Program Operations

Access to Records

Northland Early Education Center provides all parents(s)/guardian(s) the opportunity to obtain full access to their child’s records at any time. Parents may request and obtain copies of materials produced by Northland Early Education Center. Upon receiving a written request for records, Northland Early Education Center will submit said copies within 7 calendar days. A service fee of $3.00 for the first page and .50 per page thereafter will be required upon delivery.


Communication and Addressing Concerns

The philosophy of Northland Early Education Center revolves around open communication. All persons served have the right to address concerns or complaints without retaliation or barriers of services. Concerns or complaints should be first addressed with the classroom lead teacher. If the issue is not resolved within 10 days of the incident, please contact the Program Director. And if the issue is still unresolved 10 days later, arrange a meeting with the Executive Director.

The Board Quality Improvement Committee will review complaints at every meeting, and also conduct an annual review to determine any trends, any necessary changes in policies or procedures, or any areas where NEEC could improve its performance. The Quality Improvement Committee will provide written notification regarding the actions that were taken to address the complaint when found necessary. NEEC holds a non-reprisal approach for reporting grievances.

MO Department of Health, Bureau of Child Care can be contacted to report violations with licensing standards by calling 816-350-5459.


Confidentiality

Northland Early Education Center considers all information regarding all children as confidential. Northland Early Education Center staff will not discuss a child with anyone other than pertinent staff, regulating bodies, accrediting bodies, legal guardians, custodial parents, or with those persons or agencies authorized by the family with a signed, written release of information. Northland Early Education Center adheres to federal and state statutes concerning a child’s information.

No information requested by someone outside NEEC, other than parents/guardian, will be given over the telephone unless NEEC has a written release signed by the parents.


Documentation

Teachers document events, behaviors and situations occurring during the day 1) to inform staff on other shifts of anything they need to know, 2) to inform families of anything unusual, 3) to document progress and report it to families and funding agencies as required, and 4) to ensure the safety and protection of employees, the children, and their families. When documenting events it is important to keep information factual, objective and non-judgmental.  For example, documentation will not state how a child “appears”, but describe their specific actions, statements or physical mannerisms.

Mandated documentation and the location where it is retained:

  • Daily classroom communication log (any changes in child’s abilities or behaviors, alerts from parents, phone calls about the child)—kept in the classroom
  • Monthly summaries of child’s progress written by therapists—given to parents and kept in child’s file
  • Continuous records of development located in each child’s portfolio.
  • Medication administration forms per Department of Mental Health regulations—kept in the child’s file
  • Seizures (seizure log, daily note or possible parent call)—Seizure logs are kept in the classroom, if applicable
  • Injury/Illness reports—original to the Program Director and the copy home with the child
  • Individual Family Service Plans—kept in the child’s file and a teacher’s file
  • Suspected abuse/neglect—teacher’s personal file and Program Director’s file
  • A Discharge summary on children with special needs is kept in their permanent file.

All information logged in a child’s file may be accessed by parents, DSS and other related agencies.


Evaluating Services

In every classroom, parents may obtain feedback or suggestion forms to submit at the front desk. The Program Director reviews these forms, and all Child Injury & Illness Reports, on a weekly basis and the Board’s Quality Improvement Committee reviews the complaints and incident reports at monthly meetings as reported by the Program Director.

Once a year, NEEC distributes surveys to families to assess satisfaction with the agency’s services. Additional surveys are also given when a child moves up to the next classroom and when he/she leaves the program. NEEC appreciates your constructive comments and participation in these evaluations.


Risks

Growing up has its risks—learn to walk and you may fall, play with other children and you may get hit or bit. We do our best to protect your child’s health and safety, but there are some risks. For example, if your child’s immune system is weak, playing with other children may increase illnesses. To learn more about the precautions we take, please read our Health & Safety Policies and Procedures. To learn more about the program’s ethical practices please refer to the Code of Ethics located in all Policy and Procedure Manuals. If you have any questions, please talk with your child’s Lead Teacher or the Program Director.


