Parent Handbook



The Parent Handbook is a helpful guide for parents to have containing information about our policies and procedures. Download the handbook at the link below:
BDLC Parent Handbook


 

Page Quick Links

 

 

 

 


General

 

BDLC Mission

The Bloomington Developmental Learning Center (BDLC) provides an educationally and developmentally-appropriate, child-centered, family-oriented, multicultural child-care program. The Center’s goal is to encourage each child to develop his or her unique potential.

BDLC History

Bloomington Developmental Learning Center, Inc. was founded in 1973 by parents and teachers who were bound by similar child-care philosophies. BDLC is one of the largest and oldest child-care centers in Monroe County. We are licensed by the State of Indiana and have maintained Paths to Quality Level 3 rating since the inception of the state program.

BDLC is and has always been a not-for-profit organization with a Board of Directors composed of parents and community members.  BDLC maintains close ties with the community in order to respond to child care needs and issues. In 1981, the BDLC staff and administration formed Neighborhoods Inc., which was then the only before-and-after school program for elementary school-aged children in the community. It was the precursor to the extended-day program adopted by the Monroe County school system in September 1987. In 1986, BDLC, Inc. moved from its original location in the Unitarian Universalist Church to its present site on South Highland Avenue. The move allowed for program expansion in a building built specifically for childcare. The infant and toddler program was added and total enrollment doubled.

As an established community institution, BDLC, Inc. is proud to have provided over three decades of high-quality early childhood education in the Bloomington area.  Today we care for children ages 6 weeks old through six years old with a professional staff delivering the best in care.

 

About

 

BDLC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Board members are drawn from the general membership of the corporation and from the community, and they each serve two-year terms.  Parents of BDLC children make up the majority of the board.  BDLC does not have a parent organization.  A bi-monthly board meeting takes place at BDLC at 6:00pm on the third Tuesday of the month the meeting is held. All parents and staff are invited to attend the meetings.  Copies of board meeting minutes are available outside the Executive Director’s office.  The parents of BDLC make up the majority

Administrative and Teaching Staff

The Executive Director of BDLC functions under the supervision of the Board of Directors. Employees of BDLC are supervised by the Executive Director. The Director and the Assistant Director are in charge of teachers’ professional development and evaluations. All staff and administrators are responsible for executing the policies and philosophy of BDLC as set forth by the Bylaws and Procedures of BDLC, Inc.  BDLC employs the model of policy governance.

BDLC employs approximately 45 full- and part-time staff members. Several teachers have earned master’s degrees; others have their Child Development Associates Credential or an undergraduate degree in Education.  To be a lead teacher one must either have earned their CDA or be working towards that certification unless they have a higher degree in education.  Together, the BDLC staff has varied backgrounds and many decades of child-care experience among them. Part-time support staff tend to be college students from Indiana University or Ivy Tech, most of whom are working toward a degree in education or early childhood.

Each room has a Lead Teacher, one Assistant Teacher, and one or more Support Staff. Each classroom’s Lead Teacher is responsible for providing a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment for children to develop in the areas of cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills. The Lead Teacher addresses questions and concerns of parents regarding activities, policies, and procedures of the room. The Lead Teacher and Assistant Teacher meet regularly to plan daily activities.

Assistant Teachers assist the Lead Teachers in providing a safe, healthy, nurturing environment and in planning developmentally appropriate activities. In the absence of the Lead Teacher, the Assistant Teacher assumes all classroom responsibilities. Support Staff generally work in the mornings or afternoons though some or full-time and help us cover when a Lead or Assistant Teacher is absent. In the absence of the Lead Teacher and the Assistant Teacher, Support Staff assume all classroom responsibilities.

BDLC Curriculum

Bloomington Developmental Learning Center strives to provide an educational, child-centered, family-oriented child-care program in a multicultural environment.  BDLC provides individualized attention through self-paced environmental exploration and guided instruction.

Each room has a lead teacher, an assistant teacher, and one or more support staff. Teachers are responsible for providing a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment. Teachers plan developmentally appropriate activities through a play-based curriculum . The lead and assistant teachers communicate to parents each morning and afternoon, through emails and Facebook. They address questions and concerns of parents regarding activities, policies, and procedures of the room. The lead teacher and assistant teacher meet regularly to plan weekly activities.

A major role of the teacher of young children is to identify an individual child’s interests, abilities, and needs for growth or improvement.  The teacher then facilitates and encourages development in these areas.  The staff is concerned, interested, and involved in the total life experience of each child; therefore, a close relationship with the child’s family is essential.  Children learn best in a warm, supportive, informal atmosphere where success is measured in terms of a child’s interest, growth and enthusiasm.

The BDLC curriculum follows developmentally appropriate standards recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Foundations of Early Childhood, and Creative Curriculum. Teachers align with the Indiana Common Core standards for preschool. Our goal at BDLC is to facilitate and encourage each child’s natural growth and development in each of the following areas:

Cognition: Thinking, reasoning, problem-solving
Language: Responsive and expressive communication
Physical: Gross motor (large muscles, coordination) and fine motor skills (small muscles, dexterity)
Social: Respect and empathy for others, peaceful conflict resolution
Self: Family, adult, and peer interaction, identifying interests and abilities
Emotional: Recognizing and expressing feelings appropriately
Creativity: Spontaneity, exploration, originality
Academic: Gradual skill development

We believe the best way to accomplish these goals is to provide a developmentally appropriate, child-centered environment where free choice and experimentation with concrete materials are a priority. Because young children learn best through play, we provide a variety of opportunities for self-directed play and exploration in the following areas:

  • Art/Creativity
  • Physical movement
  • Reading
  • Dramatic play
  • Health and self-care
  • Writing
  • Science
  • Manipulative play
  • Math
  • Music (BDLC employs a music teacher who provides lessons to each room once a week.)

Lesson plans are provided by the teachers, using thematic units to help children bring together a wide range of skills and experiences. Lesson plans for each classroom are reviewed by the Curriculum Director to ensure they meet guidelines.

