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Go Outside Policies

These policies will take effect June 29th, 2020.

Inclusion

Ready Set Go Outside accepts children between the ages of  2 years and 12 years old.

Children of any race, color, national or ethnic origin are welcome to all the rights and privileges of all programs/activities offered at Ready, Set, Go! Learning Center. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.

 

Staff Qualifications

Ready Set Go Outside staff are hired based on their desire inspire children in the best possible ways and their education background, certifications and experience. SBI Criminal history and Child Protective Service reports are required on all staff prior to employment. Infant, child and adult CPR and first aid are a requirement for all staff. Our staff is required by state law to participate in 30 hours of training per year.

Marisa Tobey is the owner and director of this program.  Her natural science background includes studies in ornithology, marine biology, plant identification, wetland ecology, mycology, edible plants, gardening, composting, herpetology, environmental science and entomology. Her early childhood background consists of 24 years of experience working with children and various psychology and curriculum courses from college to childcare training.  She has also completed and been certified in many outdoor recreation courses in and outside of college including the Maine Guide Course and canoeing instructor.

 

Children with Special Needs

Ready Set Go Outside will comply with all standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Children with special needs will not be excluded from participation in any activities or programs as long as it does not fundamentally alter the program for the other children. When this becomes a concern, then every effort will be made to accommodate the child with special needs by utilizing trained volunteers or alternative staff.

 

Child Guidance and Discipline Policy

 

Goals:

  • creating a strong sense of self
  • developing independent learning skills
  • cultivating enthusiasm and curiosity through sensory experiences
  • building skills to handle challenging situations
  • becoming socially confident in an unstructured setting
  • exploring ways to become helpful members of community
  • emotional regulation and happiness

 

Primary Strategies/techniques:

  1. Staff training- review discipline and guidance policy, model while working with children and use reflective practice during staff meetings
  2. Allow children to participate in the establishment of rules and safety
  3. Teachers will model appropriate behavior
  4. Give children ample notice prior to transitions
  5. Prevent boredom, waiting and hurriedness with a consistent routine that involves all children and allows for teachable moments and flexibility
  6. Provide consistent and age appropriate discipline and goals
  7. Use praise and positive reinforcement by focusing on good behaviors
  8. Consistently and patiently repeat verbally the goal/desired behavior and model or guide the child whenever possible
  9. Allow children the space to resolve conflicts on their own without imposing adult solutions and provide opportunities to reflect on conflicts with or without adult guidance
  10. Recognize a child’s strengths and allow for individual differences

 

Secondary strategies/techniques:

“Take a Break” spot- children will be asked or may direct themselves to a “Take a Break” spot where they can take some time to themselves until they are ready to deal with the upsetting situation.  There will be no specific time set and the child will be allowed to exit whenever they seem ready but will be asked to talk about the situation that caused upset before returning to activity.

Disruptive behavior policy

The first step in observing disruptive behavior will be to communicate with parents through incident reports.  The next step will be to keep a journal of behaviors to look for trends that may show causes for the behaviors.  The third step will be to create a planning team involving director, parents and teachers.  The group will decide on a consistent plan and implement it.  If every option has been exhausted then outside support1 will be suggested such as a CDS evaluation.  A child who continues to be disruptive after all these options have been explored or if a parent refuses the option of evaluation, then the director may ask the parents to look for an alternative program with or without notice depending on the situation.

 

What will not be used

  • Corporal punishment as defined in Rules for the Licensing of Child Care Facilities (1.6)
  • Punishments using food, naps, toilet training
  • Pinching, shaking, biting, hitting, putting anything on child’s mouth, humiliating, ridiculing, rejecting or yelling at a child using harsh, abusive or profane language
  • Placing child in an unsupervised area such as a closet or room with locked door
  • Requiring child to be silent or inactive for long periods
  • Restricting a child’s movement, holding or restraining unless in danger

1Outside resources Child Development Services, Center for Community Inclusion, Child Care Plus, Child Care Connections

 

Mandatory Reporting

In accordance with Maine state law, Ready, Set, Go is required to report any suspected abuse or neglect of a child to the State of Maine Department of Protective Services without prior parental notification.

