Parent Handbook

Program Statement

Apple Tree Academy Inc. is dedicated to supporting children’s learning, development, health and well-being through caring and responsive Early Childhood Educators, who focus on active learning, exploration, play and inquiry, and who see children and their families as competent and able, and as active participants in all aspects of the program.

A key feature of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 is the focus on strengthening child care programs and ensuring high-quality experiences for children. The CCEYA authorizes the Minister of Education to issue policy statements regarding programming and pedagogy for the purpose of guiding operators of child care and early year’s programs. How does learning happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the Early Years (2014) is the document used by Apple Tree Academy Inc. The document has a strong pedagogical focus, indicating that the pedagogy is not a prescriptive formula that lays out a specific curriculum or activities but instead challenges the status quo and explores how learning happens for children. How Does Learning Happen? is organized around four foundational conditions that are considered essential to optimal learning and healthy development for children:

Belonging refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual’s experiences of being valued, of forming relationships with others and making contributions as part of a group, a community, the natural world.

Well-being addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation skills.

Engagement suggests a state of being involved and focused. When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged. Through this type of play and inquiry, they develop skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, and innovating, which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond.

Expression or communication (to be heard, as well as to listen) may take many different forms. Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication. Opportunities to explore materials support creativity, problem-solving, and mathematical behaviours. Language-rich environments support growing communication skills, which are foundational for literacy.

The four foundations apply regardless of the child’s age, ability, culture, language, geography, or setting. Unlike a structured curriculum, the conditions are high states of being that children naturally seek for themselves and should not be viewed as separate elements.


Our Goals

• All staff will promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of each child by providing a clean and safe environment, nutrition based on the Canada’s Food Guide, access to drinking water throughout the day, limited transitions, eliminating any environmental issues that may cause undue stress to the child, unnecessary disruptions to play and reducing hazards that may cause injury. Educators will familiarize themselves with all information concerning any medical conditions, exceptionalities, allergies, food restrictions, medication requirements, and parental preferences in respect to diet, exercise and rest time.

• All staff will support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, and child care providers. The Directors will support this through the hiring of qualified, responsive, and well trained Early Childhood Educators who support families in their role as primary caregivers, and understand the needs of each child as an individual.

• All staff will encourage children to interact and communicate in a positive way, and support their ability to self-regulate; acknowledging that each child is competent, curious and rich in potential. Staff will support self-regulation in children (defined as the child’s ability to gain control of bodily functions, manage powerful emotions and maintain focus and attention) Self-regulation in early development is influenced by a child’s relationship with the important adults in that child’s life, including the ECEs in the program. All staff will provide the experiences, support and encouragement that help young children learn to self-regulate, which is a crucial component of quality care.

• All staff will foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry by providing a variety of activities, and an environment rich in content, that encourages choices, and active play, supported by qualified, attentive and interactive Early Childhood Educators

• All Staff will provide child-initiated and adult supported experiences. The Early Childhood Educators will observe the children and use that information to plan and create a positive learning environment that is based on the interests of the child, and supported by all the adults in the child care environment. Educators will be responsible for introducing new ideas, interests, facts, concepts, skills and experiences to widen the child’s knowledge and life experiences.

• Our Early Childhood Educators learn about their students through listening, observing, documenting, and discussion with our staff and families, to better understand children as unique individuals. They will observe, listen and document to learn how children make meaning through their experiences and achieve set out goals, and use this documentation to have positive, meaningful interactions, and engage children on a daily basis.

• Each child will experience indoor, and two hours of outdoor play (weather permitting) daily, as well as a time to rest and sleep if needed, quiet and active times, always being mindful of each child’s needs and parental direction.

• Regular and ongoing communication with parents is an important component of the day. Communication may be in person, by phone, e-mail or through written and posted communication tools. Communication needs to come from all members of the organization, Directors, the Supervisor and all staff.

• Parents will be directed to resources outside of the centre if necessary, and community partners such as early year’s services, speech therapists, support services, occupational therapists, counsellors, etc., this will be an important part of the centre’s support to all children and their families.

• We view the community as a valuable resource and our educators plan learning opportunities to engage the community in our programs. We seek out opportunities to share our knowledge and to learn from others in the community.

