About Me

My husband, Jason, and I have been married for 13+ years and have four children. Ada Grace and Ethan are 9 years old; Emi and Anya are 4 . I have been caring for children since my young teen years. First as a babysitter and then as a church nursery worker. When I was a Freshman in high school, I directed my first of 5 children’s theaters at the local Opera House which put 40 children between the 1st & 8th grade in my care for 2 ½ hours 5 days a week. As a senior in high school I worked with the youth in my church and did this through college as well. After Jason and I were married I started doing childcare out of our home and did so until we moved to Spearfish. Shortly after moving here our daughter was born and so I decided to take a break, three months later our son came into our lives. Pumpkin Patch Daycare opened on October 28th, 2008.



Friday, January 15, 2016

Days off 2016

Here is the current plan for days we will be closed in 2016:

2016

January
18th- Martin Lurther King Day

February
15th - President's Day
23rd- open until noon

March
4th- Personal/Dance Competition
25th-28th - Good Friday & Easter

April
28th- open until noon
29th- Personal/Dance Recital

May
30th - Memorial Day (Paid)

June
24th- Personal

July
4th & 5th- Independance Day (Paid)

August
19-22nd- Personal/Family wedding

September
5th- Labor Day (Paid)

November
23rd-25th- Thanksgiving & Black Friday

December
23rd-26th- Christmas

Ashley ~ Pumpkin Patch Daycare

Monday, June 1, 2015

Handbook 2015

Pumpkin Patch Daycare Handbook
Please read this 2015 handbook thoroughly, as it covers very important policies and procedures that not only govern our childcare contract agreement, but also pertain to the care of your child.  There may seem to be a lot of information, if you have any questions regarding my policies, please do not hesitate to ask.  This copy is for you to keep and reference back to.  There will be a yearly revision to this handbook and the accompanying contract.  All families will sign a new contract each year.  I reserve the right to make changes to the policies and procedures, as I deem necessary.  You will be notified, in writing, of any changes that may occur. 

