Effective January 2003
Updated September 2010
Updated July 2011
Updated February 2023
*Please sign and submit parent agreement page of this manual*
Our Parent communication plan was created to provide parents with information concerning our center policies, procedures, programs and nutritional information. These policies provide detailed descriptions of our center philosophy as well as expectations for parents and children to ensure you feel confident and comfortable leaving your children at Daydreams childcare Center.
Daydreams Childcare Centre is a licensed facility; we are inspected annually by the province of Nova Scotia. We follow the regulations set out in the Nova Scotia Day Care Act and Regulations. Our license, most recent inspection report, parent handbook, behavior guidance policy, menu and parent committee information are displayed in our main hall beside the parent bulletin board. Daily program plans and daily routines can be found in each classroom on individual bullentin boards.
Daydreams Childcare Center recognizes the connection between quality child care and inclusion practices. Daydreams Childcare Center believes that all children have the right to attend quality inclusive childcare. We believe that working as a team with parents and professionals to offer an inclusive environment will benefit all children. We also believe that to be able to offer quality child care all staff must continue their education through courses, workshops, and conferences.
It is our policy to respect the confidential data of the children and families enrolled at our center. Your child’s development, medical and personal information will not be discussed with other parents, staff or other professionals without parental consent. As well, we will not divulge your phone numbers or email to other parents without your consent.
Hours of Operation
Daydreams Childcare Center is open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. Notification of regular arrival and departure time is appreciated as this provides facilitators with the opportunity to ensure children have a smooth transition from home to center, and allows us to maintain our staff to child ratios. Please let us know of any changes to arrival and departure times. Please accompany your child to their classroom and ensure that a staff member is aware that your child has arrived to ensure proper supervision.
Children will not be admitted to the program earlier than 7:00 am and should any child be picked up after 5:30 pm, parents will be charged a late fee (see late fee policy below). Please note: our center closes at 5:30pm, this means parents and children should be leaving the center at this time, as staff are off and need time to close the building before leaving for the day. Parents who arrive at 5:30pm (or after) are considered late and will be charged a late fee. Parents who are continuously late picking children up may be asked to find alternate childcare arrangements that better suit their needs.
It is important that the center always has up to date information concerning your child. Before a child can start at the center we must have all registration forms returned and fully complete for your childs file; this includes Registration form whith all information complete, including up to date phone numbers and emergency contacts, Medical form with dates of all current immunizations, Authorization for Medical attention, walking trip permission slip, signed parent policies, and signed illness polocies. Parents must advise the center in writing of any changes to information (Contact numbers, allergies, immunizations, etc)
Arrival and Departure
Children are asked to use the main entrance. Each child will be assigned a cubby in which to keep his/her personal belongings. Parents are asked to undress their child upon arrival and dress their child upon departure and to ensure that all their child’s belongings are in their proper place at the start of the day. Parents are also asked to escort their child to and from their classrooms and to supervise their child’s activities while at the center. Our responsibility for your child does not begin until they are in the care of a staff member. Children are not to be left at the door or go into their classroom without their parents.
Children are not allowed to roam or run in the halls without an adult nor should they disrupt other children’s activities upon their arrival or departure.
When scheduling appointments that may require children to be picked up early please note children are not to be picked up from the center between 12:30 and 2:30. This is our nap time and it is very difficult to provide a restful environment for all children enrolled if there are disruptions to the classrooms. If children are being dropped off late due to a morning appointment (Please note this must be pre-arranged with a staff member), they must be dropped off to the center no later than 11:30am. Children benefit from having time to adjust to the classroom prior to transitioning to lunch/nap.
Please inform the center if anyone else will be picking up your child. We will not release your child to anyone without proper authorization. Persons other then yourself will be asked to show I.D before your child will be released into their care.
Parents are also welcome to send in a family picture to be kept on your child’s clipboard so staff may reference a photo of mom and/or dad at pick up when children first start until staff and parents are familar with each other.
Under no circumstances will Daydreams Childcare Center staff release a child to anyone under the age of 12 years or to anyone suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you are going to be arriving later than your usual time frame, please give the center a call to let us know. Morning snack is served daily at 9:15 am. Children who arrive after 9:30 am will miss morning snack and will not be provided a substitute snack.
