Parent Handbook Table of Contents

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Parent Handbook

Table of Contents

The Basics 3

Welcome 3

Philosophy 3

Mission Statement 3

Core Values Statement 4

Schedule and Holidays 4

Absences 5

Snow Days 5

Picking Up and Dropping Off of your Child 5

About The Staff 6

Qualifications 6

Volunteers 6

Off-Site Staff Hiring 6

About the Program 6

The Curriculum 6

Physical Environment 6

Daily Routine 7

Program Description-Infants 8

Program Description-Toddlers 8

Program Description-Preschool 9

Program Description-School Age 9

Clothing 9

Meals/Nutrition 10

Special Events 11

Field Trips 11

Nap Time 11

Discipline Policy 11

Confidentiality 12

Rights of Non-Custodial Parents 12

Health and Safety 12

Required Medical Records 12

Sickness Policy 12

Parent Participation & Involvement 14

Laundry 14

Potty Training 14

Nondiscrimination 15

Special Needs Children 15

Harassment 15

Outdoor Play 15

Preschool Program 15

Infant Care Philosophy 16

Infant Shoe Policy 16

Infant Diapering 16

Pacifier Policy 17

Infant Curriculum 17

Legal Issues 18

Mildly Ill Children 18

Injuries and Illnesses 18

Mandated Reporters 18

Emergency Procedures 18

Major Emergencies 18

Minor Emergencies 19

Enrollment/Provisional Enrollment 19

Emergencies and Inclement Weather 19

Additional Fees/Late Pick Up 20

Tuition/Child Withdrawal/Child Dismissal 20

Helpful Hints 20

The Basics


We are very pleased that you have selected Bright Starts of CNY for your child’s daycare experience. It is our goal to provide a high quality program that promotes the growth and development of your child. We are a small, private childcare facility that is owned and operated by two special education teachers who are well educated and experienced in early childhood. We hire only educationally qualified staff and each staff member is required to attend staff development workshops on an ongoing basis. Our facility is licensed by the State of New York and approved by the local health department.

There is nothing more comforting for a parent than to know their child is safe, well cared for and happy. We are working hard to create a warm environment where your child finds learning fun and exciting, where children are respected and their uniqueness is celebrated.


We believe that early childhood experiences can positively impact a child’s entire school career. Learning the social skills necessary to interact in a group promotes cooperation as well as learning empathy and respect for others. Self awareness skills help children recognize their strengths and weaknesses, develop stamina and encourages creativity and problem solving. Children play and through this play they learn new strategies and skills. It is these strategies and skills that are the foundation for their future learning. As teachers, we create the environment that allows children to play creatively and to investigate their world safely and with purpose.

Mission Statement

Bright Starts of CNY, LLC is a child daycare and early learning center for the purpose of providing quality childcare and early childhood education to children as they develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually. The individuality of each child is respected, encouraged and celebrated.

Core Values Statement

We value:


  • Making the health and well being of children our #1 responsibility.

  • Controlling the access to our facility to protect our children and staff.

  • Continuously training employees on regulations and policies.

  • Providing a healthy, clean, emotionally safe atmosphere.


  • Employing skilled teachers who foster a warm nurturing environment.

  • Understanding that the laughter of happy children is essential to their growth.

  • Providing lesson plans, activities and other hands-on learning opportunities.

  • Only exposing children to appropriate materials, behavior and language.

  • Accepting children's differences in an inclusive environment.


  • Believing in the inherent worth and contribution of all employees, parents, teachers and children.

  • Displaying personal pride in Bright Starts of CNY and in ourselves.

  • Being considerate to each other in our actions and words.

  • Demonstrating respect fr others, for property and for rules.


  • Encouraging parents and teachers to share information about children for better understanding.

  • Being open and honest in all interactions between parents, teachers, staff and children.

  • Creating and reinforcing clear policies for our business.

  • Being available just to listen.


  • Promoting a supportive relationship between parents and teachers.
  • Providing consistency for children between home, school and daycare.

  • Knowing parents really appreciate how much the teachers really do.

Schedule and Holidays

Our center is open year round and provides care Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm. Within these hours, we offer full and part-time care to children 6 wks-12 yrs. Part time care is at the Directors discretion and determined based on availability.
Bright Starts of CNY will be closed on the following holidays WITH payment:

New Years Day

4th of July

Memorial Day

Labor Day

Thanksgiving Day and the day after

Christmas Day

We will close EARLY on the following days:

New Year's Eve (close at 1 pm)

Christmas Eve (close at 1 pm)

Note: When a holiday occurs on a weekend, Bright Starts of CNY will observe the industry standard and close either the Friday preceding or the Monday following. The center will open on all other holidays with a minimum of five families attending.