DEAR PARENTS,
What I as a provider should expect from you, the parents:  Open communication.  Explain clearly and carefully your wishes and expectations about how your child will be cared for.  Also provide updates on problems and progress that your child is making.  Good communication helps us work together in the best interest of your child.  If a child is changing their nap or food habits please mention it to Pumpkin Patch DC so we can better meet the needs of your child. 
Agreement on Terms of Arrangements:  You should fully understand the terms of the contract and the policies and procedures that you as the parent are agreeing to, always feel free to ask questions.
Honesty & Trust:  This includes being honest about how you believe the arrangement is working.  Although you need to be vigilant in order to safeguard your child, you should trust me as your childcare provider to do the best for your child.  Show your trust by asking questions rather than jumping to conclusions when apparent problems develop.
Pick up on time:  I, as your provider, have a personal life too.  No trip to the grocery store etc on your way here without prior notice, just because you find it more convenient.  Ultimately the care of your child is your responsibility. 
Respect:  Realize that taking care of children is a job and that not only am I a worker, but also a working parent.  Recognize that this is not an easy job, I am not ‘just a baby-sitter.’  Last, but not least, I am only human; I am not ‘superwoman,’ please do not expect me to do things that you yourself would not do.
Philosophy:  We believe a child’s early experiences enrich and stimulate future growth.  Children deserve to be treated and respected as individuals in an environment that welcomes reason, exploration, question, and imagination.  We respect each child’s need for love, security, acceptance, warmth, and stimulation.
Goals:  While in my care your child will have the opportunity to participate in activities which promote all aspects of development.  Family childcare provides for children the comfort and experience of belonging to an extended family.  I provide a home like setting; therefore, do not follow a strict routine.  My approach to childcare is child centered and child directed.  Children are offered choices whenever possible. 
ABOUT ME AND MY FAMILY:  My husband, Jason, and I have been married for 14+ years and have four children.  Ada Grace and Ethan were born in 2006; Emi and Anya were born in 2011.    I have been caring for children since my young teen years.  First, as a babysitter and then as a church nursery worker.  When I was a Freshman in high school, I directed my first of 5 children’s theaters at the local Opera House which put 40 children between the 1st & 8th grade in my care for 2 ½ hours 5 days a week.  As a senior in high school I worked with the youth in my church and did this through college as well.  After Jason and I were married I started doing childcare out of our home and did so until we moved to Spearfish. Shortly after moving here our daughter was born and so I decided to take a break, three months later our son came into our lives.  Pumpkin Patch Daycare opened on October 28th, 2008.  We also are licensed foster parents and so will occasionally have extra little ones living in our home.
Capacity:  We work hard to not schedule more than 12 children at the same time, but with schedule changes it does happen occasionally.  We do have two families with 5 total children that have chosen Pumpkin Patch DC as their back up to be used when the regular provider is closed.  I will inform parents of this when I know in advance.
Hours of Operation:  Pumpkin Patch DC is open from 7:00 AM until 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. Please have children picked up at 5:30 PM.  Hours of care will be contracted from child to child.  No childcare will be provided on Saturday or Sunday or on the following holidays:
New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day*, Independence Day (4th of July)*, Labor Day*, Thanksgiving & the day after, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & the day after Christmas.
*Memorial Day, Independence Day, & Labor Day are paid holidays for Pumpkin Patch DC if that fall on a contracted day for your child. 
-If a listed holiday happens to fall on Saturday Pumpkin Patch DC will be closed the Friday before and if the holiday fall on a Sunday we will be closed that Monday.  In addition, Pumpkin Patch DC may close for 1 week (5 days) of paid vacation per year and 10 personal days (no charge) per year.  Notifications of AT LEAST 2 weeks will be given prior to any closed days, with the exception of emergencies or illness.  Please have a back up provider for these occasions.  Pumpkin Patch DC is not responsible for finding alternate care for your child.
-Maternity leave.  Should we be blessed with another successful pregnancy my maternity leave will be 2 weeks from the time I come home from the hospital, 3 weeks if I have to have a C-section. 
Payment Procedures:
Rates Per Child:
Birth ~ 11 months
                Part Time: $2.75/hr             Full Time: $2.25/hr
12 months ~ 23 Months
                Part Time: $3.00/hr             Full Time: $2.50/hr
24 Months & Up
                Part Time: $3.25/hr             Full Time: $2.75/hr
Drop Ins & After Hours (late pick ups): $4.00/hr with a minimum of $20.00 a day per child.
Fees:  *Fees are put in place for a reason and no fee will be waived or overlooked.
Enrollment Fee:  A fee of $50 is due upon enrollment.  This is due on or before the first day of care.  The enrollment fee is put toward buying of new toys or general needs of Pumpkin Patch DC.
Deposit:  The deposit is $75 and is to be applied to the first week of the sixth month of childcare, after 6 months of reputable payment for care.  This is nonrefundable before the 6 month time frame.  THIS IS DUE on or before the first day of care.
No Show Fee:  $25.00 (per child) assessed if child is not brought as arranged without notice in addition to the regular contracted rate.
Late Payment Fee:  $30 per week that the payment is late.
Returned Check Fee:  $35.00 and additional costs incurred, along with my late fee if a check is returned to provider.  There after payments will need to be in cash.
No Payment:  You will be liable for cost fees, late fees, and any cost for loss of wages if there is a small claims case.
Snow Days:  If the Spearfish school is closed, Pumpkin Patch DC will also be closed and there will be no charge for that day.  Information about snow days will be sent out by text and on FaceBook page.
Definitions:
Full Time:  Childcare contracted on a set scheduled time slot equaling 31+ hours per week.  *If regularly scheduled full time child falls below the 31 hours per week, the part time rate will be applied to that week.  Unless it is due to holiday or emergency daycare closures.
Part Time: Childcare contracted on a set schedule time slot of 30 hours or less per week.  PT childcare occupies a FT position, should a potential client need a full time position, termination notice may be given to a PT child with the option of paying the minimum 30 hours per week at the FT rate to preserve the child’s slot.  Daycare can only be guaranteed to children that attend full time, or part time children that pay for a full time slot.
Open Door:  You are invited and welcome to visit Pumpkin Patch DC anytime your children are present.  You are asked to avoid visiting during rest time (1-3 PM) as much as possible.  Please knock first, but if no answer feel free to walk in.  Parents are also free to call Pumpkin Patch DC at any time.  If I do not answer the phone, please leave a message and I will call you as soon as we are finished with the current activity.  Texting is always welcome!
Matters of Money:  All payments are due by 5:30 PM on Friday for the following week.  After 5:30 PM, the late fee will be assessed If payment is not made within 3 days at drop off, your child will not be accepted into care until payment, including all late fees.  If a period of 2 weeks pass without payment received, the contract will be terminated, the position filled, and the collection process begun.  You will be responsible for any costs related to collection of the childcare fee.  These costs will include, but is not limited to; late fees, days of lost wages, cost fees and my childcare fees.  Cash or check is accepted and a year-end statement of all childcare costs will be provided within the first month of the New Year.  A fee of $35.00 plus any additional costs I incur, along with my late fee will be charged to you for a returned check.  All future payments will then be required to be made by cash.  Childcare fees are due regardless of whether or not your child attends.  You are paying for a position, as well as a service.  No refunds are given for late arrivals or early departures.  All childcare services will be contracted. 