Children will be marked absent for the day and will not be admitted to the center after 10:00am (unless previous arrangements have been made for that day).
Parking lot/Gate Safety
All families are asked to enter our parking lot at a slow speed. It can be a busy place with lots of children around. Please follow these guildlines to ensure the parking lot is safe for everyone:
- Children should never be left alone in a vehicle
- Please us parking spaces provided, vehicles can not block main entranceways or gates
- Please do not leave cars running during drop off/pick up time
- Always take children by the hand while in parking lot and do not allow them to run ahead.
It is important that all gates coming in and out of center/playground are kept closed at all times. Parents are asked to ensure gates are securely closed behind them. Children are not allowed to open gates/doors while at the center throughout the day. We ask that you encourage this while children are in your care as well.
Daydreams Childcare Center will be open year round, with the following exceptions:
- Labour Day
- Truth and Reconciliation Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Remembrance Day
- Family Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Victoria Day
- Canada Day
- Natal Day
Christmas Holiday Closures: Daydreams will be closed from December 24th @1pm until after the new year. Dates will vary each year, so we will provide specific closure dates each year in early fall.
Please note: If a given holiday falls on a weekend the center will be closed on the following Monday.
Storm Days (Updated September 2023)
Daydreams Childcare follows the direction of Deprtment of Education (DEECD) and the Halifax Center for Education for all storm closures. When HRCE makes the decision to cancel school in HRM due to inclement weather, Daydreams two locations will also be closed. We encourage all families to sign up for HRCE's text alert system, so that you are notified by 6:30am of any cloures for that day. The center will also update the Facbook page by 6:30am regarding storm closures.
On days that HRCE makes the decision to delay opening, Daydreams will also delay opening. We will plan to open these days at 10am, and children attending that day must arrive no later than 11am. This will allow children time to settle before lunch/rest time. Please check our Facebook page on delayed open days to confirm a 10am opening.
On days that HRCE has early dismissal due to weather, Daydreams may also have an early dismissal. This decision will be made based on the forcast for that day, as our hours of operation vary from the HRCE.
All children entering the center are subject to a 2-month orientation period. This allows for evaluation time to determine the suitability of the center for the child’s needs. If after the two month period is over and the child has still not adjusted to the centers routine a meeting with the child’s parents will be requested to discuss his or her continuing at the center.
The center reserves the right to meet with a child’s parents at any time during their stay with us to discuss behaviour issues and/or the suitability of the center to the child’s individual needs.
Late Fee Policy
The center closes at 5:30 pm. You are free to pick up your child before that time but will be charged a late fee for arriving after 5:30. Late fees are as follows:
5:30-5:40 - $20.00
5:40-5:50 - $ 10.00
5:50-6:00 - $ 10.00
*Please note: Late fees start at 5:30pm as this is when the center closes. All children should be picked up an departed by this time.
Late fees will be paid directly to the staff member who has stayed late with your child. If we have not been able to make contact with parents by 6:00 pm we will contact the emergency contact listed on your child’s application form.
Items to be Kept at the Center
You are asked to keep the following items in your child’s cubby:
- 2 changes of clothes (shirt, pants, socks, underwear)
- Appropriate outdoor clothing for season
- Diapers, wipes, creams (notes will be sent home as needed after)
- Plush sleep toy and/or blanket for naptime (if desired). These items must fit in the designated space within each classroom
- Water Bottle (This must be taken home to be washed daily)
If your child does not have the above mentioned items here each day and they require any of the above parents will be contacted and expected to bring the needed item to the center as quickly as possible. The center does not keep spare outfits, hats, coats etc and it is parent’s responsibility to ensure children have everything they need for a successful day at school each day.
Please check lists posted on classroom bulletin/white boards for seasonal requirements as well (e.g. Sunscreen and water play clothes in summer).
Parents must label their child’s belongings. We will make every effort to ensure that all items are returned to you, but when items are not properly labelled this becomes difficult.
We ask that children do not bring in toys from home unless they are for scheduled show n’ share days.
Medication/puffers should not be left in your childs cubby or bag. Please ensure it is given directly to a staff member so that it can be stored safely for the day
Outdoor clothing suitable for the time of year must be provided daily.
