• Parent Handbook

    Parent Handbook

    16727 Alderwood Mall Parkway

    Lynnwood, WA 98037

    425-743-0907

    www.weecareacademy.org

    A private, non-profit preschool and childcare academy dedicated to children within the Snohomish County area

     

    Mission Statement

    Our mission at Wee Care Academy is to provide excellent, reliable, high-quality child care and education to the children and families we serve.

    Our goals are to:

    • Provide an inclusive, safe, and healthy environment in which each child’s

    social, physical, intellectual, and emotional development is enhanced.

    • Offer a developmentally appropriate curriculum rich with learning opportunities so that each child can fulfill his/her greatest potential.
    • Structure the learning situation in such a way that each child’s creativity, enthusiasm, and excitement for learning is supported, encouraged and developed.
    • Continue to support diversity among our children, families and staff.
    • Encourage partnership with our parents to support the children in their growth towards becoming successful life-long learners.
    • Demonstrate the professionalism in our teachers and staff that reflects our high standards and expectations for ourselves and our organization.

     

    Educational Philosophy

    The educational philosophy at Wee Care Academy is based on highly respected models of early childhood education dating back to Piaget.  We believe that children learn best in a rich environment that encourages creativity, language development, and total involvement in the learning process.  This is accomplished by use of a curriculum based on experiential learning.  Through play, imagination-driven activities, and hands on projects based on the developmentally appropriate stages of a child’s growth, learning occurs in a wonderful way.  The environment is structured to include a great deal of sensory stimulation – children learn about things as they see, hear, touch, smell and, sometimes, taste them.  Language is developed as children learn to describe their experiences, share with others, and engage in the magical world of books and story-telling. Hands on activities encourage social interaction, spontaneity, and discovery of a joy in learning to learn.  Each child at Wee Care Academy is valued as a unique individual with an abundance of gifts and talents to be shared with us and with the world at large.

     

    Admission Policies

    Non-discrimination policy

    Wee Care Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, gender, creed, sexual orientation, marital or family status, religion, or the presence of a disability in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, or financial policies.

    Enrollment

    The first step in enrolling a student at Wee Care Academy is to schedule a tour.  Though we have an open door policy for enrolled families, those seeking admission should call first and make an appointment to visit.  This will ensure that a staff member will be available to answer any questions.

    Once the tour has been completed, if a family wishes to continue with the enrollment process, they will be given a registration packet with necessary forms and will meet with administrative staff to complete the required paperwork. There is a $100 one-time registration fee for the first child and $50 for each additional child. If a family would like at spot held from more than 30 days, there is a $200 holding fee for the first child and $100 for each additional child that will apply to their first months tuition. The registration fee and the holding fee are non-refundable. Once the child is registered, we recommend that the child and parents visit their new classroom once or twice before starting for 30-45 minutes to make sure the child is familiar with the classroom and the parents have an opportunity to view and ask questions about the expectations of the class.

    The State of Washington requires all enrolled children to have a current immunization form on file.  Failure to do this may result in a child being denied admittance to the Academy.

    Absence Credit Policy

    If a child is absent for part of a week, the full tuition is charged. If a child is absent for 5 consecutive business days, credit is given at one half the normal fee. This includes vacation as well as illness. There is a limit of 2 vacation credits per calendar year. Absences cannot be traded for extra days. Additional days that a child attends the Academy will be charged at the daily rate from the current tuition schedule. All extra days and extended illnesses/absences are to be arranged with the Academy Director.

    Hours of Operation

    Wee Care Academy is open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Children may attend up to five hours per day for part-time care either in the morning or afternoon.  Children attending part-time in the morning must be picked up prior to 12:00 p.m.  Children attending part-time in the afternoon must arrive after 12:00 p.m. and be picked up by 7:00 p.m. Drop off is NOT allowed between 12:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Late Charge

    Wee Care Academy closes at 7:00 p.m.  Children must be picked up prior to this time.  There will be a $2.00 per minute per child late charge for children picked up after 7:00, based on the time indicated on the Ladybugs clock at the Academy. This after hours charge will be accumulated until the child leaves the building, as WCA employees are required to stay until all WCA families have exited the building. This charge is to be paid in cash or check immediately to the staff that has had to remain after hours.

    For half day children, pick up is before 12:00 p.m. for half day morning, and drop after 12:00  for half day afternoon. Parents who pick up half day morning children after noon or drop off before noon for half day afternoon children will be charged the late fee of $1.00 per minute.  The charge will appear on the monthly billing statement.

