DAY CARE STUDENT HANDBOOK
At Agape' Learning Center, we offer preschool, kindergarten and the only state licensed day care center in our area. As a non-profit ministry of Foursquare Church, we have served our community for over 30 years by providing quality and affordable childcare and education. We believe in the value of a comprehensive, Christian education acceptable across the evangelical spectrum. We invite you to experience our commitment to providing a safe, educational, nurturing environment where parents can leave their children knowing they will be well cared for.
At Agape', we believe in nurturing the "whole child": physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We achieve this through a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate and recognize the individual needs of children. Through Christian principals and teachings, children are encouraged to be independent thinkers and life-long learners.
Agape' Learning Center is first a ministry to the community. We pride ourselves on providing a Christian environment where children can grow through God's love and His teachings.
We put your child's safety first at Agape'. Our goal is to provide an environment where parents feel comfortable leaving their children knowing that their needs will be met by loving teachers who truly care about each child.
We want to nurture the love of learning through activities that captivate and challenge children to grow intellectually.
Director: Shari Neal
Office: (765) 529-8774
There shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin, or handicap. Agape’ shall not admit or maintain any child whose needs it obviously cannot meet or whose behavior would be dangerous for other children. To enroll a parent must complete the application forms and pay a registration fee.
Our state licensed day care serves children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. We best serve these children by separating them by age into 4 classrooms.
We practice continuity of care in our infant/toddler classrooms. Research has shown that consistency in care is important to the appropriate growth and development of children, especially for infants and toddlers. We believe that infants attach to their teacher and it is in the child's best interest to remain with that teacher. Because of this, our teachers in Room 13/14 float between the infant classroom and the toddler classroom. Your infant will be with the same group of teachers until age 3.
Students must be at least 6 weeks old in order to enroll in our day care program. Students will be admitted up to and including kindergarten age. School age children (entering first grade through sixth grade) can be enrolled in the program during the weeks of Summer Camp. These students may use the day care from 6:30-8:00 A.M. and 5:00-6:00 P.M.
Agape is a private program voluntarily licensed by the State of Indiana. A copy of the licensing rules are available on the web at
Hours of Operation
Agape’ is open Monday through Friday from 6:30am to 6:00pm. The center is closed for the following holidays.
Labor Day Good Friday
Fall Break (2 days) Spring Break (1 week)
Thanksgiving Break (2 days) Conference Day (1 day in the Spring)
Christmas break (2 weeks) Memorial Day
4th of July
Should Agape’ be closed due to inclement weather, this information will be broadcast on WISH TV 8 and RTV 6. The administrator will attempt to make the closing decision prior to 6:00am, although this is not always possible.
Agape’ also uses a text alerting system. If you want to receive text alerts for cancelations and other updates throughout the year, you may enroll on your phone. This program is free of charge; however your normal texting rates will apply. You may opt out at any time. In order to receive text alerts from Agape’, please follow these steps:
Begin a text message to the number 81010
In the message area type: @agapenc
On occasion our facility might need to close during our scheduled day. Should this occur, you will be notified to come and pick up your child.
If your child is sick for an entire week, you will not be billed ONLY IF you call your child in everyday they are sick. We are also required by the state to post communicable diseases that any of our students contract so if your child is diagnosed by a doctor with a communicable disease, please let the office know.
Every day care student is given 2 weeks of vacation time per year. These may be used by the week (not by the day) when your child will not be in attendance to avoid a minimum charge. In order to use your vacation time, a form must be filled out and turned into the office 2 weeks prior to the absence. *Vacation forms available upon request in the office.
The weekly charge for day care depends upon the age of your child and the number of hours your child uses our facility each weekPlease refer to your financial sheet in your enrollment packet for specific prices on check the website at do offer a discounted rate for a second child.
Weekly Minimum for Day Care Only Students:
If a child is enrolled in our day care only, the parents must pay the minimum amount weekly for that age child, even if the child did not use any hours in a given week (with the exception of illness when called in every day and vacation when a vacation form has been filled out with the office).If withdrawal of a child is necessary, .If a family vacation is taken, in order to avoid the minimum charge.Each child is entitled to two weeks of vacation per year without the minimum charge.
When a child is enrolled in our day care a registration/supply fee must accompany his/her enrollment form. This is an annual fee due at the beginning of June. A Health form must be completed and signed by the child’s doctor. All other forms in the enrollment packet must be read, filled out in their entirety and kept in the child’s file.
Breakfast and Lunch charges:
Our lunch rate is $2.75 per lunch and our breakfast rate is $1.50 per breakfast.(*prices subject to change)If the child will be arriving at day care after 10:00 am and eating lunch with us, the parent must call the office by 10:00 am to have the child added to the lunch count or the family will receive aIf your child is signed up for lunch and they do not come, you will be charged for a lunch, which was prepared for them.Lunch is served at 12:00 p.m. during the school year and 11:30 a.m. during the summer.We do not require that children eat our breakfast, but if the child is here at lunch time, he/she will be served a lunch and you will be charged accordingly.
