Parent Handbook

Updated January 2017
Administrative Team:
Kelly Sadlovsky, Owner/Director
Elisabeth Amirahmadi, Owner/Director
Amanda Naumann, Director
Nicol Hamilton, Office Manager
Samantha Kaminski, Assistant Director
Phone: (651) 414-0857/ Fax: (651) 414-0859
www.pathwaystoplay.org

Welcome to Pathways to Play Early Learning Center (PTP)

We are pleased that you have chosen PTP to be an active part of your child’s early learning experience. Our professional team of early childhood educators works to build trusting relationships with children and families. We believe in creating a safe, loving, and inclusive environment, where everyone feels a sense of community. Developing partnerships with families is key to our success in offering high quality care for children. We are excited to participate in your child’s early childhood education, and we look forward to getting to know all family members.

Mission Statement

To build partnerships with families and communities, in order to provide high quality early childhood education and care that contributes to children’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development.

Program Philosophy

We believe that children learn best through play and exploration of their environment. Positive play experiences, with a variety of hands-on activities and social interactions with adults and peers fosters the development of young children and helps them to understand the world around them.

We believe in developing the curriculum to fit each child’s individual needs and promote creativity in young children. We strive to provide an environment rich in meaningful play experiences that allow children to have fun while they learn; we know that children learn best when they want to learn, their natural curiosity is encouraged, their minds are actively engaged, and they can build self-confidence by mastering new skills.

We believe that inclusive environments build self-esteem in young children. Building trusting relationships with families and communities contributes to the inclusiveness of the program, and has a positive impact on children’s early learning experiences. Our team of early childhood professionals develops curriculum and classroom environments that provide countless opportunities to foster children’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development.

At Pathways to Play Early Learning Center, we believe that young children’s play is meaningful and the most important way that they process new ideas and experiences. We build partnerships with families to offer high-quality care.

General Information

The center is located at 1815 Bromley Avenue in South St. Paul, MN; 55075. The center is open year-round; a list of days closed for the upcoming calendar year is sent out at the end of each year, and copies of this list are always available upon request. Center hours are 6:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Breakfast, lunch, and snack are provided by the center; children who wish to eat breakfast at the center must arrive by 8:15 a.m.

PTP does not discriminate in the enrollment of children on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability. The center is licensed by the State of Minnesota (DHS Rule 3), and it serves children 6 weeks through 12 years of age.

Admission

Admission criteria: PTP serves children ages six weeks through twelve years of age without any discrimination according to race, ethnicity, language, special needs, or social status. Children must have current immunizations and a current health care summary signed by a physician to participate in the program. PTP works with child care assistance and military subsidy programs for families.

Enrollment

The steps for enrolling your child:
* Tour of the center
* There is a $75 registration fee per family due at time of enrollment for children under the age of six and two annual registration fees per school age child (fall and summer). In addition to the registration fee(s), one week tuition due as a deposit for each child you enroll. Both of these fees are non-refundable.
* Payment needs to accompany the registration form, indicating your requested date to start. If there is a waiting list for the class you enroll your child in, we will hold the first available space for you (we will communicate that date with you), but if a space opens up earlier, we will contact you to see if you would like to take that space. The week of paid tuition will apply to the first week you start.
*You may go on a waiting list for a class without enrolling, but families that are enrolled have priority on the waiting list.

Withdrawal

Two weeks notice is required in writing for withdrawal from the center. We appreciate any feedback from families about their reason for leaving in the letter. Any questions about withdrawing can be discussed with the directors.

Summer Leave of Absence

If you do not plan on using the center for the entire summer, but would like to return in the fall, we can accommodate your needs in the following way:
*Turn in your “summer off request” in writing to the office by the end of April, with a one week tuition deposit and date you would like to return in the fall. The absence must be a minimum of 8 weeks and no longer than 12 weeks. The Director will contact you to confirm your summer and fall plans.  This option is only available in the summertime.

