Extreme Weather Policy
When the temperature is 85 degrees or higher and the relative humidity is 60% or higher, the children will be kept indoors. Any exceptions must be approved by the Director/Assistant Director. Various indoor activities using large motor skills will be planned. Example: dancing, exercise, relay races, etc.
When the temperature is less than 60 degrees, children will be required to wear jackets. We ask that you bring a jacket or a coat that can be left at the daycare. Therefore, if it’s warm when you bring your child and they don’t wear a jacket, but it gets cooler throughout the day, they will have something that they can wear. In order to comply with DHS staff to children ratios, it may not be possible to leave your child indoors if they do not have a jacket or a coat; therefore, we require a jacket or a coat to be left at the center.
If the temperature is below 32 degrees and the wind speed is 15 mph or higher, the children will be kept indoors.
Per DHS, children will play outside during recess except in the above mentioned circumstances, or in the event of rain. If the rain has ceased at recess time, and if the play area is not too wet, the children will play outside.
Our nutrition program provides a nutritious breakfast, and a mid-morning and afternoon snack as well as lunch each day which is included in the tuition. Our entire menu is not only filled with food kids love, but it’s also planned to satisfy all federal and state guidelines. Foods with a high incident rate of choking are not used or are modified to reduce any risk of choking.
We ask for your cooperation by not allowing your child to bring any food to the daycare. The only exception to this is for School Age Children. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) guidelines allow for those children to bring meal or snack options from home. If we have special occasions that could include your participation in bringing food, our daycare Director/Assistant Director will inform you and give you all the necessary information.
Your child’s well-being is our top priority, so please help us by letting us know of any food allergies your child may have. Special dietary accommodations will be made upon written instructions of a licensed physician or health care provider.
The children are encouraged to serve and pour for themselves as much as possible during lunch and snacks, utilizing the “family style” dining method. This fosters more self-help skills than the “old way.” Prayer will be said by the teacher and repeated by the children at the table before each meal. Manners will be used and taught to the children. No child will be forced to eat, nor will food be withheld as punishment at any time.
Breast Feeding Policy
In order for Harvest Christian Daycare to encourage the bonding between nursing mothers and their infants, a place can be set up for nursing mothers in the infant room. The environment will be peaceful and private to provide as much comfort as possible.
Also, a refrigerator has been made available for storage of expressed breast milk. Breastfeeding mothers may store their expressed breast milk in the center refrigerator. Mothers should provide their own containers, clearly labeled with name and date. The center will follow guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Center for Disease Control in ensuring that breast milk is properly treated to avoid waste. Breast milk may be safely stored in the same refrigerator as other foods.
Frozen breast milk will be stored for no more than 3 months. Storage containers will be rotated so breast milk with the earliest date is used first. Frozen breast milk will be thawed in the refrigerator, under running water or in a pan of warm water. Frozen breast milk that has been thawed will not be refrozen and used within 24 hours. Breast milk will be warmed under running water or placed in a container of water that is not warmer than 120 degree Fahrenheit. Breast milk will not be microwaved.
Harvest Christian Daycare is committed to providing ongoing support to breastfeeding mothers, including providing an opportunity to breastfeed their baby in the morning and evening. We will also do our best to hold off giving a bottle, if possible, when mom is due to arrive. Formula will not be provided unless the mother has requested so. Baby food and/or cereal may be introduced at 4 months of age. At 8 months of age, CACFP guidelines require infants to consume infant cereal and baby food.
Leftover breast milk from a bottle fed to a baby cannot be refrigerated and used later. Any unused refrigerated breast milk will be returned to the family at the end of the day (unfrozen breast milk can only be kept at the center for 24 hours).
To get through this challenging phase in development, teamwork is the key. We’ll make every effort to coordinate our program with what you start at home. We will not start any toilet training until you decide the time is right -- most children start around two years of age, but we will work with you.
When you do decide to start toilet training, we ask you to supply us with at least two complete changes of clothing (including socks and shoes), and an ample amount of underwear, pull-up’s, and/or training pants for each day your child attends. If your child has just started toilet training, he or she may still wear a pull-up at rest time.
We would recommend that you dress your child appropriately for potty training. We recommend that they wear clothes that are easy to pull up or down, such as pants with elastic waistbands. We encourage you to avoid clothes with a lot of buttons or snaps, such as overalls. There are many clothes available that have style and ease. Please be considerate of our staff as they help your child. During potty time, as well as during class time, workers will be available to supervise your child and assist them as necessary.
Field Trips and Non-Center Activities
Children that attend Harvest Christian Daycare may leave the center to take a field trip. The field trips will include learning as well as fun experiences. Most field trips will be in the surrounding area and not far away from Cedar Rapids. Parents will be notified in advance of each trip and will be asked to sign a permission form. If you choose for your child not to go on the field trip that is scheduled, he/she may stay at the center in another class.
