Child Care Center

Shenandoah University Child Care Center

The purpose of Shenandoah University Child Care Center is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for children whose parents (or legal guardians) are employed or enrolled as a student at Shenandoah University, and to the general public.

Philosophy

The philosophy of the center is that the well-rounded child develops through a variety of experiences and stimuli. With this philosophy in mind, the individual will be encouraged to participate in teacher-initiated activities as well as self-initiated activities, that are conducive to their achieving a well-rounded experience. Most importantly, we feel it is essential that each child develops a positive self-concept, and feels loved, secure and safe while in our hands.

Program Goals

  • To help the individual child develop a positive self-concept, learn to accept others, and feel loved, safe and secure.
  • To stimulate the cognitive, social, physical and emotional development of the individual child in order to fulfill their needs.
  • To help each child learn to express himself / herself in a variety of ways including: being helpful, curious, imaginative, creative and independent.
  • To help the individual child to be responsible and want to learn and enjoy play.
  • To offer parents additional opportunities to better develop their understanding of child development and work with teachers and other parents who share a common concern of interests and needs of children.
  • To support and promote quality early childhood education environments at the community level, by interacting with other centers and professionals.
  • To provide educational experiences, utilizing Shenandoah University students from various departments

Admissions

To inquire about enrolling a child in the program or arrange for a visit, you must contact the director in order to set an appointment. Tours will be given prior to admission. In order for a child’s admission to become final, proper health forms and enrollment information must be completed and signed.

Operating Hours

The center is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. year round (with the exception of holidays and other announced closings). Our program will provide services for children six weeks to five years old. Children should arrive/depart according to their schedule unless other arrangements are made in advance. This will help us to staff properly.

A Message from PAG (Parent Advisory Group)

We host bi-monthly Parent Advisory Group meetings. Parents are encouraged to bring ideas and meet with other parents. We will post the time and date each month.

Late Fee

For pick-ups after 6 p.m., there will be a $5 charge from 6:01 p.m. – 6:05 p.m. After 6:05 the fee will be $10 for every five minute time period or increment of that follows. This will be enforced due to our need to staff according to the scheduled number of children present each hour. If you fail to pick up your child and proper arrangements are not made, the following will take place: A phone call will be made to parents. Staff members will wait until one hour after closing, if the child is still not picked up Social Services or police will be contacted to come and take the abandoned child. When a child is not picked up due to emergency situations including, but not limited to inclement weather or natural disasters, staff will remain at the center with the child as long as the center has been notified of the delay. Late fees will apply.

Parents are responsible to pay for all days contracted including vacation, holidays, snow closings and sick days.

Parents will be given five free days per fiscal year, to be used at their discretion, once their child has been enrolled for six months. Children must be absent when using a free day.

When a child is enrolled, a payment/attendance contract will be signed to guarantee your child will be accounted for the number of days contracted. Tuition will be due each Monday or the first day your child attends each week, unless other arrangements have been made. Payments should be placed in the container marked “tuition” near the check in/check-out counter. You will be charged a $10 late fee per child if we have not received your payment by Tuesday morning.

The Child Care Center reserves the right to dismiss a child from enrollment in cases of when payment is late, lack of following center policies, when inappropriate behavior becomes a major disruption or any other unacceptable situation decided by the administration. Two week notice will be given unless the problem requires immediate dismissal.

Daily Program Plan

Our program offers a warm, exciting and friendly atmosphere at all times. It includes age-appropriate activities instructed by an adequately trained and educated staff. Each classroom involves the individual child in a variety of planned activities necessary for the overall growth. Program experiences include specific tactics in the development of social skills, sensory motor skills, language skills as well as involvement in and appreciation of music and arts and crafts. The children’s schedule also includes ample time for rest and nourishment with a variety of opportunities for expending energy and quiet times.