Attendance/Vacation

All families (both full-time and part-time) receive two weeks of absent credits per child per calendar year; absent credits are half price of your regular tuition for the week. One week of absent credits must be used only for an entire week of absence; the second week of credits may be broken down into individual daily credits if a family chooses. Absent credits are based on an enrolled child’s regular schedule (for example, a child who is enrolled full time/5 days per week receives 1 full [5 consecutive days] week + 5 days of absent credits; a child who is enrolled part time/3 days receives 1 partial [3 consecutive day] week + 3 days of absent credits). Absent credits may be used for vacations or illness, and may be applied in advance (for planned absences) or after the event has taken place (for unplanned absences). If you wish to use an absent credit, contact an administrative staff in the office.

We are closed a small percentage of days each year and children are out sick from time to time; these days are not credits and full tuition is due.  The center calendar is passed out to families at the beginning of the year. A copy is also posted on the parent resource table in the library; additional copies are available from the office upon request.

In the case of severe or inclement weather, the center will follow the following emergency closing procedures:

1. The center will NOT be closed due to cold temperatures, but will remain open for infants through preschool students only. We can not accommodate additional school-age students without planning ahead for staffing, so if schools are closed due to cold temperatures, our school-age program will also be closed. As safety is always the top priority, we ask those traveling to and from the center on extreme cold days to be very careful, limit any exposure for children outside, and make sure to have reliable transportation. Many of our families do rely on public transportation which involves walking a portion to the center and waiting at bus stops, and we hope on days that are extremely cold that other modes of transportation will be used. It is always a personal decision to keep your children home on days that the weather is dangerously cold outside.

2. The center will be closed for snow emergencies or power outages. We follow the South St. Paul School District if there are school closings due to snow. Power outages that last long periods of time do not happen often, but can be a result of severe weather. We must have power to operate throughout the day, so in the case of a power outage that is not temporary, the center will be closed.

3. Parents are responsible for the first two closings in a calendar year (staff are paid these days); additional closings during that calendar year will be partially credited to families by using the regular rates posted (for example, a five day schedule will be charged the four day rate, a four day schedule will be charged the three day rate, etc.) Staff may use PTO on these days.

4. We post any center closing information on WCCO TV, on our Facebook page, on our voice mail greeting at the center, and through text alerts. If you have not signed up for text alerts, we encourage you to do so, as this is the most efficient way to get information to you quickly.

Daily Sign In/Out and Alternative Pick Up Policy

The adult who brings a child to the center must also bring the child into the classroom. All parents/guardians are expected to sign children in and out for the day, using the sign in books located directly outside each classroom.

All children must have a current emergency card on file in the classroom and the office. New cards are always available, if needed, to update information. Only those adults authorized on the emergency card will be allowed to pick up the child. If a parent/guardian calls to request that someone other than an authorized person pick up the child, it is required that we call the parent/guardian back on a number that is listed on the card to verify the information. You may list as many authorized persons as desired on the emergency card; use the back if necessary.

Non-custodial parents must have written permission from the custodial parent to pick up a child. This can be indicated on the emergency card.

Referral Program

For any current family that refers a new family to the center, there is a referral credit. For each new family that enrolls based on a referral, the referring family will receive one extra vacation credit (1/2 tuition for a week) for one child. There is no limit on referrals, and we appreciate the support we receive from current families.

Staff Qualifications

Our diverse group of PTP staff have a wonderful balance of experience and education in the field, which helps us to offer high-quality programming to children and families. Classroom staff work together as a team to best meet the needs of each individual child. The administrative staff is made up of two Co-Owners/Directors, an Assistant Director, and an Office Manager.  We also have an on-site Food Service Manager.  Our staff team consists of  Coordinators, Lead Teachers, Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Experienced Aides, and Teaching Aides.   The use of Teaching Aides is limited, and always under the supervision of a qualified staff member; staff are deployed for different activities based on their qualifications (aides are never alone with a group of children).  Qualified caregivers are present at all times to ensure continuous supervision of children.  All staff complete background checks and receive training in curriculum, child development, communicating with families, safety, and CPR, and First Aid.