Depending on the circumstances (i.e. closing due to severe weather, closing due to staff trainings, etc.), the Directors may choose to close Bright Starts on additional days. Tuition is charged for those days.


If for any reason your child will not be attending Bright Starts on any day, we ask that you call to notify us so we won't be expecting and planning on your child for meals. Also, it will ensure us that all is well with your child. Payment is required as indicated in the Financial Policies section.

Snow Days

During inclement weather, it is our intent to remain open when possible. In general, the center will only be closed when there is a state of emergency or there is no power. If the center must close, the Directors will notify parents by phone or text messaging.

Picking Up and Dropping Off of your Child

Note that children will not be released to anyone unless authorized by a parent. We must have written authorization for changes made on the authorization list. Bright Starts will ask for picture identification from all individuals who the employee does not recognize, including parents. Please advise all individuals on your list of this rule so they are prepared to cooperate with us in this necessary safety precaution.

Everyday when your child arrives and when he/she leaves, it is essential and mandatory that you sign his/her in and out on the sheets in your child's orange folder. These folders are located on the counter. Additionally, important notes and receipts are placed in these folders.

Due to the extended hours of our service, your child may spend a small portion of his/her day at the beginning and at the end of the day in designated “opening and closing” rooms. This is done to maximize the efficient utilization of employees and space. It also allows the children to be involved in group activities as soon as they arrive as opposed to waiting for other, later arriving children to join the group. Please note that infants will NEVER be mixed with older children.

Bright Starts closes promptly at 5:30 PM. Parents must arrive in time to pick up and be out of the building by 5:30 PM. A late fee of $1.00 per minute shall be charged for any reason that your child is picked up after closing-WITH NO EXCEPTIONS. This fee should be included in your next tuition payment. Please respect the feelings of your child and the teachers. Your child worries and is upset if you are late, especially in the winter when it gets dark early. The teachers also must be able to leave on time to get to their own homes and families. In the event of a snowstorm, ice storm or dangerous road conditions, Bright Starts will remain open past closing time without additional charge to parents. Parents MUST call the center when they are going to be late due to weather.

In the even that a parent has not picked up their child by 5:45 and has not notified Bright Starts, the employees will:

  • Call the parent(s);

  • Call the Director(s);

If contact cannot be made with a parent:

  • Call those listed on the authorized pick-up list;

If no one can be contacted and the child is not picked up by 6:30 PM:

  • Call Child Protective Services

About The Staff


We have assembled an experienced, caring staff with excellent education credentials. Many hold Bachelor or Associate Degrees. Some hold or are working towards Masters degrees. All Lead teachers have teaching experience. Their references were thoroughly checked. All staff have been finger printed and cleared through a New York State central registry.


Bright Starts may utilize a variety of volunteers to assist the staff. In no case does this reduce the ratio of teachers to students. The volunteers are in addition to the normal staff requirements.

Off-Site Staff Hiring

Bright Starts of CNY will not be held responsible for any accidents, injuries or occurrences, which are a result of our staff being hired for personal babysitting. If a staff member is to remove your child from the center, they must be added to your pick-up list and you shall assume all responsibility.

About the Program

The Curriculum

Bright Starts will provide a curriculum that encourages children to be actively involved in the learning process. Children should experience a variety of developmentally appropriate activities through the utilization of various materials and activities. Curriculum focuses on the development of the physical, social, cognitive and emotional development of each individual child and includes the building of each child's self-esteem and acceptance of their peers.

Physical Environment

Rooms are arranged in positions which provide a sense of open structure where care givers have the opportunity to be with the children in a relaxed and enjoyable fashion, yet structured in a manner which is conducive to a child learning through play.

Daily Routine

Part of helping the child grow and learn is the establishment of certain simple daily routines. We ask that you follow the same routines every morning:

  1. Help your child off with his/her coat, boots, etc.

  2. Sign your child in and bring him/her to his/her classroom.

  3. Give your child a hug and a kiss and let them know you'll be back a little later; if someone else is going to pick your child up, let your child as well as the teacher know who it is and make sure they are on our list of authorized people.

  4. Give the teacher any special instructions for the day, i.e. if your child woke up not feeling well, did he/she eat breakfast, is something worrisome going on at home, etc.

