Hello Parents! Thank you for choosing Cradle to Crayon Learning Center. We are looking forward to getting to know you and your family. Please take the time to read the following policies. This booklet is meant to create a mutual understanding of the way our center operates. Feel free to contact the Director with any questions or comments.
The following is the contact information for our licensing office:
Child Care and Licensing
8700 North Stemmons Freeway Suite 104
Dallas, Texas 75247
To access the minimum standards for child care centers on the DFPS website visit:
https://hhs.texas.gov/proceed to licensing, credentialing, and regulation, and visit Child Care and Licensing section.
To access the child care center’s most recent Licensing inspection report:
Nondiscrimination in Service
Admissions, the provisions of services, and referrals of clients should be made without regard to race, color, religious creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age or sex. Program services shall be made accessible to eligible persons with disabilities through the most practical and economically feasible methods available. These methods include, but are not limited to, equipment redesign, the provision of aides, and the use of alternative service delivery locations. Structural modifications shall be considered only as a last resort among available methods. Any student (and/or their guardian) who believes they have been discriminated against, may file a complaint of discrimination with:
Cradle to Crayon Learning Center, LLC
Enrollment at Cradle to Crayon Learning Center is open to children six weeks old to 13 years old. Continued enrollment is contingent upon the parents’, emergency contact persons’ and child’s adherence to the policies and procedures as outlined in this handbook including, but not limited to, timely payment of all fees and tuition.
A current health assessment is required within the first 60 days of enrollment. Please make an appointment with your child’s doctor as soon as possible. You can also contact the Director to receive the form.
Parents are required to notify Cradle to Crayon immediately, should any of the information collected at the time of enrollment or any time thereafter change. Our facility reserves the right to dismiss any parent or child at any time with or without cause.
Confidential and sensitive information will only be shared with employees who have a “need to know” in order to most appropriately and safely care for your child. Confidential and sensitive information about faculty, other parents and/or children will not be shared with parents, as Cradle to Crayon strives to protect everyone’s right of privacy. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to: names, addresses, phone numbers, disability information, and health related information.
Outside of Cradle to Crayon, confidential and sensitive information about a child will only be shared when the parent of the child has given express written consent, except where otherwise provided for by law. Parents will be provided with a document detailing the information that is to be shared outside of the program, persons with whom the information will be shared, and the reason(s) for sharing the information.
All custodial parents and/or legal guardians are required to sign a Fee Agreement prior to enrollment of their child at Cradle to Crayon Learning Center. Parents are required to indicate to whom all billing information and correspondence are to be addressed. A security deposit is required to secure enrollment space and first week’s tuition. The security deposit must be received prior to your child’s start date.
Cash, check, money order, or credit card are all acceptable forms of payment. Receipts will be given for all tuition payments. All cash payments must be handed directly to the Center Director. There will be a $40.00 fee charged for tuition checks returned by the bank. Returned tuition checks will not be re-deposited. Parents or legal guardians will be responsible for re-issuing a second check. If at any future time the bank returns a parent’s check, all future tuition payments must be made by cash, certified check, or money order.
All payments are due in advance of provided service. Families are not permitted to carry balances on tuition accounts. Monthly payments are due on or before the first day of that month. Weekly payments are due on or before Monday of that week. Late payments will result in an additional fee of $15 per week. Non-payment of tuition is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program. Timely payments are essential for continued enrollment. However, if you anticipate difficulty with paying on time, please discuss the matter with the Director immediately. If alternative arrangements for payment are approved you will be notified by the Center Director.
Tuition is charged based on enrollment, not based on attendance. No refunds or credits will be issued for absenteeism, scheduled school holidays, child illness, or for closings due to emergency situations, inclement weather or acts of God.
Cradle to Crayon does accept child care subsidies. Subsidized children must have the case manager call before they start care and we follow our contractually obligation with CCMS and require parents to pay their copay by Monday the beginning of the week or we will have to report non-payments to our CCMS officials.
