Policies and Procedures

Non-Discriminatory Policy

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KidZCommunity strives to involve the entire family in addressing the educational and developmental needs of children.  All children 0-5 years old and their families are afforded a safe and creative learning environment.  KidZCommunity is committed to providing quality services for all families and encourages enrollment of children with disabilities.  It is the belief of KidZCommunity that children are much more alike than different and are much more accepting of differences.  Including children with disabilities in the infant / toddler and preschool settings provide children and families an opportunity to learn from each other, create social competency and develop a healthy respect for diversity.

Services are provided to all eligible children and do not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry,  national origin, religion, color, marital status, familial status, parental status, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, mental or physical disability, or because of all or part of an individual’ income is derived from any public assistance program.

KidZCommunity welcomes the enrollment of children with disabilities and understands the requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) reasonable accommodations are made for such children and implemented.  No program includes religious worship or instruction.

Enrollment Policy

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Families qualify based upon specific income and child age criteria 0-5.

Funding for Head Start is obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. Funding for State Preschool is from the California Department of Education, Child Development Division.

 

Fees Policy

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No fees are charged for Head Start, or Early Head Start Services.

Child Emergency Form and Procedures

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Every child enrolled in the program must have current emergency form on file.  In case of an accident, emergency numbers must be accessible to the staff.  Should the parents not be reached, the child will be taken to the hospital listed on the emergency card for immediate attention. Continued efforts will be made to reach parents and emergency contacts.  EMERGENCY FORMS must be current with names, phone number and addresses of adults to be called if you cannot be reached in case of emergency.  Please make sure current insurance information, policy number or Medi-Cal number is indicated on the emergency form.  Any allergies to medications or medical conditions need to be listed on the form.  If a change of a child’s physician or dentist occurs, PLEASE let the staff know to update the emergency form.

Arrival/Signing-In Procedure

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You will sign your child in with your full signature and exact time in and out upon arrival and departure on our daily sign in/sign out sheets.  Each child will be accompanied into the room by an adult. Plan time to make the transition smooth for your child and be sure that the   teacher is aware of your child’s arrival.  All children will have a daily health check by the teacher.  Parents will remain until the health check is complete.  If it is determined that your child is not well enough to stay at the center, the child will leave with the parent he/she may return when healthy.

PLEASE NOTE: If someone else should bring your child to school, please inform them of the sign in procedure and they will need to be on the Emergency Contact Form.

Departure/ Signing- Out Procedure

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It is your responsibility to sign your child out each day with your full signature.  Children may leave the preschool only with the parent or guardian, or an adult 18 years or older authorized Adult on the Emergency Contact Form.  Parents under the age of 18 may pick up and drop off their children.  Authorized adults must always be prepared to show identification to pick up your child.

Staff will adhere to the Safe Release Policy.

PLEASE NOTE: Your child will not be released to an adult who does not have the necessary authorization or proper identification and is not listed on your child’s Emergency Contact Form.

Safe Release Policy

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Head Start Performance Standards 1302.47 Safety practices.

POLICY:

As advocates for the health and safety of KidZCommunity families, Placer Community Action Council staff    follows a safe release policy when releasing children to adults.

Children shall only be received from and/or released to adults listed on their Information and Consent for Medical and Emergency Treatment Form. (H-4)

Children will not be released to adults who are impaired (lacking the physical or mental ability to       reasonably or safely drive a vehicle).

PURPOSE:

Knowing the life threating consequence that can occur when a child is released to the wrong adult, or an adult who is impaired, prevents Placer Community Action Council staff from releasing children into a dangerous circumstance.

Transportation of Children

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It is the expectation of this program that all children are transported in compliance of California Vehicle Code Section 27360 which states, “No driver shall transport…any child in a motor vehicle…. without providing and properly securing the child in a child  passenger  restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards  unless the child is at least: Eight years of age or older.”