BDLC promotes and implements a multicultural curriculum. Teachers provide a wide variety of materials, activities, and experiences to encourage respect, appreciation, and understanding of others. These experiences may include diverse customs, traditions, celebrations, or holidays; they may incorporate food, music, families, homes or other aspects of culture. Religious holidays are discussed only in the context of how cultures approach them, focusing on basic commonalties such as lights, food, decorations, or clothing.

Room Descriptions

The Lamb 1 Room is for infants from 6 weeks to approximately age 1. The Lamb 2 Room is from approximately age 1 to 1 ½ .  Duck room is 1½ to 2 years old. In general, Monkeys, Kangaroos, and Owls are approximately 2-to 3+ year-olds. Beginning fall of 2015 the Penguin room will be 3-4 year olds and the Turtles will be 4-5 year-olds..

BDLC holds center-wide transitions once a year in August when the 5 year olds move on to kindergarten and leave BDLC. Groups of children move with one of their teachers into a new room during center-wide transition times.  We practice Continuity of Care up to age 3  when children go to a preschool room. (see “Transitions” section).

BDLC’s Child/Staff Ratio Chart

BDLC follows the adult-to-child ratios stated by NAEYC and the Indiana Licensing Regulations. We staff each room to support the developmental needs of each child and to allow for as much individual attention as possible.

Age of Child Minimum Adult/Child Ratio Max. # of Children in Room
Infants, 6 weeks until age 1 1:4 8
Age 1 to 18 months 1:5 8
18 to 24 months 1:5 10
2 years-30 months old 1:5 10
30 months – 3 year olds 1:7 14
3 year olds               1:10                                                   4 year olds                1:12

 

 
Transitions

Childcare centers that practice continuity of care and develop primary caregiving systems are taking important steps to provide the quality relationship that all babies need to grow and be happy and healthy.

As recommended by NAEYC, BDLC practices continuity of care up to three years of age. In keeping with the principles of continuity of care, children are moved in “cohort” groups with two or more of their peers.  At least one primary caregiver moves with each cohort into the next room. It must be noted that this does not necessarily mean that the entire class stays together or that the child’s favorite teacher will necessarily move with him or her. The infant and walker rooms are part of the same “suite” and the teachers in both rooms interact with children from both rooms.  Continuity of care is therefore easily and comfortably accomplished during the first 14-18 months of a child’s life at BDLC. The case for continuity of care is made through research on attachment that focuses on creating consistent personal and healthy relationships among children, their caregivers, and their peers in order to help children form healthy social-emotional development.  Additionally, recommended practice suggests that specific strategies be used to ease transitions. For example, children can visit their new class and teachers before moving, and their new teachers visit them so that they can get to know one another.  BDLC was one of the first centers in Bloomington to practice continuity of care, and this is now mandated by state regulations.

In general, there will be one or two times during the year when children move from one room to another.  These are usually in May and August (or only August).  In the infant room, children may move to the next room around the time they turn one year old.

Membership and Governing Board

Bloomington Developmental Learning Center, Inc. is chartered as a not-for-profit educational corporation. Families who have a child or children at BDLC automatically become members of the corporation, and membership is open to any other individuals who are interested in supporting BDLC’s goals.

 

Parents

 

Policies and Procedures

BDLC welcomes parent questions and insights into learning activities and classroom interactions.  If you have a question about any of these, we welcome you to ask your child’s teacher(s) directly.  However, if you have a problem or issue to discuss or a recommendation to make, please talk with the executive director or the assistant director.  Teachers report directly to the executive director and the assistant director, who help them manage curriculum guidelines, state and federal guidelines, and classroom interactions.  If you have questions about curriculum or classroom practices, we encourage you to talk to the executive director or the assistant director.

Parent-Teacher Communication

BDLC provides mailboxes for parents and teachers outside each classroom for announcements and other information. Parents and teachers can also use the mailboxes for exchanging notes regarding children

Each classroom has a yearly round table meeting (a meeting of all the parents and teachers for your child’s classroom). The round tables are usually scheduled before 6 p.m. so that childcare may be provided. Teachers typically discuss room schedules, developmental behaviors, and other topics parents may request. Each room also sets aside regular blocks of time for parent-teacher conferences. For each age group, teachers perform developmental assessments of each child and may provide the assessment results to parents during the conference.  Individual conferences are also scheduled every six months. You  may schedule a conference at  any time. If you have questions during the course of the year, do not hesitate to speak with your child’s teacher, the Executive Director, or the Assistant Director.

Confidentiality of Information

Student and Employee Records

BDLC views the handling of confidential information as an important trust.  Confidential information refers to nonpublic information about both the children and the employees.  Some examples of confidential information include family data and student records.  BDLC has specific policies regarding the proper handling of confidential information by our employees.  This means that personal information about children and families are kept confidential.  Proper handling of confidential information includes not releasing information to anyone unless that person has authorization as well as being sure to not leave records unattended desks, and ensuring that certain types of documents are shredded instead of recycled or thrown in the trash.

Parents should feel free to discuss issues of concern with regard to their child.  It is the policy that the BDLC administration and board will keep confidential any complaints or issues that a parent raises unless we are required by law to report the information to outside authorities.  With regard to parent complaints about staff, BDLC will keep information confidential unless a parent gives permission for the issue to be discussed with the teacher.

Parent-Center Communication

Parents may keep track of the Center’s schedule of events and locate other helpful information at http://www.bdlc.org.  BDLC also has a Facebook page at Fans of BDLC.  Within BDLC a Parent Information Board is located in the main hallway along with a whiteboard for daily announcements and important information.  BDLC also maintains a parent e-mail distribution list for messages from the Center. Parent e-mail addresses are recorded on the child’s enrollment form. A monthly email bulletin, The Buzz, provides parents with current and future events and information.  Also, minutes from board meetings and other important information are provided just outside the main office door.  We strongly encourage parents to talk with the Executive Director or Assistant Director if they have questions or concerns about their child.