Parents of a subsidized child must complete all required paperwork on time to continue enrollment at Cradle to Crayon. Parents of subsidized children are also required to sign a fee agreement, agreeing to be personally responsible for the payment of tuition, in the event they become ineligible to receive child care subsidies.
Two weeks written notice is required when withdrawing a child for any reason. If the proper notice is given, any unused tuition and security deposit will be refunded within thirty days of the withdrawal. If the required notice is not given, any unused tuition and security deposit will not be refunded. Your child’s records are available to be transferred to your child’s new educational setting, upon your written request.
The parents and child, following their last day of enrollment, are not permitted to re-enter the Center without prior permission of the Director. A withdrawn child and his/her parents are required to call and request an appointment with the Director if they wish to return to the Center following the last day of enrollment. Appointments are made at the discretion of the Director and are not a right of the withdrawn child or parent.
Parents who wish to change their child’s days or times of enrollment, must submit a written request to do so two weeks in advance of the proposed change. The Director will notify the parents in writing if the new schedule is available. A schedule change will not be considered final until a new fee agreement is signed. If the schedule change requires an additional deposit and/or registration fee, the change will also be contingent upon payment of these monies. If the requested schedule is not available parents may choose to continue with the current schedule until the requested schedule becomes available, or may choose to withdraw their child from the program. (Please see withdrawal policy requirements above.)
Cradle to Crayon is open from 6:15AM to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. We will be closed on the following days following the Irving ISD schedule:
New Year’s Day**
4th Of July**
Thanksgiving Break (ex. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday)
Christmas** (the center will close for a period of 5 consecutive days)
** Holidays that land on Saturday or Sunday will be observed on an alternative day or days during the week before or after the
holiday. Anytime the center will be closed a notice will be posted as a reminder.
At Cradle to Crayon Learning Center, our teachers use Cradle to Crayon’s very own M.A.S.T.E.R.S. Curriculum. M.A.S.T.E.R.S. stands for Math, Art, Science, Technology, Engineering, Reading, and Social. This curriculum was created to give young learners a fun and engaging learning experience. Our child-centered approach allows children to use their natural curiosity, and it provides ample opportunities for children to be active learners. By being given countless opportunities to explore and investigate, M.A.S.T.E.R.S. creates a solid foundation for future academic success.
Activities in all age groups are based on the most up-to-date practices recognized by experts in the field of early childhood education. Our staff has access to publications and conferences on the latest developments available. We also conduct professional developments with our staff to provide equal opportunities to gain and improve the knowledge and skills important to their position.
We value your child’s experiences. When your child starts at our facility, observations will occur throughout their time here. This will help us provide the best care academically and socially for your child. We respect each child as an individual and set up their goals accordingly.
The daily routine is subject to change based upon the age and needs of each group. There is a potty time/diaper check before each transition. Hands are washed after toileting, before and after meals, and after messy activities and outdoor play. Outdoor play occurs daily if weather permits. On inclement weather days, large motor activities are offered inside the classroom. After lunch children will have a nap/rest period from 12:30pm to 2:30pm. Our staff will post the daily schedule and the learning objectives for that day in the classroom.
Children are permitted to eat at designated meal times. All food sent from home to be served to your child must be labeled with your child’s name, date, and the preferred mealtime (breakfast, lunch, or snack). Meals sent from home cannot be heated up, so we ask that you please choose healthy foods that your child will enjoy cold, such as sandwich components, cheese, fruit, etc. Avoid peanut butter and tree nuts to protect classmates with food allergies. We also have a hot healthy meal option. This option will be discussed during enrollment.
CHILDREN WITH SEVERE ALLERGIES
Parents are required to provide a signed copy of the “Authorization for Emergency Care for Children with Severe Allergies” form, detailing any allergies, food or otherwise, from which their child suffers, at the time of enrollment or when the allergy is discovered. This form must be completely filled out by the child’s physician and parent(s) or legal guardian(s), and must be updated every six months, or more frequently, as needed. In addition to this form, parents must provide a copy of any additional physician’s orders and procedural guidelines relating to the prevention and treatment of the child’s allergies.
