Emergency Information – ImagiNations Early Learning Centers (ELC) believes in protecting our children. Therefore it is imperative that parents update all emergency information as necessary. In accordance with Maryland State Regulations, certain forms are to be updated annually. These forms will be disbursed every September and are to be returned by the given deadline. . In case of an emergency the center will attempt to contact the parent first. If the parent can not be reached the center will attempt to contact persons on child’s emergency card. Should you desire someone not listed on your child’s emergency card to pick up your child, you must provide the center with a written notice. This notice must include the name and a brief description of the person. This person must also show picture ID to center staff before being authorized to take your child from the premises. This policy is adhered to very strictly for the protection of the children. Children will not be released to unauthorized persons. We cannot be responsible for the accurateness or the comprehensiveness of the emergency information supplied. As a result, either Imaginations Early Learning Centers or any of its employees will not be held liable.
Meals – Imaginations Early Learning Centers will provide breakfast and an afternoon snack daily. The breakfasts are either microwaveable or will be served cold (i.e. Cereal, muffins, fruit etc.). Milk will be served with breakfast and lunch. Menus are posted in every classroom.
All lunches will be refrigerated. Lunches can be heated in the microwave. Let’s start children off on the road to healthy eating habits. No soft drinks or candy will be allowed!
Celebrations – Parties are always welcomed. When you want to celebrate a special event let us help you. We welcome all professional or commercially prepared foods. If you do not want to bring in sweets, consider a pizza party, clowns, muffins or other entertainment. Due to choking hazards, balloons will not be allowed. Please see the Director to discuss your plans in detail.
Clothing – Children should be dressed in comfortable clothing. Tennis shoes or shoes with rubber soles are recommended. Children are very active and shoes with hard surfaces or heels usually cause children to fall. Remember, children are here to explore all that we have to offer and that means a lot of fun including some very messy activities.
State regulations require that children have outdoor experience twice daily, weather permitted. Therefore, please bring clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. If it has snowed, children will need hats, gloves, boots, and snow pants, so that they can build snowmen or make snow angels. If we have had a soggy week, then bring boots and a plastic raincoat, so if the children make mud pies or splash in the mud they won’t have to worry about being in trouble with mom or dad. When it is warm outside, children should also be dressed appropriately. Please! Please! Please! No Open Toed Shoes or Flip-Flops. They are NOT safe for playing!
Children need an extra set of clothing at the center at all times. For children under three years old, two sets are recommended, and for children four and older one set of clothing is recommended. Clothing should include socks and under garments.
Parents need to bring a small/crib blanket. Pillows are permitted for preschoolers; however, they must be small enough to fit in child’s cubby without hanging out.
Open Door – Imaginations Early Learning Centers has an open door policy for all parents and legal guardians. Parents and/or legal guardians may stop in to visit with their children at any time. All other visitors must sign in with the Director or designated person.
Personal belongings – Imaginations Early Learning Centers provides children with plenty of activities and toys to use and explore. Please do not bring in toys from home. We will not be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
Nap Time – All children are encouraged to rest. However, for those children who do not sleep, a quiet activity will be provided so the children who are resting will not be disturbed. Children are not forced to nap.
Outdoor Play Space – The playground has been divided to meet the needs of all the children. Each group has their own developmentally appropriate play area. The center provides riding toys to be used on the black top or other designated area. The blacktop will be the only shared space. Scheduled outside time is posted for this area, so that each group can use it without disturbance.
Our safety supervisor checks the playground every morning for potentially dangerous conditions.
Social Readiness – Imaginations Early Learning Centers loves caring for all children. Some children, however, are simply not ready for group settings. This is not an unusual occurrence with young children. However, it is our responsibility to keep the children in our care safe. Should your child exhibit consistently inappropriate behavior (fighting, biting, kicking, foul language, threats, or is disrespectful) he/she may be temporarily expelled. We will welcome your child’s return when he/she is socially ready.
Late or Absent – Maintaining proper child to staff ratio is important, therefore parents must call the center by 9:30 AM; if their child is going to be late or absent. When classroom ratios are low, staff may be sent home, so please remember to notify the center. Also, Imaginations Early Learning Centers prides itself on having an atmosphere that is favorable for learning and we want to eliminate as many distractions in the classroom as possible. Therefore, all children must be in the Center by 10:00 AM.
