Parent Handbook

Table of Contents

Description of Centers                                                                         Page 02

Philosophy                                                                                          Page 06

Accreditation                                                                                       Page 07

Staff Qualifications/Staff Development                                                Page 07

Cultural Diversity/Non-Discrimination Policy                                         Page 08

Multi-age Groupings                                                                           Page 09

Getting Started                                                                                    Page 09

Drop Off and Pick up Procedures                                                        Page 10

Parent Involvement                                                                              Page 12

Parent-Center Communications                                                           Page 13

Guidance                                                                                             Page 14

Health, Safety and Nutrition                                                       Page 16

Administrative Policies: Non-subsidized Families                               Page 22

Administrative Policies: Subsidized Families                             Page 24

Dear Families,

Welcome to Child Care Services, operated by the University of California, Irvine.  Child Care Services operates five childcare centers serving children from infancy through 12 years of age, and an administrative office. 

Our educational programs are developmentally based and follow the guidelines of the California Department of Education, Child Development Division and licensing requirements of the Department of Social Services.  Curriculum activities are planned and presented by teachers who maintain Child Development Permits, issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  Our centers provide nurturing and challenging environments where your child is encouraged to learn, grow and develop their skills.

We are pleased that you have chosen one of our centers.  Families are always welcome as observers and participants in their child’s school activities, and we encourage you to become as involved as your schedule allows.  We are committed to keeping you well informed about your child’s program and about your child’s accomplishments.  We look forward to working with you as partners in your child’s development.


Laura Finley-Sanbrano


                                             UCI Child Care Services

 Child Care Services Office

Effective administration creates an environment that facilitates the provision of quality care for children. The Child Care Services Office manages enrollment, fiscal matters, and all forms and records required by the State Department of Education, Community Care Licensing, the Health Department, the Federal Child Care Food Program, the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, and all other regulatory agencies.  Waiting lists for the centers are maintained in this office.

Please notify this office whenever you change your address, telephone number, or place of employment.

Established:                                       1978

Hours:                                                7:30 am-6:00 pm


Location:                                            Early Childhood Education Center

                                                            501 Adobe Circle Road

Mailing address:                                Child Care Services

                                                            University of California

                                                            Irvine, CA 92697-2250

Telephone:                                          (949) 824-2100

Director of Child Care Services:     Laura Finley-Sanbrano

Business Manager:                             Lisa Martinez

 Infant Toddler Center

The Infant Toddler Center offers a full day program for children age three months to 36 months. The center serves students, staff and faculty.  Subsidized care is available to eligible student families through a contract from the State Department of Education.

Established:                                       1980

Enrollment:                                       72

Hours:                                                7:30 am-6:00 pm


Telephone:                                          (949) 824-4754

Mailing Address:                               Child Care Services

                                                            Attn.: Infant Toddler Center

                                                            533 California Avenue

                                                            University of California

                                                            Irvine, CA 92697-2250

Director:                                            Teresa Hoveland

 Children’s Center

The Children’s Center offers a full day preschool program for children two and a half to five years of age (or until eligible for kindergarten).  The center serves students, staff and faculty.  Subsidized care is available to eligible student families through a contract from the State Department of Education.

Established:                                       1972

Enrollment:                           50

Hours:                                                7:30 am-6:00 pm


Telephone:                                          (949) 824-4752

Mailing Address:                               Child Care Services

                                                            Attn.: Children’s Center

                                                            6533 Adobe Circle Road

                                                            University of California

                                                            Irvine, CA 92697-2250

Director:                                            Leslie Bae

Early Childhood Education Center

The Early Childhood Education Center offers a full day preschool program for children two years to five years of age (or until eligible for kindergarten).  The center serves student, staff, faculty, and community families.

Established:                                       1989

Enrollment:                           100

Hours:                                                7:30 am-6: 00 pm


Telephone:                                          (949) 824-2100

Mailing Address:                               Child Care Services

                                                            Attn.: Early Childhood Education Center

501 Adobe Circle Road

                                                            University of California

                                                            Irvine, CA 92697-2250

Director:                                            Wenli Lin

Verano Preschool

Verano Preschool offers a half-day preschool program for children two and a half to five years of age (or until eligible for kindergarten).  The center serves students, staff, faculty and community. 