If a child is not feeling well, is having significant behavioral problems, or has bruises or other injuries that may need to be explained, parents may communicate with teachers at drop-off or pick-up times, or through a written note, phone call (preferably between 1-3pm), or a scheduled conference.

Parents should notify the office immediately of any changes in their addresses, phone numbers, emergency numbers, email addresses as well as other pertinent information.

If a child will be tardy or absent, parents should give advance notice or call the office as early as possible on the day the child will be absent so that we can schedule teachers accordingly. If the absence is due to contagious illness, parents must let the office know immediately so steps can be taken to ensure teachers and other parents are notified as needed.

Outside each room, teachers will post a calendar on which planned changes of schedules may be listed, such as doctor’s appointments and vacations. The Executive Director will request advance written information concerning summer and holiday plans.

Parent Involvement

BDLC maintains the strong conviction that parents should be directly involved in their child’s education. As a member of BDLC, the quality and vitality of the Center depends on your involvement.

Each classroom has a designated parent mentor, called a “room buddy”  to serve as a source of information for new families. Each room also has a room parent that acts as a liaison between the BDLC administration and the parents, helps organize parent volunteers, and facilitates communication among parents in each room.

Parents are welcome in their child’s room at any time. Parents may be asked to come into the classroom to share their experiences, talents, or cultures. About twice a year, BDLC holds Center-wide potluck suppers to give parents the opportunity to socialize.

Parent Volunteer Requirement

Since 1973, BDLC has been a parent-involved childcare provider. Through volunteering, parents have found that their sense of community and ownership in BDLC has been enhanced when they work together with other families in volunteer activities. When children see their parents involved, they learn valuable lessons about participation and citizenship in their community.

According to the 40 Developmental Assets Framework1, it is important that parents, teachers, and caregivers communicate with each other in order to attain a consistent and understanding approach to young children and that parents play various roles in the child care and educational setting. Thus, we see parents volunteering their time as an important way to enhance the parent-teacher connection and maintain a higher overall quality of care at BDLC. As consistent and similar to policies of other child care centers, it is important for us to promote consistent parent involvement in classrooms as well as within the BDLC organization. Thus, BDLC has implemented a parent volunteer requirement to help ensure that all parents get involved.

Since September 1, 2005 BDLC families have been required to volunteer 12 hours each year. (For single parent families, the requirement is 6 hours per parent.)  Families who do not complete these hours by the end of the year will be assessed a fee of $120. This fee will be used for BDLC building maintenance. (Parents who complete a partial number of hours will be assessed a partial fee based on the number of hours completed.) The Executive Director will let families know in advance the deadline for reporting their hours.

A wide range of volunteer opportunities abound at BDLC. Parents can volunteer time in classrooms, serve on the BDLC board and committees, help with facility maintenance, provide professional expertise (e.g., accounting, legal, construction, painting), and contribute both time and funds to help support special fundraising initiatives. The BDLC Parent Volunteer Committee provides an ongoing list of volunteer opportunities through newsletters, emails and the parent bulletin board.  If you have questions, please see the Executive Director or Assistant Director.

BDLC Grounds Day

A Grounds Day event with major cleaning and maintenance is usually held twice a year. Parents are asked to attend and help with tasks needed to maintain the facilities. Parents are also encouraged to help on general playground maintenance days and with other building and repair projects as they arise.  If you have special skills or are interested in participating in any way, please see the Executive Director or one of BDLC’s board members. We can always use builders, painters, plumbers, and electricians!

Fundraising

One very important way parents can be involved at BDLC is by participating in the Center’s ongoing fundraising efforts. As a not-for-profit organization, BDLC relies on fundraising to provide the necessary ‘extra’ funds for playground upgrades, special programs, building improvements, and most importantly, bonuses to reward BDLC staff. We have numerous events and fund-raisers throughout the years, and we try to emphasize passive fundraising where parents can purchase certificates or items they would already purchase.  Following are some specific ways you can support BDLC.

Retail Certificates:You can buy retail certificates for Marsh, and Bloomingfoods through BDLC. You can use them at the store like cash, and BDLC immediately receives 5% of the certificate value from the retailer. Kroger has a community rewards program you can register for online. See director for details.   Parents can place a monthly standing order and pay at the same time as the monthly tuition fee. If every family purchased just $100 in certificates each month, BDLC would receive $6,000 a year from these retailers. (See the BDLC administration if you are interested in doing this as it’s easy to sign up.)
Staff Bonus Fund Drive: At BDLC, a fundraising drive is held among the parents to raise money for bonuses to be given to the staff.  Many parents contribute this as a tip to reward teachers for a job well done.  This donation may be made monthly if so desired or during our fund drive in May.  Holiday donations to specific teachers are up to each family.  Donations made to the staff bonus fund is tax deductible.
Scholastic Book Fair: During spring BDLC holds a Scholastic Book Fair in Center Court. For every book sold BDLC receives a percentage of the total revenue in cash as well as free books for classrooms.
School Photographs: Each fall BDLC children have their pictures taken by a professional photographer, right in Center Court. BDLC receives a percentage of the total photo sales, plus a class photo for each room.
Box Tops for Education: BDLC collects box tops for education coupons found on many common food containers.  Each one is worth 10 cents to BDLC; with us receiving a check from the manufacturer.  There is a turn-in envelope located on the parent bulletin board.
Other fundraising events: BDLC has conducted a range of fundraising activities: Parents’ Night Out and BDLC Day at specific retailers (e.g., Buccetos) where a percentage of income from BDLC supporters is given to the Center.

 

Health

 

Health and Safety

Parents must keep immunizations, phone numbers (home, work, and cell), and emergency contact information current in their child’s file. This is very important for the safety of the children as well as requirements for meeting state regulations.

Parents should be sure to provide an alternate pick-up plan in case of an emergency or illness. Any person(s), other than the parent, to be contacted in case of emergency must be noted on the child’s form in the office or have written authorization from the parent.