Parents must also execute a “Release and Waiver of Liability for Administering Emergency Treatment to Children with Severe Allergies” form.
Any medication required to treat an allergic reaction must be provided in accordance with the Medication Policy.
WHAT TO BRING
Children will need one seasonably and size appropriate complete change of clothing at the center at all times. A complete change of clothing includes: shirt, pants, underwear, and socks. All clothing items must be clearly labeled with the child’s first and last name. This includes coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and boots. Cradle to Crayon Learning Center is not responsible for lost or damaged items of clothing.
For children who are not potty trained, please bring at least five clean diapers or pull-ups, and wipes.
Please remember to check your child’s cubby on a daily basis to make sure they have seasonably and size appropriate complete change of clothing, and an adequate amount of clean diapers or pull-ups, and wipe.
For nap time, mats are provided by. Children should bring a blanket that can be folded neatly and stored with the bedding supplies. Blankets must have the child’s first and last name on them. We strongly suggest taking the blankets home on Fridays, or as often as needed, to wash them.
Due to the risk of damage, sharing issues, and loss, children are not permitted to bring in toys from home, unless specifically requested by the classroom teacher for use as part of the curriculum.
Children are engaged in various activities during the course of the day. Some of these activities can be messy and/or athletic in nature. Additionally, children are engaged in outdoor play daily, weather permitting. Due to these activities, children are required to be dressed in seasonably appropriate, comfortable clothing.
Please do not dress children in clothing with difficult closures. These types of clothing present particular challenges for children and/or staff in relation to toileting.
Coats, hats, gloves, scarves and winter boots must be provided in the fall and winter months. It is not necessary for the children to wear their winter boots to school. Teachers will change the children into their winter boots when they go outdoors.
Children are not permitted to wear open toed, and/or open backed shoes. The most appropriate type of shoes for participation in school activities are rubber-soled, sneakers/tennis shoes.
Children are not permitted to wear jewelry of any kind. It is a safety hazard for your child as well as the other children enrolled in the program. In addition, we will not to be responsible for lost or stolen valuables. It is the parents’ responsibility to enforce this policy with their children.
NOTIFICATION OF ABSENCE OR LATENESS
Parents who know in advance that a child will be late or absent are required to notify the center by 8:15am so that we can best prepare for the school day. Drop off time limit is at 9:30 AM. This helps reduce distractions and disruptions during curriculum time.
If you would like your child to eat breakfast at school, please arrive by 8:45. We strongly encourage parents to arrive by 8:45 am at the latest, so that children are included in greeting activities and have time to calmly set their minds for the day ahead. Drop-off after 9:30 AM is not permitted unless parents notify the Director in advance (please see notification requirements above).
Upon arrival, the parent or the adult dropping the child off must sign the child into care on the sign-in sheet or kiosk and help children put away their outerwear and get settled for the day.
Parents are required to notify the child’s teacher or the Director of any special instructions or needs for the child’s day. Please present the special instructions in the form of a letter and verbally discuss them with either the classroom teacher or Director. These special instructions include but are not limited to: Early Pick-Up, Alternative Pick-Up Person, health issues over the previous night which need to be observed and/or any general issues of concern which the child care providers should be aware of to best meet the needs of your child throughout the day.
Parents or other authorized adult are required to sign their child out of care on the sign-out sheet. No cell phone usage is permitted at this time. Once a parent signs their child out, the parent is then solely responsible for supervising their child while on the premises. Parents are required to handle all business issues prior to signing out their child, and should directly exit the building once they have signed their child out of care.
The classroom teacher will be able to briefly discuss with you or another authorized adult at pick-up about their day. However, should you feel it necessary to have an in-depth discussion or meeting, it is most appropriate to schedule the meeting for a later date because the teacher is responsible for supervising the remaining children in the classroom.