Validating and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

If a staff member suspects outside child abuse or neglect, he/she should follow these procedures:

Immediately notify the Lead Teacher and the Program Director. Together, they will evaluate and document the evidence. The documentation should include specific observations of injuries, behavior, parent’s and child’s attitudes, and photographs of physical evidence. The child should be interviewed by the staff member with whom the child feels the most comfortable. This interview should be conducted in a private and comfortable place. Questions should be open-ended, not leading. When listening to the child, the interviewer should avoid expressing feelings of shock, anger, sadness or disapproval of parents. The interviewer should not press a child who is unwilling to talk, and the child should be assured that he/she is not “in trouble” or at fault. Art, dolls, and dramatic play may be used to allow the child to express his/her feelings and describe the situation. The Program Director then reviews the evidence and makes the decision about whether there is sufficient reason to suspect abuse or neglect. If there is, the PD will contact the Division of Social Services hotline. This phone call should be documented. Any instructions from DSS should be followed.

If a parent or a staff member suspects that a staff member may be abusing or neglecting a child, those suspicions should be immediately reported to the Program Director. The Program Director will follow the above procedures for interviewing the person who reports the possible abuse and the child and documenting those interviews. The PD will then review the situation with the Executive Director, who will decide whether there is sufficient reason to request a formal investigation. If there is, the staff member will be suspended without pay until a determination by the appropriate authorities has been made. The incident must be reported to DFS and the Department of Health’s Bureau of Childcare. They will decide whether the situation should be reported to the police.

No staff member should discuss the situation with anyone outside the agency.

If a determination is made that a staff member is not at fault, the staff member will be immediately reinstated and will receive back-pay for the time of the suspension. If the abuse is substantiated, the staff member’s employment with NEEC will be immediately terminated.

These allegations are reviewed at the Board Quality Improvement Committee meeting. Documentation is kept in a locked, confidential file in the Program Director’s office.


Behavior Management

Northland Early Education Center uses positive redirection and positive reinforcement as the primary methods of behavior management. Timeout is used if redirection does not work. Restraints are used only if the child has a written behavior plan from a team including the family, teachers, and behavior therapist.

Timeout guidelines: Northland Early Education Center uses timeout on occasion when children demonstrate potential dangerous behaviors, behaviors that might injure others, destroy property or the environment; socially unacceptable behaviors (spitting, biting, pulling hair and throwing objects); or non-compliant behavior to a structured developmentally appropriate activity.

Classrooms are arranged so that there is a Safe Place for children to spend time for calming down. This area is not secluded from supervision and is used as a learning tool to teach self-calming skills.


Clothing and Personal Items

Parents must provide the necessary diapers and wipes for their child(ren).
Parents should provide a complete change of weather appropriate clothing for their child. The “job” of a preschooler is to experience many new things. This often leads to messy fun that stains and spots clothing. Please remember this when dressing your child for their day at school. NEEC will not be responsible for replacement of damaged clothing.

Children may bring a small toy or blanket for naptime. Please label all personal items.


Field Trips

The 2 year old and 3-5 year old classrooms take approximately two field trips per year. The toddler rooms also take field trips at the teacher’s discretion. Classroom teachers plan the trips and the families transport. Every child must have a completed field trip release form before departure and the following procedures must apply:

  • Signed permission slips must be obtained from every child prior to the date of the field trip (even if the parents do not give permission to attend). Whoever transports the child to the event must also transport back to the school.
  • Field trips are educational for the children and teachers must act accordingly.
  • Everyone attending represents NEEC and should stay together as a group. Teachers should maintain contact with all children regardless of whether or not a parent attends.
  • The transportation arrangements should be made in advance. The Program Director must be notified of arrangements and sign off on them prior to departure.

Plans for children NOT attending the field trip should be made and approved by Program Director.

The Caterer should be notified 1-2 weeks in advance. Sack lunches will be provided for children only. Any extras may be eaten by the teachers.

