HAMILTON COUNTY PRE-SCHOOL CENTER

210 S. Pearl Street

McLeansboro, Illinois

Telephone:  643-2328 ext. 2

Learning Begins in the Den

Parent Handbook

Revised:   August 2018

HAMILTON COUNTY PRESCHOOL PERSONNEL                 

 Jeff Fetcho, Superintendent

Christina Epperson, Principal

Secretary

Ingrid Drone

Pre-School Parent Coordinator

Paula Jackson

Prevention Initiative Staff

Janice Crow, Coordinator

Kristin Rodgers

Deidra Traylor

Mental Health Consultant

Jackie Frey

Custodian

Jamie Knight

Brad Tedford

Child Care

Paula Jackson, Director

Sarah Billington, Child Care Staff

Jaycee Devoy, Child Care Staff

Jennifer Devoy, Child Care Staff

Payton Donelson, Child Care Staff

Jodi Holland, Child Care Staff

Aubrie Garrett, Child Care Staff

Morgan Hart, Child Care Staff

Brad Tedford, Child Care Staff

Maude Wheeler, Child Care Staff

Pre-K Staff

Jacquelyn Anselment, Certified Teacher

Cindy Billington, Certified Teacher

Pam Ward, Certified Teacher

Brande Williams, Certified Teacher

Lori Howton, Teacher Assistant

Lea Ann Jones, Teacher Assistant

 Tena Karcher, Teacher Assistant

Bessie Millenbine, Teacher Assistant

Speech-Language Pathologist

Jennifer Irvin

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.                  Services

2.                  Purposes

3.                  Goals

4.                  Licensing

5.                  Statement of Philosophy

6.                  Daily Program

7.                  Conferences

8.                  Behavior Management

9.                  Fees and Payments

10.               Insurance Coverage

11.               Admission, Enrollment and Discharge Policies

                            -Schedule of vacations, hours of operation

-Change of address, phone or information

12.               Arrival and Departure time, location, transportation

13.               Provision for emergency medical care, treatment of illness and accident

-Written consent forms

-Plan for prompt services and immediate notification

14.               Formal Religious Observance

15.               Visits, trips, excursions off premises – permission form

16.               Use of photographs for publicity purposes

17.               Procedures for personal belongings

                           -Toys and food from home

18.              Policy regarding release of personal information

19.               Involvement of Children in Research Policy

20.                     Disaster Procedures

21.                Pest Management

22.                Unsafe Product Information

23.                Prevention Initiative Program

24.                 Transition Plan

1.             HAMILTON COUNTY PRESCHOOL CENTER: PRE-K, CHILD CARE, EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION AND PREVENTION INITIATIVE

           

Hamilton County Preschool Center provides a basic program of well-balanced and constructive activities in the areas of speech and language, pre-reading, math, social, gross motor, fine motor, and self-help skills geared to the age levels and developmental needs of the children.  The inclusive Pre-School program and Child Care day is scheduled to provide a regularity of a routine, a balance of active and quiet play, daily periods of outdoor activity, snack and meal times, and a supervised rest period.  Prevention Initiative personal and group encounters, for children prenatally through age three, provide a variety of learning experiences based on the child’s perspective.  By providing a “come-along-side” approach, we support the parent/child relationship.

The program includes experiences through which children learn about the self, social relationships, and the world in which they live.

 A screening is available during each school year.  Teachers constantly use individual assessments throughout the enrollment period.

2.                  PURPOSES

Hamilton County Preschool Center is a direct result of an opinion poll taken in Hamilton County.  Members of the Hamilton County Human Services Council distributed the opinion poll throughout all schools in Hamilton County.  It was the opinion of the respondents that there was a need for a childcare center within Hamilton County.  The purpose of the program shall be to provide a child care program that will benefit children, parents, and citizens of Hamilton County and surrounding areas.

The Preschool classrooms and the Prevention Initiative program are funded through the Illinois State Board of Education’s Preschool For All grant program.  Children determined eligible for this program must be screened by the preschool staff.

3.                  GOALS

It is the goal that Hamilton County Preschool Center will provide children with experiences in the self, social relationships, and the world in which they live.

I.             For the Child:

A. To provide opportunities with other children in a setting conducive to the development of wholesome social relationships.

