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linkedtogetherorg

By Judith Hill,2014-06-19 07:16
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linkedtogetherorg

    Linked Together

    Parent Handbook

Dear Parents,

    Welcome to the Linked Together before and after school child care program. We know that finding the right place for your child is a very important and often challenging decision to make. We also understand that it is ultimately important that you feel secure and as though your child’s emotional, social, developmental, and physical needs will be met when leaving your little one in the care of others. Our program has been developed with all of this in mind. We are excited to be able to offer the families of Newmarket a program that will:

    ; Give children the opportunity to play, learn, and grow in an accepting and

    encouraging environment.

    ; Enable children to explore, embrace, and become a healthy part of the social,

    emotional, and physical world around them on both a local and global level.

    ; Encourage creativity and wonder.

    ; Teach respect and compassion for our teachers, friends, families, and nature.

    ; Support and meet the diverse child care needs of the families in our

    community.

    This Handbook has been developed to give you a thorough introduction to our unique program and its processes and procedures. Building a partnership with our parents is vital to the program’s success so please take some time to thoroughly read through each section of this handbook and feel free to contact us directly if you have any additional questions that need to be answered.

    Please remember that your input and ideas will only help us grow and are always welcome. Thank you once again for joining us as we look forward to having the opportunity to watch your child play, learn, and grow in our inspiring and encouraging environment!

Yours in the best interest of the child,

    Ree Cooper, Executive Director

    Sarah Reeser, Site Director

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    Agency Mission

    Linked Together is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and supporting the youth of our community and surrounding areas to identify and achieve their goals through a variety of learning experiences and community participation.

    History

    Linked Together was established on July 1, 1996. When we opened our doors, we were licensed for 45 children and we were housed out of the school cafeteria. In August 2002 we expanded our agency and not only used the cafeteria but also a Kindergarten classroom in the school. The children divided into two groups. Kindergarten and first grade use the kindergarten room while second through six grades are in the cafeteria. The expansion allowed us to serve 15 more children a day taking us from 45 daily to 60 daily. A new component of the program that we added in 2006 is service learning. The children pick a project that is a need in our community. The students learn and develop through active participation to find a solution to that need. As a non-profit organization, Linked Together is overseen by a Volunteer Board of Directors whose function is to set policies, oversee the financial management of our center and uphold the By-laws of the agency. Parents are encouraged to join the Board. Linked Together is also a member of the Greater Seacoast United Way.

    Program Philosophy

    The goal of our program is to help each child to become a well-rounded person. The staff of the school age program believes that learning is a life-long process and that everyone is capable of such learning. Learning should be an enjoyable process which fosters creativity, self esteem and most importantly, curiosity. At our program it is a natural process accomplished in a warm, caring and safe atmosphere. The process originates from each child and is facilitated by the staff. It is our task to help our youth to understand, establish and live by the values of our community. We believe that each student will be some sort of leader in his/her adult life, and we practice the necessary skills of communication and logical thinking. We teach fundamental skills such as caring for the well-being of others

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    and caring for the well-being of their environment. We also believe that mistakes in judgment occasionally will be made. It is not our job to say “you’re wrong:” it is

    our job to show them that there may be a different way.

    The Program Environment

    Before school care is offered from 6:30 am-7:45 am. Parents may sign children in any time between those hours. Breakfast is served between 7am and 7:30 am. Quiet free play choices will be offered.

    Our after school care is offered from 3:00pm 6:00pm. As the children arrive

    our routine is announcements, attendance and quiet activities followed by a light snack. Once snack is completed, children engage in board games, reading, painting, special projects and homework time. Staff is available to assist with homework. Also incorporated in each day will be age appropriate structured activities such as games or sports activities, science projects, character development and multicultural activities. Outdoor activities will be integrated into each child’s afternoon weather permitting. Our staff creates an environment where children can learn through exploration and interaction with appropriate materials, adults and other children.

