is a special time of one-on-one interaction between the child and the caregiver. The caregiver will speak gently with the infant/toddler and acknowledge the child’s interactions (both verbal and visual) with the caregiver. The caregiver will acknowledge to the child the activity that is going to take place (“I am going to change your diaper now”) and will allow for the child to focus on the caregiver for acceptance.
Sleeping and Resting- All children under the age of five are required to rest for at least 30 minutes. Infants will rest according to their own schedules, while toddlers will be encouraged to rest according to a routine but will always be allowed to sleep and wake as determined by the individual child. Older children will be allowed to sleep from 1-2 hours; however, if a child has not fallen asleep within 30 minutes of laying down, that child will be allowed to pursue quiet activities that do not disturb the other children. Infants will sleep in cribs; toddlers and older children will be provided with 2” thick mats. Toddlers and older children will bring a blanket, pillow, and “cuddly” from home.
All infants/toddlers up to the age of two, will be placed “Back to Sleep” while in the care of Kids’ Safari unless a written statement from the infant’s physician states otherwise. The “Back to Sleep” initiative has lowered the accounts of SIDS by more than 40%.
Small and Large Group Activity- Group experiences are designed to encourage friendships, cooperation, and positive social skills; as well as interdependent learning. During the group experience children will learn to speak in front of others and to listen to others. Group time activities will include music and movement, language and literacy, and interactive games.
Outdoor Activities- Outdoor time is designed to encourage physical conditioning and a healthy lifestyle, as well as social interactions, cooperation, and friendships. The playground equipment is designed to be developmentally appropriate for a wide range of development. The equipment enhances the imagination and development of large motor skills. Teachers will develop activities that incorporate cooperation and the development of large motor skills, as well as activities that offer creative and sensory development. There are three individual outdoor play areas: infant/toddler, preschool, and school-age.
Fieldtrips- Off campus learning is planned to incorporate the wide world of learning into the daily routines of the children. Fieldtrips will be planned at least two weeks in advance and will offer the children a chance to reach out to surrounding communities for a better understanding of various concepts. Fieldtrips will bring zoo animals to life and a farmer’s world to reality. Parent chaperones are encouraged and always welcome. Children in attendance on the day of a scheduled fieldtrip are required to attend that fieldtrip. If a parent chooses for their child not to attend the fieldtrip, then they are responsible for finding alternate care for the time during the fieldtrip. Contracted tuition will still be owed.
Infants and toddlers will not participate in off-campus learning activities except that of neighborhood walks. Preschool and school-age children may attend walking fieldtrips within the village of Cottage Grove.
Fieldtrips will be planned in mind of what is developmentally appropriate. Public transportation systems as well as the Kids’ Safari busses will be the primary source for transporting children to and from fieldtrips. Occasional events will require the use of center-provided vehicles including, but not limited to, staff and chaperone vehicles.
School age and preschool children may attend fieldtrips that involve water activities including swimming and water slides. Kids Safari applies the appropriate licensing ratios for water activities and encourages family participation.
Teachers will notify families in advance of fieldtrips and will request the availability of parent chaperones. Teachers will take a copy of the enrollment and emergency book, attendance roster, first aid kit, and cell phone. Attendance checks will be taken upon departure from the building, transportation route, arrival and departure at the destination, and every 15 minutes during the operation of the fieldtrip. A final attendance check will be taken upon arrival back at the school. Adult-child ratios will be maintained.
Discovery Time- Discovery time encourages children to make individual choices and promotes independence. It allows time for children to explore and investigate their surroundings with freedom and creativity. Children are invited to explore any or all of the areas on their own schedule and of their own interest.
Library- Twice a week, children ages one through five, will visit the Kids’ Safari library for storytelling, plays, and interactive reading. The librarian will offer a variety of creative and imaginative activities that will encourage language and literacy development. Children may request to check out a book with the permission of their parent. Parents are always welcome to visit the library with their child and check out up to two books a week.
Phy-ed- Twice a week children ages two through five, will visit the Kids’ Safari gymnasium for physical activity that enhances large motor skills and builds self-esteem. The Physical Education Teacher will develop and implement a core curriculum of physical and health activities that will encourage a life time of healthy physical activity. Activities will focus on strength building, coordination skills, healthy habits and self-esteem.
Early morning and late evening care
Children arriving early in the morning before 7:00am and leaving after 5:00 pm will be offered several choices involving varying learning areas. Staff will maintain involvement in their learning experience and will offer several choices of play.
Toys from Home
It is understandable that some children have special toys or items from home that offer security and a feeling of safety. The items are to be labeled with the child’s name and the teacher should be made aware of the significance of this item. We will not be responsible if the item becomes lost or damaged. We do not allow any weapons or toy guns on the premises.
Show and Share
Individual classrooms will offer a time and date for the children to have show and share opportunities. These times are significant in their planning and the lead teachers will make the decision to when and how often their classroom will participate in this activity.
Curriculum according to naeyc
The curriculum includes the goals of the program (the content that children are learning) and the planned activities, as well as the daily schedule, the availability and use of materials, transitions between activities, and the way in which routine tasks of living are used as learning experiences. Criteria for curriculum implementation reflect the knowledge that young children are active learners, drawing on direct physical and social experience as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their understanding of the world around them.
Senior and lead teachers write and implement weekly lesson plans that focus on the development and skill of the children in their class. The weekly lesson plans identify scheduled activities and projects that incorporate a theme or desired topic into the child’s learning experience. The lesson plans are posted on the Creative Curriculum© website as well as posted on individual classroom bulletin boards for the parents to review.
Infants’ and toddlers’ lesson plans are individualized to the needs and interests of each child and are in coordination with the child’s developmental planning/learning in the home.
Outdoor Play Policy
All children will have outside play at their daily scheduled time. If a parent feels that a child is too sick to participate in outdoor play, then the child should not attend school on that day.