Meals and Snacks

The center is sponsored by the USDA “Child and Adult Program.” (USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.) A well-balanced menu will be provided daily for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack provided by the university foodservice provider. Children must arrive by the following times to be served each meal:

  • 8:25 a.m. for breakfast
  • 11:30 a.m. for lunch
  • 2:45 p.m. for snack

A menu of meals and snacks will be posted on the “Parent Information” board as well as in each classroom. Any special dietary needs are to be provided by the parents. Parents must supply formula, baby food and cereal for infants. The center supplies Parent’s Choice with Iron if you choose to use it.

Parents may supply store bought treats to celebrate their child’s birthday or a special holiday. All food that is brought in will be properly stored and refrigerated when necessary.

Children will not be permitted to bring their own food, candy, gum, drinks, etc., unless a written notice is given from a doctor stating the need for a specific diet.*

General Information

  • Children must be signed in and out daily. Upon arrival, be sure your child’s personal items are placed in their assigned space, and take him or her to their proper classroom. Be sure the staff person is aware of your child’s arrival.
  • Be sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather and scheduled activities. We recommend your child wear shoes that are suitable for both indoor and outside activities. No open-toe sandals or high heel shoes will be permitted. This will help prevent unnecessary injuries. We try very hard to maintain the quality of your child’s clothing, however, we will not be held responsible for any clothing that should happen to get damaged while attending the center.
  • The center provides sunscreen, which is hypoallergenic with a SPF of 15 or higher, during the summer months (May through September). Written permission is required from the parents. We do not allow insect repellent to be brought to the center.

The center’s director should be notified in instances when:

  • Either parent’s employment, telephone number (home or work), address changes.
  • Someone other than the “regular” person plans to pick up your child, (written notification must be given along with a physical description). Staff will require picture identification of a person before allowing the child to be dismissed. No child will be released without proper notification from a parent.
  • Child will be absent or vacationing on scheduled day/days.
  • Child will be withdrawn from center. We require a two-week notice in order to inform those on a waiting list. You will be responsible to pay for the two weeks following your notice.
  • Parents with changing schedules because of work or classes should give the director the complete schedule as soon as possible.

Items to bring from home:

  • Each child must have a complete change of clothes including shirt, pants, undergarments, socks and sweatshirt/jacket in their classroom at all times. Be sure to check clothes regularly to replace necessary items and to be sure the clothes are weather appropriate.
  • Parents must provide disposable diapers (pull-ups are not permitted), wipes and any necessary ointments for their infants or toddlers. Written authorization is required, noting any adverse reactions, for ointment or cream that you want used on your child. Ointment must be in the original container. Please label all items before putting it in the child’s cubby.
  • Children should bring a labeled sheet and blanket for rest time. These items will be sent home weekly to be cleaned. Parents are responsible for remembering to bring a clean blanket and sheet back for the following week. Sheets in the infant room must be changed daily.There will be a daily charge of $1 per sheet and blanket if the center provides them. Children must be here by 12:30 p.m. each day or come after 2:30 p.m. so that naptime is not interrupted.
  • Toys and other personal items should only be brought on scheduled show-and-tell days. A small stuffed animal may be stored in a child’s cubby until the designated rest time. Children will not be permitted to bring items that may lead to destructive behavior (such as knives, glass items, etc.).

Health and Safety:

  • The center must have a copy of a health form and a record of shots signed by a doctor for each child before they may enter our center. Any new information should be updated with the director.
  • Each child will be given a brief check daily for any physical problems that may be harmful. Children may be sent home if anything communicable is suspected. If your child becomes ill during their stay at the center, you will be notified immediately. You will be expected to pick your child up as soon as possible.

Children will be sent home for the following problems:

  • Fever exceeding 101 degrees
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (more than two occurrences)
  • Discharge from eyes, ears, throat or nose
  • Constant coughing

If a child gets sent home with a fever, the child may not return the following day unless we receive a doctor’s note stating your child is not contagious and he/she may return.

