Parent Welcome Manual

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.

If, after reading this Welcome Booklet you have any questions about our preschool, daycare, out of school program or staff, please feel free to ask.

Mission Statement:

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.

General Information

Clothing

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.

Field trips

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.

Fire/Emergency Drills

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.

Guidance

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. Time away is used as a last resort; this being no more than one minute per year of age. i.e. a 3 year old could be timed away for a maximum of 3 minutes. If your child is asked to take time away, you will be notified by the teacher. 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.

Food

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.)

Preschool

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).

Buzzing Bees / Daycare

Please send a healthy lunch Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. The Daycare will provide a complete hot lunch every Friday during the school year. The Centre provides daily snacks and also a small bowl of cereal for children on site extra early. KinderCare children will be offered a snack upon return from school.

Parent Obligations

Fees

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 attached.

Meetings

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. These are listed in the dates to note (back). 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.

Committees

Parents in the Society must hold a job on a committee in the Centre (see Exception below). A description of each is available on the day of registration and also 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 of 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.

Exception

  1. Members registered in Buzzing Bees, KinderCare, Adventurers or the Summer Camp programs.

The families using these spaces do not do duty days; however, they are still required to attend all general meetings.  If you are “exempt” and you would still like to help on any of the committees, please don’t hesitate to let us know as you are most welcome.

Executive

The Executive Committee is elected at the May General Meeting, and is responsible for the strategic direction of the Centre.

Health and Safety Policy

Immunizations

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
    http://www.fraserhealth.ca)

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.

**We would expect that you are able to have your child picked up immediately or arrange an alternative person to collect as soon as possible if your child becomes ill at our Centre; it is important to have a local person on your contact list.

Administering Medication to Children:

It is the policy of Discovery Playhouse that in order 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.

Our Safety Rules Are: Don’t hurt yourself, others, or school property.

*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.

Classroom Policies

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 and Buzzing Bee 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.

Absence

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”.

Communication

We feel that open communication between parents and teachers is very 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 Administrator. This is very 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 Society Administrator, 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.

Daily Schedule

Preschool

Weekdays Program Time
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4 year olds 8:45 – 11:15am, 12:00 – 2:30pm
Tuesday, Thursday 3 year olds 8:45 – 11:15am
Tuesday, Thursday 3 & 4 year olds 12:00 – 2:30pm
Monday – Thursday (Buzzing Bees) 3 & 4 year olds 9:00 – 1:30pm

Daycare

The Daycare program operates Monday to Friday 6:30 am to 6:00 pm. Each child attending full days will participate our Buzzing Bees program.

Adventurers Out of School Care

6:30am to 8:30am

2:20pm to 6:00pm

School aged children will be dropped off at Pitt Meadows Elementary for 8:30am and picked up at school at 2:20pm.

Buzzing Bees / Daycare

Daycare hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 6:30am – 6:00pm

Buzzing Bees – 9:00-1:30 Mon-Thu (School Year)

Discovery Playhouse Children’s Society provides a full educational component (part time daycare option) Monday thru Thursday. Children should arrive at the Daycare room by 9:00am September thru June.  Please note if your child is enrolled in Buzzing Bees we are unable to allow them to enter the program before 9:00am due to staff/child ratio.  Please wait in the lobby until Staff open the door.

Daycare Expectations

-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 sun screen 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.

Supply List

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).

Kindergarten aged children will not need a blanket or sheet. However, they will need one backpack not bigger than 14 inches (our cubbies are not that big and we need to fit 2 backpacks in).

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.

Duty Days

Duty Days do not apply to Non-Participating or Buzzing Bee/Daycare families.

All adults doing a Duty Day must have all required documentation on file.

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 place-mats cleaned with bleach solution, the dishes washed, the floors swept. You are finished just in time to go home and nap.

Adventurers Out of School Care

Our Out of School Care (Adventurers) program runs September to June (to comply with school dates) including all school professional days (please see our calendar of dates at the back). 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.)

Out of School Care Expectations

  • 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.

Behaviour Expectations

Each child is asked to behave in a way that is respectful to themselves, others, and the Centre. If your child is having a difficult day or their behaviour becomes dangerous to themselves or others, you will be expected to come and pick them up and a meeting will be arranged to talk about supportive strategies. Should you have any information relating to your child or if they will require extra support it is important that you share this with the Team Lead or Administrator prior to them starting.

 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 Administrator 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 Administrator 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 Administrator.

Emergency  Closure Policy

During emergency closure (including snow days) the following protocol will be followed:

  • Families who are aware that there is an impending snow storm should listen to local radio, and check websites and Facebook pages.
  • The Administrator 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 and Buzzing Bees will follow the closures and NOT proceed with class.
  • The Daycare, KinderCare, and Adventurers programs will remain open providing our staff can get to the Centre.  An extra fee will apply to the KinderCare and 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, still continue to offer our early years (Daycare/BB 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:
      • Calling
      • Checking Facebook
        • Updates will be posted as soon as possible
  • For Adventurer and KinderCare 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.