B. To provide appropriate play experiences that will contribute to the developmental needs of the child.

C. To provide opportunities for meaningful play that are based on the child’s individual needs, interests, handicaps and abilities, and that will build important foundations for future reading skills, social skills and other academic pursuits.

II.         For the Parents:

A. To provide opportunities to meet with and work with other parents and teachers who have as their common concern the interests and needs of the pre-kindergarten and primary child.

B. To provide care for the child while the parents pursue their own work or other interests.

C. To provide opportunities to grow in the understanding of child development through a planned educational program and by working, under supervision, as a classroom assistant.

III.                For the Community:

A. To help meet the needs of the community for an early childhood education facility.

B. To contribute to the wholesome growth and development of the future citizens of the community.

C. To enhance the role of the Community Service Club as an integral part of the community.

D. To provide a setting where people of various religious and ethnic backgrounds can work together for a common interest.

In addition to the above goals, the Prevention Initiative program provides continuous, intensive and comprehensive child development, parental training and family support services to help families build a strong foundation for learning to prepare children for later school success.  This program will be provided as a free service to all identified families.  We will also provide referrals to appropriate agencies.

4.         LICENSING

The Hamilton County Preschool Center is licensed and inspected by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the State Fire Marshall, and the Public Health Department.

In addition to DCFS licensure, Hamilton County Preschool Center holds accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  NAEYC is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of all young children, with the focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children birth to age eight.  NAEYC Accreditation represents the mark of quality in early childhood education.  To achieve NAEYC Accreditation, early childhood education programs volunteer to be measured against the toughest and most thorough national standards on education, health, and safety. Hamilton County Preschool also holds the ExceleRate Gold Circle of Quality.

0-3 Prevention Initiative Program is a Quality Confirmed Baby TALK Program.

The staff, as well as children, who are enrolled, must have up-to-date physicals with immunizations and TB tests on file before they attend.  Children up to 6 years must have a lead screening.

There shall be no smoking at Hamilton County Preschool Center at any time by the parents or by the staff according to state regulations.

There shall be no firearms at the Hamilton County Preschool Center at any time by the parents or by the staff according to federal and state regulations.

5.                  STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY

Hamilton County Preschool Center philosophy is predicated on the belief that children

·                 grow toward self-reliance and healthy independence

·                 develop positive feelings of self-worth and inner-strength

·                 learn to interact with others, respecting their rights and feelings

·        learn to solve problems and resolve conflicts by expressing their feelings in appropriate ways, and

·                 grow toward physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual maturity....

in an atmosphere of free play, with emphasis on freedom with responsibility, and under the guidance of caring adults who help children learn to make decisions and accept consequences for their actions, as they explore and find joy in learning about the world around them.

Mission Statement

We at Hamilton County Pre-School Center, along with our community, strive to remember that each child is a unique, special gift, and make great efforts to guide children to grow emotionally, academically, physically, and socially to reach their highest potential, and prepare them for future learning.  We believe that a child’s success is our greatest priority.

Hamilton County Preschool Center strives:

To facilitate and foster the growth and development of young children physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually in a happy, safe and nurturing environment that encourages individuality, self discovery, cooperation, inquisitiveness and respect for themselves, others and their surroundings, through developmentally appropriate activities.

To provide support, education and acceptance within our diverse community of parents and staff while inspiring personal fulfillment for all the lives we touch.

Beliefs:

  1. Children first have the need to develop feelings of trust, security and confidence before they are truly free to explore, create and discover.
  2. Children need to develop the social skills critical for positive relationships with others. Engaging and interacting, gaining friendships; and the interpersonal skills of respecting the rights and feelings of others and conflict resolutions.
  3. Children need to feel safe and supported in their learning by caring and nurturing adults.
  4. Activities need to be geared to meet the developmental needs of young children (emotional, social, physical and cognitive) as they grow toward their optimum potential.
  5. Structuring the environment for spontaneous and creative play allows competencies in children to be nurtured and enhanced. This spontaneous learning process allows children to freely explore and discover their expanding world.
  6. Children need to move and play naturally to build up the motor control centers of their brains.
  7. Interactive language is critical for brain development in young children. Children need to talk as well as listen in order to make sense of their world. They also need to be honestly listened to as well. They need to express feelings, organize thoughts and ideas, plan, set goals and resolve problems verbally.
  8. Good stories and literature can provide direction and incentives as a means of inviting children to play, read, create, draw, write, listen and ponder. They can also provide opportunities to integrate learning in all areas of the classroom.
  9. Children need to be actively involved in their learning. We should provide them with opportunities to ask questions, make decisions, search for meaning, be absorbed, engage in conversation, solve problems and resolve their conflicts.
  10. There is a difference between acquiring skills and fostering intellectual growth.