The contract is a legal document obligating me to provide a service for you and obligating you to pay me for that service.  There are other requirements in the contract.  I urge you to thoroughly read the contract/handbook and realize that it is legal and you will be held liable for each item of the contract.  By signing it, you are accepting it and all its terms.  An enrollment fee will be payable upon enrollment in Pumpkin Patch DCA deposit fee is also due before starting care.  This deposit will be applied to the first week of the sixth month of childcare, after the first six months of reputable payments for services.  This fee is nonrefundable before the six month time.  Payment of half the weekly rate will be charged for maternity leave to hold the position (this is for part time and full time clients.)  A position at Pumpkin Patch DC will be considered open until the enrollment, deposit, and first weeks’ fees are received.  If care is to start more than 2 weeks in the future, a fee in the amount of 50% of the regular rate must then be paid weekly or the position will not be held open.  This fee is non refundable.  
Daily Doing:
Drop Off/Pick UP:  I assume responsibility for your child only while he/she is on my property.  No child will be allowed to leave with anyone except the parent, unless indicated on the alternate pick up list, without written permission from the parent.  Telephone permission will not do!  Anyone unfamiliar to me will be required to show proof of identification.  Please make sure the alternate person is aware of the requirements.  It is normal for your child to cry on arrival, especially for the first while.  Please make your good-bye brief and tell your child exactly when you will be returning.  The crying usually stops within minutes of your departure.  Never leave without telling your child good-bye!!!  Please be in control of your child during drop off and pick up times.  This is a time of testing when two different authority figures are present (parent and provider) and this situation will be tested at one time or another to see if the rules still apply.  I will remind your child if inappropriate behaviors are being displayed.  But ultimately the parents are responsible for raising your child.  Children of all ages adjust to transitions from one activity to another differently.  Most do not like to be too rushed and most do not like to wait too long once they are ready to depart.  If the person picking up the child appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, another authorized person will be called to pick up both the child and the adult. 
Court Order:  If there is a court order keeping one parent or guardian away from the child, I must have a copy of the order.  Otherwise, I cannot prevent the non-custodial parents from picking up the child.
Sick/Vacation Days:  In the event that your child is ill and needs to miss a day, call/text/FaceBook/email at least 1 hour before your arrival time and no charge will be incurred.  If NO notice is given you will be charged the No Show Fee in addition to the normal daily rate.  Parent agrees to provide 2 weeks notice prior to any vacation time.  Each child received one week (5 days) of vacation at no charge a year, one week (5 days) of ½ of the cost of care, and after those 2 weeks (10 days) you will be required to pay full price to hold your position. –This is for part time and full time clients.
Television:  Most of what will be on the TV are Signing Time DVDs, sing alongs,, etc.  Children are NEVER required to sit and watch, and TV is not offered in place of free play or learning activities.  Examples of television shows allowed, but may not be limited to: Dora, Diego, Mickey Mouse Club, Handy Manny, Bubble Guppies, Sophia the First, etc.  There is an occasional time that a movie would be allowed.  Examples of movies we would watch include, but are not limited to: Finding Nemo, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Cinderella, Toy Story, Sleeping Beauty, etc.     
Guidance (also known as discipline):  No child will be hit, abused, or otherwise intimidated at Pumpkin Patch DC .  Children will be treated with courtesy, respect, and patience.  Guidance will be according to age and understanding level.  Younger children will be redirected to another activity.  Older children will be given time outs depending on the severity of the offense.  (Almost always 1 minute per year of age, never to be more than 15 minutes.)  If a child becomes a persistent behavior problem, I will address it with you and we will try to resolve it together.  AT NO TIME WILL A CHILD BE SUBJECTED TO PHYSICAL HARM OR SHAMING, FRIGHTENING OR HUMILIATING METHODS BE USED, OR ANY TYPE OF VERBAL ABUSE, THREATS, DEROGATORY REMARKS, OR DEPRIVED OF A MAIN MEAL. 
Meals:  I provide nutritionally balanced meals and snacks for your child.  As of 2014 I will no longer be providing milk for children, if you would like for your child to receive milk please bring it for them when you drop them off for the day.  If a child arrives after a meal or snack has been served, he/she will wait until the next time to eat.  Meals and snacks are served family style and children are encouraged to use this time to share their experiences with each other.  Manners are taught, and practiced during this time as well.  Please list on the medical report any food allergies your child may have.  If your child needs a special diet, you must furnish these foods or extra fees may be applied to cover the cost of special foods.
Breakfast is at 7:30 AM, Lunch is served between 11:15 & 11:30 AM, and an afternoon snack is served around 4 PM.
Activities:  Age appropriate activities are scheduled with flexibility allowed to respond to the needs of the individual child and day.  I will offer times for outside play (seasonal), story time, free play, instruction, and naps.  I will provide your child with tender loving care, understand, patience, and guidance in a happy family setting.  Free play is an important part of a child’s early years.  It is here that they learn social skills that will be needed the rest of their lives.  Chores, such as picking up, putting the dishes in the dishwasher, laundry will likely be a part of my day. 
House Rules:  1) No hitting, biting, pinching, throwing, pushing, hair pulling, or otherwise harming ourselves or others.  2) No intentionally breaking anything.  3) No running, jumping, wrestling, climbing, etc. in the house or on the furniture.  4) No leaving the house or yard without permission (no one is allowed out front without adult supervision, even when parents are here.)  5) No picking up babies or toddlers.  6) No name-calling, yelling, foul language, potty mouth or teasing ~ everyone deserves to be treated with respect.  7) All food and drink will remain in the daycare area, those with sippie cups or leak proof water bottles are allowed in play area.  8) No lying!
Dress Code:  Please dress your child appropriately.  Weather permitting, we will spend time outdoors.  You also need to supply a complete change of clothing in case of an accident; I do not supply clothing, if the child has no spare clothing, the parents will be called to bring him/her home.
Water Play:  I have a sprinkler & small wading pool for summer water play.  You will need to sign permission slips  before your child is allowed to use them.  A swimsuit & swim diaper (if applicable) are requested to be left here.
Toys:  Please do NOT send any toys from home with your child, they tend to cause problems with the other children that do not have ‘special toys.’  THIS RULE WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED, TOYS BROUGHT IN TO DAYCARE WILL BE SENT HOME WITH PARENTS. If your child needs a special stuffed animal or blanket for sleeping, it will be allowed, but it will remain put away until Rest Time.  Pumpkin Patch DC assumes NO responsibility for lost, stolen, or broken toys from home.  Should the child deliberately destroy my toys or other property through misuse or willfulness, the parent will be required to pay to replace it.
Rest Period:  All children will have a rest period.  No child is forced to sleep, however they must partake in quiet time.  Older children can bring books or a quiet activity from home that they can do on their rest mat/bed until Rest Time is over; these books/activities should be brought in a bag or backpack so they can be stored until rest time.  Please try not to schedule pickups or visits during this time (1 – 3) to lessen disturbance to the resting children.  All children will rest on their mats, cots  or in a crib/pack n play.
Potty Training:  I will assist you in potty training your child with the understanding that it will only be successful if we work together.  You will be required to provide pull-ups.  Under no circumstances will your child be allowed to train in regular underwear for sanitary reasons!  They are not allowed in panties/underwear until they are able to tell me they need to go potty and keep their pull-up dry for a week at the Patch.  Send your child ONLY in easy on/easy off clothing until they are able to completely dress and undress themselves.  I require at least 3 complete changes of clothing during potty training.  I do not launder soiled items and will send them home in a plastic bag.  Please replace any clothing sent home on the next day.  Please know that while they may be doing well at home, at daycare there are several distractions that may hinder how well they do here.  Pull-ups are required until they can tell me they need to go potty on their own!  Further, if within 2-3 weeks your child shows no signs of progress, I reserve the right to put your child back in diapers and tray again at a later date.  At the Patch we use ‘tinkle & stinky’ in reference to potty.