EMERGENCY/ALTERNATE PICK-UP ARRANGEMENTS
At enrollment, parents will complete Emergency/Alternate Pick-Up information. Parents are encouraged to include any and all persons who, in the course of events, may at one time be asked to pick-up their child from daycare. In an emergency situation the child’s parents will be called first. If they cannot be reached staff will call the persons listed on this form until someone can be reached.
Should the staff contact a parent, and the parent is unable to pick up the child, it is then the responsibility of the parent to arrange for their child to be picked up by someone on the emergency list.
The persons on the Emergency/Alternate pick-up form will be required to provide photo identification. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
All changes and/or additions to the Emergency/Alternate Pick-Up form must be made in writing and be dated and signed. Only custodial parents have the right to make changes or additions to this form.
Our program ends at 6:00 pm. Parents who pick-up children after that time will be charged $2.00 per minute, to be paid in cash at the time of pick-up (total late fee will be calculated based on the clock on the wall in the classroom). All late pick-up fees go directly to the staff members who stay past their regularly scheduled shift. If payment in cash is not possible, it is to be paid at drop-off the following program day. If balance is not paid, payment will be combined with tuition payment.
Staff will encourage children to respect other people, to be fair, respect property, and learn responsibility for their actions. We will use the following techniques in doing so:
“Time-out” will be used if other management techniques are ineffective. “Time-out” or removal of a child from the environment, may be used selectively for children who are at risk of harming themselves or others. The time period will be just long enough for the child to regain self-control. As a general rule, this time period will not exceed one minute per year of age. Staff will monitor the effectiveness of “time-out” and maintain open communication with parents to use the most effective and appropriate means of discipline.
Cradle to Crayon recognizes that young children go through various stages of development. Certain behaviors are indicative of age. However, no child will remain enrolled if he or she:
Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled and include an overview of the observations of the child while at the program. Topics will include the child’s strengths, achievement of developmental milestones, and social-emotional growth in a classroom environment. Parents are welcome to schedule a conference at any time, and are encouraged to communicate freely with staff and the Director.
During program time, staff members are usually not available to have long conversations. Parents are welcome to write notes, call or send e-mails to the Director and teachers. If you leave a message on the answering machine, the Director will return your call as soon as possible.
Parents of a child in our care are entitled to immediate access without prior notice, to their child whenever they are in care at our facility, as provided by law.
In cases where the child is the subject of a court order (e.g., Custody Order, Restraining Order, or Protection from Abuse Order), We must be provided with a certified copy of the most recent order and all amendments thereto. The orders of the court will be strictly followed unless the custodial parent(s) requests a more liberal variation of the order in writing. In the case where both parents are afforded shared/joint custody by order of the court, both parents must sign the request for more liberal interpretation of the order.
In the absence of a court order on file, both parents shall be afforded equal access to their child as stipulated by law. Cradle to Crayon cannot, without a court order, limit the access of a one parent by request of the other parent, regardless of the reason. If a situation presents itself where one parent does not want the other parent to have access to their child, it is suggested that the parent keep the child with them until a court order is issued, since our rights to retain your child are secondary to the other parent's right to immediate access. Staff will contact the local police should a conflict arise.
Visitors are asked to schedule appointments with the Director, and are allowed in the child care facility only at her discretion. An employee will accompany visitors at all times throughout the center.
AGENCY’S RIGHT TO REFUSE ADMISSION
Cradle to Crayon Learning Center reserves the right to refuse admission to any child at any time with or without cause.
Possible reasons for the refusal of admission include but are not limited to:
Parents will not be reimbursed tuition for days when their child is refused admission to the program.
STAFF EMPLOYMENT BY CLIENTS
The staff of Cradle to Crayon is prohibited from being employed by any client (current or former). Parents are prohibited from soliciting any staff member for the purpose of employment. Such relationships include but are not limited to, baby-sitting, house-sitting, mother’s helper, nanny services, and carpooling regardless of whether or not those services are voluntary or paid.
