HAMILTON COUNTY PRE-SCHOOL CENTER
210 S. Pearl Street
Telephone: 643-2328 ext. 2
Learning Begins in the Den
Revised: August 2020
HAMILTON COUNTY PRESCHOOL PERSONNEL
Jeff Fetcho, Superintendent
Christina Epperson, Principal
Pre-School Parent Coordinator
Prevention Initiative Staff
Janice Crow, Coordinator
Mental Health Consultant
Stephanie Becker, Child Care Staff
Alexis Robertson, Child Care Staff
Jaycee Devoy, Child Care Staff
Payton Donelson, Child Care Staff
Jevin Shreve, Child Care Staff
Taylie Payne, Child Care Staff
Brad Tedford, Child Care Staff
Sarah Kaufman, Child Care Staff
Madison Vineyard, Child Care Staff
Kristin Rodgers, Certified Teacher
Alison Burke, Certified Teacher
Pam Ward, Certified Teacher
Brande Williams, Certified Teacher
Lori Howton, Teacher Assistant
Lea Ann Jones,, Teacher Assistant
Bessie Millenbine, Teacher Assistant
Maggie Abbott, Teacher Assistant
Stacey Little, Extraordinary Aide
Alisha Carmicke, Extraordinary Aide
Kim Kaufman, Extraordinary Aide
TABLE OF CONTENTS
5. Statement of Philosophy
6. Daily Program
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. Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
24. Prevention Initiative Program
25. 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, cognitive, social-emotional, 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. The program shall include experiences through which the children learn about the self, social relationships, and the world in which they live.
Our Prevention Initiative program offers personal and group encounters, for children prenatally through age three, providing 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.
Screenings for children ages birth - 5 are available during each school year. Teachers constantly use individual assessments throughout the enrollment period.
The curriculum which is employed at the Hamilton County Preschool Center for all classrooms is the scientifically-based Creative Curriculum. This curriculum provides an ongoing assessment (Teaching Strategies GOLD) of children’s progress and employs a coherent focus for planning the children’s experiences both at school and home. The Creative Curriculum addresses teachers’ need to know what to teach and why to teach it, and how children learn best. With this curriculum, teachers can respond to the individual needs and learning styles of all of their children. Creative Curriculum is inclusive of all children-those developing typically, children with disabilities, and English language learners. This curriculum specifies the literacy, math, science, social studies, art, and technology content to be taught, based on published standards. It relates directly to the subject area curricula used in elementary schools, so children’s learning at Hamilton County Preschool Center forms the basis of all of the learning that will follow.
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.
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.
The Hamilton County Preschool Center is licensed and inspected by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the State Fire Marshal, and the Public Health Department.
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.
Vehicles are restricted from idling while in the Preschool parking areas (except if vehicles need to idle in extreme heat or cold to maintain interior or engine temperatures).
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.
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.
The program promotes positive relationships among all children and adults to encourage each child’s sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community and to foster each child’s ability to contribute as a responsible community member.
Rationale: Positive relationships are essential for the development of personal responsibility, capacity for self-regulation, for constructive interactions with others, and for fostering academic functioning and mastery. Warm, sensitive, and responsive interactions help children develop a secure, positive sense of self and encourage them to respect and cooperate with others. Positive relationships also help children gain the benefits of instructional experiences and resources. Children who see themselves as highly valued are more likely to feel secure, thrive physically, get along with others, learn well, and feel part of a community.
The program implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive.
Rationale: A curriculum that draws on research assists teachers in identifying important
concepts and skills as well as effective methods for fostering children’s learning and
development. When informed by teachers’ knowledge of individual children, a well-articulated curriculum guides teachers so they can provide children with experiences that foster growth across a broad range of developmental and content areas. A curriculum also helps ensure that the teacher is intentional in planning a daily schedule that (a) maximizes children’s learning through effective use of time, materials used for play, self-initiated learning, and creative expression as well as (b) offers opportunities for children to learn individually and in groups according to their developmental needs and interests.
The program uses developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in the context of the program’s curriculum goals.