Children should wear clothing that is comfortable and does not hinder self-help skills. Clothing should also be worn with the intent that play may become messy and may stain or soil clothing. Parents must also furnish a complete set of extra clothing to keep at the center in case of any accidents or gets overly dirty.
School Age Program
We emphasize meeting the individual needs of each child in our care and respond to these needs as children grow. We hire teachers who are warm and caring, understand child development, and are committed to children and families.
We believe children should and we want all of the children in our care to gain confidence in themselves, and to be happy, competent individuals. In order to do this they need to have the freedom to make choices in how they spend their days, and the security that caring adults will respond to their needs. There are many opportunities for exploration and choice of activity available every day combined with cooperative and group activities to ensure a well-balanced program. Above all, they need to have fun being children.
Before School children will need to arrive to the center by 7:00 am if they choose to eat breakfast at Kids’ Safari. This will allow for the child to have adequate time to eat without being rushed for the bus. The children will depart the center at 7:20am for school at both Taylor Prairie and Cottage Grove Elementary Schools.
Children will arrive at the center via a yellow Monona Grove School Bus for after-school care. Attendance will be taken immediately and parents will be notified immediately of a missing child. After-school children will be given a snack and offered time to work on homework. Children will have the opportunity to socialize, play and go outside every day after school, as well as any days that school is out or on early release.
Parent Specific Information for Infant/Toddler Rooms
Babies grow and develop dramatically during their first year. At Kids’ Safari, we will provide your baby safe play areas, safe objects to look at, grab, and examine. Our caregivers will respond to their cries and gurgles. Infants and toddlers in our care will have many opportunities to hear language through books and teachers narrating activities and transitions. Classrooms will provide ongoing music that is appropriate to the group dynamic. For example, during relaxing times children will enjoy sounds of water like a pleasant rainfall.
Babies need to become attached to at least one person who provides them with security and love. This first and most basic emotional attachment will be met by our staff using primary caregivers. Primary caregivers offer the parents maximum levels of communication on daily issues between Kids’ Safari and home.
Kids’ Safari also knows that infants and toddlers spend several hours on the floor exploring. Our goal is to keep these areas as clean as possible. We have a no-shoe rule when entering the Giraffe and Hippopotamus classrooms. This rule means that we ask all staff and parents to remove their street shoes and store them in designated area outside the door. The staff will have slippers to wear only in these rooms and parents are asked to replace their shoes with supplied visitor slippers which will be laundered by Kids’ Safari.
The infant and toddler rooms will follow Kids’ Safari themes. The teachers in these rooms will be asked to plan activities with the children and create individual goals and plans for each child. These plans will be turned in to the Infant Toddler Director each week and a copy will be placed in the child’s portfolio. Please note that these individual plans are not the same as group lesson plans. When your child enters the Gazelle room, the teacher will change formats from individualized plans to center specific lesson plans. The lesson plan will meet all areas for developmental growth and follow a center specific theme.
Teacher Specific Guidelines for Infant/Toddler Rooms
The Infant and Toddler Director will assign enrolled children to age specific rooms and to a primary provider in that room. The teacher assigned to care for that child will meet the daily needs of the children and will help parents at transitional times. Kids’ Safari wants all teachers to greet and welcome new children and families, but use primary providers to best meet the needs of the family through communication and daily forms. Senior or lead teachers will oversee general classroom operations and will report to the Infant Toddler Director. These teachers will be responsible that the daily notes and portfolio entries are done on a timely manner. Portfolio entries will be documented on friendships, milestones, favorites, and family. Giraffe and Hippopotamus room staff will need to remove street shoes when entering the room and store shoes as well as other personal items in staff cabinets. They will replace their shoes with slippers that have a waterproof sole in case of emergencies when there is a need to go outside immediately. Slippers should be laundered weekly or as needed and kept in good condition. Teachers in the Giraffe, Hippopotamus, and Monkey rooms will plan weekly individualized goals for the children in accordance with the developmental level as well as the schedule currently being implemented at home. Please try to incorporate the theme in an activity, a prop change, or visual in the classroom. For example, changing the books, flash cards, or pictures above diaper changing areas. Teachers in the Gazelle and Elephant rooms will fill out a Kids’ Safari lesson plan that will have activities in each educational center and incorporate the center’s theme. These rooms will start to implement structure to daily routines. For example, eating and napping at defined times.
Diapering and Toileting Information
- All staff will be expected to change diapers if necessary.
- It is not necessary for children to be potty trained through the age of three years of age. Because of the characteristics of the Pre-Kindergarten classrooms, it is necessary for children entering these rooms to be toilet trained and can do so with a certain independence.
- Toilet training must be in cooperation with the parents so that the child’s routine is consistent between the school and home.
- Any child under the age of 18 months will not be involved in the process of toilet training.
- Diapers are to be checked within two hours of the last change, and changed promptly when diaper is soiled/wet.
- Parents must furnish their own diapers and wipes.
- Lotions, powders, and ointments can only be applied after the proper authorizations has been completed and signed by a parent. (Lotions, powders, etc are furnished by parents)
Communication between the teachers, children, and families is very important. Communication provides a link between home and school that can make a positive difference in a child’s development.
Personal Greetings- Teachers are to greet parents every morning in an effort to exchange information about the child’s night and early morning. Teachers are also to greet parents every afternoon/evening in an effort to exchange information about the child’s day at the school.
Bulletin Boards- There are parent information boards located in every classroom and in the parent resource area. These boards provide important information regarding fieldtrips, curriculum, community resources, meal program, newsletters, community events, and so much more.
Newsletters- Newsletters are published once a month and are distributed to every family and community partner. The newsletter provides valuable information about upcoming events, reminders, staff news, special news events, curriculum notes, and much more.
The Daily News- “The Daily News” is a brief newsletter of the day’s events individualized by classroom. This newsletter will be sent via the Creative Curriculum© website on a daily basis from the preschool classrooms and once per week from the infant and toddler classrooms.