Established:                                       1969

Enrollment:                           25

Hours:                                                             9:00 am-1: 00 PM

                                                            Monday-Friday during the school year

                                                            Closed during UCI academic breaks and summer

Telephone:                                          (949) 824-4755

Mailing Address:                               Child Care Services

                                                            Attn.: Verano Preschool

3300 Verano Road

                                                            University of California

                                                            Irvine, CA 92697-2250

Director:                                            Amy Swee Nica

Extended Day Center

The Extended Day Center offers an after school program for children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Subsidized care is available to eligible student families through a contract from the State Department of Education.

Established:                                       1978

Enrollment:                           45

Hours:                                                             During the school year

                                                            11:30 am-6:00 pm


During the summer

                                                            7:30 am-6:00 pm


Telephone:                                          (949) 824-4753

Mailing Address:                               Child Care Services

                                                            Attn.: Extended Day Center

6537 Adobe Circle Road

                                                            University of California

                                                            Irvine, CA 92697-2250

Director:                                            Julie Bookwalter


 â€śEvery time we teach children something we keep them from inventing it themselves.  On the other hand, that which we allow them to discover for themselves will remain with them … for the rest of their lives.”

‑ Jean Piaget UCI Child Care Services programs provide safe and nurturing learning environments for young children that promote their emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development.  Children’s experiences both at home and at school are the foundation for life long feelings of self worth, competence and a love of learning.  Mutual understanding and respect between home and school is essential for children’s future success.  Families are encouraged to be involved in their child’s school experiences.  The philosophy of the programs offered by UCI Child Care Services is based on the work of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson and other researchers in the field of Early Childhood Education and Human Development. Children learn best through active exploration and by making choices about the activities they would like to pursue. Primary tasks of the early years of life are learning about relationships and learning about the nature of objects and materials.   The best context for this learning is an environment where children are supported and guided by adults who encourage learning through trial and error, repetition, imitation and identification with peers and significant adults. The environment of each program is planned so that it provides stimulating, challenging materials and activities.  Teachers closely observe to see what children understand and pose additional challenges to take their thinking further.  Children’s natural curiosity and desire to make sense of their world is used to motivate children to become involved in a wide variety of planned and spontaneous learning activities which include language and literacy, the arts, math and science concepts, problem solving and opportunities to master motor skills.  Our programs are developmentally appropriate for the age group served, and are implemented with attention to the needs and differences of children and their families.  “Play for young children is not recreation activity, not recess activity.  It is not leisure time activity, nor escape activity.  Free play is thinking time for young children.  It is language time.  It is problem solving time.  It is memory time, planning time, investigating time.  It is organization – of – ideas time, when the young child uses his mind and body and social skills and all his powers in response to the stimuli he has met.  Play is “independent work” not “play time”.  Free play is ‘free’ because the child chooses what he does, how he does it, how long he does it, and with whom he does it.  Free play is ‘play’ because the activity strikes so deep a chord of pleasure within the child.  But free play is learning.”‑ James Hymes, Jr.Accreditation The Verano Preschool, the Early Childhood Education Center and the Children’s Center are accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs (the Extended Day Center is not eligible for accreditation because they serve school-age children).  The Academy administers a national, voluntary, professionally sponsored accreditation system for all types of child care centers serving children from birth through kindergarten age.  The Academy is a division of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation’s largest organization of early childhood educators. Early childhood programs accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs have voluntarily undergone a comprehensive process of internal self-study, invited external professional review to verify compliance with the Academy’s Criteria for High Quality Early Childhood Programs, and been found to be in substantial compliance with the Criteria.  A high quality early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of young children.  