A change of clothes must be provided for each child so they can change to comfortable and dry clothing should it be required. If your child requires a change of clothes and they do not have anything parents will be contacted and asked to bring an outfit for their child. Children are not able to remain at the center without proper attire.
The center is not responsible for laundering of soiled garments; they will be placed in plastic bag on child’s cubby.
Parents are asked to replace extra clothing as needed.
Daydreams Childcare Center is not responsible for the loss or damage of any personal items brought to the center.
If you take your child out of the center for vacation time, you will not be reimbursed for the number of days they are away.
When it is possible Daydreams Childcare Center would like to be told about any upcoming vacations days your child may be taking in advance.
Daydreams Childcare Center is concerned about the health and safety of all children and staff at our center. We strictly enforce health regulations as infections can spread rapidly within a center.
Parents are asked to keep their child at home if they are sick. If a child is brought to the center and they are sick, the parents/guardians will be contacted to come and pick up their child immediately. You will not be reimbursed for the number of days the child is away sick, and due to child/teacher ratios you will not be able to “make up” sick time by bringing your child on unscheduled days.
For some conditions a medical certificate may be required for re-entrance to the center. If a child is sick for the morning they cannot attend in the afternoon.
Please contact the center with the nature of your child’s illness so we can communicate to other parents and be aware of symptoms to look for in other children.
Children showing any of the following symptoms will not be permitted to attend:
- Condition or illness which makes him/her unable to cope with the daily activities of the program (ex. outside play)
- Children who have had medication in the last 24 hours that could mask signs of illness (ex. fever reducers)
- Symptoms of contagious or transmittable disease (ex. Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, infection, consistent coughing, swollen glands, unidentified rash, pain, aches, etc…)
Should your child become ill while attending the center a parent will be notified immediately and expected to have an authorized person pick up your child as quickly as possible.
For specifics on sick days please see Childhood Illness Policy.
To help control the spread of illness, children are required to wash their hands upon arrival at the center, before eating, after toileting and at other times throughout the day. Washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of illness.
DAYDREAMS Childcare center will only administer prescription medication upon written consent from the parents. A new consent form will be needed for any new medications. Forms are available from your child’s teacher.
Center staff is authorized to dispense non-prescription medicine only after a Medication Authorization form is completed by child’s parent and is accompanied by a doctor’s note. Forms are available from your child’s teacher.
All medicine must be in the original container, with a readable label.
For safety reasons, all medications are to be given directly to staff, and not left in children’s cubbies.
It is recommended that a child who has been prescribed an antibiotic take it for 24 hours before returning to the center.
In the event that your child is injured while in our care a staff member will fill out an incident report form. This form will outline the nature of the injury, where and when it happened, what was done to treat the injury, who witnessed the injury and who was involved in your child’s care. You are asked to sign this form and return it to your child’s teacher so it may be placed in your child’s file. If the injury involved another child an incident form will also be filled out informing the child’s parents that their child injured another child.
The center will often take pictures of children engaged in play to share on our Facebook page, at no time will chidrens faces or names be visible. We do use pictures of children within the center and classrooms throughout the year, and to share with families. By signing this parent policy, you are consenting to the usage of photos as described above.
At no time are parents permitted to take pictures/videos of children within the center or on our playground.
Clean Drinking Water
All children must have water available during outdoor play. To ensure that all children have access to water at all times during the day all children must now bring a water bottle to school each day to keep in their classroom. These water bottles must be clearly labelled and taken home to be washed, then returned to the center the next day.
Our menu follows the Canada Food Guide for children and meets all criteria as listed in the Standards for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings, We have a three week rotational menu which includes a wide variety of foods. Our menu is posted on all the bulletin boards for parents to view at any time. On occasion we will need to alter the menu, should this happen we will let you know of any changes by writing these changes on classroom white boards as well as keeping these changes on file for one year.
Morning and afternoon snacks that include food from at least two food groups and a full course lunch that includes recommended food groups are provided for all children. These meals are prepared fresh daily and meet with the criteria as listed in the Standards for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Childcare Settings.
If your child requires supplements or special foods due to a medical condition and/or religious beliefs, you will be responsible for providing them. All food items brought from home must be clearly labelled with child’s name, storage and preparation instructions as well as the date it is to be used by. If items are not properly labelled by parents we are unable to accept the food/bottles to be kept at the center.