Transportation:  At times it may be necessary for me to transport your child by car.  A permission form is provided upon enrollment.  All traffic and safety laws will be followed.  No child will ever be left unattended in a vehicle.   The only time we may leave without notice is in the case of an emergency, in which a note will be placed on the door leaving instructions where the children can be found.  Unless it is an emergency, you will always be notified prior to any outing from Pumpkin Patch DC by vehicle and reserve the right to refuse.  If I do not have your permission to transport your child, you are expected to pick up your child immediately and make alternate childcare arrangements for that day.  There will be times that we take walks to the park or just around, those days there will be a note on the door stating what time we left and what we are up to.
Holidays/Birthday:  We honor major holidays.  If you would like to bring a special treat (no homemade treats without recipe included) for the children, please bring enough for everyone.  You are more than welcome to participate in ANY activities we have planned. 
House Cleaning:  My house is not always clutter free, but it is sanitary.  My main concern is to care for the children.  I clean my house during Rest Time, if all are asleep, and during non-business hours.  The children will clean up toys before meals and before going home.  Since Pumpkin Patch DC is out of my home, please understand that laundry, putting dishes in the dishwasher, and picking up will be a part of any given day.
Confidentiality:  The information you supply to Pumpkin Patch DC will be kept confidential.  I will at all times respect your privacy.  Before any of the information is released to outside persons, the parents will sign a release form.
Changes to Policies:  Changes may be made to these policies as needed with 2 weeks notice.  The policies, contracts, consents, and forms will be reviewed and updated, if needed, yearly in January.  Please give written notice of any changes that may occur, especially of name, address, phone number, or updated immunizations.
Emergencies:
Fire:  There is one extinguisher located in the kitchen and one in the laundry room.  If there is a fire that cannot be extinguished quickly, the children will be evacuated immediately before calling 911. 
Tornado:  In the event of a tornado warning, the children will gather either in the bathroom or under the stairs in my bedroom closet.  We will remain there until the inclement weather has passed. 
Power Outage:  There are flashlights located throughout the house.  If the power remains out for some time, there will be non-perishables on hand.  We also have a gas stove that can be lit with a match.  If the weather is inclement and the house is getting too cold for the children, you will be called to pick up your child.
Enrollment Requirements:
Before enrolling your child in Pumpkin Patch DC there are several things you must do:
1.       Read through and become familiar with the policies.  You will be required to sign a form that indicates you have read, understand, and agree to ALL the policies as outlined.  All policies will be strictly followed
2.       An interview/acquaintance visit.  I will not care for children unless they have had a visit to Pumpkin Patch Daycare to become familiar with me and the service provided (age 10 months plus).
3.       All appropriate forms must be filled out, signed, and on file PRIOR to admission.  All necessary form/consents will be given to you in your admission package.
4.       All required supplies must be brought before your child’s first day.  If you do not bring the required supplies I will purchase them for you and you will be responsible for reimbursing me the full cost.
5.       Deposit, Enrollment Fee, & Payment for first week of care must be taken care of before child starts at Pumpkin Patch DC.
Termination of Care:  Care can only be terminated with 2 weeks notice by the parent.  I reserve the right to immediately end care for non-payment, failure to respect me, my home, my neighborhood, behavior of the child which is harmful to the physical or emotional well being of the other children or himself, or failure to abide by my policies.  If you terminate care without giving appropriate notice, you will be responsible for payment of the final 2 weeks of care whether or not your child attends, vacation days cannot be used for this time period.  Please be advised that you will be charged the No Show Fee in addition to your scheduled daily rate until you notify me that your child will not be returning.  Vacation time/pay cannot be used for your two week notice*Provider has the right to terminate a contract without notice for any reason.
Child Abuse/Neglect:  I am required by law to report any suspected signs of child abuse and/or neglect.
Supplies:  All supplies must be labeled with your child’s name.  You will need to provide the following things to be left here:
1.       One complete change of clothing (3 if we are potty training.)  This includes shirt, pants, socks, and underwear.  Careful attention must be made to maintain current sizes left here. 
2.       Any over the counter medications that you may wish to be used.  This must have this child’s name on it.  Remember I will always ask your permission before administering.
3.       Diapers or Pull-ups, 1 full package to be stored in your child’s cubby and I will notify you when the supply is low.
4.       Any cream, powder, etc. that you wish me to use.
5.       Bottle or Sippie cup that child is familiar with, along with formula/breast milk if necessary.
*These items are all necessary for me to care for your child, if you choose not to supply me with the required items, I will purchase them for you and you will be responsible for the cost.
*Pumpkin Patch DC will supply baby wipes, if your child has special allergies you will have to provide your own. 
Health Matter:
Illness:  Under no circumstances is a sick child to attend Pumpkin Patch DCThe children should be allowed to recover fully from an illness in the comfort of their own home.  The other children in care are exposed to any illness your child may bring into the home.  If you are unable to remain home with your child, it is your responsibility to make substitute childcare arrangements.  Obviously, it is not possible to prevent the spread of all illness.  However, minimizing exposure and providing good hygienic practices in the home are means by which we can limit the problem and the resulting inconvenience.  Accordingly, for the benefit of all involved, the following policies will be strictly enforced:
Children who have exhibited ANY symptoms of infectious illness within the proceeding 24-hour period are likely to be contagious and should remain at home.  Examples of associated symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever of 101F or more, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of voice, hacking or continuous coughing, yellow or green runny nose, draining eyes or ears, rash, or head lice.  I reserve the right to determine whether a child should remain in the home where illness is a consideration.  Parents of children who become ill during the day will promptly be notified and are expected to arrange immediate pick up for their child.  The ill child will be isolated from the other daycare children to minimize exposure.  If the parents cannot be reached, the person designated as the emergency contact will be notified. Pumpkin Patch DC reserves the right to refuse care to a child due to suspected illness.
Medications:  No child will be given medication, prescription or over the counter, unless the parent gives permission.  Prescription medication shall be in the original container and have that child’s name on it with a current date and directions for administering.  Written permission is required in order to use diapering products, sunscreen lotion, and insect repellents – this permission form is included in the contract.  ***A child is to remain home for 24 hours after being put on a medication they have not had before, this includes immunizations/flu shots they have not had before.
Medical Emergencies:  Although supervision is constantly given, I cannot be at each child’s side at all times to prevent falls, tripping bumps, or blows from other children, etc.  If the child is injured in a non life-threatening way, I will assess the situation and provide home first aide.  If the injury is more serious, 911 will be called and an ambulance will transport your child to the hospital.    In case of a medical emergency I will attempt to contact you immediately, if I am unable to reach you I will call your emergency contacts.  All costs associated with injuries to the child will be the responsibility of the parents.  You or your family’s insurance is/are responsible for the cost of medical help of treatment due to accidents or illness while at Pumpkin Patch DC.
Non-DiscriminationAs a childcare provider, I shall not discriminate in relation to admissions on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, or gender.