In accredited programs, you will seefrequent, positive, warm interactions among adults and childrenplanned learning activities appropriate to children’s age and development, such as block building, painting, reading stories, dress-up, and active outdoor playspecially trained teachersenough adults to respond to individual childrenmany varied age-appropriate materialsa healthy and safe environment for childrennutritious meals and/or snacksregular communication with parents who are welcome visitors at all timeseffective administrationongoing, systematic evaluationStaff Qualifications/Staff DevelopmentUCI Child Care Services is committed to quality early childhood education. All professional staff are trained in Early Childhood Education and/or Child Development and hold the appropriate credential/permit as required by the State of California.  In addition, they are certified in pediatric first aid and CPR.  New employees are provided an orientation to guide them in understanding how agency policies relate to their respective job description.  We support continuous staff growth by assessing the needs of staff and providing professional development activities to enhance their growth.  Staff members are evaluated annually, and we have a sound internal communication (email, phone, staff meetings) to provide staff with information necessary to carry out their respective duties. Teacher assistants are full-time students at UCI and represent diverse academic and cultural backgrounds. Cultural Diversity  UCI is one of the most diverse campuses in the United States.  Our centers reflect this diversity.  The book Multi-cultural Issues in Child Care by Janet Gonzalez-Mena reflects the beliefs and practices of Child Care Services.  The following is an excerpt from her book. It’s good for children to receive culturally competent care that is sensitiveand has a global, multiethnic view. Culturally competent care requires that:Adults in children’s lives respect each other.Adults in children’s lives work to understand each other’s perspectives.Caregivers and parents understand how program and family values may differ and work together toward blending differing value systems.Adults in children’s lives create ongoing dialogues, which means that information exchange occurs so that good judgment can result from the blending of shared points of view.  Dialogues also mean that everyone who works with children is both a teacher and a learner, and that caregivers view parents as the experts who know what is good for their children; parents and caregivers genuinely listen to each other instead of judging.     Non-Discrimination Policy Child Care Services welcomes all families into our programs.  The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.  The University also prohibits sexual harassment.  This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities.  We welcome the enrollment of families and children with disabilities and will make reasonable accommodations in accordance to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individualized Education PlansWe are committed to working in partnership with families whose children have Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP) or Individualized Education Plans (IEP). We will attend IFSP or IEP meetings when requested by parents. A copy of your child’s IFSP or IEP is kept on file at the center.  Teachers refer to the child’s plan to support the goals and objectives within the classroom. Additionally, we will collaborate with all professionals providing services for children with IFSP’s or IEP’s. We will support parents in the services they request for their child and will make reasonable accommodations to support their services within the center. All fees charged by any consultants or professionals are the responsibility of the family.    Multi-age Groupings All of the centers have multi-age groups, which means that children of different ages may be in the same classroom or may spend time together during the day.  A multi-age grouping provides a more family-like setting for children.  It allows children to learn from each other, enables teachers to gear their expectations to a child’s individual development rather than age, and increases the likelihood that a child will have someone to interact with at their developmental level.  Getting Started An intake interview will provide you with the opportunity to meet the site director and your child’s teacher(s).  At that time you will share information about your child, ask questions, be shown around the center and learn about the center’s program and policies. Helping Children Transition To The CenterEvery child is assigned to a full time teacher at the center.  This primary teacher has the responsibility of helping new children become familiar with the routines of the center.  The teacher will learn your child’s unique ways of communicating, and will narrate the day for him or her until he or she is completely comfortable.  Children respond in a variety of ways to new settings.  Some settle in quickly, as if they have always been at the center.  Others may have a more difficult time adjusting.  Children experience a variety of feelings (sadness, anger, and delight) as they learn to trust new teachers and know that parents do come back at the end of the day.  Please be assured that your child will be supported during this transition time. Parents can help their children by:Talking positively about the center, teachers and children.Acknowledging and validating all feelings (I know that you are angry, sad, excited, etc.)Communicating a matter-of-fact confidence in the center.Assuring your child that you love them, that you will miss them and that you will be back.Saying good-bye when you’re ready to leave and then leaving.  (It’s confusing to children and teachers when parents say good-bye and then stay around for a while.)Letting your child know when you are leaving the center.  It is critical to your relationship that your child trusts that you will not sneak out to avoid upsetting him or her.  It is much better for a child to experience momentary sadness than to have to deal with the possibility that a parent may disappear at any moment.   Helping Parents Transition To The CenterThis is usually the more difficult of the transitions!  Parents may have mixed feelings about leaving their young children in group care.  These are normal reactions to trusting your child with people who are initially strangers.  You may experience new feelings as children form attachments with teachers.  These attachments are essential for a child’s emotional development and school success.  In order to help yourself feel comfortable, you are welcome to spend time in the center.  Site directors or teachers can always make time to answer your questions or hear your concerns about your child. Cell Phone Policy All five child care centers have a “no cell phone” policy inside the centers.  If you must take or make a phone call, please step outside to do so.  Transitions are made easier when your child has your full attention at drop off and pick up, and your full attention allows for clearer communication between teachers and parents. What To Wear To SchoolChildren are involved in sensory activities every day, often involving water, cooking ingredients, paint and other art materials.  Please send your child in comfortable, washable play clothes suitable for active and messy play.  It is extremely discouraging to children and staff when a parent arrives and is upset because their child’s clothes are dirty.  We will always provide aprons for those children who wish to wear them. Play clothes that are easy to manage encourage independence and self-help skills.  Many toilet accidents are prevented if children can unbutton pants and unbuckle belts without a struggle. When the weather is cool and unpredictable, be sure your child has a sweater or jacket kept at the center.  In addition, each child must have one complete set of clothes (socks, underwear, pants, shirt or a dress) kept in his/her cubby. We recommend that your child wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes to school.  These types of shoes protect their feet during walks, bike riding and other outdoor activities. Please label all clothes with your child’s name!  Drop Off And Pick Up Procedures AttendanceSigning in and signing out your child is required by law for the safety and supervision of the children and for program fiscal accountability.  Licensing requires that you or an adult (over the age of 18 years) authorized by you, sign your child in and out of the center each day using a full signature and the time of arrival or departure.  For your child’s safety always let a teacher know when you and your child arrive and before taking your child from the center. Please call the center by 9:00 am if your child will be absent or late.  When your child is absent, write a specific reason for the absence on your child’s attendance sheet when you return and sign your full signature (e.g.; fever or stomach flu, not simply “sick”). If someone other than a parent is to pick up your child from the center, you must list that adult on your child’s blue Emergency and Identification Form.  If the adult taking your child from the center is not on the form, we must have your written permission in advance.  Adults listed on your child’s Emergency and Identification Form must show a picture ID before they will be allowed to sign your child out of the center.  Please speak to your child’s teacher or the director if there is a change in your routine pick up plan, so that we can remind your child during the day. We must be able to reach you or someone on your authorized pick up list at all times.  Please make sure that all people on your emergency list are aware that they are listed, and are willing to pick your child up in case of illness or emergency.  Failure to comply with this may jeopardize your child’s enrollment at the center. Please carefully supervise your child whenever entering or leaving the center.  When you sign your child out, you are responsible for their safety and supervision. We ask that the entrance gates and/or front doors be kept closed and that only adults open or close them.Emergency Pick UpIf you or someone on your emergency sheet is unable to pick up your child, protocol is for you to call the center and speak to the site director or Director of child care services, who may authorize an alternative.  Teachers may not make this authorization.  You will need to provide a description of the person and the person must bring photo identification.  Late Pick Up PolicyIt is very difficult for children to be left at school after their normal pickup time.  We ask that parents make every effort to observe their contract hours and the center’s closing time, and are respectful of the staff’s needs to get home to their own families and other obligations.   If you are late, staff will attempt to reach parents and emergency contacts by phone.  Please be assured that your child is always our concern and will be well cared for until your arrival.  We understand that unavoidable situations arise, however, we have found it necessary to implement the following policies: For subsidized families, any arrival before or after your contracthours will result in an Early Arrival or Late Pick-up Notice.  Services will be terminated upon the third notice.All other families arriving at the center after closing time will be charged a late fee of $20.00 for the first fifteen minutes and $1.00 for every minute thereafter.  