This vehicle code applies to all children transported by taxicab or personal vehicle. For more information, contact your local law enforcement agency. The California Highway Patrol provides free checks of child passenger restraint systems (car seats). Call (530) 338-6710 for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: It is unlawful to leave a child unattended by an adult in a vehicle.

Attendance and Absences

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Parents are required to bring children to class/play group when in session, except when a child is ill, the parent is ill, when it is in the best interest of the child or a family emergency has occurred.

Regular attendance provides children with the maximum opportunity to benefit from the program.

  • Parents must record all absences daily following sign-in/sign-out procedures. Include the specific reason for the absence and sign full signature.
  • If a pattern of irregular attendance develops, teaching and family advocate staff will work with your family to develop an Attendance Goal to support your family.
  • If irregular attendance continues despite supportive efforts, your family may be transferred to a more suitable program option, if available, or dropped from the program.
  • A parent/guardian must call the center within 1 hour of absence and provide a specific reason.
  • The requirements and process for the Home Based program are the same as the Center Based Program.
  • Timely arrival and departure from school is essential. Staff must frequently leave when class is over to attend meetings, training sessions or make home visits.

 These policies are presented at enrollment and are available in the classroom.

Children Left After Hours/ Late Pick-Ups

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We realize that emergencies and unusual circumstances occur which may prevent you from picking up your child at the appropriate time.  For these reasons, it is required that you have at least one alternative, reliable person that you can call to pick up your child on time.  If your child has not been picked up by the end of class and no parent contact has been received, the following steps will be taken:

  • Attempts will be made by staff to contact parent/guardian, by home, cell or work phone numbers
  • Emergency contact person (s) will be called to pick up the child, if parent/guardian cannot be reached
  • Site Supervisor will be notified of the situation if no one is available at the emergency numbers.

PLEASE NOTE:  If after one hour the child has not been picked up and no contact has been made, Child Protective Services (CPS) maybe called by the Teacher or Family Engagement Advocate.  After second late pickup, the teaching staff and the family engagement advocate will schedule a meeting with you.  The purpose of the meeting is to develop a Plan of Support, to support you in becoming successful in picking up your child on time.

General Communication Procedures

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Sometimes miscommunication or incomplete information causes concern. Immediately clarifying the situation with the people involved is efficient and creates opportunities to develop successful solutions.  A team approach to resolution helps everyone. To resolve questions, concerns or problems successfully as possible, KidZCommunity asks parents to initiate the following steps:

  1. Meet informally with the person(s) involved.
  2. State the facts and the concern.
  3. Call and make an appointment with your teacher or family advocate.
  4. Request a meeting with the Child Development Manager and Site Supervisor
  5. If your concerns need further support the Family Services Manager will assist you in implementing the agency complaint procedure and arrange a meeting with the Executive Director if you have further concerns.

Community/ Parent Concerns

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KidZCommunity supports parents in setting positive examples for their children in resolving issues or conflicts.  To be an empowering role model for your child, we encourage you to use the following procedure:

  1. Address concerns with the immediate person involved.
  2. If the issue is not resolved, go to the Site Supervisor or the Immediate Supervisor.
  3. If mediation is still needed, please contact Denyse Cardoza, the Executive Director KidZCommunity: Placer Community Action Council, Inc.  She can be reached directly at (530) 886-4130 or e-mail her at dcardoza@pcac-inc.org
  4. If you feel the above steps were unsuccessful, contact the Department of Social Services, State of California, Community Care Licensing at 8745 Folsom Blvd. Ste. 200 Sacramento, CA 95826 or at (916) 229-4530.

Parent Conduct

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Courteous and respectful behavior between and among all program participants is essential for KidZCommunity to achieve its mission and help to assure a positive environment and promote safety and security. On rare occasions, parents bring concerns to the classroom and express themselves in ways that frighten children. Please refrain from loud, abusive conduct around staff and children. Any verbal or physical misconduct is a violation of the State Education Code which protects teachers and children from these situations. Such a violation may result in exclusion of the parent from the site. An officer may be requested to respond when adult behavior jeopardizes the safety of the children or other adults on the school campus.