The schedule of the day should be discussed with group prior to departure.

Staff transporting children or parents transporting children, other than their own are required to have the following:

  • Cell Phone
  • Transportation checklist (Attachment ‘A’)
  • First Aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Flash Light
  • Anyone transporting children must have a valid driver’s license and current auto insurance card.
  • A list of the driver’s passengers must be left at the front desk with cell phone numbers.

Hours of Operations, Arrivals and Departures

Northland Early Education Center is open from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the calendar year, with the exceptions of the holidays noted for each enrollment year and for emergency closures. Please remember that NEEC provide staffing according to your child’s scheduled hours. Requests for deviations will be met if possible but not guaranteed.  Submit your request for deviation to the classroom teacher.

Parents or authorized persons must sign children in and out at the time of arrival and departure each day. Information on authorized persons must remain current in the event of an emergency. Families must follow NEEC’s procedures for checking children in and out. This is important in an emergency as it is the primary way administration has to ensure the safety and presence of all children.

Parents will be charged $10.00 for every 5 minutes after 6:00 P.M. that their child is not picked up.


Meals and Snacks

All meals and snacks provided by NEEC meet or exceed nutritional recommendations of the Missouri Department of Health. NEEC is a participant in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Northland Early Education Center provides a morning snack (equivalent to breakfast), an afternoon snack, and lunch for children 12 months and older. Staff does not offer children whole hot dogs, whole grapes, popcorn or raw carrots. Peanut butter and other nut products are not allowed in the building. Teaching staff in all classrooms provide an opportunity for tooth brushing at least once daily.

For infants, parents have the option of using infant formula and baby food offered by NEEC. If parents opt out of this option, they will provide the necessary food until their children are able to eat meals provided by NEEC. The Preschool supports breastfeeding by accepting, storing and serving breastmilk. Mothers that wish to breastfeed at the facility may do so in the classroom or other designated location of their choice. NEEC will not introduce any new foods to infants. Families must first introduce foods to the children. Any food or drink brought by the family must be labeled and dated. No milk or infant food is warmed by use of a microwave oven.

Mealtime should be a pleasant experience. NEEC supports family style meal service in the classrooms. The family style dining is introduced in the toddler rooms and carried through into the 2 year old as well as the 3-5 year old classrooms. Meals served family style can give the child a sense of routine and promote development of fine and gross motor skills, table manners and promote healthy eating habits.

Parents may bring a child to the school and prepare their breakfast for them. Northland Early Education Center staff will supervise the child while eating, but will not prepare the child’s breakfast. Children may eat breakfast brought from home until 8:00 a.m.

If a child requires a special diet due to medical restrictions, a doctor’s order must be provided. An alternative snack from NEEC’s snack supply may be provided to the child for morning and afternoon snack. Parents may bring one prepared meal as a lunch substitute for their child each day. NEEC strongly encourages families to meet nutritional recommendations of the Missouri Department of Health.


Medical Policies

Communicable Diseases

According to the Dept. of Health licensing regulations, all children with any symptoms listed below will be sent home. Children must be symptom free for 24 hours or have written consent from a doctor stating that the child’s symptoms are not contagious before returning to school. Indications of Illnesses:

  • Fever of 100.0 or more, or a very low temperature
  • Vomiting more than once
  • Severe coughing
  • Yellowish skin or eyes
  • Pinkeye
  • Unusual spots or rashes
  • Unusually dark, tea-colored urine
  • Grey or white stool
  • Headache and stiff neck
  • Labored or rapid breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in skin color
  • Severe itching of the body or scalp

Lice are considered an infectious disease, and the child will be sent home with treatment information, and not allowed to return until the infestation is gone.

Medications

All prescription drugs administered at NEEC must arrive in the original pharmacy- dispensed containers. Medications must arrive labeled with the child’s name, instructions, and the prescribing physician’s name as required by law. All non-prescription medication must arrive labeled with the child’s name.