Online Journals and Emails- Every classroom has an email address and every child has an online journal on Creative Curriculum © for communication purposes between staff and families. These are important communication tools that we encourage every family to utilize.
Conferences- Scheduled conferences will be held during the months of November and March. The conferences will focus on past individual achievement and future goals. The conferences will be held with the lead teacher and parents or legal guardian. Varying times will be available along with a sign-up form to accommodate for parents and staff’s varying schedules. Additional conferences may be scheduled either by the teacher or parents.
Open Houses- Open houses will be held twice a year. The open houses provide opportunity for the community, families, and staff to interact and have some fun. Open houses encourage cooperation, interaction, and conversation.
Parent Communication Notebooks- Parents may leave notes for the staff at any time in the daily parent communication notebooks. These notebooks are located by the classroom parent information boards and are checked daily by individual classroom staff.
Assessment Portfolio- Teachers will develop individual portfolios for each child as a way to keep track of learning and development and to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum in meeting the needs of the individual and group. Within the portfolio are artifacts and/or narratives in each of the following areas:
- Writing and Work Samples
- Photographs and Memorabilia
We believe that as adults it is our responsibility to guide, correct and socialize children toward appropriate behaviors. The more effective we are at encouraging appropriate child behavior, the less time and effort we have to spend correcting a child’s misbehavior. We believe that effective guidance and discipline focus on the development of the “whole child”. By focusing on the positive, we preserve the child's self-esteem and dignity.
The goal of Kids’ Safari is to have children use their knowledge, skills, and self-determination when making choices and solving problems. It is our focus to help children reach this goal by encouraging empathy and sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others.
There are many positive steps we can take to help the prevention of inappropriate behaviors and encourage self-esteem and respect in children over the age of three:
Redirection- Sometimes a child’s behavior is inconsistent with the rules and may need to be redirected to more appropriate behaviors or activities. When a child is noticed behaving inappropriately the teacher will direct the child in another course that may include moving to another area, finding a different activity, corrective problem solving, and others as warranted.
- Set clear, consistent rules.
- Make certain the environment is safe and worry-free.
- Show interest in the child's activities.
- Provide appropriate and engaging playthings.
- Encourage self-control by providing meaningful choices.
- Focus on the desired behavior, rather than the one to be avoided.
- Build children's images of themselves as trustworthy, responsible and cooperative.
- Expect the best from the child.
- Give clear directions, one at a time.
- Say "Yes" whenever possible.
- Notice and pay attention to children when they do things right.
- Take action before a situation gets out of control.
- Encourage children often and generously.
- Set a good example.
- Help children see how their actions affect others
In some cases, prevention and redirection do not always help a child to make the right choices or problem solve in an acceptable way. In these cases, a Behavior Plan will be implemented. Our behavior plan consists of observation, evaluation, setting a goal, setting objectives to reach the goal, positive reinforcements, and a timetable for success. This behavior plan will be developed between a collaboration of the child’s teacher and parents/guardian (a director will be involved if it becomes necessary). Consistency will play an important part between home and school when setting objectives for reaching the goal.
Reflection- Reflection is the equivalent of a “timeout”. Though rarely used, reflection may be a child’s only resource to calming him/herself in order to think about and redirect one’s self behaviors. Reflection is used only when a child has exhibited a total loss of control and is a danger to him/herself or others, or it is completely disruptive to the other children in class to the point where consistency and security for the others is lost. Reflection will take place in an area that is in sight or sound of the teacher or a director. Reflection is restricted to children over the age of three and may not be used for more than one minute for every year the child is old.
The staff will explore all other aspects of guidance including redirection and reminders before utilizing “reflection”. Reflection should only be used when all other appropriate guidance techniques have been tried and have failed.
Environment- A child’s environment can have a direct influence on his or hers behavior. Kids’ Safari focuses on presenting an environment that is not only aesthetically inviting and pleasing, but also one that promotes safety, interest, and appeal to the child. The atmosphere is kind, loving, secure, and enjoyable. It is our objective to balance the environment with an equal number of quiet and busy activities. This will give children the opportunity to move around and release energy and to calm and relax at various times throughout the day. The equipment and materials offered in individual classrooms offer the children a time for exploration and independence, a necessary ingredient for creating a positive atmosphere. The staff will be creative and caring of the environment they create. Changes will periodically take place to offer new and exciting opportunities for children who tire easily of repetition, while maintaining a degree of continuity to protect the feeling of security.
Transitions - Our teachers use a variety of techniques to minimize the uncertainty some children may experience when transitioning from one activity (or area) to another. Transitions are also limited to help maintain consistency and stability in the child’s day. Creative activities can encourage smooth transitions and may include singing, games, or action movements. Staff are to refrain from making children stand in a line or a large group for long periods of time.
Punishment- The use of punishment with children is strictly prohibited. A punishment coerces a child into behaving the way we want him or her to. Punishment can lower self-esteem, humiliate, degrade, frustrate, embarrass, discourage or isolate a child. Punishment includes, but is not limited to: spanking, hitting, shaking, or inflicting any kind of physical harm. It also includes verbal abuse such as yelling, threatening, or making derogatory remarks. Other physical punishment that is prohibited is binding or tying up a child, confining a child to a small enclosed area, withholding or forcing meals or snacks, and withholding or forcing naps. Talking about threatening punishment or restraint is also strictly prohibited. Children shall never be punished for lapses in toilet training.