• The organization will provide ongoing opportunities for educators to engage in critical reflection and discussion with others about pedagogy and practice, to support continuous professional learning.

• All staff will build a climate of trust, honesty and respect in the workplace, working collaboratively in order to provide a safe, secure, healthy and inviting environment for all children and their families, building and maintaining healthy professional relationships that encourage growth and offering support and mentorship.


How We Will Meet Our Goals

Apple Tree Academy Inc. wants to ensure that your children have a safe and positive experience that promotes their growth as a learner. To this end, the Director or designate will observe staff interactions with children ensuring that they align with our program statement and beliefs in adult-child interactions. The following practices are not supported by our facility:

• corporal punishment of the child
• physical restraint of the child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purposes of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose of preventing a child from hurting himself, herself or someone else, and is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent
• locking the exits of the child care centre or home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency and is required as part of the licensee’s emergency management policies and procedures;
• use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
• depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
• inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.

In the event that the Director or Supervisor observes or is made aware of any practice that is not supported, they will address the issue with the staff member according to the strategies outlined in the Disciplinary Policy that is outlined in the Operations Manual.

Additionally, all Early Childhood Educators have made a commitment to abide by the standards of their profession as set out in the College of Early Childhood Educators Code of Ethics and Standards of practice. All Early Childhood Educators hold themselves accountable, and will use the Code of Ethics, the Standards of practice and the CCEYA to guide their decisions and practice.

We keep records pertaining to monitoring of our Program Statement for 3 years.


Program Development

Our programs are re-evaluated to reflect changes within the CCEYA (Child Care and Early Years Act) and ideologies of Early Childhood Education. Children’s developmental needs and the needs of families also play an important role in changes.

Throughout the year (approximately every 3 months), The Nipissing District Developmental Screening (used to monitor your child’s development) will be used to record their progress.

Parents/Guardians are encouraged to discuss any aspect of the programs and/or their child’s progress through formal or informal interviews at any time during the day. Input from parents regarding the program is always appreciated and welcomed.


Health, Safety & Well-Being

Apple Tree Academy supports and promotes the physical, social and emotional well-being of students and all staff. We strive to meet and, where possible, exceed licensing requirements as well as the requirements of Durham Region Public Health. To protect the health and wellness of the students attending Apple Tree Academy, everyone is strongly encouraged to follow routine practices and proper hygiene when at all possible. As a result, we practice frequent hand washing and the use of gloves during all diapering or assistance with toileting, as well as handling any injuries if they happen. We like to provide opportunities for healthy nutrition, hygiene, and regular exercise including daily outdoor play, in a safe and clean environment. On a regular basis, the staff at Apple Tree Academy will be learning the needs of each student in care so that the best individual care can be offered. Every staff will have valid First Aid & CPR (C) Certificates.

It is required that you provide the immunization history of your child so that in the event of a community or facility outbreak, there is an understanding of risk to each Student in our care. If you have chosen not to immunize your child, a signed note from you, the parent, stating such will be required.

In the event of illness, all measures are taken to comfort and provide relief to sick students or staff members and their families, and to protect others from contagion. Such protection measures include exclusion from Apple Tree Academy when illnesses from identified communicable diseases or conditions of ill health pose a risk to others.

While there are many policies dealing with illness when it occurs, it is always important to address prevention through good hygiene strategies.

Hand Washing Procedure
1. Wet hands with warm running water.
2. Apply a small amount of soap
3. Rub palms, backs of hands, between fingers and under nails for at least 15 seconds
4. Rinse off all soap with running water
5. Turn Taps off with paper towel
6. Dry hands with hand dryer


Nutrition

Due to allergies, outside food is prohibited as students may have life-threatening allergies and require Epi-pens. Holiday treats must be discussed with staff before entering the centre or the classroom.

All food is prepared on site by a qualified cook. We serve a morning and afternoon snack as well as a nutritious lunch every day. Weekly menus are posted outside our kitchen. We are on a 4-week rotation. If there are any changes in regards to the menu for the current day, the changes will be posted on the menu board.