BDLC Health Policy – Infectious Disease

BDLC believes supporting the health and safety of our school community is our number one priority.  BDLC will work with both local health authorities and our mentor physician for information on a wide variety of health issues, questions, and concerns.  The BDLC director will inform BDLC families when there is a confirmed illness that is highly communicable within our school community (strep throat, flu, etc.) and share information including symptoms and treatment.

Parents should not bring children to the center if they are ill.  Children should be well enough to participate in all activities, including outdoor play, weather permitting.  (State law requires that children have outdoor play every day, providing the temperature with wind chill is 25 degrees F. or above.) If a child becomes ill during the day, we will notify a parent to have the child picked up as quickly as possible. Until the parent or authorized person arrives, the child will be isolated with adult supervision, usually in the office. Please be assured that the BDLC staff will be as comforting as possible to your child when she or he is not feeling well

If an employee contracts a highly contagious illness, BDLC will seek the opinion of our advising physician regarding informing BDLC families of the condition and treatment. BDLC will also contact the health department for additional recommendations.

Employees working with children receive an annual TB test, paid for by BDLC.  If a staff member tests positive for presence of TB, the employee must have a chest X-Ray to check for active TB and remain away from the center for either 24 hours after medication has begun or after being cleared by a physician to return to work.  Any staff member testing positive for TB will, after the initial screening, no longer have the pin test for TB but rather rotate annually a TB symptom check every other year by a physician.

If a parent (or child) is showing symptoms or has a confirmed case of TB (or any other infections disease (strep throat, measles, etc.) that poses the threat for epidemic, BDLC requests that the parent notify the director.  The director will inform the BDLC community of the possible exposure to the illness (keeping confidential the identity of the individual or individuals infected).  BDLC will provide the school community with information about the illness from the local (or national) Health Department, seeking to inform and educate the school.

Health Screening
Beginning in August, 2013, BDLC will begin annual speech/vision screenings for children ages 2-6.
Beginning in August, 2013, BDLC will begin head lice checks for children in Preschool and Kindergarten.  If a child has head lice, treatment information will be sent home with the child.

Exclusion (Child removed from classroom and sent home)
Parents and/or guardians are encouraged to share written information with teachers regarding potential side effects of prescription medication.  If a child displays a non-serious side effect (low grade fever, loose stool contained in diaper) they will be allowed in the classroom.

Fever
Low grade fever accompanied by behavior change (Child may return after 24 hours free of fever without medication).
Temperature of 100 degrees or higher (Child may return after 24 hours free of fever without medication).

Cough
Wheezing not already being treated by a physician.
Child is having difficulty breathing.

Diarrhea
Not contained in diaper.
Blood or mucus in stool.
No urine output in 8 hours.
Loose stool causing accidents for toilet- trained children.
More than two loose stools in a one- hour time period.

Eye Irritation
Pinkeye or thick yellow/green discharge from eye(s.)

Exclusion no longer required for bacterial conjunctivitis.  Parents are urged to have children symptomatic of conjunctivitis (pinkeye) checked by their physician.

Rash
Exclude if cause of rash is unknown (child may return to BDLC when the rash has gone away or if its cause has been identified.)

Vomiting
Child vomits twice within a school day.
Vomiting is accompanied by a fever, diarrhea, or personality changes.

Personality Change
Parent is notified when child is exhibiting atypical behavior (lethargy, prolonged crying) for a prolonged period of time (classified as one hour or more).

Additional conditions/diseases:
Hepatitis A: Excluded until one week after onset of viral illness or after immune serum globulin has been given to children and staff in the program, as directed by the local health department.
Impetigo: Excluded until 24 hours after treatment has begun.
Measles: Excluded until 5th day after rash disappears or local health department states patient is noninfectious.
Mumps: Excluded until 9 days after onset of parotid gland swelling.
Pediculosis (Head Lice): Children will be excluded at the end of the day and until there are no nits present. An additional treatment is needed 7 to 10 days later to kill the eggs that have hatched. Using a nit comb is the most effective way to remove lice.
Pertussis: (Whooping Cough) Children will be excluded until five days completion of an appropriate antibiotic or until local health department states patient is non-infectious.
Pinworms: Children will be excluded for 24 hours after treatment has begun.
Scabies: Children will be excluded until 24 hours after treatment is begun.
Streptococcal pharyngitis (Strep Throat):  Excluded until 24 hours after treatment has been begun.
Tuberculosis (TB): Excluded until the child’s physician or local health department authority states the child is non-infectious.
Varicella-zoster (Chicken pox): Excluded until all the lesions have dried and formed scabs, usually within six days of onset of rash.

Any child determined by the local health department to be contributing to the transmission of illness during an outbreak.

Following an illness or injury, children will be readmitted to the program when they no longer have the above symptoms, have begun appropriate treatment, and/or no longer have significant discomfort and feel well enough to participate.

Parents/guardians will be notified in writing, either by letter or posting notice in a visible location, when their child/children have been exposed to a communicable disease.

Children with the above signs and symptoms will be separated from the group and cared for in office. Parent/guardian or emergency contact will be notified by room teacher to pick up child. The room teacher will complete the Symptom Record and give to parent and keep a copy for the child’s file.

When the policy applies:
This policy is in effect at all times.

Communication plan for staff and parents:
Staff and volunteers will receive a written copy of this policy in their orientation packets before beginning work at the BDLC. All parents will receive a written copy of this policy in the parent handbook. Parents, staff, and volunteers will receive written notification of any updates.

References:

American Academy of Pediatrics (2005) Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, a quick reference guide.

Teachers are responsible for administering authorized medications. A doctor’s written statement and any accompanying over-the-counter or prescription medication must be given to the child’s teacher. Parents must sign the medication form each day a child is on medication. A doctor’s written statement must be on file before any medications will be given, including over- the- counter medications.

BDLC does have a blanket doctor medication form for the following: diaper rash ointment, insect repellent, sunscreen, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.  Parent signature is required, and parents are responsible for providing the items.  All prescription medications must be in a pharmacy-labeled container or have accompanying doctor’s notes specifying dosage. Each child’s authorized medication information form must be updated annually, and this must be maintained in order for the center to meet accreditation standards.