Parents will inform the center within 24 hours or the next business day after his/her child or any member of the immediate household has developed any reportable communicable disease, as defined by the State Board of Health, except for life-threatening diseases which must be reported immediately.

Parents will be notified with an injury report, of any accidents that may occur at the center. If necessary, emergency help will be notified for any illness or injury.

We are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. If a staff person suspects child abuse or neglect, the director will be notified immediately. The director will then contact the Department of Social Services.

A monthly fire drill will occur to ensure the safety of the children and staff.

The center is required to allow the custodial parent admission to our center. Legal paperwork must be on file if a parent is prohibited.

The center will only administer prescription medication. No over-the-counter medication is permitted. All medication that is to be given to a child must be documented at the Child Care Center. A medication chart will be kept in each class room and must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian. Medications must be in the original container with the prescription label attached. All medications must be locked in the appropriate medicine box when you arrive. You must renew the medicine form every 10 days and take out dated medication home. Children will not be given medications without a proper medication form and current dated medicine. Medications that are not picked up within 14 days of the expired authorization form must be disposed of by the center. Outdated forms will be removed and filed in the office.

Medication will only be given at 12 p.m. or 3 p.m. unless required for emergency situations such as breathing medications or Epi-pens. The center will not administer prescription medications that are to be given only twice a day.

If children are transported by the Child Care Center staff, safety restraints will be used. Children will only be transported with university-approved vehicles, and written consent of the parents; except in the case of an emergency.

Emergency Preparedness Plan

The following procedures have been developed in consultation with the Shenandoah University director of security and the Frederick County Fire Marshall’s Office in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, where evacuation of the child care center building may be necessary. The plan will be reviewed and updated annually. The child care employees have been given copies of this plan to study and become familiar with in case of an emergency. Additional training will be given during yearly staff meetings.

I. If notice is received stating need to evacuate building; all necessary contacts will be made in the following order. Classroom teachers will be notified in order to prepare for immediate evacuation. If we are unable to evacuate the building, or if it is unnecessary for us to do so immediately, occupants inside the building will remain until instructed to leave classrooms. A call will then be made to John Stevens (540) 665-4925 and campus security (540) 678-4444 for back-up assistance.

II. If immediate evacuation is necessary, the children will walk down Regency Lakes Drive to the Regency Lakes Community Building. We will call the Regency Lakes general manager, John Schroeder, at (540) 662-1999 or (540) 327-4795. If for some reason we are unable to go to that location, Emergency Service Officials on the scene will arrange transportation for the children to leave from the childcare center and to be transported to Shenandoah University’s campus gymnasium.

III. When the bus arrives at the center, children will be removed from the facility and escorted by staff to far corner area of staff parking lot to be loaded on bus. Before children are loaded, the person in charge of the class at the time will do a head count using the checklist of children in attendance that day. The director will be certain all children and staff is accounted for before leaving.

IV. Director will take the emergency number file box, and parents will be notified of the situation. The child’s parents will be contacted first. If they are unavailable, we will contact the emergency backup person. They will be given the location of their child and asked to pick up the child if necessary.

V. Emergency and location of children will be announced on WINC (92.5 FM).

Procedures if an intruder is inside or outside/with a weapon

The person who sees the intruder should alert all staff members immediately. The director/assistant director will call 911 or if they are not available the nearest staff person to a phone should call 911. If the intruder is inside, the director will approach the intruder to determine their intention. The staff should quickly and calmly move the children outside without alarming the intruder. If the intruder is outside, the staff would move the children inside and make sure all doors are secure. If the intruder has a weapon, the director would assess the situation to determine if the individual is a law enforcement officer and to determine the individual’s intentions, level of anxiety and possible reasons for carrying a weapon. The site of a weapon is a concern but not always a threat. If in doubt, treat as a crisis.