Food exceptions are not made for individual students except in cases of food allergies or religious convictions. Please notify the Supervisor at the time of enrolment if your child has a food allergy or develops an allergy. This will then be posted in the kitchen as well as in the student’s classroom ensuring it is adhered to. An allergy form may be required.

Apple Tree Academy does not cater to giving children lots of their favourite food to the exclusion of the balanced meal. Instead, we offer healthily, portioned meals which follow Canada’s Food Guide (e.g. ½ cup vegetables, 1 cup chicken stir fry, ½ cup brown rice, ½ cup milk).

Children need a nutritious diet to thrive and grow. They need a well-balanced diet with a combination of foods and drinks from all five food groups. Our portions are sized for 4-8 year-olds and they have been designed to ensure that his/her energy and nutrient requirements are met (with the exception of vitamin D, for which most toddlers need a supplement).

How much they eat varies widely from day to day and meal to meal. In general, if a child is taller or more active he/she will eat larger portions of some foods than if he/she is smaller or less active – hence our portioning for 4-8 year-olds. We allow children to eat to his/her appetite and don’t urge younger/smaller children to finish everything on the plate or to eat more than they wish to.

We are careful about how much milk and milk products our students consume, as too much can reduce appetites for iron-containing foods. Also, we provide smaller portion sizes for the foods high in fat and sugar because these low nutrient, energy-dense foods should be limited to prevent children from becoming overweight or obese.

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/canada-food-guide/food-guide-servings-tracker/girls-boys-aged-4-8.html


Birthdays

We love to celebrate birthdays at Apple Tree Academy, however, we do not allow foods such as cupcakes, cakes, doughnuts, or candy to be brought in for birthdays or holidays. Instead, we encourage you to explore healthier options such as fruit trays and save the sugary foods for home. The teachers will also celebrate your child’s birthday in other ways throughout their special day at school.

You are welcome to send healthy treats or goody bags to share with classmates, but please let the teachers know in advance what you will be bringing so that they can arrange to distribute them to the children after nap or at dismissal.


Application of Creams (Sunscreen, Bug Repellant, Diaper Creams)

Application of Sunscreen – In striving to keep children safe and healthy (and in accordance with Health Canada), YOU must apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) to your child each and every day before dropping them off in our care. You must also provide us with a bottle of sunscreen to re-apply after water activities. Coppertone or Banana Boat brands are preferred, however, if you would like to provide another brand, be sure to provide a box of disposable gloves for application. Staff will ask for replacements as needed. Please ensure that the sunscreen is not a spray, as these make a mess on the floors and the carpets of the classrooms.

Application of Insect Repellant – To prevent the risk of contracting the West Nile Virus or other viruses from mosquito bites, Health Canada recommends applying Insect Repellant with a concentration of 10% ‘Deet’ or less (for children 6 months to 12 years of age). We encourage you to consult the internet for information about West Nile and other viruses. If you decide that you want insect repellant applied to your child, YOU must provide an insect repellant with 10% ‘Deet” or less. A staff will not apply insect repellent with more than 10% ‘Deet”. The insect repellant will be applied according to the directions on the label, after sunscreen, and to exposed skin only (excluding children’s hands and face).

Application of Diaper Creams – Diaper creams will be applied (if provided) to your child during diaper changes. Please discuss (with the staff) when you would or would NOT like creams to be applied. Staff will ask for replacements as needed.


Safety Inspections and Procedures

Fire Drills are conducted monthly to ensure staff and students are familiar with a safe evacuation procedure. The Fire Department may visit the centre throughout the year to conduct an inspection prior to annual licensing by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Municipal Program Managers complete two annual on-site inspections per year for quality assurance purposes.

The Health Department visits the centre throughout the year to monitor safe food handling, hygiene, playground safety and other health related issues.

Our staff conduct daily inspections both indoors and outdoors of the premises to ensure all equipment is free of hazards. Our staff ensure the centre is clean and tidy throughout the day. Cleaning of the centre is done on a daily basis. Toys and equipment are washed and sanitized regularly by staff.

Bathrooms are disinfected and cleaned regularly throughout each day as necessary and thoroughly each evening.


Open Door Policy

As a childcare/educational centre that is proud of what we are and what we do, we welcome parents and visitors to drop in to speak with our program staff or the Supervisor. Our parent handbook is made available to all parents of Apple Tree Academy.