REMINDER: These policies/guidelines are set for the best interest of the child.  They will only serve their purpose if you (the Parent) stand behind them.  At no time will it be tolerated that these policies are not carried out.  

Ashley ~ Pumpkin Patch Daycare

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Multi Family Garage Sale this weekend at Pumpkin Patch Daycare! 815 Harding St. We will do 4-6 on Friday night and then on Saturday 7-1! Toys, Kids clothing (girls birth-sz 8/10 and boys birth-sz 5/6...favorite stores are GAP & Gymboree), household items, doTERRA Essential Oils at 10% off, bikes, cloth diapers, scooter, BURPee, infant carseats, depression glass, carnival glass, motorized scooter, double stroller, nice curtains & curtain rods....and on and on it goes!!! Oh and SHOES!!! I have 4 girls and I love shoes...my favorites brands are Pediped & See Kai Run!!! Most are like new and in boxes! I will have my Kurig up and running so there will be coffee to purchase along with other drinks and treats!!! This is the sale you do not want to miss!!!!!

Ashley ~ Pumpkin Patch Daycare

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Daycare has current openings.  We are open Monday - Friday 7a-5:30p.  The Patch is an in home daycare that gives children a family like setting.  We love to play outside and also learn sign language!  We have openings for ages Birth-3!!!  If interested please feel free to email pumpkinpatchdaycare@yahoo.com or call/text 605.641.6880!

 
Ashley ~ Pumpkin Patch Daycare

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2014 Handbook!!!


Pumpkin Patch Daycare Handbook

Please read this 2014 handbook thoroughly, as it covers very important policies and procedures that not only govern our childcare contract agreement, but also pertain to the care of your child.  There may seem to be a lot of information, if you have any questions regarding my policies, please do not hesitate to ask.  This copy is for you to keep and reference back to.  There will be a yearly revision to this handbook and the accompanying contract.  All families will sign a new contract each year.  I reserve the right to make changes to the policies and procedures, as I deem necessary.  You will be notified, in writing, of any changes that may occur. 


DEAR PARENTS,

What I as a provider should expect from you, the parents:  Open communication.  Explain clearly and carefully your wishes and expectations about how your child will be cared for.  Also provide updates on problems and progress that your child is making.  Good communication helps us work together in the best interest of your child.  If a child is changing their nap or food habits please mention it to Pumpkin Patch DC so we can better meet the needs of your child. 

Agreement on Terms of Arrangements:  You should fully understand the terms of the contract and the policies and procedures that you as the parent are agreeing to, always feel free to ask questions.

Honesty & Trust:  This includes being honest about how you believe the arrangement is working.  Although you need to be vigilant in order to safeguard your child, you should trust me as your childcare provider to do the best for your child.  Show your trust by asking questions rather than jumping to conclusions when apparent problems develop.

Pick up on time:  I, as your provider, have a personal life too.  No trip to the grocery store etc on your way here without prior notice, just because you find it more convenient.  Ultimately the care of your child is your responsibility. 

Respect:  Realize that taking care of children is a job and that not only am I a worker, but also a working parent.  Recognize that this is not an easy job, I am not ‘just a baby-sitter.’  Last, but not least, I am only human; I am not ‘superwoman,’ please do not expect me to do things that you yourself would not do.

Philosophy:  We believe a child’s early experiences enrich and stimulate future growth.  Children deserve to be treated and respected as individuals in an environment that welcomes reason, exploration, question, and imagination.  We respect each child’s need for love, security, acceptance, warmth, and stimulation.

Goals:  While in my care your child will have the opportunity to participate in activities which promote all aspects of development.  Family childcare provides for children the comfort and experience of belonging to an extended family.  I provide a home like setting; therefore, do not follow a strict routine.  My approach to childcare is child centered and child directed.  Children are offered choices whenever possible. 

ABOUT ME AND MY FAMILY:  My husband, Jason, and I have been married for 11+ years and have four children.  Ada Grace and Ethan were born in 2006; Emi and Anya were born in 2011.    I have been caring for children since my young teen years.  First, as a babysitter and then as a church nursery worker.  When I was a Freshman in high school, I directed my first of 5 children’s theaters at the local Opera House which put 40 children between the 1st & 8th grade in my care for 2 ½ hours 5 days a week.  As a senior in high school I worked with the youth in my church and did this through college as well.  After Jason and I were married I started doing childcare out of our home and did so until we moved to Spearfish. Shortly after moving here our daughter was born and so I decided to take a break, three months later our son came into our lives.  Pumpkin Patch Daycare opened on October 28th, 2008.  We also are licensed foster parents and so will occasionally have extra little ones living in our home.

Capacity:  We work hard to not schedule more than 12 children at the same time, but with schedule changes it does happen occasionally.  We do have two families with 5 total children that have chosen Pumpkin Patch DC as their back up to be used when the regular provider is closed.  I will inform parents of this when I know in advance.

Hours of Operation:  Pumpkin Patch DC is open from 7:00 AM until 5:15 PM Monday through Friday. Please have children picked up at 5:15 PM.  Hours of care will be contracted from child to child.  No childcare will be provided on Saturday or Sunday or on the following holidays:

New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day*, Independence Day (4th of July)*, Labor Day*, Thanksgiving & the day after, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & the day after Christmas.

*Memorial Day, Independence Day, & Labor Day are paid holidays for Pumpkin Patch DC if that fall on a contracted day for your child. 

-If a listed holiday happens to fall on Saturday Pumpkin Patch DC will be closed the Friday before and if the holiday fall on a Sunday we will be closed that Monday.  In addition, Pumpkin Patch DC may close for 1 week (5 days) of paid vacation per year and 10 personal days (no charge) per year.  Notifications of AT LEAST 2 weeks will be given prior to any closed days, with the exception of emergencies or illness.  Please have a back up provider for these occasions.  Pumpkin Patch DC is not responsible for finding alternate care for your child.

-Maternity leave.  Should we be blessed with another successful pregnancy my maternity leave will be 2 weeks from the time I come home from the hospital, 3 weeks if I have to have a C-section. 