Thirty minutes past closing is considered excessively late and will require payment of the late fee and a meeting with the site director before a child may return to the center.  Repeated lateness is a significant problem for the center and services will be terminated upon the third late notice.If you have a question or concern to discuss with your child’s teacher or director, please arrive early enough so that there is enough time to talk before the center closes.  We are always happy to conference with you, but may ask that you make an appointment for another time if it is close to 6:00.   Parent Involvement Classroom Involvement/Open Door PolicyYour child and the center benefit when you become an active participant.  We welcome your participation at whatever level you are comfortable giving.  We have an open-door policy, which means that you are always welcome to visit, observe or be involved in any of the day-to-day activities at the center.  If you have an interest in music, art, cooking, woodworking or have another hobby or talent that you would like to share with us, or would simply enjoy helping teachers with activities or projects, please let your child’s teacher know. Center InvolvementThere are many different ways of becoming involved in your child’s center.  These include parent education meetings; social gatherings, events or parties for the children, participation on a parent committee, center work days, fundraising and child advocacy.  Notices of upcoming events will be in center newsletters and posted on parent boards.  Support of your child’s center is vital to providing an outstanding program for children and families. Program EvaluationsTwice each year, we ask families to evaluate how well the program has met their needs through a parent survey given at the center.  We are interested in hearing parent’s perspective on the effectiveness of the program for your child and for you.  We welcome your input, ideas, questions or concerns at all times, not just when we do a survey.  The results of the parent survey are also used to set center goals for the school year.  In addition, the center teachers and director complete the Environment Rating Scale (for Infant-Toddler, Early Childhood or School-age) each spring to assess how well all of the areas of the center are working for children and families.  The results of this assessment are also used to set center goals for the coming year. Celebrations/Holidays/Birthdays UCI is a multicultural community of people from diverse backgrounds.  Our activities, programs and everyday interactions are enriched by our acceptance of one another, and we strive to learn from each other in an atmosphere of positive engagement and mutual respect.  Sharing family traditions and holidays is an important part of our curriculum.  Celebrations and holidays are shared with the children as special events and as part of our on-going program.  Families are encouraged to share their traditions with their child’s center. Children’s birthdays may be celebrated at school.  If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday at school, please see your child’s teacher to make arrangements.   Parent- Center Communications DirectorThe site director is available to assist you with confidential issues concerning your child, your family, or issues that may arise in the classroom or the center.  Making an appointment to talk about confidential issues ensures that you have enough time to talk. Informal Daily CommunicationCheck in with your child’s teacher every morning at drop off time.  It is important for us to be aware of any information that may affect your child’s day at school.  You may occasionally receive a call from the teacher to advise you about an incident during the day or to ask for your input on an issue that has come up during the day.  Always feel comfortable to call us any time to check on your child.  Please take a moment at pick-up time to find out how your child’s day has been. Child Assessment and Parent ConferencesThe goal of UCI Child Care Services is to ensure that all children are making progress in all areas of development.  We use the Desired Results Developmental Profile, a tool developed by the California Department of Education, Child Development Division, to assess the development of children.  Children are assessed within 60 days of enrollment and every six months thereafter.  Parent input is a necessary component of this assessment, and you will be invited to a goal-setting conference, and bi-yearly conferences after that to discuss your child’s strengths, areas they are working on, and concerns that teachers or parents may have.  Conferences are typically scheduled twice each year, but can be arranged any time at the request of parents or teachers.  The results of assessments are also used to plan and conduct age and developmentally appropriate activities for children. Bulletin BoardsThere are parent bulletin boards or parent windows in all centers with information concerning center activities, meetings, announcements, health notices and menus.  Each classroom also has a bulletin board with curriculum plans and other announcements. Email Communication and NewslettersCenters will be sending newsletters and reminders home either by email or by putting them on sign-in sheets to keep families informed about the program, parent events, classroom activities and general information and reminders of interest to all families. Boundaries We strive to have close yet professional relationships with the families that we serve.  Please respect the personal boundaries of site directors and teachers by not asking to “friend” or follow them on social media sites, or asking for their cell phone or home phone numbers. Translation When necessary, we will provide a translator for communication with parents and in interpreting center materials  Guidance We strive to create an environment where children are safe and where they know they will be cared for and listened to, not just by their teachers, but by one another as well. In order to minimize conflict, much effort is taken to provide appropriate activities, create an inviting environment, and meet the individual needs of children.  