Concerns/complaints are taken seriously and will be addressed in a thorough and professional manner by:
Providing an open door (in person, email, etc.)
Asking for input through surveys
Acknowledging verbal and written complaints within 24 hours and committing to resolve them ASAP

Please follow these steps if you have a concern or complaint:
1. Speak with the party involved (ie. staff, student, volunteer, etc.)
2. If your concern/complaint is not resolved in a satisfactory manner, speak with the Supervisor
3. Again, if your concern/complaint is not resolved in a satisfactory manner, ask to speak with the Director

If your concern/complaint STILL is not resolved, the Supervisor AND Director will meet (together) with the concerned party to discuss (and hopefully resolve) the issue.

This being said, bullying or threatening (physical contact, verbal threats, etc.) will not be tolerated toward any of our staff members.


Classrooms

Apple Tree Academy has the facilities to accommodate the following programs:

1. Enriched Jr. & Sr. Toddler (1½ yrs. – 2½ yrs.)
2. Enriched Preschooler (2½ yrs. – 3½ yrs.)
3. Enriched Jr. & Sr. Kindergarten (3.8 yrs. – 6 yrs.)
4. School-Age (3.8 yrs. – 12 yrs.)

 


Hours of Operation

Our centre provides care all year round, Monday – Friday from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm for full time care.

We ask that you please call the centre by 9:30 am if your child will not be coming in for the day so that we can staff accordingly. If you are going to be late, after 9: 30 am, you are required to call the centre to let staff or the Supervisor know that your child will be attending, however, coming in late. This way, we can ensure that lunch will be provided for your child.

Apple Tree Academy will be closed on all Statutory and Civic holidays. Our Centre closes at 12:00 pm on both Christmas Eve Day and New Year’s Eve Day.

Holiday Closures:
New Year’s Day, Canada Day, Thanksgiving Day, Good Friday
Civic Holiday, Christmas Day, Victoria Day, Labour Day
Boxing Day, Family Day, Easter Monday, Remembrance Day


Tuition Fees

Fees are due at the beginning of each month. If student fees are overdue, your child care spot will be suspended until full payment is made. Written and verbal contact will be made with parents whose accounts are in arrears. Apple Tree Academy reserves the right to terminate services if payment policies are not adhered to. Monthly tuition fees include all absentees, holiday time and statutory holidays. Tax receipts are given during the income tax period.

Note: No refunds or deductions will be made for vacations, absenteeism due to illness or emergency centre closures due to weather conditions. Substitution days cannot be accommodated.


Part Time Registration

As Apple Tree Academy is a business which employees full time staff, full time students are given priority. Should there be an insufficient number of full time students, part time/custom placements will be offered to fill the available spaces. The minimum commitment of part time families is two days per week.
Part time/custom placement families will be offered the first right of refusal should another family wish the full time space. Should they refuse, alternate options may include:
• Moving the student to an alternate (yet age appropriate) classroom for all/some of their days.
• Taking 30 days notice, and using the ‘last month deposit’ towards the following month of program (in their part time/custom placement).


Late Fees

The center closes at 6:00pm. Any pick up after 6:00 pm will be subjected to a fee of one dollar per minute PLUS and additional $40 at the 15 minute mark (ie. 15 mins. late = $55 late fee). The fees are to be paid directly to the staff member who stays past their shift. If a parent is consistently late they may incur a higher late fee rate or asked to make other child care arrangements


Deposit

A deposit of one month’s fee (the rate at the time of registration) is due upon registration. This deposit will be used for your child’s last month in program – the month following your 30 days notice (written) to withdraw your child. No amount of the deposits will be refunded (ie. differences between enrollment rate and rate at the time of withdrawal, moving from full-time to part-time, etc.). This being said, we will not charge you the difference if the rates increase between your date of start and date of withdrawal.

All enrolment forms and immunization records must be completed prior to the child’s first day at the center. Your deposit must accompany the forms to secure your child’s space in the program.

A $75 registration fee is required before beginning. This fee includes 1 of the uniform shirts.  This fee is non-refundable


Withdrawal

We require 30 days of notice (written) to withdraw your child from our programs. If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Supervisor.


