Child Illness Policy

This policy is based on the Model Health Care Policies developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Educare Children’s Center understands that it is difficult for a parent/guardian to leave or miss work; therefore, it is suggested that alternative arrangements be made for occasions when children must remain at home or be picked up due to illness.  Exclusion from the Center is sometimes necessary to reduce the transmission of illness or because the Center is not able to adequately meet the needs of the child.  Mild illnesses are common among children and infections are often spread before the onset of any symptoms.  In these cases, we try to keep the children comfortable throughout the day, but will find it necessary to exclude them from the child care setting for the following reasons:

  • Fever of 100 axilary, 101 orally or 102 aural/ear or more
  • Diarrhea – unformed and/or uncontrolled stools that cannot be contained in a diaper/underwear or toilet.
  • Vomiting – 2 or more times during the previous 24 hours.
  • Mouth sores associated with drooling
  • Rash with fever or behavioral changes, unless a physician has determined it is not a communicable disease in which case, we would request a doctor’s note.
  • Purulent conjunctivitis (defined as pink or red conjuctiva with white or yellow discharge) until on antibiotics for 24 hours.
  • Impetigo until 2 4 hours after treatment.
  • Strep throat until 24 hours after treatment.
  • Scabies until 24 hours after treatment has begun.
  • Chickenpox, until all lesions have dried and crusted (usually 6 days).
  • Pertussis (Whooping cough) until 5 days of appropriate antibiotics.
  • Hepatitis A virus until one week after onset of illness, after immune globulin has been administered
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Ear ache or drainage
  • Illness that prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities.
  • Illness that results in a greater need or care than our center can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children.

We ask that for your child’s comfort and to reduce the risk of contagion, children be picked up within 1.5 hours of notification.  Children need to remain home for 24 hours without symptoms before returning to the program.  In the case of a (suspected) contagious disease or continuing symptoms, a doctor’s note may be required before returning.

Children who have been excluded may return to the center when:

  • They are free of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea for a full 24 hours.
  • They have been treated with an antibiotic for a full 24 hours.
  • They are able to participate comfortably in all usual program activities, including outdoor time.

Non-Prescription Medications (e.g., Tylenol)

The Center will administer non-prescription medications to your child on your written request noted in the Authorization for administration of Medication Request form (not to exceed a 3 day period).  You may come to administer medication to your child during the day or, if possible, check with your child’s physician to see if a dose schedule can be arranged that does not involve the hours you child is in the Center.  All medications must be given directly to a teacher for proper storage.  A designated staff member shall administer the medication.  Each time medicine is given, it must be recorded on the form.  This form will be kept at the Center in your child’s file.  All unused medicine will be returned to the parent/guardian.

Note:  The Center will not administer Acetaminophen or other fever reducing medicines so a child can remain at the Center.  Fever reducing medicines will be given at the parent’s request (with a signed note as outlined above) while the child is awaiting the parent’s/guardian’s arrival.  The child cannot be readmitted to the Center until she/he has been fever free for at least 24 hours, with no other symptoms.

Non-Prescription Topical Ointments (e.g., Sunscreen)

A note signed by the parent/guardian, specifying times and dosage to be administered is required.  Duration of the administration is not to exceed one year for sunscreen and 90 days for all other non-prescription topical ointments (e.g., diaper rash cream).

Prescription Medications (e.g., Penicillin)

Prescription medications require a note signed by the parent/guardian and a written order from the child’s physician (this may be included on the label of the medication).  The medication must have a current pharmacist’s label that includes your child’s name, dosage, current date, times to be administered, and the name and number of the physician.  All medications must be in the original container.  You will need to complete the Authorization for Administration of Medication Request form, indicating the dosage and times to be administered for each medication.

Absences

Please call the Center if your child is going to be absent or arrive after 9:00 am.  If we don’t hear from you, we will be concerned about your child.  If your child has a contagious illness, please let the Center’s director know so that other families can be alerted.  It is important for us to have a head count of the children who will be having lunch at the center no later than 10:00 am.

Communicable Diseases

When the Center is notified that a child or an employee has a (suspected) communicable disease, it is our legal responsibility to notify the local Department of Public Health agency.  Authorities may require further information, testing, or preventive measures.

We believe it is extremely important to notify families about exposure so that children can receive preventive treatment if available.  Included among the reportable illnesses are the following:  Bacterial Meningitis, Botulism, Chicken Pox, Diphtheria, Haemophilus Influenza (invasive), Measles (including suspect), Meningococcal infection (invasive), Poliomyelitis (including suspect), Rabies (human), Rubella congenital and non-congenital (including suspect), Tetanus (including suspect), and any cluster/outbreak of illness.

Infection Control

All teachers are trained with regard to proper hygiene practices, which include hand-washing procedures, general infection control, safe food handling, and diapering and toileting procedures.  Educare Children’s Center will sanitize certain equipment, materials, and surfaces using soap and water followed by disinfectant (bleach solution) on a regular schedule.

Meals

Educare Children’s Center believes that meals and snacks are critical to a child’s health and development.  They are also an important part of the our program.  Every effort is made to ensure that mealtime is enjoyable for children. 

A light breakfast is available to children who arrive before 8:15 am.  Lunch is provided by the Center and it is also included in the tuition fee.  A weekly menu will be posted on the parent’s bulletin board.  Water and organic milk are provided.  Children with special diets are welcome to bring their own lunch.  Please advise the Center if your child has a food allergy or a dietary restriction.

Snacks

Snacks are provided at 10:30 am, 3:00 pm, and a smaller snack is served at 5:00 pm.  Snacks consist of two food groups for the first two snacks and crackers for the last one.

