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Daily Schedule

7:00-8:35 Welcome, New Day! 

(Greeting, Free Choice, Math Moments)

8:35 Clean up/Diaper & Bathroom/Wash hands

9:00 Breakfast & A Book

(Language, Literacy, and Music Experiences)

9:10-9:40  Outdoor Exploration

(Take a walk, Playground Fun, Science and Nature)

9:40 Diaper & Bathroom/Wash hands

9:55-11:15  Free Play and Individual Art Opportunities

Mobile infants may join the toddler class on the playground  From 10:45-11:15am

11:15-11:45  Music (dance party, instruments,


11:45-12:20 Clean up/Wash hands/Lunch

12:20     Diaper & Bathroom/Wash hands

12:15-2:00   Time for Rest (Students 18 months or older) (Snuggles, soft music, and sweet dreams)

2:00 Afternoon Snack

(Diaper & Bathroom/Wash hands, Snack)

2:30-3:15 Free Choice and Sensory Play

3:15-3:45 Playground Time

(Diaper & Bathroom/Wash hands)

3:45-5:55 Scaffolded Learning

Return Before First Day of School
-Completed Enrollment Packet
-Immunization Record

Bring on First Day
-Extra pair of clothes
-Water Bottle

-Nap Blanket

Within 30 Days of First Day
-Health Appraisal

Parent Handbook

This handbook is intended to familiarize families with current Pitter Patter Preschool policy, practices and standards. The Parent Handbook is available in Spanish. Electronic copies (PDF) of both the English and Spanish versions of the handbook are available upon request. Print copies are available upon request. Pitter Patter reserves the right to revise its policies, practices and standards as deemed appropriate by the Director and owner. Families will be notified of updates to the handbook. Most current revision is January, 2023 . Admissions Statement Pitter Patter is available to service children ages 6 weeks until 12 years of age at our Kits location, 30 months until 12 years of age at our Fawns location, and 6 weeks until 12 years of age at our Hatchlings location. It is our policy to accept children in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), its regulations and all state and federal laws referring to the delivery of services to individuals with disabilities. We evaluate each case individually and make reasonable adjustments for any student who can safely participate in a group care environment. This applies to children, schoolagers, families, and staff with disabilities. About Us Pitter Patter Preschool, established in November 2018, is a community-based and family-centered environment where we believe in the value and uniqueness of each child we serve and the strength of every family that surrounds them. We are honored to partner with all families and help guide their little learners as they develop in every area including social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. As caregivers and educators, our mission is to provide a safe, healthy, loving and developmentally appropriate learning environment which fosters a child’s natural desire to explore, discover, create, and become a lifelong learner. We believe a nurturing environment, a structured curriculum, and parents and staff who work as partners will prepare every student for academic success. At Pitter Patter Preschool, children are cherished, staff are committed and caring, and parents are always welcome. Philosophy Our program is built around the concept that children are born ready to learn. As caregivers, we strive to create a learning environment that is safe, stimulating and encouraging. We believe that the continuity of care between home and school, and between caregivers within the center is very beneficial for every student. The following principles are excerpted from the Michigan Early Learning Standards (2006) and serve as the foundation for our curriculum. Children develop knowledge of their world through active interactions with caregivers, peers, materials, and events. Learning is sequential, building on prior understandings and experiences. Learning proceeds at different rates in each area and each child; children will show a range of skills and understandings in any one area of development. Learning in each area is interconnected. Young children learn best through experiences, which incorporate several areas of development. Learning is embedded in a culture. Children learn best when their learning activities are rooted in a familiar cultural context. Learning begins in the family, continues in early care and education settings, and depends on parent involvement and caregiver guidance. All children have the potential to achieve the Michigan Learning Standards with appropriate supports and instruction. Pitter Patter Mission Statement: “Infusing love into the world through programming, partnerships, and principle.” Strengthening Families: The Protective Factors Framework contains five (5) main ideas: Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children. These are the core values that help families be strong and thrive. These concepts will be explored at Parent Cafés held throughout the year for all Pitter Patter families. For more information on this program, and scheduled Café event dates, please refer to your Center Director General Center Information HOURS OF OPERATION Pitter Patter Kits is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm. Pitter Patter Fawns is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm. Pitter Patter Hatchlings is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm. PROGRAMS and PARTNERSHIPS We offer infant/toddler, early preschool and preschool programming. Kits, Fawns, and Hatchlings. We are partnered with Early Head Start, providing 12 infant/toddler spaces annually through NMCAA grant-funding, Kits location and 8 infant/toddler spaces at Hatchlings. We are partnered with Head Start, providing 8 preschool spaces annually through NMCAA grant funding. Kits location, and 8 preschool spaces at Hatchlings. We are partnered with Kingsley Transportation Services to provide a bus stop for before and after school students. Kits location, Kingsley Elementary. We are partnered with TCAPS Transportation Services to provide a bus stop for before and after school students at our Hatchlings location, Silver Lake Elementary. Pitter Patter provides a safe and loving environment for school age students, with a healthy snack, a place to play, and homework help if needed daily. We offer half day Premier Preschool programming for students aged 2 ½ to 5 to focus on social emotional development and kindergarten readiness skills. Premier Preschool meets M-F, 8:30am-12:30pm. Kits, Fawns, and Hatchlings locations. We offer summer camp for school age students with focus on nature, exploration, and creativity. Fawns and Hatchlings location. We are partnered with the ACD Food Program, which represents the Child and Adult Care Food Program, through the United States Department of Agriculture to provide healthy and nutritious meals and snacks at no cost to families. Kits location and Hatchlings location. We are partnered with the Father Fred Foundation to distribute weekend food support to our families in need bi-weekly throughout the school year. Kits location, Fawns location, and Hatchlings location. We are partnered with the Grand Traverse Baby Pantry to provide supplies to families of infants and toddlers throughout the school year. Kits location and Hatchlings location. Support services through TBAISD may work directly with our students to help support speech/language, behavioral, and other developmental delays. Kits and Hatchlings locations. LICENSING Pitter Patter Kits (2295 E. M-113, Kingsley) is a public program licensed to serve 28 children by LARA/ Child Care Licensing. Pitter Patter Fawns (107 S. Brownson, Kingsley) is a public program licensed to serve 43 children by LARA/Child Care Licensing. Pitter Patter Hatchlings (3113 J Maddy Parkway, Interlochen) is a public program licensed to serve 60 children by LARA/Child Care Licensing. A copy of the licensing rules, as well as compliance plans, environmental and fire inspections, and program investigation reports are available for review in each office, at the parent welcome center, and on the web Child Care Organization Act, 1973 Public Act 116 Michigan Department of Human Services All child care centers must maintain a licensing notebook which includes all licensing inspection reports, special investigation reports and all related corrective action plans (CAP). The notebook must include all reports issued and CAPs developed on and after May 27, 2010 until the license is closed. All centers maintain a licensing notebook of all licensing inspection reports, special investigation reports and all related corrective action plans. The notebook is available to parents for review during regular business hours. Licensing inspection and special investigation reports from at least the past two years are available on the Bureau of Children and Adult Licensing website at GREAT START TO QUALITY Pitter Patter Preschool also participates in the Michigan Quality Rating Scale by Great Start to Quality, Michigan’s quality and rating improvement system for child care and preschool, preparing children to succeed in school and life. We are rated 4 out of 5 stars (Kits location). Making sure we provide children in our care with the best experience possible is our privilege, and by participating in Great Start to Quality we earn recognition for our hard work. Great Start also provides parent and staff education, often free of charge. For information on upcoming trainings, please see the parent kiosk, the Pitter Patter Preschool Families Facebook page, or your child’s primary caregiver. To learn more about Great Start to Quality or to find out more about our star rating, see EARLY HEAD START Pitter Patter Preschool is partnered with Early Head Start. We offer 12 full-time spaces to children aged 6 weeks to 2 years old, 48 weeks per year. Each year begins in the month of September. For more information about the Early Head Start program go to To schedule an intake interview for your child, please contact Bethany Dugan at 231-620-1011. Kits and Hatchlings locations. HEAD START Pitter Patter Preschool is also partnered with Head Start. We offer 8 part-day spaces to children aged 3-5 years old, for 42 weeks per year. Each year begins in the month of September. For more information about the Head