Infant/Toddler and Two’s Guidance- Guidance for positive behaviors in infants and toddlers starts with a safe environment that allows for developmentally-appropriate exploration and play. Infants and toddlers do not always see their behavior as harmful or damaging. Teachers and staff must accept that infants and toddlers are driven by their curiosity and imagination. It is important for teachers and other adults to realize the appropriate expectations of behavior during these years. The source of appropriate guidance is the establishment of a relationship that encourages infants/toddlers/twos to trust and rely upon adults to nurture them and keep them safe. Positive guidance is more focused on helping children develop feelings of confidence and trust in themselves and the adults who care for them. Adults should be sensitive and understanding of an infant/toddler’s needs and wants. The most effective measure to developing limits and boundaries is for adults to take part in role modeling the appropriate behaviors. When limits and boundaries are consistent for all, it is easier to enforce the appropriate behaviors with redirection and explanation. (ie: “The high chair is only for eating, let’s find you toys.”) Infants/toddlers/twos shall never be punished for lapses in toilet training.
Kids’ Safari respects the right of every parent/guardian to discipline his or her own child in a personal way (except where child abuse or neglect is concerned). Parents who volunteer in the center may never hit or shout at any child.
Grievance Procedures for Parents
- If a parent has a conflict or concern, they are encouraged to seek resolution of the matter on an informational basis. The following steps should be taken in order until such conflict or concern is resolved:
- First discuss the concern with the child’s primary teacher. The parent may request a special conference time to discuss the concern in detail.
- If the discussion with the staff member is not productive, the parent may request to speak with the director. In most cases, the administrator or director will call a meeting with involved parties, facilitate discussions, and help to reach an acceptable solution.
- If the parent feels that the concern has still been resolved in an acceptable manner, the parent may request a meeting with administrator or owner. The administrator will call a meeting with involved parties, facilitate discussions, and help to reach an acceptable solution.
- If all procedures fail to meet the parent’s expectation for an acceptable solution, the parent may initiate the two-week withdrawal of enrollment procedure.
Crying, Fussy and Distraught Children
Teachers, caregivers and staff will make every effort to comfort a child that is crying, fussing, and/or distraught. There are a variety of techniques that will be explored to ensure that every child’s needs are being met. If the staff have tried all resources and we feel that a child is inconsolable or that we are unable to meet the child’s needs the parent will be notified and asked to pick the child up from the center.
Infants and Toddlers
Eighty-five percent of all babies have fussy periods. Our caregivers realize and understand that it is natural for babies to cry for a variety of reasons: pain, hunger, discomfort, tiredness, boredom, or perhaps for no reason at all. No matter the reason, our caregivers will respond promptly with care and nurture. There are many ways that a caregiver may respond to a crying infant such as:
- Changing a diaper
- Cuddling and/or swaddling
- Carrying and/or walking around
- Rocking and/or bouncing
- Singing and/or talking softly
In addition to this, caregivers will seek the parent’s thoughts and ideas. These ideas and other pertinent information to the temperament and disposition of the infant or toddler will be included on the Child Under Two Intake Form as well as the daily information form filled out by the parents each morning. This partnership can help provide the most consistent and utilizable information to be applied between home and the classroom.
When the world surrounding preschoolers seems too overwhelming, they frequently turn to their caregivers to offer support and reassurance. Our staff are educated and trained to respond with appropriateness and acknowledgment of the child’s feelings. To help provide reassurance and comfort we may offer the child:
- A favorite toy to hold or we may help create a special ritual, like blowing kisses at the window or curling up on the comfy couch with a book or animal.
- Physical contact such as a hug, a high-five, or some time to cuddle with the staff.
- Soothing activities such as sensory bags, quiet music, or puzzles that create a sense of control.
- Gross motor activities to help rid excess energy or to get their frustrations out.
- A quiet retreat located in the classroom with toys and materials that provide comfort and care.
- A perfumed scarf that "smells like mommy" or a photo of familiar family members and friends.
Along with our knowledge and experience in child development, all staff and caregivers are trained and educated on the effects and dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Staff and caregivers acknowledge that stress can be a part of the daily routine of caring for children and may call for the assistance of another staff member when the stress becomes overwhelming.
Biting is perhaps one of the most distressing behaviors that parents and caregivers confront. At the same time, it is a normal behavior for older infants and toddlers. Reasons for biting are much different for infants and toddlers than for preschool children. For infants and toddlers, some of the reasons are:
- Exploration: A toddler doesn't make a distinction between a cigarette butt found in a park, a rubber toy, or a person's body. All are fair game for this natural form of exploration.
- Teething: This could be a cause for periodic biting, as the pressure on the mouth and gums relieves the pain and discomfort of teething.
- Affection: The toddler also hasn't learned to distinguish between her feelings and those of others. She experiences relief from her discomfort, and she isn't able to understand that this experience isn't as pleasant for others as it is for her.
- Lack of skills for expressing needs: Young children don't have words to express feelings of frustration and anger. They may use physical actions (biting, hitting, grabbing) if they want a toy, if they are angry, or if another child takes something from them.
- Experimenting for cause and effect: Lots of interesting things happen when a child bites. The other child gets upset, and the caregiver often responds very strongly. There may be an internal rush of adrenaline that comes as a result of the fear, anger, or excitement that follows the biting.
- Attention: Biting often results in lots of attention! The more powerful the attention (even if it's negative) the more likely the child is to continue biting.
Some of these same reasons apply to older children who bite. Between the ages of two and three, new skills are emerging:
- Overstimulation: The child may respond to noise and confusion by feeling frustrated and tense.
- The ability to use words to get what they want
- The ability to understand the feelings and needs of others
When a child is past the age of two and a half or three, biting is more likely to be an act of aggression. The child may use biting to get what he needs, or to threaten other children. This puts biting more in the category of hitting, pushing, and other forms of physically asserting power and influence. Older children who bite probably haven't learned more effective ways to express anger. (Aaronson Lorna, 2002)
- The ability to control their actions
We will explore various methods dealing with biting including looking at our environment and patterns of behaviors for the biter. Our staff will respond promptly and appropriately to biting and will provide the necessary guidance, prevention and comfort as needed.
If a child is bitten and it does not break the skin, the bite will be washed with soap and water and an ice pack applied for swelling. Parents will be informed through the incident/accident form placed in the child’s cubby.
