We are excited to welcome you all to our school family. We know you must have lots of questions. Please read through this handbook and let it act as a map. It is designed to answer as many of your questions as possible, and to guide you through your time at The Little School. Our doors are always open to you, should you have any additional questions or just want to chat. Our community is built by amazing families like yours, and we look forward to getting to know you all.
Jennifer Adams, Founder, Executive Director
Click Here download a PDF copy of the handbook.
The History of the Little School
In the fall of 2004, founder Jennifer Adams began the search for quality childcare for her two young children as she began her plan to return to work as a school psychologist in a neighboring school district. It quickly became apparent that quality childcare was more difficult to find than anticipated, that high quality centers maintained extensive waiting lists, and that there was an obvious need for additional centers in the area.
After failing to find the center that was the best fit for her children, she decided to open her own school. Through a series of very fortunate events, and lots of hard work, she opened her own school just around the corner from her home. The first Little School opened in September 2005 in a beautiful wooded setting in southern Hillsborough with three classrooms, six teachers, and lots of plans and ideas. After five years the school was bursting at the seams.
With a desire and vision for a larger campus combined with the knowledge and experience gained from the first school, Jennifer made the decision to design and build her dream school. The Little School at Waterstone opened in January 2010.
Then, in 2011, The Little School contracted with Duke University to create The Little School at Duke. After a year of renovations to what was the former Duke School for Children campus, the newest Little School campus opened in September of 2012.
What began as a lofty dream has become a vibrant and successful school and business. The original intention, for Jennifer to find the perfect place for her own children, drives the continued expectation for high quality for all the children in our care. We hope that the beginning will always define us as such a place.
We are committed to providing an educational program that is challenging, creative, nurturing and child-centered. We are dedicated to offering an inviting and stimulating environment and developmentally appropriate program such that each child’s social, emotional, and cognitive growth is encouraged and valued. Learning should be a joyful experience.
Our philosophy is based in our belief that children are competent individuals who can construct their own meaning of their experiences. The teacher’s role is not to provide all the correct answers. Rather, the teacher provides the occasion for discovery and learning.
Our approach is hands-on and multi-sensory. We recognize that children have a natural curiosity and a predisposition to enjoy the unexpected. Children engage in active exploration and investigation to make sense of their world. We strive to fuel children’s investigative impulses and encourage discovery, promote questioning and challenging of ideas, and formulate connections of experience.
We respect children’s multiple ways of demonstrating their intelligence. Children are encouraged to develop their individual strengths and each child’s unique contribution to their community is appreciated. Strengths are celebrated and valued while opportunities are created to provide exposure to, and enhancement of, other talents and skills. Children will be given the opportunity to express themselves through music, painting, drama, song, movement, and play.
The Little School program draws from several models of child development including the Reggio Emilia model to create an inclusive, child-led, emergent program steeped in the belief that children are strong, capable, creative thinkers who can explore their ideas in myriad ways. Components which will be incorporated into our program include:
Classrooms that are beautiful, inspirational spaces
Children, family, teachers, parents and community as interactive and collaborative
An awareness and appreciation of the natural world in which the environment is viewed as co-teacher
Opportunities for artistic expression in a variety of media
Documentation of children’s activities and exploration through a portfolio system
To fully understand our philosophy and approach, please see The Five Big Ideas in Education on our website:
The Little School at Duke is a campus with two buildings bordering a central courtyard, surrounded by five play spaces with a field just a few yards away. The south building houses the administrative offices, art room, kitchen and four classrooms. The second building has 7 classrooms, the teacher workroom/lounge, as well as our gross motor room. There are fenced play spaces with natural materials and gardens surrounding the buildings.
Our Ratio, Total Group Size, and Tuition
There are Eleven full-day classrooms. Each of our classrooms has a teaching team of three teachers.
Having three teachers in the classrooms allows for greater flexibility, closer observation and supervision, and most importantly more opportunities to build, close and secure relationships.
4's & 5's
*Tuition includes milk, lunch, and the grain portion of morning and afternoon snack.
**A 10% tuition reduction will be given for siblings. The discount for the second child will be taken off the lower rate. (
For families with more than 2 children, the tuition reduction will be calculated using the family’s lowest tuition rate.)
