Hobble Creek

Family Daycare

Parent Handbook

This handbook is part of a legally binding contract. Please read carefully.

Important points are highlighted in red.

Dear Client(s),

Thank you for enrolling your child(ren) in Hobble Creek Family Daycare!

We have put together this handbook to help you with any questions you may have about daycare policies and to tell you a little more about our business and life here at Hobble Creek Family Daycare. Please take the time to read this handbook completely as it will help us have a better business relationship and enhance your child’s time here at daycare.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Hobble Creek Family Daycare is a fully licensed family group daycare. We are licensed through the Utah State Department of Health. Family group daycare is larger than family daycare and yet not as big as a daycare center. We are licensed for a capacity of 16 children at any given time. This means we can have as many children enrolled in our program as we wish, but no more than 16 in attendance at one given time. We are licensed for a maximum of 4 children under the age of two in attendance at any given time. The state requires a teacher/student ratio. Two providers are required for group daycare once attendance reaches 9 children. Lyn, her husband David, son Drew and daughters Holly and Ashlee are all approved by the state. All take ongoing classes in child development, CPR, First Aid etc. We are all screened annually by the FBI for your protection.

We want the children who attend daycare here to feel as much at home as possible and to think of our facility as a home away from home rather than a school. Just like home, the children are expected to follow rules and to help with the daily running of the daycare. They are expected to help clean up toys, help get ready for meal times and to clear their place after meals. We learn about sharing, responsibility, taking turns and about good manners and hygiene etc.

The children are free to move around the daycare as they wish, although some rooms are off limits and the kitchen is off limits unless there is an adult there to supervise.

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

All children are to remove their shoes upon arrival.

All adults are to remove their shoes if entering the daycare further than the entrance. Please respect this rule. Carpet cleaning is expensive. We want the babies to be able to crawl on clean floors.

Please make your goodbye brief.

The longer you prolong your departure, the harder it gets for all. Your child will probably be done fussing by the time you get to your car! (This is the norm!) However, if you stay for 15 minutes or longer, your child will fuss for 15 minutes or longer and one provider is away from the other children for 15 minutes or longer etc. etc. etc. We want to be able to build a trusting relationship with your child and have them come to us for comfort. This will not begin to happen as long as you stay and we are “the stranger”.

VISITS

We have an open door policy. Parents of enrolled children may pop in to visit at any time their child is in attendance. However visits during nap time (1-3PM) are discouraged. Nap time visits are very disruptive. Children are usually noisy and excited when seeing their parents and this wakes up the sleeping children, who do not understand why they have to nap while their friend plays. Sixteen cranky children who did not get a full nap does not make for a fun afternoon!

Open door policy does not mean that our door will be kept unlocked. We do not want strangers/custody-dispute parents to be able to enter without permission. This is a safety and security concern in a home child care setting. We are a daycare, but this is also a private home and guests need to be invited in.

Many parents are understandably uncomfortable with the possibility of having numerous un-known adults interacting with their child during the day and this is why they have chosen a private daycare setting instead of a center where any number of adults/parents/visitors can wander around and have access to the children. The children’s safety is our utmost concern.

If visiting the daycare, your child will be brought out to spend time with you away from the other children. This allows you precious one on one time with your child and allows us to continue to tend the other children and maintain their safety. In today’s world we can never be too careful who has access to the children. We ask for your understanding in this matter. 

Please do not bring your relatives/friends/neighbors etc. to “look at” our daycare without asking for an appointment first! (Of course custodial parents are welcome any time their child is in attendance). We ask you to respect that this is a private home and not a public building and that the person you may bring is a stranger to us and to the children in care. Would you show a stranger through your home and let them interact with your child without notice? We are very happy to show off our daycare to your friends and family…but at a time that is convenient for us! Just ask for an appointment! J

For the safety of your children we do not conduct new client tours/interviews during working hours.

DIAPERS/SPARE CLOTHING

If your child is in diapers, please bring them in a fresh diaper in the mornings!

PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD TO DAYCARE IN THEIR SOGGY NIGHT-TIME DIAPER!

We do not mind getting children dressed in the mornings. Feel free to bring them in their pajamas, with their clothes in a bag. We understand how hard it can be to get ready in the mornings with sleepy little ones! However, please put a clean diaper on your child. Several children sitting/sleeping on our furniture/floors in the mornings with wet diapers and clothing adds up to big cleaning bills and a health hazard to our family and the other children.

Diapers are to be provided by the parent. We need to have a supply of diapers we can keep in the changing area. We label each child’s supplies. We will let you know when your supply is running low. We do keep an emergency supply of diapers on hand, but they are not free. Parents must bring a new supply of diapers within 48 hours, and any “borrowed” ones must be paid back to the emergency supply. Care will be refused to parents who do not bring diapers after 48 hours. Please do not bring a diaper bag. We do not have the storage room.