 

Emergency Procedures

A detailed plan will be emailed to each family after enrollment is confirmed.  This should be saved in a file and/or printed as it will contain specific details for various situations and will contain guidance for picking your child up during an emergency situation.

We will have a fire drill at least once per month for child awareness and as part of our staff emergency training. In the event of a true emergency, parents will be contacted immediately after the safety of the children has been secured. The owner’s residential house is located on the same property as the Ready Set Go building and can be used as an alternate shelter if needed.  EMS will be called with life threatening injuries and parents will be contacted immediately afterward.  Parents will be contacted first for serious injuries that are not life threatening.  EMS will only be called if requested by parents or legal guardian.

 

Medical Emergencies

Every effort will be made to keep the children safe through supervision and childproofing. All staff are trained in First Aid, and Infant, Child and Adult CPR. If an emergency injury or illness occurs, you will be contacted as soon as possible.

 

Illness

No child will be accepted with a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, runny crusty eyes, or unexplained rash or has had any of these symptoms within the last 24 hours. Should the child become ill during his/her day here and he/she is not able to participate in the normal routines, parents will be notified and asked to pick up their child. If a child is thought to have a communicable disease, parents will be notified and asked to pick him/her up. The child will be isolated from the other children and given special attention and comfort until the parents arrive. This will be the same procedure for head lice. The child will be accepted back with a physician’s note stating that the child is no longer contagious. All other parents will be notified of the possibility of a communicable disease and what symptoms to watch for. Please take into consideration the other children and their families, as well as, the benefits of allowing your child to recover in the comfort of his/her own home when deciding whether your child is well enough to attend.

Please keep in mind that any child introduced to a group setting is likely to become ill when exposed to new children until immunities build up.

Fever- Child may return to care after being fever free (without fever reducing medication) for 24 hours.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea- Child may return after free of symptoms for 24 hours.

Chicken pox- Child may return to care after all chicken pox have scabbed over.

Conjunctivitis- A child may return to center after treatment has begun and there is no evidence of discharge.

Lice- A child may not return until treatment has been administered and all evidence of lice and nits are absent.

 

Medication

Both nonprescription and prescription medications, ointments, and creams can be given to your child if needed. New medications must be administered at home 24 hours before returning in case of a reaction. Parents are required to fill out a medication form and to supply all medications in their original containers. These must be labeled with the child’s name and physician. Medications that are expired will not be dispensed and medication forms must be updated every six months.

 

Arrival and Departure

Children are to arrive prepared for the day’s activities.  Each child must have a back pack with a full change of clothes, lunch and snacks and a water bottle.  We will provide water for refills. It is normal for children to be hesitant and cry when dropped off. This experience is different for every child and age group. If your child is having a hard time it may be a good idea to be very brief (no more than 5 minutes) during drop off times. The longer you prolong the departure the harder it is for both of you. A smile, cheerful good-bye kiss, and a reassuring word that you will be back is all you need to do. Almost every time, children are fully recovered within minutes of your departure. Every effort will be made to make this transition as easy and painless as possible for you and your child. It is important that your child is prepared for the day when dropped off. You are always welcome to stand outside the door and listen or call in and check up on your child. Some children may be more comfortable with drop off if you plan to stay and play a few minutes (or more) to help transition your child. Parents are always welcome to observe, help out or participate in our program.

Please do not leave your car running and unattended in the driveway. .

Please do not allow your child to play near the vehicles at any time.

No child will be allowed to leave with anyone except the parent without written permission from the parent. Anyone picking up, other than the parent(s), will be required to show proof of identification. Please make the alternate pick up person aware of the requirements.

 

Technology

Television watching is not part of our program.  However we do use electronics to listen to music, watch GoNoodle videos, take pictures and may (rarely) watch a less educational program but not for more than half an hour. If we are restricted to indoors because of weather, children may be allowed to use electronics during rest time (usually 1 to 3 PM).  We do allow children to bring electronics from home but will not assume responsibility for them.  Personal electronic devices will not be allowed in outdoor programs unless they are for a specific activity such as nature photography.