Teachers do not force children to eat, withhold favourite foods for inappropriate behaviours, or offer food to reinforce positive behaviours. Children are encouraged through positive modeling and reinforcement to try new foods.
Children enrolled in the infant room will need to provide their own bottles/milk for each day as well as any substitute meals/snacks they may want. All bottles and food containers must be clearly labelled with name, heating and serving instructions as well as date it is to be used.
Upon enrolment each infant will be given and asked to fill out (with child’s teacher) an infant feeding plan. This is designed to help with parent-teacher communication during their transition to solid foods and indicate how menu items should be prepared and or altered to accommodate the infants’ developmental stage. These infant plans will be updated regularly until infants are eating foods directly from our menu. Staffs allow infants to explore their food, feed themselves and respond to hunger and fullness cues.
In the event of a child’s birthday or special occasion, parents may wish to provide a special treat for your child’s class (your child’s teacher will be able to tell you how many children will be present that day). Please inform your child’s teacher if you will be bringing something in. Please note that any special treats brought in must meet the criteria for healthy foods as listed in the Standards for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings.
We are a nut careful environment. We often have children and/or staff with severe allergies to nuts. Please do not bring any products containing nuts into the center.
Daydreams Childcare Center is a breastfeeding friendly environment, parents that would like to breastfeed are welcomed to do so anywhere in the facility. We do have a “quiet space” available on the top level if parents would like a quiet comfortable place to breastfeed.
Nap Time Policies
Rest period at Daydreams Childcare Center is from 12:30-2:30 each day. Children are not all required to sleep, but are given the opportunity for quiet time. This rest time is meant as a rejuvenation time to prevent fatigue and the development of illness. This rest time is important for children, regardless of age. The lights are turned down, curtains closed and low music is turned on. A childs work is their play, and all children need to have a break, much like we have a break each day at work.
Infant Room (8-18 months): Nap as their individual schedules require
Toddler Room (18-36 months): Nap/rest on beds from 12:30-2:30pm
Preschool Room (3-4 years): Nap/rest from 12:30-1:30pm, or longer if needed. Preschoolers are not required to sleep during this time, they can be offered books or quiet activities. There will be no exceptions to this rest period.
Please discuss your childs nap/rest schedule with your childs teacher and let us know of any changes in their routine throughout the year
Please remember that some children who do not nap at home may need a short rest period while at school. Your child’s teacher will discuss their concerns (if any) about your child’s nap time routines with you.
Daydreams Childcare Center does not require any child be potty-trained when they register at our center.
All staff within Daydreams Childcare center will work with any child 24 months and older to help them with potty training if they are showing signs that they are ready.
Parents who feel their child is ready to potty train are asked to talk with their child’s teacher about specific ready signs we need to see at school as well as sanitary requirements we need met. Staff will do our best to keep children’s routines the same as at home to assist in this transition, but ask all parents to remember that the center is a very different environment. Often children who are showing signs of being ready to train at home do not shows these signs at school until much later!
Guidance techniques are designed and carried out in such a way as to help the individual child develop self control, sensitivity for others and to assume responsibility for his or her actions.
Young children need the experience of interacting with other children on a consistent basis. Learning how to share and cooperate with others is on ongoing process for young children, consequently some aggressive behaviour will occur (i.e., hitting, yelling, name calling, biting, pinching, kicking, etc.). Although we do not allow this behaviour to persist, it takes time for a child to learn a more acceptable way of dealing with his/her anger and frustration (i.e., using appropriate words to express his/her feelings).
All staff at the center is required to sign an agreement that they have read and understood our Behaviour Management Policy, this is posted on the bulletin board.
If the director finds that any child’s behaviour and/or actions are endangering the safety of the other children or staff, a conference will be arranged with the parents’, the child’s teacher, and the director. Under extreme circumstances the director has the right to remove the child from the program giving one-week notice of withdrawal.
It is staff members responsibility to provide medical care for which they are trained. Teachers are required to maintain their training in First aid and CPR. If a child requires medical care, the parent will be called at an appropriate time (depending on the extent of the injury) and required to take the child for professional medical attention. If a parent cannot be reached, an authorized person will be contacted to pick up the child.