A refill pack of wipes is to be brought on the 1st of each month for each child in diapers.

Please bring a change of clothing for your child. The daycare is not responsible for washing soiled/wet clothing.

If your child has an accident during the day and they have no change of clothing here, you will be called to come and pick them up, or bring fresh clothing.

TEETH BRUSHING

While we understand the importance of dental hygiene, we are not able to accommodate teeth brushing. Remember we are not tending just your child. To help 16 children brush their teeth after each meal is too time consuming as well as a storage/sanitation issue.

PACIFIERS/BLANKIES

Pacifiers are not used at daycare other than nap time. The daycare is busy and little ones spit their pacifiers out anywhere and everywhere. This is unhygienic as other children may pick them up. We cannot spend our days keeping constant track of them and will not stay open late or search on weekends in order to find lost ones!

Some children have a “security” blanket or pillow or such. They are more than welcome to have these items at nap time if they are very important to the child. However the children will be expected to put these items in their cubby during awake time. A child dragging a blanket behind them causes a tripping hazard for other children. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

HAIR ACCESSORIES

Girls may wear a headband or ponytail to daycare if you wish. However, please do not send your daughter with numerous slides/clips/barrettes/bows etc. While they look adorable, they can be a deadly choking hazard to a baby if they fall/get pulled out during the day and land on the floor where a baby may be crawling. They may also get vacuumed up during the day. The daycare is not responsible for lost hair items.

CUSTODY ISSUES

Children will be released to the custodial parent (or their authorized adults) only…….as long as we have a copy of divorce/custody papers on file.

Without the correct paperwork, we cannot legally stop a non-custodial parent from picking up their child from daycare. Knowing which parent has custody is not enough. We must have it in writing in the child’s file. This is state law.

CHILD ABUSE

We are required by law to report any suspected child neglect, or any suspected physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

We note all cuts and bruises, abnormal behavior etc. on the children and place it in their files for the state to inspect.

Children will not be given to any adult who seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We will first try to find someone from the pick-up list on the child’s contract. If we are unable to make arrangements that way, the police will be called. Our job is to protect the children.

RATES

The weekly/monthly rate is a flat rate and stays the same regardless of attendance or hours.

All payments are due in advance including state payments.

Checks are accepted only if they are from a local bank (Utah County)

Payment is due in full each Friday in advance for the following week.

Payment is due by 6PM on Friday. At 6:01 PM payment is late and late fees will be added at the rate of $10 per day, added each night at 6:01 PM. 

We are closed Saturday and Sunday. If payment is not received on Friday, it will have to wait until Monday morning and all accrued late fees will apply (an extra $30)

Children may not stay at daycare unless payment and all late fees are up to date.

Partial payment is not accepted.

Persistent late payment is grounds for termination of the daycare contract. However, client will still owe all past fees and late fees.

This handbook is part of the legal and binding contract.

Client is responsible to pay any and all legal, court and collection fees involved with the collection of unpaid dues.

It is ultimately the responsibility of the client to make sure that daycare fees are paid on time.

If you receive your daycare funds through the state or church etc. (either in full or partial) please remember that YOU are still responsible for the bill.

State payments are due in advance on the first of each month. If funds are not available on the state card FOR ANY REASON, it is the responsibility of the client to make payment and pay late fees before the children can stay at daycare. The client must make a minimum of a daily payment, in advance, until the state pays their share.

A refund will be promptly issued if there is a credit due after the state has paid their part. Late fees will not be refunded.

LATE FEES APPLY TO STATE PAYMENTS TOO, just the same as private payments and are the responsibility of the client.

Please turn your state review paperwork in on time to avoid financial issues. 

If a co-pay is due after the state has paid their portion, it will be divided into three payments and is payable each Friday for the first three weeks of the month. At least the weekly payment must be made. Late fees apply if payments are not received on time.

Some people have asked why there are no discounts or refunds for absences, sickness or part-time care. This is because you are paying a fixed rate for a place in the daycare and not for hours spent here. We understand that it would be nice for you to have a discount on days your child is not in attendance. However, a discount to you is a drop in income for us and yet you still expect us to hold a place open for your child.

We ask that you liken the daycare fee to paying rent. If you rent a home, you pay the set monthly amount regardless of how much time you spent there. You cannot tell the landlord that as you are going out of town for two weeks vacation and won’t actually be in the home…that he only gets half the rent!

If you wish a place held open for your child, it must be paid for.

RETURNS/CANCELLED CHECKS

We charge $35 PLUS any costs we incur resulting from a returned or cancelled check. Our bank charges our account for any bad checks we deposit from our clients. The daily late fee of $10 is added from the date we receive the check to the day the funds are actually in our account as we have not actually been paid until the funds are there. If more than two checks bounce, only cash will be accepted from then on.

