Parent Handbook

Program Statement:

Welcome to Bronte Harbour Nursery School…where every single child is valued, supported, encouraged and treasured.

We are committed to providing a high-quality program that supports children’s development, learning, health and well-being. Our exceptional staff are caring, responsive educators. We are known for the positive, genuine relationships that we nurture between our staff, the children and the families of Bronte Harbour. We believe that these relationships are the cornerstone to an exceptional learning journey.

As part of our dedication to providing the best care and learning experiences for your child, we have been active participants in good standing with Halton’s Quality First initiative since 2010.

Our programs are guided by the document How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years, 2014. The document is organized around 4 foundational conditions that are important for a child to grow and flourish. The 4 foundations (pages 7 and 8 of HDLH) are:

Belonging refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual’s experiences of being valued, of forming relationships with others and making contributions as part of a group, a community, the natural world.

Well-being addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation skills.

Engagement suggests a state of being involved and focused. When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged. Through this type of play and inquiry, they develop skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and innovating, which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond.

Expression or communication (to be heard, as well as to listen) may take many different forms. Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication. Opportunities to explore materials support creativity, problem solving, and mathematical behaviours. Language-rich environments support growing communication skills, which are foundational for literacy.

These conditions apply to every child regardless of age, ability, culture, language, geography or setting.

Our Goals:
• Our staff will promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of each child by providing a clean, safe healthy environment. We provide daily snacks based on Canada’s Food Guide, and provide access to drinking water at all times. We limit transitions and provide a predictable routine to support the developing self-esteem and confidence in each child. Staff will be familiar with all information pertaining to any medical conditions, special needs, allergies, food restrictions and special instructions from parents regarding diet and exercise.

• Our staff will support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, child-care providers and community partners. This is achieved by ensuring that our team of educators is made up of only professional, well-trained, responsive and caring individuals who recognize and support parents as primary caregivers, and understand the importance of building positive relationships in order to foster a sense of belonging for everyone; adults and children alike. We will ensure that all parents are directed to resources outside of the center if necessary or requested. Recognizing that local community partners (such as Halton Region) are a valuable asset, we are committed to working in cooperation with them as they support the children, their families, and our staff.

• We believe that all children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. We will ensure that they are encouraged to interact and communicate in a positive way, and that their growing ability to self-regulate (recognized as an ability to control or manage powerful emotions, deal effectively with stress and being able to recover from it) is supported. By being responsive and attuned to each child’s individual needs, we can encourage the healthy development of a child’s sense of well-being.

• We will foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry by providing an environment rich in variety and content, and one that encourages active play and choices. We will offer engaging, interesting learning spaces where the children’s interests are reflected and their explorations are invited, supported and encouraged. We will maintain our environment to ensure that toys and equipment are accessible to all, and where adaptations are made as needed. We will provide both child-initiated and adult-supported experiences. Our educators will introduce ideas, concepts, materials and experiences to support each child’s growing knowledge, at a level that suits their individual learning and development.

• Children will engage in both active and quieter play daily. Participation is based on children’s needs, parental directions, and program requirements. Our classrooms have protected play spaces for individual/small group activities (ex. tables for 2, protected block building areas) and cozy areas for rest and relaxation, as well as open play areas for larger groups. We also go to the gymnasium every day where there is plenty of room for active play.

• Ongoing communication with parents is a vital part of our program and is encouraged. We welcome all parent input, with particular focus on the importance of information shared about their children. The staff, in turn, will also provide feedback to the parents on an ongoing basis. The communications may be in person, by phone or email, or via our website or other posted communications. Each school year, parents are invited to fill in our Parent Feedback Form (usually distributed in late March). Open communication is a key component of the positive and responsive interactions we build with the parents.

• Bronte Harbour Nursery School requires all staff to participate in ongoing professional learning opportunities. At a minimum, each staff member must participate in the prescribed number of Professional Development hours required by the current Level of Quality First. Additional learning over and above the Quality First minimum is encouraged, and supported by the organization.