Additionally, individual teachers may have additional routines for you to follow, i.e. infants need a 'My Day' sheet completed.
Your childcare providers have been specifically trained to address the appropriate social, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of your child. While these may vary in each age group, certain daily routines are followed regardless of age.
The teachers encourage language development first by being good listeners. Words that strengthen both language and conceptual growth are used. Use of pictures, stories, songs, finger plays and nature walks are used to stimulate and reinforce the teacher's efforts.

Daily activities, including messy play, are planned which will encourage your child to play and interact with other children of the same age. Additionally, certain activities are planned which will allow each child the opportunity to work independently. This fosters an early independence and self-confidence. The teachers will encourage your child to choose activities and to stay with that activity for a reasonable length of time.

Your child will be encouraged to find his/her own solution to problems rather than have one imposed by an adult. In addition, “talking about a problem” is stressed as a more effective means of conflict resolution than crying or becoming physically demonstrative. If a child becomes physically aggressive, abusive to other people or otherwise has an adverse effect on the group, he/she will be directed to a quiet spot for a short time to allow him/her an opportunity to become calm.
The physical setup and program of your child's room is designed to provide experiences and choices which will help him/her discover and appreciate his/her own abilities, as well as learn to respect the efforts, needs and abilities of others. We appreciate hearing your thoughts and ideas for any program.
Learning to share is important. Your child will be encouraged to share and take turns. While all the children learn about and practice sharing, they will also learn to respect the personal possessions of others and learn to ask before taking.
Children are not allowed to bring toys from home, with the exception of a stuffed animal for nap time. These stuffed animals must stay in your child's cubby until it is time for nap and returned after nap. If children bring toys from home, your child will be asked to leave that toy in his/her cubby. Bright Starts is not responsible for lost or broken toys or other personal items brought in from home.

In addition to learning to share material things, your child will be encouraged to share ideas. As your child reaches Toddler age, Circle Time will be used each day to provide all children the opportunity to discuss important things in their lives. This is also an opportunity to learn new concepts; colors, shapes, songs, fingerplays, numbers, letters, days of the week and months of the year. Group problem solving will be encouraged as your child's age and comprehension levels increase. An example of this will be the group deciding on a certain project or something simple as which direction to take for a walk.

Program Description-Infants

The Bright Starts Infant Program is committed to addressing the individual physical and emotional needs of each infant. Our employees are trained to provide a warm, secure and loving environment for the infants entrusted to our care. Each infant is provided individual attention, stimulation and nurturing.
The Infant Program is based upon the ages and needs of the children in the room. Each child has his/her own pack-n-play, provided by the parents. While a variety of toys and manipulatives are provided in each self-contained room, infants are allowed to bring a favorite stuffed animal from home.
Bright Starts recognizes the importance of mealtime, for both babies and nursing mothers, and to that end will accommodate the working mom who wishes to continue nursing once her infant starts attending our center. Although infants are on no set schedule, the following is a sample of a typical day in the Infant Program:

  • Changing of diapers (every 2 hours or as needed)

  • Feeding on demand

  • Nap times

  • Large motor exercises

  • Peek-a-boo with floor mirror

  • Music time

  • Story book time

Program Description-Toddlers

The Bright Starts Toddler Program is committed to meeting the individual physical, social and emotional needs of each child enrolled in this program. To this end, a safe, comfortable and loving environment is created.

As Toddlers, children experience many new things in their lives and go through many changes. More structure is introduced at this level. The children eat, sleep and snack at the same time each day. Free time is provided so that each child has an opportunity to explore and be creative independently. Individual centers exist within the room which help stimulate children's creative and intellectual development and allows them the ability to make their own choices. A Toddler's daily schedule may follow this outline:

7:00-8:30 Arrival/free choice

8:30-9 Breakfast

9:00-9:30 free choice/diapers/potty

9:00-11:00 circle time, free play, centers, outside/gross motor

11:00-11:45 Lunch/diapers/potty

11:45-12:00 Story

12:00-3:00 Nap time

3:00-3:30 diapers/potty/snack

3:30-5:30 outside/story time/free choice

Program Description-Preschool

Preschool encompasses children ages 3 till the day before first grade. In Preschool, children are exposed to art, math, science, cooking, music, movement, dramatic play, language arts and large and small motor development. Children are encouraged to ask and find out “why?” Sharing with and caring for others is reinforced in daily activities. A typical daily schedule is as follows:

7:00-8:30 Free choice

8:30-9:00 Breakfast

9:00-9:15 Musical Movement

9:15-9:30 Circle Time

9:30-10:30 Centers

10:30-11:15 Outside/Gross motor

11:15-11:30 Story

11:30-12:00 Lunch

12:00-12:30 Book time/Busy Bags/Potty

12:30-2:30 Rest Time/Quiet Activities

2:30-3:00 Table activities

3:00-3:15 Snack

3:15-4:00 Outside/Gross motor

4:00-5:30 Centers/Free Choice/Circle

Program Description-School Age

The School Age Program is designed as a structured child care program for children ages 6 through 12 before and after school, during holidays and vacations. During vacations and holidays the children attend full time and a schedule of activities is designed that will challenge, entertain and stimulate them. Activities may include computer time with educational computer games, age appropriate board games, arts and crafts and sensory experiences.