Start program go to To schedule an intake interview for your child, please contact Bethany Dugan at 231-620-1011. Kits location only. INCLEMENT WEATHER CENTER CLOSINGS Pitter Patter will close for winter weather following the public school’s snow days. If TCAPS and/or Kingsley Public Schools close for inclement weather, Pitter Patter will also be closed that day. Parents will be contacted via Brightwheel, Pitter Patter Families private Facebook pages, and/or phone. Should the weather become dangerous while we are open and we need to close for safety, we expect children shall be picked up in a reasonable amount of time, to ensure all parents, children, and staff can travel safely home. UPDATING STUDENT RECORDS Every two months, Pitter Patter completes an audit of all student records required for licensing and the CACFP food program. At the conclusion of each audit, families will be notified if anything needs to be updated. Some forms must be updated every year, including the Emergency Contact and Medical Consent form. Other records must be updated throughout the year, such as physicals and immunization records. When visiting your child’s physician for a yearly “well-child” appointment, please request a copy of your child’s physical and most recent immunization record. You may bring these items in yourself or have your physician email them to us at In addition, please inform the Director any time your family’s information changes such as address, place of employment or health insurance provider, a new Emergency Contact and Medical Consent form must be completed. CONFIDENTIALITY Confidentiality is a top priority for Pitter Patter. Many professional resources come into our environment on a daily basis. Please know that all personal information of families and staff will be kept private without prior written consent allowing us to share information. CREATIVE CURRICULUM Curriculum at Pitter Patter includes the child-initiated and teacher-directed activities and experiences offered to young children that support and enrich their development physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively. Pitter Patter uses the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers and Preschool as guides for planning the curriculum in each of its classrooms. The Creative Curriculum grows and changes along with the early childhood field and is based in current research. The first edition was released in 1978. (We are now on the fifth edition!) Our frameworks for monthly lesson plans are based in the developmental areas of Social/Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, Language, Literacy, Math, Science and Technology, Social Studies, and the Arts. Each classroom is set-up in centers, which include blocks, dramatic play, books, gross motor, fine motor, sensory and art. Outdoor play is important to a child’s physical development and is included in both the morning and afternoon schedule. Infants will be outside daily as well so it is important to send them with clothing that is weather appropriate; snow, sunshine, or rain. Self-selection or “free-play” is the heart of the curriculum. It means each student plans and selects which center or activity he/she participates in, how they want to do it, and when to stop and try something else. Free play has no external goals set by adults. Although adults provide the space and resources for play and might be involved, the child takes the lead and the adults respond to cues from the child. Free Play encourages skill growth in every developmental area. For more information regarding Creative Curriculum and how we implement it at school, see your primary caregiver, the parent kiosk, or ask the Director. (She talks about it way too much! 😊) DAILY ROUTINE AND ACTIVITIES The classroom’s teachers work cooperatively to create a daily schedule and plan activities that meet each child’s developmental abilities and needs. The daily schedule and activities create a balance between active and quiet times; large and small group, and individual activities; small and large muscle activities; indoor and outdoor play times; as well as times for self-selection and teacher-directed activities. Consistency from day-to-day is particularly important to the overall well-being of the children and classroom environment. Children thrive on consistency! Routines will be maintained whenever possible for arrivals and departures; meals and snacks; resting or nap times; personal care routines like diapering/toileting and hand washing, and large and small group activities. Daily schedules are posted in every classroom, available at the parent kiosk, or distributed upon request. Infant/Toddler Daily Routine Kits/ Hatchlings: 7:30-6:00pm 7:00-8:35Welcome, New Day! (Greeting, Free Choice, Math Moments) 8:35Clean-up/ Diaper & Bathroom/Wash hands 9:00Breakfast & A Book 9:20-9:45Outdoor Exploration (Take a walk, Playground Fun, Science and Nature) 9:45Diaper & Bathroom/Wash Hands 9:55-11:15Free Play and Individual Art Opportunities/Sensory Play Mobile infants may join the toddler class on the playground from 10:45-11:15am 11:15-11:45Music (dance party, instruments, fingerplays) 11:45-12:30Clean-up/Diaper & Bathroom/ Wash hands/Lunch/Prepare for rest 12:30-3:00Time for rest (Students 18 months and older) Snuggles, soft music and sweet dreams 3:00Afternoon Snack (Diaper & Bathroom/wash hands/snack) 3:15-3:45Playground Time 3:45-5:55Scaffolded Learning (Older students and siblings may visit as ratio allows. Our youngest learners, age six weeks to eighteen months, eat and sleep on demand.) Pitter Patter Preschool is a state licensed program, with our youngest learners beginning at six weeks of age and continuing through twelve years of age. Pre-K Daily Routine Kits/Fawns/ Hatchlings: 7:30-6:00pm 7:00-8:45Welcome, New Day! (Greeting, Classroom Jobs, Free Play, One on One Table Time) (7:30 Bus Pick Up/Kits) (8:00 Bus Pick Up/Hatchlings) 8:45Morning Meeting Diaper and Bathroom/Wash hands 9:00Breakfast & A Book (Language, Literacy, and Fingerplays) Book Look and Large Group Storytime 9:40-10:40Outdoor Explore (Take a walk, Playground Fun, Science and Nature) 10:40-11:45Large Group (Plan) FreePlay (Do) Small Group (Review) Sing Songs, Dance Party and Music Together 12:00 Lunch/Toothbrushing Diaper and Bathroom/ Wash hands 1:00-3:00Time for Rest/Wash hands (Snuggles, soft music, stories and sweet dreams) 3:00Afternoon Snack Diaper and Bathroom/Wash hands 3:30-4:15Free Play and Math Moments 4:15-6:00Scaffolded Learning/Playground (Older students and siblings may visit as ratio allows) Pitter Patter Preschool is a state licensed program, with our youngest learners beginning at six weeks of age and continuing through the age of twelve. School Age Daily Routine Kits/Fawns/Hatchlings: 7:30-6:00pm 7:30-8:30Welcome, New Day! (8:15 during school year, Walk students to school (Fawns) Free Play, Open Art, Scaffolded time with Littles 8:30-9:00Operation Fresh Air (back yard activities ie: yoga, sensory and small world, sketching, free choice) 9:00Breakfast and a Book (Literacy and Language) 9:20Morning Meeting (Plan, Do, Review) Free Play 10:20Outdoor Explore (take a walk, playground fun, Science and Nature) 11:20-12:00The Project (student-led projects, working individually or as a team to plan, design and carry out. Could last a day, could last a month) 12:00Lunch 12:30Large Group Story Time 1:00-3:00Rest and Quiet Activities (Journaling, Draw, Read, Quiet Games) 3:00Afternoon Snack (3:15 during school year, Walk students from school (Fawns) 3:45-6:00Math Moments/STEAM Free Play/Scaffolded Learning (Younger students and siblings may visit as ratio allows) Pitter Patter Preschool is a state licensed program, with our youngest learners beginning at six weeks of age and continuing through twelve years of age. OUTDOOR PLAY Outdoor play is incorporated into the daily schedule for both the morning and afternoon. There is less structure in an outdoor learning environment; however, staff members actively engage in activities when prompted by the children. Outdoor play is an opportunity for children to run, jump, climb and use their bodies in ways that would otherwise be unsafe in an indoor classroom. It is a welcome and consistent part of our routine, come rain or shine. Children go outside year-round, including winter. Only during extreme weather conditions will the children remain indoors. Our teachers refer to the Child Care Weather Watch poster to determine if it is too hot or cold to play outdoors. It can be found at Children enjoy our natural environment as they engage in exercise, fresh air, and physical activity. We focus on caring for our environment and the wonder of nature all around us. It is important for parents to send their children in appropriate clothing and outerwear for the weather conditions (e.g., coat, snow pants, boots, gloves, etc.). Please clearly label all articles of clothing with your child’s name. Please ask your child’s teacher if you have any questions about weather-appropriate clothing. NAP/REST TIME The Michigan Department Health and Human Services Licensing Rules for Child Care Centers requires that all children must be provided a regularly scheduled nap or resting time. Children will not be forced to sleep but may be encouraged to lie quietly for a period of time. The length of time a child should have to remain resting varies by child. There is no hard and fast rule regarding the maximum amount of time a child should have to remain resting. Children should be provided alternative quiet activities if unable to rest. Children are encouraged to bring a familiar item from home to use during nap/rest time, such as a small blanket or stuffed animal. These items will be stored in your child’s cubby or on his/her cot or mat. There is limited space for storage of such items. Please take this into consideration when deciding which items to bring. All items should be clearly labeled with your child’s name. MULTIMEDIA The use of multimedia in our program is an extension of the teaching and learning that takes place in our classrooms. When intentionally embedded into classroom planning, technology can be an important tool. We do believe that screen time should be limited in length and content and be purposeful for each student. Screen time is never implemented with