6.                  DAILY SCHEDULE AND ACTIVITY PLAN FOR CHILD CARE PROGRAM

7:00 – 7:30                        Arrival/Free Play

7:30 – 7:45                        Clean-up/Bathroom

7:45 – 8:15                        Breakfast/Snack

8:15 – 8:30                        Breakfast Clean-up

8:30 – 9:00                        Centers

9:00 – 9:30                        Outside/Gross Motor

9:30 – 10:00              Group Activity

10:00 – 10:30             Music (Monday & Thursday)

                                   Stories (Tues., Wed., & Friday)

10:30 – 10:45             Lunch (Toddlers)

10:45 – 11:10             Lunch (3-5)

11:10 – 11:40             Quiet Activities

11:40 – 12:00             Bathroom/Rest Time Preparation

12:00 – 1:00              Rest Time (for those who do not nap)

12:00 – 2:00              Rest Time (for those who nap)

2:00 – 2:30                        Bathrooms/Snack

2:30 – 4:00                        Centers

4:00 – 4:30                        Quiet Activity

4:30 – 5:00                        Outside or Centers

5:00 – 5:30                        Table Activities

*Individual classroom schedules for Preschool For All classrooms are available by request from your child’s classroom teacher.

               

7.                  CONFERENCES

Each parent may have a personal conference with a child’s teacher at any time.  If a parent senses a need for a conference, call the director for an appointment.  Please use time when the teacher is planning and not in direct supervision with the children.  Report any upsetting experiences that you think will help the teacher better understand your child.  The Hamilton County Preschool Center staff will also keep you informed of your child’s progress.  Weekly notes from your child’s teacher will keep you up to date on the activities in which your child participates. Preschool For All staff will schedule at least one home visit with the family of each child enrolled in the Preschool For All program during the school year.

8.                 BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT

Hamilton County Preschool Center has established the following policies for children who are in attendance in any program.

The staff is striving for consistency in handling children properly.  Inservices have been provided to our staff.  It is our belief that positive behaviors will increase when they are reinforced and negative behaviors will decrease when they are not reinforced.

If there is a need for more than these reinforcements, other behavior management methods used are:

1.                   Quiet Time

·         Removal from the area

·         Removal from the room

2.                   Loss of Privilege

Corporal punishment is not used at Hamilton County Pre-School.  Negative behaviors that occur frequently with a child such as hitting, biting, or the endangerment of others or themselves will be handled with quiet time or loss of privileges.

The child is told why the penalty is occurring and it is only imposed when the need arises.  The children are never unsupervised, but are supervised by sight and sound at all times.

POLICY ON BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT

In accordance with Department of Children and Family Services Licensing Standards for Child Care Centers, Section 407.270 states:

a)        The day care center shall develop a guidance and discipline policy for staff use that is also provided to parents.  Staff shall sign the guidance and discipline policy at the time of employment and parents shall sign the policy when their child is enrolled.  The Policy shall include:

1)         A statement of the center’s philosophy regarding guidance and discipline;

2)        Information on how discipline will be implemented by staff;

3)        Information on how parents will be involved in the guidance and discipline process;

4)        Information on how children will be involved in the guidance and discipline process; and

5)        Written procedures for termination of a child’s enrollment in the day care center because of disciplinary issues.

b)        Written rules for all children shall be established and available to children, parents and staff.  These rules shall set the limits of behavior required for the protection of the group and individuals.  The rules shall:

1)        Pertain to important situations;

2)        Be understandable to children;

3)        Be stated in the positive form whenever possible; and

4)        Be enforceable.

c)        Child Care staff shall help individual children develop self-control and assume responsibility for their own actions.

1)        Limits and consequences shall be clear and understandable to the child, consistently enforced and explained to the child before and as part of any disciplinary action.

2)        Firm positive statements about behaviors or redirection of behaviors shall be the accepted techniques for use with infants and toddlers.

3)        Removal from the group to help a child gain control shall not exceed one minute per year of age.  Removal from the group shall not be used for children less than 24 months of age.

