Parent Handbook


Kimmy's Garden, a licensed family child care

HOUSE RULES/CHILD GUIDANCE: When it comes to interactions and the guiding of children's behavior, the goal of all Educators is to maximize the growth and development of children, as well as keep them safe. My Child Guidance Policy is as follows: under no circumstance will your child be struck, yanked, shaken, sworn at, belittled, discriminated against or otherwise made to feel threatened. That being said, I can't guarantee that I won't occasionally raise my voice in the interest of safety, for the sake of getting the child's attention in the event of an unsafe situation, but never in anger or frustration. Kids have feelings, too! Everyone will be expected (and taught) to respect everyone else. No bad language, no hitting, no biting, etc. Negative behavior will be verbally addressed and the child will be redirected to another focus/activity. Only if necessary will the child be sat down away from the group for a short period of time, but will not be left unattended. Excessive negative behavior will be addressed.

OPEN DOOR POLICY:  I have an open door policy with parents. I allow, and in fact encourage, parents to visit anytime during daycare hours or when your child is here (please be considerate of nap time...) That being said, the door will be locked to insure the safety of the children. You need just knock, ring the bell or call...

SIGNING IN AND OUT:  Whoever drops off and/or picks up your child must sign the child in/out. Accountability is important. Also, it is expected that when you arrive, you take charge of your child and enforce the rules of the house (i.e.: no jumping on the furniture, no hitting of any kind, no going outside without permission, be respectful and speak kindly, no running, be quiet during nap/rest time, use indoor voices, etc.) Pick up time can be chaotic, so I ask that you help to make the transition as smooth as possible.

ALTERNATE PICK-UP/RELEASE OF CHILD:  Any adult 18 or over that is authorized to pick up your child must be noted on your child's original application, or an additional form must be filled out and placed in your child's file. Upon pick up, proper photo identification must be presented before your child will be released with anyone other than you. In the event of an emergency, you may call ahead to notify me of an alternate person not previously noted in your child's file; a photo ID will still be necessary and a description of this person's car make and model. I won't send your child with just anyone...

PERSONAL BELONGINGS:  I ask that personal belongings not be brought to daycare, but I do understand that sometimes exceptions need to be made. That being said, if you choose to allow your child to bring something from home, I cannot be held responsible for it at the end of the day. Items for nap/rest time will be kept with your child's bedding, if you so wish.

SUPPLIES: Each child will need to have a complete extra change of clothes in his/her cubby everyday. This should include a top, bottom, socks, and undergarment (all appropriate to the season and size.) As only you know your child, you should feel free to leave more than one if you feel it would be appropriate.

MEALS:  Nutritious meals will be provided but not forced. I will do my best daily to note what your child was served and how much he/she ate at each serving. I participate in a USDA-approved food program; more information can be provided upon request.

NAPS/REST/SAFE SLEEP: Supervision of children is equally important during the times that a child is sleeping at the program, particularly when that child is an infant. EEC has very specific regulations around safe sleep practices. All infants are placed on their backs to sleep, with no extra bedding or ther material, unless a child's physician orders otherwise (such an order must be given to me in writing). I check on children every 15 minutes during naptime. If your child is less than six (6) months old, I will directly supervise him/her during naptime for the first six weeks he/she is in care. For more information regarding Safe Sleep, please feel free to review the 'Family Child Care Policies' section of ww.eec.state.mass.us.


I will make every attempt to put your child down for a nap no later than 12:30p, barring unforeseen circumstances. Infants, or course, will sleep on their own schedules. Each and every child will sleep on their own bedding, on their own cot, mat or Pack N Play (supplied by me, unless you prefer to supply your own). Bedding will be laundered by me weekly or as needed.  

TOILET TRAINING: If/When you feel your child is ready, I will do whatever possible to assist you and your child with potty training. You will need to leave at least two extra complete outfits for your child, in case of (inevitable) accidents.

BIRTHDAYS:  Unless you feel otherwise, I would like to make your child's birthday a special day while they're here. The birthday child will have an approved-by-you birthday treat (likely a cake) and a bit of special attention.

A WORD FROM EEC: EEC is the agency that oversees the early education and care and after school services for families in Massachusetts. As the agency that licesnes child care, EEC has quality standards for all licensed programs to ensure high educational value, as well as health and safety. Having a license means that I have demonstrated that I meet the standards outlined in the EEC regulations.