When children are being transported to and from a field trip, all children will be safely seat belted. When traveling in a daycare vehicle, there will always be at least one extra adult depending on the age of the children. The driver must have a valid driver’s license and follow all the HCD Driver requirements. Anytime the children leave the center, a first aid kit and a list of all children’s emergency consent forms are taken, in case an emergency should arise.
Upon enrollment, parents and guardians are required to fill out a sunscreen authorization. Staff apply sunscreen prior to children being exposed to the sun. Staff maintain a log of when sunscreen is applied and which staff applied/reapplied it. When sunscreen is applied, staff are to follow the directions regarding the amount to be used and when to reapply.
Each child has sunscreen applied to his/her face, torso (stomach and back), legs, arms, scalp (especially when the child has short hair), feet, ears, necks, tops of hands, etc. We also encourage extra clothing (hats, sunglasses, swim shirts, etc).
If school-age children are capable of applying sunscreen themselves, the staff monitor that the children apply all exposed areas and that an ample amount of sunscreen is being used. Staff maintain a log on school-age children who are capable of applying sunscreen themselves, noting that the staff supervised to ensure the child properly self-applied the sunscreen.
If a parent or guardian refuses to allow his/her child to wear sunscreen, a written letter from the child’s physician is required stating that the child does not need to wear sunscreen. A parent or guardian always has the option to bring in a specific type of sunscreen if that is preferred. Staff monitor the Child Care Weather Watch Chart and limit time outdoors as needed based on temperature and relative humidity.
After hours of exciting, educational and fun activities, your child needs rest. Our rest period for toddlers and preschoolers usually ranges from 1 ½ to 2 hours. We provide the mat and bedding. Children attending during nap time are required to bring a blanket. The blanket should be clearly labeled with the child’s first and last name.
Discipline Policies - All Ages
Learning self-control is just a normal part of growing up, so Harvest Christian Daycare’s policy is never to embarrass or ridicule a child when they misbehave. Nor do we allow the use of corporal or physical punishment. Instead, we use positive tactics that strengthen the self-esteem of children. Most situations can be handled by redirecting the child to another, more appropriate activity. This approach is called “positive redirection”.
On certain occasions, we use a procedure called “time out." It gives children time to think about their actions before coming back to an activity. It’s a positive form of discipline that teaches the right behavior while allowing the child to make the decision to improve his or her behavior. “Time out” periods may last no more than one minute for each year of your child’s age. (For example, a 3-year-old child’s maximum time out would be three minutes). At the end of a time out, we talk to each child and go over with them the behavior that was not acceptable, and what the preferred behavior is. We speak positive things over the child, and ask them to make positive statements as well, such as “I’m a good boy. I make good choices. I will listen to my teachers.”
Discipline Policies- Three to Five Year Olds
In general, we observe more disciplinary issues with children between the ages of three and five than in the younger age groups. Because of this, we have implemented some additional techniques to positively influence children’s behavior.
Positive redirection is used with the three to five year olds. For example, if a child is having trouble sitting in place, we may ask the child to jog in place for a couple minutes to try to help them get out the “jitters”. If a child is talking at an inappropriate time, then we may ask the child to sing a song to help them get out all their words so that they can then listen and pay attention.
Many times children misbehave because that is the only way that they know how to express frustration. We help children to acknowledge when they are getting frustrated or upset, and how to respond to those emotions. One way we do that is through the “Tucker Turtle” technique. Tucker Turtle teaches children how to respond to frustration by stopping, taking a deep breath, calming down, and thinking about how to respond.
Some children struggle more with self-calming than others do. If a child gets to a high level of frustration and needs some assistance with calming down, we provide a “Calm Down” box, which is a box filled with various items. When the child is in a heightened state, they are allowed to take one item out of the box to play with and put their attention on to bring them down to a calmer state. Once the child has calmed down, then the teacher is able to address the poor behavior.
As another positive reinforcement for good behavior, children are rewarded a sticker if the teachers catch the children doing something good. For example, if a child picks up another child’s toys during clean up time without being told, they could be rewarded with a sticker.
If a child has more than three time outs during any one day, the teacher will send the child to the Director/Assistant Director’s office for a time out. The Director/Assistant Director will work with the child to address the inappropriate behavior and also try to figure out the root cause of the poor behavior. To do this, we will ask the child questions about their health, activities they did the night before (to determine if the child is overly tired), or other questions to determine if there is something else that is bothering the child. Again, children do not always know how to express their emotions and may act out because they are feeling tired, sad, or upset about something and they just need someone to talk to. The Director/Assistant Director will use discretion on whether to use disciplinary measures or to give the child some comfort and/or rest they may need. Any information that is shared by the child that is of a sensitive nature is kept confidential and will be shared directly with the parents and/or guardians.