children under two years of age. PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES Parent-teacher conferences will typically be held twice per year, as well as each time your child transitions classrooms. The goal of the parent-teacher conference is to gain insight into your child’s development both in the center setting as well as the home setting. During conferences, your child’s development and any goals you may have for your child will be discussed. Parents are encouraged to request conferences whenever they feel it necessary. ASSESSMENT PORTFOLIOS A permanent assessment portfolio is collected and kept for each child. Assessment portfolios contain a variety of items, including photographs, Creative Curriculum assessment guide, examples of artwork, screening profiles, work samples, and parent-teacher conference forms. NUTRITION Purpose: The purpose of the nutrition plan is to provide meals and snacks that are high-quality, fresh and/or organic, that include all components (fruits, vegetables, grain, protein, dairy); to inclusively serve students of varied abilities, cultures, religious beliefs, or food allergies. We believe that mealtimes should be more than opportunities to feed our bodies, but special times for students and staff to gather for pleasant conversation and reflection. Students can practice table manners, self-help skills, family style meals, and clean up responsibilities. In the toddler and PreK classrooms, breakfast also becomes an adventure in reading. “Breakfast and a Book” is a great way we share stories, encourage literacy skills, and explore new authors. Mealtimes are about good food, but also can be about so much more! Other important parts of our nutrition program includes recycling/composting, accessing local farms for produce, classroom cooking activities, toothbrushing, and walking field trips to the grocery store and farmers market to purchase healthy foods. We often introduce new and interesting foods for children to explore. To create the healthiest possible environment for the children in our care, we have instituted the following policies: All meals and snacks meet the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) requirements and meal patterns. Meals and Snacks: We provide all children with breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. While we encourage children to remain at the table for at least 15 minutes during meals, they have up to 30 minutes to eat breakfast and lunch, and 20 minutes to eat snack. We serve a variety of foods to broaden children’s food experiences. Monthly menus are posted for parents. Meals and snacks emphasize nutrient-rich foods (e.g., fruits, vegetables, whole and multi grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy and lean protein). All meals and snacks are trans-fat free, and are low in saturated fat, sugar, and sodium. We often introduce new and interesting foods for children to taste and explore. Only low fat whole milk is served to Infant/Toddler classes, and 1% milk to Preschool and School Age classes. Foods that do not meet the recommended CACFP standards, such as soda, sweetened tea, fruit drinks, full-fat and flavored milk, candy, cookies, sugary cereals and French fries are not served in our center. Snacks include either whole fruits or vegetables or lean protein at least once each day. In order to model healthy habits, we consume the same food offered to children during meals and snacks. We offer water to children often during the day. Safe, fresh drinking water is always clearly visible and available to children indoors and outdoors, including during meals and snacks. Mealtime Practices: We emphasize positive mealtime behaviors. Food is never used as a punishment or reward in our classrooms. We use mealtimes as an opportunity to teach nutrition and food concepts. We eat with the children to encourage social interaction and conversation, ask questions, and talk about nutrition concepts related to the foods served. Meals are served family style, with bowls of components passed between students who serve themselves the amount they want. This helps students practice table manners, self-help skills, and clean up responsibilities. We remind children to take small portions, and encourage, without forcing, each child to eat or taste their food. We help children gauge their level of fullness when requests for second helpings are made. Second helpings are not put on children’s plate unless they ask for more or serve themselves. When second helpings are requested, we encourage fruits and vegetables before other meal components. We support a social environment at mealtime where children wash their hands, eat family style, and learn how to pour beverages, serve themselves, make independent food choices, and practice good table manners. In the toddler and Prek classrooms, breakfast also becomes an adventure in reading. “Breakfast and a Book” is a great way to share stories, encourage literacy skills, and explore new authors. Breastfeeding: If you are breastfeeding, please discuss with your child’s teacher when your child should be fed breast milk, and when you would like to come in and feed your child. We will provide reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding mothers. Each center has a designated location for privacy per parent preference. While infants will be provided iron fortified formula, breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to provide breastmilk for center staff to feed their child. For health reasons, we are not able to store bags of frozen milk. When providing breast milk for center feedings, parents are required to furnish breastmilk in clean, sanitary, bottles or beverage containers. The center has sanitary beverage containers on hand for this purpose and available to families for use. Parents must also label the container with the child’s first name and last name, and date supplied to the center. Breast Milk may be supplied in a multi-day supply and kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or kept in the freezer for no more than 2 weeks. Formula: We provide Similac Advanced, an iron fortified infant formula for parents that would like to use it. It is the pre-made liquid. Bottles are only used for 24 hours once opened and then sent home with the parent of the child it was opened for. If parents prefer a different brand of formula, we encourage them to bring it in and we will store up to a 2 week supply. All bottles must be labeled with the student name and date it was brought in. Once a bottle has been warmed, it is only used for 1 hour and the rest will be disposed of. Baby food: We make all of our own baby food in house from fresh fruits and vegetables. They are prepped and cooked as needed and pureed with bottled water. Parents of children using pureed food will be given a list of all the possible fruits and vegetables we may use and are welcome to ask for specific items to be removed or prioritized. Individual 4 oz containers are stored in the fridge for 1 week or the freezer for 1 month. Once opened, they are used within 4 hours. Parents are also free to provide their own baby food if they wish. Store-bought baby food jars must be labeled with the date they are brought in and the child’s name. They will be stored for up to 2 weeks. Homemade baby food must be labeled with the date of preparation and the child’s name. We will store that for up to 1 week. When transitioning from bottle to food, we follow parent preference to coordinate with what they are doing at home. CELEBRATIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS: We take great pleasure in celebrating children’s milestones. Parents may choose a special treat to bring in to celebrate birthdays. We ask that they bring enough for each child in their classroom and list the ingredients of the treat to be mindful of classroom allergies. We also get permission from each child in the celebrating classroom to assure that their parents are okay with the child partaking in the treat. If parents decline to have their child receive a treat, a different snack will be provided at the same time as the rest of the kids. Other important parts of our nutrition program include recycling/composting, accessing local farms for produce, classroom cooking activities, toothbrushing, and walking field trips to the farmers market to purchase healthy foods. EDUCATION: We offer a developmentally appropriate health education curriculum for children that includes lessons and activities on nutrition and physical activity. Nutrition education is also incorporated into other content areas, such as language and literacy development, mathematics, science and music. We incorporate nutrition themes into planned learning experiences, when appropriate, to reinforce and support health messages. Nutrition concepts are integrated into daily routines whenever possible, such as mealtimes and transitions. Kitchen staff participate in annual training on nutrition and physical activity for children to further knowledge and expertise. Throughout the classroom, healthful food and physical activities are promoted in posters, books, games and toys (e.g., kitchen equipment). COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION: We actively promote positive verbal and nonverbal messages about healthy eating and physical activity. Food promotions and messages emphasize nutrient-rich foods only, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. We encourage family involvement to support and promote children’s healthy eating and physical activity habits. We welcome family input; for example, families are encouraged to suggest items they would like to see on the menu. We communicate in ways that respect families’ cultures and customs. We actively seek recipes and food traditions from our families at home culture to include on our menu. Nutrition education and physical activity information is provided for parents through newsletters and relevant handouts. We also encourage parents to contact kitchen staff with any questions or suggestions about our nutrition and physical activity practices. FAMILY RESOURCES AND REFERRALS: Pitter Patter Preschool has an extensive list of community resources available for families at each location at the Parent Welcome Center that can be accessed freely by