To obtain your own copy of EEC Family Child Care Regulations, you may download them from the EEC website at: http://www.mass.gov/Eeoe/docs/EEC/regs_policies/20090122_606_cmr.pdf


For information about my regulatory compliance history, you may contact our local EEC regional office, whose contact information is as follows:

        Mass. Dept. of Early Education & Care

        1250 Hancock Street

        Suite 120-S

        Quincy, MA 02169

PHOTOS: I hope to take a lot of pictures, to document the childrens' fun and growth. Each parent will need to sign a photo release. If you do not want your child's photo taken, please let me know that you are NOT signing the form and I will make sure to keep your child out of the photos. We have a Facebook page dedicated to our program that is only accessible to invited guests/parents.

PERMISSION TO TRANSPORT: On occasion, I will try to muster up the courage to take all the kids on a field trip, maybe to nearby Franklin Park Zoo or some other fun place. I may also need to take your child with me to pick up my own children from school or their bus stop, but often will try to do this as part of an afternoon "walk" in the wagon or something. As a result, each parent will need to sign a Permission to Transport form. If you do not wish to sign this, we may need to evaluate whether or not your child should attend, as it may be necessary to take them out from time to time, as previously stated.

SICK CHILD POLICY: I cannot allow a sick child to attend, if your child has an unexplained rash, a fever of 100F or over, excessive cold/cough, vomiting, diarrhea, lice/nits, discharge from eyes/ears or a communicable disease (chickenpox, conjunctivitis, influenza, etc.). It is everyone's responsibility to do everything possible to prevent contagious infections from spreading to the other children in my care. If your child develops an illness while in my care, they will be isolated from the other kids (as best possible) and you will be contacted so that you can immediately pick up your child or make such arrangements. If it is necessary for your child to leave due to illness, state regulations require they do not return until they have been symptom-free for at least 24hrs. This policy will be strictly enforced to keep the children as healthy as possible. This also applies to illness over the weekend or while at home. Please keep in mind that bringing a sick child to daycare can result in me or my family becoming ill and me having to close the daycare for all the families in care. If your child is ill, please notify me regarding the nature of the illness, especially if it is contagious. I will then notify all the families of the children known to have been exposed.

MEDICATIONS: Written permission from your child's doctor/pediatrician/dentist must be obtained prior to administering any medication, including over-the-counter medicines. I must also have written permission from you to administer medications. Prescription medication must be brought in its pharmacy container, appropriately labeled by the pharmacy or per with prescriptive authority. It must also note the dosing/administering directions. All unused medications will be returned to the parent if possible, or disposed of in accordance with Department of Public Health guidelines.

Anything non-prescription to be used for diapering must be accompanied with a signed parental notice, valid for one year.


ORAL HEALTH: Proper oral health begins at home, and I will be reinforcing good oral health practices with your child each day. If your child is in care for more than 4 hours per day, or he/she will be receiving at least one meal while in care, I am required to assist your child with tooth brushing at the program. I will be providing tooth brushing materials at the program, unless you'd prefer to supply them yourself. I use non-fluoride toothpaste.


PARENT NOTIFICATIONS: I am required by EEC regulations to notify you of certain information about my family child care home. These notifications include, but are not limited to the following:

-an injury to your child

-allegations of abuse or neglect regarding your child

-if another educator will be caring for your child

-the administering of first aid to your child

-whenever a communicable disease has been identified in the program

-children being taken off the child care premises

-the existence of firearms in my home

-if there are any changes in my household composition

-prior to any pets being introduced into the program

-whenever special problems or significant developments arise


VACATION/TIME OFF POLICY: In the event I need to take time off (a day or a week, for example), families will get as much notice as possible.  I will do my very best to provide no less than 30 days notice, but this cannot be guaranteed.  In either event, fees for my time off will be credited unless otherwise states in your enrollment packet.


Families will be allowed one week of vacation that they don't have to pay for. In turn, I will be allowed two weeks of vacation that families will be required to pay for. Also, I will be allowed three paid sick days, at which time I will make every attempt to notify families as far in advance as possible of the program closing.

PLAN FOR MEETING POTENTIAL EMERGENCIES: EEC regulations require that I have a plan for meeting potential emergencies that may occur either during child care hours or at any time if they may affect the operation of the program.

-In case of fire alarm, I will bring the kids to the mail box at the end of the driveway, or to our neighbors yard to our left if more urgent. Parents will be notified whether or not their child needs to be picked up (not so if it turns out to be a 'false alarm'). We will do fire drills randomly so that the kids are prepared for such events. If some other emergency comes up, parents or other authorized adults will be notified to pick up their child as soon as possible.