4)        Children shall not be disciplined for toilet accidents.

5)        The following behaviors are prohibited in all child care settings:

        a)        Corporal punishment, including hitting, spanking, swatting, beating, shaking, pinching and other measures intended to induce physical pain or fear;               

b)        Threatened or actual withdrawal of food, rest or use of the bathroom;

c)        Abusive or profane language;

d)        Any form of public or private humiliation, including threats of physical punishment; and

e)        Any form of emotional abuse, including shaming, rejecting, terrorizing, or isolating a child.

d)        Preschool and school age children shall have reasonable opportunity to resolve their own conflicts.

e)        Discipline shall be the responsibility of adults who have an ongoing relationship with the child.

f)        When there is a specific plan for responding to a child’s pattern of unacceptable behavior, all staff that affects the child shall be aware of the plan and cooperate in its implementation.

g)        Clinical behavior management plans may be developed to meet the needs of a particular child if developed with the parent and a professional clinician.  This must be documented in the child's file.  All staff working with the child shall receive training on implementing the plan.

9.          FEES AND PAYMENT FOR THE CHILD CARE PROGRAM

The fees for children attending the Child Care Program are as follows:

Ages 2-12 Years                                                   Ages 18-24 Months

8 hours                 $19.00                                          8 hours                 $24.00                              

4 hours                 $10.00                                          4 hours                 $12.00

Hourly                  $  5.00 before/after school

$5.00 for every 15 minutes after 5:30 p.m. that a child is not picked up.             

                                                                           

Lunch price for Child Care students is $2.25.

Breakfast price for Child Care students is $1.25.

Snack price is included in the Child Care fee.

Breakfast is served between 8:00-8:15 for children attending Preschool For All classrooms.

We are not a drop-in child care facility.  We offer a limited amount of slots for each room.  To enroll your child, you are required to sign up for a minimum of 2 days per week.  Your child must attend the days for which he/she is registered.  You will be responsible for paying for slots you have signed up for whether your child attends or not. There will be no fee charged for the dates that the child care is closed.  Parents will also have 2 days a month that may be used for sick time or vacation time that no payment will be expected.

*Fees must be paid in advance.  Payment will be required on the first day your child attends, and payments should be made in full for the week.  The center must be notified by 8:00 a.m. of the date that is going to be used for one of these days or a charge will be enforced.  If the center is not notified you will be charged for the day. Hamilton County Preschool Center retains the right to refuse services at any time for non-payment of fees.  If fees remain unpaid, parents will be subject to legal action.  Checks should be made out to Hamilton County Unit District No. 10.  A receipt will be written for every payment made.

I.D.H.S. PROGRAM

Funding is available through the State of Illinois for reduced fees if parents in the family unit are working or going to school.  To qualify, parents must verify their income or class schedules, sign an application, and pay the weekly fee, which is figured from a state scale.  One fee is charged for the entire family and that fee is based on family size and income level.  This fee must be paid in advance for the child to attend.  It is to your advantage to ask about this program. Check with the director if you need to determine your qualifications.

10.  INSURANCE COVERAGE

Insurance information is available for your children to receive coverage while they are attending Hamilton County Preschool Center.  A flyer containing information about insurance coverage for your child is available in the office.  Sign-up is completed by the parent on the insurance website.  Parents have a choice in whether you decide to take this insurance or not.  We urge you to consider taking this insurance.

11.  ADMISSION TO THE CHILD CARE PROGRAM

Hamilton County Child Care Center will accept all applications for enrollment of children who are 15 months and older.  The Pre-School Center will offer a tour of the facility upon parent’s request.  The parent must fill out necessary forms on the children and have them on file in the facility.  A certified birth certificate, which we must have within 30 days of enrollment or we are required by law to alert the Illinois State Police, copy of the child’s social security card, health physical including a TB test, lead screening, chickenpox vaccination, and a record of immunizations required by law must be on file before children can attend.

Childcare Screenings

HOURS OF OPERATION FOR CHILD CARE

Hamilton County Child Care is open daily Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.   School children will be accepted for child care during hours before and after school.