families at any time. Please contact your Center Director or your child’s Primary Caregiver with any needs or stressors your family may be experiencing and we will partner together to find community-based supports that may be helpful. Examples might include food banks, mental health, medical/dental resources, Child Find PITTER PATTER KITS: Meal Experience: Infants: Infants are held during bottle feeding and spoken to in reassuring tones. Older infants are encouraged to feed themselves as their abilities allow (ie: use utensils, pick up finger food, and choose which food to eat next.) Toddlers: Toddlers are encouraged to feed themselves as their ability allow and are encouraged to assist in cleaning up. Meals are served family-style. (ie: putting dishes in the dish bucket, wiping up spills.) Preschool: Children are encouraged to serve themselves as their abilities permit throughout family-style meals (ie: setting the table, scooping food using serving spoon, pouring milk from child size pitchers, and cleaning their table space when finished.) How this benefits children and families: We believe that helping promote positive frameworks around nutrition at school, sharing that information with parents, and modeling healthy food choices will lay the ground work for a lifetime of good nutrition that will be of benefit long after our students move beyond the preschool environment. Resources we access to help us reach these goals: CACFP Food Program, EHS and Michigan Licensing regulations for food preparation and service, local community farms and grocery,, families and staff. For more information on our Nutrition Plan, please see our monthly menu, daily Brightwheel posts, newsletter inserts In the Kitchen with Ms. Mandy, recipes posted on our private Facebook page Pitter Patter Preschool Families, State of Michigan licensing handbook, seasonal flyers delivered to your parent mailbox, or ask your child’s primary caregiver. CACFP meal pattern components include: Breakfast: whole grain, fruit, dairy. Lunch: protein, whole grain, fruit or vegetable, dairy. Snack: whole grain, fruit, vegetable or dairy. PITTER PATTER FAWNS: Meal Experience: Students bring all food from home, as well as water bottles, every day. All containers are labeled with student’s name and date. A nutrition plan is agreed upon between Pitter Patter and parents so that each learner has a supply of healthy foods which they best enjoy. Children enjoy autonomy especially during mealtime when they select their choices from their lunch box, use hand muscles to navigate packaging, and spend time with their friends. Children will not be deprived of meals or snack if parents fail to provide. How this benefits children and families: Parents know their children best and know what they prefer for food choices. With our food from home programming, parents have full choice about the foods their children consume each day. Tuition costs are lower than centers who provide meal service. Parents and children can enjoy shopping and meal prep time together. Resources available to families: local community farms and grocery,, Father Fred Foundation Pantry to Preschool food distribution, recipe and meal planning books/videos, Pitter Patter Nutrition Plan document. PITTER PATTER HATCHLINGS: Infant Meal Experience: Infants are held during bottle feeding and spoken to in reassuring tones. Older infants are encouraged to feed themselves as their abilities allow (ie: use utensils, pick up finger food, and choose which food to eat next.) Toddlers: Toddlers are encouraged to feed themselves as their ability allow and are encouraged to assist in cleaning up (ie: putting dishes in the dish bucket, wiping up spills.) Meal Experience: Students bring all food from home, as well as water bottles, every day. All containers are labeled with student’s name and date. A nutrition plan is agreed upon between Pitter Patter and parents so that each learner has a supply of healthy foods which they best enjoy. Children enjoy autonomy especially during mealtime when they select their choices from their lunch box, use hand muscles to navigate packaging, and spend time with their friends. Students will not be deprived of meals or a snack if parents fail to provide How this benefits children and families: Parents know their children best and know what they prefer for food choices. With our food from home programming, parents have full choice about the foods their children consume each day. Tuition costs are lower than centers who provide meal service. Parents and children can enjoy shopping and meal prep time together. Resources available to families: local community farms and grocery,, Father Fred Foundation Pantry to Preschool food distribution, recipe and meal planning books/videos, Pitter Patter Nutrition Plan document. FOOD ALLERGY ACTION PLAN If your child has a food allergy, please complete a Food Allergy Action Plan, available in the office or with our Nutrition Specialist. This form will be posted in your child’s classroom, as well as in food preparation areas. If medications for an allergic reaction are provided, please have your physician sign the Food Allergy Action Plan as well. SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 for which a cause of death cannot be identified. It is not known what causes SIDS, however several sleeping practices have been linked to an increased risk for SIDS. Therefore, Pitter Patter has a strict policy for infant sleep placement. All infants less than one year will be placed on their back to sleep. Infants shall not be allowed to sleep in a car seat or swing. Once a child has been placed in his or her crib for nap, if the infant rolls from back to front - and is also able to roll from front to back - it is acceptable to leave the infant sleeping on his or her stomach. NO blankets, stuffed toys or pillows should ever be placed in a crib. A request for alternative sleeping positions must be accompanied by a signed and dated physician’s note stating the reason for the request, and then must be given acceptance from our licensing consultant before the request can be granted. CLOTHING AND ITEMS FROM HOME: PLAY CLOTHES Please send your child to Pitter Patter in comfortable play clothes and shoes. Play is usually active and often messy; comfortable, washable clothes are important if your child is to participate fully in the program. Outdoor play is scheduled every day as an essential part of our planned curriculum. We expect all children to be dressed appropriately for both indoor and outdoor activities. All children occasionally get their clothes wet and have toileting accidents. Whenever this occurs, it is best to change the child into an extra set of clothing provided by the family. Your child’s teacher will request that you bring two complete changes of clothing, including underwear, to be kept at school and replenished as needed. Please be sure to clearly label all items of clothing. We also ask that you change the extra sets of clothing seasonally to accommodate for different temperatures, and for your child’s growing sizes. ITEMS FROM HOME Toys, stuffed animals, or other items from home may help your child feel comfortable in a difficult time. However, it is often difficult for young children to share their special “treasures” with classmates. We ask that all items brought to Pitter Patter from home be placed in your child’s cubby shortly after arrival. Please clearly label all belongings brought from home. It is recommended that items of value, such as iPods or handheld gaming systems be left at home, due to the risk of damage or theft. Pitter Patter is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. ARRIVAL (drop off) (Beginning in March 2020, we have temporarily changed our check-in procedures to comply with all Executive Orders and Safety practices through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review our Covid19 Childcare Response and Preparedness Plan for more information.) Parents are required to accompany their child into the center and into their child’s classroom. Parents should also speak with the teacher in the classroom, if only briefly. We encourage parents to communicate with their child’s teacher, about their child’s temperament that day, how he/she slept the night before, whether he/she has eaten that morning, etc. Most children go through periods of difficulty separating from their parent(s). This is common and developmentally appropriate. Try these tips for a successful drop-off: Talk about school ahead of time. It might be a a visual calendar showing the days of school, or a conversation in the car on the way to school, but letting your little learner know the plans ahead of time can ease daily transitions. Establish a regular, predictable routine. Whether you have a kiss and a hug and go, or help your child puts his things in his cubby first, do it the same way every day. What often makes separating stressful for children is the uncertainty. If your child can predict what will happen, the separation won’t be as difficult. Separate once. If you come back into the classroom again and again, it will increase your child’s stress. Remember the moment of separation is the worst part for your child, so doing it more than once makes it more stressful for your child. Be reliable. Return when promised. Children who are picked up later than expected may have more difficulties separating. All students should be in attendance for the day no later than 10:00am. This will help little learners get the most out of every day. This also helps with staffing purposes for each day. If your child will not be in attendance,or will be later than 10:00am, please contact your Primary Caregiver ASAP to let them know. Pitter Patter Preschool reserves the right to turn students away for the day if they arrive after 10:00am AND they have not contacted the center ahead of time. Kits: During the months of September through June, please park in the middle row of parking for morning drop off during the times of 7:30am and 7:50am as the school bus picks up students at this time. For the safety of all students and staff, all outside doors and emergency exits are locked at all times. DEPARTURE (PICK UP) All Pitter Patter locations close at 6:00pm Monday through Friday. (If you will be late picking up your