Illness

In order to maintain a safe and healthy centre, there are occasions when children should not attend program.  The following symptoms indicate when a child or staff member should not be at the centre:

~ Lice or nits
~ Rash, hives or an undiagnosed sore or skin condition
~ Diarrhea (more than one loose bowel movement)
~ Vomiting (repeated)
~ Fever (escalating above 38°C or 101°F)
~ Persistent cough, wheezing, cold or flu-like symptoms (influenza), which affect the child’s normal activity level
~ Discharge from the nose accompanied with fever, sore throat, runny nose and coughing (influenza)
~ Red puffy eyes with discharge
~ Any suspected contagious disease
~ Any suspected infectious virus
~ Unable to participate in Apple Tree Academy’s regular programs

If a child has one or more of these symptoms, it is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to keep the child at home.  If the child develops symptoms of an infection or undetermined illness while at Apple Tree Academy, it is our responsibility to contact the parents to make arrangements for the child to be picked up.  Sick children will be supervised in the sick/staff room until picked up by a parent/guardian.  Staff is required to make a general health assessment on each child upon arrival.  Children that are ill and unable to participate in the program should not be admitted into program.

Children should be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to Apple Tree Academy.  Unrecognized skin conditions or rashes must be seen by a doctor to determine whether or not it is contagious/if the child may return.  When a child returns to our centre after an absence due to having a reportable communicable disease or an illness that is contagious, the family must provide us with a medical note stating that the child is healthy and able to participate in program.


Items To Bring

The following items MUST be provided daily, or in bulk:

~ Diapers
~ Wipes
~ Gloves
~ Facial Tissues

There is a notice of items needed on the Toddler bulletin board.  Please check this notice regularly.  As children are not able to share these items (due to allergies/health requirements), if your child is completely out of diapers, or wipes, we will not be able to accept your child at the centre.  You may choose to pick up these items on the morning of care, however, we cannot accept your child into our care until the items are provided.

The following items must be available for your child each and every day:

~ Two changes of clothing including, socks and underwear (4 or more if potty training) – no onsies
~ Indoor shoes (no slippers)
~ Clothing for outside play (appropriate for current weather conditions)
~ Sunscreen (May – October) and insect repellant (as needed)
~ A water bottle (without straws or sippy mechanisms – for health reasons)

ALL ITEMS MUST BE CLEARLY LABELLED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME
If any of the above items need to be replenished a note will be placed on your child’s cubby for the next day. All students should be dressed in clothing that is appropriate for physical activity and weather. Flip flops are not permitted at the centre.

SIPPY CUPS, BOTTLES AND PACIFIERS ARE NOT PERMITTED.


Medication

The staff at Apple Tree Academy will only administer prescribed medication. The medication must be in the original container as supplied by the pharmacist with the following information:

Child’s Name
Name of the Medication
Dosage
Expiry Date
Instruction for Storage and administration clearly labelled

We require you to fill out medication authorization forms giving designated staff permission to administer the medicine. The forms will provide staff the scheduled times with given dosage. Any reaction that would result in the discontinuation of the medication must be clearly indicated on the form.

The staff at Apple Tree Academy is not authorized to administer child’s Tylenol or other such non-prescription drugs without a note from a physician and a medication form signed by the parent/guardian.

Epi-pen or asthma medication for school-age & preschool students will be left on their person for the purpose of quick administration if needed. Otherwise, asthma medication will be stored in a locked medicine container and Epi-pens in the emergency backpack (always kept with the class).

Any contagious diseases that have been detected at the center will be posted on the front door of the center immediately. If there are more than two cases of students showing the same symptoms the health board will be contacted to assist us moving forward and eradicate the illness.


Accidents

If your child has a physical accident during the day you will be given an accident report to read and sign. The report will describe the incident, staff witness, and the first-aid applied. If a serious injury occurs and we are unable to reach you an ambulance will be called.
Please note: If an ambulance is required you are responsible for any fees incurred.