    Holiday Closures

    There are no tuition deductions for the following legal holidays.  If the child is enrolled over a legal holiday, parents are required to pay for that day. Wee Care Academy is closed on the following holidays:

    New Year’s Day                                             Labor Day

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day                     Thanksgiving Day

    President’s Day                                             Friday after Thanksgiving

    Memorial Day                                               Christmas Eve

    Independence Day (July 4)                         Christmas Day

    The Academy also closes at 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve.  Late fees apply on early closure days.

    If the holiday should fall on a Saturday, we will be closed on the Friday prior.  If the holiday should fall on a Sunday, we will be closed the following Monday.

    Religious Policy

    At Wee Care Academy, we acknowledge the individuality of each child.  Though we are associated with the Unity Church of Lynnwood, our program and curriculum is not affiliated with any religious organization. Monthly themes may include accepted holidays, but will be kept secular in nature, focusing on secular characters commonly associated with the holiday and avoiding all religious reference. We respect and honor each individual’s preference with respect to religion.

    Signing In/Out Procedures

    Parents or responsible guardians (18 years or older) are required to sign their children in and out each time the child leaves Wee Care Academy.  Parents/guardians must sign their child in and out indicating the time and using their full signature on the sign out sheets located in the classrooms.  Children are not allowed to sign themselves in or out. Children are to be accompanied by an adult from the parking lot into the building. If a child is outside and an adult comes to pick him/her up, the adult must come into the building to sign out the child.

    Children will only be released to adults authorized on the registration form, unless written permission to release that child to another adult is received from the enrolled parent or guardian. Staff members may ask any person picking up a child for identification at any time. Staff members will not release a child to anyone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

     

    Classroom Groupings

    Please note: your child’s developmental level and other individual considerations are taken into account for classroom placement.  Age groupings are estimates only.

    Toddler Groups (Age range, 12 to 42 months -7 children: 1 teacher; Max. group size: 14):

    Caterpillars:  Children at the younger end of the range, generally.

    Ladybugs:  Children at the older end of the range.

    Preschool Groups (Age range, 38 to 71 months – 10 children: 1 teacher; Max. group size: 20):

    Fireflies: Children at the younger end of the range, generally.

    Butterflies:  Children at the older end of the range.

     

    Typical Daily Schedule

    6:00 – 8:30:                             Arrival, free play, diapering and toileting, snack.

    8:30 – 9:00                              Concept Time

    9:00 – 9:30                              Breakfast

    9:30 – 11:30                            Cognitive activities, art, outside time, small groups

    11:30 -12:00                            Music, language development

    12:00 -1:00                              Lunch and clean up

    1:00 – 2:30                              Nap

    2:30 – 3:00                              Put beds away, clean up

    3:00 – 3:30                              Music, language development

    3:30 – 4:00                              Afternoon snack

    4:00 – 6:00                              Outside time/large motor activities

    6:00 – 7:00                              Evening snack, close

    This is a general schedule. Specific schedules for each group are posted outside the classrooms.  Flexibility is built into the schedules to account for developmentally appropriate activities.

    Food

    Wee Care Academy serves an early morning snack, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and evening snack on a daily basis.  All meals conform to U.S.D.A. guidelines and are also approved by the Public Health Child Care Team’s Nutritionist. Meals are prepared on site and are served family style.  Children are encouraged to try a variety of foods and to serve themselves.  Menus are posted in the lobby and substitutions are noted daily.

    Children diagnosed with food allergies will be provided equivalent substitutions with a written physician’s order.  Substitutions based on family preferences cannot be made.  No food from outside Wee Care Academy is permitted. Bottles are not used for children 12 months and up. Sippy cups are not used for children 22 months and up.

    Curriculum

    The curriculum at Wee Care Academy is based on the principle that children learn best when they are provided an environment rich with sensory stimulation and opportunities to explore the world around them through language, art, science, math activities, music, movement, and creative play. Large motor skills are developed through outside activities and structured indoor play.  With an emphasis on fun and creative expression, learning is as simple as child’s play!

    Through the use of the nationally recognized curriculum program, “Creative Curriculum,” Wee Care Academy can assure our families that lesson plans are child-centered, stimulating, and engaging. Thematically based lesson plans provide activities that are age and developmentally appropriate, addressing learning in the four key areas of Social/Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, and Language development.  By using a quality curriculum program and maintaining continuous assessment of each child’s growth and advancement, Wee Care Academy offers an environment that sets the tone for a love of learning that will help lead each child to a successful academic future.