Please be sure your child's belongings are clearly marked with their name.
Your child will be most comfortable in simple washable, durable and clean clothing. Play clothes are most appropriate so your child will not have to worry about getting dirty. Try to avoid complicated fasteners. Keep in mind that weather often changes throughout the day and sweaters and jackets should be provided even on sunny days in the spring and fall. Parents are required to mark their child's clothing and other possessions that will be at Bright Starts.
Weather permitting, your child will participate in daily outdoor activities. Therefore, it is important to bring boots, hats, a scarf and mittens, etc, everyday in the winter and a swimsuit, towel, water shoes, etc. in the summer if age appropriate. A change of clothes is required at all times for your child. You are responsible for cleaning these clothes when necessary.
Play shoes should be worn so the child does not have to worry about getting dirty. Sneakers are ideal for daily footwear.


**Infants have a separate food policy**

Good nutrition is vital to children's physical and mental development. Bright Starts of CNY values the importance of nutrition and its affect on children. We believe that eating healthy with low sugar intake keeps individuals happy, healthy, in a ready state for learning. We do our best to serve only wholesome nutritious foods.

We will provide a nutritious and healthy breakfast, lunch and snack every day. Menus will be posted on the parent board, so please refer to them to see what is offered each day. Please note that it is the child's choice to eat what is offered.
In striving to maintain healthy and nutritious food choices, please note that we will not serve the following to children:

  1. soda
  2. candy (unless previously discussed for celebration purposes)

  3. fast food (i.e. Mcdonalds, Burger King, etc.)

Menus will be posted on the parent board, so please refer to them to see what is offered each day. Children go through varied developmental stages of pickiness when it comes to eating and it is their choice to eat what is offered. Every lunch is served with a fruit and vegetable, leaving at least 3 food items for children to choose to eat. Alternate menus are not offered unless there is a medical reason indicated by a doctor’s note.

Due to several reasons, including health and sanitary reasons, no outside food is permitted to be brought into the center (unless there is a doctor’s note stating the necessity). Children who come to daycare eating (i.e. in the car), must finish their food prior to entering the center.
Meal times are dependent upon each classroom's needs. Below is a general meal schedule and you should refer to your child's class schedule for specific meal times:

School Age





08:00 AM

07:50 AM

08:30 AM

08:30 AM


12:00 pm (when here)

11-11:30 am

11:30:00 AM

12:00 PM


04:00 PM

2:30-3 pm

03:30 PM

04:00 PM

In order to limit our time away from the children and to promote healthy eating habits, food is available only at scheduled times. We understand however, that delays do happen (i.e. doctor appointment, snow delays,etc.) therefore, if a circumstance occurs when your child needs to eat a meal after it has been served and cleaned-up, please let us know and every effort will be made to provide something.

Special Diets

Special diets will be accommodated when needed. A child who requires a special diet due to medical reasons will need a note from a doctor documenting what the diet entails. We will do our best to meet special diet requirements, however at times we may need to ask parents to provide special food.

Special Events

Special treats are fine in moderation. Bright Starts promotes the celebration of birthday's and holidays and we may have a special activity/treat on these days. Parents should discuss the treats with the teachers prior to bringing them in. Additionally, there may be special cooking activities to go with the curriculum (i.e. apple pie as a cooking activity during an apple theme.)

Field Trips

At this time, our center does not participate in field trips. We do however, try to schedule specialfa events (i.e. fire trucks, Tumblebus, etc.) to come to our center.

Nap Time

Infants, toddlers and preschoolers have nap times built into their daily schedules. Parents must provide a small blanket for toddlers and preschoolers. A small pillow is acceptable as well, but we do ask that no full sized pillows come to the center. Please refer to the infant list

Discipline Policy

Our discipline policy does not allow any type of punitive behavior towards a child. We are here to teach and proper behavior is part of our curriculum. One of our main goals as a program is to help each child develop their social skills so they can manage their behaviors in a group setting. Our discipline policy is one of instruction; using positive guidance, setting limits, establishing routines, role modeling and redirection.
Teachers will establish and follow classroom routines that create a sense of comfort and well being for children. They know how and when things will happen and what to expect throughout their day.

