Parent Welcome Booklet
Welcome Parents & Guardians
Welcome to Discovery Playhouse Children’s Society. We are delighted you have chosen Discovery Playhouse and we look forward to a fantastic opportunity to share your child’s early educational experiences.
We look forward to getting to know your child and working with you to offer the best educational, fun, educational, play experience while acknowledging each child as the unique individuals they are.
We are a multicultural, inclusive, and welcoming childcare facility. We will be enjoying many diverse, cultural activities throughout the year.
The following is a package designed to answer many of your questions.
Discovery Playhouse is a community engaged learning centre that prides itself in providing an opportunity for children to learn through play and exploration. The centre promotes each child’s individuality in a safe and inclusive environment.
Please send your child in clothes that can get dirty. Children need to be able to play without worrying about their clothes. For your child’s comfort please bring a complete change of clothes in case of an accident. These should be in a labelled drawstring bag. All loose clothes should be labelled with your child’s name. Please dress your child for the weather as we try to go outside every day. Please note we are not responsible for damaged/lost clothing.
We regularly go on field trips in our community; parent volunteers are sometimes required for these events. We like to have one adult for every two children. If your child requires a car seat it is recommended that you drive. If you are not driving, it is your responsibility to install your car seat into the driver’s car. We ask that siblings are not brought to the fieldtrips unless they are invited.
At Discovery children are encouraged to “use their words” to work out disagreements. The teachers will encourage this. If the child is unsuccessful, then the teacher will verbally assist. It is our expectation that each child can learn to manage themselves and be able to respect our safety rules. These are: Don’t hurt yourself, others or school property. If necessary, the teachers will redirect the child to another area of the classroom. Corporal punishment, deprivation, or degradation are not used at Discovery Playhouse Children’s Society. We want your child to be successful and will, if necessary, request to meet with you to discuss strategies for planning for your child’s ongoing support. Please share with us any information you feel may be important to your child’s learning and development. There are many reasons your child can have a “hard day”; sickness, stress, tiredness, etc. If, as a last resort we find your child is not coping, we will call and arrange for you to come and collect your child as they may just need some time at home to rest.
Please choose healthy food for snacks or lunches for your children. NO CANDY or CHIPS. On your child’s birthday you can send muffins, cupcakes, etc. Please send 24 to ensure each child gets one. (Please ask the teachers if there are any allergies in the classroom.)
Fees are derived by taking the total cost of operating the Centre/programs and dividing it into equal monthly payments. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure the Centre has the fees owing to the Society for the entire year. Arrangements can be made to use Pre-Authorized Debit. Please contact the office.
Please see the Late Fee Policy below.
The distinctiveness of Discovery Playhouse Children’s Society is that we are a Non-Profit Registered Charity operated by a Parent Executive Board. Every family who has a child in the Centre is automatically a member of the Society.
-THE COMMITMENT FROM YOU REQUIRES YOU TO ATTEND ALL GENERAL MEETINGS.
These meetings are held two times throughout the school year. You will be notified two weeks before the meetings, as per our Constitution and Bylaw guidelines. If for some reason you cannot attend these meetings, it is your responsibility to let the Board know in writing. The Society’s Annual General Meeting is held in September. All general meetings are important, as decisions that affect your children and the Centre are made during these meetings. You need to have the opportunity to vote and give your ideas. Please note there is a $40.00 fee assessed for each missed meeting.
The Executive Board of Directors
The Executive Committee is elected at the May General Meeting, and is responsible for the strategic direction of the Centre. The positions held are President; Vice President; Secretary; Treasurer; Fundraising Coordinator; Floater.
Parents in the Society, apart from Adventurers & the Summer programs, must hold a job on a committee in the Centre. A description of each is available on the day of registration and from the office. We will do our best to accommodate your preferences when assigning the committees; however, this is not always possible. Our committee work benefits all our programs and children and is a necessary part of our Centre’s philosophy. Without your commitment and attendance at any committee meetings/events, many of our activities would not take place.
Health and Safety Policy
As of May 2020, all families must have a signed copy of our COVID protection policy on file and comply with its mandate.
We strongly recommend that your child’s immunizations be up to date. Information regarding immunizations can be obtained by contacting the Health Unit or your family doctor.
In accordance with government regulations please keep your child at home or make alternate arrangements if your child has:
- PAIN – any complaints of unexplained or undiagnosed pain.
- ACUTE COLD/FLU – coughing, sore throat, runny nose or eyes with green discharge (other than those symptoms known to be caused by allergy).
- DIFFICULTY IN BREATHING – wheezing or persistent cough.