If a child is bitten and the skin is broken the following procedure will be followed:
- We will let the wound bleed gently.
- We will clean the wound carefully with soap and water.
- We will check whether the child has been vaccinated against tetanus and make sure that the shot is up to date.
- Parents will be called immediately to inform of the following information:
- Call and talk with your child’s physician about whether the child needs a vaccine against Hepatitis B.
- To watch the wound over the next few days.
- If it gets red or begins to swell, call the child’s physician.
Health, Safety, and Nutrition Policy
It is the goal of Kids’ Safari to uphold a commitment to the health, safety and welfare of the children in our care and to the families and our community to the greatest extent that is possible.
Children’s Health Records
Unless exempt under religious grounds, all health records required by the Wisconsin Licensing Agency, DHFS, will be maintained and kept on file with appropriate and complete updates as mandated by the state. The legal guardians, parents, or ward will submit the following (as stated in admissions policy):
- Immunization record (completed and returned prior to first day of attendance).
- Health examination record signed and dated by a M.D., P.A., or health check provider (completed and returned prior to first day of attendance and subsequently thereafter in accordance with state policy and regulation).
- Health history record (completed an returned prior to first day of attendance).
- Written permission to contact the child’s physician or to obtain pertinent medical care in the case of an emergency.
In accordance with state licensing regulations any child, while in attendance, that shows signs or symptoms of an illness or communicable disease shall be quarantined (within sight and sound of a director or non-teaching staff member) until such time that a parent can be contacted and remove the child from the center.
Symptoms can be, but are not limited to: a sore throat, swollen/watery eyes, fever of a 100 degrees or more in children over the age of 6 months, a fever over 99.8 degrees in children under the age of 6 months; lice; cough; skin rash; diarrhea; vomiting; green discharge from the nose; or other indicative signs. Any child that exhibits odd or out of character behavior and who cannot participate in normal classroom activities will be observed for further evaluation and the parents or legal guardian of that child may be called to pick up their child.
The parent, legal guardian or appointed emergency contact will have one hour to pick up their child from the school. A child will have a mat and quiet activities while waiting to be picked up. Infants may be comforted through holding and rocking or placed in a pack and play in the director’s office for isolation while waiting to be picked up.
In accordance with state licensing regulations any child that shows signs or symptoms of illness or communicable disease while in the care of a parent or guardian (at home, grandparent’s house, etc) may not enter the school or be involved with any school activities until such symptoms are no longer present for a period of no less than 24 hours without medication such as pain relievers and fever reducers or there has been 24 hours of received antibiotics. We do not offer care for mildly ill children with symptoms. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for notifying the center if their child is absent due to illness.
In the event that a communicable disease has been diagnosed for any child or staff member, it will be immediately posted using the “Exposure Notice” and will be placed upon the parent and classroom information boards. The name of the person who is sick will not be posted and will be kept confidential. In the event that a communicable disease has been diagnosed, the classroom, including toys, furniture, and other equipment of the child, will be cleaned and sanitized with a department- approved disinfectant to prevent the further spread of disease.
A child that has been ill with infectious hepatitis, infectious mononucleosis, or tuberculosis must have a written doctor’s permission to return to the school.
A child who has head lice must be NIT-FREE before returning to school. Upon returning to the school the child must be thoroughly checked for any remaining nits or lice by a director or staff member trained in recognition of lice before the child may return to his or her classroom. The classroom of the child concerned will be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed immediately and all non-washable items will be bagged and sealed for a period of no less than three weeks.
Pandemic Illness Policy
In the case of a Pandemic Illness, Kids’ Safari will follow these procedures and precautionary measures in an effort to protect the health and safety of children, families and staff:
- If the State Health Department requires Kids’ Safari to close, we must do so and follow their recommendations.
- If there is a suspected or probable case within the center, as determined by a physician, we will close until proper tests and safety precautions have been performed and it is determined by the Administration and the State Health Department to be safe to return to the center.
- If the local schools are closing, Kids’ Safari will reserve the right to close until it is determined by the Administration and the State Health Department to be safe to return to the center.
- Kids’ Safari will require that any child with symptoms associated with the Pandemic Illness be kept home until they are symptom free without medication for fever or pain for at least 24 hours or they have been tested negative for the illness.
Please be aware that tuition will still be charged for 1 to 14 days of closure. After that time, the Administration would reassess the situation and develop a continuation plan.
Kids’ Safari will do it’s best to keep families informed and aware of symptoms, risks, procedures, and policies of any Pandemic Illness that we may experience. We ask families to notify Kids’ Safari of any symptoms your child displays during times of Pandemic Illness so that proper documentation and precautionary measures can be taken. We also ask that you do not bring your child to the center if they are displaying symptoms associated with Pandemic Illness. We will be very strict about sending ill children home during these times and ask for full cooperation to maintain the health and safety of the children, families and teaching staff here at Kids’ Safari.
During times of Pandemic Illness, please practice these general precautionary measures:
- Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and running water.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue if possible or cough/sneeze into your elbow. Do not cough/sneeze into your hands. Then wash.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or showing symptoms.
- If you or your child is sick, or showing symptoms related to Pandemic Illness, please be considerate of the health and safety of the children, families and staff members of Kids’ Safari and do not bring your child to the center until they are well.
If you, your child or family member living with the child has a confirmed case of a Pandemic Illness,
contact Kids’ Safari immediately!
Sunscreen and Insect Repellant
Parents will be responsible for providing sunscreen and insect repellant for their child during the summer months. Parents are asked to sign written authorization on the Health History form giving Kids’ Safari the right to apply sunscreen and insect repellant. We do ask that parents apply sunscreen to their child before arriving at school in the morning. The staff will reapply sunscreen as needed throughout the day.
Medication will be administered only if a written order is presented and signed by a physician and/or an Authorization to Administer Medication form is completed and signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian. This form will be kept in the child’s file. Medications include over-the counter drugs, prescription drugs, and diaper ointments.