Payment Procedures:

Rates Per Child:

Birth ~ 11 months

                Part Time: $2.75/hr             Full Time: $2.25/hr

12 months ~ 23 Months

                Part Time: $3.00/hr             Full Time: $2.50/hr

24 Months & Up

                Part Time: $3.25/hr             Full Time: $2.75/hr

Drop Ins & After Hours (late pick ups): $4.00/hr with a minimum of $20.00 a day per child.

Fees:  *Fees are put in place for a reason and no fee will be waived or overlooked.

Enrollment Fee:  A fee of $50 is due upon enrollment.  This is due on or before the first day of care.  The enrollment fee is put toward buying of new toys or general needs of Pumpkin Patch DC.

Deposit:  The deposit is $75 and is to be applied to the first week of the sixth month of childcare, after 6 months of reputable payment for care.  This is nonrefundable before the 6 month time frame.  THIS IS DUE on or before the first day of care.

No Show Fee:  $25.00 (per child) assessed if child is not brought as arranged without notice in addition to the regular contracted rate.

Late Payment Fee:  $30 per week that the payment is late.

Returned Check Fee:  $35.00 and additional costs incurred, along with my late fee if a check is returned to provider.  There after payments will need to be in cash.

No Payment:  You will be liable for cost fees, late fees, and any cost for loss of wages if there is a small claims case.

Snow Days:  If the Spearfish school is closed, Pumpkin Patch DC will also be closed and there will be no charge for that day.  Information about snow days will be sent out by text and on FaceBook page.

Definitions:

Full Time:  Childcare contracted on a set scheduled time slot equaling 31+ hours per week.  *If regularly scheduled full time child falls below the 31 hours per week, the part time rate will be applied to that week.  Unless it is due to holiday or emergency daycare closures.

Part Time: Childcare contracted on a set schedule time slot of 30 hours or less per week.  PT childcare occupies a FT position, should a potential client need a full time position, termination notice may be given to a PT child with the option of paying the minimum 30 hours per week at the FT rate to preserve the child’s slot.  Daycare can only be guaranteed to children that attend full time, or part time children that pay for a full time slot.

Open Door:  You are invited and welcome to visit Pumpkin Patch DC anytime your children are present.  You are asked to avoid visiting during rest time (1-3 PM) as much as possible.  Please knock first, but if no answer feel free to walk in.  Parents are also free to call Pumpkin Patch DC at any time.  If I do not answer the phone, please leave a message and I will call you as soon as we are finished with the current activity.  Texting is always welcome!

Matters of Money:  All payments are due by 5:15 PM on Friday for the following week.  After 5:15 PM, the late fee will be assessed.  If payment is not made within 3 days at drop off, your child will not be accepted into care until payment, including all late fees.  If a period of 2 weeks pass without payment received, the contract will be terminated, the position filled, and the collection process begun.  You will be responsible for any costs related to collection of the childcare fee.  These costs will include, but is not limited to; late fees, days of lost wages, cost fees and my childcare fees.  Cash or check is accepted and a year-end statement of all childcare costs will be provided within the first month of the New Year.  A fee of $35.00 plus any additional costs I incur, along with my late fee will be charged to you for a returned check.  All future payments will then be required to be made by cash.  Childcare fees are due regardless of whether or not your child attends.  You are paying for a position, as well as a service.  No refunds are given for late arrivals or early departures.  All childcare services will be contracted. 

The contract is a legal document obligating me to provide a service for you and obligating you to pay me for that service.  There are other requirements in the contract.  I urge you to thoroughly read the contract/handbook and realize that it is legal and you will be held liable for each item of the contract.  By signing it, you are accepting it and all its terms.  An enrollment fee will be payable upon enrollment in Pumpkin Patch DC.  A deposit fee is also due before starting care.  This deposit will be applied to the first week of the sixth month of childcare, after the first six months of reputable payments for services.  This fee is nonrefundable before the six month time.  Payment of half the weekly rate will be charged for maternity leave to hold the position (this is for part time and full time clients.)  A position at Pumpkin Patch DC will be considered open until the enrollment, deposit, and first weeks’ fees are received.  If care is to start more than 2 weeks in the future, a fee in the amount of 50% of the regular rate must then be paid weekly or the position will not be held open.  This fee is non refundable.  

Daily Doing:

Drop Off/Pick UP:  I assume responsibility for your child only while he/she is on my property.  No child will be allowed to leave with anyone except the parent, unless indicated on the alternate pick up list, without written permission from the parent.  Telephone permission will not do!  Anyone unfamiliar to me will be required to show proof of identification.  Please make sure the alternate person is aware of the requirements.  It is normal for your child to cry on arrival, especially for the first while.  Please make your good-bye brief and tell your child exactly when you will be returning.  The crying usually stops within minutes of your departure.  Never leave without telling your child good-bye!!!  Please be in control of your child during drop off and pick up times.  This is a time of testing when two different authority figures are present (parent and provider) and this situation will be tested at one time or another to see if the rules still apply.  I will remind your child if inappropriate behaviors are being displayed.  But ultimately the parents are responsible for raising your child.  Children of all ages adjust to transitions from one activity to another differently.  Most do not like to be too rushed and most do not like to wait too long once they are ready to depart.  If the person picking up the child appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, another authorized person will be called to pick up both the child and the adult. 

Court Order:  If there is a court order keeping one parent or guardian away from the child, I must have a copy of the order.  Otherwise, I cannot prevent the non-custodial parents from picking up the child.

Sick/Vacation Days:  In the event that your child is ill and needs to miss a day, call/text/FaceBook/email at least 1 hour before your arrival time and no charge will be incurred.  If NO notice is given you will be charged the No Show Fee in addition to the normal daily rate.  Parent agrees to provide 2 weeks notice prior to any vacation time.  Each child received one week (5 days) of vacation at no charge a year, one week (5 days) of ½ of the cost of care, and after those 2 weeks (10 days) you will be required to pay full price to hold your position. –This is for part time and full time clients.

Television:  Most of what will be on the TV are Signing Time DVDs, sing alongs,, etc.  Children are NEVER required to sit and watch, and TV is not offered in place of free play or learning activities.  Examples of television shows allowed, but may not be limited to: Dora, Diego, Mickey Mouse Club, Handy Manny, Imagination Movers, etc.  There is an occasional time that a movie would be allowed.  Examples of movies we would watch include, but are not limited to: Finding Nemo, Milo & Ottis, Cinderella, Toy Story, Sleeping Beauty, etc.     