***Tuition is not prorated; tuition will remain the same regardless of any absence, vacation, or holiday, or portion of month used.
Tuition is due on the 1
st day of the month. Most Duke families will pay their tuition through the Duke payroll system. Those not paying their tuition through Duke payroll should pay tuition by check on the 1 st day of each month. Checks should be made payable to The Little School and given to one of the leadership team members in the office. A $25 fee will be charged for any returned check. A charge of $25 will be added for any payments received after the 3 rd and will be added to the next month’s tuition payment.
If tuition is not paid by the 15
th of the month, the child will be withdrawn immediately and the deposit will be forfeited. Upon disenrollment, you will need to reapply and pay a new deposit in order for your child to be considered for reenrollment.
*Priority may be given to children on the waiting list.
Each classroom has its own unique personality, flow, schedule and activities. However, some components which will be incorporated into the regular schedule for all classrooms are:
Whole Group Activities
Children gather in the mornings for sharing, songs, and discussion of the day’s events. Our understanding that intelligence is constructed in a social setting creates the basis for our belief that children’s thinking is stimulated through interactions with others. Activities to expand cognition, stimulate new thoughts, and reflect on observations are incorporated.
In addition to the morning meeting time, children generally are together as a whole classroom group for meal times, nap time, and morning and afternoon outdoor play.
Small group activities
During much of the day, we break into smaller groups in which a primary caregiver works with a small group of children. This small group time is used for investigation, discussion, and experimentation that may not be possible within the larger group. At times, these are more teacher-directed activities such as a planned art activity or experiment and offers a balance to the child-directed play that is predominate during the day. This time allows us the opportunity to really tune-in and hear the children’s thoughts and ideas, expand on activities experienced in the larger group, and work on particular developmental areas.
Children are encouraged to make their own choices for daily activities from a variety of play areas in the classrooms. Through independently making decisions about how they spend their time, children are empowered to explore and discover. In addition to the permanent materials such as blocks, manipulative, family living, literature, and art that serve as our classroom staples, novel materials are introduced to spark interest and encourage creative exploration.
Parents can find weekly activity schedules posted in their child’s classrooms. Teachers write a “Today We….” message every day detailing the day’s events. In addition, teachers send a weekly email detailing the activities, learning objectives, exciting events, and books they are reading.
We believe that mealtimes are a vital portion of the children’s daily experience. It is an opportunity to try new foods, to take risks and discover new tastes, a chance to connect to their world around them, and practice independence. It is a time to listen to each other and be heard, to practice turn taking, to expand their vocabulary. It is also an opportunity for us to demonstrate our belief that children are capable and competent. All the children, from toddlers to preschoolers eat with silverware on ceramic plates. When they are finished eating, they clean up after themselves. We do not assume that children have only a limited repertoire of foods. Instead, we offer creative and delicious meals prepared by our chefs that are kid-friendly but also extraordinary.
All children are served a morning snack, usually around 9am. This consists of freshly baked bread, muffins, scones or some other sumptuous treat prepared by our chef. This is accompanied by fresh fruit brought by each child that is then cut up and shared. The fruit or vegetable should be uncut. Dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, or cherries are also welcome. Snacks are served in the classrooms and children are encouraged, but never forced to eat. Children are offered seconds upon request and are encouraged to serve themselves.
For our children lunch is served family style in our classrooms. Children sit at tables in their small groups. Meals are prepared using fresh, organic ingredients as much as possible. Our chefs create meals around seasonal fruits and vegetables, much of it grown and produced by local community farmers. Children drink milk at lunch provided by Maple View Farms. Typical lunches include southwestern spring rolls with crème fraiche, homemade salsa, and black beans; apple braised chicken, sweet potatoes, and creamed spinach; and turkey marsala, brown rice, riatta, and chickpeas with bell peppers. Our “grilled cheese” is homemade foccacia toasted with three cheeses topped with a homemade garlic aioli. Lunch is a wonderful treat.
After nap, an afternoon snack is served in the classrooms. This is typically a savory bread or homemade crackers with fresh fruit or vegetables. A monthly menu is posted on our website and in each classroom. A detailed description of each day’s menu is posted in each building for all to see.