- FEVER – along with general symptoms such as listlessness. (must not return to the Centre for 24 hours) If, during the day, we notice that your child is presenting with a fever, we will take the child’s temperature and if the fever reaches 38.8 degrees Celsius, the parents will be called to come and pick up that child.
- SORE THROAT.
- INFECTED SKIN OR EYES. (it is important to advise us if your child shows these symptoms)
- DIARRHEA, NAUSEA OR VOMITING (must not return to the Centre for 48 hours clear of last bout).
- SEVERE ITCHING OF BODY OR SCALP.
- COMMUNICABLE DISEASES. (for further information please refer to
A child will be sent home if he or she is suffering from any of the above or if he or she is not well enough to participate in the regular program. Please inform the teacher within 24 hours of a diagnosis of a serious illness or a communicable disease in your family, so that we may warn other families. The names of you and your child will remain confidential.
**Our expectation is that if your child becomes ill in our care you can have your child picked up immediately or arrange an alternative person to collect your child within 30 minutes of notification. It is important to have a local person on your contact list.
Administering Medication to Children:
It is the policy of Discovery Playhouse that for us to administer medication to a child the medication must be in its original packaging. From the packaging, Discovery must be able to confirm the medication name, Rx Number or DIN Number, and the person prescribed for. Parents will complete a Medication Consent Form giving us authorization to administer the dosage prescribed.
*In case of a medical emergency, it is necessary for the Centre to have on file each child’s Care Card Number, and the name and telephone number of both their family physician and dentist.
At Discovery Playhouse the children have the right to be in a safe, caring and respectful environment. Certain behaviours will be considered unacceptable, including but not limited to:
- Threatening behaviour towards others (i.e. swearing, hurtful remarks, inappropriate gestures)
- Physical altercations of any kind
- Continuous repetitive disruptive behaviour
- Theft, vandalism, or mistreatment of personal property or property of Discovery Playhouse
- Teasing and/or bullying while in the care of Discovery Playhouse
- Putting the safety of themselves, other children or the staff at risk
- Running away from the Centre or away from the staff creating a potential liability for the Centre
- Aggressive behaviour towards other children or staff
Actions taken when unacceptable behaviour occurs:
Decisions will be made with respect to the individual and will take into consideration the child’s age, maturity and past conduct. First course of action is to meet with the parents to discuss behaviour. If the behaviour continues verbal and written notice will be given to the parents to advise them. At this point the Executive Director will make the decision as to whether Discovery Playhouse is the right Centre for this individual and could terminate services for this child.
If the family wishes to dispute this decision, they may bring the matter to the Board of Directors for arbitration. The final decision will be with the Board of Directors who will make a decision with the Society as a whole in mind.
Fire drills are held monthly. An earthquake kit is on the premises, and a disaster plan has been prepared. In the event of a disaster the children will remain with the teachers until the parents or emergency contacts arrive. The parents will have our out of province telephone contact number as part of the Welcome package and should keep this safe. This number is extremely confidential and ONLY to be used in the event of a natural disaster, NOT for general information. The Centre would contact this number in the event of a disaster and when parents then contact this number, they would be able to obtain an update of our situation. Please continue to advise us if any emergency contacts or contact information changes. A copy of our emergency procedure is available in our Centre’s policies and procedures.
Arrival & Departure
Please try and bring your child to the Centre on time, remembering to sign him or her in and out of the classroom. Preschool parents and children must wait outside until class begins. Your child will be directly dismissed to you, and you should ensure you notify the teachers if you are taking your child early, or if you have made arrangements for someone else to pick up your child.
The comment section on the sign-in form is used to convey information. If you will be somewhere other than home or work during the day this is a good way to ensure that the Centre will be able to contact you in case of an emergency. Please be prompt in picking up your child. If you do not arrive at the time you have indicated, this can be distressing to a child.
If you are Late
After 15 minutes the teacher will phone the parent. If the parent can not be reached, the child’s emergency contact will be notified in the order they appear on the registration form. Provincial Child Care Law forbids us to dismiss a child to anyone other than a parent or adult whose name has been given to us for use by the parent. If you are late more than 2 times in the month, or consistently, a $30 charge will be applied. We ask that you respect that our Staff have had a long day and it is courtesy to allow them to be able to go home on time. Your child will get upset if you are late and may begin to worry. Please call us to let us know if you are going to be late.
Please let us know if your child is going to be absent. If your child is absent for three consecutive days and we have not heard from you we will then contact you to find out when you intend your child returning and if there is anything we should know regarding reason for absence. It is important to know the reason for your child’s absence in case of a potential “outbreak”.