Pathways to Play occasionally allows volunteers to work in classrooms – most often these are college interns working towards a degree in the education field.  Any person who is volunteering in a PTP classroom is required to complete a background study, and is never counted in the caregiver to child ratio, or left alone with a child.

Ratios

PTP operates under the following ratios, which exceed the standards for state ratios in the state of Minnesota for high quality care:
Infants: PTP ratio is 1:3/1:4;state ratio is 1:4 (max group size 10/12)
Toddlers: PTP ratio is 1:5/1:6; state ratio is 1:7 (max group size 15/18)
Young Preschool: PTP ratio is 1:7; state ratio is 1:10 (max group size 21)
Preschool: PTP ratio is 1:9; state ratio is 1:10 (max group size 18)
School-Age: PTP ratio is 1:13; state ratio is 1:15 (max group size 26)

Programs and Curriculum

PTP is an inclusive program that meets the diverse needs of children and families. PTP works to create a safe environment for all children, and works with district services for children with special needs.  We strive to accommodate children’s individual needs; if your child has any special requirements, we encourage you to discuss these with the directors.  Special requirements should be clearly defined, in writing, prior to a child’s enrollment at the center.

We have infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age programs at PTP. All of our classrooms use the Creative Curriculum – along with a mixture of other curriculums – to create high-quality early learning experiences for children of all ages that promote development socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. The school-age program fosters academic skills with tutoring offered in specific subject areas, along with other age-appropriate activities that meet the individual interests of each student. Our preschool program prepares children for kindergarten with a variety of opportunities for children to explore and learn with the following interest areas: art, writing, science, literacy/library, sensory, puzzles/manipulatives, games, construction, dramatic play, math/numbers, music/movement, nutrition, and woodworking/ carpentry. The toddler classroom includes all of these areas as well, with the exception of woodworking/carpentry. Staff teach children daily to use the equipment and materials in a safe way (using both words and modeling). We ask that parents do the same at home.

Gross motor play is offered daily indoors in the Large Muscle Room, in the classroom away from other activities, and outdoors (weather permitting).

We offer a variety of enrichment programs for all children at the center at no extra cost to families.

Each classroom has a copy of their daily schedule posted for families; you may request a copy of this schedule from your child’s teacher.

Outdoor Play

We go outdoors daily (weather permitting) as part of our regular curriculum. Please dress your child appropriately and provide snow pants, boots, gloves, and hat during the winter months.  In addition, please make sure that your child always has extra clothing at the center in case of accidents.

Parents should sunblock children before dropping them off each day, or upon arrival. Staff will reapply sunscreen 1-2 times more throughout the day, as needed.

Communication

We believe in communicating with families in a variety of ways. There is daily communication, such as verbal conversations or daily notes. We also have many phone conversations with family members daily, and we encourage parents/guardians to call and check on children as often as they like. Parents and guardians are always welcome to visit, and we enjoy having parent volunteers at the center. We offer conferences to all age groups twice a year, and we are happy to set up additional conferences with family members at their request. All classrooms record observations and developmental progress to share with families. Conferences are a great time to celebrate each child’s early learning success!

Each class puts information on their class bulletin board and sends home a monthly newsletter and/or calendar of events. The center also posts information on the center bulletin board in the main entrance and sends home center-wide newsletters to keep families connected with the entire program.

Transitions

We encourage parents/guardians to visit a few times with your child for short periods of time before you get started. This is not always possible, but highly recommended. When a child is getting ready to transition to a new room, we will communicate with the family ahead of time to begin this process. Each class has a transition schedule to follow, consisting of short visits at first to the new room, but gradually working up to longer stays so that children can slowly acclimate to their new environment. We always look forward to discussing your child’s transition with you and welcome any questions you may have. Children transition to new rooms throughout the year; we make these transitions when children are developmentally ready and space allows.