• Bronte Harbour Nursery School is committed to providing a high-quality, play-based learning experience, in a physically and emotionally healthy, safe environment, for every child enrolled. To this end, we will document, discuss and reflect on the impact the above strategies have on the children and their families. As reflective practitioners, we will review and adjust our practice as necessary to ensure that the goals, approaches and strategies are implemented at all times.

Our program statement uses references and information from
“How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years, 2014”

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Who we are:
Bronte Harbour Nursery School is a non-profit organization, licensed by the Ministry of Education. We are active participants in good standing with Halton’s Quality First initiative, and have been since 2010. We are licensed to provide care for children aged 18 months to 5 years of age, and our licensed capacity is 34 children. Our Preschool class can have a maximum of 24 children, with 3 teachers, and our Toddler class can have a maximum of 10 children, with 2 teachers.

Our team is made up of an outstanding group of experienced, professional, caring individuals who have made providing quality childcare their passion. We have an exceptionally low staff turnover, which is just another indication of our teachers’ dedication to their practice.

Ages served, Program hours:
Bronte Harbour Nursery School provides outstanding play-based programs for children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years of age. Our classes run from September to June each year.

Our Toddler (18 months-2.5 years of age) and Preschool (2 ½ to 5 years of age) programs run Monday through Friday mornings, from 9:00am-11:30am., and are offered 2 mornings a week (Tues./Thurs.), 3 mornings a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) or 5 mornings a week. Depending on availability, there is some flexibility to the days you choose. Please speak to the Executive Director if you require a different selection of days.

Parent Communications:
We are always available to discuss your child’s progress, or answer any questions you may have. Should you have questions or concerns, we will make every attempt to meet with you at your earliest convenience. Our Parent Issues and Concerns policy and Procedures can be found at the end of the Parent Handbook.

We will keep you informed of Bronte Harbour happenings through our online newsletter, online calendar, our Facebook page, and on the parent information bulletin boards and whiteboards. We encourage you to read the newsletter each month and to check the information boards, as they contain important information and dates with respect to Bronte Harbour activities. Your child will also have their own folder, where we will send home notices, artwork and the like. Be sure to empty your child’s folder regularly.
Part of what makes Bronte Harbour so special is the open, genuine relationships we nurture with the families and children of Bronte Harbour. Welcome to our family!

Statutory Closures and holidays:
The Nursery School will be closed for all statutory holidays, including Easter Monday. In addition, we will be closed during the school holidays in December (2 weeks) and March (1 week). Please note: your monthly instalment fee does not change for holidays, illness, vacations or any other absences.
We are open on all PA days.

Storm Closures:
Extreme weather conditions (i.e. Snowstorms) may result in the school being closed for the day. If the Halton School Board closes schools for the day, then we are also closed. If the Halton School Board cancels their school bus transportation for their students, then the Executive Director will make the decision as to whether Bronte Harbour will open or close for the day. The Executive Director will make the decision that best protects the safety and well being of the families and staff of Bronte Harbour Nursery School. Please note: there is no fee reduction for the missed program day should a storm closure occur. *Closures of the Nursery School will be announced in the outgoing voicemail message by 8:00am, so be sure to call the school at 905-465-3508 if in doubt.

Emergencies, Safety Issues:
We have established Emergency Management Policies and Procedures to assist the staff in dealing with various emergency situations. To view the complete policy, please see Mrs. T to view it in center.

Registration and payments:
Registration for September for new families begins each year on February 1st.
To register your child for one of our programs, you will be required to complete and return the registration package (available in center).

Registration Fee:
This fee must be submitted with the completed registration forms. Registration fees are as follows:
*if you register your child for the upcoming school year between Feb.1 and July 1, we offer a reduced registration fee of $50.00
*if you register your child after July 1, the registration fee is $75.00
Please note: registration fees are non-refundable.

Program Fees:
Our program fees are calculated on an annual basis, and for your convenience, are divided into 10 equal monthly instalments.
When registering your child for September, your first instalment fee is to be paid by post-dated cheque dated JULY 1 of that year. This fee is non-returnable/non-refundable after JUNE 1, in keeping with our withdrawal policy that requires one month’s notice of intent to withdraw.