-In the event of evacuation emergency, I will contact the local authorities to determine whether or not the evacuate the program, or to remain sheltered at the program.

-The escape routes from the licensed family child care space are located at the very front and back of the room. Each is labeled with and EXIT sign

-In the event that a child goes missing from the program, I will call the police, the notify the parent, then notify EEC.

-Should the program need to be evacuated in the case of a fire, natural disaster, loss of power, heat or hot water, or any other emergency situation, we will meet at Boston Fire Dept., engine 49, 205 Neponset Valley Parkway in Hyde Park.

-If the program needs to be evacuated, I will notify all parents, as well as the appropriate authorities (fire, police, etc.) and EEC via my cellphone, using contact information provided by the parents on their emergency cards located in our first aid kit.

-I will ensure that no child has been left at the program after an evacuation by taking attendance and a head count.


CHILDREN'S RECORDS: EEC regulations require me to maintain an individual written record for every child I have in care. These records include the information that parents complete at enrollment, as well as progress reports, incident reports and other documentation regarding your child's care. Records are updated at least annually, but may be updated as frequently as is needed.


As a parent, you have access to the record that I maintain for your child, and you have the right to add information or to request that information in your child's record be changed or deleted. You may also have a right to receive a copy of your child's record; however I may charge a reasonable fee for that copy.


EEC regulations require that I make children's records available to EEC at any time that EEC may request these records, such as during a licensing/monitoring visit, a complaint investigation, or a financial review of my program. Failure on my part or provide these records to EEC could result in EEC citing me for regulatory non-compliance or taking legal action against my license. When EEC staff members review children's records in order to ensure that I am in compliance with EEC regulations, at times they may copy and keep the information found in these records in order to review my compliance with all EEC regulations and policies applicable to my program. This information will be kept in my EEC licensing file or in EEC's financial monitoring file if the information involves issues related to subsidized care. EEC is required by law to keep confidential any personally identifiable information found in childrens' records collected and maintained by EEC staff members. EEC has a Privacy Policy which discusses how EEC keeps such information confidential. That policy can be found by going to the EEC website at http://www.eec.state.ma.us/docs1/20101124_eec_privacy_policy.pdf.


Please let me know about any questions you may have regarding your child's record.


MANDATED REPORTING: As a licensed Educator in Massachusetts, I must operate my program in a way that protects children from abuse and neglect. As such, I am a mandated reporter (under M.G.L. c.119 s51A) and must make a report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) whenever I have reasonable cause to believe a child in the program is suffering from a serious physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse inflicted upon the child, or from neglect, no matter where the abuse or neglect may have occurred or by whom it was inflicted.


WHAT I NEED FROM YOU: The first day your child attends child care, I need a copy of the attached Family Child Care Enrollment Packet. Without these completed documents, which MUST BE UPDATED ANNUALLY, I cannot care for your child. The reason for this is so I have all the important information and phone numbers I will need in order to provide the best possible care for your child.


Medical Information: Medical information about your child must be given to me within one (1) month from the day your child begins care. There are three (3) pieces of medical information I will need:

1) A statement from a physician or health care professional that says that your child received a physical exam within the past year;

2) Evidence that your child has been immunized as recommended by the Department of Public Health;

3) If your child is nine (9) months of age or older, a statement from a physician or health care professional which says that your child has been screened for lead poisoning.


Please note that your child's immunization record must be updated and given to me in accordance with the Department of Public Health's immunization schedule. Also, your child's lead screening report must be updated as required by Department of Public Health Regulations. This report must also be given to me. If your child is school age, I can accept a written statement that the required information is on file with the child's school.


MAINTAINING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT: EEC has a number of licensing standards related to safety in Family Child Care Home. Most of these standards outline common safety precautions such as making dangerous materials inaccessible to children, covering outlets, having a first aid kit, practicing evacuation drills, gating stairs, windows or heating elements, posting emergency numbers, and maintaining a clean, hazard-free indoor space. Also, the outdoor space must be safe and hazard-free and there should be no access to a busy street, water, construction material, rusty or broken play materials, debris, glass, or peeling paint.


LEAD POISONING PREVENTION: All Family Child Care Educators are required by EEC to provide parents with information regarding the risks of Lead Poisoning. The following are some facts that all parents should know about lead and lead poisoning:

-Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing lead. Lead is poison when it gets into the body.