Behavior Management/Discipline

It is our goal to prevent misbehaviors with positive guidance and modeling. In early childhood environments, there is always the need for redirection and guidance. If a child is behaving in a way that is inappropriate, the staff separates the child from the scene if needed, uses words to explain expectations, and gently redirects in a positive way. If a child’s behavior is aggressive or persistent, staff use charts to collect data to communicate with families. For persistent or aggressive behavior, we may set up a conference with the parents/guardians and develop a plan that works for the child, the classroom, and the family. We try and work with family members to best meet each child’s individual needs and create a safe environment for all children. If, after meeting with parents/guardians and setting up and implementing a developed behavior plan during a set time frame, the behavior does not improve, then the administrative team will meet with the parents/guardians about recommending other childcare options. The goal is for the child to have a positive learning experience and build self-confidence, whether it is at our center or in another type of care environment; we want what is best for each child.  Further information on our behavior guidance policies is attached.

Nutrition

PTP serves breakfast to children arriving before 8:15 a.m., lunch to children at 11:15 a.m., and snack to children at 3:15 p.m. Menus are sent home to all families each month, and also posted in the front hallway by the kitchen. Any menu changes are written on the white board next to the menus.

PTP participates in the USDA-sponsored Child and Adult Care Food Program.  Meals are available at no separate charge to enrolled children.  The goal of the program is improve the diets of young children and increase the opportunity for children to eat a variety of nutritious foods.  Meals meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

We have an on-site certified food manager; this staff person attends trainings and workshops to stay current on food service requirements and nutritional information. We have safe food handling procedures posted in the kitchen, and all staff are trained annually on following these procedures.

It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to alert PTP of food allergies and/or special dietary needs. A list of children with food allergies and special dietary needs is kept in the kitchen and the classroom. If your child needs to be on a special diet (which is approved by the food program and your doctor), then it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to provide the dietary supplements. We do not serve any food with nuts at PTP, but not all items that we serve are originally packaged in a peanut-free environment.

It is fun for children to bring birthday and special holiday treats to share with classroom friends. Please let the classroom teachers know if you plan on bringing in a treat for your child to share. ALL treats MUST be store-bought and in the original packaging, with NO nuts or peanut butter.

Infant Feeding
Pathways to Play supports breastfeeding mothers and infants. All infant caregivers have received training on promoting and supporting breastfeeding. We have a “Mother’s Lounge” available in our library area for moms who want to breastfeed, pump, or spend quiet time with their infant at PTP (formula-fed infants are welcome to use this space as well). Both infant classrooms have dedicated refrigerator and freezer space for storing expressed breast milk, and both classrooms have educational materials and breastfeeding resource information available for parents who are interested.

Teachers give infants bottles on a flexible schedule, using responsive feeding techniques: infants are fed when they show signs that they are hungry, and feedings are ended when infants show signs that they are full. Teachers inform parents what, when, and how much their infant eats each day on a written daily report that is sent home at pick-up each evening. Before starting care, families will complete a written infant feeding plan that includes any food intolerances or allergies and instructions for introducing infant cereal, jar food, and table food.

If your child will be drinking breast milk, you must bring in bottles filled and sealed. Bottles will be kept in the refrigerator and warmed as needed throughout the day. Please bring in at least 3-4 bottles per day (or more, if your child eats more frequently). Once a child has been fed a prepared bottle, state regulations require that the bottle be finished within an hour – we cannot put bottles back into the refrigerator once we have tried to feed them to your child because the milk will have been contaminated with saliva and bacteria. Because of this, we suggest keeping a back-up bottle or two in our freezer just in case your child runs out during the day. Please make sure all bottles are labeled with your child’s first and last name, the date the breast milk was expressed (per state regulations, breast milk can only be kept in the refrigerator at the center for 48 hours. In the freezer, it can be kept for 3 months.) Because breast milk is a bodily fluid, teachers cannot rinse or wash them at the center. All bottles used at the center will be sent home at the end of each day.

For formula feeding, Pathways to Play provides Similac Advance formula in our infant classroom. If your child will be drinking our formula, you will need to provide clean, empty bottles with covers each day, (plan at least 3-4 bottles per day, or more if your child eats more frequently). Please make sure all bottles are labeled with your child’s first and last name. Take home empty bottles at the end of each day. Bottles will have been rinsed, but must be washed at home.