Guidance (also known as discipline):  No child will be hit, abused, or otherwise intimidated at Pumpkin Patch DC .  Children will be treated with courtesy, respect, and patience.  Guidance will be according to age and understanding level.  Younger children will be redirected to another activity.  Older children will be given time outs depending on the severity of the offense.  (Almost always 1 minute per year of age, never to be more than 15 minutes.)  If a child becomes a persistent behavior problem, I will address it with you and we will try to resolve it together.  AT NO TIME WILL A CHILD BE SUBJECTED TO PHYSICAL HARM OR SHAMING, FRIGHTENING OR HUMILIATING METHODS BE USED, OR ANY TYPE OF VERBAL ABUSE, THREATS, DEROGATORY REMARKS, OR DEPRIVED OF A MAIN MEAL. 

Meals:  I provide nutritionally balanced meals and snacks for your child.  As of 2014 I will no longer be providing milk for children, if you would like for your child to receive milk please bring it for them when you drop them off for the day.  If a child arrives after a meal or snack has been served, he/she will wait until the next time to eat.  Meals and snacks are served family style and children are encouraged to use this time to share their experiences with each other.  Manners are taught, and practiced during this time as well.  Please list on the medical report any food allergies your child may have.  If your child needs a special diet, you must furnish these foods or extra fees may be applied to cover the cost of special foods.

Breakfast is at 7:30 AM, Lunch is served between 11:15 & 11:30 AM, and an afternoon snack is served around 4 PM.

Activities:  Age appropriate activities are scheduled with flexibility allowed to respond to the needs of the individual child and day.  I will offer times for outside play (seasonal), story time, free play, instruction, and naps.  I will provide your child with tender loving care, understand, patience, and guidance in a happy family setting.  Free play is an important part of a child’s early years.  It is here that they learn social skills that will be needed the rest of their lives.  Chores, such as picking up, putting the dishes in the dishwasher, laundry will likely be a part of my day. 

House Rules:  1) No hitting, biting, pinching, throwing, pushing, hair pulling, or otherwise harming ourselves or others.  2) No intentionally breaking anything.  3) No running, jumping, wrestling, climbing, etc. in the house or on the furniture.  4) No leaving the house or yard without permission (no one is allowed out front without adult supervision, even when parents are here.)  5) No picking up babies or toddlers.  6) No name-calling, yelling, foul language, potty mouth or teasing ~ everyone deserves to be treated with respect.  7) All food and drink will remain in the daycare area, those with sippie cups or leak proof water bottles are allowed in play area.  8) No lying!

Dress Code:  Please dress your child appropriately.  Weather permitting, we will spend time outdoors.  You also need to supply a complete change of clothing in case of an accident; I do not supply clothing, if the child has no spare clothing, the parents will be called to bring him/her home.

Water Play:  I have a sprinkler & small wading pool for summer water play.  You will need to sign permission slips  before your child is allowed to use them.  A swimsuit & swim diaper (if applicable) are requested to be left here.

Toys:  Please do NOT send any toys from home with your child, they tend to cause problems with the other children that do not have ‘special toys.’  THIS RULE WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED, TOYS BROUGHT IN TO DAYCARE WILL BE SENT HOME WITH PARENTS. If your child needs a special stuffed animal or blanket for sleeping, it will be allowed, but it will remain put away until Rest Time.  Pumpkin Patch DC assumes NO responsibility for lost, stolen, or broken toys from home.  Should the child deliberately destroy my toys or other property through misuse or willfulness, the parent will be required to pay to replace it.

Rest Period:  All children will have a rest period.  No child is forced to sleep, however they must partake in quiet time.  Older children can bring books or a quiet activity from home that they can do on their rest mat/bed until Rest Time is over; these books/activities should be brought in a bag or backpack so they can be stored until rest time.  Please try not to schedule pickups or visits during this time (1 – 3) to lessen disturbance to the resting children.  All children will rest on their mats or in a crib/pack n play.

Potty Training:  I will assist you in potty training your child with the understanding that it will only be successful if we work together.  You will be required to provide pull-ups.  Under no circumstances will your child be allowed to train in regular underwear for sanitary reasons!  They are not allowed in panties/underwear until they are able to tell me they need to go potty and keep their pull-up dry for a week at the Patch.  Send your child ONLY in easy on/easy off clothing until they are able to completely dress and undress themselves.  I require at least 3 complete changes of clothing during potty training.  I do not launder soiled items and will send them home in a plastic bag.  Please replace any clothing sent home on the next day.  Please know that while they may be doing well at home, at daycare there are several distractions that may hinder how well they do here.  Pull-ups are required until they can tell me they need to go potty on their own!  Further, if within 2-3 weeks your child shows no signs of progress, I reserve the right to put your child back in diapers and tray again at a later date.  At the Patch we use ‘tinkle & stinky’ in reference to potty.

Transportation:  At times it may be necessary for me to transport your child by car.  A permission form is provided upon enrollment.  All traffic and safety laws will be followed.  No child will ever be left unattended in a vehicle.   The only time we may leave without notice is in the case of an emergency, in which a note will be placed on the door leaving instructions where the children can be found.  Unless it is an emergency, you will always be notified prior to any outing from Pumpkin Patch DC by vehicle and reserve the right to refuse.  If I do not have your permission to transport your child, you are expected to pick up your child immediately and make alternate childcare arrangements for that day.  There will be times that we take walks to the park or just around, those days there will be a note on the door stating what time we left and what we are up to.

Holidays/Birthday:  We honor major holidays.  If you would like to bring a special treat (no homemade treats without recipe included) for the children, please bring enough for everyone.  You are more than welcome to participate in ANY activities we have planned. 

House Cleaning:  My house is not always clutter free, but it is sanitary.  My main concern is to care for the children.  I clean my house during Rest Time, if all are asleep, and during non-business hours.  The children will clean up toys before meals and before going home.  Since Pumpkin Patch DC is out of my home, there is a possibility that laundry, putting dishes in the dishwasher, and picking up will be a part of any given day.

