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  information regarding  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, specific release of information. Northland Early Education Center adheres to federal and state statutes concerning a child’s information.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that the Northland Early Education Center (NEEC), with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records.  However, NEEC may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised NEEC to the contrary in accordance with NEEC procedures.  The primary purpose of directory information is to allow NEEC to include this type of information from your child’s educational records in certain school publications.  Examples include:

  • Annual Group Classroom Photos;
  • NEEC website & social media posts;
  • Graduation programs; and
  • Special events & fundraisers.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent.  Outside organizations such as funders and licensing/accreditation personnel include, but are not limited to, the Kansas City Regional Office, Missouri First Steps Program, Clay County DDRB, Platte County BOS, School Districts within the Platte, Ray, and Clay county area, Department of Health, Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).  

If you do not want NEEC to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify NEEC in writing with date and signature.  NEEC has designated the following information as directory information: Students name, date of birth, parent’s name, enrollment status, participation in graduation programs, dates of attendance, artwork displayed by NEEC, and photographs, video, digital images and recorded audio unless such records would be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy.


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 Plan (IFSP) and Individual Education Plan (IEP)—kept in the child’s file and portfolio.
  • Suspected abuse/neglect—teacher’s personal file and Program Director’s file
  • Discharge and exit summaries on all children are kept in their permanent file.

All information logged in a child’s file may be accessed by parents, DFS 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.

In-home babysitting provided by an employee of NEEC is at the employee and family’s discretion not in connection with their employment or enrollment. NEEC does not promote this service and, therefore, liability falls on the family and individual providing the service.


Validating and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Program Director 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 Program Director 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 DSS 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.

  1. These allegations are reviewed at the Board Quality Improvement Committee meeting.
  2.   Documentation is kept in a locked, confidential file in the child’s file.

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 modify the behavior. 

 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.

In certain situations, after the above measures are exhausted and have proven unsuccessful, a team, including the child’s parent(s)/guardian, teachers, and a behavior therapist may develop a written behavior plan specific to the child.  In these instances restraints on the child may be used only as they are specified in the parent/guardian authorized written behavior plan.   Implementation of the behavior plan is documented in the Behavior Observation Worksheet “BOW” and noted on the child’s day note.  The “BOW” allows the NEEC staff to determine any patterns or causes for the behavior as well as the effectiveness of the methods used to correct the behavior.

In all situations, if restrictions are placed on the rights of the child, the rights will be reinstated immediately when the appropriate behavior is exhibited by the child.  


Clothing and Personal Items

Parents must provide the necessary diapers and wipes for their child(ren).  If you choose to use cloth diapers, the soiled diaper and plastic lining are placed in a plastic bag and kept in a separate diaper pail to be sent home daily. The classrooms use the same diaper changing procedure.

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.  

 Children may bring a small toy or blanket for naptime. Please label all personal items.  NEEC is not responsible for replacement or reimbursement of any damaged or misplaced/lost 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; however, a parent/guardian must be present for the child to attend.  The school age classroom may take more than 2 field trips during the all day summer session.  Classroom teachers plan the trips and the families transport.  Family participation is vital, so classrooms will make the best effort to accommodate family schedules and availability during the planning process. Every child must have a completed field trip release form before departure and the following procedures must apply:  

  1. 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).
  2. Whoever transports the child to the event must also transport back to the school.
  3. Field trips are educational for the children and teachers must act accordingly.
  4. 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.
  5. The transportation arrangements should be made in advance.  The Program Director must be notified of arrangements and sign off on them prior to departure.
  6. Plans for children NOT attending the field trip should be made and approved by Program Director.
  7. 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.
  8. The schedule of the day should be discussed with group prior to departure.
  9. Staff transporting children or parents transporting children, other than their own are required to have the following:
    1. Cell Phone
    2. Transportation checklist and Emergency Contact Card (Attachment ‘A’)
    3. First Aid kit
    4. Blanket
    5. Flash Light
  10. Anyone transporting children must have a valid driver’s license and current auto insurance card.
  11. A list of the driver’s passengers must be left at the front desk with cell phone numbers.