Rationale: Teaching staff who purposefully use multiple instructional approaches optimize children’s opportunities for learning. These approaches include strategies that range from structured to unstructured and from adult directed to child directed. Children bring to learning environments different backgrounds, interests, experiences, learning styles, needs, and capacities. Teachers’ consideration of these differences when selecting and implementing instructional approaches helps all children succeed. Instructional approaches also differ in their effectiveness for teaching different elements of curriculum and learning. For a program to address the complexity inherent in any teaching- learning situation, it must use a variety of effective instructional approaches. In classrooms and groups that include teacher assistants or teacher aides and specialized teaching and support staff, the expectation is that these teaching staff work as a team. Whether one teacher works alone or whether a team works together,
the instructional approach creates a teaching environment that supports children’s positive learning and development across all areas.
4. Assessment of Child Progress Plan
Hamilton County Preschool is informed by ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessment approaches to provide information on children’s learning and development. Children are assessed by familiar staff both individually and in groups, in their natural play setting, throughout the year. These assessments occur within the context of reciprocal communications with families and with sensitivity to the cultural contexts in which children develop. Assessment results are not only used to benefit children by informing sound decisions about children and teaching, but also to target possible areas of professional development for staff, improve our center’s instructional practices, and plan for distribution of our program’s resources. Written assessment results are provided to parents three times per year in the form of report cards (Teaching Strategies GOLD). In November of each year, Hamilton County Preschool holds Parent-Teacher Conferences. Staff meet with parents to discuss their child’s assessments and overall progress. Parents are provided opportunities for questions and concerns about not only the assessments but their child’s developmental learning plan. Staff who administer assessments are provided training and professional development in the implementation and use of Teaching Strategies GOLD.
Rationale: Teachers’ knowledge of each child helps them to plan appropriately challenging curricula and to tailor instruction that responds to each child’s strengths and needs. Further, systematic assessment is essential for identifying children who may benefit from more intensive instruction or intervention or who may need additional developmental evaluation. This information ensures that the program meets its goals for children’s learning and developmental progress and also informs program improvement efforts.
The program promotes the nutrition and health of children and protects children and staff from illness and injury.
Rationale: To benefit from education and maintain quality of life, children need to be as healthy as possible. Health is a state of complete physical, oral, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organization 1948). Children depend on adults (who also are as healthy as possible) to make healthy choices for them and to teach them to make healthy choices for themselves. Although some degree of risk taking is desirable for learning, a quality program prevents hazardous practices and environments that are likely to result in adverse consequences for children, staff, families, or communities.
The program employs and supports a teaching staff that has the
educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests.
Rationale: Children benefit most when their teachers have high levels of formal education and specialized early childhood professional preparation. Teachers who have specific preparation, knowledge, and skills in child development and early childhood education are more likely to engage in warm, positive interactions with children, offer richer language experiences, and create more high-quality learning environments. Opportunities for teaching staff to receive supportive supervision and to participate in ongoing professional development ensure that their knowledge and skills reflect the profession’s ever-changing knowledge base.
The program establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings. These relationships are sensitive to family composition, language, and culture.
Rationale: Young children’s learning and development are integrally connected to their families. Consequently, to support and promote children’s optimal learning and development, programs need to recognize the primacy of children’s families, establish relationships with families based on mutual trust and respect, support and involve families in their children’s educational growth, and invite families to fully participate in the program.
8. Community Relationships
The program establishes relationships with and uses the resources of the children’s communities to support the achievement of program goals.
Rationale: As part of the fabric of children’s communities, an effective program establishes and maintains reciprocal relationships with agencies and institutions that can support it in achieving its goals for the curriculum, health promotion, children’s transitions, inclusion, and diversity. By helping to connect families with needed resources, the program furthers children’s healthy development and learning.
9. Physical Environment
The program has a safe and healthful environment that provides
appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. The environment includes facilities, equipment, and materials to facilitate child and staff learning and development.
Rationale: The program’s design and maintenance of its physical environment support high quality program activities and services as well as allow for optimal use and operation. Well organized, equipped, and maintained environments support program quality by fostering the learning, comfort, health, and safety of those who use the program. Program quality is enhanced by also creating a welcoming and accessible setting for children, families, and staff.
10. Leadership and Management
The program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel, fiscal, and program management so all children, families, and staff have high quality experiences.
Rationale: Excellent programming requires effective governance structures, competent and knowledgeable leadership, as well as comprehensive and well functioning administrative policies, procedures, and systems. Effective leadership and management create the environment for high quality care and education by
• Ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines;
• promoting fiscal soundness, program accountability, effective communication, helpful
consultative services, positive community relations, and comfortable and supportive
• maintaining stable staff; and
• instituting ongoing program planning and career development opportunities for staff as well as continuous program improvement.