Allergy Prevention

Families are expected to inform the Center regarding children’s food or environmental allergies.  Parents/guardians of children with diagnosed allergies or asthma are required to provide the Center with a detailed Personal Care Plan detailing the child’s symptoms, reactions, treatments and care.  A list of children’s allergies is posted in the classroom and the kitchen.  Our teachers are trained to familiarize themselves with the list and to consult as appropriate to avoid the potential of exposing children to substances to which they have known allergies.  Educare is a peanut free Center.

Injuries

Teachers for each age group are responsible for daily safety inspections of their assigned area and equipment.  Defective equipment will be removed or repaired as soon as possible to prevent injury. 

In the event that your child does sustain a minor injury (e.g., scraped knee), you will receive an Incident Report outlining the occurrence and course of action taken by the teacher.  You will be contacted if the injury produces any type of swelling, bruise, or needs medical attention.

In the event of a serious medical emergency, the child will be taken to the hospital by ambulance, while Center management or a staff member contacts you or a designated emergency contact.

Report Abuse and Neglect

Individuals working with children are mandated reporters and are required by law to report cases to the appropriate state authorities if they have reasonable cause to believe or suspect a child is suffering from abuse or neglect or is in danger of abuse or neglect.  The child protective service agency will determine the appropriate action and may conduct an investigation.  It then becomes the role of the agency to determine if the report of abuse or neglect is substantiated and to work with the family to ensure the child’s needs are met.  Educare Children’s Center will cooperate fully with any investigation and will maintain confidentiality concerning any report of child abuse or neglect.  Our foremost concern is always the protection of the child.

Disaster Procedure

In the event of a disaster such as an earthquake your child remains at the Center unless advised by authorities to evacuate.  If your child is moved, you will be notified as soon as possible.  All reasonable precautions for your child’s safety and health will be taken.  Three days of food and water supplies are on site for each child.

Biting

Biting is a normal stage of development that is common among toddlers and sometimes even among preschoolers.  It is something that almost all children will try at least once.  When it happens, it’s scary, frustrating, and very stressful for everyone involved.  It is a natural phenomenon and not something to blame on children, families or teachers.

When biting happens, our response will be to care for and help the child who was bitten, help the biter to learn a more appropriate behavior, and examine our program to maintain an environment that is consistent with the children’s needs. 

Injury reports will be written for the child who was bitten and the biter.  We will work together with the family of the biter to develop strategies for change.  This work may include the development of an individual action plan and/or referral services, hiring a person to “shadow” the child (at the family’s expense), etc.   If the Center feels that we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child and still do not see progress and/or cooperation from his/her family, we do reserve the right to ask the family to withdraw the child from our program.

Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive behavior is any repeated pattern of behavior that interferes with learning or engagement in social interactions.  This includes unresponsiveness to appropriate guidance and actions such as prolonged tantrums, physical and verbal aggression, disruptive vocal and motor behavior, property destruction, self-injury, noncompliance, and withdrawal. 

If a child displays this type of pattern, family conferences will be scheduled and a plan of action will be put into place.  .  We will work together with the family to develop strategies for change.  This work may include the development of an individual action plan and/or referral services, hiring a person to “shadow” the child (at the family’s expense), etc.   If the Center feels that we have made every effort to make the program work for the child and still do not see progress and/or cooperation from his/her family, we do reserve the right to ask the family to withdraw the child from our program.

Toilet Training

The most important factor in making this experience successful and as low-stress as possible is a family/teacher partnership that supports the child.  There are different views on the when and how of toilet training, and every culture approaches it differently.  Research indicates that young children cannot successfully learn how to use the toilet until they are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready.  Many pediatricians say that most children under 24 months of age are not physically capable of regulating bladder and bowel muscles.  Thus, toilet training is generally most successful when it is started around that age or later.  Most positive toilet training will occur only after children show signs of physical control (or awareness) of their bodily functions and when they demonstrate an interest or curiosity in the process.  These are general guidelines that will be followed during this process:  children will be closely supervised during toilet training, and shall be praised for their efforts and accomplishments; this process shall not be coerced.  Children shall not be punished emotionally or physically for soiling, wetting, or not using the toilet.  Families will provide sufficient clothing for their child to change into in the event of a toileting accident.  Any extra clothes that are worn home should be replaced the next day.  Families shall be kept advised of their child’s toilet learning progress on a regular basis.

Naps

Naps are offered to all children from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.  Typically, the younger children nap longer than the older child.  But all children are provided opportunities to nap.  A cot is provided by the Center.  Parents are required to pay a small fee for the use of a cot sheet provided by the center, we also ask parents to provide us with a blanket; both items are to be taken home at the end of each week to be laundered. 

Non-Napper Program

We offer a program for children who are at least 4 years old and whose behavior doesn’t change due to the lack of rest.  Parents are expected to request this change in their child’s routine.  During this time, children will enjoy activities such as yoga, math, receptive and expressive language, cultural subjects and outside play. 

Clothing

Children need to be dressed in comfortable clothes that they can manage themselves.  We foster independence and children feel very proud when they manage their own clothing.  We discourage the use of flip-flops.  During the rainy season, we ask you to bring your child’s raincoat and rain boots.  Two complete changes of clothing should be kept at the Center in your child’s cubby.  Please write your child’s name in all jackets, sweaters and clothing.

Personal Belongings

Children are welcome to bring items of educational value from home during sharing day.  Toys should remain at home or in the car.  If your child brings home an object that does not look familiar, please check with the teacher.  Even seemingly insignificant objects may be critical to a Montessori material.  Please return all materials.