Emergency Management

In the case of an emergency evacuation of the centre, our staff, students and volunteer are trained on our emergency management procedure which includes: ensuring that everyone has evacuated the building, transitioning to our evacuation site (Brooklin Community Centre), informing families of the evacuation, debriefing staff and students after the emergency, and providing support to those who experienced distress during the emergency. **Please ensure that your emergency contact information is always current**


Legal Requirements for Reporting Child Abuse

The Child and Family Services Act states that every person in Ontario must call a Children’s Aid Society immediately to report his/her belief that a child may have been abused or at risk of abuse. The governing act also clarifies that a person who works with children has an added legal responsibility to report immediately any suspicion of abuse. A professional who works with children and does not report a suspicion of abuse can be charged and fined.


Authorization to Pick-Up

Unless otherwise arranged, students will not be released to any person other than those specified on the registration and permission forms. If you know someone will be picking your child who is not listed on your file, please call the centre prior to pick up. We always require some form of photo ID.

Apple Tree Academy requires that this person be an adult (18 years of age or older).

We will NOT release a student from the centre to anyone under the age of 16.

In an emergency situation only; a person, 16 years to 18 years may be permitted to pick up a student from the centre. In this situation, parents must speak directly with a Supervisor authorizing Apple Tree Academy to release their child to this person. We will be asking for picture identification so please inform the person you have designated to pick up your child to be prepared to show ID.

Your child may be picked up by an older sibling on the condition there is written permission given by the parent and the person picking up is of age. If information changes, please notify us immediately.


Fire Drills

Fire drills are practiced monthly. Fire procedures are posted in each room. To ensure optimum safety, fire inspections are held yearly as well fire equipment tested.


Behaviour Policy

If your child is aggressive or violent toward other students or staff (hitting, biting, scratching, spitting, kicking etc) a meeting will be held with the Supervisor in order to discuss various strategies that may help in dealing with your child’s behavior. We will try various techniques to deal with and rectify the inappropriate behavior. If there are no changes in your child’s behavior after a specified amount of time you will be given two weeks’ notice to withdraw your child. If help is offered and you refuse it, you will automatically be given two weeks’ notice to withdraw your child. If your child’s behavior jeopardizes the safety of the other students or staff your child care services can be terminated immediately without notice.

ACCEPTABLE PRACTICES:
Get down to the level of the child to discuss the inappropriate behavior/actions of the student
Ignore inappropriate behavior such as temper tantrums and not eating
Redirection
Limit setting (if the behaviours continue)
Time out from an activity or the classroom as a last resort


Biting

Biting is a natural developmental stage that many children go through. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. The safety of the students at the center is our primary concern. The center will take the following steps if a biting incident occurs:

• Act without emotion. Acknowledge the bite by saying, “Biting hurts.” “Biting is not okay.”
• Console and give first aid to the child that was hurt. Allow them to return to their play group.
• The “biter” should not immediately return to their group. Take the time to help the child choose the words that describe their feelings of frustration that lead to biting. Asking a child to “use their words” is too vague for them to understand.
• Give a child who is teething an appropriate object to bite on.

The teacher in the classroom will fill out the incident report and will do the proper documentation after administering First Aid to the bitten student. A referral will be made to Resources for Exceptional Children for help. More resources will be given to parents to prevent biting at home as well.


Discharge Policy

Apple Tree Academy recognizes that a child care centre is not always appropriate for all children. Many supports are put into place to create a happy and successful placement for all children. In cases of severe behaviour issues, it may be necessary to terminate the child care space. A decision to terminate a child’s space will be made in consultation with parents. Our priority is for the safety of all children in its programs.
Apple Tree Academy believes in providing and maintaining a work environment in which all employees are free from violence, threats of violence, intimidation, bullying, unkind comments and other disruptive behaviour or actions which belittle, threaten, offend, embarrass, humiliate or diminish another’s self-esteem, whether deliberate or unintentional, including sexual harassment and discrimination. Such actions are not tolerated, will be addressed immediately and may result in the termination of child care spaces or other consequences (e.g., police contact). Failure to comply with Apple Tree Academy policies, including payment provisions, may in Apple Tree’s sole discretion result in termination of space in the child care centre.


