All parents or guardians of enrolled toddlers receive a daily report, which includes information on feedings, bathroom routines, sleep times, and any other significant occurrences for the day. In addition, all parents/guardians of all enrolled children receive a detailed progress report every six months, showing the child’s development in socio-emotional, cognitive, language, physical, and creative areas.
The report includes a checklist of age-appropriate milestones for the child’s program, as well as commentary by the teacher about notable areas of strength and possible areas for further attention, including a future action plan. The progress report has been designed (and regularly updated) in collaboration with the supervisor, administrator, and daycare teachers, using guidelines from the Helping Children Learn participant’s manual (and in-service training program for childcare teachers from the Children’s Services division of the Metropolitan Toronto Community Services department). It is crucial that parents/guardians and teachers work together with open minds and with the common goal of encouraging and guiding children to grow in confidence, respect, and love.
Full-time children receive a hot lunch and two snacks daily; children may eat/drink as much as they desire during these assigned times. All meals and snacks given to children are based on the Canada Food Guide and have been approved by Provincial and Municipal consultants. All meals are fresh and hand-prepared on the premises.
Whenever possible, we try to accommodate special diets; however in certain cases, we may require parents to supply certain foods that are not available at the centre on a regular basis. With the exception of such requests from the daycare, we strongly advise that parents do NOT provide their child/children with snacks to bring to the centre so that other children with allergies/food restrictions will not accidentally ingest substances that may be harmful to them. Parents/guardians bringing substitute items due to the child’s allergies/food restrictions must hand all items to a staff member and provide clear instructions for storage and serving (i.e. refrigeration, warming).
NOTE ON NUTS/NUT PRODUCTS:
Our daycare attempts to be a nut-free facility. This means that we do not provide items known to contain nuts or nut products in our planned menu. If your child has a suspected or known nut allergy, it is important that you let the staff know. In addition, whether your child has a nut allergy or not, please try to refrain from bringing products containing nuts into the daycare centre (i.e. during potluck gatherings or children’s birthday cakes/treats). Parents are requested NOT to bring outside snacks into the daycare centre unless otherwise discussed with the supervisor.
Please inform the supervisor of any allergies or food restrictions your child/children may have. There is a section to list all allergies on the registration form. There is also an Allergy & Food Restriction form (included in your enrollment package forms) that must be completed, signed, and returned to our staff. Please keep us informed of any changes that may need to be made to this record (ask teacher for Allergy & Food Restriction Update form).
Any allergy or food restriction updates must be reported in writing to daycare staff as soon as possible (see Allergy & Food Restrictions Update Form); this includes changes in allowances as well as restrictions. A regularly updated allergy list is posted in each classroom and the kitchen to ensure that our staff is aware of all children’s allergies and/or food restrictions.
Proper oral hygiene is important to our organization. Not only will our policies governing good oral health promote positive habitual hygiene patterns amongst the children, but they will also limit the spread of bacteria and potential disease. For this reason, we request that you please bring a toothbrush and toothpaste for your child/children every day they are at our centre. Personal hygiene items may be left on the premises to be stored in your child’s individual cubby or other storage unit. Please label each item with your child’s name. Please promptly take home any empty food containers (including bottles and sippy cups) to be washed thoroughly before used again or brought back to the daycare.
Quiet Rest Period
Children in all programs are given the opportunity to have a daily naptime after lunch. Furniture is rearranged; blinds are closed; and soft music is played as teachers assist children to fall asleep or rest on assigned cots/mats in their classroom. Children are not forced to sleep; they are, however required to rest quietly on their cots or engage in a “quiet activity” such as puzzles, reading, etc. during their designated quiet rest period. The centre provides clean sheets, which are washed at the end of every week. Please provide a blanket for your children’s comfort. Your child's blanket will be folded and left in his/her cubby at the end of each week to be washed at home and returned at the beginning of the following week.
If your child requires any medication, the Medical Dispensing form must be correctly completed for each instance of prescription. Once reviewed and accepted, our daycare staff will administer prescription medicine provided in its original container with a clearly legible, un-tampered label stating the child's name, prescription, dosage, and date of dispensing. For non-prescription medicine, a doctor's note stating child's name, prescription, dosage, and date of dispensing must be provided.
The parent will need to sign a medication form for this medicine as well. Please provide ALL medicine to our staff and NOT directly to your child/children or in refrigerators or other storage compartments. For parents of children who use medication daily (for example, for a chronic condition such as asthma), the medical authorization form will only have to be filled out once. In the event that any changes in medication, dosage, or times of administration occur, a new sheet must be signed and returned to our staff for placement in your child’s file.
Our policy is that a child should not be at the centre if the following symptoms of illness are present: fever, diarrhea, vomiting, head lice, pink eye, or other contagious diseases (see Health Policy). If your child has been absent for 10 or more days due to an illness, a doctor’s note stating that the child is fit to return to the daycare is required prior to readmission. Parents are required to call the daycare to inform staff of children’s absence or lateness; if no notice has been given, parents/ guardians and/or emergency contacts will be contacted by daycare staff. If your child becomes ill while at the daycare, you will be contacted and may be required to pick up your child. If a child is too sick to play outdoors, s/he is considered to sick to be at the daycare. Parents will be informed if an outbreak of disease is suspected at the daycare. The daycare and parents must work together in ensuring a healthy, disease-free environment for all of our children.