    Our Hours of Operation

    We are open Monday through Friday from 6:30-8:00 AM and 3:00-6:00 PM when the Newmarket Elementary School is in session. In addition, we are in session from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM on vacation and teacher workshop days. Please refer to the Agency Calendar about our days of closure and vacation schedules. LATE PICKUPS: As the parent, you agree that if you or your designated pick up person picks up your child after 6:00 PM, you will be charged $1.00 for every minute that your child is there after closing. We will use the clock in the Linked Together site to determine the time. THIS FEE SHOULD BE PAID DIRECTLY

    TO THE STAFF IN CASH AT THE TIME YOU PICK UP YOU’RE CHILD. If

    this occurs on a regular basis, child care may be terminated.

    If by 7:00 pm Linked Together has not heard from the parent/guardian and the staff has been unsuccessful in trying to reach emergency contacts listed on the child’s file, Linked Together will contact the Department of Child and Family

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    Services (DCFS) and the police department to report the child has been abandoned. Linked Together will then release the child to the care of these services.

    Snow Policy & Emergency Closings

    Closure: If the Newmarket School District is closed, Linked Together will be

    Closed.

    Snow Delay: If the Newmarket School District has a two hour delay, Linked

    Together will operate from 6:30 AM to the time that school begins. Delay to Cancellation: If a snow delay goes to a cancellation, Linked Together will operate from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM.

    Early Release Due to Snow: If there is an early release from school due to

    inclement weather, Linked Together will operate from the early release time to 6:00 PM.

    Please note that if weather conditions on a delay to cancellation or early release due to snow cause roads to be extremely hazardous, the Executive Director will notify parents that the program will be closing early.

    Emergency Closings: In the event of floods, power outages, furnace problems, etc. that cause the Newmarket Elementary School to close for the safety of the children, Linked Together will also be closed.

    SNOW DELAYS AND CLOSINGS ARE MADE ON WOKQ, WERZ FM AND

    WMYF AM RADIO STATIONS AS WELL AS WMUR CHANNEL 9 TV.

    Vacation Weeks: During vacation weeks, the decision to open and run Linked Together will be made with the assistance of the Newmarket Public Works Director.

    Sign in & Out

    All children must be signed in and out daily for tuition purposes. When signing your child in, please state who will be picking up your child if other then you. Your child will not be released to anyone who is not on the emergency form. If the person is not listed, we require written permission from the parent or legal guardian. The person picking up your child must be at least 16 years of age. If the staff does not know the authorized person, a picture ID will be requested. You may add new names

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    to your list at anytime by notifying the Site Director. If you think you cannot pick up your child by 6:00 PM and did not talk to a teacher when dropping your child off, (for example an emergency arises and your car breaks down, flat tire, etc) please call 659-6871 and leave a message. The safety of your child is very important to us and is not taken lightly or for granted, therefore clear and direct transfer of information to a teacher is necessary.

ONCE A CHILD IS SIGNED OUT, THE PARENT/GUARDIAN IS

    RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY AND SUPERVISION OF THEIR CHILD

    Snacks & Meals

    Snack: A healthy snack will be available for your child each day. If your child has any dietary restrictions, please be sure to indicate them on the medical form. Breakfast and Lunch: Breakfast and juice will be available to children who attend the morning program. During full day programs, lunches must be brought from home. If you send food that needs to be refrigerated please use a lunch box that can hold an ice pack. Please do not send candy or sweetened drinks in your child’s lunch. We will heat food as needed by microwave.

    Field Trips

    The program may go on walks in the neighborhood or to a nearby park. Children will be accompanied by the appropriate staff at all times. A note will be left on the door to the cafeteria telling parents where their children are if they should arrive and the program is gone. Parents may pick up their children from wherever the destination may be.

    Field trips may be scheduled during school vacation days and are a part of our summer program. Parents will be notified and permission slips will need to be signed by a parent for your child to attend. Please read the permission slip carefully as some field trips require your child to bring special items to participate in the field trip. We require seat belt use. We have a first aid kit on our van.

    Holidays & Absences

    Holidays: Linked Together will be closed for all major holidays including but not limited to: Independence Day, Labor Day and the Friday before, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, Christmas, New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day and Memorial Day. All days off will be posted in advance.

    Linked Together has three vacation weeks a year. One is in the winter and falls over the Christmas break of the Newmarket School District. The other two fall at

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    the end of the summer just before school starts to allow the custodial staff to clean the space that we use and have it ready for the new school year to begin. Please check the agency calendar for the exact dates.