When incidents occur teachers will help children find solutions, giving them the language for resolving the conflict. Redirection may occur when a child is having difficulty with a situation and needs to be given an alternative activity. Teachers will also include in their lesson plans activities that may include role modeling of problem solving skills and conflict resolution.

Children who are aggressive towards other children may be asked to choose another activity in a different area. The teacher will spend time talking with the child about how their behavior can be changed to allow them to continue being able to choose their own activities.
The Staff shall not use abusive language towards a child, use physical (corporal) punishment, humiliate or neglect the child in anyway. No child shall be isolated from the group or left somewhere unsupervised.
Food will never be withheld as a punishment.
Please know that the use of corporal punishment is prohibited and will never be utilized. Staff shall not use abusive, neglectful, corporal, humiliating or frightening punishment, nor shall a child be physically restrained unless it is necessary to protect the safety/health of said child, other children or a staff member.


Confidentiality is included but not limited to: parent's financial records, educational and health records of a child. Information is not shared other than with staff or authorized state agencies when necessary. A signed request will be required to release information to anyone.

Rights of Non-Custodial Parents

All mailings, conferences, emergency contacts and authorizations used in case of accidents will be as directed by the custodial parent. All parents are encouraged to attend conferences and other functions but it is the responsibility of the custodial parent to inform the non-custodial parent of such arrangements. Without an official custody order or restraining order on file, Bright Starts must legally grant both parents access.

Health and Safety

Required Medical Records

Medical records are required at admission. A list of the required medical information will be provided to you. Immunizations need to be updated yearly for enrollment to be continued.

Sickness Policy

Bright Starts of CNY is licensed and equipped to take care of children who are considered mildly ill. According to OCFS (Office of Children and Family Services), a child who meets any of the following criteria is defined as “mildly ill”:

  • The child has symptoms of a minor childhood illness which does not represent a significant risk of serious infection to other children.

  • The child does not feel well enough to participate comfortably in the usual activities of the program but is able to participate with minor modifications, such as more rest time.

  • The care of the mildly ill child does not interfere with the care or supervision of the other children.

Children who are mildly ill will be evaluated periodically throughout the day as appropriate to each child’s illness in order to monitor the status of the child. All observations made during these periodic evaluations will be recorded and reported to the parent at the end of the day or more often if needed. Parents will be notified immediately of any significant change in the child’s condition or if the care of the child exceeds what the program can safely provide. If necessary, the program will make arrangements with the parents for obtaining medical treatment. If a parent cannot be reached or if the child’s condition warrants, emergency medical treatment will be obtained without delay.

Children will be accepted/allowed to stay in care providing that:

  • All required health forms are up-to-date and in our possession.

  • Children pass a health check administered by staff.

  • Children do not require medication on a regular basis that can “mask” the symptoms of illness (i.e. cough suppressants, fever reduction medicines, etc.)

  • Children must be able to tolerate fluids other than Pedialyte.

****Please note that disguising medication in food or beverages sent to the facility

for meals IS NOT permissible***

Children will not be accepted and/or sent home if any of the following symptoms appear. The child may return to the facility only when the specific indicators have been met. This does not mean that your child is permitted to return to the center 24 hours after being sent home. Below is a chart to help you to determine if your child should stay home from daycare:


When they should stay home

When they can return

Pinworms or scabies

24 hours after completed treatment


24 hours from start of therapy AND area is covered

Chicken pox

After the 6th day AND after all lesions are crusted

Croup, Influenza, Roseola

After symptoms subside

Hand, Foot and Mouth disease

Upon doctor recommendation

Hepatitis A

At least 7 days after onset of jaundice or until immune serum globulin has been administered


After illness subsides (min. 7 days)

Strep Throat

24 hours after start of medication and fever free

Whooping cough

7 days after start of therapy

Head Lice

After removal of ALL live bugs and the nits.


24 hours from start of therapy AND area is covered


A temperature of 100.5 degrees of greater in the past 24 hours

24 hours of normal temperature without the assistance of fever reducer medication


2 or more loose, watery or explosive stools in a 24 hour period.

24 hours after last loose stool without the use of a special diet or medication.


2 or more bouts of vomiting in a 24 hour period.

24 hours after vomiting stops without the use of a special diet or medication.

Cold symptom

Yellow/green discharge from the nose/eyes, persistent cough with or without yellow/green mucous production

After symptoms have ceased and drainage/mucous is clear.