If a child continues to have multiple time outs in a day, the Director/Assistant will schedule a consultation with the parents and come up with a plan of how to prevent the undesirable behavior and a time line as to when the behavior should improve. The teacher will keep the parents informed of the child’s behavior.
If the undesirable behavior should continue, the Director may suspend the child for a period of time. If the behavior does not improve after one or more suspensions, the Director may withdraw the child if it is in the best interest of the child and of the daycare.
If you have any questions about our discipline policies, please consult our Daycare Director or Assistant Director.
Critical Behavior Issues
Because we provide childcare and education in a group setting, we must be concerned for the welfare and safety of all of our children. When a particular child’s behavior threatens the safety of or becomes abusive towards other children or staff in the daycare, we may require immediate pick-up and/or suspension of the child for a period. It is at the discretion of the Director/Assistant Director to dis-enroll the child immediately if necessary. Critical behavior would include, but is not limited to, prolonged biting, hitting, punching, injuring, threatening, kicking, bullying, etc.
Our primary goal is to provide a safe and loving learning environment for children. When a biting incident occurs, there are many upset feelings. When it does occur we take it very seriously and try to find the reason why the child bit. Our goal is to extinguish the behavior as soon as possible and to assist in developing positive social skills.
The following steps will be taken if a biting incident occurs at our center:
• The biting will be interrupted with a firm "No, we don't bite anyone! That hurts!”
• Staff will stay calm and will not overreact.
• Staff will remove the biter from the situation. The biter is not allowed to return to play and is
talked to on a level he/she can understand, and then redirected.
• Staff will comfort and treat the injured child.
• The parents of both children will be notified of the biting incident. Appropriate forms will be
filled out (Accident Report). A written accident report is given to the parents of all children
involved when they are picked up that day. The name of the biting child is not released
because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more
When biting continues:
• The Director/Assistant Director will speak with parents and ask for their cooperation in forming
a plan to change their child’s biting behavior while protecting others from being bitten. One
option would be shadowing the child; another one would be keeping the child at arm’s length
until the behavior is corrected.
• The Director/Assistant Director will communicate with all caregivers with the plan to correct
the behavior. Time out can be lengthened and staff must continue to work with the parents
until the biting pattern is broken.
• The child will be observed by the classroom staff to determine what is causing the child to bite
(teething, communication, frustration, etc). The administrative staff may also observe the child
if the classroom staff is unable to determine the cause.
• The child will be given positive attention and approval for positive behavior.
When biting becomes excessive:
• If a child inflicts 3 bites in one week period (5 weekdays) in which the skin of another child or
staff member is broken or bruised or the bite leaves a significant mark, a conference will be
held with the parents to discuss the child's behavior and how the behavior may be modified.
• If the child again inflicts 3 bites in one week period (5 weekdays) in which the skin of another
child or staff member is broken or bruised or the bite leaves a significant mark, the child will
be suspended for 2 business days.
• If a child once again inflicts 3 bites in one week period (5 weekdays) in which the skin of
another child or staff member is broken or bruised or the bite leaves a significant mark, the
parents will be asked to make other daycare arrangements.
• If a child, who has been through steps 1 and/or 2, goes 3 weeks (15 business days) without
biting, we will go back to step one if the child bites again.
• If a child bites twice in a 4 hour period, the child will be required to be picked up from daycare
for the remainder of the day. This will not count towards the 2 day suspension.
You can count on us to respond to a biting incident in a timely and appropriate manner. Although biting is inappropriate, it does not always warrant termination from our program. However, we will ask families to leave our program depending on the severity and the frequency of the biting. The decision to terminate a child who is biting is not always easy but sometimes necessary for the welfare of the other children and/or staff. The decision to terminate will be made at our discretion after we have exhausted all means to correct the behavior.
Parents or other authorized guardians will be notified when their child has a sign or symptom that requires exclusion from daycare. Examples are described below:
1) The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in daycare activities,
2) The illness results in greater care need than the child care staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children,
3) Fever with behavior change or other signs and symptoms in a child older than 6 months (e.g., sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea).
4) A child with a temperature elevated above normal is not necessarily an indication of a significant health problem. For children older than 4 months a fever is defined as:
✿ 100°F (37.8°C) axillary (armpit)
✿ 101°F (38.3°C) orally
✿ 101°F (38.3°C) Aural (ear) temperature
Get immediate medical attention when an infant younger than 4 months has unexplained temperature of 100°F (37.8°C) axillary. Any infant younger than 2 months with a fever should get medical attention within an hour.