Any enrolment that takes place after June 1st requires your September (or first month, if not starting in September) instalment fee to be paid immediately, and is non-refundable.
Post-dated cheques for the remaining monthly payments from October 1-June 1 must be received with your registration forms.

Cheques are made payable to BRONTE HARBOUR NURSERY SCHOOL INC.
*Families that already have a child or children enrolled at Bronte Harbour Nursery School prior to February 1st each year have the option to register for the upcoming school year during the month of January, before the enrolment opens to the public on February 1st. The same registration policy as above applies. For cheques returned by the bank, for NSF or any other reason, the full fee must be repaid immediately along with a $25.00 processing fee. Two NSF cheques may result in a certified cheque only fee payment arrangement.
Monthly Instalment Fees for September 2017-June 2018:
TODDLER CLASS (18 MONTHS – 30 MONTHS)
5 DAYS PER WEEK (M-F) $450.00
3 DAYS PER WEEK (M/W/F) $315.00
2 DAYS PER WEEK (T/TH) $265.00

PRESCHOOL CLASS (30 MONTHS – 5 YEARS)
5 DAYS PER WEEK (M-F) $440.00
3 DAYS PER WEEK (M/W/F) $300.00
2 DAYS PER WEEK (T/TH) $250.00

AFTERNOON PRESCHOOL CLASS (30 MONTHS – 5 YEARS)*
2 DAYS PER WEEK (T/TH) $250.00
*This program is offered when the demand for spaces is sufficient. If you are interested in the Afternoon program, please speak to the Executive Director.

Withdrawal from programs:
If you wish to withdraw your child, we require one month’s written notice in advance of your withdrawal. As fees are paid on the 1st of each month, notice to withdraw must be given NO LATER than the 1st of the month BEFORE you wish to withdraw. For example, should you wish to withdraw your child for February, you must give written notice NO LATER than January 1st. You are responsible for the fees for this one-month notice period. We do not refund partial months. Re-enrolment within the same school year is not permitted.

Information Changes:
Please advise the center immediately of any changes to your contact information, list of persons to whom your child can be released, or children’s health issues. It is imperative that our records remain current and accurate. In the event on an emergency, we MUST be able to reach you. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child’s information is kept accurate and up to date.

Immunizations:
Your child must be immunized to attend our program unless they have a valid exemption. For information on what immunizations are necessary, please contact your doctor or Halton Region’s Public Health Department (dial 311, or 905-825-6000).

Our registration package contains the Statement of Immunization for Entry into Child Care, however, if your child is not immunized for either medical, conscience or religious beliefs, please see the Executive Director, or go online to Halton Region’s website (search: Vaccine Exemption) to obtain the appropriate form: the Statement of Medical Exemption or Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit. Instructions on the completion and notarizing of these forms can be found online as well, on the same page as the forms. In the event that your child is not immunized, and an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease occurs, your child will be excluded from attending the program for the duration of the outbreak.

Illness:
The health of your children is very important to us. Signs and symptoms of illness that would require you to keep your child home include, but are not limited to, the following:
• A fever within the previous 24 hours
• A contagious disease (i.e. measles)
• Diarrhea within the previous 24 hours
• Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
• Coughing or sneezing spells that may result in the transfer of infectious germs
• Any flu-like symptoms
• Fatigue or illness that would prevent or interfere with full participation in the program.

Should your child become ill while in attendance at the school, we will contact you immediately to pick your child up.

Special Events and Field Trips:
Throughout our school year, we may arrange special events or outings for the children and families. You will be notified well in advance of such events, and specific details will follow at that time. Due to the inherent risks and difficulty in maintaining adequate supervision in locations off-site, or out of our licensed classrooms, parents will accompany their child at all times during one of these events.