Child abuse is taken very seriously at our facility, and any evidence discovered of such abuse will warrant immediate and appropriate action on our organization’s part. According to the Child and Family Services Act, anyone who has reasonable grounds to suspect a child is being, or has been abused, must report such suspicions to the Children's Aid Society. Failure to report such observations can result in criminal charges. Child abuse comes in many forms and includes physical abuse, mental and/or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. The failure to protect a child from abuse, and the failure to seek the necessary treatment for an abused child, are both also considered to be forms of abuse. If a parent/guardian is unavailable to consent to an abused child’s treatment, protection from the Children's Aid Society will be provided.
To put simply, we do not tolerate any form of discrimination. We are committed to promoting equality amongst all of our children, regardless of culture, faith, or ethnicity. Any perceived acts of discriminatory behaviour will be dealt with appropriately and promptly, and may include immediate dismissal from the daycare centre without notice. Our anti-discrimination policy exists under a ‘zero tolerance’ mandate and applies to children in our care, family members of the children, emergency contacts, and all staff members/service providers at our centre.
The teachers and supervisors at O' Happy Day Daycare are well trained in the field of Early Childhood Education. The teachers make every effort to provide an inclusive environment that tries to accommodate all children, including those with unique needs. It is crucial that parents inform staff of any special needs (whether physical, developmental, language-related, etc) children may have, in order for us to properly prepare and assess in each situation. In some exceptional cases however, we may not be able to meet the special needs of all children. In such instances, our centre will act as fairly as possible and assist with arranging outside agency care for the child.
An important part of the O' Happy Day Daycare curriculum is exposing children to the many varied experiences available within our diverse community. For this reason, a number of special field trips are scheduled throughout the year. A notice will be posted well in advance of the trip, informing you of the destination, time, date, and cost, as well as any other relevant details. Children will only participate in field trips or excursions outside of the centre if the field trip permission form is completed, signed, and submitted to our staff before the date indicated on the permission form.
Transportation to and from the centre is the responsibility of parents/guardians. Where bussing to and from school is required, it is the parents’ responsibility for coordinating arrangements between the school and centre. Please advise the supervisor of all transportation arrangements at the time of enrollment.
Evacuation Plan & Fire Drills
All children in the centre will be evacuated from the premises when required. Children will be guided by staff to exit through designated emergency exit doors and meet at a predetermined area. Clear instructions for emergency evacuation as well as the address of the emergency shelter are posted by the fire exit door in each room. In the event that the children cannot return to the centre, they will be accommodated in the prearranged emergency shelter. Parents will be promptly notified, and necessary arrangements will be coordinated for the pick-up of the children. The centre conducts a fire drill each month to familiarize the children and staff with the proper emergency evacuation procedures. All children and staff members are expected to take fire drills seriously and follow the appropriate procedure in an orderly manner. All drills are documented.
Clothing & Clothing Safety
Please dress your child in clothing appropriate for the weather, season, and planned activities for the day. If weather conditions are suitable, children generally play outdoors for an average of two hours per day. As of October 1, 1999, a new Playground Safety Policy mandated by the new Canadian Safety Standards and the Ministry of Community and Social Services emphasized outdoor safety while in the care of the centre. All strings or cords must be removed from your child’s clothing. O’ Happy Day Daycare reserves the right to remove or cut off strings/cords before allowing your child on the play structures or any of the outdoor equipment. We highly recommend neck warmers in lieu of scarves. In warmer weather, running shoes with non-slip soles must be worn. Sandals and “dress” shoes may have very slippery soles, which may be dangerous as children play.
Please provide your children with a complete extra change of clothing, including socks and underwear. These items maybe stored in your child's individual cubby. Please label all articles of clothing. We reserve the right to label or discard any unlabelled articles. Occasionally, your child may need to change clothes during the day and we prefer to have them wear their own clothes. Please take all soiled clothing home at the end of the day to be washed. We strongly advise that you do NOT send your child to our daycare wearing any jewellery or with their toys from home. These valuable items may be lost and are often very difficult to find once missing. Our childcare facility and our staff are NOT responsible for any lost personal items.
Birthdays are very special for young children. We celebrate each child's birthday with a present and decorations. If you wish to provide additional celebrations for your child such as a pizza party, birthday cake, cupcakes, or loot bags, please inform your child’s teacher in advance of any plans, and make sure to inform staff of any products that may contain nuts or nut products. Birthday celebrations typically take place during afternoon snack time (around 2:30 p.m.). You are welcome to come join us on your child’s birthday for the celebration.
Other Special Occasions
On certain holiday/seasonal celebrations (i.e. Halloween, Winter Holidays, etc.), we invite the families of daycare children for a party or special event; notices of such events are posted in advance. Any ideas for the celebrations are welcome and will be considered. Please make any special arrangements with your child's teacher and feel free to join in on the fun!
On the last Friday of every month, we have THEME DAYS, when children, staff, and parents are invited to dress in accordance to the special dress-up day. Theme days include specific colour days (i.e. wearing red clothes), pajamas-day, hat day, etc.