-Lead can stay in the body for a long time. Young children absorb lead more easily than adults. The harm done by lead may never go away. Lead in the body can:

   -Hurt the brain, kidneys and nervous system

   -Slow down growth and development

   -Make it hard to learn

   -Damage hearing and speech

   -Cause behavior problems

-Most of the lead poisoning in Massachusetts comes from lead paint dust in older homes. Many homes built before 1978 have lead paint on the inside and outside of the building.

-When old pain peels and cracks, it creates lead paint chips and lead dust. Lead dust also comes from opening and closing old windows.

-Lead dust lands on the floor. Lead gets into children's bodies when they put their hands and toys into their mouths. Children can also breathe in lead dust. Children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years old are most at risk.

-Important: Home repairs and renovations also create lead dust.

-Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. A lead test is the only way to know if your child has lead poisoning. Ask your doctor to test your child for lead. Some children may have:

   -Upset stomach

   -Trouble eating or sleeping

   -Headache

   -Trouble paying attention


As mentioned earlier, if your child is over nine (9) months of age, you will need to provide documentation to me that your child has been screened for lead poisoning. Most children will be screened annually until either three (3) or four (4), depending on where the child lives.


I am required to disclose to you if I am aware of any known sources of lead in my home. Information regarding know sources of lead in my home is as follows: NO KNOWN LEAD PER TEST PROVIDED MY LICENSED LEAD TESTER.


For more information on lead poisoning, you can visit http://www.mass.gov/dph/clppp or call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (800) 532-9571.


CURRICULUM AND PROGRESS REPORTS: All Family Child Care Educators must carry out a routine that is flexible and responds to the needs and interests of children in care. The routine must include things such as meeting the physical needs of children in care, sixty minutes of physical activity every day, child-initiated and Educator-initiated activities and daily outdoor play, weather permitting. Additionally, the Educator must develop a curriculum that engages children in developmentally appropriate activities by planning specific learning experiences. The curriculum must include things such as learning self-help skills that foster independence, opportunities to gain problem solving and decision making competencies and leadership skills and opportunities to learn about proper nutrition, good health and personal safety. I am also responsible for providing an environment that promotes cultural, social and individual diversity.


In addition, progress reports must be completed periodically for all children in care. For infants and children with identified special needs, I will be completing progress reports every three months. For toddlers and preschoolers, those reports are completed every six months, and school age children will have a yearly progress report completed for them.


I will be sharing your child's progress reports with you, as well as offering an opportunity to meet and discuss your child's progress. Feel free to ask me about curriculum and progress reports and how they are implemented in my program.


SUPERVISION: Supervision is critical to keeping children safe. I and any assistants in my program will appropriately supervise children in order to ensure their health and safety at all times. I will use good judgement and consider several factors in determining the appropriate level of supervision for children including age, developmental needs, behavioral characteristics, the nature of activities and the space we are using, as well as the number of caregivers present at any given time. If you have any questions about how I supervise the children in my program, feel free to ask me.


TERMINATION POLICY: In order to cancel enrollment, written notice must be provided at least two weeks in advance.


ENROLLMENT/CAPACITY: My current licensed capacity is 8, which is posted on my license. At any one time, I can only care for the number of children that I've been licensed for, which may include my own children, depending on their ages. In addition, EEC regulations state that I cannot care for more than three (3) children under the age of two (2) without an assistant, with one of those children being at least 15 months old AND walking unassisted. If you have concerns or questions about the number of children in my care, please feel free to discuss them with me.


USE OF ASSISTANTS: I may have an assistant to help care for the child care children, provided they are approved by EEC. If and when I use an assistant, I will let you know ahead of time, and you will have an opportunity to meet the assistant that will be working in the program. I may also use volunteers from time to time, and although they will bot be directly responsible for the care of children in the program, they will be on the premises and assisting me.


I am (_X_not) currently utilizing an assistant or volunteer(s): _______________________________.


Ultimately, please understand that your provider is a person, a mother of her own young children who has spent a whole day with yours. I love what I do, but under the best circumstances I still need a break, which I don't get during the long day with your children. Be considerate of my time and lack of energy at the end of the day. Two minutes late (or early) to you could feel like an hour to me! Your child, also, has a long day of forced sharing, rules & structure. He/She is likely as tired as I am and probably wants nothing more to go home to his/her own space to snuggle with you. All things considered, try not to leave your child longer than necessary.