Because “bugs” are spread by touch — from nose to hands to surfaces to hands to nose — parents can help staff teach children to be “Bug Busters” by using these health habits:

  • Wash hands after using the bathroom, blowing nose, coughing into hand, or brushing teeth.
  • Wash hands before eating or giving medicine.
  • When washing hands, use soap, lather well, and rinse thoroughly.  Dry hands and wipe up any splashes.
  • Use tissues and dispose of them properly.

All full-time teachers and part-time support staff at BDLC are trained in First Aid, CPR, and Universal Precautions. Minor injuries are posted on a minor injury list in each room. Parents will be called if a teacher believes that parents should know of injury before regular pick-up time, or if a teacher feels that the child should be seen by a physician or a dentist. In case of injury requiring immediate emergency care, “911” will be called, and then the parent will be contacted.

Allergies

Many children have allergies and sensitivities to certain foods.  As a child ages often these allergies are discovered.  Please be sure to document and discuss with us at the Center any allergies that your child has or concerns about possible sensitivity.  Each classroom maintains a list of allergies for the children who reside in that classroom.  Please check with your child’s teacher whenever you are planning on bringing outside food into the center. If a child has asthma BDLC requires an action plan from your physician.

BDLC is a peanut free environment.  No foods are allowed into the Center which contains peanuts as an ingredient or as possible trace containment.  Please be very careful on this issue whenever you as a parent are bringing food into the center either at a pot luck dinner or for a child celebration.  Children and adults with peanut allergies can have severe reactions to even trace amounts of peanuts, the touching of the oil, etc.

BDLC is also a nut free environment.  The restrictions are not as rigorous for nuts in general.  Trace containment warnings are allowed.

Teachers are responsible for administering authorized medications. A doctor’s written statement and any accompanying over-the-counter or prescription medication must be given to the child’s teacher. Parents must sign the medication form each day a child is on medication. A doctor’s written statement must be on file before any medications will be given, including over the counter medications.

BDLC does have a blanket doctor medication form for the following: diaper rash ointment, insect repellent, sunscreen, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.  Parent signature is required, and parents are responsible for providing the items.  All prescription medications must be in a pharmacy-labeled container or have accompanying doctor’s notes specifying dosage. Each child’s authorized medication information form must be updated annually, and this must be maintained in order for the center to meet accreditation standards.

Safety

All children must be accompanied to and from the Center by a parent or a responsible adult. The parent MUST sign in and out on the sign in/sign out sheet and communicate with the teacher when arriving or leaving. BDLC will release a child to persons listed as authorized for pick-up. The person will be required to sign-out and may be asked to show ID.

BDLC is required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Teachers and staff receive training in child abuse prevention each year.
Fire drills are conducted monthly. Tornado drills are practiced during tornado season. We encourage parents to review fire and safety routines for both school and home. We also conduct lock down drills regularly.

BDLC Movement and Nutrition Policy

Bloomington Developmental Learning Center is committed to supporting the growth and development of children 6 weeks to 6 years in the following developmental domains; cognition, social emotional, linguistic, fine motor and gross motor.  We believe that physical activity and gross motor play support growth in all developmental domains.

In effort to support a healthy lifestyle, teacher will receive a minimum of three clock hours of professional development annually in both movement and nutrition.  We believe through education of teachers, we will build and maintain a community of happy and healthy families and staff.

Nutrition/Meal Time

Bloomington Developmental Learning Center adheres to health and nutrition recommendations in accordance to state licensing standards, Paths to Quality and USDA nutritional guidelines (i.e., My Plate), to meet both the dietary needs of children and to promote healthy eating habits.  Meals are served in a relaxed environment.  Meal time allows children the opportunity to practice self-help skills, engage in oral language development and build healthy eating habits.  This includes; students eating fruit and/or a vegetable at each meal, we will vary vegetables as seasons offer, self-feeding skills are promoted and teachers eat with their students and do not eat food (or drink) non-BDLC food/drink in front of the children. BDLC is moving toward all classrooms using family-style dining.

BDLC prepares nutritionally balanced meals and snacks to be served to children and staff. A light breakfast is served around 8:30 a.m. A well-balanced lunch is served between 11 a.m. and noon, depending on the age of children. An afternoon snack consisting of food from two food groups is served between 2:30 and 3 pm. For children staying after 5 p.m., an additional drink and snack are provided. Weekly menus are posted on a board on the kitchen door and in each classroom.  In addition, there are copies of the weekly menu available for pick-up by parents in a dispenser outside the office. Notify the office of food allergies and substitutes will be used.

Feeding needs of infants are respected and meal plans are made with families (this includes supporting nursing mothers), and follow the needs of the individual infant.

Images of healthy and multicultural foods are available in print and as toys in each classroom.  Although our families have a wide variety of meal plans at home, BDLC is a vegetarian establishment (daily protein needs are met through serving cheese, beans, etc.), that uses local and organic food as much as possible.  Water is available to children both inside and outside.  Neither food nor water is used as a reward or punishment at BDLC.

BDLC operates its own kitchen with a head cook and assistant cook.  Preparing food here at the center enables us to provide a much higher quality menu and to better respond to children’s dietary needs and requests. Thus, we are committed to providing a high-quality, whole-foods approach to meals that meet and exceed  USDA and state standards nutritional guidelines.

To begin this effort, we have been providing a vegetarian (not vegan) menu using eggs, cheese, and other protein-based ingredients as well as fresh or frozen and often organic vegetables and fruits. The purpose of serving a vegetarian menu is to be able to minimize food contamination in our kitchen and maximize monies we have available to purchase the highest quality ingredients available (which does not include many of the over-processed meats). We may add meat-based items at a later time when it becomes more feasible. The overall goal is to prepare high-quality, well-balanced meals and snacks that our children enjoy and that encourage them to try new foods at a time when they are forming eating habits for life. We encourage you to talk with the Executive Director or Assistant Director if you have any questions about meals and food preparation at BDLC.