child, please provide us with as much notice as possible. Please note that there is a late fee for arriving after the center’s closing time.) If someone who the staff is not familiar with is to pick up your child, it is essential that you inform your child’s teacher in advance of the pickup. This person must be posted as an authorized person on the Emergency Contact and Parent Consent form. Remind the authorized person that they will be asked for a picture identification such as a driver’s license to ensure your child’s safety. Even if the individual has picked up before, he or she may still need identification if the teacher in charge has never met him or her. Be sure to say good-bye to your child’s teachers so they know you are leaving. Once you have reunited with your child and are departing, Pitter Patter Preschool is no longer responsible for your child. For safety reasons, please do not let your child run ahead of you inside or outside of the building. If parents do not arrive to pick up their child from the program, staff members will first try to contact the parents using all phone numbers provided on the Emergency Contact and Medical Consent form. If parents are unable to be reached, staff members will try to contact all emergency contact persons. If staff members are unable to contact emergency contact persons, the Director will be notified and she will then notify the Department of Health and Human Services and/or the Grand Traverse County Police Department. LATE PICK UP FEE AND POLICY: While we understand that there may be times when you are late due to traffic, construction, or inclement weather, we also have a responsibility to provide compensation to our staff who need to stay at the center after their scheduled work hours to keep your child safe. For this reason, we have established a late pick up fee. $1.00 per minute will be charged for every minute after we are closed. This amount must be paid directly to staff to compensate them after their shift ends. A Late Pick Up form will be completed by the on-duty staff member, and signed by both the parent and staff member that payment has been made. Any unpaid balance after 5 days will be processed and added to your account. Please be mindful of our caregivers. ATTENDANCE Regular attendance is strongly recommended for the benefit of the child as well as the classroom as a whole. If your child will be absent, please call the center by 9:00am so your child’s teacher may make accommodations to the lesson plan. If your child will be absent for an extended period of time (more than 2-3 days), the must be notified in writing of the date the absence begins and the expected date your child will return. Enrollment will be terminated if a child is absent for a period of 2 weeks or more, and no notice has been received or contact made by family. HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES (Please review our Covid19 Childcare Response and Preparedness Plan for additional guidelines specifically implemented beginning March 2020.) ILLNESS Our first priority at Pitter Patter is providing a healthy, safe learning environment for all children. A child will be sent home as soon as possible if any of the following is experienced: an illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in activities (as determined by the staff); an illness results in a greater need for care than the staff can reasonably provide without compromising the health or safety of other children in the classroom; or a child is experiencing any of the following conditions. Please keep your child home if; Fever of 101 or greater, until 24 hours symptom free without fever reducing medication Signs/symptoms of severe illness, including: lethargy, uncontrolled coughing, inexplicable irritability or persistent crying, difficulty breathing, and/or wheezing Diarrhea (not associated with diet changes or medications) (Two instances) until diarrhea stops for 24 hours or the continued diarrhea is deemed not be infectious by a licensed healthcare professional. Blood in stools not explainable by dietary change, medication, or hard stools Vomiting (One instance) the child can return after vomiting has been resolved for 24 hours or until a health care provider determines the cause for vomiting is not contagious and the child is not in danger of dehydration Persistent abdominal pain (continues more than 2 hours) or intermittent pain associated with fever or other signs/symptoms of illness Mouth sores with drooling, unless a health care provider determines the sores are not contagious Rash until a physician determines that these symptoms do not indicate a communicable disease Pink eye (conjunctivitis) until after treatment has been initiated for 24 hours Scabies, until after treatment has been completed Tuberculosis, until a health care provider states that the child is on appropriate therapy and can attend child care Impetigo, until 24 hours after treatment has been initiated Strep throat, until 24 hours after initial antibiotic treatment and cessation of fever Chicken pox, until all sores have dried and crusted (usually 6 days) Hand Foot and Mouth sores have dried and crusted and no fever Pertussis, until 5 days of appropriate antibiotic treatment has been completed Mumps, until 9 days after onset of symptoms Hepatitis A virus, until 1 week after onset of illness Measles, until 4 days after onset of rash Rubella, until 6 days after onset of rash Unspecified respiratory tract illness accompanied by another illness which requires exclusion A child who becomes ill while at Pitter Patter must be removed from other students in order to limit exposure of other children to communicable disease. An ill child will be provided a cot and supervised in the classroom until an adult arrives. Parents will be called and required to pick up within one hour. If parents don’t answer we will call emergency contacts. For this reason, we ask families to make every effort to pick up a sick child as soon as possible. Pitter Patter reserves the right to make the final determination of exclusion due to illness. Any exceptions to our illness policy will require a written note from a licensed healthcare professional stating that the child is not contagious. Please contact Pitter Patter at (231)263-8330 by 9:00AM whenever your child is ill. NOTICE OF EXPOSURE & REPORTING DISEASE If your child is exposed to a communicable disease, a notice will be posted on the parent welcome board, via Brightwheel and Pitter Patter Preschool Families facebook page. A printed post can be placed in your parent mailbox, upon request. If your child or anyone in your household becomes ill with a communicable disease, please notify the Director immediately. In the event a child is reported to have a communicable disease, the Health and Safety Coordinator will notify the health department. Additional information regarding illness or disease may be obtained from:Grand Traverse County Health Department, 2600 LaFranier Rd, Traverse City MI (231)995-6111 HAND WASHING Frequent hand washing with soap and warm, running water is the most effective way to reduce and prevent the spread of illnesses commonly found in childcares such as the flu, diarrhea, and pink eye. Parents are encouraged to assist their child in the hand washing process upon arrival. Other times your child (and staff members) will be expected to wash their hands: Upon arriving at the center or when changing classrooms After each diaper change or using the toilet Before and after meal times Before and after administering medication After handling bodily fluids (mucus, blood vomit) Before and after using the sensory table After coming indoors from the playground After handling pets and other animals After cleaning or handling garbage Warm, running water (no colder than 60 degrees F) and soap must be used. Hands must be rubbed vigorously for at least 20 seconds, including the backs of hands, between fingers, under nails, and under any jewelry. A disposable paper towel should be used to dry hands and turn off faucet. Help reinforce the importance of hand washing by encouraging frequent hand washing at home as well. Please reference Licensing Rule 400.8134, Hand washing. Rule 134 for a full list of handwashing requirements. MEDICATIONS Prescription and over-the-counter medications must be given to a staff member in the original container, clearly labeled with the child’s full name and birth date. Pitter Patter staff will not administer any medication without a signed Medication Authorization Form. Forms can be obtained from your child’s teacher or from the Director. Medications are stored in a locked box (refrigerated medications) or in a high cabinet (non-refrigerated medications) while in use at Pitter Patter. The Medication Authorization Form must remain with the medication at all times. Unused medications must be immediately returned to the family and will not be stored at Pitter Patter. Medications are administered by Lead Teachers and/or the Director. When a medication is given, the teacher will document the type of medication administered, the dosage, and the time it was given. You may request a copy of the medication form at any time. INFANT/TODDLER MEDICATION If the packaging on over-the-counter medication and back of the bottle has wording about not giving to children under two, we will not be able to dispense said medicine to infants without a doctor’s note which specifically words dosage amounts and time between doses. If your doctor orders a different amount for the dose than what is listed on the bottle, we are allowed to follow the doctor’s orders, but we will need a written doctor’s note, signed and submitted before dispensing. For your convenience, you are welcome to ask your doctor to scan or email the directions directly to our email. We will print it out here. Our email address is PHYSICALS AND IMMUNIZATION RECORDS Each child must have a current physical and immunization record on file at Pitter Patter. The physical on file must be updated at least annually; immunization records must be updated whenever a new immunization is received. If you choose to not vaccinate you child(ren), we require you to have a written waiver on file. Updated immunization records and physicals may be emailed to Pitter Patter directly from your healthcare