Picking up a child after hours:
If a child is picked up after our closing time the following fees will be charged: 6:00 – 6:15 pm:$8.00 per child; 6:15-6:30 pm:an additional $10.00 per child.Should a child be in our care past 6:30 pm, we reserve the right to contact local authorities and have them pick up the child.
Day care is billed the week following service.Our week begins Monday morning and ends Friday evening.The bill will be available to view Monday afternoon on your MyProcare account.The parent is responsible to view the bill every week and pay the bill by 6:00 p.m. Friday.Payments may be dropped in the mailbox outside of the office.After Friday, a $5.00 late fee will be added.If not paid within one (1) week of the due date, the child cannot return until at least the past due amount is paid.If only the past due amount is paid and the total payment due is not received by the due date, the child’s card will be pulled the next Monday until the account is in good standing.Late fees will be added accordingly.After 4 weeks of nonpayment or arrangements not having been made for payment, the administration reserves the right to turn your account over to a collection agency.Should any other action be necessary, you will be responsible to pay any other fees such as attorney fees and/or court fees.
We believe discipline to be an integral part of school development. It affects the social, emotional, academic, and spiritual growth of a child. Therefore, we have chosen to implement the following discipline procedure for the well-being of your child.
The day care uses a positive disciplinary approach with children. Children are informed of any inappropriate misbehavior and redirected to more constructive activities, or allowed to spend some quiet time to themselves in an area so designated.
If a problem occurs in the classroom, the teacher is to make the correction at that point. Guidelines to be followed:
A. Were the directions clear and understandable?
B. Was the misdeed calculated or a mistake?
C. Is there an underlying emotional or physical problem to the disturbance: "problem" means an attitude or action that is disturbing the learning process of the child in question or others about him, or an attitude or action that is in clear violation of the Christian standards of Agape' Learning Center.
In cases where there is an emotional or other problem contributing to a child's actions or attitudes, the administrator will work with the parents toward a solution. Should, however, the problem constitute too great a disruption with the other children or staff, other arrangements will have to be made.
Minor offenses are dealt with in the classroom. Each classroom will provide a copy of the individual classroom policy for the parents.
These offenses include, but are not limited to the following:
A. Striking authority
B. Disobeying rules continually after ample warning
C. Defacing school property deliberately
D. Uncontrollable behavior
Parents will be notified in the event of a major offense. The Administrator reserves the right to expel the child for the remainder of the day.
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 Agape’ to prevent and stop biting. This is the process followed when a child bites:
· The biting child is stopped and told, “Biting is not ok. Biting hurts” 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 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.
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.
Should your child receive an injury which requires first aid, the teacher will complete an accident report which the parent is required to sign and return to the office to be kept in the child’s file.
The information card that you fill out for us is our link with you in case of an emergency. It is very important that these cards are kept up to date. If your phone number, place of employment, etc. changes, we need to know immediately.
In order to keep your child safe, each day care employee is required to have Universal Precautions and CPR training. (Updated Annually)
Arrival & Departure
Adults are required to come into the building with the child. Please make eye contact with the teacher before leaving the child. Parents are encouraged to talk with the teacher at drop of and pick up every day to discuss anything going on with the child. Establishing open communication will help the teacher’s better care for your child.
Clocking In and Out:
Each child has a time card with his/her name on it.When parents bring their child to day care they should be “clocked in” and they should be “clocked out” when leaving.On our time system it is important to follow this procedure because,
ADULTS ONLY ARE TO CLOCK CHILDREN IN/OUT. If you forget to clock your child in or out, please inform the office as soon as possible so we can go in and manually make the adjustment for you. If you fail to inform the office, your child will automatically be clocked in at 6:00 A.M., or be clocked out at 6:00 P.M. This will make your charges for the week to be more than they should be. If we catch the mistake, we will contact you, but we do not always catch these mistakes.
Each child will be provided a cubby. Cubbies will be labeled with your child's name on it. This will be where you will find any projects or notes sent home for the day. Please check it daily!
Only authorized individuals listed on the child’s enrollment form or enrollment card will be allowed to remove the child from our facility.
Agape’ Learning Center will notify the local police department immediately if an authorized individual picking up a child appears to be intoxicated or impaired, but insists on removing the child from the facility.
Bi-Yearly conferences are offered in all day care classrooms for day care only students. These conferences will take place in May and November. There will be a sign up sheet posted outside of the classroom doors a few weeks before the conference dates. At this time you may sign up for a time to meet with the teacher or decline a conference. More information will come home closer to those May and November dates. If at any time throughout the year you would like to meet with your child’s teacher about development or any concerns, please set up an appointment though the office.