If your infant will be drinking a different kind of formula (anything other than Similac Advance), you must provide this. You may bring in bottles with the measured formula powder inside, and teachers will add filtered water in the classroom, or you may bring them with water already added. If you would like to keep a container of your child’s formula at the center and bring in empty bottles, you are welcome to do this as well. Please make sure your child has enough bottles and formula on hand for at least 3-4 bottles per day (or more if your child eats more frequently). Once a child has been fed a prepared bottle, state regulations require that the bottle be finished within an hour – we cannot put bottles back into the refrigerator once we have tried to feed them to your child because the milk will have been contaminated with saliva and bacteria. Because of this, it’s a good idea to make sure your child has extra formula at the center. Please make sure all bottles and formula containers are labeled with your child’s first and last name, and if you are bringing in prepared bottles, the date they were prepared. Cans of formula must also be labeled with your child’s first and last name; a teacher will label the can with the date it is opened. Take home empty bottles at the end of each day. Bottles will have been rinsed, but must be washed at home.

Bottles are used at the center ONLY for feeding formula, breast milk, milk, or water. Parents and teachers may not add medication or solid foods of any kind to bottles that are fed to infants while at the center, unless a written note from the child’s health care provider is on file. The center is also not allowed to put juice in bottles. This is a preventive measure against baby tooth decay.

Infants under 12 months will not be served cow’s milk at the center.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that during the first year of life, the only acceptable alternative to breast milk is iron-fortified infant formula and that cow’s milk not be used.  Cow’s milk, unlike breast milk and formula, does not contain all the nutrients needed for an infant’s growth and development.  In addition, cow’s milk can place stress on an infant’s kidneys, cause allergic reactions, and cause blood loss through the intestines, which can lead to iron-deficient anemia.  After 12 months, children can be introduced to cow’s milk.  Pathways to Play serves whole milk to children between the ages of 12 and 24 months, and 2% percent milk to children 24 months and older.

Pathways to Play provides iron-fortified infant oatmeal and rice cereal to children enrolled at the center. Typically, infants start eating small amounts of cereal between 4 and 7 months of age.  Cereal at the center is mixed with a small amount of filtered water or stirred into commercially prepared jar foods.  Teachers can NOT put cereal into bottles, or stir breast milk into infant cereal.  We will not start serving your child cereal without first consulting with you; we prefer that parents try cereal at home first, before we try it in the classroom.

Pathways to Play also provides various commercially-prepared jarred fruits and vegetables to infants enrolled at the center. Typically, children start eating pureed fruits and vegetables between 6 and 8 months of age.  We ask that parents introduce all fruits and vegetables at home first, in case of an allergic reaction that can occasionally occur when an infant tries a new food.  Infant Room teachers will provide you with a list of fruits and vegetables we have available at the center when your child is ready to start eating them.  As you try new foods at home, please let your child’s teachers know so they can start trying them at the center as well.  If you prefer to send in your own pureed food for your child to eat at the center, you are welcome to do so, as long as the food you send meets our state meal pattern regulations.

When your child is ready to be introduced to table foods, we will have those available at the center as well.  For most children, this is typically between 10 and 12 months of age, and usually starts with cereal and crackers.  Be sure to let your child’s teachers know when you have started giving your infant table food at home.  The infant room teachers will communicate with you about our center’s menu and what you would like your child to eat at the center.  Pathways to Play is a nut-free center:  we do not serve any food products containing nuts or nut butters to any children at the center.  In addition to avoiding nuts, children in the infant room will not be given any fish, strawberries, or plain eggs, as these are considering allergy-producing foods in children less than 12 months.

Smoking, Prohibited Substances, and Firearms

PTP policy strictly prohibits the use of smoking, tobacco products, illegal substances, alcohol, and firearms on the property, both indoors and outdoors. Anyone using these items on the premises will be asked to leave immediately.

Confidentiality

It is PTP policy to keep all children’s records confidential. Permission to share records with licensing, district services, accreditation, and physicians is requested upon enrollment and a signature is required.