Sign In/Out – We can not stress enough the importance of signing your child in and out daily. We understand that it is sometimes hard to remember, because you may be in a rush, but, this helps us keep an accurate count of the number of children present in each classroom. It also keeps a record of arrival and departure times and helps us maintain staff to child ratios. This safety measure is not only center policy but it is a state regulation. It is also imperative that you escort your child to his/her classroom and be certain that a staff member greets you and your child.
Late Pick-up – Imaginations Early Learning Centers closes promptly every evening. Know your center’s closing times because, although we enjoy working with the children, we also have families that we would like to get home to. All parents, authorized pickup persons, etc, arriving at the center after closing time will be charged a fee of $3.00 per minute per child. We would much rather leave on time than charge this fee. This fee is to be paid to the Director or Assistant Director at the time of occurrence. If not paid at that time it must be paid the next morning when the child arrives at the center. This fee may be included in tuition payments.
Should a child remain in the center fifteen minutes after closing and no contact from the parent has been made we will attempt to call persons on child’s emergency card. If emergency contacts are unreachable then we are obligated by law to contact Child Protective Services. Therefore, it is imperative that parents contact the center if they are running late.
KIND TO OUR NEIGHBOR
Imaginations Early Learning Centers strives to provide a pleasant friendly atmosphere. We believe in showing respect to everyone. Therefore, we will not tolerate yelling, threats and foul or degrading language by anyone (staff, children or parents) on the center’s premises. Violation of this policy may result in the termination of your child’s slot. Should you disagree with or have concern with a staff member, please see the Director and a conference with the staff member and the Director will be scheduled and a solution will be provided.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Food Allergies – We will make every effort to accommodate children with special needs. Children with severe food allergies may bring in foods from home. However, all food must be labeled with its contents (for the protection of other children), child’s first and last name, and date. Food allergies must be accompanied by a doctor’s note.
Incident/Accident Policy – If your child sustains a minor injury that does not require emergency hospital care; he/she will receive first aid that will be administered by the staff. An incident report will be completed and given to parents at the end of the day. Teachers will contact the parent for all injuries to the face (even if it’s a little scratch).
Should a child need emergency care, 911 will be called first. The Director or center representative will notify the parents. If parents can not be contacted we will attempt to call other persons on the child’s emergency card. A staff member will accompany the child to the hospital by ambulance and wait for his/her parent’s arrival. An accident report will be completed by a staff person and must be signed by a parent. Should a parent/legal guardian or persons listed on emergency list can not be reached, we are obligated to contact Child Protective Services (within 1 hour of arriving at hospital).
Child Abuse and Neglect – Maryland State law requires that all suspected cases of neglect or abuse is reported to Child Protective Services. If a staff member observes suspicious bruises that are obviously not from a fall, the child’s condition will be reported to proper authorities. Suspected emotional, verbal or sexual abuse will also be reported. Finally, suspected child neglect will be reported to proper authorities. Signs of child neglect might be if the child begs or steals food or money; lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses; is consistently dirty and has severe body odor; and/or lacks sufficient clothing for the weather. Caregivers are, by law, to report all suspected abuse and neglect.
Clean Hands – Imaginations Early Learning Centers believes in teaching children proper hand washing techniques. Children are taught the health benefits of washing their hands. Hand washing will take place before and after every meal, after using the bathroom, after wiping their nose and any other appropriate time.
Imaginations Early Learning Centers strives to keep the children and staff healthy. Therefore, if your child is too sick to participate in the daily routine (including outdoor play), or needs individual care due to illness, please keep them at home. Children exhibiting symptoms of illness upon arrival or who have been given medication before arriving will not be admitted to the center that day.
When to leave your child home?
- Fever 101 and above
- Vomiting that occurs once at the center
- Repeated coughing/very runny nose
(Wiping noses more than 10 times an hour; discharge that is either yellow or green) This is a sign of an infection.
- Respiratory distress (asthma, severe cold, heavy congestion)
- Diarrhea (2 or more loose stools)
- Lice, open soars or rash of any kind
How long you have to pick up your child?
If a child exhibits any of the above symptoms once he/she has entered the Center, parents or other authorized person will be notified. These children are to be picked up within one hour. To reduce possible contamination to other children, the sick child will be isolated from the others until he/she has been picked-up. Failure to pick up child within the one hour time frame will result in a fee of $1 per minute.