Children with special dietary needs will be accommodated to the best of the Center’s ability. When a special diet or any deviation from the menu is requested, a statement from a physician is required. If children cannot eat foods because of personal or religious beliefs, a parent may sign a statement to be kept on file.

All infant foods and formulas are provided by the Center.  The baby food used at BDLC is food certified as additive free without preservatives or coloring.  Breast milk may be provided by mothers who are breastfeeding, as long as it is stored in proper containers and labeled with the child’s name and the date that the milk was pumped.

When classrooms celebrate special days, parties, or birthdays, parents may provide store-bought nutritional snacks and fresh fruit. (Because of regulations, the Center cannot serve parents’ homemade snacks or treats.) Arrangements must be made with the Lead Teacher.  Please be aware of the problems of potential food allergies that may be present in your child’s room.  The Lead Teacher can help you be aware of what allergies are present in your child’s room.  Remember that BDLC does not allow the use of peanuts in the center even in trace amounts.  BDLC is also a nut free environment, please be sure not to purchase any baked goods that might have either peanuts or tree nuts.

Physical Activity/Movement

To support the gross motor development of children at BDLC, we provide multiple opportunities for active play (both structured and unstructured) for all age groups.  Gross motor/movement experiences support physical growth, cardiovascular health, and cognitive development.  The following gross motor experiences are aligned with the Indiana State Standards of the Foundations for Young Children Birth through Age Five, and NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education.  Guidelines are listed by age below:

Infant

  • Infants will have daily opportunity for both structured and unstructured movement several times a day
  • Physical activity in the classroom will encourage skill development (i.e., neck, hand and arm muscle strength).
  • Infants will have daily opportunity for; crawling, walking, scooting, sitting and tummy time.
  • Caregivers, along with administration, will ensure that materials and the environments in which infants play, are clean, safe and developmentally appropriate.
  • Toddler
  • Toddlers will participate in a minimum of 30 minutes structured (does not need to be simultaneous) and 30 minutes unstructured gross motor activity.  Experiences may include; walking, dancing, yoga, balance activities, tumbling, yoga, punching/throwing, kicking, etc.
  • Children will not remain sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time (excluding rest time).
  • Indoor and outdoor gross motor equipment should be in good condition and used according to manufacturer (and licensure) guidelines.
  • Neither food nor movement can be used as a punishment.

Preschool

  • Preschool children will participate in a minimum of 60 minutes structured (does not need to be simultaneous) and 60 minutes unstructured gross motor activity.  Experiences may include; walking, dancing, yoga, rolling, balance activities, tumbling, punching/throwing, kicking,  relay races, tag (to support a variety of academic skills), parachute, relay races, tag (to support a variety of academic or movement skills, etc.
  • Children will not remain sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time.
  • Indoor and outdoor gross motor equipment should be in good condition and used according to manufacturer (and licensure) guidelines.
  • Neither food nor movement can be used as a punishment.

 

Policies

 

Entrance Policy

BDLC welcomes all children six weeks to six years old to experience the benefits of our Center.  BDLC serves children of parents who are occupied full- or part-time during the day.

Parents and children interested in BDLC are invited to tour the Center and observe the classrooms. The Executive Director, Assistant Director or Office Manager will answer questions, review the handbook, and provide the necessary application forms to be completed. The Executive Director, the Assistant Director, and the parents determine the room placement appropriate for each child.

A birth certificate and health examination, including immunizations, are required for each child within three months of notification of admission to the Center, or upon enrollment, whichever is earlier. Your child will be excluded if a current form is not on file. Health examinations must be repeated annually for children 2 years of age and younger.

The first week a child is enrolled at BDLC is considered a transitional week. A parent or primary caregiver must be available to help in the class as the child and teachers get to know one another. The first day we ask the parent and child to visit for about two hours. The time a child spends at the Center increases each day until Friday, when the child is at the Center for a full day without a parent or primary caregiver.

Fees and Policies

BDLC requires a nonrefundable $35 application fee and a $70 registration fee.  Also nonrefundable are the $25 annual membership fee, a $75 annual activity and materials fee per child, and a $100 annual building and capital improvement fee per child. These fees are divided into two payments on September 1st  and March 1st of each year. They will be pro-rated for families who enroll a child after October 1st.  Fees may change annually. Please consult the current rate sheet for current fee schedules. The rate sheet is given to parents once a year following a vote of approval by the board of directors and is available in the main office. To hold a spot, one-half of the monthly tuition is also required. This is a good-faith statement that you will take the specific opening when it occurs. This deposit is nonrefundable if for any reason the family decides not to take the available spot.

Classroom placement guidelines at BDLC: Numerous factors will be taken into account for selection of a child for a classroom placement.  BDLC will use a wait list for this consideration.  As soon as a family realizes an interest in placement, we encourage families to put their names on the wait-list.  This is especially important in the infant classroom, given high demand and low availability.  Certain factors are considered, especially relative age cohort.

Also, placement priority will be given to families in the following order:

  1. Full-time staff.
  2. Families with a sibling already attending BDLC.
  3. Part-time staff.
  4. New families to BDLC.

We require a two-week deposit that will be applied to the child’s first two weeks in our care.  This deposit will be required once a slot is confirmed by the Center and is accepted by the parents.  If plans change and the child does not enroll, this deposit is nonrefundable. In addition, a nonrefundable registration fee of $70.00 will be collected with the two week deposit.
To remain in good standing at the Center:

  1. Monthly fees must be paid by the fifth of each month
  2. Specific payment arrangements can be made with the Executive Director but parents submitting overdue payments may be assessed additional fees (see Overdue Tuition Policy).

If a child does not attend due to illness or vacation, payment will still be due to the Center. (See “Hold Policy” section if your child/ren will be absent for an extended period of time).

BDLC Scholarships may be available for current families that need financial assistance for a certain amount of time due to extenuating circumstances.  Scholarship applications are available through the Executive Director.