Certain medications can be authorized for a conditional three-month period, such as epi-pens, inhalers, or medications that are taken to control behaviors. Three month medication authorizations must be reviewed, completed, and signed every three months by a parent, legal guardian, or physician.
Medications cannot be administered on an “as needed” basis with the exception of medication prescribed by a doctor for allergic or asthmatic reactions.
Medications must be in the original container and labeled with the child’s name, the dosage, and the directions for administering. Prescription medicines must also be labeled with the date and name of the prescribing physician.
The stated directions for administering and dosage amounts of any medication must be followed completely. Unless authorized by a physician’s signed statement, a parent’s request to administer doses that differ from the prescribed and declared amount for over-the-counter or prescribed drugs will not be given.
All medications with the exception of inhalers, epi-pens and other three-month medications will be sent home every Friday or thrown away in the outdoor dumpster.
Only the lead teachers or a director will administer medications. All medications that are administered will be documented with the date, time, dosage, child’s name and administering staff member in the Medical Log of the prescribed child’s classroom.
PAIN RELEIVERS and FEVER REDUCERS
It is Kids Safari Learning Center policy for pain relievers such as, Tylenol or Motrin, to only be given to children with a physician’s note and only for symptoms that do not require exclusion from the center based on the criteria and guidelines set by the Department of Public Health. Such incidents where it is appropriate to give a pain reliever would be for immunizations that were received, diagnosed ear infection, and seizure prevention. We will not give pain relievers for suspected illness or fever.
Pain relievers will only be given within the guidelines of the medication manufacturer as prescribed on the bottle. This includes directions of dosage, medication intervals and length of medication.
We reserve the right to limit or not administer any medication that is not considered life saving by medical professionals.
In the case of a medical emergency, the child’s parent or legal guardian will be notified immediately following the assessment of the child’s medical needs. These needs may be a result of an injury, allergic reaction, or medical anomaly.
In the event that an injury, allergic reaction, or other medical affliction requires immediate medical attention by a trained medical professional, *911 will be called to contact the Deer Grove EMS Service. The family will be immediately contacted by another staff member or director. A director will accompany the injured or ill child in an ambulance to Meriter Hospital or if time allows, the family- preferred medical facility.
In the case of an offsite emergency, the same procedures will be followed except that a staff member will accompany the child to Meriter Hospital or if out of the area the nearest and/or family preferred medical facility. A director will be notified immediately and will send additional assistance to the offsite location and medical facility (if needed). The director will also contact the parents immediately.
Staff will follow basic first aid procedures for minor injuries (posted in each room and staff lounge). Examples are minor scrapes, scratches, bumps, and bruises. Parents will be notified by an “accident/incident” form placed on the child’s cubby. (Any bumps to the head require that a parent be contacted by phone.)
Kids’ Safari does not discriminate against children or families that are HIV infected. Any child/family with positive HIV will be kept confidential.
CPR and first aid Training
The directors and all teaching staff must be trained and certified in Infant/Child CPR and First Aid by an accredited training facility or program. All staff members are recertified as required.
All adults and children must wash their hands by the seven-step standard: upon arrival at the school, before and after handling food, after changing and/or diapering or toileting, after playing outside, after playing in sensory materials, and after handling bodily fluids (even when gloves are used).
It is the policy of Kids’ Safari Learning Center to be a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not allowed in the building or on the grounds.
Parking Lot Safety
Parking for the school is permitted in designated spots. Handicap parking should not be used unless authorized/licensed to do so by the appropriate authorities. Vehicles should not be parked outside of designated parking areas. Unattended vehicle should not be left running. Children should not be left in unattended vehicles. A speed limit of 10 miles per hour will be enforced.
Tornado Evacuation, Fire Evacuation and Drills
Tornado drills will be carried out during the spring and summer months when the threat of dangerous weather is highest. The evacuation procedure is posted by the inside door of each room. Staff will gather children calmly and safely to the appropriate exit and lead them to safety. An attendance check will be taken by the lead teacher immediately once safely in position inside the safe room. Evacuation procedures for children with special needs will be developed by a director and staff as the need arises.
Fire drills will be carried out once per month throughout the year. The evacuation routes for each class will be posted at the door leading to the outside for each classroom. For all other rooms, the evacuation route will be posted at the door closest to escape. Staff should gather children calmly and safely to the appropriate exit and lead them to safety.. An attendance check will be taken by the lead teacher immediately once safely away from the building (at a place designated by the director). Children that are not walking will be placed in an evacuation crib and wheeled to safety by a staff member.
In the event of chemical emergency, children will take shelter inside the building away from windows. The evacuation procedure is posted at the inside door of each room. Staff will close windows. Staff should gather children calmly and safely to the appropriate exit and lead them to safety. An attendance check will be taken by the lead teacher immediately once safely in position inside the safe room.
In the event of a building evacuation, the Administrator will determine which of the pre-arranged, off–site evacuation locations the children will be taken to:
- Shell Station, Commerce Parkway;
- Mini Mall, Commerce Parkway.
Evacuation of Sleeping Children in All Circumstances
An administrator will alert staff immediately. All members of the staff and directors should calmly and immediately begin waking the children in an orderly fashion. Children should be told (in a very calm and reassuring voice) that there is an emergency and they should quickly move to the emergency exit. Keep children calm. If a child is difficult to wake, one staff member should gently lift that child to his/her feet and calmly, but quickly, wake the child. Staff of infants should place all infants in the evacuation cribs and move toward the exit for safety. The evacuation procedure is posted at the inside door of each room. Staff should gather children calmly and safely to the appropriate exit and lead them to safety. Each lead teacher will be responsible for taking the emergency cards and attendance roster of their class to the evacuation safe place/room. An attendance check will be taken by the lead teacher immediately once safely in position inside the safe room. The Administrator or Director will be responsible for bringing the master enrollment book and the cell phone form the building.