Prohibited Practices:
In keeping with providing a safe and positive environment for all children, Bronte Harbour Nursery School prohibits:
• Corporal punishment of a child;
• Physical restraint of the child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purposes of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose or preventing a child from hurting himself, herself or someone else, and is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent;
• Locking the exits of the center for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision;
• Use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
• Depriving a child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
• Inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will
(Ontario Regulation 137/15, Section 48; the preceding prohibited practices are prohibited in EVERY licensed child care center)
The commission of any of the above prohibited practices may result in the immediate dismissal of the staff, student or volunteer.

Students/Volunteers:
While we rarely have students or volunteers doing placements in our classrooms, please be advised that AT NO TIME will a student or volunteer be unsupervised while in our classrooms, and they are never permitted to be alone with a child or children. To view the complete Student/Volunteer Policy, please speak with Mrs. T to view it in center.

Waitlist:
Our program spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event that a program is full, we do not maintain a waitlist, but welcome you to check in at a later date to see if a space has become available.

Parent Handbook Last Update: August 2017

 

 

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PARENT ISSUES AND CONCERNS POLICY AND PROCEDURES:

At Bronte Harbour Nursery School, as supported by our Program Statement, we encourage and support open, positive interactions among parents/guardians, children and staff alike. We foster the engagement of and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children. As always, we are available to engage parents in conversations and support a positive experience during every interaction.

Should a parent/guardian have an issue or concern, we encourage bringing it to the attention of the classroom staff or the Executive Director.

All concerns/issues will be taken seriously and will be addressed. Every effort will be made to address and resolve issues and concerns to the satisfaction of all parties and as quickly as possible. Issues and concerns may be brought forward verbally or in writing. Reponses and outcomes will be provided verbally, or in writing upon request. The level of detail provided to the parent/guardian will respect and maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved.

An initial response to an issue or concern will be provided as soon as possible, and every effort will be made to provide same within 3 (three) business days. Investigations of issues and concerns will be fair, impartial and respectful to parties involved.

Issues and concerns will be treated confidentially and every effort will be made to protect the privacy of individuals involved, except when information must be disclosed for legal reasons. (e.g to the Ministry of Education, a Children’s Aid Society, College of Early Childhood Educators)

Our center maintains high standards for positive interactions, communications and role-modelling for children. Harassment and discrimination will therefore not be tolerated from any party. At any time, should an individual feel uncomfortable, threatened, abused or belittled, they may immediately end the conversation and report the situation to the Executive Director.

CONCERN ABOUT SUSPECTED ABUSE OR NEGLECT OF A CHILD:

Everyone, including members of the public and professionals who work closely with children, is required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
If a parent/guardian expresses concern that a child is being abused or neglected, they will be advised to contact the local Children’s Aid Society (CAS) directly @ 905-333-4441
Persons who become aware of such concerns are also responsible for reporting this information to CAS per the “duty to report” requirement under the Child and Family Services Act. For further information, the centre has copies of the pamphlet “Reporting child abuse and neglect – It’s your duty” available to anyone who would like a copy, or you can visit the Halton Children’s Aid website: www.haltoncas.ca
Procedures:

Steps for Parents/Guardians:
Should a parent/guardian have an issue or concern, they will raise the issue/concern to the classroom staff directly or to the Executive Director. If necessary, the concern can also be raised to the Board of Directors.

Steps for Staff and/or Executive Director:
Upon being made aware of an issue/concern, the classroom staff and/or Executive Director will address the issue/concern at the time it is raised, or arrange for a meeting with the parent/guardian within 3 (three) business days.
Classroom staff and/or Executive Director will document the issues/concerns in detail, including the date and time received, the name of the person who received the issue/concern, the name of the person reporting the issue/concern, the details of the issue/concern, and any steps taken to resolve the issue/concern and/or information given to the parent/guardian regarding next steps or referral as applicable.
Contact information will be provided if the person being notified is unable to address the matter.
Ensure the investigation is initiated by the appropriate person within 3 (three) business days, or as soon as is reasonably possible thereafter. Reasons for delays will be documented.
Provide a resolution or outcome to the parent/guardian who raised the issue/concern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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