You may photograph your child at the center any time, but it is not permitted to photograph other children without permission from both the center and the child’s parent/guardian. Please talk to the Directors if you have any questions.

Supervision of Children

All children must always be within both sight and sound of a qualified caregiver at all times.  Attendance is taken when children arrive in the classroom and during major transitions, including going outdoors and coming indoors from the playground or walks.

No child shall ever be left alone or unsupervised. The staff member in charge of a child or group is responsible for child safety.

Care and Exclusion of Sick Children

We follow the State of MN Exclusion policy required for licensed centers by DHS Rule 3 (a copy is attached to this handbook). We ask that all families read this policy and respect the health and safety of other children by keeping sick children home for the required periods of time. Parents/guardians will be called to pick up a sick child if so directed by the exclusion policy. If your child has a diagnosed communicable illness, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible so that we can post it for other families. If you have any questions about the exclusion policy, or if your child has a doctor’s note explaining diagnosed symptoms, please speak directly to the directors.

Child Health Services

Although PTP staff do not offer health services for children on site, both South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights School Districts offer ECSE services and evaluations at our center.  PTP teachers and administrative staff are able to provide referrals to these programs upon request.

Use of Health Consultants

PTP has a Public Health Nurse that visits the center monthly.  The nurse speaks with staff about health and safety issues, and sometimes has information to send homes.  The nurse reviews our health-related procedures, such as diapering, handwashing, and the administration of medication, on her visits.

Health Education

Teachers in all classrooms discuss health-related topics with children on a daily basis – the Public Health Nurse reviews these topics with staff on her visits.  General topics of discussion include the importance of a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and a good night’s sleep.

Sleeping

Children in our toddler and preschool classrooms rest in the afternoon between approximately 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.  Children sleep on their own individual cots, and most children choose to bring special nap items from home, such as blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals.  While most children do sleep for the entirety of rest time, some do not, and are given books, puzzles, or other quiet activities to do in the classroom if they have not fallen asleep after resting for 30 minutes.  Further information on our napping guidelines is attached.

Infants sleep in their own individual cribs, and tend to be on individual schedules, so they nap as needed. Pathways to Play follows the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to place infants on their backs to sleep (further information on this is attached).  We do not use blankets for sleeping in the infant room as a precaution against SIDS.  If you would like your infant to use a receiving blanket while they sleep, you must sign a permission slip giving us your informed consent to do so.  Please speak with an infant teacher if you would like one of these permission slips.

Parent Involvement

Pathways to Play has an open door policy for parents/guardians, and we welcome visitors at any time.  If a parent would like to visit during a meal time and eat with their child, we ask for advance notice so that our kitchen staff can ensure that there is enough food available.

Parents are encouraged to share any special interests, hobbies, or skills they have with the children at PTP.  There are structured days throughout the year when the staff will ask for parent readers, career speakers, and volunteers for special activities; if a parent is interested in volunteering outside of these days, they are welcome to speak with the administrative staff about scheduling a time to do so.

PTP’s Assistant Director coordinates several Parent Involvement Committees that are focused on different areas of the center; if you are interested in joining one of these committees, please contact the office.

Child Accident/Incident

If an accident occurs at the center requiring emergency care, 911 will be called first and then the parents/guardians will be notified. If we are unable to reach a parent/guardian, we will try contacting other authorized adults on the emergency card. A PTP staff will accompany a child needing emergency care if a parent/guardian or other authorized contact is not present. All full-time staff are trained in First Aid and CPR. First Aid kits are available in all classrooms and the office. An accident form and/or head injury form will be filled out and needs to be signed by a parent or guardian.  Sample copies of accident forms and head injury notifications are attached.

Exposure Control Plan

All PTP staff are trained in the safe and proper handling of blood-borne pathogens and bodily fluids.  Staff are given an OSHA-sponsored presentation on this topic as part of their orientation, and the presentation is reviewed annually by all staff.  OSHA guidelines include the wearing of disposable gloves, and proper containment and disposal methods for soiled clothing, bandages, and clean-up materials after an accident to minimize exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

Medication (Including Administration and Storage)

It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to alert PTP of any known medial conditions and allergies. Our staff are trained on the proper procedures for using Epi-Pens, nebulizers, and inhalers.