We feel that open communication between parents and teachers is particularly important for the benefit of the child. Please let us know if your child is upset for any reason or if there are any changes at home that may be affecting them. Informal conversation takes place upon arrival and departure; however, if you need to discuss something confidentially please leave a message for the teachers and they will call you at home. Parent interviews are available at any time during the year. We are more than happy to arrange meetings in order to discuss anything that may be affecting your child’s life.
Parking Lot Chatter
If you have any questions or concerns about any of the programs, please bring them straight to the staff or Executive Director. This is especially important as rumours can destroy a good Centre’s reputation very quickly. Should a parent feel uncomfortable speaking directly to a teacher regarding any issue, concerns may be brought in writing or by phone call to the Executive Director, thereafter if necessary to the Executive Board. Legitimate concerns cannot be addressed if they are not brought forward.
Parking Lot Safety
When you are dropping off your child, even if you are a bit late, please remember to watch your speed and be careful. There are small children in the parking lot.
Preschool Classes and Times: (2020-2021 Exception for COVID)
|Class A – Tuesday, Thursday||3 year olds||8:30 – 11:00am|
|Class B – Tuesday, Thursday||3 & 4 year olds||11:30 – 2:30pm|
|Class C – Monday, Wednesday, Friday||4 year olds||8:45 – 12:45pm|
Preschool duty days for participating families
Duty Days do not apply to Non-Participating or Daycare families.
All adults doing a Duty Day must have all required documentation on file – valid current Criminal Record Check
What is a Duty Day?
Approximately one to two times a month you and your child are required to help out in the classroom. This means you must arrive at the school 15 minutes before class begins to help set up and stay about 15 minutes after class ends to clean up. There are no special skills required to do a duty day; come prepared to get dirty, and to have fun.
PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO SMOKING INSIDE OR IN THE PLAYGROUND AREA DURING CENTRE HOURS. PLEASE ALSO TAKE NOTE OF THE RECREATION CENTRE PARKING REGULATIONS; MANY AREAS HAVE A 2 HOUR MAXIMUM.
As a Participating Parent, you are scheduled once or twice a month. If you are unable to do your Duty Day you will be responsible for finding an alternative “qualified” duty parent to cover. Should you not fulfill your duty on the scheduled day without good reason, you will be charged a $40.00 Missed Duty fee.
What Do I Need To Do?
The jobs that need doing are shared between the teachers and the duty parents. When you arrive, you will be asked to set up the gym equipment. Gym time is a good time to touch base with the teacher about your child’s progress and what will be happening in class that day. The other tasks are posted on the wall beside the sink.
Once School Starts, Where Should I Be?
During free play time, you should be helping with the art project, putting names on paintings, or playing with the children. The teachers will direct you.
During circle time, you are asked to wipe the tables, filling the water jugs, and making sure each table has a cloth for wiping up spills.
After circle time the children will need help washing their hands. At snack you will be eating beside your child. As the children finish snack, one parent helps them with their shoes and coats. We ask that you help clean and disinfect the bathrooms after each class. While the children are outside playing, the tables should be wiped, the placemats cleaned with bleach solution, the dishes washed, the floors swept. You are finished just in time to go home and nap.
Each child is required to bring a small snack to preschool every day. Each child should bring a small plastic cup with their name on it. These go home each day and are brought back next class. Snacks will not be shared because of allergies. Please do not send liquids. Water will be provided. Please pack your child’s snack in a small container to allow it to fit in their cubby basket (no lunch packs).
Daycare hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 6:30am – 6:00pm
Discovery Playhouse Children’s Society provides a full educational component Monday thru Thursday. Children should arrive at the Daycare room by 8:30am September thru June.
-Unless specified by the teacher, all personal toys should stay at home with the exception of Show & Tell and casual Fridays. Your child will be given a date for their show and tell.
-Staff are not responsible for lost or broken toys – sometimes toys can be taken home accidentally by a friend.
-During sunny days please apply sunscreen before arrival. We will reapply throughout the day.
-All medication to be given during program times must be accompanied by the proper forms; staff will go through this with you.
-Please bring your child dressed appropriately for the weather (coats, hats, etc.).
-Having fun can be messy so please make sure your children’s clothes are okay to get dirty.
All children attending daycare this year will need to bring the following (everything labeled).
- One complete change of clothing.
- One pair of rubber rain boots.
- One crib sheet. One fleece blanket. (to be taken home each Friday, washed and returned on Monday)
- Water bottle (fresh every day).