Still, conflicts are a natural occurrence as children try to relate to one another in a group setting. Many techniques are used for assisting children through conflict resolution.  Although our interactions vary depending on the age of the children and the severity of the situation, all means seek to guide children as problem solvers. The following techniques are used regularly at the centers:Limit Setting– In order for children to build trusting relationships and feel confident to explore, they must clearly know what is expected of them.  Rules are kept few, basic, clear and concise.  Boundaries and expectations expand in keeping with the abilities of the children. Consistency– So that children know what to expect (and from that can anticipate, predict and change their own behavior accordingly), limits and expectations are consistent throughout the classrooms.  All adults respond in a consistent manner to conflict situations. Tone The message a child receives from an adult intervening is: you are safe, the situation is under control, and we can work it out.  A firm, kind, serious tone with a relaxed demeanor reinforces this message. Modeling The adults in the center set an example of compassionate, caring individuals who are able to express their own feelings and needs clearly and calmly. Passive Intervention– Children are given time to work through their own problems.  If a situation does not escalate to destructive or aggressive behavior, a teacher may choose to simply observe as the children seek a solution, or their presence can serve as a gentle reminder to use words instead of action.  Teachers trust children to ‘figure it out’ but are there to help if they should need it.  When additional intervention is necessary to facilitate the resolution process, it is as non-intrusive as possible. Physical Intervention Children will be physically stopped when hurting each other.  The focus will then turn to resolving the conflict at hand. Identifying/Interpreting– “You both want the truck.”  Such a simple statement can clarify the problem, diffuse tension and help the problem solving begin.  Children also need help to consider other’s emotions or needs especially when they are upset themselves.  For example, “Look, he is crying.  It really hurt when you kicked him.”Validating Feelings Constructive thinking is virtually impossible when a child is overcome by an emotion such as anger, sadness, fear or frustration.  Acknowledging the emotion is imperative before any other learning can occur.  “I will not let you hit her.  Tell me why you are so angry.”  It is important that all children in a conflict be honestly listened to.  Children are not told to say “I’m sorry,” but rather, to actively comfort or offer help to the child they hurt/upset.  Adults may say, “I’m sorry you got hurt” and at some point children will spontaneously do the same. Giving Choices/Offering solutions Adults offer choices and possible solutions to children who are having a difficult time finding them on their own.  Some options given are negotiating and collaboration. Redirection– A request to stop a negative behavior is accompanied by a suggestion for an appropriate behavior with which to replace it…”You may not climb on the fence; if you would like to climb you can use the climber.” Natural Consequences– Consequences for behavior are those that are logical to children.  “If you are not able to stop throwing the sand, then you will need to come out of the sandbox.”  When children are able to understand the results of their own behavior they are better able to modify it.  About “Time Out”Although it is a popular discipline method, “time out” is not considered a viable option at the centers.  While it may interrupt a negative behavior, it does not help children acquire the skills to deal with the situation should it arise again.  Young children are generally not yet capable of the reflective thought necessary to make “time out” a learning situation.  If a child needs time to calm down, teachers facilitate this in a non-punitive manner by helping children find a way to calm themselves. When More is NeededOccasionally a child’s behavior is excessively disruptive or harmful to individual children or the class.  If the teacher and director concur that they need additional support and expertise to best meet a child’s needs, some or all of the following steps will be required of the family: Additional parent/teacher conferences will be held. The purpose of the conference is to clearly define the problem, re-examine possible causes, brainstorm any changes the staff and/or family can make and reinforce consistency between home and school. Community Resources Professional support (for example a Resource Specialist from the Irvine Unified School District) may be sought.  The site director facilitates the referral process, working with parents, staff, and specialists. Schedule Adjustment the site director and teachers may determine that an adjusted schedule (for example, shortened hours or different arrival time) is in the best interest of the child.  Families may be requested to come to the center to speak directly to their child about expectations for behavior at school, or may be asked to take their child home for the remainder of the day.  Typically these are interim measures until there is a resolution of the issues. Child Care Services is committed to seeking solutions for difficult situations with children and families.Biting Policy One of the most upsetting yet normal behaviors of early childhood is biting.  