Children should be picked up no later than 5:30 p.m.  If children are not picked up by 5:30 p.m., a late fee of $5.00 per child will be charged for each 15 minutes that the child is still at the center.  In the event the child is not picked up by 5:30 p.m. the Pre-School personnel will attempt to contact the parent at the phone number listed on the current emergency card.  In the event no contact is made, personnel will then make one call to the emergency number also listed on the current emergency card.  The Preschool staff will keep the child 1 hour beyond the pickup time before contacting outside authorities, such as the child abuse hotline or the police.  It is also noted that staff shall not hold the child responsible for the situation and that discussion of this issue will only be with the parent or guardian and not with the child.  As a reminder to the parents the emergency cards needs to always have up-to-date information.

Child care will be provided Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. All children must be scheduled to attend.

Pre-School Classes and the Prevention Initiative Program will follow the Hamilton County Unit 10 School Calendar.

The Hamilton County Child Care Center will be closed on the following days during the 2017-2018 school year:

Labor Day                                          Monday, September 3, 2018

Columbus Day                                    Monday, October 8, 2018                                 

Thanksgiving                                       Thursday-Friday November 22-23, 2018

Christmas                                           Tuesday, December 25, 2018

New Year’s Day                        Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Martin Luther King Holiday                 Monday, January 21, 2019

President’s Day                                  Monday, February 18, 2019

Good Friday                                      Friday, April 19, 2019

Memorial Day                                         Monday, May 27, 2019

July 4th                                Thursday, July 4, 2019

WITHDRAWALS

If at any time the parent chooses to remove the child from the enrollment at Hamilton County Preschool Center, please notify the director.  Please offer a brief explanation so that we may continue to provide quality services to other families.

CHANGE OF INFORMATION

Parents should notify the director of changes in addresses, phone numbers, places of business, or any other information, which appears on the children’s forms.  It is important that our files remain up-to-date.

FORMS NEEDED FOR ENROLLMENT

Parents will receive several forms and one handbook when enrolling each child.  The forms are to obtain information and consents.  These forms will be updated once a year.  A physical form will also need to be completed. A completed dental form is highly recommended for the 3-5 Preschool classes.  A certified health official must fill out the forms along with the parent completing parts of the form.  Both physical and dental forms are good for only two years from the date of examination.  At that time, it will be necessary for the parent to see that new forms are completed and on file.  A certified birth certificate will be required within 30 days of enrollment or we are required by law to alert the Illinois State Police before.  The Illinois State Board of Education requires that programs must document family income to determine eligibility for Preschool For All services. Any one of the following forms of income can be used as evidence: pay stubs (two most recent and consecutive, proof of WIC benefit, proof of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit, proof of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) enrollment, proof of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, proof fanily receives Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), tax return (most recent), wages and tax statement (most recent W-2), verification/letter from employer, proof that parent is enrolled in Medicaid (a medical card with the child’s name does not prove income eligibility), signed written statement from the family. Services will be refused for a child who does not have the appropriate forms on file.

Each family when enrolling your child for care must receive a packet of information.  You will be required to sign a form stating that you have received this packet.

Prevention Initiative parents must complete all necessary forms.  These forms will be updated yearly.  A copy of a certified birth certificate, Social Security Card and immunization record are needed to complete enrollment.

12.  ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

To check your child into Hamilton County Child Care, the parent must escort the child into the building to the receiving desk and record the child’s name and time of arrival on the SIGN-IN sheet.  Make sure that a staff member is aware that your child is present.  Always say goodbye to the child and let him know who will pick him up.  Even if there are tears, do not prolong the farewell.  Remember some children will cry, but when the parents remain consistent, a child will soon quit crying and become adjusted to the program.  The staff has been trained to handle these situations.

To check your child out of Hamilton County Child Care, please notify staff that you are taking the child so that the staff may assist you and the child in preparing to leave.  Record the child’s name and time on the SIGN-Out sheet.  Always check the child’s box for any work or belongings that need to be taken home.  Please be sure to make prior arrangements with your child’s school and with our staff if we are to be responsible for your child at that time.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation is available if the child is enrolled in Hamilton County Preschool classes and is 3 years old.  The student may use transportation arriving and departing from the Pre-School and other attendance centers if the child lives on an established route and arranged prior to attending.  Transportation is only available to Child Care students for special events and field trips during the school year.

13.         PROVISION FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE

Children should not attend Hamilton County Preschool Center programs when they are obviously uncomfortable with an illness.  Such cases are when his temperature is over 99.6 degrees or when the child has contagious diseases.  If your child has vomiting or diarrhea, please keep him at home for 24 hours after symptoms subside.  If he begins these symptoms while attending any program, you will be called to come and get your child immediately and your child cannot return to the center for a minimum of 24 hours after the symptoms subside.  The staff will provide a written notice if children have been exposed to an illness that may be contagious.