MANDATED REPORTING OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE
· Abuse is mental, emotional, physical, or sexual injury to a child or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities or failure to prevent such injury.
o Of a child includes failure to provide a child with food, clothing, shelter and or medical care and or leaving a child in a situation where the child is at risk of harm.
o Of a person 65 years or older or an adult with disabilities that results in starvation, dehydration, over or under-medication, unsanitary living conditions, and lack of heat, running water, electricity, medical care, and personal hygiene.
Under the Child Protective Services Act and under Texas law, mandated reporters are required to report any suspicion of abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities. The employees of Cradle to Crayon are considered mandated reporters, are trained on identifying, reporting and preventing abuse and neglect. (Employees are required to obtain a minimum of 24 clock hours of training each year relevant to the age of the children for whom the caregiver provides care. At least one clock hour of annual training must focus on prevention, recognition, and reporting of child abuse and neglect, in accordance with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.) Protected under this law, employees are not required to discuss their suspicions with parents prior to reporting the matter to the appropriate authorities, nor are they required to investigate the cause of any suspicious marks, behavior or condition prior to making a report. Under the Act, mandated reporters can be held criminally responsible if they fail to report suspected abuse or neglect. We at We take this responsibility very seriously and will make all warranted reports to the appropriate authorities. The Child Protective Services Act is designed to protect the welfare and best interest of all children. As mandated reporters, staff cannot be held liable for reports made to Child Protective Services which are determined to be unfounded, provided the report was made in “good faith.” To report abuse and neglect in Texas:
By phone: 1-800-252-5400
Use this website to report situations that do not need to be investigated right away. It may take more than 48 hours to process online reports due to high volume. If you have an urgent situation that needs to be reported call the hotline immediately and/or 911. To reach out for community resources call 411. Our center will work with community organizations to provide guidance and contact information for parents/caregivers on preventing and reporting abuse or neglect.
Please do not send your child to school if the following symptoms are present:
· Fever of 100 degrees or above (within the past 24 hours).
· Needs fever-reducing medication to maintain a normal body temperature.
· Vomiting for any reason.
· Chronic cough.
· Excessive mucus coming from nasal passages, mouth or eyes.
· Needs cold medicine to suppress sneezing, coughing, or runny nose.
· Has an unexplained rash which has not been treated by a doctor
· Any other symptoms of communicable disease.
When a child is prescribed antibiotics by a doctor, parents must wait 24 hours after the first dose of medication before sending the child to school.
Parents are required to pick up an ill child within 45 minutes of notification by phone. If a parent is reached, but cannot pick their child up within 45 minutes, it becomes the parent’s responsibility to arrange for alternate pick up with someone listed on the child’s emergency contact form.
Children will be excluded from participation in the program if they exhibit symptoms of any communicable disease. They will not be permitted to return to the program until they are no longer contagious. Guidelines for determining the contagious period for a specific illness are based on the recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children must present a doctor’s note stating they are no longer contagious and can return to the program. Cradle to Crayon reserves the right to refuse to allow a child to return if staff believes the child to be too ill to participate in the program.
If your child will be absent due to illness, we request that you notify the center director. This enables our faculty to keep track of any illnesses, which may occur at our school. This information will only be shared with faculty on a “need to know” basis. If your child has a communicable disease, we ask that you share the diagnosis with the center director, so that the parents of the children in the school may be notified that a communicable disease is present. Once again, only the communicable disease information will be shared. We will take all measures necessary to protect your child’s confidentiality. You are not required to disclose this information by law, and your continued enrollment will not be based whatsoever on your decision to share, (or not) the reason for your child’s absence from school.
Immunizations are not just for children. Childcare center employees have a unique opportunity to protect children at their place of employment and lessen the spread of vaccine preventable diseases by getting immunized. Vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) are conditions which are preventable through vaccines available to protect against specific diseases. A list of VPDs can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines.
Cradle to Crayon Learning Center employees are encouraged to receive vaccines for VPDs listed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; however, vaccines are not required for employees.