Between approximately 12pm to 3pm, the school rests - infants and toddlers from 12-2 and preschoolers usually between 1-3. This is nap time for most children, but others rest and then read or listen to music while respecting their friends’ need for sleep. Teachers meet with each other during this time to plan, reflect, and consult with each other, meet with the program directors, and write observations of the children.
We spend a great amount of time outdoors in all weather conditions. Rainy days mean puddles and streams. And mud!! Cold days are a chance to see our breath and feel snow. Our play spaces are constructed from natural materials, including bamboo, stones, and logs from our forest. Children tend to our gardens, planting seeds, watering, and picking vegetables and delivering them to our chefs.
Admission Requirements and Enrollment Procedures
The Little School welcomes children from all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as children with special needs when the child’s needs can be met with reasonable accommodations. The Little School recognizes that all children bring their own unique gifts to our community, thus enriching the environment for us all.
We offer a rolling admission. To schedule a tour, please contact our Starr Williams by phone:(919) 354-6600 or e-mail:
To enroll your child, complete an application online at our website at:
www.thelittleschool.net and submit it along with a non-refundable $35 application fee, payable online as well.
After we receive an application and you have not visited the school, we will contact you to schedule a tour.
In order to hold an available opening for your child, a non-refundable deposit of $500 and a signed Enrollment Agreement must be returned within three days from the date the spot was offered. If there are no openings, your child will be placed on the waiting list and you will be notified when a space becomes available. $200 of the deposit will be put towards your child’s first month’s tuition and $300 will be used for a classroom materials fee. This is a one-time fee and is non-refundable.
Arrival and Departure
Our full-day program is open from 6:00am to 6:00pm.
Please remember to sign in and out EVERY DAY. Parents are required to deliver their child INTO the classroom where they must sign their child in on the attendance sheet. It is the responsibility of the parent to alert staff to their child’s arrival. This can be as simple as a wave and a “Good morning”. However, it is important that eye contact is made and you receive acknowledgement from the teacher that he or she is aware your child is present.
Transitioning into the classroom in the morning can be a particularly difficult time for some children emotionally. Establishing a routine for drop-off that includes placing the child’s things in their cubby, greeting the teachers, kissing or hugging, or even a special handshake makes this transition from home to school less stressful for the child (and the parent!). Extended good-byes can cause undue distress for the child. We always want parents to feel welcome in their child’s classroom. However, usually it is better to read a book, tour the room, or hear about a project at pick-up at the end of the day when you have rejoined your child.
At the end of the day please remember to sign your child out. Only previously authorized adults will be allowed to pick-up a child, even in case of an emergency. If we do not recognize the person picking your child up, we will ask for identification. It is very important that parents maintain current information on their contact list and authorized pick-up list.
Parents are asked to please monitor their children while in the building and in their care. It is very important that we work together to help our children understand the importance of respecting each other and our community. Specifically, caring for the classroom materials, cleaning up after playing in an area, and maintaining a safe environment are vital ways in which each child has an important opportunity to contribute.
We ask that children be picked up by 5:45pm so that each child can have time to share their accomplishments, discoveries, and artwork before they go home.
It is essential that your focus and attention be solely on your child during this time. We ask that you refrain from cell phone use when coming in the buildings at pick-up. Please also note that at the end of the day, we are usually out on the playground where the children can see all the cars pulling into the parking lot. It is amazing how many children can identify their friends’ parent’s car! After parking, it is very helpful for us if you walk directly into the school and visit with other parents
after retrieving your child. It can be very frustrating for your child to see you, but not be able to get to you!
This is one of the most important things you can do to support the teachers and your child. Your child has been working very hard all day and is anxiously awaiting your arrival at the end of the day. It is important that your child has the opportunity to experience a smooth, calm, and most importantly unhurried reunion with you.
In addition, it is critical for our teachers to be supported at this late hour as well. We build in time at the end of their day to clean up and get organized for the next day and it is extremely important that this time is used for this purpose. We value their time with us as well as their time for their own lives and are very serious in our efforts to allow them to be efficient and focused so that they can leave when their day is done.
The Little School staff requests that parents respect the closing time of our day. Please arrive at The Little School by no later than 5:45pm in order to allow time for your child to gather their belongings and check in with the teacher if needed. When a parent is late to pick up their child, anxiety is felt by everyone – the parent, the teacher, and most importantly, the child. We cannot stress the importance of this enough.