The Hamilton County Preschool Center has a no nit lice policy.  If a child has head lice the parent/guardian is responsible for transporting the child to the center for 10 school days in order for the child’s head to be checked.  The child must be checked by a Preschool Staff member and be nit free in order to attend that day.

Only those medications that are necessary to maintain the child in school and must be given during school hours shall be administered.  A program of administration of medications to children in schools has been developed by the local School Board (Policy JGCD, Medication Policy, is published in the school calendar on page 5).

All medications, including non-prescription drugs, given in school shall be prescribed by a licensed prescriber on an individual basis as determined by the child’s health status.  This excludes standing orders.  Our district does not use standing orders.  A written order to prescription and non-prescription medications must be obtained from the child’s licensed prescriber. This order includes:

Child’s Name

Date of Birth

Licensed prescriber and signature

Licensed prescriber phone/emergency number

Name of medication:

               -dosage

               -route of administration

               -frequency and time of administration

Date of prescription

Date of order

Discontinuation date

Diagnosis requiring medication

Other medication child is receiving

Time interval for re-evaluation

Medication must be brought to the school in the original package or an appropriately labeled container.  Medication must be measured before sending to school and sent in individual doses for each dose to be administered.

1)                  Prescription medications shall display:

child’s name

prescription number

medication name and dosage

administration route and/or other directions

date and refill

licensed prescriber’s name

pharmacy name, address, and phone number

name or initials of pharmacist

Over the counter medications (non-prescription) shall be brought in with the manufacturer’s original label with the ingredients listed and child’s name affixed to the container.  This medication must also be in individual doses.

In addition to the licensed prescriber’s order, a written request shall be obtained from the parent/guardian requesting the medication be given during school hours.  The request must include the parent/guardian’s name and phone number in case of emergency.  It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to assure that the licensed prescriber’s order, written request, and medication are brought to school.

The school nurse should be notified before medication is to be given in school by the parent, so an individual schedule can be established for the student.

Written consent forms must be on file informing the staff of who to contact in case of a medical emergency.  The parent will first be contacted by phone at home or work to inform him of the need and to get his permission, if necessary, to take the child for emergency medical care at the nearest emergency room, and unless on a field trip that would Hamilton Memorial Hospital.  If the parent cannot be contacted or is unavailable to come, the child will be transported by ambulance at the expense of the parent to Hamilton Memorial Hospital.  It will be the parent’s responsibility to reimburse the Preschool for any expenses incurred as a result of emergency procedures.  If a minor accident occurs, the child will receive first aid at the Preschool.  The parent will be notified of the treatment.  If the parent is contacted, he should make every effort to come to take the child for emergency care.  Provisions for insurance coverage can be made through Hamilton County Unit District No. 10

In case of illness, the child will be taken to the Director’s office where he will be placed in supervised isolation until the parents are notified and can pick the child up.

14.           FORMAL RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE

Hamilton County Child Care will observe traditional holidays.  If the parents have a reason for the child not to participate in activities centered around these holidays, the parent should make that information known to the Director.

A child may celebrate his birthday at Hamilton County Preschool Center.  Please do not send gifts.  No candy should be sent as a favor or snack.  Public Health and D.C. F. S. restrictions forbid us to accept any home-prepared items for serving to our children.  Other items for favors can be sent for the children.  Contact the teacher/director for an approximate number to be sent.

15.         VISITS, TRIPS, EXCURSIONS OFF PREMISES – PERMISSION FORM

Hamilton County Preschool Center programs will arrange occasional trips or excursions for the children to prepare them for areas outside the center.  The parents’ cooperation is important in supporting the staff on the trips.  Some parents may want to volunteer to supervise special trips.  Consent forms, which parents have been requested to sign upon the child’s enrollment, are kept on file.

During school time, a bus may be used for transportation.  Most times, we will walk on our excursions.  Children who are not enrolled in a school program and are in attendance at Hamilton County Preschool Center may only ride buses home if they are three years or older.

16.           USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS FOR PUBLICITY PURPOSES

Parents are requested to sign a permission slip in the event that pictures are taken of school activities while the children are present.  Those consent forms are kept on file when the child is first enrolled.