provider. INJURIES Staff members shall document accidents/incidents/injuries that occur at Pitter Patter using an Accident/Incident/Injury Report. We document all biting as accidents. If a biter breaks the skin of another child, an accident/incident/injury report needs to be completed for the biter as well as the child who was bitten and parents must sign the form at the center (if someone other than parents pick-up the child then the report will be given to the parent on the next scheduled day). Minor accidents/incidents/injuries will be communicated at pick up and via the form/brightwheel. Serious accidents/incidents/injuries will be communicated via the accident form, brightwheel and with a phone call to parents or emergency contact if parents are unavailable, immediately upon making sure the situation is safe and secure. Serious accidents/incidents or injuries are defined as situations where the Director or Acting Director feels the child may need medical care or the health and safety of the other children are at risk. This is at the Director’s or Acting Director’s discretion. DOCUMENTATION OF HEALTH INCIDENTS Each time a parent is contacted regarding an ill child or symptoms of illness, a Health Incident Form will be completed. A copy of the form will be given to the parent and the original to the Director to be placed in the child’s permanent file. All parents will be notified of any communicable illnesses present in the center via a sign posted on the parent information board explaining the illness. In addition, parents with children in the classroom of the infected child will receive a post in Brightwheel regarding the illness. DOCUMENTATION OF ALLERGIES A child with allergies must have an Allergy Action Plan posted in a visible location in the classroom. If the allergy is food related, an Allergy Action Plan must also be posted in the kitchen area. All staff working in the classroom of child with allergies must review the Allergy Action Plan to ensure understanding of emergency procedures should the child have an allergic reaction. All allergic reactions must be documented with a Health Incident Form. DOCUMENTATION OF SPECIAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS An Emergency Care Plan will be on file for any child with special health care needs (seizures, etc). A copy of the Emergency Care Plan must be kept in the classroom emergency binder. All staff working in the classroom must familiarize themselves with this plan, should an emergency arise. If necessary, staff will receive training regarding a child’s specific health care needs. EMERGENCY MEDICAL/DENTAL PROCEDURE It is important that parents complete and update, as needed, an Emergency Contact and Child Information Record Form. This form contains contact information for both the parents as well as the individuals authorized to pick up the child in the event of illness or emergency. In addition, the form allows Pitter Patter Preschool staff members to seek emergency medical care from authorized care providers in the event of serious injury. It is the responsibility of the parent to complete this form and to make corrections to this information when necessary. If a child becomes ill or injured after arriving at the center, the Lead Teacher will attempt to contact the parent(s) at all available telephone numbers. If a parent cannot be reached, the individuals listed as emergency contacts/authorized pick up persons on the Emergency Contact & Parental Consent form will be called. EMERGENCY MEDICAL/DENTAL PROCEDURE CONT. Children who are ill or seriously injured will be kept with a staff member, under direct supervision, until parents arrive or emergency personal can assume care. If the child requires immediate medical attention: The staff member who witnessed the emergency situation will remain with the injured child and instruct someone else to call 911. If no one is available, first ensure the child is stable and if possible, bring the child with you to call 911. A staff member who witnessed the emergency situation will accompany the child to the hospital, bringing the child’s physical exam, immunization records, and Emergency Contact & Parental Consent Form. The Director will contact the parent(s). SUNSCREEN & INSECT REPELLANT Between the months of March and October, all families will be required to supply sunscreen for their child/ren for outdoor activities. A permission slip must be on file before sunscreen will be applied to a child. Sunscreen must be SPF30 or above and will be applied by classroom teachers regularly throughout the day. Parents are encouraged to apply insect repellant to their child before arriving at Pitter Patter for the day, as Pitter Patter staff are not permitted to apply insect repellent. DIAPERS Only commercially available disposable diapers or pull-ups may be used at Pitter Patter Preschool, unless the child has a documented medical reason that does not permit their use. Documentation from the child’s physician must be provided to the Director and/or Assistant Director before cloth diapers will be used while the child is at the center. Families must provide a container for storage of soiled cloth diapers while at the center. MANDATORY CHILD ABUSE REPORTERS As childcare professionals who interact with children on a daily basis, each staff member of Pitter Patter Preschool is a mandatory child abuse and neglect reporter and must contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services whenever abuse or neglect is suspected. ACCESS/VOLUNTEERING/SCREENING POLICY Any person in the center who has not completed a comprehensive background check and found eligible through the Child Care Background Check System shall not have unsupervised access to children for whom that person is not the parent, guardian or custodian, nor be counted in the staff to child ratio. Unsupervised access means that a person has contact with a child alone or is directly responsible for child care. Persons who do not have unsupervised access will be under the direct supervision and monitoring of a paid staff member at all times and will not be allowed to assume any child care responsibilities. The primary responsibility of the supervision and monitoring will be assumed by the Lead Teacher unless he/she delegates it to another staff member. Non-agency persons who are on the property for other reasons such as maintenance, repairs, etc., will be monitored by a paid staff member and will not be allowed to interact with children on the premises. No staff member may be on property if he/she has been convicted of the following: A listed offense, as defined in section 2 of the sex offenders registration act, 1994 PA 295, MCL 28.722 Child abuse or neglect A felony involving harm or threatened harm to an individual within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of hire/volunteer Staff will not be present at the center until they have clearance through the Child Care Background Check System and are found ELIGIBLE. Volunteers will always be supervised by a staff member. DISCIPLINE POLICY We believe that all effective discipline is based on relationships between caregiver and student. For that reason, we have adopted the Conscious Discipline techniques within our classroom environments; our school family. Conscious Discipline, created by Dr. Becky Bailey, is a comprehensive classroom management and social emotional program where children feel safe and loved, and begin to navigate their emotions, solve conflicts, and take responsibility for their actions. Praise and positive reinforcement are effective methods of behavior management of children. With Conscious Discipline principles, we all develop skills that can last a lifetime. WE DO: Communicate to children using positive statements. Communicate with children on their level. Talk with children in a calm quiet manner. Explain unacceptable behavior to children. Give attention to children for positive behavior. Praise and encourage the children. Reason with and set limits for the children. Apply rules consistently. Model appropriate behavior. Set up the classroom environment to prevent problems. Provide alternatives and redirect children to acceptable activity. Give children opportunities to make choices and solve problems. Help children talk out problems and think of solutions. Listen to children and respect the children’s needs, desires and feelings. Provide appropriate words to help solve conflicts. Use storybooks and discussion to work through common conflicts. WE DO NOT: Inflict corporal punishment in any manner upon a child. (Corporal punishment is defined as the use of physical force to the body as a discipline measure. Physical force to the body includes, but is not limited to, spanking, hitting, shaking, biting, pinching, pushing, pulling, or slapping.) Use any strategy that hurts, shames, or belittles a child. Use any strategy that threatens, intimidates, or forces a child. Use food as a form of reward or punishment. Use or withhold physical activity as a punishment. Shame or punish a child if a bathroom accident occurs. Embarrass any child in front of others. Compare children. Place children in a locked and/or dark room. Leave any child alone, unattended or without supervision. Allow discipline of a child by other children. Criticize, make fun of, or otherwise belittle a child’s parents, families, or ethnic groups. Conferences will be scheduled with parents if particular disciplinary problems occur. Put vinegar, hot sauce or soap in children’s mouth. If a child’s behavior consistently endangers the safety of the children around him/her, then the Director has the right, after meeting with the parents and documenting behavior problems and interventions, to terminate child care services for that student. Time out is not appropriate for children under the age of 3 years old. TOBACCO USE Cigarettes, vape pens, and smokeless tobacco products and vaping are prohibited on Pitter Patter premises, including parking lots and outdoor play areas. Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco products or vape pens are also prohibited in Pitter Patter vehicles or in personal vehicles being used for the transportation of Pitter Patter children, and while on field trips. BITING POLICY Biting is a behavior that usually appears between the ages of one and three years. While biting is an age-appropriate behavior, it is important to remember it is also an unacceptable behavior in a childcare environment. Children bite for a variety of reasons: teething, sensory exploration, cause and effect, imitation, crowding, seeking attention, frustration and stress. Biting is not something to blame on children, their parents or their teachers. There are a variety of strategies we implement at Pitter Patter to prevent and stop biting. This is the process followed when a child bites: The biting child is stopped and told, “Stop, mouth open. Teeth hurt” in a firm voice. Teachers should remain calm, being careful not to show anger or frustration towards the child. The biting child is removed from the situation. Depending upon the observed motive for the bite, the separation may include re-direction or meeting the child’s needs. As little attention as possible will be placed on the biting child, to avoid reinforcing the behavior. Appropriate first aid will be provided to the child who was bitten. Bite will be washed with soap and water; cold compress will be applied to reduce pain and swelling. A bandage will be applied if necessary. It is important to explore the reasons for biting when it occurs. Teachers need to work with parents to gather information about the child’s behavior and begin observations to determine the reasons for biting. Examples of triggers would be: communication deficits, transitions, hunger, lack of sleep, need for oral stimulation or teething pain. Once triggers are identified, staff can work on prevention strategies and start teaching replacement skills. Below are the steps the teacher will take to identify triggers and replace the behavior: 1. The teacher will examine the context in which the biting is occurring and look for patterns. The following questions should be asked: Was the space too crowded? Were there too few toys? Was there too little to do or too much waiting? Was the child who bit getting the attention and care he/she deserved at other times? 2. The teacher will change the environment, routines or activities if necessary. 3. The teacher will work with the child who is biting to resolve conflicts and frustrations in more appropriate ways 4. The teacher will observe the child, to get an idea of why and when they are likely to bite. 5. The teacher will identify children likely to be bitten and make special efforts to reduce their chance of being bitten. 6. The teacher, parent and Director and/or Assistant Director will meet regularly to regulate an action plan and measure outcomes. 7. If biting continues the teacher will observe the group more closely and work with the parents to seek out additional resources as necessary to shadow the child who is biting. All information is confidential and names of the children involved in the incident are not shared between parents. In addition, biting is always documented on an Incident/Accident Report which is completed and signed by a teacher and parent. A copy is provided to the parent and the original kept in the child’s permanent enrollment file in the office. HOME AND SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP NEW FAMILY ORIENTATION Each family is strongly encouraged to schedule a time with the Director/Primary Caregiver to complete a “New Family Orientation.” This orientation is a great time for parents to drop-off routine care items (diapers, bottles, etc.) as well as an opportunity to participate in a portion of classroom activities with their child, familiarizing themselves with their child’s routines at Pitter Patter. Important policies and procedures are also reviewed with the Director/Primary Caregiver at this time, as well as the paperwork required for enrollment completed. Typically, “New Family Orientation” is scheduled one week prior to the start date. DAILY SHEETS For children enrolled in any of our programs, a daily “recap” sheet will be completed to tell you about your child’s day electronically through Brightwheel, or a paper version upon request. This chart contains information about toileting, meals, naps, and activities. Download of the app is very important as it is where we upload daily communications, incidents, photos, messages as well as the above-mentioned daily sheets. NEWSLETTERS Pitter Patter Preschool and Child Care distributes a monthly newsletter that will be posted on the bulletin board at each parent kiosk. The newsletter can also be accessed on the Pitter Patter Families Facebook page, and through the Brightwheel app. This newsletter provides you with general information and announcements about our centers, program and calendar items. ROOM TRANSITIONS Age requirements and developmental appropriateness will guide our transition process. As the time for a transition to a new room approach, you will receive a letter containing information about your child’s transition into his/her new classroom. Both your child’s current and future teachers are available to address any questions or concerns you have during the transition process. Before the transition into a new classroom has been completed, parents are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the new teacher in order to familiarize themselves with the new classroom, children, and curriculum. PARENT PARTICIPATION Parent participation is strongly encouraged in our program. Somepossible opportunities to participate and contribute to your child’s Pitter Patter experience: Leading or assisting special projects (sewing, carpentry, cooking,etc.) Construction or collection of raw materials for art projects, dramatic play props, etc. Attend parent education and family activity events Join the EHS Parent Advisory Board Completing parent surveys and giving program/facility feedback Eating lunch or snack with your child - please inform the teachers one day in advance Volunteering in your child’s classroom PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES Parent-teacher conferences will typically be held twice per year, as well as each time your child transitions classrooms. The goal of the parent-teacher conference is to gain insight into your child’s development both in the center setting as well as the home setting. During conferences, your child’s development and any goals you may have for your child will be discussed. Parents are encouraged to request conferences whenever they feel it necessary. PROGRAM EVALUATIONS Pitter Patter asks parents to complete a program evaluation semi- annually. The information gathered from these anonymous surveys is used by the staff to develop goals for our center and to improve the overall quality of care at our center. A parent’s point of-view is different from a teacher’s point-of-view. Therefore, parent feedback on the program evaluations is very important to the success of our program and satisfaction of our families. QUESTIONS/CONCERNS If you have a question or concern, do not hesitate to bring it to the attention of the primary caregiver most directly involved. If the concern is not resolved, the director, can be reached at (231)263-8330 or by email at The director is available to assist parents and staff in resolving concerns. FEES AND BILLING Infant/Toddler- $325 full time, KITS and HATCHLINGS Preschool- $240 full time, KITS, FAWNS, HATCHLINGS School Age-$220 full time, FAWNS and HATCHLINGS $72 per day part time, ALL After Care, School Age-$20 per day $50 Annual Fee, due in January of each year to cover annual paperwork updates and processing, Creative Curriculum GOLD and Brightwheel app fees., ALL CENTERS FINANCIAL AGREEMENT Upon enrollment and any changes to tuition, families are provided a Fee Policy & Financial Agreement. This agreement should be carefully reviewed, signed and placed in each student file. AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS All enrollees are strongly encouraged to pay electronically through the Brightwheel app. Cash and checks are accepted as well. Returned checks will result in a $30 late fee automatically assessed to your next bill. The second time a check is returned the family will no longer be allowed to pay via check. Payments are expected on Monday for the current week of care. If a holiday falls on a Monday, payments must be made on the next business day. Weekly tuition is not pro-rated for scheduled days off, holidays, or student illness. RETURNED CHECKS/INSUFFICIENT FUNDS All returned checks or direct debit payments rejected due to insufficient funds will be charged a $30.00 penalty. Missed payments and late fees must be paid within 2 weeks. Repeated incidents of returned checks or insufficient funds notices could result in termination of child care services. A payment plan should be discussed with the Center Director if a family is having trouble making tuition payments. DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS Families that are more than 2 weeks or $400 behind in payments may have their child care services terminated. For information about assistance programs that will help cover the cost of child care tuition, please speak with the Director. A payment plan must be agreed upon between family and Center before an account will be considered “in good standing” and no longer eligible for termination. HOLIDAYS AND VACATION PAID HOLIDAYS Pitter Patter will be closed in observance of the following holidays: New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (2 days), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday (2 days), Christmas Week (5 days) We are also closed for 4 staff development days; one each quarter. For all closed days you will receive a reminder one month in advance. If the holiday falls on a weekend day, Pitter Patter will close during the week. For example, if New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday, Pitter Patter may close on Friday or Monday. Families will be given one month’s notice in the event of additional closings. Vacation days may not be used on a holiday, but may be used on days immediately preceding and following a paid holiday. VACATION DAYS Each family who attends Pitter Patter full time will receive five vacation days per calendar year. Please note: vacation days are per family, not per child. Any vacation days not used by December 31 of each year will expire. Vacation days may not be used on a paid holiday. Please provide the Director with two weeks’ notice when you wish to use vacation days. Requests to use vacation days must be provided in writing. EXTENDED ABSENCE In the event that a child needs to take an extended absence such as a summer break, and wishes to return to the program after a period of time, a fee of 50% of the monthly tuition must be paid each month the child is absent. More than two consecutive months of non-payment and no contact with the Director and/or Assistant Director could result in termination of enrollment. If possible,notify the Director at least 30 days before an extended absence. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES FIRE, TORNADO, AND OTHER EMERGENCY SITUATIONS Fire regulations and tornado warning procedures are posted near the exits in each classroom. Fire and tornado drills are conducted each month; all classrooms are required to participate. Each center creates and maintains their own procedures, emergency backpacks and first aid supplies. Each center partners with local fire/police departments as well as campus safety at Hatchlings. ACCIDENT/INJURY: If a child or adult is seriously injured or has a medical emergency at the center the staff member that witnessed the incident will stay with the child/adult, have another staff member go call 911 and bring any emergency supplies needed. Remaining children will be removed from the area and stay with an additional staff member until the Director or acting director gives the all clear. For the safety of children, parents, and staff, we ask that parents do not attempt to pick up their child during an emergency situation, only after Pitter Patter calls and lets you know the situation is safe and can reunite families. BLIZZARD/SEVERE WINTER WEATHER The Director will monitor the weather and local news stations throughout the day to determine when it is appropriate to close the center early or cancel care for the following day. Lead Teachers are responsible for contacting parents to inform them of the situation. Routine classroom activities will continue until parents arrive. MISSING OR ABDUCTED CHILD In the event of a missing child, the Lead Teacher will search for the child in the immediate area, while another staff member calls the Director to help with the search. If the child cannot be located in a reasonable amount of time, the Director will notify the Grand Traverse County Police Department – 911 and the child’s parents. In the event of an abducted child, the Lead Teacher must immediately contact the Director, the Grand Traverse County Police Department, and the child’s parents. POWER FAILURE Staff members and children should remain in the classroom and if possible, proceed with activities as usual, or may go to the outdoor playground until power resumes. If power cannot be restored within a reasonable amount of time, the center will close and parents contacted. Primary Caregivers are responsible for contacting parents to inform them of the closing and of the need to immediately pick up their child. Activities will resume as possible until parents arrive. WEAPONS Pitter Patter Preschool will not permit or tolerate the possession, display, or use of weapons by any person on center premises or vehicles, while the person is participating in or attending Pitter Patter events and activities. Families who violate this policy may be subject to expulsion and/or other disciplinary action. Violations of this section will be reported to law enforcement agencies in accordance with law. Weapons under the control of law enforcement officials shall be exempt from this policy. ENROLLMENT We require all families to attend an on- site interview. This allows our staff to get to know you as perspective families, to ask questions, and to see how our program runs. It also gives each family focused time to ask any questions as well. Once the interview is completed and you feel Pitter Patter is a good fit for you, you will need to fill out the required forms and read through our handbook. You will need to provide the following items/paperwork and the non- refundable $50 paperwork fee. Child Information Record Immunization record/Health Appraisal Written Information Packet Documentation Parent Notification of Licensing Notebook Enrollment packet, completed Diapers/ Pull Ups and baby wipes as applicable Extra change of clothes Child’s lovie/blanket Fitted crib sheet Water bottle WITHDRAW POLICY While we are sad to see you go we understand that families have to leave care for various reasons. We require a two-week written notice to be given to the director. Payment for the final two weeks of care are required in full at that time. Pitter Patter reserves the right to withdraw a child from the program at any time including but not limited to excessive behavior concerns, physical aggression against staff and/or students, family refusal to adhere to Pitter Patter and Child Care Licensing policies. THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING PITTER PATTER PRESCHOOL AND CHILD CARE. WE ARE EXCITED TO PARTNER TOGETHER WITH YOU TO PROVIDE QUALITY, DEPENDABLE, AND LOVING CARE TO YOUR LITTLE EXPLORERS! Pitter Patter Preschool and Child Care Cultural Competency Statement The purpose of this Statement is to address how we, as a staff and also as individual educators, parents and all partnerships within our center commit to implement cultural competency within our centers. Additionally, to create a core understanding of how parent and staff communication will take place in a mutually respectful forum. Our Vision Statement is the core of our purpose. It reads “Infusing love into the world with partnerships, programming, and principle.” May we keep this at the forefront of our minds as we implement the values within this statement. According to NEA's C.A.R.E. Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps, "Culture is the sum total of experiences, knowledge, skills, beliefs, values, and interests represented by the diversity of students and adults in our schools. While culture is often defined and perceived by schools as the celebration of important people, religions, traditions, and holidays, as well as an appreciation of the customs of different groups, it is also more than that. Culture is as much, or as little, as the everyday experiences, people, events, smells, sounds, and habits of behavior that characterize students' and educators' lives. Culture shapes a person's sense of who he or she is and where he or she fits in the family, community, and society." Together we will: Recognize the benefits of diversity of different cultural backgrounds and experiences without generalizing or stereotyping in all areas including family/staff/student socioeconomic status, family composition, level of educational attainment, abilities of staff, children and family members, staff/family’s immigration status, staff/family’s religion, staff/family’s home and preferred languages, staff/parent’s sexual orientation, and the way that a staff/family classifies its race and ethnicity. Create classroom environments that are intentionally relevant to family cultures and student libraries where varied cultures are represented. Understand that our commitment to cultural competency is a process, not a one-time training, and our staff will continue learning about all aspects of our families and the community we share. Build programming which is respectful and representative of staff/ families’ needs and strengths. Include purposeful activities for our students which highlight the similarities and differences among us that make us all diverse, yet also together, a school family. Research shows that children as young as two years of age start to become aware of differences such as gender, ethnicity, and disability. (Scan Virginia) Provide staff training opportunities to further their understanding of culture and diversity, including online training during orientation for every new hire, and then semi-annually through Staff Training Days. Additionally, we will make available to all staff/families resources and articles that may produce greater learning on this topic whenever they are available throughout the year. Individualize child assessment to take into account home culture and language and seek input from families to improve instruction and classroom practices Recognize we are experts in ECE theory and practice, and that families are experts in knowledge of their child and family culture. We will seek parent input and partnership to chart learning paths within the center curriculum. Teachers and parents together will determine top learning goals for children. Encourage parents to share family traditions and cultures regarding celebrations and holidays, and reflect those same celebration styles within the center environment. Use active listening skills when communicating with parents/staff/children in daily conversations regarding family dynamic, family structure and cultural background. Communicate in a respectful manner with each other and will avoid language that could be hurtful including slurs against race, religion, educational or economic status, sexual preference or family composition. Provide opportunities for children, families, and staff to share family experiences within each classroom. Plan trips, or special guests to visit the school, from places in our community which are familiar to families’ cultural experiences. Provide opportunities for members of the community to serve as role models and share resources in partnerships within the school. Build on and recognize the strength of each family/staff culture. Advocate for resources as needed. Recognize the importance of every family unit. Collaborate with center partners as resources to be used in the program to educate parents and staff and provide services and support to both, specifically Early Head Start, TBAISD Speech Services, Great Start to Quality Resource Center, Kingsley Business Group, CACFP/ACD, Strengthening Families. Utilize our platforms of Pitter Patter Preschool Families Facebook Page, monthly newsletter, Parent Resources, Parent Kiosk to share information with families. Also, a portion of Parent Education Events will be dedicated to promoting cultural awareness.


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