Each month a newsletter of upcoming events for your child's room will be placed in their cubbies. Along with this newsletter you will receive a monthly lunch menu. Teachers will send home notes when your child is running low on supplies (i.e. diapers, extra clothes, etc.) or if there is a behavioral issue that needs to be communicated with a parent, etc. Sometimes a teacher is not available to talk though issues if the child is picked up at a busy time of the day. This is why it is so important for parents to check their child’s cubby every day. This is a main method of communication between parents and teachers.
Much of this information is available on our website as well:
Parent information boards are located outside each classroom. This board will have any class updates, daily schedules, and breakfast/lunch sheets on it.
Weekly charges are based upon the age of your child and whether or not your child is potty trained. Please fill out the Bathroom Habits form and return it with your enrollment package. Also, be mindful of the clothing your child wears to school. Make sure that your child cam work all zippers, buttons, or fasteners if he/she is potty trained. The teachers will stand outside the door to offer assistance when the child is finished in the restroom. If your child wears diapers or pull-ups you are required to provide them. These need to be brought to school in their original unopened package.
Please have all of your child’s coats and jackets marked with his/her name, it is very easy for a mix-up to happen. Also, be sure to leave a change of clothes for your child to be left here in case of an accident. Please include underwear, shoes and socks.
Our first priority at Agape’ is providing a healthy, safe learning environment for all children. Children will be sent home as soon as possible if any of the following is experienced: an illness that 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:
· Fever of 100 degrees or greater accompanied by behavior changes or other signs/symptoms of illness until fever free for 24 hours
Vomiting until it has been resolved for 24 hours
· 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) until diarrhea stops or the continued diarrhea is deemed not be infectious by a licensed health care professional.
· Blood in stools not explainable by dietary change, medication, or hard stools
· · 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 with fever or behavior change, until a physician determines that these symptoms do not indicate a communicable disease
· Pink eye (conjunctivitis) until after treatment has been initiated
· Head lice, from detected until after first treatment
· 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)
· 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 Agape’ must be removed from the classroom in order to limit exposure of other children to communicable disease. An ill child will be sent to the office to wait for his/her parent to arrive. Agape’ 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 health care professional stating that the child is not contagious.
***If your child will be staying home due to illness, please call the office.
Notices of confirmed communicable diseases will be posted to warn parents of possible exposure on the bulletin board by the time clock.
The giving or application of all medication and carrying out medical procedures shall be done only on written order and/or prescription from a physician or other health care professional authorized to write prescriptions, which must be kept with the medication.
Non-refrigerated medications must be stored in the locked cabinet in the office and refrigerated medication must be stored in the refrigerator used exclusively for medicine away from any access to the children while in use at Agape’. Unused medications must be immediately returned to the family and will not be stored at Agape’. Medications may be administered only by Lead Teachers, the Director, or the Secretary. When a medication is given, the teacher will document the type of medication administered, the dosage, and the time it was given as well as any unusual reactions or circumstances.
With parent’s written approval, centers may use preventive products, such as sunscreens, insect repellents, non-medicated powder, petroleum jelly, and A & D ointment, without a physician’s order.
As a state licensed day care center, we are required to have a doctor’s note on file if your child needs to have lunches or snack brought from home due to an allergy or any other reason.
Signup sheets for breakfast and lunch are located on the parent board outside of your child’s classroom.
Children will be served lunch in the designated area in the gym. Teachers will assist children who might need food cut up or condiments. Good eating habits and manners will be taught and encouraged. Since we are State licensed we are required to serve your child a healthy snack and hot lunch. (Summer lunch time, 11:30; School year lunch time, 12:00). If your child is in attendance during our lunch time, even if they are not marked for lunch, we are required to serve them a lunch and you will be charged accordingly.
If your child will be brought to day care later than 10:00 a.m., we ask you to call us before 10:00 a.m. to let us know to include them on our lunch count. Should you fail to notify the office by 10:00, there will be a
late lunch charge of $.50 added to your lunch fee on your bill.
Breakfast is served at 8:00am during the school year and 7:30 am during the summer.
Snacks or Special Treats:
If you would like to furnish a treat for a class party or birthday, it is required to be a store bought items. Please contact the teacher prior to the day you plan to bring in the snacks.
No objects should be thrown at the ceilings, lights, walls, or fans. Children should not be allowed to play in the table area. No balls smaller than a tennis ball should be played with in the gym.
Hallway and Restroom Procedures:
Children should walk in an orderly fashion in the hallways. Noise should be kept to a minimum. Children should keep their hands and feet to themselves- off the walls and other people.