If an emergency arises, please notify the school as soon as possible so that alternate arrangements can be made. If your child is not picked up on time, even with prior notice, the following late fees will apply:
First Late Pick-up: $20 for the first 15 minutes (or segment thereof as measured by the school clock) plus one dollar for each successive minute
Second Late Pick-up: $30 for the first 15 minutes (or segment thereof as measured by the school clock) plus one dollar for each successive minute
Third Late Pick-up: $50 for the first 15 minutes (or segment thereof as measured by the school clock) plus one dollar for each successive minute
This fee goes to the staff member who is staying late with the child and must be paid upon arrival.
Please know that asking for this fee is most assuredly one of our teachers’ least favorite activities. We ask that parents come prepared to pay this fee when they are late.
The cycle of late pick-ups is reset every year and is calculated September 1 through August 31 of the next year.
*If a child has not been picked up by 6:00 The Little School staff will attempt to reach both parents using all known contact numbers, then all listed emergency contact telephone numbers. In the event that no listed emergency contact is reached, at 7pm the Durham Police Department will be contacted to help us find an appropriate person with whom to leave your child.
A yearly schedule of holidays and vacations is posted on our website.
The school is closed on the same days that the University is closed.
Inclement Weather Policy
The Little School loosely follows the recommendations of the Duke University system. Changes in schedule due to inclement weather will be posted on WRAL by 5:30am.
Transitioning into New Classrooms
The Little School staff is very invested in the cognitive, emotional and social development of all of the children entrusted to our care. We strive to present our children with stimulating and challenging opportunities daily and to observe and record the children regularly in order to monitor and document their growth and maturation.
While we roughly outline an age range for each of our rooms, our program is based upon the cognitive, emotional and social development of our children and not the chronological age of any child.
At times, children may fall above or below the average chronological age range for a given classroom. The Little School staff believes that children move at their own pace and that given appropriate support and opportunities they will thrive in their own way at the right time for their own developmental process. We believe that it is our job to provide those opportunities and to group children of similar developmental levels together.
Teachers work very closely together with the directors to plan for a child to leave one room and join another. At times, a child may be ready to move mid-year. When this occurs, the child and their parents will be offered the next available opening in the appropriate classroom. While this is true, our community is very stable as a whole and spaces may not become readily available in the next classroom. As a general rule, most children move from one class to the next in small groups during the summer months.
What Children Need to Bring to School
Children should wear washable play clothes to school that are comfortable and appropriate for the season . We play hard and get messy often. Please do not send your child in their “best clothes”. We encourage creativity and exploration and with that comes dirt, paint, clay, spaghetti sauce, mulch, and any other interesting material encountered during the day. We change clothes often so children need at least two clean, weather appropriate changes of clothing every day in their cubby including shirts, pants, under garments, socks and shoes.
The children all sleep on mats at naptime. If your child has a special blanket or stuffed animal that is required during sleep time, please have it available on a regular basis. Otherwise,
all toys and other personal items should be left at home at all times. In addition, please keep candy, gum, money, and jewelry at home. These items can be difficult to share or get lost or broken. Children are welcome to bring books to share at story time. Books are always welcome!!
Children may be asked to each bring in an umbrella, rain coat and rain boots for nature walks and play in the rain.
LABEL EVERYTHING THAT COMES TO SCHOOL!! It is amazing the amount of lovely clothes, coats, and shoes that go into our lost and found each year.
A Special Note to the Parents of Infants
Parents bringing children to the infant room must label everything with their child’s name. Any bottles or jars of food must be labeled daily with their child’s name and date. Breast milk may be frozen in the classroom freezer for up to one week in a clear plastic container as long as it is labeled and dated. Any bottle or jar that is not labeled
and dated will not be served under any circumstances. When a child is trying new foods, we ask that the first introduction to a new food be done at home and be repeated for several days before bringing it to school. We ask that food from home be healthy, nutritious, and easily consumed by the baby.
For children with an older sibling in another room, we ask that you drop the infant off last in the morning and pick him or her up first in the afternoon. We try very hard to limit the exposure of our infants who are still developing their immunity. It is also difficult for our teachers to manage older children when they are (understandably) excited to be playing with the babies.