Breakfasts, Snacks & Lunches
Three healthy snacks are provided every day (morning, after nap, afternoon). The children can have water at any time during the day in their own water bottles. Parents are asked to provide a healthy lunch Monday thru Thursday. The Daycare provides a hot lunch on Friday during the school year. Please advise us if your child has any allergies.
Everything Adventurers (including Kinders)
Adventurer hours of operation:
Monday – Friday, 6.30am – 8:30am; 2:20pm – 6:00pm
School aged children will be dropped off at Pitt Meadows Elementary for 8:30am and picked up at school at 2:20pm.
Our Adventurers (Out of School) program runs September to June (to comply with school dates) including all school professional days (please see our calendar of dates on our website). Our Adventurers program is also available at Spring and Winter breaks at a small extra cost. Please note that this program does not provide full day care during July and August. You should enroll in our summer day camp to receive care during these months.
We provide service for families with children attending Pitt Meadows Elementary. If your child attends another school, you would be required to provide your own transportation to and from the Out of School Program. (Note that Professional Days follow the Pitt Meadows Elementary School schedule.)
- Unless specified by the Teacher, all personal toys should stay in backpacks or at home. The program is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or broken games, toys, or electronic devices.
- Please advise Staff if your child is carrying medication.
- All children should be dressed for the weather: hats, coats, etc., and bring a water bottle. We are outside a great deal.
- Projects are messy so a change of clothes may be provided, and it will be your child’s responsibility to change if you wish them to. The program and staff are not responsible for lost, damaged or painted clothing.
- Parents are required to sign their children in and out each day.
Breakfasts, Snacks and Lunches
When they arrive at the Centre, your child’s lunch should be in their backpack ready to be taken to school. The children will be offered a healthy snack around 4:00pm. They will also be allowed to finish any leftovers from their lunch when they arrive back in the Centre; it is a good idea for your child to pack something extra for this time. You can bring breakfast for your child if you arrive before 7:30am.
Late Fee Policy
- Monthly childcare fees will be paid for the current month by the end of the month. Extensions may be approved to the 15th of the following month if reasonable circumstances are given.
- Late payments after the 15th of the following month will automatically incur 2% of the regular monthly fee as a ‘late payment fee’. This will be applied for every consecutive month of missed payment.
- Parents who are applying for Child Care Subsidy will be required to sign an agreement with Discovery Playhouse committing to pay any outstanding fees should Subsidy either:
- not cover any childcare cost, or
- not pay the entire amount
- Families are obliged to advise Discovery when any Subsidy applications have been submitted and any ongoing Subsidy issues or concerns, or if there is a reason for delay.
- The Society Administration Assistant will contact those families with any outstanding fees and request information and a timescale of when fees will be brought up to date.
- Should a family be two months in arrears, the Society Executive Director will contact the family via email to request further information and a plan for payment; this may also be followed up by a phone call.
- Should there be no resolution to the outstanding fees the Society Executive Director is obliged to take this case to the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board will place a timescale on when the fees are to be paid.
- Should the fees still be outstanding by the deadline set by the Board, the children will be withdrawn from the Society by the Society Executive Director.
Emergency Closure Policy
During emergency closure (including snow days) the following protocol will be followed:
- Families who are aware that there is an impending snowstorm should listen to local radio, and check websites and Facebook pages.
- The Executive Director should know before 6:15am if there is a school closure and will post notification on our Facebook page as to the status of the Centre.
- If PME closes due to snow conditions, Preschool will follow the closures and NOT proceed with class.
- The Daycare and Adventurers programs will remain open providing our staff can get to the Centre. An extra fee will apply to the Adventurers for full day coverage.
- If we are unable to staff, one member of staff will be at the program should any parent come, to advise the programs are closed. The staff will remain on site until 9:00am.
- No refund will be available for closure dates.
- Parents are advised to continue to monitor school district information and our Facebook page to determine length of closure.
Power Outage Procedures:
- Our Centre is fortunate that we run on a generator for at least a full day, therefore we can, on most occasions, continue to offer our early years (Daycare and Preschool) programming when the power is out locally. However, please follow the following procedure should a power outage occur:
- Check with our Centre by:
- Checking Facebook
- Check with our Centre by:
Updates will be posted as soon as possible
- For Adventurer parents:
- If PME is closed, we would normally advise that you do not bring your child to our “before school” care as we cannot care for your child past 8:30am.
- If the school remains closed, call the Centre and we will determine if care is available after 2:20pm as normal.
- If the school reopens during the day and your child attends, please be sure to CALL THE CENTRE if you require your child to be picked up from school at 2:20pm. Please also CALL THE CENTRE if you DO NOT require care for your child after school at 2:20pm.