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 do 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.   All formula and baby food jars must be brought to the school in a factory sealed container with the child’s name and have a visible expiration date. NEEC will not introduce any new foods to infants. Families must first introduce foods to the child/ren. 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.  

The Preschool supports breastfeeding by accepting, storing and serving breast milk.  Mothers that wish to breastfeed or express at the facility may do so in the classroom or designated lactation room.  Breast milk is only accepted in ready-to-feed sanitary containers labeled with the child’s name and date.  It may only be stored for 48 hours or 24 hours if previously frozen. Teachers gently mix, not shake, the milk before feeding to preserve special infection-fighting and nutritional components in human milk.  Educational materials for families on breastfeeding may be checked out from NEEC’s Lending Library.

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 older classrooms.  Meals served family style will give the child a sense of routine and promote development of fine and gross motor skills, table manners and promote healthy eating habits.  At least one teacher will sit, eat, and engage in conversation with the children during this time.

Parents that bring their child/ren to the school before 8:00am may provide  breakfast brought from home. Northland Early Education Center staff will supervise the child while eating, but will not prepare the child’s breakfast.  NEEC’s breakfast service starts at 9:00am.

Holidays are celebrated with mostly healthy foods and nonfood items.  When families volunteer to bring food to share with the entire class for any reason, it must be whole fruits or commercially prepared and packaged in factory sealed containers.  

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 breakfast and afternoon snack.  Food brought to supplement an individual child’s special diet must be labeled with the child’s name and the date.  Parents may bring one prepared meal as a substitute for their child each day without furnishing a doctor’s order.  No food can be stored at NEEC but brought to and from the school daily or discarded upon completion of the meal.  Milk alternatives may be stored in the classroom refrigerator in its factory sealed original container.  Almond or Coconut milk cannot be served at NEEC due to nut allergies.  All food supplements are encouraged to meet USDA’s Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) food guidelines.  Replacement breakfast should contain a fruit/veggie, grain, and milk. Replacement lunch should contain meat/meat alternative, 2 fruit/veggie, grain, and milk.  Replacement afternoon snack should contain 2 of the following grain, fruit, veggie, meat/meat alternative, or milk.

Fresh fruit will be served 3 times per week and cheese 2 times per week in addition to a grain or meat alternative and water for afternoon snack.


Medical Policies

Chapstick, lotions, creams, and medications CANNOT be stored in backpacks, cubbies, or in children’s pockets.  If it states “keep out of reach of children,” we have to do so to keep all children safe.  Sunscreen and non-medicated diaper creams (including Triple Paste) are the only topical treatment that NEEC will administer without a doctors order.  Sunscreen permission forms are updated annually.  Diaper cream acknowledgement is required on enrollment forms.

NEEC can only administer medication that is medically necessary for a child to receive during their regularly scheduled hours.  For example, if the order requires the medicine to be administered 2 times per day (BID), these doses are to be given at home.  If the order requires 3 times per day (TID) administration; only 1 dose will be administered at NEEC.  The first dose of any medication must be given at home to monitor any adverse reactions.  If your child requires a medication to be given every X hours, a new parent authorization form must be filled out each day to reflect the first dose given at home and the exact times of each dose to follow while at school.

Medication Authorization form must be completed by a parent

-This authorization must be updated every 30 days for Early Childhood program and annually for the Learn 4 Life; School Aged program unless changes in medication occur.

-This form is required for any prescription medication and over the counter medication (including homeopathic and non-FDA approved medications) to be administered at school

-Requires dosage, name of medication, possible side effects, exact times child needs to receive meds, and parent signature

-Rescue medication that is only used in an emergency, must be disclosed on enrollment paperwork.  Parent authorization form will be completed upon day administered.