In addition to the above, the directors have a right to send a child home/refuse a child to care if they feel the child is too sick to attend care based on their health plan policy.

Parent Participation & Involvement

We have an open door policy and parents are welcome at any time. We encourage all parents to become involved. We will have various events throughout the year that we would love and encourage your participation. We encourage your input for our newsletter and any holidays or cultural events your family might celebrate. Our center does not take field trips, rather we bring “trips” to us. If you have a special talent or expertise that you feel would be a good experience for the children at our center, we encourage you to talk to us so we can set up an “on-site field trip.”

In issuing this open invitation, we have an expectation of appropriate behavior at all times during your visit. This includes, but is not limited to, using appropriate (non-offensive language), refraining from having inappropriate discussions with other parents, not interfering with the functioning of the classroom (I.e. schedule, teachers, etc.) and refraining from behaviors or actions that are threatening to a child or adult. If the Director or Co-Director at Bright Starts of CNY feels at anytime that parents are breaking the code of conduct, we reserve the right to not have those parents present during class times.


Parents will provide bedding for nap mats. We encourage your child to bring a favorite blanket or stuffed animal from home to aid comfort. Blankets should be small and no comforters are permitted. Items brought from home should be taken from the center on Fridays, laundered and returned on Mondays. Please make sure all items are clearly labeled. Bright Starts of CNY, any employee or agent will not be responsible for any toys, articles of clothing or personal belongings that are missing, damaged or ruined while in our care.

Potty Training

We encourage you to work with your child's teacher on this issue. A clear understanding must be carried out at both daycare and home. We ask that while potty training, you do not dress your child so that it is discouraging for him/her (i.e. belts, button pants). The same reward system should be followed at the center as you have set up at home. At no time do we encourage discipline in potty training. If choosing to use pull-ups for potty training, we request that you provide the ones with the Velcro sides.


Bright Starts of CNY, its agents or employees will not discriminate in educational programs, services or employment on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, learning disability or any other legally protected class.

Special Needs Children

Bright Starts of CNY is owned and operated by two special education teachers, one of which is also a speech therapist. Daycare teachers will do ongoing assessment of children and, when concerns arise, the Director and/or Co-Director will be notified. The Directors will look at assessments, observe the child which the teacher is concerned about and, if warranted, provide their own assessment/screening. The Directors will help with adding learning, sensory, etc. strategies within the classroom as needed and will speak to parents regarding referrals for evaluations as needed.


It is the center's policy to provide a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment All complaints of sexual harassment will be investigated promptly in accordance with administrative procedures.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal or physical, including but not limited to, insulting or degrading remarks or conduct, threats or suggestions that an individuals submission to or refection of unwelcome conduct will, in any way, influence a decision regarding that person's employment, education, care or services offered, that it will interfere in any way or create an intimidated, hostile or offensive environment for that person.

Sexual harassment by a student, employee, individual under contract or volunteer will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or expulsion.

Outdoor Play

Outdoor play will be daily except during inclement weather (which will be at the discretion of the Director). Please dress your child appropriately. For staffing purposes, if your child cannot go outdoors due to the lack of attire at the center, you may be asked to pick up your child or to immediately ring appropriate clothing.

Preschool Program

Our preschool program has a daily schedule and routine that provides each child with an opportunity to have experiences in a warm, relaxed and flexible atmosphere. The preschool room will provide art, music, circle time, book area, writing center, dramatic play area, block area, and large and small muscle activities where the children can explore, challenge themselves and interact with others.

Throughout the day, we will be teaching proper health habits such as washing hands and cleaning up after ourselves. All of these different activities will develop a child's creative ability. In such a positive atmosphere, the children will learn to gain respect for themselves and others and while becoming self-reliant. The children will grow with a positive attitude through their early childhood years.

Our curriculum will be based on the New York Preschool Learning Standards. Activities will be age appropriate and balanced between teacher directed and child directed learning activities. Your child’s backpack will not come home stuffed with worksheets and coloring pages each day.
In order to make this experience the most it can be for your child we will do ongoing assessments throughout the year. These assessments are designed to help us plan activities to meet the needs of each and every child. Most assessments will be anecdotal, describing what the child says and does in a given situation. There will also be periodic assessments that are more structured and these are used to measure progress. All records of this manor are shared with you, the parent, upon request or at the scheduled conferences. We will also keep a portfolio of materials through the year. This will be a record of your child’s growth through the year. It will be a wonderful treat to review it at the end of the year. So, if your child tells you they did a particular activity during the day and you do not see it come home, it most likely went in the portfolio.