Children exhibiting the above symptoms must remain home for 24 hours. Your child must be symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
Children with rashes will not be admitted into the center without a doctor’s note stating that the child’s condition is not contagious.
A doctor’s note does not override the Center’s 24-hour policy.
Parents are expected to report all health information regarding their child to the Director; this includes exposure to communicable diseases.
Medication Policy – According to Maryland State Law all children who require medication must have a completed medication form. Designated persons will distribute all medication. Parents are never to leave medication in children’s bags or cubbies. All medications must be given to the teachers.
Prescription medication must be in its original container with the child’s name, date, expiration date, dosage, and doctor’s name and phone number. Parents’ must bring a measuring cup to ensure proper dosage.
Non-prescription or over-the-counter medication must be in its original container and can only be given once per illness. Parents must bring a measuring cup to ensure proper dosage.
COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES
It is extremely important that we keep an open line of communication. Imaginations Early Learning Centers will communicate to parents through the use of one or all of the following tools, many of which will be accessible via our website, www.ImagiNationsELC.com.
Child Journals- Every child will have a journal. The teachers will monitor your child’s progress and note any concerns on a daily basis. The journals are for parent’s eyes only. The journal will follow the child throughout his/her stay at the Center and will be one of the tools used during parent conferences.
Monthly Newsletters – Every month Imaginations Early Learning Centers will produce a newsletter to keep parents abreast of various topics of interest, activities, and other current events. Newsletters will be posted on our Latest News page.
Daily News Board – Every classroom is equipped with a “Daily News Board”. This board will tell parents about the current events of the classroom.
Letters and other handouts – The Director and/or teachers will leave important notices, handouts and letters in the “parents’ mailbox” located in the lobby. Please remember to check daily, so that you do not miss out on important information.
Parent Questionnaires – There will be parent questionnaire distributed either annually or bi-annually. This will be the parents’ opportunity to communicate their perceived strengths and weaknesses of the center and the program(s). Parents will have the option to remain anonymous. Communicating your concerns and ideas is imperative to the success of the program(s). This will assist us in the decision-making process for future enhancements/changes.
Safety Patrol – If you ever see something or know of a potentially hazardous situation, please communicate with the Director or teacher immediately.
Emergency Closing – Imaginations Early Learning Centers will make every effort to open during inclement weather. However, we must always consider the safety of the children and staff at our center. Therefore, the Imaginations Early Learning Centers will follow the Charles County or St. Mary’s County Public School System(s) for weather conditions concerning snow four inches or more and concerning icy conditions. Like the school system, we must plan for possible staff delays and must ensure that sidewalks, steps and parking areas are passable and safe for all patrons. Always contact the Center before leaving home. There will be a recorded message to further instruct you.
In the event of a local or national emergency, the children and staff will remain at the center. If we are in the midst of severe weather, please call the center and do not attempt to pick up your child until you receive instructions from the local government that the conditions are safe. For all other center emergencies, parents will be contacted and given instructions by the center’s Director or other representative.
Fire Drills – The Center conducts fire drills once a month. At this time students are taught what to do in case of a fire.
Holiday Closings – The centers will be closed for the following holidays:
- Labor Day
- Veteran’s Day
- Thanksgiving Day and day after
- Christmas Day and day after
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Inauguration Day (every four years)
- Also, the centers will close at 4:00 PM on the eve of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Presidents Day
Staff Development – Our centers will be closed for a day periodically throughout each year for staff development, not to exceed a total of four days. Rest assured that each scheduled closing will be announced in advance, giving parents ample time to find alternate care. There is no refund or discounts on tuition for these days.
Vacation Weeks – Each family is given half off tuition, for one week of vacation a year. Vacation leave cannot be used in the middle of a week. It must begin on a Monday and end on a Friday. In order to be eligible for this benefit, a child must be enrolled for a minimum of 90 days. Vacation weeks cannot be used for two consecutive weeks. Parents must submit their written request to the Center Director in advance and payment for vacation must be paid prior to leaving.
Imaginations Early Learning Centers will not tolerate corporal punishment of any kind. Yelling, screaming, pushing, shaking, pinching or withholding food from a child will not be permitted. It is our policy to guide our children’s behavior through redirection, self-discipline and role modeling.