When your child is ready, we will assist with potty-training. We consider a child ready when they are able to initiate the request to go to the potty. When your child is ready and you are beginning to work together at home, it is critical that you let your teacher know. Our teachers are potty experts and are ready and willing to work individually with each family to develop a plan for success for each child. While each child is different we do follow several guidelines during this process:
Children should remain in diapers while potty “practicing”. Children who are being taken to the potty to “try” are in the practicing stage. We will practice at school several times a day during this period as well, but children cannot be sent to school in regular underwear until accidents are infrequent. We also ask that only pull-ups with Velcro sides be sent to school with your child.
Children’s birthdays are an exciting time and we enjoy sharing in the joy of these celebrations. Usually, we celebrate during our afternoon snack time at around 3:00/4:00, depending on your child’s class schedule. Parents are welcome to come and help us serve snack, sing happy birthday songs and enjoy the festivities with their child. For birthdays, parents may choose to request that the chef prepare the classroom treat for a nominal fee of $1 per child. Chef prepared treats include fruit popsicles, yogurt popsicles, muffins and popcorn for older children. You may request an order form from your child’s teacher 1 week prior to the celebration. This is not required by any means and is a personal choice for you to make. We will sing anyway and have the child wear a special birthday hat or crown and probably be very silly so a snack is not necessary, just icing on the cake (or bran muffin as the case may be).
Establishing healthy eating habits now is very important to us and we ask that parents support us and each other in this effort.
The following items are not allowed at birthday celebrations at school: favors, decorations, candy, gum, balloons, soda, small toy treats, or party bags. These items should be saved for your child’s party at home. Also, please do not bring birthday presents into the classroom. Finally, we ask that parents not bring in invitations unless every child in the class is invited.
The Little School maintains an open-door policy and parents are welcome and invited at any point in the day.
We invite parents to be involved and share in your child’s school experience. If you have items, books, experiences that reflect what the children are learning, please feel free to speak to your child’s teacher about sending them in for sharing. Parents are also welcome to assist in the classrooms in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:
library book organizers
play dough makers
Parents are encouraged to present their own ideas for participation as well. Let us know your talents and interests so we can put them to good use! It is our hope that everyone in the child’s community is informed and involved in the school as a whole.
Parents of children in the infant class will receive an individualized daily report. In addition, teachers in all the rooms are constantly working on a portfolio for each child. The teachers will also include art work and photographs in the portfolio. The teachers will frequently complete “Today We” boards that will be posted inside the classrooms. The website has a blog that is updated bi-weekly and teachers send out emails weekly with updates for the classroom as a whole.
When talking with the teachers, it is important that communication remain positive and mutually respectful. If an issue arises that needs to be negotiated, we ask that this be done outside of the children’s presence. We are happy to discuss any aspect of your child’s development, school policies, or goings-on in the school. However, we respect our children’s rights to privacy and take confidentiality very seriously. We will not discuss another child with someone who is not a parent or family member.
* It is important to remember that while communication is important, it is the teachers’ primary responsibility to supervise the children at all times. If you are requiring more than a quick check-in with your child’s teacher, please schedule a time to see them one-on-one. Parent-teacher conferences will be scheduled during naptime or planning time Monday-Friday.
The Little School appreciates parent donations and gifts to classrooms. Any classroom addition MUST be approved in advance by the director. Materials donated to the school become the property of the school and may be circulated throughout the school without consulting the donor. The Little School also reserves the right to discard any material donated to the school without consulting the donor.
Discipline and Behavior Management
We recognize that learning self-control is a normal part of growth and development. Our behavior management policy is based upon the concepts of Conscious Discipline. Please read the full description within the 5 Big Ideas section of the website. We also recommend that parents use similar approaches at home, as consistency is very important as a child is learning what is acceptable behavior and how to interact with their peers and adults alike.
Redirection to more appropriate choices and activities is generally very effective for children at this age. If behavior escalates or becomes a disruption to others, a teacher may remove a child from a situation for a short period. This time is used to calm the child and help reflect and refocus before returning to the group. Should a child demonstrate ongoing difficulty in the classroom, parents will be invited to meet with the teachers and director in order to discuss options and strategies.