Infant Care Philosophy

Infant care is a unique form of child care. Our approach to caring for the youngest of our children is to try to provide an environment that closely matches their home environment. We believe no one knows their child better than a parent and developing and maintaining a relationship with the family is key to creating this environment. Open lines of communication are essential to keeping this relationship a successful one. We will listen to what parents have to say about their child and will be a ready resource for information when parents have questions. We feel this is a partnership that will give each infant the excellent start in life that each and every one of them deserves.

Infant Shoe Policy

To keep the babies environment as clean as possible we will have a no shoe policy for the infant room. We ask that you remove shoes before entering the room. As an alternative we have shoe covers for those who find it inconvenient to remove shoes.

Staff will have classroom shoes that are for the classroom only. Other building staff will remove shoes or use shoe covers before entering the room.
Following this policy will help us maintain the floors as a safe and clean place for babies to play.

Infant Diapering

Diapers will be checked routinely throughout the day and changed as needed. Staff will follow diapering procedures according to our health care plan. These procedures include hand washing for staff and infant, sanitizing the diapering area and safe handling of soiled diapers and clothing.
Each time the diapers are checked or changed it will be indicated on the diapering chart. This information will be shared with parents on a daily basis. Anything unusual will be noted on the daily diaper form.

Pacifier Policy

The idea of using a pacifier is not a simple choice. There are reports that state its use can cause ear infections, problems with speech or tooth development and more. There are also reports that state that the use of a pacifier during sleep time may reduce the occurrence of SIDS. Since a pacifier is an infants response to a need for sucking we will allow parents to make the decision for their own infant’s use of one and will carefully monitor their use.

Pacifiers will be cleaned and sanitized as needed throughout the day, (i.e. before giving it to them the first time, when it falls on the floor or when they are done with it for a period of time.)

Pacifiers will be checked daily for damaged.
If a child uses a pacifier for nap-time we will use the pacifier but when a child falls asleep we will not reinsert it in the baby’s mouth.
We will not encourage use during activity times but will not refuse to let a child use one either. Our goal is to gradually replace their need for the comfort of the pacifier to other sources of comfort.

Infant Curriculum

Infants learn new things using their senses and their motor skills so it is our infant curriculum gives them daily experiences that help the infant grow and develop. The following is an outline of the skills we will promote.

Motor skills (Reaching, grasping, rolling, crawling, sitting)

Teachers will use small colorful objects to encourage child to reach and grasp, as well as play mats, and mobiles. Floor time will encourage the child to move, crawl, get on all fours and sit up. As children get ready to stand there are many safe objects in the room to use as support, pulling themselves up and holding onto.

Visual (Visual discrimination, visual acuity, recognition of familiar objects, visual tracking)

The room will contain many colorful objects, mobiles, books, pictures of family and familiar objects. Objects will be place in close proximity and around the room to encourage a child’s developing ability to focus. Teachers will read to children from simple books, play games that involve pictures and other classroom objects. Students will be taken outdoors to experience the sights and sounds of their community.

Touch (Experience a variety of textures to fine tune their sense of touch)

Toys and surfaces will have a variety of textures for the child to touch. Teachers may; use small, shallow tubs of water for water play, take children outside to play in the grass, a variety of age appropriate art materials or use safe play dough for children of this age group.

Auditory/language development (Hearing conversations, being spoken too, Songs and rhymes, variety of music experiences, story telling)

Teachers will make eye contact with children while feeding, diapering and playing with them and talk with them. Teachers can use songs and rhymes to develop the sense of rhythm in language. Teachers will use pictures and objects to tell stories and read simple books to the children. Music will be an important part of the day, tempos and variety will vary throughout the day.

Legal Issues

In the case of custody issues we will need copies of the agreement or court order that outlines visitation times or disallows a parent contact with the child. We also ask that staff not be asked to take sides in these matters. We will keep accurate attendance records and factual information on file but will not provide opinion based information on either side of these issues.

Mildly Ill Children

Injuries and Illnesses

If your child becomes sick or injured at the center, our first aid certified staff will comfort your child and apply needed first aid. The parent or alternate pick-up persons will be contacted immediately. If the illness is contagious, we ask for your promptness with the pick-up of your child to prevent the spreading of illness. However, we will isolate your child as much as possible until your arrival.