Infants may bite because their gums hurt, and to bite down hard on something gives relief.   With toddlers and young preschoolers, social skills are still limited. It is difficult for young children to distinguish between what is loving and what hurts.  When an older child bites, it is usually a means of expressing emotions.  Young children do not have a social conscience as we know it.  They may fully understand that when they bite, someone cries; but they have not yet connected all of the social consequences.  Parents will be notified if their child has been bitten and of the procedures teachers have taken.  The name of the child who did the biting will not be included when informing the parent of the incident.  If the bite has broken the skin, it will be washed with soap and water. Both parents will be notified immediately and requested to call their child’s physician for further instructions.  If biting becomes an ongoing behavior, the site director and the child’s teachers will talk with parents and together they will carefully analyze the circumstances. Anecdotal information noting when the incident happened, where it happened, what precipitated the bite, who was involved, and the times of day the biting occurs will be recorded.  A teacher will be assigned to stay in close proximity to the child to interrupt the biting behavior before it happens and to provide needed support.  Reasonable action will be taken to modify the environment, routines or interactions within the group, to help diminish the biting.  If further action is needed, please consult the “When more is needed” section of the guidance policy.      Health, Safety and Nutrition The centers maintain clean, safe, and healthful environments.  Our goal is to protect and enhance the health and safety of all children and staff.  Adults model good health and safety behaviors and promote good daily health routines.  Teachers are trained in CPR and First Aid. Health Requirements for AdmissionHealth regulations are determined by the California Department of Social Services and the State Department of Health.  For the protection of all children enrolled in the program, the following requirements are necessary:Verification of your child’s current immunizations must be on file before your child may attend school.Your child must have documentation showing that they are free from active tuberculosis or a waiver from their physician stating that they are not in a high-risk category.A physical exam by a licensed physician is required within 30 days of enrollment.  At the Infant Toddler Center, children are required to submit verification of an annual health screening.An additional health history completed by parents is requested to help teachers become better acquainted with your child.Immunization records must be kept current while your child is enrolled in the program.Daily Health EvaluationState regulations require that a teacher evaluate each child’s health when the child arrives at school.  Teachers do not allow sick or possibly ill children in the classroom.  Teachers use their discretion and best judgment when sending a child home. Should your child become ill at school, the Director will supervise them in their office.  We will call you immediately, and your child will need to be taken home by you or someone on your authorized pick up list within 30 minutes of the call.   If your child attends Extended Day, and they stay home from school in the morning because of illness or tiredness, they may not come to Extended Day in the afternoon. If there is a disagreement with the center’s decision to send the child home, the parents will need verification from a physician stating that the child is not contagious and is well enough to take part in the program. Teachers appreciate knowing if your child is undergoing any unusual or traumatic experiences that might affect their behavior at school.  This information allows teachers to better meet the needs of your child during school hours  Health PolicyIn order to protect the health of children, families and staff, UCI Child Care Services adheres to the following policies: Children will be sent home from the center if:they have a temperature of 101 or above.they have three loose stools or more during the day OR the stool cannot be contained in the diaper OR diarrhea is causing “accidents” for toilet-trained children.they vomit once (and it was not caused by coughing, crying, or motion).they are suspected to have a contagious illness due to symptoms such as rash, (which may include blisters, raised bumps or lesions), sore throat, or red/discharging eyes).they are not well enough to participate in all aspects of the center day, including walks and outside time. If your child becomes ill during the school day, the director will supervise them in their office to minimize exposure to well children.  We will call you immediately, and your child will need to be taken home by you or someone on your authorized pick up list within 30 minutes.  Children Must Be Excluded From The Center With These Symptoms:SymptomsChild May Not Return to School Until:Fever of 101 or above The temperature has returned to normal for at least 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication)DiarrheaLoose stools have subsided for at least 24 hours and your child has returned to normal eating with no stomach upset.VomitingVomiting has subsided for at least 24 hours and your child has returned to normal eating with no stomach upset.Strep ThroatA medical professional has written a release for your child to return to school.Red/ Discharging EyesA medical professional has written a release for your child to return to school.Rash (e.g.: blisters, raised bumps, lesions)A medical professional has written a release for your child to return to school.Head LiceThe child has been treated with a pediculicide and all nits have been removed from hair.  