The first few checks written from new clients are “walked” through your bank and cashed upon receipt.

VACATIONS/HOLIDAYS

Full time clients are given 5 working days vacation time each year, as per the contract. Vacation time is pro-rated the first year depending on the enrollment date. At least one week’s notice in writing is required to take a vacation day. No payment is due for those days. 

Vacation time cannot be put towards the two week required notice of termination of care.

The daycare is closed on the following days WITH pay. These days cannot be used as vacation days.

New Years Day (or closest observed weekday)

Presidents Day

Good Friday

Memorial Day

4th of July (or closest observed weekday)

Labor Day

Thanksgiving Day

The Day After Thanksgiving

Christmas Eve (or closest observed weekday)

Christmas Day (or closest observed weekday)

No payment is due for any extra days taken off by the daycare such as, extra days taken at Christmas or family vacation time.

Please keep an eye on the calendar for closed days.

TIME

The daycare is closed at 6PM SHARP!

Just like you, we have our family plans for the evenings. Please make sure that your children are picked up on time.

FIVE MINUTES LATE DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

We often have plans that entail running out the door at 6PM to get to family commitments, meetings, classes, appointments etc.

A late fee of $1 per minute is added after 6PM with NO exceptions or excuses.

Late fees are due by Friday of that week. Children may not stay on Monday morning unless all late fees have been paid and no refund of Monday tuition will be made.

MEALS

Meals served at the daycare are approved by the USDA food program. The state requires that the children be offered a balanced meal with all correct food groups. It is up to each child to choose what they will eat. They may throw the entire meal in the garbage if they wish, but they must also understand that they will not receive anything else until the next scheduled snack or meal.

Please let us know if your child has any food or milk allergies. These must be noted on a signed doctor's note and placed in the child's folder for inspection. We cannot exclude food simply because your child does not like it. 

Please do NOT bring ANY food from home.

Treats/snacks/sack lunch/leftovers/favorite food/fast food etc. are not permitted unless there is enough for all the children in care and items are individually wrapped and commercially prepared. ALL children must be offered the same foods as per the USDA food program. Please finish all food in the car in the mornings. It cannot be brought to the door.

Meals are only served at certain times. Breakfast is served from 7:30AM to 8:30AM only. If you arrive at 8:31AM, you child will not receive breakfast. The food program is very strict and will not let us claim food served after allotted hours. Please be mindful of this and feed them before arrival if you cannot be here before 8:30 AM. 

Snack is served at 10AM

Lunch is served at noon. Please have your child here BEFORE then if you wish them to have lunch. We eat family style and the child needs to be ready to sit at the table.

Snack is served at 3:45PM

Please do not ask us to make exceptions to meal times. We have to serve at the times recorded with the state so they can inspect us and we can claim back the cost of the meals.

ATTENDANCE

Please let us know the day or evening before (if possible) if your child will not be attending care the following day. Please call by 9AM the morning of, if your child is going to be absent or later than usual that day. 

If we have not seen or heard from you by 9AM, we will assume you are not coming and staff may be given the day off. If you arrive late, with no notice, you will be turned away and still expected to pay for the day. We HAVE to be able to schedule our staff and our time and therefore we MUST know YOUR schedule in plenty of time.

DISCIPLINE

The daycare has rules in order to function properly. Toddlers are just learning to be independent and it is their job to push boundaries! Our job is to help them learn self-control and to solve problems. The children are disciplined…not punished. The children are supervised consistently and we can usually simply re-direct any anger issues in the children. If a child hits or has a temper tantrum, we use time–out for discipline if we have to. We use 1 minute per year of age for the child. Minor problems are dealt with during the day. If we have a major issue, we will discuss it with you and decide what to do together.

SICK POLICY

This daycare is a well child facility. State regulations require that sick children do not attend daycare. Please do not bring your child to daycare if they have a fever, vomiting, diarrhea etc.

If they are too sick to play outside, go to public school, or participate in the regular day, then they are too sick to be at daycare.  

If your child has a fever, they are not able to attend the daycare until they have been fever free WITHOUT MEDICATION for at least 24 hours. Please do not give your child medication to mask a fever and bring them to daycare. This puts all the children and providers at risk and is grounds for immediate termination of services. 

If your child had a slight cold, they may attend daycare. However, if they reach the point where they need constant attention, cry all the time, obviously do not feel well, then the parent will be called to pick up the child promptly. A sick child will be separated from the other children until the parent arrives.

If a child is diagnosed with a contagious ailment such as pinkeye, strep throat etc., they must be kept at home and on the required medication for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to daycare or longer if advised by your doctor.