Absences: It is absolutely necessary to know where all of our children are. If your

    child is going to be absent due to illness, riding the bus home for the day or going to a friend’s house, Doctors appointments, special after school activity and such, please contact the Executive Director at 659-6871 (leaving a message) before 2:00 PM. This allows the staff to have an accurate list of children participating each day. If your child has a contagious illness, please let us know so that we can post it to alert other parents as it is required by law.

    Payment Fees and Procedures

    Deposits: A DEPOSIT OF TWO WEEKS TUITION WILL BE REQUIRED. One

    week of tuition will cover the child’s first week in the program. The second week of tuition will be held in escrow and will be applied to the child’s final week.

Registration Fee: An annual registration fee of $35.00 ($20.00 for each

    additional child residing in the same household) is required upon enrollment for any program, regarding if status is full time, part time, or hourly (drop off). These fees help to offset the administrative costs.

    Activity Fee: An annual activity fee of $40.00 per child is required upon enrollment for programs operating September through June. These fees help to offset the costs of special events, and to help cover the cost of art supplies and various program materials.

Parent Pitch-in Fee: Parents are required to “pitch-in” 10 hours of their time to

    assist the center fundraisers over the year to help the agency to keep the tuitions low. Each month there will be posted fundraising projects that you may chose to participate in. In lieu of the 10 hours of service, parents may opt to pay a $100 fee ($10 per hour of service not completed). Parents will be billed $10

    per month.

    Payment Procedures: Payments for child care are on a weekly basis, one week in advance. Payments must be received by Linked Together by Friday for the

    following week of care. If payment has not been received by the close of child care on Friday, we will be unable to provide care for your child(ren) that following week or until all payments are current. A pre-payment bi-weekly or monthly

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    schedule can be arranged. A tuition agreement for each child and will be kept on file in the office.

    Please remember that unless otherwise notified, your weekly contracted tuition is the amount of your tuition agreement. Bills are issued weekly, Your are

    responsible to pay weekly for child care services even if you do not receive a bill!!! To change your child’s contracted tuition agreement, a two-week written

    notice must be submitted. Tuition is charged regardless of your child’s attendance,

    this includes absences due to illness or other reasons.

    Make Checks Payable to Linked Together

    Please indicate child’s name and dates being paid for on your check.

    Payments are placed in the tuition mailbox just inside the door of the supply closet. If you are paying cash, please make sure that your payment is in a sealed envelope with your name and your child’s name on it and what you are paying for (i.e. tuition

    stfor the week of September 1, deposit for February vacation, etc.) before it goes into the tuition box. Please do not leave payments on the table or by the sign-in sheet.

    A fee of $25.00 will be charged for the first returned check per family. If a family has a second returned check, the fee is $30.00. A third returned check from the same family will be charged $35.00 and future payments will be required by money order or cash.

Overdue Payment Procedures (if we approve the above policy, will we

    need this paragraph???)

    Payment is considered overdue if it is not received by Friday for the following week. If payment is not received on time, an overdue notice will be sent. Late payments will result in the imposition of late payment fees.

    If payment arrangements are not made, or the account brought up to date, by Friday of the second week, a letter will be sent indicating the amount due and officially terminating the child’s enrollment effective the following Friday.

    If payment is not received, the account may be turned over to a collection agency or further collection efforts taken.

    Vacation Weeks, Non-School Days and Early Release

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    Full day programs will be provided on a space-limited basis. Registration is required. Registration for care will begin two weeks prior to the scheduled day off. Child care is limited to 45 children, therefore, registration is on a first come, first served basis. Children must bring lunch, sneakers and appropriate clothing for outside activities.

    Health Policy

    A child may not attend school with any of the following: fever over 100.5 F, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, severe cough or complaints of severe pain. If your child gets any of these symptoms, they will be placed in an area isolated from the other children. You will be called immediately and asked to come get your child. For this reason, please keep your registration form updated.

    Medication: During the school year, the school nurse dispenses medication. Linked Together staff members will transfer medicine to and from the Nurse’s office. During full day programs, school vacations and the summer program, prescription and non-prescription medicines will only be given to your child after you have filled out and signed a Medication Release Form. Staff will document the times that the medication was given. All medicine must be in the original bottle with the Pharmacist’s label. Non-prescription medicine will only be given when a signed note from the physician stating the name of the medication and dosage is accompanied by the medical request form.