Child Behavior Policy

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Childhood is a unique and valuable stage in the human life cycle.  KidZCommunity’s paramount responsibility is to provide care and education in settings that are safe, healthy, nurturing, and responsive for each child.  KidZCommunity is committed to supporting children’s development and learning; respecting individual differences; and helping children learn to live, play and work cooperatively.  KidZCommunity is also committed to promoting children’s self-awareness, competence, self-worth, resiliency and physical well-being. KidZCommunity strives to create and maintain safe and healthy settings that foster children’s social, emotional, cognitive, sensory and physical development and that respect their dignity and their contributions to the learning community.

 Staff will follow the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Code for Ethical Conduct & Statement of Commitment, Principles and above all, staff shall not harm children.  Staff shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children.

KidZCommunity will ensure that children are free from corporal or unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threat, mental abuse, or other actions of a punitive nature including but not limited to interference with functions of daily living including eating, sleeping or toileting; or withholding of shelter, clothing, medication or aids to physical functioning.

KidZCommunity will involve parents in decisions concerning their child, as appropriate, ensuring confidentiality of sensitive information.  Families are of primary importance in children’s development.  Because the family and staff have common interest in the child’s well-being, KidZCommunity acknowledges a primary responsibility to bring about communication, cooperation, and collaboration between the home and school in ways that enhance the child’s development.

Should there be a situation where a child is demonstrating inappropriate behaviors within a classroom setting, the Child Behavior Policy will be implemented in order to involve the parents and support the child in making better choices.  Steps will include collaborative meetings between staff and family to better understand reasons for the behaviors and to develop strategies to support the child.  All reasonable attempts will be made to provide opportunities for success (See the full Child Behavior Policy, received at enrollment for details of the steps to be taken).

School Readiness Policy

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Performance Standards: 1302.30, 1302.34, 1302.35, 1302.421302.45, 1302.46

Policy

KidZCommunity, Placer Community Action Council, Inc.  develops school readiness goals, defined as “the expectations of children’s status and progress across domains of language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, approaches to learning, physical health and well-being and motor development, and social and emotional development that will improve readiness for kindergarten goals” (Part 1307.2). Head Start views school readiness as children retaining the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning in life.

Active Supervision Policy

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Head Start Program Performance Standards:  1302.101, 1302.91, 1302.90, 1302.91, 1302.21, 1303.3, 1302.93, 1302.94, 1302.92, 1301.5

Active supervision is the most effective strategy for creating a safe environment and preventing injuries in young children.  Active supervision requires focused attention and intentional observation of children at all times.

Universal Precautions Policy

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Universal precautions must be observed at all times in order to provide the highest level of protection for all children, family members, volunteers and staff. Precautions must be used in all situations and instances when blood or body fluids are handled. Universal Precautions are used daily as part of good hygiene practices in all classrooms.

In the school setting, Universal Precautions include:

  • thorough and frequent hand washing
  • using gloves
  • careful trash disposal
  • using disinfectants
  • use of mouth barrier needed for CPR
  • care when toileting
  • appropriate disinfection and/or disposal of any item that comes in contact with bodily fluids
  • it is our responsibility to use good disease prevention techniques which are based upon thorough hand washing, disinfection, trash disposal and glove use.

There are no requirements for anyone to disclose personal health conditions unless they choose to do so.

This policy is posted in each classroom. 

Safe To Sleep Policy

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This Safe to Sleep Policy will be reviewed at the time of enrollment with staff and enrolled families in KidZCommunity, PCAC, Inc. to familiarize them with the program’s sleep policies for infants and to provide them with current recommendations.