Mandated Reporters

Teachers are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse. We are required by law to report anything we believe may be related to abuse or neglect. This is a very difficult part of our job. You can make it easier by notifying us of any injury a child receives at home. We will do the same for you about any injury your child may receive in school. Accident reports will be completed. Keeping the children safe is our top priority. It is not always easy as you well know, so we will be honest with you and ask that you be the same with us.

Emergency Procedures

The Director/Co-Director will take whatever steps necessary to obtain emergency medical treatment if warranted. We will contact parents or alternatives immediately. We may also take the following steps:

  • call the child's physician

  • call for an ambulance

  • have the child taken to University Hospital Emergency room by ambulance.

All expenses incurred in the course of providing medical care shall be the sole responsibility of the child's parent or guardian.

Major Emergencies

Major emergencies include:

  • child not breathing

  • compound fracture

  • hemorrhaging

  • neck or back injury

  • electrical burns

  • poisoning


  1. call 911

  2. nearest qualified staff member to administer first aid

  3. call parents

  4. pull child's folder, present file to arriving medical personnel. This folder will accompany child at all times.

  5. Adult in charge should assist the professionals.

  6. If child is sent to the hospital, adult in charge should

    1. select appropriate staff member to accompany child

    2. telephone hospital, tell them the child is on the way and describe the problem

Minor Emergencies

Minor Emergencies include:

  • fever over 100.5 F

  • diarrhea

  • conjunctivitis

  • ear infections

  • sprains

  • rash

  • vomiting

  • strep throat

  • chicken pox

  • bump/lacerations


  1. apply necessary first aid

  2. evaluate the situation

  3. call parents

  4. disinfect all areas possible

Enrollment/Provisional Enrollment

At the time of enrollment, we require the following:

  • a deposit of one week's tuition per family (to be used as the first weeks tuition)

  • a complete, current health form

  • all our enrollment forms completed and signed

  • the parent handbook agreement signed

  • a one-time, non-refundable registration fee of $35.00

**If you are unable to afford the registration fee and/or unable to pay the first week of tuition at the time of enrollment, please speak with the Director or Co-Director.**

Emergencies and Inclement Weather

In case of an emergency or dangerous situation during operating hours, we will contact the parent or alternate pick-up persons. Two staff members will remain with the children until all are picked up safely. In a real emergency, the staff may take whatever steps necessary to protect the children even it it means moving the children to an emergency shelter. A list of our emergency shelters are available upon request. In the case of extremely severe weather or power failure, the Director or Co-Director may close the center for safety. There will be no tuition credits or reimbursements.

Additional Fees/Late Pick Up

There will be a returned check fee of $25 per check. Money orders will be required after two returned checks.

Tuition/Child Withdrawal/Child Dismissal

Your tuition is due every Thursday for the following week. Please keep in mind that your rate is due weekly, even if your child is out sick, if we are closed for holidays or inclement weather. We will honor one weeks vacation per year after at least 90 days of enrollment and with at least 30 days notice. Please see the Director or Co-Director regarding this. A deposit totaling one weeks tuition is due at the time of enrollment, which is NOT REFUNDED but will be applied to your first weeks tuition. No refund checks will be issued for either prepayment or tuition deposits. Credits will be given only at the Director/Co-Directors discretion. In the case of a rate increase, you will be given at least 30 days notice. There is a late fee of $10 per day charged for tuition not received by Friday at closing. If payment is made Monday, your payment will be accepted only if it includes the late fee. If not paid, late fees will continue to accrue. Therefore, if payment is brought in on Tuesday, that payment must include a $20 late fee. Your payment must be made by drop off on Wednesday or your child may not attend the center until such payment is received. If your child does not attend the center on Thursday or Friday, you may leave payment on the last day your child attends. If your child is sick on Thursday and Friday and payment is received Monday morning, the late fee will be waived. If this payment schedule is not followed, you may be given notice by the Director/Co-Director to terminate your child's enrollment the next day, if necessary. If you wish to withdraw your child from daycare, at least 2 weeks notice is required. If two weeks notice is not given, or if the child leaves care before the final two weeks, tuition is still required.

Helpful Hints

  • Please call if your child is going to be absent or late. Children must arrive by 8:40 if you wish them to have the center breakfast.

  • Please label ALL items from home.

  • Keep us informed on potty training-we would love to help!

  • Please, no candy or soda at the center.

  • Send in a complete, labeled change of clothes (season appropriate).

  • Dress your child for outdoor activities.

  • Parents shall provide diapers, wipes and all lunches. Please be sure all items are clearly labeled.

  • Bright Starts of CNY will provide breakfast and snack. Lunches should be brought in from home and consist of items that can be kept in the child's bag/cubby until lunch time.

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