Cradle to Crayon will only dispense over the counter and/or prescription medication that is in its original, labeled containers, and is accompanied by a doctor’s note with explicit dosage and administration instructions. Parents are required to submit a completed Medication Form each day that medication is to be dispensed. One doctor’s note per course of treatment is required. If a child, for example, is to be given a course of antibiotics for 10 days, the doctor’s note must identify the dates that the medication is to be given. Medication will be stored in a locked area, out of the reach of children. If sunscreen and insect repellant is absolutely necessary, parents would need to provide it with instructions as well.
Should your child be involved in an incident/accident during the course of the school day, a staff member will complete an Incident Report. The Incident Report will be placed in a sealed envelope and put in the child’s cubby. Parents are required to sign the report at pick-up time and return it to staff. Should a person other than the parent pick-up the child, a parent must sign the report and return it to the Director within 24 hours.
Fire Drills are conducted every month, sheltering drill for severe weather 4 times a year, and lockdown drill 4 times a year. Parents, staff and children will not be made aware of drill dates or times, as this is the most effective way to assess the effectiveness of fire and emergency/evacuation plans.
During a fire/emergency drill or real fire/emergency situation, parents may not sign children into or out of the program. Parents must wait until the drill is complete and children have returned to the building to sign their child into or out of the program. Parents may feel free to wait with the child’s class in the designated safe zone outside of the building until the drill is complete.
In the event of a real fire/emergency situation, the Director will inform staff that the school will be closing early. At this time any parents waiting to sign their child in will have to leave the premises with their child. All other parents or emergency contact persons will be notified by telephone of the situation. As with the sick child pick up policy, children must be picked up within 1 hour of the telephone call.
ALTERNATE SAFE LOCATION/EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Should the Director or any emergency services personnel determine that the facility is too dangerous to be occupied, the staff will walk with the children to the church diagonal to the center backyard. The address is 2400 E Grauwyler Rd. Building A. The center’s emergency number is 469-571-6994. Once children are assembled inside the building, the staff will begin contacting parents or emergency contacts for pick-up.
Emergency evacuation & relocation diagrams are located in areas specified by DFPS & local authorities
In the event of an emergency, operating procedures are in place to ensure the safety of children.
• In some circumstances, parents will be called upon to pick up their children.
• In the event of an emergency, all employees are responsible for moving children to the designated safe area or alternate shelter. Employees are required to guide children who can walk, carry children younger than 24 months of age or transport a host of them in an evacuation suitable equipment such as double strollers and evacuation cribs. This includes children have limited mobility, or who otherwise may need assistance in an emergency, such as children who have mental, visual, or hearing impairments.
Irving Police Department
Irving Fire Department
• Upon departure and arrival, the director or alternate assistant will have a list of all children that must be accounted for. Together, the director or alternate assistant and the caregivers will verify that all children are present.
• The director or alternate assistant is responsible for calling the local authorities needed such as: Fire department, ambulance, local police or sheriff, poison control, health department, parents, and DFPS childcare licensing.
• The director or alternate assistant is responsible for securing children's emergency numbers, emergency medical authorizations, and attendance sheets during an emergency.
EMERGENCY CLOSING AND INCLEMENT WEATHER
If the ISD is closed or declares a delayed opening due to inclement weather, we will also be closed or delayed. Closing information is available on the local news and our website.
If you are unsure, please call the Director directly.
If the facility must close during the day, staff will attempt to reach the child’s parents first to arrange for pick up. Should the staff be unable to reach the parents, the persons listed on the emergency contact form will be called until pick up arrangements can be made. Staff will notify the parents or emergency contact person at the time of the call; of the pick-up location should the children need to be evacuated from the childcare center.
Parents or emergency contact persons should report directly to the alternate location if one is given.
Should the center need to close for an emergency, tuition will not be refunded.
Under the Texas Penal Code, any area within 1000 feet of a child-care center is a gang-free zone, where criminal offenses related to organized criminal activity are subject to harsher penalty.