Safe sleep and napping practices reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the spread of contagious diseases. SIDS is the unexpected death of a seemingly healthy infant under one year of age for whom no cause of death can be determined. It is the leading cause of death in children from one to twelve months of age. The chance of SIDS occurring is highest when an infant first starts child care.

Siblings/ Non-Enrolled Children in the Classroom Policy

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  • All preschool and childcare programs must follow regulations regarding adult: child ratios. For that reason, non-enrolled children must be directly supervised by their parent / guardian at all times when they are at the center.
  • Your non-enrolled infant or preschool age child must be a sibling of your enrolled child.
  • A copy of the current immunization record and TB risk assessment of the non-enrolled child must be presented before the child can be brought to the  classroom.
  • You should always be in direct sight and hearing of the non-enrolled child and are responsible to ensure the child behaves appropriately and follows the teaching staff’s requests.
  • Your non-enrolled infant or preschool age child may be in a carrier, backpack or stroller. Other items like playpens, cribs, walkers etc. are prohibited for everyone’s safety.
  • As a community volunteer you may, with the approval of staff and meeting above conditions, bring your own infant or preschool age child to the center.

Community Visitor/Community Walking Experiences

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Community Visitors are people who visit the classroom, sharing their life experiences and knowledge. Children learn from the real to the abstract and Classroom Visitors are used to extend and enrich the objectives of the Education Services.  They are designed to provide children with a wide range of learning experiences which will help them develop socially, intellectually, physically, and emotionally.  Community walking experiences help to EXTEND the learning that occurs in the classroom.  While exploring and learning about the diverse cultures and experiences within their communities, the children and their parents are exposed to a plethora of opportunities.  Community walking experiences are developed according to the interests (based on availability) of familiar places and professions that are in the community.  These “community adventures” become a “platform for greater learning”.  Classroom community walking experiences will not exceed ¼ mile from the classroom, and written reminders to parents will be sent home the day before.  Community Walking Experiences are an extension of the classroom therefore older siblings may not attend.

Holiday/Celebration Policy

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KidZCommunity provides classrooms environments that reflect the culture of the children and their families.  Through our actions, We demonstrate and model a respect for each child’s family, culture and lifestyle and support children’s appreciation of others.

Celebration activities at KidZCommunity, Placer Community Action Council, Inc. can be as simple as reading a book about a holiday or having a celebration in the classroom.  Activities often involve group   discussions or how a family observes holidays.  Other times, teachers offer open-ended, developmentally appropriate activities for children that relate to a holiday or celebration.

Staffing

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Centers have qualified teaching staff with credentials in Early Childhood Education and certified by the State of California.

Clothing

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Children are active in the program.  They will be using expressive materials including paint, water and sand.  They will also be involved in many climbing and running activities.  Please dress your child in comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes that can accommodate these activities.  It is essential to leave an extra set of clothing in your child’s cubby.  Please label your children’s clothes to prevent lost items.

The following five questions may assist you in selecting appropriate clothing for your child:

  1. Do they give freedom for action?
  2. Do they allow for self-dressing?
  3. Are they suited to the temperature?
  4. Are they easily washed?

Jewelry Policy

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KidZCommunity is dedicated to the health and safety of your child.  Equally, we are committed to honoring the culture and beliefs of your family.  The following guidelines apply when children are in our care to assure, they are safe and healthy:

Early Head Start Centers and Head Start Classrooms:

All jewelry will be removed and stored while napping and during active play.  This includes and is not limited to bracelets, necklaces, and earrings other than stud and huggie earrings.

KidZCommunity cannot be responsible for lost or broken jewelry, including jewelry with high monetary value and jewelry with high sentimental value.

Early Head Start Centers, Head Start Classrooms, and Home-Based Playgroups:

If a parent is present during napping or active play, the parent will take responsibility for the care of the child

Dual Language Learners Policy

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Early Head Start Center Based and Home-Based program staff communication will be conducted in the children’s home language.  In the event where staff does not speak the families’ home language, every effort will be made to expose each child to his/her home language by utilizing family members, community volunteers, audio/visual resources, use of the whisper system, interpretation services and staff training.