Emergency Lock Down
In the event that an intruder or trespasser enters or tries to enter the school, or there is reason to suspect imminent harm from an outsider, a director may initiate an immediate lock down.
Any bomb threat, suspicious letter or package, or telephone threat should be taken seriously and treated as a real situation until told otherwise by an official. The threat will be reported immediately to local law enforcement by calling 911. A director will notify all lead teachers and support staff and building evacuation procedures will be initiated immediately. No person should reenter the building until a law enforcement official has given the all-clear signal.
Natural Gas- In the event that anyone smells gas, action should be taken immediately. 911 should be notified and building evacuation procedures should be initiated immediately. Electrical switches should NOT be touched at any time. No person may reenter the building until the proper authorities have given the all-clear signal.
Electrical Outages- Emergency backup lighting should automatically come on in the case of power failure. Flashlights and spare batteries are also available in every class. Staff should remain calm and comfort frightened children. A director will contact Alliant Energy. If the electrical outage is prolonged for more than one hour, staff will contact parents to pick up their child.
Loss of Water- A director should contact local water authorities to report the problem. If it is a prolonged loss, the staff will contact parents to pick up their child.
Severe and Hazard Weather Policy
In the event of a natural or environmental emergency resulting in the temporary closing of Kids’ Safari, reasonable and adequate notice will be given as much as possible under any given circumstance. The Asministrator will evaluate the situation, make the decision and inform the staff. Each of the directors will be responsible for notifying parents by phone if the center is already open. If the center is closed, the notification may be posted in writing or by phone call. Such closings can be caused by, but not limited to, dangerous and/or hazardous weather, chemical or biological hazards, loss of heat and electrical outages. Tuition is non-refundable.
If any doubts, please call the center immediately. A recorded message will be made, if possible, clarifying Kids’ Safari’s availability. A Creative Curriculum email will be sent out to all preschool and infant/toddler parents as soon as a decision is made. A note will be posted on the front entry way if a director is able to reach the center without injury or harm to herself or vehicle.
- A general guideline for winter weather:
- In general, Kids Safari will close if the Monona Grove School District is closed for the day due to hazardous driving conditions.
- In general, Kids Safari will NOT close if Monona Grove School District closes due to extreme cold weather.
- Kids’ Safari reserves the right to close if the Administrator feels that the driving conditions are unsafe and may cause harm to any staff member or family.
- Kids’ Safari reserves the right to close if we cannot adequately staff the center within state licensing ratios due to poor driving conditions for staff trying to make it to work.
Every child will have outdoor activity at their scheduled daily time, weather permitting. In the case of severe weather the following indicators will prevent outdoor play:
- Heavy rain or thunderstorms.
- Temperatures that rise above 90 degrees.
- Temperatures that fall below 10 degree including wind chill.
- Temperatures that fall below 25 degrees including wind chill for infants and toddlers.
- Storm or Tornado Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for our area.
The Health and Nutrition Manager will plan the menu one month in advance and will comply with all state regulations in regard to nutrition. Each meal and snack will meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture child care food program minimum meal requirements. Meals and snacks will support diversity.
Request for special diets not required by a medical condition, such as a vegetarian or kosher diet, will be honored if the parents supply the foods necessary to ensure compliance with the diet if the foods differ from those of the center menu(s).
A copy of the menus will be posted on the kitchen’s bulletin board (located in the cafeteria) and on each classroom information board. All menus will be filed for review for at minimum of three months. Any changes to either menu will be posted on the menu board in the cafeteria and all staff will be made aware of the change prior to meal/snack times.
Any child arriving before 6:30am or leaving after 5:30 pm will be provided with a small snack such as graham crackers and milk, or granola bar and milk.
Breakfast will contain three of the following food groups: breads/grains, vegetable/fruits, meat/protein, and milk.
Lunch will contain all of the following food groups; breads/grains, vegetable/fruits, meat/protein, and milk.
Snack will contain two of the following food groups: breads/grains, vegetable/fruits, meat/protein, and milk.
Portions will be served as to comply with Appendix B and/or C of the DCF 251 Licensing Rules and Regulations. Seconds will be offered to all children on fruits/vegetables, bread/grains, and milk.
Families are always welcome to bring in a snack for their child’s class. A nutritious snack is encouraged but special treats for birthdays and celebrations are welcomed. Teachers should be notified in advance. Special snacks will be posted on the menu of the participating class.
A list of children’s allergies will be posted in the kitchen and each classroom. Allergies and special food requirements (special requests require a physician’s statement) will be common knowledge for ALL staff and volunteers. If a child has an acute allergy, the family will be asked to supply the proper medication (epi-pen, benadryl) and/or an alternative food (soy milk, egg free).
Staff will sit with the children at all snack and meal times to encourage conversation and provide a good role model. Staff will encourage children to try new foods but will not force any child to eat. Mealtimes are used as a time to encourage autonomy and will include children in the serving and clean-up processes. Proper table manners will be taught to and expected from children two years of age and older. The children will also ask to be excused from the table when finished.
Food of any kind may not be forced upon or taken away from a child for the use as either a reward or punishment. Food is for the sole purpose of nutrition and health of the child.
School age children will be provided breakfast and an afternoon snack while in attendance at Kids’ Safari during school days. On days off from school, schoolaAge children will be provided with breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack if in attendance. During the summer season, breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon snack will be provided to each school-age child in attendance.
Infant and Toddler Nutrition and Meal Times
Prior to enrollment, an interview and intake form will be completed with the child’s parent to determine scheduling and routine of meals and feeding, as well as the types of foods that have been introduced (and a timetable for trying new foods).
The following apply to all infant and toddlers:
- Infants and toddlers will and must follow their own eating schedules.