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.
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.
UNIFORM GRIEVANCE/CHAIN OF COMMAND
The administration advises parents/guardians who would like to formally resolve problems involving teachers to use the following chain of command: 1) teacher, 2) principal, 3) superintendent, 4) Board of Education. If the process reaches step four, please be advised that individuals who wish to address the Board of Education must make a written request, with the nature of the concern stated, to the Superintendent, one week in advance of the board meeting.
For further explanation of the Uniform Grievance Procedures, please see Hamilton County Community Unit School District No. 10 Parent - Student Calendar/Handbook.
The children are never unsupervised. Toddlers and twos must be supervised by sight and sound at all times, including while the children are sleeping. Hamilton County Preschool does not use mirrors, video, or sound monitors to supervise children. Staff must supervise preschoolers by keeping them in sight most of the time. Supervision by sound may occur but staff must check on children frequently if they are out of sight.
8. 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 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:
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.
The staff strives for consistency in handling children properly. In-services 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
2. Loss of Privilege
Corporal punishment is not used at Hamilton County Preschool. 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.
For children who ride the bus, bus conduct rules are located in the District’s School Calendar and should be explained to each child.
Expulsion and Suspension Policy for Preschool For All Program
This policy outlines the State of Illinois requirements related to expulsion and suspension in the preschool setting. This policy applies to Hamilton County Preschool Center.
Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law prohibiting Preschool For All programs from expelling or un-enrolling children from preschool because of a child’s behavior. These Standards also require programs to prohibit or severely limit the use of suspension due to a child’s behavior.Hamilton County Preschool partners with families, our preschool counselor, school psychologist, and other specialists, help the child and family obtain additional services as appropriate, and take all possible steps to ensure the child’s successful participation in the program and support young children’s social, emotional, and behavioral development.
Neuroscientists agree that the first five years of a child’s life are critical for building the foundation of learning, health, and wellness needed for success in school and later in life. While access to high-quality early learning can have important benefits on children’s development and learning, expulsion and suspension from such programs can have detrimental effects, particularly on children’s social and emotional development and learning outcomes. Expulsion and suspension are stressful and negative experiences for children, their families, and their teachers and can negatively affect child development and outcomes. Research indicates that expulsion and suspension early in a child’s life predicts expulsion and suspension later in school. Children who are expelled or suspended from school are as much as 10 times more likely to drop out of high school, experience academic failure, hold negative school attitudes, and face incarceration than those who were never suspended or expelled.
Furthermore, data consistently show racial disparities in expulsion and suspension. For example, recent data from ED’s Office of Civil Rights indicate that African-American boys make up 19 percent of preschool enrollment, but 45 percent of preschoolers suspended. African-American girls represent 20 percent of female preschool enrollment, but 54 percent of female preschoolers suspended.
Hamilton County Preschool has established a developmentally appropriate social, emotional, and behavioral health promotion practices, as well as discipline and intervention procedures. Our preschool staff utilize the Pyramid Model to assist our program in the implementation and sustainment and use of evidence-based approaches that support the learning and engagement of ALL children. The Pyramid Model framework gives teachers and home visitors concrete strategies for promoting healthy social-emotional development of our preschool children. Preventive and discipline practices are used as learning opportunities to guide children’s appropriate behavioral development, and distinct attention is paid to the developmental appropriateness of both behavioral expectations and consequences for challenging behavior.
If the child’s challenging behavior continues to hinder their development, a referral for special services will be initiated by staff. This referral will involve a Functional Behavior Assessment administered by a licensed School Psychologist, Social Worker, and/or Behavioral Specialist. An Individualized Education Plan will be developed to address the challenging behaviors. Positive behavior supports and strategies individualized to the needs of the child will be incorporated into the child’s individualized plan. 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 $23.00 8 hours $28.00
4 hours $12.00 4 hours $14.00
Hourly $ 6.00 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 $2.50.
Breakfast price for Child Care students is $1.50.
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.
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 complete 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, a 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.
Should a vaccine preventable disease to which children are susceptible to occur in our program, a letter will be sent to all parents making them aware of the vaccine preventable disease, the parents of the child that is underimmunized (though we will not have any) will be contacted immediately to pick up there child. They will meet with the administrator and school nurse who will inform the parent of the policy. The administrator and the school nurse will provide that parent with a letter stating that their child will not be able to attend our program until all vaccinations are up-to-date.