    Clothing and Supplies

    Children should be dressed with comfort and safety in mind.  Tennis shoes are the best footwear for busy little people that are always on the go.  The following items, labeled with the child’s name, must be kept at Wee Care Academy at all times:

    • Disposable diapers. [Please see following section for more diaper information.]
    • Two sets of extra clothing, including pants, shirts, socks, and underwear (if toilet trained).
    • Coat or jacket with hood
    • Fitted crib sheet (standard size) and small blanket

    Crib sheets and blankets must be brought in at the beginning of the week and taken home to be laundered at the end of the week.  Cubbies should be checked on a daily basis for items that might need to be taken home. After 11 months, children are not allowed to have pacifiers at any time. Toys and other items from home are not allowed to be brought into the classroom, unless it is Show ‘n’ Share Friday in either the Preschool (Fireflies) or the Pre-Kindergarten (Butterflies) classrooms, which are subject to approval.

    Diapers and Toilet Training

    Each family is responsible for providing disposable diapers for their child on a daily or weekly basis. For planning purposes, know that your child will have a diaper change every 1 ½ – 2 ½ hours.

    As a child shows signs of readiness for toilet training, staff will work with the family in assisting the child to achieve this developmental step.

    Behavior Management Policy

    Children learn to manage their own behavior appropriately by being in an environment that has clear, consistent, simple rules and expectations for behavior. These expectations are presented in a positive manner and consequences for not meeting expectations are clearly explained.

    At Wee Care Academy, teachers and staff use simple, positive messages to help the children understand appropriate behaviors. A teacher will attempt to redirect a child that is misbehaving. If the inappropriate behavior continues, the child might be offered the choice of discontinuing the behavior or leaving the area.  When a child needs to be disciplined, the teachers are trained to respond quickly, consistently, and with the understanding that a child’s emotions need to be protected and no child should ever be humiliated.  Corporal punishment (shaking, hitting) is never permitted on the premises, nor is psychological abuse (threats or derogatory comments).

    In the rare event of an extreme behavior issue, after multiple attempts at redirection and guiding the child towards appropriate behaviors have failed, a parent/guardian will be contacted and a plan of action will be determined to assist the child in managing the challenging behavior.

    The best behavior management policy is to avoid problems before they happen by providing an environment where there is a core understanding that we do not hurt ourselves or each other and where all individuals, particularly the adults, are positive, reinforcing, and have clear, well-defined expectations for behavior. At Wee Care Academy, we strive daily to provide just such an environment for your child.

    Medical Policy

    Immunizations:

    All children must have documentation of appropriate immunizations and any information regarding major health problems on file at Wee Care Academy.

    Illnesses:

    Families are required to notify the director if their child has contracted a contagious illness.  The office will post notices of any illnesses the children may have been exposed to.

    Parents/guardians will be notified in the event of a serious illness or injury. If this attempt is unsuccessful, 911 will be called or the child will be transported to the emergency room.

    If a child is feeling ill, she/he will be isolated from the rest of the children, his/her temperature will be taken and a parent/guardian will be notified. If the child exhibits any of the following symptoms, a parent/guardian will be required to pick the child up: an underarm fever of 100 degrees or higher accompanied by an earache, sore throat, rash, diarrhea or vomiting, unusual sleepiness, irritability, or confusion; vomiting two or more times in a 24 hour period; diarrhea three or more times in a 24 hour period or any stool with blood in it; drainage from the eye with redness; open oozing sore; head lice or nits. A child exhibiting any of these symptoms should not be brought to the Academy until the symptoms have subsided or medical treatment has been obtained. When a child is excluded from care due to illness or injury, Wee Care Academy reserves the right to request a physician note stating the child may safely return to our care.

    Medical Emergencies:

    911 will be called immediately in the event of a medical emergency, and staff will continue to administer care until the paramedics arrive.  All staff members are certified in CPR and First Aid (see “Staff Qualifications”). Parents/guardians will be called after 911 notification.  If a parent/guardian cannot be reached, the emergency contact will be notified.  The child will be transported to the nearest hospital, most likely: Swedish Edmonds Hospital, 21607 76th Ave. W, Edmonds, WA 98026.  Phone: 425.640.4000.

    A Wee Care Academy employee will accompany your child to the hospital and stay with the child until a person listed on your Emergency Release Form arrives. All illnesses and medical emergencies will be recorded in the child’s file and a report filled out.  For major emergencies, a copy of the injury/incident report will be sent to the State Licensing Office.