A prescription and non-prescription medication form must be signed by your child’s physician if medication is needed at the center. We can not give any over the counter medication (oral or topical) without the required form. Sample medication forms are attached.

Pathways to Play can not give most over-the-counter medications to children less than 24 months without written instructions from a pediatrician regarding the amount and time to be given.  This includes pain relievers and fever reducers such as Tylenol and Motrin, and teething gel such as Orajel.  If an over-the counter-medication does not specify a dosage for a child under 24 months on the label, we are legally obligated to obtain a doctor’s instructions before administering the medication.  Please speak with an infant teacher if have questions about this policy.

All medications are stored in locked areas of the classroom, out of children’s reach, and clearly labeled with children’s first and last names.  Medications that must be refrigerated are stored in a bin that is separate from food items in the kitchenette refrigerator, an area that children do not have access to.

Sanitation and Hygiene

Staff and parents need to encourage all children, including infants and toddlers, to follow good health practices by washing their hands at appropriate times and not sharing feeding utensils, facial tissues, and other personal items.  A copy of our handwashing procedure is attached.

Diapering procedures are posted by all diaper changing stations and need to be followed at all times.  A copy of this procedure is attached.

Teachers work with parents and children on toilet training when a child shows signs that he/she is ready.  A copy of our toilet training procedure is attached.

Cots and cribs are labeled assigned to individual children, and children’s bedding items are kept separate from each other.  Cots and cribs are sanitized once a week, and bedding items from home are sent home weekly to be washed.

Mouthed toys (generally in the infant, toddler, and young preschool classrooms) are kept in a separate container, and sanitized daily.  Non-mouthed toys are cleaned and sanitized on a weekly basis.

Abuse/Neglect

All staff at PTP are mandated reporters and required by law to report any suspected child abuse and/or neglect. All full-time staff are trained to help identify neglect or abuse.  A copy of our mandated reporting policy is attached.

Pets and Animal Visitors

Pathways to Play does not have any pets that live at the center, but we occasionally have animal visitors from our families and teachers’ homes.  We have a permission form for your child to participate in pet visits as part of the curriculum. On these forms, you may request that your child not participate and/or indicate any known allergies that your child has to pets. These forms are kept on file in the child’s classroom.

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency evacuation plans are posted in all rooms, and copies are attached to this handbook.

We conduct routine fire drills and tornado drills at the center. This can cause some anxiety for young children, so teachers talk to the children frequently about these drills. These drills are required by licensing, and we do our best to make them as smooth as possible.

Field Trip Guidelines and Permissions

Walking field trips are taken by the children as part of the curriculum. Walking permission forms are collected upon enrollment and kept in the child’s classroom file. Pathways to Play does not transport children in motorized vehicles for field trips.

PTP staff go for walks with children in the neighborhood when weather permits. Each classroom has walking permission slips on file. There is always at least one staff member present that is trained in CPR/First Aid, along with a First Aid kit.

Maintenance Records of Facility, Equipment, and Vehicles

Pathways to Play has an on-site custodian, and keeps record of maintenance performed on the facility and equipment.  Parents can view these records upon request.  Pathways to Play does not own or operate any vehicles used for transporting children.

Review and Revision Policies, Plans, and Procedures

Administrative staff reviews and revises policies, plans, and procedures on an annual basis, or more often if necessary.

Non-Discrimination Including Children with Disabilities

This institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Our facility is wheelchair-accessible, including the gymnasium, library, and classroom areas.

Babysitting

Pathways to Play policies do allow employees to watch currently enrolled students attending PTP at a parent’s request off-site, but when not working at the center, that staff member assumes all responsibility and liability for their actions. We do ask that staff members inform the PTP administration of any overnight caretaking of current PTP students, and parents making these requests make these arrangements directly with the staff member.