Each child enrolled in Childcare will be screened annually. If your 15 month - 5 year old child has been screened during the regular screening dates set throughout the year for our Prevention Initiative or Preschool programs, the Childcare program will obtain a copy of the screening for their files. If your child was not screened, the Childcare staff, who is familiar with your child, will use the Ages and Stages 3 that is appropriate for his/her age level and screen your child individually. A copy will be kept in your child’s file in their childcare room. This screening will be completed after the child has been enrolled for 30 days to 60 days of enrollment. If your child is currently enrolled at the center, they will be screened in the Fall and Spring. Staff who conduct child assessments (i.e. Ages and Stages-3, Ages and Stages-Social Emotional, Teaching Strategies GOLD) are trained in the implementation and use of said assessments.
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 need 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 2018-2019 school year:
Labor Day Monday, September 7, 2020
Columbus Day Monday, October 12, 2020
Veterans Day Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Thanksgiving Thursday-Friday November 26-27, 2020
Christmas Eve Thursday, December 24, 2020
Christmas Friday, December 25, 2020
New Year’s Eve Thursday, December 31, 2020
New Year’s Day Friday, January 1, 2021
Martin Luther King Holiday Monday, January 18, 2021
President’s Day Monday, February 15, 2021
Good Friday Friday, April 2, 2010
Memorial Day Monday, May 31, 2021
Please refer to the school calendar and your child’s teachers’ notes home for additional events throughout the year.
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 family 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.
Only individuals listed on the child’s emergency card are allowed to pick up the child in the event the parent/guardian can not pick up their child. Hamilton County Preschool will abide by the court/custody arrangements documented in official court ordered custody agreement. This document must be on file at our Center. Children will not be released to any adult who appears to be under the influence of any alcoholic or other substance.
BUILDING AND SECURITY ACCESS
Our Preschool campus is monitored at all times through our building security system, which consists of several cameras in various areas outside the buildings. All entrances to our Preschool building are locked, except for the following doors and times: 8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. & 12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.: south door to the Preschool classroom building only to allow for easy child drop-off and pick-up; 7:30-a.m. - 8:15 a.m. and 2:30p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: front door to our main building to allow for easy child drop-off and pick-up. These doors are monitored closely by staff during unlocked hours. All other preschool outside access doors are locked at all times. To gain entry, visitors must press a buzzer located near the entrance doors. The visitor's live image will show on a monitor inside the building. A staff person will remotely unlock the doors for the parent/visitor to gain entrance. Parents are required to accompany their child into the buildings to deliver them to the teacher.
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 is arranged prior to attending. Transportation is only available to Child Care students for special events and field trips during the school year.
Bus Discipline Procedures
Bus discipline will be handled on an individual basis taking into consideration each preschool child’s social emotional and cognitive levels.
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 5 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:
Date of Birth
Licensed prescriber and signature
Licensed prescriber phone/emergency number
Name of medication:
-route of administration
-frequency and time of administration
Date of prescription
Date of order
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:
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 that professional development on the use and proper administration of the medication can be provided to the staff who will administer the medication to the child can be completed. A medication administration schedule will also be established for the student.
Medication will be stored in a locked medicine box located on a shelf that is out of reach on children, in the preschool kitchen.
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 be 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.
If a parent wishes for their child to have sunscreen or bug repellent applied while they are under the care of Preschool staff, parents are asked to sign a permission form granting said permission. This form is kept in each child’s file.
For all other medical/dental issues, staff shall follow DCFS code 407.360 - Medications.
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.
Please do not send candy 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
Building will be evacuated to an emergency site. The designated emergency site will be located in the North locker rooms in the Old High School Boys Gym. 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.
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 certification, and we will be in communication with various local emergency services.
Fire Drill Procedures
Monthly fire drills will be enacted in both buildings during the year. Some will be pre-announced, others will not be pre-announced.
The teacher should familiarize students with all disaster procedures.
The fire alarm will sound with one long continuous buzzer. Exit according to the designated fire escape route as posted in your area. Remain outside until the all clear signal is given to re-enter.
The fire alarm system installed must get clearance from the Health Department officials before a daycare facility can open. The system must be connected to either the Sheriff's Department of the Fire Department. In our case, it is connected to the Sheriff's Department at the Courthouse.