Rest Period

We have a two-hour rest period at which time all students are required to lie down and rest. For this time, a muslin blanket must be provided. If you choose, a sleep toy (stuffed animal) may be brought in for children in the Toddler Programmes. Quiet activities are provided for early risers. Any sleep items brought in are done so on a daily basis and will be returned to your child’s cubby following sleep time.


Outdoor Play

Students will have two outdoor play times consisting of an hour each – as required by the Ministry of Education guidelines (weather permitting – temperature, wind, sun/clouds, UV index). We will also take into consideration Environment Canada  Weather Weather warnings.  As teachers are scheduled as needed for programs and ratios, Apple Tree Academy does not, and cannot, offer one-on-one child supervision or nanny services.

Age restrictions and ratio requirements (both dictated by the Ministry of Education guidelines) would often make it impossible to accommodate a child in another classroom/program. However, if a parent/guardian calls before the child’s arrival, Apple Tree Academy will determine if a strict one-time program modification can be made.

We do understand that parental concerns for child health and welfare are important and must be taken into consideration. Thus, if your child is not able to meet the ‘outdoor time’ that the Ministry of Education requires, the parent should/must arrange for alternate supervision.


Clothing

All clothing must be clearly labeled with your child’s name. Each student is required to have 2 pairs of footwear at the centre; one pair for indoor use and the other for outdoor times. Flip-flops and dress-up sunglasses are not permitted for safety reasons. The Supervisor may approve sunglasses for actual ‘eye protection’ reasons, however, ATA is NOT responsible for lost, broken or damaged sunglasses. Sandals must have back-straps. Also, students must have spare socks for indoor gross-motor activities.

We ask that each student have a change of clothing available at the center in case of accidents or spills. In a case where your child requires a change of clothing but do not have any, you may be called to bring in a change of clothes. We have a limited supply of extra clothing and if you are provided with child care clothes please be sure they come back laundered the following day. Finally, please be sure that your child has weather-appropriate clothing as we do spend time outdoors every day.

Bodysuits or onsies are NOT permitted, as this extends the diaper changing time
and teachers cannot change/dress potty trained students.


Potty Training

We will work in conjunction with parents during potty training. If you have a method that has been working for you, please let us know and we will adopt it for your child.

We will work with you – but not for you! Should you discontinue potty training at home, we will too.
Potty training students must arrive in underwear. Students who arrive diapered will continue to be diapered throughout that day – not potty trained.
As we may have allergies in our centre, we do not offer “treats” to the student for going “potty”.
If a student shows no interest in potty training, we may choose to discontinue/try again at a later date.

Students must be fully potty trained (accident free) for at least 2 weeks before fees will be adjusted (accordingly).


Toys from Home

Please leave all toys at home with the exception of designated ‘Show & Share’ days. All ‘Show & Share’ toys/items should be clearly labelled with your child’s name.

Please Note: Apple Tree Academy is not responsible for the loss or damage of these items.


Field Trips and Neighbourhood Walks

Throughout the year Apple Tree Academy may plan field trips to various locations. You will receive notice and be required to sign a permission form for such trips. By choosing not to participate in a scheduled field trip, you are also agreeing to find alternate care for your child for the duration of the trip.

Unfortunately, diapered children will not be able to participate in most field trips due to lack of access to changing facilities, carrying of diapering supplies, and unsafe ratios caused by the one-on-one time needed to change the child. For shorter trips, children may wear a pull-up that can be changed upon the classes return to the centre. If the pull-up is regularly soiled during outings, this exception may have to be reconsidered.

Neighbourhood walks may occur occasionally, locally and you may or may not be notified in advance – depending on the walk.


Staff Qualification, Training & Development

Apple Tree Academy’s teachers include Registered Early Childhood Educators (registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators), Assistants, a Supervisor (also an RECE), Directors and supply staff. All staff members are required to have current First Aid & CPR (c) certifications as well as a Criminal Reference Check.

We require our staff members to participate in at least 1 training/development program per year to enhance or add to their teaching skills.

Direct, unsupervised access to children IS NOT permitted by persons who are not employees of Apple Tree Academy Inc. (ie. volunteers/students/parents/guardians).