    The program is not set up for the care of ill children so please keep your child home when they are not feeling well. If your child is absent from school due to

    illness or sent home by the school nurse due to illness, they may not attend the program. IF A CHILD IS WELL ENOUGH TO ATTEND SCHOOL, THEY ARE

    WELL ENOUGH TO PLAY OUTSIDE. Please do not ask us to keep your child inside

    while others are outside.

    Injured Child/Accident Reports

    The staff treats minor injuries such as scrapes or small cuts will be treated with soap and water, bruises and bumps will be treated with ice. Parents are notified of such treatment in writing through an accident report describing the nature of the injury and actions taken. Please sign and return this accident form. A copy will be kept on file at the site. If we determine that outside treatment is required, but there is no emergency, we will notify the parent to pick up the child at the program to transport to the physician or clinic for treatment. If emergency care is required, 911 will be called. Parents will be called first if possible. Parents are responsible for any emergency service charges. Our staff is trained in CPR and First Aid.

    Discipline Policy

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    Good classroom discipline begins with good classroom supervision. Staff is responsible for supervising the students at all times. Discipline shall be fair and consistently applied. It shall occur in a timely manner and be appropriate to the infraction and the age of the child. Consequences for misbehavior shall involve restating rules and appropriate choice options when possible.

Our staff shall:

    ; Be within sight or hearing of children at all times

    ; Monitor children’s play for appropriate child to interaction, intervening when

    necessary.

    ; Know their students, monitor individual students for frustration, anger, and

    intervene when necessary.

    ; Set clear classroom rules, guidelines, and limits to maintain a safe

    environment.

    ; Help each child develop self-control and respect for others.

    ; Monitor her/him self for frustration/anger level and take appropriate

    breaks when needed as the situation will allow.

    Linked Together Child Care Behavior Policy

    The guidelines for the child care behavior policy are designed to provide a child care environment where fun and relaxation can take place and where rights, dignity and safety of all children and staff are inspired.

Behavior Guidelines:

    The following guidelines will be discussed with all children attending the program. Through encouragement and praise, these guidelines will be promoted on a regular basis.

    1. RESPECT yourself, each other, staff and LINKED TOGETHER property.

    2. Be SAFE and practice safety awareness at all times.

    3. Use words to express feelings of anger and frustration. Hitting, kicking,

    fighting and bullying will not be tolerated.

    4. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

    5. Loud voices, running and sports activities will only be allowed outside or in a

    designated indoor play area.

    6. Use manners and polite language.

    7. Pick up after yourself. It is everyone’s responsibility to help keep our space

    neat and clean.

    Behavior Termination Policy

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    Child Care services for children participating in Linked Together will be terminated due to repeated or severe inappropriate behavior. In dealing with misbehavior, the following steps will be taken by the Linked Together staff:

    1. Verbal warning to the child

    2. Verbal communication with the parents/guardian

    3. Written incident report signed by the staff and site director.

    4. Child will be suspended for the following contracted day of care.

    5. Child will be suspended for the following week of care.

    6. As a final measure, the child will not be allowed to attend the program for

    the remainder of the school year.

    Linked Together reserves the right to suspend and/or terminate child care services immediately when the health, welfare or safety of other children is at stake.

    Child Abuse Policy

    The state of New Hampshire observes the mandatory reporting policy. Under these guidelines, all staff, volunteers, parents and adults in and around our agency are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse.

    Parent Communication

    Communication with our parents is of the utmost importance to us. The staff will make an effort to talk to parents regularly about how their child is doing in the program. Please feel free to call the Executive Director with any questions or concerns that you have when they first arise. With everyone’s cooperation, we will attempt to resolve any problems quickly. Together we can make this a successful program. We will send out regular announcements via both hardcopy (please check your child’s folder) and e-mail. You are also encouraged to visit the Linked

    Together Web site at www.LinkedTogether.org for any updates that may be

    posted. If you have an email account please make sure to post it on your registration form.

    Volunteers

    We welcome and encourage parents to spend time in and contribute to our program. If you have a special skill or hobby, or you know someone who might wish to share some time with us please let the director know. Volunteering is a great way to watch your child grow and interact with other children while getting to know the program better.

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