Medication Order forms must be completed by a physician

-Orders from parent/guardian of the child will not be accepted, even if they hold physician credentials. 

-This order must be updated every 90 days for the Early Childhood program and annually for the Learn 4 Life; School Aged program.

-This form is required for any prescription medication and over the counter medication (including homeopathic and non-FDA approved medications) to be administered at school

-Requires name of medication, dosage/frequency, route, and times to administer at school, anticipated reactions/side effects, and a physician signature

-For all age groups, asthma action plans and rescue medication orders may exceed 90 days but must be updated at least annually.

Medication must arrive in labeled original pharmacy bottle with a copy of the information handout that accompanies all prescribed medications and the prescribing physician’s name.  NEEC cannot split pills; NEEC can crush pills.  All medication supplies such as syringes, pill crushers, etc must be provided by the parent.  NEEC will not share medical equipment, not even with siblings.

Over the counter meds must arrive in original bottle and box labeled with child’s name.  It is the parents’ responsibility to track dates of medication orders and medication authorizations to keep forms current.

NEEC staff CANNOT administer medications without current forms.  Expired medication will be sent home with parent.  For your convenience, medication orders can be faxed from the physician’s office to 816-420-9010.  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. (as needed) medications.  These types of medications include, but are not limited to, ibuprofen, Tylenol, cold medicine, lotion, Chapstick, teething tablets, etc. 


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.  

Outdoor is never withheld when children misbehave.  Families should provide clothing that is appropriate for weather conditions and active play (including durable shoes).  The children will go outside between 0 and 100 degrees (considering wind chill factors, heat indexes, and air quality) weather permitting.  Between 0-30 degrees and 90-100 degrees the 30 minute increments will be reduced appropriately.  On days of inclement weather, all classrooms are given the opportunity to utilize the hallway and therapy equipment to provide gross motor time within the building.  Educational materials for families regarding gross motor and outdoor play and learning may be checked out from NEEC’s Lending Library.

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. Adequate shade is provided on the playground throughout the entire day.


Parking

NEEC designated the area adjacent to the front of the building parking for families.  Never leave a child alone in the car, not even for a minute.  NEEC’s parking lot is an idol free zone. 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

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
  • Thanksgiving
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Week
  • Columbus Day

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 X as a guide for closure in inclement weather situations, but will post closings individually on local television stations (Channels 4 and 41). Tuition for these closures will not be waived.

Click Here For Our Calendar


Surveys

Families will be asked to complete a survey several times per year in order to ensure 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.  

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. 


Screen Time

Television is not a component of a positive learning environment.  Northland Early Education Center limits viewing to 30 minutes per week of specific videos or iPad applications directly related to classroom lesson plans. Infants and toddlers do not view videos but may occasionally utilize age appropriate iPad applications.  Touch screen computers are available in the 2 year old and 3-5 year old classrooms.  Computer time is limited to 30 minutes per day per child as a center choice and must be interactive.  There is no screen time allowed after 4:30pm.  Educational materials on screen time may be checked out from NEEC’s Lending Library.


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 a 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. 


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/Volunteer 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 Social Services’ visitations.  All visits conducted by Social Services or the courts must identify another location or receive prior approval from Administration.  If or when parental rights are restricted or revoked, legal documentation is required for NEEC to refuse compliance of rights. 

Sex offenders required to be listed on the Missouri Highway Patrol’s sex offender registry, or who have pled guilty, pled nolo contendere or been convicted of crimes for which the law currently requires offenders to be listed, regardless of when those crimes were committed, are not allowed on NEEC property or at NEEC activities, regardless of whether those activities are held on or off school property, unless access is required by law.

Regardless, families are highly encouraged to visit their child anytime. We welcome your involvement in your child’s education in any capacity.  Volunteer opportunities will be communicated by administration for program wide needs and events and individually by teachers for opportunities within the classrooms.  Please feel free to communicate your interests, skills, and availability with your child’s teacher or the Program Director.