All medication administered at NEEC require a Parent Medication Authorization (valid for 30 days) and Doctor’s Authorization (valid for 90 days) forms to be completed prior to administering.

Non-prescription topical applications require a parents’ written authorization, but do not require a written order from a licensed physician unless the topical application stated “medicated”.

Standing orders for the entire facility shall not be allowed. In an emergency, the physician may change a prescription via fax or telephone. NEEC will not administer any P.R.N. medications.

Tube Feeding Policy

Northland Early Education Center staff will administer tube feedings when written consent from the doctor in the form of: Individualized Child Care Plan or Medication Authorization form. Classroom staff will be given specific verbal and written instructions by the parent/legal guardian as outlined in the “Assistive Feeding Instruction” form. Any amendments to the feeding process must be documented. Documentation may be made by the family or through verbal communication with and recorded by the staff in the classroom.


Outdoor Play

All children are given the opportunity to play outdoors at least twice daily for 30 minutes (infants once daily). If for medical reasons, a child is not permitted to attend the gross motor time outside for longer than 2 consecutive days a written order is required by a licensed physician. Families are encouraged to provide clothing that is appropriate for weather conditions. During summer hours, children have the opportunity to engage in water play twice weekly. Families provide swimwear, towels, and sunscreen with a signed permission form for application of the sunscreen.


Parking

NEEC designated the area adjacent to the front of the building parking for families.
Only those vehicles with state-approved placards or licenses may use the handicapped places in the front.
Please refrain from using the fire lane for quick drop-off or pick-up. In the event of an emergency, it is essential for emergency equipment to use this area.


Responsibility

Families retain complete responsibility for their children when under the supervision of parent(s) or parental designee(s) on Northland Early Education Center property.


School Closings

Inclement Weather Closure Policy

Northland Early Education Center may close, dismiss early or schedule a late arrival due to weather, water or power outages, or other serious events.  Families will receive notification through the media, as well as an automated telephone call generated by One Call Now.  NEEC uses St. Pius as a guide for closure in inclement weather situations, but will post closings individually on local television stations (Channels 4, 29 and 41). These days will be very limited.  Weekly tuition for these emergencies will not be waived, although families may choose to use one of their allotted vacation days if available

School Closings

NEEC will issue an annual school calendar including all dates when the school closes, but the following is a general list of closures:

  • New Year’s Day
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

Families may choose to use a vacation day for these closing.

Click Here For Our Calendar


Surveys

Families will be asked to complete a survey several times per year in order to ensure for quality improvement within the school. The surveys include an Entrance Survey, an Annual Survey, a Transition Survey, and an Exit Survey. The information received in these surveys are reviewed by the Program Director upon receipt and presented to the NEEC Board of Directors by the Quality Improvement committee annually.


Television

Television is not a component of a positive learning environment.  Northland Early Education Center limits viewing to periodic specific shows or programs directly related to classroom lesson plans. Occasional special programs may prove acceptable at the discretion of the lead teacher, but must prove educational in nature.


Transitioning

Children transition to new classrooms according to their chronological age, or the safest environment for the individual. The Program Director schedules the transition of children into new classrooms. During the transition period, new teachers will be informed of child’s routine and families will have an opportunity to ask questions. The child will be placed in the new room for small amounts of time and the time will be increased according to the child’s adaptability level. The family will also be given a transition survey to complete after the transition has taken place.


Transportation

Families are responsible for transporting their child(ren) to and from NEEC. Families must notify NEEC of any transportation changes for their child, and all individuals must be prepared to present photo identification upon entering the facility.


Visitation Policy

In order to provide a positive and safe learning environment for all children, Northland Early Education Center will identify each individual entering the agency. Only those individuals noted on each child’s transportation form will be allowed to visit or pick up a child unless otherwise authorized. In addition, Northland Early Education Center is not an appropriate location for custodial visits or Family Services’ visitations. All visits conducted by Family Services or the courts must identify another location or receive prior approval from Administration.

Regardless, families are highly encouraged to visit their child anytime. We welcome your involvement in your child’s education.