Steps for Director/Assistant Director:

  1. Dial 911
  2. Gather as much detailed information as possible.
    • Location of weapon
    • Who it is if known and where they are going
    • Description of the individual, clothes and weapon
  3. Isolate the individual from the children and staff
  4. If interaction with the intruder is necessary, do not use force or touch the person or weapon.
  5. Avoid sudden moves.
  6. Try not to raise your voice, but if necessary, do so decisively and with clarity.
  7. If shooting starts, lie down on the floor and remain quiet.

Shelter in Place (will be practiced twice a year)

Tornado/Severe Weather Plan

In the event of a weather emergency such as severe thunderstorm or a tornado warning, the following procedures are to be followed.

  1. Make sure all windows and curtains are shut.
  2. Get your blue emergency notebooks.
  3. All classes should move their children away from the windows and doors and move to the following locations:
    • Infants: Place children in the evacuation cribs and move them to the girl’s bathroom. (Get the portable radio and take with you)
    • Toddlers: Take all children to the area near the changing table and have them stay seated.
    • Twos: Take children to the bathroom area (quickly remove the cots) shut the door.
    • Threes: Take the children into the girls and boys bathroom and have them remain seated on the floor.
    • Fours: Take children to walkway area in front of the cubbies and sit on the floor.
  4. The children and teachers should sit with their heads tucked between their knees and their hands covering their heads.
  5. You will be notified as to when it is safe to move the children.

Structural Damage to the Building

In the event that any damage to the building occurred, such as a car driving into the building or large amounts of snow on the roof causing it to cave in, the following would proceed.

Fire alarm would sound to evacuate everyone and the director/assistant director would ensure the building was vacant.

After the fire department determines that the building is stable, the children would be allowed back in. If the building is found to be unstable, the children and staff would relocate to the Regency Lakes Community Building. If relocation is necessary, all parents would be contacted.

Fire Evacuation Plan (Will be practiced monthly)

  1. Alarm sounds.
  2. Line up and count the children to ensure every child is accounted for.
  3. Grab class list, blue emergency notebooks, back packs and medication.
  4. Immediately send children to fire exit #1.
  5. If exit #1 is blocked, send children to fire exit #2.
  6. Meet in staff parking lot on side further away from the building.
  7. Re-count the children to ensure all children are still accounted for.
  8. Director/assistant director will do a thorough search of the building to make sure it is completely evacuated and will also grab emergency card box, back pack and walkie talkies.
  9. Remain in meeting area until told to return to the building.

Bomb Threat

A bomb threat can be delivered in several different ways: phone, hand written notes or in person. Each and every threat must be evaluated for its authenticity – no call or threat should be disregarded. The threat may only be a hoax designed to disrupt normal activities. The more specific information given increases the likelihood of an explosive device. The greater percentage of bomb threats is made by telephone. The person receiving the call should gather as much information as possible: where the bomb is located and when the bomb is supposed to detonate. The director/ assistant director should be notified immediately and proceed to call 911. Evacuation of the building should follow the fire evacuation plan.

Suspicious Letter

As soon as the letter is received or discovered, lay it down immediately. Cover it with saran wrap or place in a zip lock bag. Touch the letter as little as possible to avoid contamination, once the letter and envelope are secure call 911.

Suspicious Package and Devices

If a suspicious item or device is discovered, notify director/assistant director immediately. It cannot be stressed too emphatically that in no case should anyone touch, move, jar, cover or attach anything to a suspicious object. The person discovering a suspicious device or package should execute the following actions once a suspected device/package is located:

  1. Call 911, giving as much information available as to the location, description and facts surrounded the device/package.
  2. Evacuate the building to a safe location protected from blast fragmentation and flying debris such as the Regency Lakes Community Building.
  3. The danger area should be barricaded and identified.
  4. Doors leading to the area should be closed to deny entry.
  5. Do not allow re-entry to the building until the device/package has been rendered safe or removed.

Everyone should make visual inspections of their work area for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. The finding of one suspected device should not be considered the completion of the search. It is not unusual that multiple bombs are planted in the building. Further evacuation distances will be prescribed by Public Safety Officials based on the information and potential danger to employees and public.