At this point a behavior plan may be put into place. A behavior plan is designed to address the child’s presenting issue by evaluating the environment, instruction, and interactions around the child in order to support the development of more pro-social behaviors. Plans can vary from simple strategies such as developing a plan to support a child who is having difficulty at drop-off by designing a predictable routine or song to sing, onto a more complex plan in which teachers and parents agree on strategies to prevent and/or respond to a challenging behavior while developing and implementing techniques to teach a replacement behavior. Teachers, parents, and the directors are involved in creating, implementing, and reviewing the plan for effectiveness.
If a more intensive plan is appropriate to the circumstances, the director may invite a behavioral specialist from Durham County Child Care Services (or other appropriate agency) into the classroom to observe the child’s behavior.
If a child’s behavior is dangerous to themselves or others on an on-going basis and there is no response to the interventions put into place, the child may be disenrolled from the Little School.
Parents will be notified immediately if a child is vomiting, has more than three diarrhea diapers, displays symptoms of a contagious illness, or is running a temperature over 101 degrees. If a parent cannot be reached, we will contact designated people on the Emergency and Medical Information form. It is important for sick children to be picked up promptly. If a teacher or director calls a parent to report that their child is sick, it is critical that all efforts are made to come to the school to pick up the child as soon as possible. Please know that before we make that call, we have done everything in our power to make the child comfortable and meet the child’s needs. When we make the decision to call the parent, we do so knowing that we are asking the parent to leave their work or other responsibilities. While we understand the difficulties this causes, it is our job to keep all of our children safe and healthy, including the child who is not feeling well. When a child is vomiting or feverish, we remove the child from the classroom to the office or other quiet area. If it is going to be more than one hour before you are able to arrive to pick up your child, we ask that you make arrangements for another person on your authorized pick up list to come for the child.
A child must be symptom-free, without a fever for 24 hours and well enough to participate in all activities, including outdoor play, before returning to school. While we respect the constraints and expectations of our families’ workplaces, it is our job to protect the children in our care and to create the healthiest environment as possible for the children and teachers.
We ask that parents use good judgment and common sense when considering bringing their child back to school after an illness. For example, if a child is sent home in the afternoon due to illness, it is best for the child to stay at home the entire next day and return in the morning of the following day. In addition, if a child is sick with a contagious illness, it is best practice for parents to also keep siblings at home to try to limit further exposure. We work very hard to keep the school germ free by washing our hands A LOT, disinfecting toys, and teaching the children healthy practices such as coughing into their elbow and wiping noses with a tissue. We ask our families to support our efforts by always washing hands upon arrival, informing us about illnesses, and maintaining healthy practices in their homes.
Parents are asked to notify the school if a child is going to be absent from school, particularly if this is due to a contagious illness such as pink eye or chicken pox, etc. In these cases, parents of the child’s classmates will be notified that there is an illness in the room, but your child’s privacy will be respected and names will not be used.
As a group care setting for well children, The Little School staff members will not administer any prescription medication at any time even with a doctor’s note or prescription. In addition, The Little School teachers will not administer any over the counter medication EXCEPT non-prescription diaper ointment in its original container as long as it is not expired and with a completed and signed medication form available from your child’s teacher. Decisions regarding other over the counter topical medications will be determined on a case by case basis by the directors of The Little School and if approved will be administered by the directors.
No medications can ever be left at the school in a diaper bag or cubby at any time. Only non-prescription diaper cream may be left at the school providing that it is not expired and in its original container, with a medication form and handed to your child’s teacher to be stored in a locked medication box.
The school applies sunscreen once a day in the summer months. Parents are asked to apply sunscreen in the morning before arriving to school.
In case of an accident, staff members will use standard first aid procedures. Employees are CPR and first aid certified. If we feel medical attention is required, we will call the proper emergency personnel and then call your designated contacts.