Policy & Procedure should staff be sick leaving the Centre short staffed – October 2020
Approved by the Board: October 2020
In the event that multiple staff are sick leaving Discovery Playhouse unable to maintain ratios:
- Look at all programing and see where staff can be pulled from safely.
- At this time, no subs
- Put a FB post out and/or Email to all families in program asap asking them to keep their child at home if possible. If the family can keep their child home, get the families to email/call Centre to inform the staff.
- If still over ratio, contact families who expressed, during the survey in September, potential secondary childcare options for their child
- If still over ratio, look at the situation and either attempt first come, first serve alternative or
- last resort close Discovery Playhouse for the day and get all kids picked up asap.
Should a family be problematic and not understanding of an issue caused by a global pandemic, the Executive Director and the Board may make the decision to withdrawal this family from our Centre.
Should Discovery Playhouse receive instruction from the P.H.O to prioritize Tier 1 & Tier 2 families again, and supplement with Government funding again, Discovery Playhouse will make the necessary adjustments.
Childcare programs in BC are licensed and regulated through the Ministry of Health, childcare licensing. As a result, Discovery Playhouse Children’s Society may be directed by a childcare licensing officer to close operations during a pandemic or other communicable disease outbreak. Discovery Playhouse will follow all directives provided from the Ministry of Health. The legal authority to close a childcare program for public health reasons falls under the purview of the local Medical Health Officer and the Provincial Health Officer and their decision overrules any decision to stay open that an individual daycare or parents may wish to make.
Childcare ratios are required during operation, regardless of a pandemic or communicable disease outbreak. In the event that enough employees are unable to come into work or are in a quarantine and ratio is not able to be met, Discovery Playhouse may require reduced operational hours or rotating days off between children. This decision would be made as required, and would be communicated with parents in writing, via email.
Health and wellness policy
Our health and wellness policy continues to apply during a pandemic or communicable disease outbreak, however, additional restrictions may apply, based on government / licensing officer directives. This may include, but is not limited to, extending our required at-home “symptom free” time period following any symptoms or requiring children with symptoms – even if they are feeling well and have plenty of energy – to remain at home. Any temporary changes to our health and wellness policy during a pandemic / outbreak will be communicated in writing, via email, and will link to the authorized source of information that our temporary change is based on.
In the event of a pandemic or communicable disease outbreak, Discovery Playhouse, while in operation, will follow additional cleaning measures. This includes:
- Using a Ministry of Health-approved sanitizing solution within the program twice a day, to sanitize the facility and all equipment. Information about approved sanitizing solutions can be found here
- Any food provided by our program will be served directly to children rather than a family-style or buffet style snack or meal service
- Increasing handwashing and using social stories and direct teacher instruction with children to promote healthy handwashing habits
Fees during pandemic / communicable disease closures
In the event of a short-term closure due to a pandemic or communicable disease outbreak (less than 30 days), fees are due and payable as per usual operations. Fees payable during closures exceeding 30 days will be determined on a case by case basis.
Fee reductions such as the CCFRI or ACCB are provided through MCFD and may or may not be provided during required pandemic or communicable disease closures. Parents may directly contact the MCFD office at 1 888 338-6622, to discuss MCFD’s policy regarding CCFRI or ACCB payments; this decision is outside of Discovery Playhouse’s authority.
In the event that the Ministry of Health provides a regional or provincial quarantine recommendation for individuals – be it due to international travel, linked to potential exposures, or linked to individual symptoms, Discovery Playhouse will require all families and children to comply with this recommendation. In the event this occurs, the Ministry of Health will provide our childcare program with written information; this recommendation will be shared directly with families. These exclusions will apply equally to all children, families and employees.
Authorized sources of information
A pandemic or localized communicable disease outbreak is subject to governance by official sources: our childcare licensing officers, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Children and Families, and the federal government. While we appreciate that social media and news sources provide an extensive amount of information, we will respond to official, authorized sources of information only.
A non-biased, inclusive approach
Fear-based responses in times of pandemic or communicable disease, have historically led to actions stemming from bias and self-protective measures. Not only can these measures lead to conflict between parents, childcare educators, and community members, but they can also lead to actions rooted in racism. Discovery Playhouse has an inclusive-based approach and works to be a safe space for all families and children; we will not tolerate acts of racism or bigotry towards any parent, child, employee, or community member. Any such acts may be subject to an immediate dismissal from our program.
*Discovery Playhouse holds the right to remove any family in violation of our Policies & Procedures. If you are involved or associated in any criminal behaviour that involves children, you will be removed from Discovery Playhouse immediately.
Last updated October 2020