17.      PROCEDURES FOR PERSONAL BELONGINGS

The parents must be responsible for an extra change of clothing including underwear, socks, shoes, shirt, and pants or dress.  Hamilton County Preschool Center cannot be responsible for lost articles.  Please be sure that items are marked so that they can be kept in your child’s box.  It might be helpful to put the clothing in a bag with your child’s name on it.  The bag would be left in your child’s box.  Because children are involved in many activities at the Pre-School Center, it is important that parents dress their children in clothing which is comfortable and also encourage participation in activities.  Play clothes and tennis shoes are good suggestions.  Dress clothes, which could be easily soiled or ruined, should be excluded.  During months where inclement weather is possible, proper clothing such as raincoats, boots, mittens, hats, and snowsuits should be sent.

TOYS FROM HOME

Hamilton County Preschool Center encourages parents to avoid sending toys from home with your children, if you or your children are concerned about them becoming lost or broken.  Only toys that can be easily replaced if they are lost or broken are suggested.  If children bring toys from home, please help the staff by talking with your children about the need for sharing with other boys and girls.  The children can play with their toys at particular times of the day.  Otherwise, the toys should remain in the child’s box.  Children will not be allowed to bring toy weapons to the Hamilton County Preschool Center.

FOOD FROM HOME

Please do not send candies or other food items from home.  Lunch will be provided by the Pre-School Center.  Sack lunches are not to be sent due to D.C.F.S. regulations.  If a picnic is planned, parents will be contacted.  Breakfast is available during the school calendar year and may be provided at an additional expense.

18.           POLICY REGARDING RELEASE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION ON THE CHILD

Hamilton County Preschool Center will follow Hamilton County Unit District

No. 10 policy concerning student records as outlined in the Policy Handbook for Student Records Maintenance.  Upon exiting the Prevention Initiative Program to the Preschool Program or when the child is Kindergarten age eligible, the child’s directory information will be given to the appropriate Unit 10 personnel.

CONFIDENTIALITY RELEASE FORMS

Confidentiality release forms used by Hamilton County Unit District No.10, McLeansboro, Illinois, will also be used by Hamilton County Preschool programs.

19.           INVOLVEMENT OF CHILDREN IN RESEARCH

Hamilton County Preschool Day Child Care, its staff, or students are not presently involved in any research projects.  If at sometime in the future the possibility arises, parents will be informed before it is implemented.

20.        DISASTER PROCEDURES

In the event of a disaster:

1.        Building will be evacuated to the designated emergency site.  No child will be dismissed from the site unless the parent or designee is listed on the child’s pick-up form.  Please do not call the center; we must have the lines open for emergency calls.

2.        We are prepared to care for your children in times of critical situations.  If you are not able to reach the center, we will care for your child here.  We have a number of people with first aid certificates, and we will be in communication with various local emergency services.

21.           PEST MANAGEMENT

Our pest management policy is located in the yellow binder in the Preschool Office.

22.           UNSAFE PRODUCT INFORMATION                                                                                                 

Staff routinely check toy recall information at the website cpsc.gov and make  adjustments to our materials as needed.

23.        PREVENTION INITIATIVE PROGRAM

The Prevention Initiative Program (PI) is funded through Illinois State Board of Education. The PI Program is a free home visiting program for children prenatal to age three. Families that qualify through a screening process can choose to participate in bi-weekly personal encounters or group encounters each week at the old high school lobby.

The PI program provides support, information, and encouragement to families to help their child develop at the most crucial time of their life. Through personal encounters, our program provides early, continuous, and comprehensive child development information and family support services to help families build a strong foundation for learning to prepare children for later school success. Each Friday a group is offered. Parents gather with their children at the old high school lobby and have the opportunity to play together. Play Group gives the children an opportunity to explore our art materials; play with a wide variety of toys, and experience stories and a snack. Let’s Move offered in the Lobby gives the children a chance to sing and dance, and become exposed to a variety of musical instruments. Explore Group will explore the community. During the time together we will explore the community and read stories and complete art projects. Social Hour gives the children another opportunity for play interaction. This will give parents/caregivers time to enjoy the support of group discussions about the joys and challenges of life with infants and toddlers. Social Group gathering will vary in the county.