If an accident or injury occurs during the day that does not require a doctor’s attention, our teachers complete an “Oops Form”. This form outlines specifically what occurred and our response. For example, if a child falls and cuts his knee, we fill out the form so that you know he fell and we responded by cleaning the cut and putting on a band-aid. If a child causes harm to another child such as a bite or scratch, we use the Oops for both the child harmed and the child who caused the incident. We do not share the children’s names with the other families. For example, the Oops Form might state: “Collin was bitten on his arm today by a friend. We washed the area, applied a cold ice pack, and gave him lots of hugs and kisses.” If your child happens to be the one who did the biting, we would state: “Collin bit a friend today…”
One of the aspects of NC’s licensing requirements for quality childcare centers considers the way in which a healthy and sanitary environment is maintained. A cleaning schedule is required and parents must be informed of the process.
Daily Person Responsible: Teachers (End of day)
· Clean up any wet, sticky or paint spills from floors
· Place chairs on table and sweep floor
· Sanitize food prep and general hand washing sinks, food counters, tables, and chairs
· Disinfect toileting and diaper changing sinks
· Disinfect diaper changing pads and tables
· Disinfect toilets (don’t forget the base of toilet)
· Take mouthed toys, dishes, and cups to kitchen. Sanitize in the dishwasher. Air dry in classroom.
· Ensure that paper towels and toilet paper are stocked for the next day
· Take out trash
Infant Cleaning Checklist (in addition to above):
· Unplug bottle warmers, empty water, sanitize and air dry
· Sanitize inside of refrigerator
· Remove sheets from mats. Sanitize and air dry. Place clean
· Wipe clean dry erase board
· Complete laundry in the washer and/or dryer
Additional Nighty Cleaning:
· The cleaning crew will arrive each night and will vacuum carpets and mop the floors.
Cleaning Checklist - Weekly Person Responsible: Teachers
· Take all materials from shelves and sanitize shelves
· Take all materials from cubbies and sanitize cubbies
· Restock all toys and materials
· Use soapy water to wipe down: walls, baseboards, windowsills, cabinet doors, cabinet handles, doorknobs, light switches
· Wash all soft toys and dress up clothes in washing machine
Monthly Cleaning Checklist:
· Check air filters
· Clean vents
Additional Cleaning Every six months:
· Floors are striped and waxed.
· The carpets are professionally cleaned.
Guidelines for Preventing Child Abuse and Child Neglect
The Little School will:
1. Screen applicants with thorough background checks, including talking with last employer.
2. Develop clear guidelines on behavior management.
3. Immediately report any observations or incidents of suspected child abuse or child neglect – for legal, ethical and self-protection reasons.
4. Provide some opportunities for caregivers to have some relief – breaks, caregivers, etc.
5. Maintain manageable group sizes. 6. Have clear substitute policies and an up-to-date list of well trained substitutes.
7. Don’t hesitate to talk to parents of children who are disruptive and to insist on professional help when it is needed.
8. Make provisions for regular in-service training.
9. Evaluate staff often. Visit classrooms frequently.
10. Don’t hesitate to terminate an employee who has overstepped reasonable discipline practices.
11. Insure through adequate staffing and policies that no child is ever our of sight of a caregiver.
12. Make sure caregivers have adequate knowledge of child development so that children’s social/emotional and physical needs are met.
13. When appropriate, report complaints you have received concerning other caregivers (to DSS or DCD).
14. Hire all new staff for a probationary period.
15. Develop procedures for recording all injuries or accidents involving children. Include the date, time of incident, description of incident, and any action taken by staff. Also record any unusual marks or bruises that a child has upon arrival so that they cannot be attributed to the program.
Any suspicion of abuse or neglect must be reported immediately to either the Mentor Teacher or any other member of the Leadership Team. Failure to report suspicion of abuse or neglect will result in immediate termination. Reports may be made orally, by telephone or in writing. Reports shall include information as is known to the person making it including the name and address of juvenile and family (guardian); nature and extent of any injury or condition resulting from abuse or neglect; and any other information which the person making the report believes might be helpful in establishing the need for protective services or court intervention.
North Carolina law requires any person who suspects child abuse or neglect to report the case to the county department of social services. In addition, any person can call the Division of Child Development at 919-662-4499 or 1-800-859-0829 and make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect in a child care operation. Reports can be made anonymously. A person cannot be held liable for a report made in good faith. The operator of the program must notify parents of children currently enrolled in writing of the substantiation of any abuse/neglect complaint or the issuance of any administrative action against the child care facility.
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