In Head Start classrooms, the children’s home language will be supported whenever possible by a staff member who speaks that home language.  In the event where staff does not speak the families’ home language, every effort will be made to expose each child to his/her home language by utilizing family members, community volunteers, audio/visual resources, use of the whisper system, interpretation services and staff training.

Child Abuse

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All KidZCommunity/PCAC employees are required by law to report any known or reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect to local Child Protective Services.  Parents/Guardians will not be informed by agency staff when a report has been made. If a report is made, regard and support for families will continue, and confidentiality about the report will be maintained.  Therefore, if your child has had an accident away from the center which has resulted in an injury, please explain what happened to the Teacher, Family Engagement Advocate, or Home Visitor.

Sexual Harassment Policy

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It is the policy of KidZCommunity that sexual harassment, or any unlawful harassment, will not be tolerated. Violators of the policy are subject to disciplinary action, including discharge. Sexual harassment includes many forms of offensive behavior.  Acts that constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Adult Tuberculosis Clearance Record

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A Tuberculosis clearance record is required for each adult who participates in the program on a regular basis. The Tuberculosis test must be done within 7 days after the start of the program year and repeated bi-annually as long as the child remains in the program.

Tobacco Policy

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KidZCommunity programs are “Tobacco Free.”  No tobacco will be permitted on any of our sites.  Please refrain from using tobacco while participating in school functions (including field trips) in order to safeguard the health of all program participants.  Second-hand smoke is harmful to children, and agency policy prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco products within 35 feet of any area where children are present.  Volunteers and staff working with KidZCommunity programs will be asked to follow the Second-Hand Smoke Precautionary Procedures in order to protect the children from second-hand smoke exposures.

Nutrition Policies

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The program recognizes the value of good nutrition to the well-being of your child.  Accordingly, well-balanced meals are served that follow the required Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal patterns and regulations. Menus are posted in the classroom.

Some key points are summarized below, and the entire policies are available in the Operations Manual:

  • Children requiring special food or special textures because of food allergies and/or health reasons must have the required physician’s statement on file with all applicable information. This is a requirement of State Licensing, Head Start and the CACFP (from USDA). Without this documentation, all children must be served the same food. It is also very important information to have on file in order to keep your child safe!  Certain food replacements are allowed for religious (or vegetarian) reasons. Contact the Health or Nutrition units for more information.  Staff will also meet with parents to address children’s nutritional needs.
  • Please save special food treats for your celebrations at home. The Head Start Performance Standards specify that foods served be low in fat, sugar and salt. Therefore, non-food items such as birthday crowns, special books or plates are appropriate in our program. In addition, some children might feel left out if their birthdays were not acknowledged by extra treats. The nutrition policy “KidZCommunity: Placer Community Action Council, Inc. is a Healthy Food Zone” (also mentioned in your Admissions Policy Packet) details the agency’s stance on birthdays, celebrations, potlucks, fund raising involving food and other food-related issues.
  • Children are given a light breakfast when they first arrive at school and also a nutritious lunch. It is suggested that your child eat breakfast at home before coming to school (AM session) as the early meal they will receive at school is light. Afternoon classes will be served a PM snack in addition to lunch. Meals are a part of the program, and there is no charge.
  • Mealtimes provide learning opportunities for children. Meals are served family style to encourage self-help and independence. Children are encouraged to serve themselves small portions of foods (including new foods) but are never forced to eat. Also, food is never denied a child as a form of punishment. Please note that all food must be consumed on site.
  • Staff, children and parents always wash their hands before preparing and eating food. Set up and clean-up are a collaboration between staff, parents and children.
  • Required USDA (CACFP) Non-Discrimination Statement: “KidZCommunity PCAC, Inc. is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” (FNS Instruction 113-1 page 15 [IX] [d] [2]).