Chemical Spills

If the center is notified of a chemical spill, we will take the following precautions:

  1. All staff will be notified of the chemical spill.
  2. 911 will be called.
  3. We will turn off heat/air conditioning units.
  4. All windows will be shut.
  5. Wet cloths will be placed around the inside entrance doors.
  6. We will remain inside until local officials have rendered the area safe or told us to evacuate.

Emergency Communication Numbers

Fire, Rescue and Police: 911

SU Security (available 24 hours): (540) 678-4444

Director of security (available 24 hours): (540) 974-2282

John Stevens: (540) 665-4925

Poison Control Center: (800) 222-1222

Frederick County Health Department: (540) 722-3480

Public Safety Communications: (540) 665-6356

Fire Marshall: (540) 665-6350

Winchester Medical Center: (540) 536-8000

WINC: (540) 667-2224

Discipline

Each child at all times will be treated with loving care and respect. Occasionally “loving care” requires discipline in order to mold the child toward acceptable behavior. The center encourages and supports all children in positive social skills. Furthermore, the staff gives attention to arrangement of equipment, materials, activities and schedules in a way that promotes desirable behavior.

One form of discipline may work best for one child and not another. The center will strive to work individually with each child when discipline is needed. Expected behavior limits shall be on the child’s level and be fair and consistently applied. Children will be encouraged to constructively express their feelings and frustrations to resolve conflicts. Children will be given reasons for any rules or limits set to their behavior. Directions should be positively worded and acceptable behavior will be molded by the staff.

Forms of discipline that may be used at the center include: rewards for positive behavior, re-direction, discussing the problem with the child, warning of the consequences, removal from the group activities (time-out), and loss of privileges (i.e. Lose “helper” turn), etc. When separation is used as a discipline technique, it shall be brief and appropriate to the circumstances and the child’s developmental level. Behavior problems will be dealt with promptly. NEVER will a child be physically, verbally or emotionally harmed when discipline is required:

  • A staff member may not shake a child at any time.
  • A child will not be forced to take food, nor will food be withheld from a child.
  • A child not be forced to nap or withheld from a nap.
  • A child shall not be punished for a toileting accident.
  • Verbal abuse of the child or child’s family is unacceptable, including belittling remarks.
  • Staff shall not allow another child to punish another child.
  • Physical punishment such as, but not limited to, the following is prohibited:
    • Spanking
    • Roughly handling a child
    • Forcing a child to stay in an uncomfortable position
    • Restricting movement through binding or tying
    • Enclosing in a confined place
    • Using exercise as punishment

In the event a behavior problem is consistent or excessive, the parents will be notified of the situation and a conference will be held to determine how the center can work with the parents to resolve it.

Parents’ Position

Parents are welcome to drop by for a visit anytime. We only ask that you avoid visiting during scheduled nap-time, if possible. Special family involved events and meetings will be scheduled occasionally. Parents should check the “Parent’s Information Board” daily, for upcoming events, meals, projects etc. We hope all parents will participate whenever possible! We also have a parent advisory meeting every other month.

Staff Background Information

Our staff consists of qualified providers who meet and exceed state licensing regulations. Our responsibility is to meet your child’s individual needs to the best of our abilities and help him/her to create their own identity. We trust you will discover a warm and inviting atmosphere in our center, where your child feels very special and secure.

Director: Julie Tavenner
BS in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education

Assistant Director and four-year-olds teacher: Jessica White
CDA Credential

Teachers and aides plan and teach daily learning activities and provide individual care under the supervision of an administrative staff.

Teacher to child ratio:

  • 6 weeks to 15 months: 1:4
  • 16 months to 23 months: 1:5
  • 2 years old: 1:8
  • 3 years old: 1:10
  • 4 years old/Kindergarten: 1:10

Further Information

If you have additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Child Care Center at (540) 665-0991. We look forward to serving you!