Family Fun Days/Nights will be held monthly. These will be planned activities for families to have fun while learning and interacting. Parents of infants and toddlers face many of the same challenges and appreciate support and encouragement of others that have met those challenges successfully. Parenting Time will meet monthly.  This will offer families an opportunity to discuss a variety of parenting information, such as toilet training, child guidance and discipline, nutrition, etc. This allows caregivers to be involved in a support group and provides them with important child development information. A monthly calendar is provided to our families to keep them informed of activities that are planned within the program. Parenting and child development information is also available through our lending library for families.

24.        TRANSITION PLAN

Transition from Early Intervention to Preschool

Prior to 30 months of age, with parental consent, the referring agency will provide the school with a referral letter and the request for preschool services.  In cases where a child’s third birthday falls between April 1 and September 1, the referring agency shall make a referral no later than March 1 of that calendar year.

The referring agency will also obtain parental consent to release the most recent Individual Family Service Plan, the assessment summary, and developmental assessments completed at or near 30 months. Related service evaluations performed by the referring agency and any other information generated by the referring agency that the parent wishes to include will also be forwarded.

To insure informed consent, parent and guardians will have an opportunity to review what exactly will be shared with the preschool.  This will be communicated to parents in their primary language.

The goal of transitioning a family into or out of PI program is to provide smooth and continuous services for the family. A Domain meeting which includes a member of the preschool, parents, and early intervention providers will review the information. The purpose of the meeting is to determine if the child is in need of additional assessments as part of the case study evaluation. The receiving agency will then obtain the informed consent from the parent to conduct the assessments for the Case Study Evaluation.

After the assessment if completed, the team will meet again to review the assessment results and develop an Individualized Education Plan to address the child’s needs. The child will begin receiving services listed in his/her IEP in the Early Childhood Special Education on the date of his/her third birthday.  If deemed appropriate by the IEP team and if a spot becomes available in the Preschool For All classroom, the child will be placed in either a morning or afternoon classroom and will continue to receive special education services in the Early Childhood Special Education classroom for the remainder of the day.  Staff who are directly involved in the child’s educational programming will coordinate services to ensure all needs are being met.

Transition from Prevention Initiative to Preschool

Transitioning a child/ family into PI program, may look like this, but is not limited to, the following:

As a child/family transitions from PI program, transition planning will occur. Transition planning may look like this, but is not limited to, the following:

*The home visitor and the family will explore and discuss pre-school options.

*Transitional Form will be completed with the family.

*Home Visitor will assist the family in putting the child’s name on the next screening date

*PI Coordinator will complete the 3-5 Eligible form for the child and send it to the Principal of the Hamilton County Pre-School.

*PI Coordinator will give the Hamilton County Pre-School a brief history in writing of the

child’s accomplishments and needs.

* The family will complete the required ISBE exiting and PI program’s exit paperwork.

Transitioning to another Preschool program

If a child should happen to move to another preschool program, Hamilton County Preschool will forward records to the child’s new school after receiving a Request for Records from the requesting school.  Hamilton County Preschool Personnel will communicate with the child’s new school/teachers.

Transitioning to Kindergarten

It is believed that Hamilton County Preschool Center provides a unique service to the community not only in the quality scientifically-based educational programming provided by certified teachers and teacher aides, but also through the seamless transition process from entering preschool to exiting to kindergarten.  Because our program is under the auspices of Hamilton County Community Unit District 10, our staff is able to provide a continuous educational experience for those children who are most at-risk for academic failure.  

        During all of the family and child experiences with the preschool program, a continued focus will be preparing the child and family for a positive experience of entering kindergarten.  Activities are planned that encourage families to come to school functions.  The importance of the teacher/parent relationship is a priority is considered a priority.  Information is shared with parents about the kindergarten programs.  Parents are provided with notices of events and encouraged to attend district-wide activities.  Special events and performances are available for preschool children and families to attend during the school year.  Information about summer activities is sent home with each preschool student.

Kindergarten teachers, as well as special education staff, if appropriate, are invited to participate with preschool teachers and parents in the End-of-Year conferences.  Each parent will be able to meet and hear about the upcoming year.  Copies of needed medical records of preschool students are reviewed and housed by the school nurse for pre-registration for kindergarten.  Names of eligible students are provided to each of the elementary school in the district.  Preschool teachers also make personal contacts with parents that fail to register their children for kindergarten during the registration period.