Daily Report: All children under the age of three will have a clipboard on their cubby. These clipboards shall be used for parents and teachers to pass information about each child’s day, naps, bowel movements, activities, meals, and how their day went. Parents are welcome to add any information they feel would be useful to their child’s teacher.
Bulletin Board: We encourage you to review the bulletin board contents on a daily basis for new information. The main bulletin board (located in the front entry way) contains the following information: Behavior Guidance Policy, current menu, Parent Committee members and minutes, Daycare Act and Regulations, Parent handbook, and Notification of funding provided by the Minister. On the left side of the bulletin board you can find our license and most recent inspection of our facility.
Each classroom also has an individual bulletin board with information about daily program plans, routines and special events.
Facebook: Another great way to stay up to date on center activities if by joining our Facebook page, Daydreams Childcare Center. We post pictures, upcoming events and special days on the page. It is a great way to stay up to date and see some of the great activities your children are doing.
Teachers: Parents are encouraged to communicate with teachers daily. Building these relationships is the most effective type of communication.
Progress reports: Children’s progress reports will be completed twice a year and be reviewed with parents at parent-teacher meetings.
Daydreams Childcare center is inspected annually by the Fire Department, Department of Agriculture; Food Safety Section, and the Department of Community Services. The center holds monthly fire drills and all staff are trained in First Aid and CPR.
Please keep center aware of any changes to your address, place of work, telephone numbers, and emergency contact information.
Child Abuse Policy
As per protocols outlined by the Department of Community Services for the prevention and reporting of child abuse, all staff is legally required to report suspected cases of child abuse.
Receipts will be issued in February for fees paid for childcare services between January and December of the previous year, unless otherwise requested. Receipts will not be provided if there is an outstanding balance with your account.
Withdrawal from the Program
If you decide you no longer need the services of the center you are to inform the director and provide one month’s written notice. If we are not given proper notification you will be charged fees for the month.
Invoices will be sent out in August and December.
Monthly payments are due on the first of each month for that month.
Payment can be made via post dated cheque, cash or email transfer. Transfers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and password must be childcare. When sending payment by transfer please include your childs name in the notes.
All cheques must be dated for the first of each month.
- All cheques must have child’s name on them
- All cheques must be submitted in an envelope with the name of the child, and dates of cheques clearly marked on envelope.
- Cheques can be left with your child’s teacher or given to the director.
- There will be a $20.00 charge for NSF cheques.
Daydreams Childcare Center provides quality childcare by employing qualified staff that fulfils our expectations regarding program delivery. We hire only those teachers who possess appropriate training and/or experience. We also strive to have our substitute teachers and program volunteers appropriately trained.
All staff is expected to continue their education through courses, workshops, conferences. Some of these hours are devoted to inclusion.
While we strive to hire teachers that are committed to their position, as with any workplace we do experience staff turnover. We attempt to inform parents as quickly as possible of any changes in staffing and ask that parents understand that this is to be expected and that at no time is your child’s care compromised in any way.
Separation can be stressful for parents as well as children. Staff at Daydreams Childcare Center is here to help in this sometimes difficult, but very common, developmental process. Sometimes children are upset during their first few week, and some don’t express anxiety until a few weeks later when they comfortable enough to do so. This is completely understandable because they are in a new environment with people they don’t yet know. It will take time for them to develop bonds and relationships with the teachers and children in their room.
Please know that we will comfort and reassure your child. The teachers will acknowledge and talk about his/her feelings and we will need you to do the same. Keep in mind that children are very sensitive to the feelings of their parents, so if you don’t feel good about leaving your child at the center, they won’t feel good about it either. Please talk about your child’s experience in a positive way.
When you leave your child please do not sneak out. Make the ‘good bye’ and hug something s/he can count on, even if it brings some tears at first. When it’s time for you to leave the classroom, after you say your good byes, make the departure definite. Lingering can make a child unsure of what is expected of him/her.
It is helpful when parents develop a routine (leave after washing hands together, greeting the teachers). Consistency is key. Over time your child will become accustomed to this routine and learn that you will always come back when you say you will (after snack, outdoor play, nap time, etc).
Together we will work through these important developmental processes. After you leave feel free to call the center to see how your child is doing. It is typical for children to regain their composure and get into their daily routine shortly after mom or dad leaves.
Alternate printable Parent Policy Handbook .