Children will be well supervised while on the playground at all times. The children are not allowed to sit on top of the monkey bars. The cabin is for children to play inside, not on top of. The children are required to swing while sitting on their bottoms. They are also required to slide down the slides on their bottoms. If it is wet and muddy, the children will play on the blacktop area.
Teachers are expected to interact with the children continuously. Lessons are planned to promote learning experiences in cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, and language skills.
Art is an integral part of the curriculum. Teachers may ask for donations for special projects.
Each classroom has an adequate supply of toys and activities provided for children to enjoy. Toys will be frequently rotated as to not let the children become board with the selection.
Each classroom will incorporate learning centers to help develop student cognitive, physical, emotional, and social skills. Each room should have a reading center, writing center, art center, blocks, dramatic play center, mat/numbers center, music and movement center, nature and science center, sensory play center, and a small motor/manipulative center.
Children will be taken outside each day for playtime as long as the temperature is above 25 degrees and it is not raining or snowing. Teachers will use common sense for wind chill and heat index. As a rule, children should be taken outside for at least 5 minutes of fresh air. Please check the daily schedule for designated outdoor play times.
Day care classes may have a Christmas, Valentine's, and Easter party. Birthday parties may be held if the parents wish to supply the class with store bought treats.
Toys are to be brought only for Show-and-tell or other special classroom events. Toys need to be small enough to fit into the child's cubby. Also, toys need to be labeled with child's name. We want to encourage good things at Agape', so we do not allow monster type or any evil looking toys or weapons.
Students are not allowed to bring videos to be watched because Agape' is licensed to show only what we have available on site.
Infant – 4 per teacher
Toddler (under 30 months and walking) – 5 per teacher
2 years old – 5 per teacher
3 year olds - 10 per teacher
4 year olds - 12 per teacher
5 year olds - 15 per teacher
6 year olds - 20 per teacher
Procedures for fire and disaster emergencies shall be posted in all classrooms. Fire Drills will be conducted monthly, as required by state law. Tornado drills are practiced bi-monthly.
Germs are spread very easily among young children. Hand washing is of great importance to help cut down on the spread of germs. Agape' provides disposable towels and antibacterial soap in each lavatory.
Agape’s Hand Washing Procedure:
All adults in Agape’ classrooms need to follow ALL the steps identified below to prevent the spread of disease to children and staff members.
HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS MOST EFFECTIVELY
• Use soap and warm (between 60 and 120 degrees F), running water
• Rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds (sing the “ABC’s”).
• Wash all surfaces, including backs of hands, wrists, under fingernails with fingers pointed to the sink drain
• Rinse hands well with the water running
• Dry hands with a disposable towel
• Turn off water with the paper towel
WHEN TO WASH YOUR HANDS
• Upon arrival in the classroom
• When changing from one group of children to another
• Before preparing or serving food
• After eating food
• Before AND after diapering/toileting a child
• After contact with bodily fluids (vomit, blood, mucus)
• Before and after administration of medication
• Before and after sensory play, including water play
• After coming indoors or returning from a break
• After handling pets
• After using the restroom
WHEN TO WASH THE CHILDREN’S HANDS
• Before eating, drinking or preparing snacks for others
• After eating
• After using the toilet or having their diapers changed
• After contact with bodily fluids (vomit, blood mucus)
• Before and after sensory play, including water play
• After returning indoors from the playground
• After handling pets
Your child is required to have a rest period. Children who are here during our designated nap time are required to lay down on their cot. If a child is unable to sleep after 20-30 minutes of quietly laying down, they will be allowed to play quietly. We want this to be a secure and happy time so if your child has a favorite sleeping toy or blanket that makes them more comfortable, he/she is welcome to bring it. You will need to take the toy, blanket, and pillow home every Friday to wash it and then return it the next week.
Child Abuse and Neglect
All Agape’ staff members are mandatory child abuse reporters. Suspected cases of child abuse or neglect must be reported to the Department of Human Services to:
CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE
Henry County Child Protective Services
Staff members may directly report suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect to the Indiana Department of Human Services and will complete all necessary paperwork. The staff member should inform the Director of the report and together decide whether or not to inform the parents of the report. If an Agape’ staff member is accused of abuse and/or neglect by a parent or co-worker, such an accusation will be reported to the Director and a determination will be made as to whether there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse and/or neglect. If there is reasonable cause, a report must be made to the Department of Child Services (DCS). Agape’ will cooperate with any DCS investigation. In addition, the accused staff member will be informed of the allegations and be given an opportunity to respond to those allegations. Termination of employment after a child abuse allegation is at the discretion of the Director.
We use the New Castle transit system for our field trips. We also allow field trips that are within walking distance such as Marsh, and Dairy Queen.
Level 3 Provider