 

Supplies

  • Parents are required to bring two complete changes of clothing, a pair of slippers (only for preschool afternoon care) and one set of socks and shoes appropriate for the weather. Soiled clothing will be sent home and a clean change of clothes will need to be brought back the next day. Good clothing is not recommended because children will be participating in messy activities daily.
  • All items need to be labeled with your child’s initials.
  • Personal blankets can be brought in for nap time or we can provide one.
  • Naptime necessities such as special blankies or plush toys are welcome but will be kept in cubbies or personal bags except for rest times.
  • All outdoor programs will require appropriate clothing for the weather and season.
    •  Please refer to the summer camp schedule and the weather for specific needs each day.  It is a good idea to dress children in easy to remove bathing suits and/or quick dry clothing.  Most summer activities will involve some water but not swimming or wading unless indicated. It is a good idea to send 2 pairs of shoes.  Shoes like some Keens and L.L. Bean brand can be good for water play and hiking. If your child is able to remove shoes and socks easily then he/she may prefer better hiking wear.  Please send some light weight rain wear for wet, warm weather days.
    • The school year programs will require a variety of layers.  Children will need full water proof outfits for rainy days- rain coat, rain pants, (or rain suit) and waterproof boots.  It is a good idea to find rain wear that also fits over snow wear for colder months.  Warm layers and waterproofing will be important for the winter months.  We will be outside for hours and children will need some flexibility in their clothing depending on the activity.  Layers provide flexibility for children to remove or add layers as needed throughout the program.  Water proof gloves/mittens make the most sense for the types of activities we will be doing. Knitted gloves/mittens are not appropriate.
    • If your child is new to potty training then please make sure the bottom half is easy to remove quickly.  Stretch pants are best for this time period.  Please avoid buttons, belts and overalls.

 

Toys

No toys should be brought from home unless requested for a special activity.

 

Toilet Training

We are willing to work with children who are in the process of potty training. Please send your child in easy access clothing such as elastic waist pants- no onesies, overalls, belts, or pants with buttons. Also, please supply extra sets of spare clothing for this training period.

 

Nap/Rest Time

Each child in attendance for more than for hours is required to have a rest period of at least one hour. Rest time for children will be from 1 to 3 pm. If your child no longer naps, he/she may participate in quiet time activities such as looking at books, coloring, or table centers, but must remain quiet for the other children. Please be considerate of this time period when deciding to pick up or drop off your child as it can be very disruptive to the other children and disappointing to your own child.  All day outdoor programs will include periods of rest in sit spots, hammocks, or van rides to and from field trips.

 

Vacation policy

  • Ready, Set, Go will be closed for major holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Patriot’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. We are also closed from Christmas Eve day until after New Year’s Day and one week at the end of June. Please check our calendar for specific days.

 

Open Door Policy

Parents are welcome to visit the center anytime during the day when your child is in attendance. Please respect our quiet time hours in the building (1-3 pm) and keep in mind that it may be difficult or confusing for your child if they already experience separation anxiety.

Parents are always welcome to call throughout the day. School age children will be allowed to call their parents if they desire and it does not normally affect their mood (homesickness). Please let us know if this is not convenient for your working situation.

Parent involvement is always encouraged however volunteers must file paperwork with the provider prior to visit.

 

Termination Policy

We reserve the right to terminate for the following reasons (but not limited to):

  • Failure to pay
  • Failure to complete the required forms
  • Lack of parental cooperation
  • Failure of child to adjust after a reasonable amount of time
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any person or property
  • Our inability to meet the child’s needs
  • Lack of compliance with handbook policies
  • Serious illness of child
  • False information given by parent either verbally or in writing

 

Other Important Notes

A copy of your child’s immunization records is required before enrollment.

No smoking is allowed on premises.

Please do not leave your vehicle idling in the driveway.

 

Changes to Policies

Changes may be made to these policies as needed with 2 weeks notice. The policies, contracts, consents, and forms will be reviewed and updated, if needed. Please give written notice of any changes that may occur, especially of name or address, or of updated immunizations.