We follow state licensing regulations as to our illness policy. A doctor’s note saying the child can return to care does not void those regulations. It is up to the daycare provider to ultimately decide if a child can return to daycare, not the doctor or parent.

Due to allergic reaction etc, the state prefers that we do not administer medication to the children. If the child MUST have medicine during daycare hours, the parent must give the first few doses at home to lower the risk of adverse reactions.

The daycare can only administer medication for a prescription that is required MORE than 2 times per day. Anything less can be given at home in the morning and evening.

Any medicine given must be prescribed by a doctor and must be in the original pharmacy container showing the child’s name, dosage instructions and expiration date. 

WE CANNOT GIVE CHILDREN THEIR SIBLINGS MEDICATION. THIS IS ILLEGAL.

We are not able to give “over the counter” items like Tylenol or cough syrup unless it is in a bottle with an RX label and doctor information and dosage instructions for more than twice a day.

Please do not bring children to daycare with bottles or sippy cups with medication mixed in juice or milk. This is against state regulations. The child may put it down and it may get picked up by another child who could ingest medication not prescribed for them. This is a serious health risk.

If your child becomes ill at daycare, they will be isolated from the other children and you will be called to pick them up. If we cannot reach you, we will call someone from your pick up list.

Parents are responsible for any costs incurred in their child’s care during an emergency.

TREATS FROM HOME

Any food or treats brought to share for birthdays etc. must be commercially prepared and individually wrapped. This for the children’s safety and is a state regulation. Please do not bring food unless it is for ALL the children to share. Please supply enough for 16 children.

GUM

Gum is a big “no no” here at daycare!

PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILDREN TO DAYCARE WITH GUM IN THEIR MOUTHS OR IN THEIR POCKETS!

We have spent countless hours over the years cutting gum out of our carpets, off of furniture, out of hair etc! Our biggest concern however...is the safety aspect.

MANY CHILDREN DIE EACH YEAR FROM CHEWING GUM.

We have to sit through the gruesome statistics at state meetings. Gum is one of the leading causes of choking in children.

Children who chew gum are also prime targets for other stomach problems. The extra saliva produced during chewing sends a signal to the stomach that food is coming and the stomach produces more acid in the anticipation of digestion. When food is not added to the stomach, the “unused” acid can cause digestive problems for children, such as ulcers.

For some reason, children who may have a problem sharing a toy, do not seem to have the same problem with sharing their gum! This is a very quick way to get everybody sick!!

Please be mindful that small items in pockets, such as hard candies, small toys, coins etc. are all choking hazards for our babies. Please do not let your toddlers have these items in their pockets.

TOYS

The daycare has a wide selection of toys for the children to pay with. PLEASE DO NOT BRING TOYS FROM HOME.

The days when children can bring “Show & Tell” will be posted by the door. Items brought for show and tell must be placed in the show and tell box upon arrival. They will be put back there after the items have been showed.

POTTY TRAINING

We are happy to help you potty train your child when the time is right J

However “when the time is right” is the key.

Your child must be willing to be potty trained in order to have success.

Your child must be able to VERBALLY communicate the need to visit the bathroom in order to be ready.

Potty training is a big step for both the child and the parent. Make sure you are ready for lots of accidents and commitmentJ

Potty training is a big step for a child and must be started at home with fairly good success before we will continue here at daycare. Daycare is very active and children do not always want to take time away from toys and friends to visit the bathroom. Once they do well at home, we can continue here.

We do not potty train children still in regular diapers and not receiving consistent training from home.

If you are ready to potty train, your child will need to come to daycare in pull-ups. State health regulations require all accidents to be completely contained. Therefore we cannot have the child in regular underwear when starting training even if you do that at home.

Children will not be potty trained while wearing regular diapers. Pull Ups only.

Parents work long hours too and are tired at the end of the day. Please do not put your child back in a diaper because it is easier. Both parents and daycare need to work together to be successful.

Children who have accidents at nap time must be in a pull up for that time. This is necessary for sanitation.

PARENT CONFERENCES

We are always happy to talk to you about your child’s day! However, if you have any concerns about your account, (or anything else) that may take longer than a few minutes, please feel free to make an appointment with Lyn at another time when we can discuss your concerns in more detail. We want you to feel you can talk to us openly and honestly and sometimes this cannot be done in front of the children, other parents etc. in just a few minutes. We respect your privacy.

We want you and all our daycare children to know how much we love them. You cannot have a child in your home almost every day and not fall in love with them. They really are a part of our big family here. We have tended many, many children over the past 25 years and still keep in touch with many of them…some who are now parents themselves!! We love them all dearly.

We greatly appreciate your faith and trust in us as you give us your precious little ones each day. We will strive to teach them, guide them and most of all, LOVE them and keep them safe so you can feel comfortable as you work.

Thanks for all you do, you’re great!

Lyn and Family