When the alarm goes off, teachers should hold students in the classroom for 3 minutes while the building custodian, childcare director, or building administrator will determine if the alarm is indeed a fire alarm. If it is a drill or fire, the buildings should be cleared immediately. In case of an accidental alarm, the sheriff's office should be informed so that no fire trucks will be sent. The number is 643-2511. If poor weather conditions are occurring, the children should be directed to the Preschool Gymnasium.
Personnel on duty are to follow the route directed on the building diagram. They should immediately check the sign-in and sign-out list and count heads to be sure all students are accounted for.
In case of a malfunction of an alarm, the Unit #10 custodian will turn off the alarm. Mr. Richard's cell phone number is 618-838-7717. Beam's Alarm Service in Omaha is 618-962-3112.
If a fire drill is to be conducted, the sheriff's department should always be notified first. In case of a fire drill, the procedures are:
Only the A/C pilot light is on when the system is operating properly.
For re-setting the fire alarm after it has sounded.
Other fire alarm papers are available in the Fire Marshall folder. Directions are taped to the box for assistance.
TORNADO DRILL PROCEDURES
When Mr. Richard alerts the classroom teacher, the disaster drill will begin. The following procedures should be followed:
1. Close windows in the classroom.
2. Close classroom doors.
3. Teachers will go with children to predetermined area. The children are to go out of the Preschool building using the fire drill routes, across the parking lot into the south door of the rear of the Old High School Gymnasium. The line should progress across the gym floor to the north dressing room under the bleachers. Teachers should take emergency cards and first aid kits
4. There will be no talking or unnecessary movement.
5. Everyone will face wall with arms and hands covering and protecting the head and face.
6. Remain in that position until the "all clear" bell is given.
If an earthquake strikes our area, it will not give any previous warning; and for a minute or two the solid earth will move like the deck of a ship. Listed below are some of the safety rules we should follow.
1. Don't panic. The motion is frightening, but unless it shakes something down on top of you, it is harmless. Keep calm and ride it out.
2. If it catches you indoors, stay indoors. Take cover under a desk, table, bench, or in doorways, hallways, halls, and against inside walls. Stay away from glass.
3. Don't use candles, matches or other open flames, either during or after the tremor. Douse all fire.
4. If the earthquake catches you outside, move away from buildings and utility wires. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.
5. Don't run through or near buildings. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to outer walls.
6. When the motion stops, evacuate the building using the fire exists assigned.
7. Move away from the building and utility wire. Once in the open, stay there.
8. Teachers should take emergency cards and first aid kits.
9. Secretary should take student schedules and current absentee list.
10. Custodian should shut off gas and power.
11. Teachers should discuss procedures with their class. Survey the room.
Determine the “safe” areas and those to avoid
12. Obviously, all contingencies cannot be anticipated. Teachers should use their professional judgment.
1. An emergency announcement will be made through the office. Secretary will call
the police and the Unit Office.
2. Lock all doors.
3. Pull shades to the window
4. Have children in a safe area away from doors and windows. Trying to keep class as normal as possible.
5. Teachers should get emergency cards and first aid kit. Be prepared for an evacuation procedure.
6. After lockdown, notify parents.
1. If an intruder enters the building, the person will be allowed to take the child for the safety of the other children that are present.
2. Police and the Unit Office will be called by the secretary.
3. Teachers should go into the lockdown procedure.
1. If the Pre-School receives a bomb threat of a bomb in the building, the children will be evacuated to the designated “safe” area.
2. The secretary will notify the police and the unit office
3. Teachers should take their emergency cards and first aid kit.
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. REPORTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Hamilton County Preschool staff are required by law to immediately report (or cause a report to be made) to the Department of Children and Family Services when child abuse or neglect is suspected. In the event that a staff member is suspected of child abuse or neglect in our facility, the building administrator will be immediately be contacted and a call will be made to the DCFS hotline to report the suspected abuse. The district superintendent will be contacted to meet with the administrator and the staff member. The staff member will be placed on paid leave until the results of the DCFS investigation have been completed. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the entire process to protect the rights of both the child and the accused staff person.
24. 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 the 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.
25. 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, parents 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. 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 schools in the district. Preschool teachers also make personal contacts with parents that fail to register their children for kindergarten during the registration period.