BDLC will grant scholarships to families based upon income (need) through the use of the financial assistance chart (F.A.C.).  Any scholarships granted will be reviewed every 6 months by the Executive Director and the Assistant Director.  When scholarships are assessed through the 6-month period, the scholarship will continue as is, be modified, or be terminated based on the F.A.C. and/or available scholarship funds.

Families applying for the Additional Child Scholarship will be granted the scholarship based upon the F.A.C. and available funds.

Applicants applying for the Additional Child Scholarship will be considered after the consideration of all needs based applicants.

BDLC Income Distribution

BDLC is a non-profit organization, and we work hard each year to keep fees reasonable and in line with the services provided. To help parents understand how their fees are used within the Center, the following table provides information on how funds are used within the Center. Note that 75% of fees go directly toward paying wages and benefits, and the remaining 25% are used to provide everything else including food, supplies, building maintenance, utilities, and administration. This is why fundraising is so important to our Center.

Hold Policy

A holding fee can be paid to hold a space for a child absent for four consecutive weeks up two months. This policy is only available during May-August. The fee is 75%  of the regular monthly fee for each month away and no less than $100. Parents must notify BDLC by March 1st. Children must have attended BDLC 90 days before they can utilize the hold fee.  If a family does not wish to utilize a hold fee to guarantee their spot or if they will be away for more than two months, they do have the option of placing their child’s name back on the waiting list for the room in question.  The child leaving the center will have their name placed at the top of the appropriate waiting list. Every effort will be made to place the child back into our center when the family returns.

Overdue Tuition Policy

This policy applies to all tuition payable by parents or guardians (hereafter referred to as “parents”) of children attending BDLC. Following is a table summary time line for the Overdue Tuition Policy.

1st of the month Tuition payments are due.
After the 5th of the month Tuition is considered past due.
3 days after the 5th A late fee of $25 will be charged and a dated invoice will be given to the parents.
20th of the month A late fee of an additional $50 will be charged and a second dated invoice given with an official notice that membership may be withdrawn if fees are not paid in 10 days
10 days after official notice The family is given written notice that their membership at BDLC has been suspended.
Day after suspension notice The family will be sent to the director if they arrive at the center and the director will remind the family that childcare services have been withdrawn and that they have fifteen days to pay all past due amounts.
15 days after suspension The center will no longer “hold” a spot for the child.
Board meeting after 15 days The board will cancel the family’s membership, which can only be reinstated with board approval.

In summary, this policy is set to give ample notification to the parents and allow enough time for the financial situation to be resolved so that children are not removed from the center unnecessarily since such a removal can be stressful for the child. Please see the Executive Director or Assistant Director if you have additional questions.

Hours and Late Pick-Up Policy

BDLC is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents must arrive in time to pick up their child and leave the Center by 6 p.m. BDLC recommends that no child be left in childcare for more than 10 hours per day.

The Center closes promptly at 6 p.m. and the Center’s entry doors will be locked at closing.  Late pickups are emotionally stressful for a child, and the Center incurs excessive costs because a teacher will typically watch only one child and that teacher is getting paid over time. Parents who are late picking up their children will be assessed late pick-up charges. The following fees will be charged for late pick-ups. (Note that the minutes late refer to the time the child leaves the center and NOT when the parent arrives at the center.)

1 to 15 minutes late $15 fee
15 to 30 minutes late $30 fee
30 to 45 minutes late $45 fee
45 to 60 minutes late $60 fee

Please note that these fees are based on $1 per minute but are in range rather than graduated for each minute.  The Executive Director will be notified of the late pick-up and will charge the parents accordingly.  Also, please realize that if you arrive at closing, you should exit the building as quickly as possible.  The teachers and administration are happy to talk to parents, but after closing is not the best time to do this.

Anti-Harassment Policy

BDLC is committed to providing a professional and respectful working environment for all its employees. Any harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin is a form of illegal discrimination and is not tolerated at BDLC. For more information or detail about BDLC’s policy concerning harassment, see the Executive Director or Assistant Director.

Discipline Policy

BDLC provides a separate and detailed discipline policy (the BDLC Discipline Policy) that has information on our policies and procedures, which is distributed to all parents when they enroll their child in the Center. The health, safety, and emotional well-being of children enrolled at BDLC are our highest priorities. We view discipline as another skill that children must develop, and we strive to help children learn to play, settle disputes, and interact with others peacefully and non-aggressively. We do not assume malicious intent on the part of children when they strike out physically or verbally at another child or adult, and we do not seek to punish, embarrass, or humiliate children who are exhibiting inappropriate behaviors.

Children and staff at BDLC follow three very basic rules that are adaptable to many situations:

  1. We take care of ourselves.
  2. We take care of our friends.
  3. We take care of our materials.

The strategies our teachers use to teach appropriate behavior fall into two broad categories — preventive and reactive. We use a variety of strategies to attempt to prevent as many problems as possible, including involving older children in formulating rules for their classrooms, using conflict resolution and peacemaking education in our classes, and encouraging children to use their words to communicate with teachers and consider how their words affect others. If a specific discipline problem must be addressed, teachers use techniques such as redirection to appropriate activities, problem-solving, self- regulation, and calm-down time.  We believe that children learn self-control best when parents and teachers work together. Thus, we strongly encourage regular communication between parents and teachers. BDLC teachers implement the Conscious Discipline program to teach teachers, support staff, and children strategies for verbalizing and self-regulating.

At times, certain children may experience more severe discipline issues that need to be addressed, and outside evaluations and resources may be used in these cases. BDLC will take steps as needed, and parents are expected to work with staff and teachers to help address the issue. It is important for parents to know that if a child repeatedly assaults other children or a teacher, this can be grounds for immediate dismissal from BDLC.

For more detail on BDLC’s complete discipline policy, please review the BDLC Discipline Policy booklet.