Student Uniforms

Your $75 registration fee includes 1 uniform t-shirt. Students (Jr. Toddler through Kindergarten) are required to wear their uniforms on a daily basis. As staff are unable to change/dress students each morning, your child must arrive wearing their shirt. Students not wearing a uniform shirt will be issued a new shirt and charged accordingly.

Additional shirts can be purchased by speaking with the Supervisor.


Photography and Videos

Pictures and Videos are a great way to share in your child’s child care experience. At Apple Tree Academy we welcome staff to post pictures throughout the centre; In order for your child’s pictures/videos to be taken and displayed a consent form must be on file. This is included upon registering your child.

Important: Please be advised for the safety of the students, this premise is protected by a closed circuit surveillance system. This monitoring system is strictly for protection only and will not be used for any other purposes such as broadcasting or for distribution.


Inspections

Being a licensed child care facility, Apple Tree Academy is subject to several inspections throughout the year by various departments including but not limited to; The Ministry of Education, The Health Department, The Fire Department, Playground inspector, and Durham Children Services. These inspections are conducted by qualified inspectors who work with each department and sign-in with our Supervisor at the front desk.


Community

Apple Tree Academy appreciates the support of our community partners who support our programs. These partners include, but are not limited to:

• Autism Ontario
• Grandview
• Kinark
• Resources for Exceptional Children & Youth
• Durham Region Fire
• Durham Region Public Health

Apple Tree Academy staff and volunteers (where appropriate) seek out community partners to enhance our ability to support children with special needs through training and consultation.

If your child requires support, please speak with our Program Supervisor.


Animals

Apple Tree Academy does not permit animals on site to protect the students. In the case of a child being bitten by a wild or stray animal while in transition to our playground, proper protocol will follow. :

• Get to a safe environment
• Stop bleeding & call 911 if needed
• Assess damage or extent of injury
• Determine if care by a doctor is needed
• Clean wound to prevent bacterial infection, tetanus or cytomegalovirus virus
• Determine risk for rabies
• Determine if tetanus is needed
• Complete an Accident & Injury form and file a Serious Occurrence (if life threatening)
• Call Public Health
• Call parents/guardians

If possible, in the case of bite from a stray cat or dog, our staff will get the owner’s health information on the animal.

All precautions are taken to avoid animal bites from happening.


Wait List

Parents/guardians must complete a wait list application form for students beginning placements at a later date/time.

Once placements become available, we fill the placements in our programs based on the following criteria (in order):

1. The age of the child (is the child (or will the child be) of age for the placement available?)
2. Potty training (required for Preschool, Nursery School, Kindergarten and School-Age)
3. Families seeking full-time placement take priority over part-time placements (if they meet the above criteria)
4. The date when the waitlist application was completed

Example 1:
A family completed an application for Charlie (13 months old) on July 3, 2016 for a part-time placement in our Jr. Toddler Program. Another family completes an application for Johnny (17 months old) on November 14, 2016 for a full-time placement our Jr. Toddler Program. On December 3, 2016 a placement becomes available. Both children are of age to join the program and Charlie’s family completed the application first, however, because Johnny’s family will be registering him for a full-time placement, they take priority over Charlie’s family.

Example 2:
A family completes an application for Stephanie (3 years old) on March 2, 2017 for our Preschool Program. Stephanie is not potty-trained. Another family completes an application for Andrew (29 months old) on March 28, 2017 for our Preschool Program. Andrew is completely potty trained. On April 15 a placement becomes available in our Preschool Program. Although Stephanie’s family completed the wait list form first, and Stephanie is of age to join the program, she is not potty trained and therefore cannot join our program. Andrew’s family is offered the opportunity to take the placement as our Preschool Program required students to be potty trained.

Example 3:
3 different families complete applications for their children to join our Preschool Program – one on November 7, 2017, one on December 14, 2017, and the other on December 21, 2017. They are all of age for this program, they are all potty trained and they are all looking for full-time placements. In this case, the family that first completed the wait list application on November 7, 2017 will be offered the placement.

The ‘Wait List Viewing Page’ will be available for parents/guardians to see their current placement on the Wait List upon request. For privacy reasons, all students on the list will be listed by initials only, the child’s age, full-time or part-time preference, whether or not they are potty trained, and their requested start date – as these all determine the placement order.

happy wheels