- Parents of infants are required to bring in prepared formula or breast milk bottles, baby cereal and other necessary nutritious items if the child is not yet eating table foods. Parents must bring in enough bottles equal to the number of times per day an infant/toddler has a bottle. (Table foods and milk will be provided when nutritiously and age appropriate for a child.) Please label all bottles and food
- All food and formula filled bottles brought from home are labeled with the child’s name and dated, and are refrigerated if needed.
- Formula will be iron-fortified and will be prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- All infants from 6 weeks – 12 months will be offered breast milk or formula.
- Toddlers over the age of 12 months will be offered breast milk or milk.
- Infants requiring a substitute other than breast milk or formula will require a written physician’s statement.
- According to state policy and regulation we must discard any leftover, unused formulas or milk and rinse bottles immediately after use.
- Offer drinking water to infants and toddlers several times throughout the day.
- An infant that cannot hold his or her own bottle will be held while feeding. Bottle propping is not allowed. If assistance is needed, a director will be called to help with feeding time.
- All commercial baby food containers or center prepared foods that are stored and have been opened must be covered, dated and refrigerated. Any food that has not been used in 36 hours will be tossed.
- Any child too young to sit in a high chair will be held in lap or placed in an infant seat with a safety strap during the feeding of foods. The infant seat will be placed on the floor and the staff will sit next to the infant seat. All high chairs will be wide based and have a safety strap.
- Children will be encouraged to experiment with self feeding with their hands and spoons. All eating utensils and cups will be developmentally appropriate in size and level for individual children.
Child Abuse and Neglect Policy
Reporting Child Abuse
A licensee, employee or volunteer at a child care center who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected as defined in 48.981 (1) stats shall immediately contact the Dane County Department of Human Services or local law enforcement agency.
Every employee and volunteer who comes in contact with the children at the child care center will have received training in the following:
- Child abuse and neglect law.
- How to identify children who have been abused or neglected.
- The process for reporting known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
All suspicions and knowledge of child abuse or neglect will be documented in the school’s medical log kept in the director’s office.
.Special Needs Policy
Kids’ Safari will make all reasonable accommodations to address and meet the special needs of enrolled children. Kids’ Safari is committed to meeting those needs with a working partnership between the family and teaching staff.
Identification of Special Needs at time of Registration
When a special need is identified at the time of registration, the administrator or director will work with the parent or guardian to determine how to best meet those needs. The administrator or director and the parent/guardian will make a decision if this is the most favorable placement for the child. Community resources will be utilized, with the parent’s permission, to assist in meeting the needs of the child. Factors that would directly bear on a decision to enroll or not to enroll a child include the following:
- Availability of supportive resources to the school.
- Willingness of the parents to work with the school in meeting the needs of the child.
- The extent and/or scope of the special need in relation to the resources available.
- The ability of the child to benefit and participate in the school’s activities.
Written documentation of all meetings will be kept on file in the school’s office.
Identification of a Special Need After Time of Enrollment
When a special need is identified after a child has been enrolled at the school, the Primary Teacher and administrator or director will notify the parent/guardian to determine a time to convene for a conference. If necessary, the administrator or director will observe in the classroom and file written documentation of the observations (this will be kept in the child’s file in the office)
If classroom attempts are insufficient at meeting the child’s needs, the administrator will notify the parents/guardians. Within seven days a conference will be held to determine a plan of action that will better enable the school to meet the child’s needs. This plan of action will include the goal, objectives to reach the goal, responsibilities, and follow up of all parties involved. It is expected that the director, teachers, and parent/guardians will work in a partnership to meet the child’s needs.
As appropriate with the parent’s permission, community resources may be obtained to assist the school in meeting the child’s needs. Community resources may include but are not limited to:
- Family physician or pediatrician.
- Medical specialists.
- Early Childhood Programs or local school.
- Mental Health Professional.
- Dane County Human Services.
- Birth to Three.
- Rainbow Project.
Factors that would directly bear on a decision to continue or discontinue enrollment of a child include the following:
- Availability of supportive resources to the school.
- Willingness of the parents to work with the school in meeting the needs of the child.
- The extent and/or scope of the special need in relation to the resources available.
- The ability of the child to benefit and participate in the school’s activities.
Procedure for Sharing Important Information on the Special Needs of Children (review)
Staff members who primarily care (usually lead teacher) for a child with special needs will identify and post those needs in writing (in the teacher resource area of each room) and vocally (as staff member begins a shift) to all individuals who are involved in the care of that child.
It is the responsibility of every staff member to familiarize themselves with the teacher resource area of each room and refer to that area before the start of their shift on a daily basis. This area will include any pertinent information needed to properly care for the child.
The primary staff member of the child is also responsible for consulting with the parents or family members of that child on a frequent basis (every day if needed) of any changes or recommendations that are or can be made to enhance that child’s daily experience. These changes must be relayed to the other staff members immediately using the above procedure.
Release of Information
Kids’ Safari may ask the parent or guardian to sign a “release of information” form to allow us to communicate with other agencies concerning the child’s special needs and how to best meet those needs.
Information regarding the family and child will be kept in the strictest of confidence. Discussion that identifies a child or family is limited to Kids’ Safari staff and staff of other agencies directly involved as required by law. All written records are kept confidential. A parent or guardian may request at any time to view or receive a copy of his or her child’s record.
Volunteer is defined as a person who agrees to give time, without compensation, to work with children in Kids’ Safari. It is our goal to properly acclimate all volunteers to the policies, rules, and regulations of Kids’ Safari and DHFS Licensing Rules prior to assuming their position. This acclimation will take place in the form of a full and complete orientation of all policies as outlined in the personnel policies.
Volunteers may not be considered or included in meeting the center’s staff to child ratios.
Volunteers must complete the following criteria prior to assuming the position;
- Complete and sign a background information disclosure form.
- Consent to a criminal background check and no offenses that would ban the volunteer from working with children.
- Fill out a volunteer application and emergency form.
- Complete orientation with a director using the orientation checklist.