CCDF Program Guidelines

Parents utilizing the CCDF Voucher Program to pay for their BDLC tuition are required to follow these guidelines:

1.    Parents must swipe in and out daily to pay for their child’s childcare.   If for some reason you do not swipe your child in or out on one day you must do so the following day.  We will verify that this has been done on Mondays following the previous week.  Parents must have vouchered their child’s care by that time or they will be given a warning.  Receipt of a third warning will cause your child’s care to be terminated at BDLC. BDLC requires daily vouchering.  If you do not voucher daily it will cause the enrollment of your child at BDLC to be terminated.   Be sure to let us know when you have a problem vouchering or if for some reason you cannot voucher daily.

2.    If your child is sick or unable to attend the center for a day, and your child attends the center full-time, you are responsible for utilizing your Personal Days to pay for the time your child is not here.   If you have run out of Personal Days you become responsible for payment of child care fees.  You must make this payment within 7 days of the time your child is not at the center.  If your child attends BDLC part-time, you are responsible for paying the Center for his or her time missed time.  You must make this payment within 7 days of the time your child is not at the center.

3.    Parents must make arrangements with the Center for how payment will occur prior to vacations or extended absences.

4.    Parents are responsible for payment of annual fees.

5.    Payment of underage and overage fees is due within 5 days of the first of each month.  Three days after the 5th of the month a late fee of $25 will apply.   Please see BDLC’s Overdue Tuition policy for the steps leading to termination of one’s membership and child care services.

6.    BDLC’s Late Pick-up Policy applies to CCDF Voucher participants.  Families will be responsible for payment of late fees.

7.    Any problems with payments must be discussed with the Director if you are unable to meet your obligation.

Parents utilizing CCDF vouchers are required to place with BDLC a deposit equal to ½ their child’s monthly tuition.  BDLC is willing to work with you to come up with a payment schedule.  A minimum of $25 per month is required to be paid towards one’s deposit until the full amount is deposited. BDLC expects the family to pay the overage amount listed on the voucher each week.

BDLC is a small non-profit which does not receive subsidy from other sources.  Just as you would not be allowed to take goods from a store without paying for them you need to pay for the services you receive from us as you receive them.  Non-payment will not be tolerated.

If you are having problems meeting these requirements you need to talk immediately to either the Director or Assistant Director.

Other

 

Supplies

BDLC provides all food (including snacks), infant formula, and baby wipes. Parents may choose to bring their own diapers on a monthly basis or pay to have BDLC provide them.  Please do not bring additional food for your child. BDLC offers Similac Advance formula. If your child requires a different formula there may be an additional fee due to pricing. There will be an additional fee for organic milk or milk replacement (Silk, Almond milk).
BDLC provides an excellent selection of developmentally appropriate toys, books and materials for most activities. Please leave all BDLC toys/books/materials at the center.  Each classroom determines its policy for bringing in toys, music, or books from home. Ask your child’s teachers about specific details concerning this issue.  Children may be encouraged to bring in special belongings for share times in some rooms. Children are generally allowed to keep a special soft naptime toy. Toy guns and other toys and materials that glorify violence are not allowed at BDLC.

Occasionally, parents may be asked to contribute an item for a special activity. Parents may wish to contribute new or used toys or books. Because we participant in the Indiana 5 Star Environmental Recognition Program, we must be assured that donated toys do not have lead or any other contaminants before accepting them. Most rooms post a “Wish List” of items that they need or want for certain projects.  Please contact your child’s teacher or the Assistant Director before making your contribution.

Parents should provide at least two changes of labeled, weather-appropriate clothing in a plastic box (shoebox size) marked with the child’s name. Be sure to check this box periodically for size or seasonal changes. Weather-appropriate accessories needed for summer include sunscreen, sun hat, swimsuit, towel, and water shoes for water-play days. For winter, hats, gloves or mittens, boots, and snow pants are needed.

On the first day of each week, a clean blanket for rest time should be provided by the parent. A pillow may also be brought from home. The blanket, pillow, and naptime toy should be taken home on Fridays for laundering. Toothbrushes should be provided for children 2 years old and older. (Straight, slim shape in order to fit into our tooth brush holder.)

BDLC does have a supply of used clothing, accessories, and blankets if parents occasionally forget supplies. Please launder items that may be loaned to your child and return them to BDLC.

Closing Dates

BDLC will be closed on the following days:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
  • In-service training day (one day during spring transition)
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • In-service training days (2 days in August usually the week MCCSC school starts)
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve (may be closed for a half day or full day depending on day of week )
  • Christmas Day through New Year’s Day (one week)
  • When a holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday.  When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the holiday will be observed on the Friday immediately preceding the holiday.
Weather Closing

BDLC may decide to close for inclement weather such as snow or ice. Closings will be announced:

Online: Posted on BDLC’s website on the home page at http://www.bdlc.org

Email: A message will be sent to all families through google mail.

By Phone:  BDLC will change our voice mail message stating information about our closing

Fans of BDLC Facebook page
BDLC historically remains open, not necessarily closing when MCCSC or the University closes due to weather emergencies.

Fees will still be due to the Center for days BDLC is closed.

Emergency Closings

If BDLC ever suffers an emergency closing such as one that might be caused if a fire occurred, BDLC has established an emergency alternative pick-up site.  Our emergency pick-up site is to the south at the Bloomington Montessori School.  Both schools have this reciprocal agreement, supporting each other in time of emergency.

BDLC as Steward of our Environment

BDLC is committed to being a good steward for our environment.  We continue to earn 5 Stars  in the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Program. Which utilize Integrated Pest Management, green cleaning supplies, plants to filter volatile chemicals and pollutants out of the Center’s air and green laundry products (we make ourselves).  This in turn fits with our belief in recycling, serving whole nutritious foods to our children, conserving energy, composting, and in general living responsibly and teaching that to our children.

BDLC Annual Parent Survey

At least once a year, parents are asked to participate in reviews where they are given an opportunity to evaluate the overall Center, the administration, and the teachers. We encourage parents to participate in these reviews and to provide feedback to us anytime they wish.

If you have questions or comments about any of these policies, please ask the Executive Director or Assistant Director. We welcome parent feedback and suggestions on this handbook as well as the policies provided.