Confidentiality:  The information you supply to Pumpkin Patch DC will be kept confidential.  I will at all times respect your privacy.  Before any of the information is released to outside persons, the parents will sign a release form.

Changes to Policies:  Changes may be made to these policies as needed with 2 weeks notice.  The policies, contracts, consents, and forms will be reviewed and updated, if needed, yearly in January.  Please give written notice of any changes that may occur, especially of name, address, phone number, or updated immunizations.

Emergencies:

Fire:  There is one extinguisher located in the kitchen and one in the laundry room.  If there is a fire that cannot be extinguished quickly, the children will be evacuated immediately before calling 911. 

Tornado:  In the event of a tornado warning, the children will gather either in the bathroom or under the stairs in my bedroom closet.  We will remain there until the inclement weather has passed. 

Power Outage:  There are flashlights located throughout the house.  If the power remains out for some time, there will be non-perishables on hand.  We also have a gas stove that can be lit with a match.  If the weather is inclement and the house is getting too cold for the children, you will be called to pick up your child.

Enrollment Requirements:

Before enrolling your child in Pumpkin Patch DC there are several things you must do:

1.       Read through and become familiar with the policies.  You will be required to sign a form that indicates you have read, understand, and agree to ALL the policies as outlined.  All policies will be strictly followed

2.       An interview/acquaintance visit.  I will not care for children unless they have had a visit to Pumpkin Patch Daycare to become familiar with me and the service provided (age 10 months plus).

3.       All appropriate forms must be filled out, signed, and on file PRIOR to admission.  All necessary form/consents will be given to you in your admission package.

4.       All required supplies must be brought before your child’s first day.  If you do not bring the required supplies I will purchase them for you and you will be responsible for reimbursing me the full cost.

5.       Deposit, Enrollment Fee, & Payment for first week of care must be taken care of before child starts at Pumpkin Patch DC.

Termination of Care:  Care can only be terminated with 2 weeks notice by the parent.  I reserve the right to immediately end care for non-payment, failure to respect me, my home, my neighborhood, behavior of the child which is harmful to the physical or emotional well being of the other children or himself, or failure to abide by my policies.  If you terminate care without giving appropriate notice, you will be responsible for payment of the final 2 weeks of care whether or not your child attends, vacation days cannot be used for this time period.  Please be advised that you will be charged the No Show Fee in addition to your scheduled daily rate until you notify me that your child will not be returning.  Vacation time/pay cannot be used for your two week notice.  *Provider has the right to terminate a contract without notice for any reason.

Child Abuse/Neglect:  I am required by law to report any suspected signs of child abuse and/or neglect.

Supplies:  All supplies must be labeled with your child’s name.  You will need to provide the following things to be left here:

1.       One complete change of clothing (3 if we are potty training.)  This includes shirt, pants, socks, and underwear.  Careful attention must be made to maintain current sizes left here. 

2.       Any over the counter medications that you may wish to be used.  This must have this child’s name on it.  Remember I will always ask your permission before administering.

3.       Diapers or Pull-ups, 1 full package to be stored in your child’s cubby and I will notify you when the supply is low.

4.       Any cream, powder, etc. that you wish me to use.

5.       Bottle or Sippie cup that child is familiar with, along with formula/breast milk if necessary.

*These items are all necessary for me to care for your child, if you choose not to supply me with the required items, I will purchase them for you and you will be responsible for the cost.

*Pumpkin Patch DC will supply baby wipes, if your child has special allergies you will have to provide your own. 

Health Matter:

Illness:  Under no circumstances is a sick child to attend Pumpkin Patch DC.  The children should be allowed to recover fully from an illness in the comfort of their own home.  The other children in care are exposed to any illness your child may bring into the home.  If you are unable to remain home with your child, it is your responsibility to make substitute childcare arrangements.  Obviously, it is not possible to prevent the spread of all illness.  However, minimizing exposure and providing good hygienic practices in the home are means by which we can limit the problem and the resulting inconvenience.  Accordingly, for the benefit of all involved, the following policies will be strictly enforced:

Children who have exhibited ANY symptoms of infectious illness within the proceeding 24-hour period are likely to be contagious and should remain at home.  Examples of associated symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever of 101F or more, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of voice, hacking or continuous coughing, yellow or green runny nose, draining eyes or ears, rash, or head lice.  I reserve the right to determine whether a child should remain in the home where illness is a consideration.  Parents of children who become ill during the day will promptly be notified and are expected to arrange immediate pick up for their child.  The ill child will be isolated from the other daycare children to minimize exposure.  If the parents cannot be reached, the person designated as the emergency contact will be notified. Pumpkin Patch DC reserves the right to refuse care to a child due to suspected illness.

Medications:  No child will be given medication, prescription or over the counter, unless the parent gives permission.  Prescription medication shall be in the original container and have that child’s name on it with a current date and directions for administering.  Written permission is required in order to use diapering products, sunscreen lotion, and insect repellents – this permission form is included in the contract.  ***A child is to remain home for 24 hours after being put on a medication they have not had before, this includes immunizations/flu shots they have not had before.

Medical Emergencies:  Although supervision is constantly given, I cannot be at each child’s side at all times to prevent falls, tripping bumps, or blows from other children, etc.  If the child is injured in a non life-threatening way, I will assess the situation and provide home first aide.  If the injury is more serious, 911 will be called and an ambulance will transport your child to the hospital.    In case of a medical emergency I will attempt to contact you immediately, if I am unable to reach you I will call your emergency contacts.  All costs associated with injuries to the child will be the responsibility of the parents.  You or your family’s insurance is/are responsible for the cost of medical help of treatment due to accidents or illness while at Pumpkin Patch DC.

Non-Discrimination:  As a childcare provider, I shall not discriminate in relation to admissions on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, or gender.


REMINDER: These policies/guidelines are set for the best interest of the child.  They will only serve their purpose if you (the Parent) stand behind them.  At no time will it be tolerated that these policies are not carried out.