    Medications:

    If your child requires medication to be administered while in our care, please notify the Director.  Medications must be given to the administrative staff when the child arrives in the morning.  No medications may be left in cubbies, diaper bags, etc.  For medication to be distributed, please provide the following:

    • The “Permission to Administer Medication” form must be properly completed.
    • A signed note from the doctor listing medication dosage and times to be administered or a labeled bottle from the pharmacy with the child’s name, dosage and administration times of the medication for any prescription drugs. The bottle must include the date the prescription was filled, the expiration date, and the prescription number.
    • A signed note from the parent/guardian with medication instructions including the in-school dose, name of the medication, and duration of administration. Specific times for administration of the medication must be included – “3 xs per day” is not sufficient.
    • Any deviation from the manufacturer labeled directions for dosage or administration must be accompanied by a written physician’s order.
    • Families must provide applicators for medications that indicate proper dosage amounts.
    • For non-prescription drugs, a note from your doctor is required if no written instructions for the child’s age, weight, or height are indicated.  Medication should be in the original box with complete instructions.

    All medications must be taken home daily unless the medication is ongoing such as medications for severe allergies. For children that require medications for chronic conditions or serious illnesses, a medication plan will be set up and followed by the family, Academy staff, and the child’s physician.  All staff members are trained on the proper administration of medications.

    For bulk medications, such as sunscreen, a doctor’s note is required for an alternative to be provided.

    Child Abuse Reporting Requirement

    Washington State Law and Licensing requirements require that any suspected signs and/or suspected incidents of child abuse, neglect, physical or emotional abuse, or child exploitation be reported immediately to the Police or Child Protective Services (CPS).  Notification of parents/guardians of such a report is at the direction of the police or CPS.

    Staff Qualifications

    All staff members at Wee Care Academy are certified in Child CPR/ First Aid, Blood-borne Pathogen/HIV training, and have a current Food Handler’s permit.  Staff members are also required to complete the 20 hour basic STARS (State Training and Registry System) class within their first six months of hiring. This training assists our teachers in the areas of classroom management and child development. Teachers are encouraged to continue their education by taking further STARS training or availing themselves of college classes in Early Childhood Education. In addition, all staff members go through an extensive orientation and supervision period when joining Wee Care Academy.

    Crisis/Disaster Response

    As parents, we are all concerned about what will happen to our child in a crisis/disaster situation when we cannot immediately reunite. Rest assured that the staff at Wee Care Academy is prepared to respond to these situations.  Disaster supplies are stored on site. Please see our “Crisis/Disaster Response” handout for more details. Our response to two common emergency situations follows:

    Storms and Snow

    The Director will determine prior to opening hours whether or not to open the center.  Every effort will be made to remain open in severe weather conditions, but the safety of our families and staff is always our first priority.  Please check the email or Facebook page for updated emergency closure information. If childcare must close during hours of operation because of a storm or snow, the director will notify parents by phone. Children will only be released to adults designated in writing by the parents.

    Power Outage

    Parents will be notified by telephone if a power outage is prolonged for more than one hour.  Wee Care Academy will not open if power is lost prior to opening.

    Family Communication

    Communication between families and Wee Care Academy is critical to ensuring your child has a happy, healthy, productive experience while in our care. Several communication pathways have been developed to make sure parents/guardians feel they can keep up with what is going on and that staff can feel they have a communication network with the families.

    Child’s Mail Pouch

    Each child has a labeled mail pouch in the classroom. Notes for the family, including billing can be found here.

    Family Mail Pouch

    Each classroom has a Family Mail Pouch where notes for the staff may be left.

    Monthly Newsletter

    Every month a newsletter is emailed to the families updating information on news and activities of the Academy.

    LifeCubby

    Each child has a continually updated portfolio in the classroom though our online communication system, LifeCubby. Every day each classroom will send out a Today Wee letting your know what the children have done during the day. Every week, a private observation is written for each child. Infants and Toddlers also receive a daily report that includes: diaper changes, eating habits, nap times, and more. Developmental checklist are also updated throughout the year, letting you know how your child is progressing.

    Telephone Contact

    Parents/guardians are welcome to call Wee Care Academy at any time to check on their child or have a conversation with the Lead Teacher regarding questions or concerns. Conferences with teachers or the Director may be scheduled whenever the family feels they are needed.

    Parent-Teacher Conference

    A formal parent-teacher conference is scheduled for the spring.  Sign-up sheets for available times will be in the classrooms.  At this conference, teachers share their Progress and Planning Reports and your child’s portfolio.  What a great way to see the wonderful growth that occurs over the course of several months! Remember, informal conferences can be set up at any time with your child’s teacher or the Director by picking up the phone.

    Thank you for choosing Wee Care Academy!

    We know there are many childcare options available to your family and we take very seriously our responsibility to provide the finest care and education available for your child. The staff at Wee Care Academy will strive every day to make sure that the trust and confidence you have placed in us is earned and well deserved.