Payments

Tuition fees are to be paid in advance, either weekly, biweekly or monthly. There is a locked tuition box located to the left of the security door entrance. Tuition can be paid by check, money order, or cash (be sure in place in an envelope with your name) in the tuition box, or paid by mail. Late fees will be added to past due accounts monthly for balances that exceed $50. For balances that are $50-$200 past due at the end of the month a late fee of $50 will be added to your account; for balances $200-$500 past due at the end of the month a late fee of $100 will be added to your account; past due accounts that are $501 or higher will result in suspension of childcare services. A non-sufficient fund charge of $20 will be posted to your account for returned checks.

Refunds

A two-week written notice is required for withdrawal from the center.  If a child is withdrawn from the program, any excess payment beyond the required notice period will be refunded.

Late Pick-Up

We charge $15.00 for every ten minutes per child picked up after closing time. This charge will be added to your bill. For example:
6:01-6:10 is $15
6:11-6:20 is $30
6:21-6:30 is $45
6:31-6:40 is $60
6:40-6:50 is $75

*If your child has not been picked up by 6:50 p.m. and we can not reach the parents/guardians or any authorized persons on the emergency card, we will contact Child Protection Services and/or the police; they will make the decision as to where your child/ren will go until parents/guardians can be reached.

Conflict Resolution Procedure

Please contact one of the directors if you have any issues, concerns, or complaints. The administration will first listen to the parents/guardians, and then follow up with program staff. The administration will try to arrange a meeting with all parties to resolve issues. In some cases, the administration may contact licensing or other outside resources for help in resolving the matter. We strive to offer high quality services to both children and families at PTP, and we appreciate all feedback from families.

Pathways to Play Early Learning Center, LLC
Company Organizational Chart
Kelly Sadlovsky (Owner/Director- Managing Member)
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Elisabeth Amirahmadi (Owner/Director- Member)
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Nicol Hamilton (Certified Food Manager/Office Manager)/ Amanda Naumann (Assistant Director)
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Lead Teachers (Staff)
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Teachers (Staff)
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Assistant Teachers (Staff)
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Aides (Staff)

* A phone list is posted in each classroom; call Kelly or Liz with any urgent information if they are not on-site.
*When neither director is on-site, please follow the chain of command in order for responsibility purposes posted in each room.
*Staff and parents can follow this chain of command with grievances. All concerns will be heard, and if need be, more information will be gathered. Some information may be documented, and directors may need to investigate alleged claims. The owners/directors will make decisions based on information gathered, with no bias towards any party. Confidentiality is key in these situations, and there will be no negative consequences for voicing concerns or grievances.

Car Seats are REQUIRED for Drop-Off and Pick-Up at PTP

It is illegal to leave children in the car unattended for any reason. As mandated reporters, staff must report this to Child Protection if they witness it. Also, please review the child safety seat law below for the state of MN. Again, staff are mandated reporters and must report failure to use child seats. PLEASE keep your children safe!!

Child Passenger Restraint Law
(MN Stat 169.685)
• Children under four must be secured in a safety seat that meets federal safety standards
• Safety seats must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions
• Child must be secured in the safety seat
• Seat must be secured to the vehicle
• Infants (under 20 pounds and one year of age) must be in a rear-facing safety seat
• Law applies to all motor vehicles originally equipped with factory-installed seat belts
• Law applies to all seating positions
• Driver is responsible
• Petty misdemeanor fine for violation is $50 (may be waived if violator shows proof of obtaining a safety seat within 14 days)
• Applies to both residents and non-residents of Minnesota
• Suspected non-use is a valid basis to stop a motor vehicle

Exceptions:
• Children riding in emergency medical vehicles, when medical needs make use of a restraint unreasonable
• Children riding in a motor vehicle for hire, including a taxi, airport limousine or bus, but excluding a rented, leased or borrowed motor vehicle
• Children riding with a peace officer on official duty, when a restraint is not available (a seat belt must be substituted)
• Children certified by a licensed physician as having a medical, physical or mental disability that makes restraint use inadvisable
• Passengers in school buses