Hair will be re-checked at school after 7 days. If your child is sent home because a teacher or director suspects that they have a contagious illness, you will be required to bring a note from a medical professional in order for your child to return to school. Please notify the center immediately if your child has a contagious illness such as strep throat, pinworms, impetigo, conjunctivitis, measles, mumps, whooping cough, staph infection, chicken pox, hand, foot and mouth disease or head lice.  We will notify all parents if children have been exposed to a contagious illness while at the center (keeping the name of the ill child confidential).  Strategies for Keeping Your Child Healthy Pay close attention to your child’s health.  Take the initiative in getting your child to the doctor as soon as you suspect that your child may have an infection.  You can avoid losing time at work or school by identifying illness early. Let your child’s doctor know that your child is in group care.  Communicating this information to your doctor will enable him/her to work with you to help keep your child as well as possible. Pay attention to your child’s sleep and diet.  Fatigue increases susceptibility to illness.  It is very important to your child’s health as well as cognitive and physical development that your child be eating a balanced, nutritious diet. Dress your child appropriately for the weather.  Over-dressing and under-dressing contribute to poor temperature regulation, which may lead to illness.  Please keep a sweater in your child’s cubby.  We can always undress a child if the weather turns warm.  We cannot always find an extra sweater if the weather turns cool. Be prepared for your child’s illnesses.  Develop a back-up network of people who can care for your child in an emergency.  Children, whether they are in or out of group care have an average of six colds per year, usually occurring during the fall, winter, and spring months.  You may lose work/school time during your child’s first year of group care. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that young children should not be put to bed with a bottle.  This can cause ear infections and tooth decay.  Young children’s Eustachian tubes can become congested and infected from drinking bottles while lying on a flat surface.  Milk or juice in bottles can also cause a condition called bottle mouth in which children damage or lose their baby teeth.  This can seriously affect their permanent teeth, and it is painful and expensive to correct. For the health and safety of children, personal pets and animals are not allowed in the center without prior authorization from the center director.  MedicationA center director or teacher shall administer medications for children only when prescribed by a physician.  Each container must be child proof, carry the name of the medication, the date prescribed, the name of the child for whom it was prescribed, the name of the prescribing physician, and the physician’s instructions. When sample medication is given by the physician or when the physician requests that you give your child an over-the-counter medication or dietary supplement, the medication must be accompanied by the same information as a prescription, written on the doctor’s prescription stationery with a current date.  Parents must completely fill out and sign a Medication Authorization Formeach week.  If your child continues to need medication the following week, a new form must be filled out on Monday or medication will not be given. If your child needs medication on a continual basis because of a chronic condition, please speak to your director.Sunscreen Children spend a great deal of time outdoors during most days.  If you would like your child to use sunscreen, please apply it in the morning before coming to school.  Parents who want children to have a second application in the afternoon will need to fill out a Sunscreen Authorization Form.  The centers will provide Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, which is a broad spectrum sunscreen (the type recommended by the FDA), but you are welcome to provide your own sunscreen if you wish.  If you are providing your own sunscreen, you must write your child’s name on the bottle and it must have an expiration date on it.   Field Trips and WalksTo enrich curriculum experiences and teach children about their community, we take walks throughout Verano and to places surrounding the UCI campus.  Parents will be informed in advance of any trips off campus and are always welcome to participate. We will follow state ratios for field trips, carry first aid equipment and emergency forms, and a cell phone. If your child attends the Extended Day Care Center, please see the center director for information about summer field trips. Injuries Minor injuries are treated with soap and water, bandages and ice.  The teacher observing the injury will write an accident report and place the original on your child’s attendance sheet for signature.   Parents will be called immediately if we observe a head injury or in the event of any serious or questionable injury.  In an emergency, the staff will contact 911. Emergency Procedures Child Care Services has an emergency plan in the event of earthquake, fire, and/or natural disaster.  If there is a major disaster, children will be cared for on-site if it is safe, or moved to another location. Parents are asked to pick up their children as soon as possible, and to please limit phone calls.  Although we know you will be concerned about your child, we need to be free to care for all children and the phone lines will need to be kept free for emergency use.  All centers have first aid supplies, food, water, and blankets on hand if children need to remain in the centers for an extended period of time.   Sign out procedures will be followed.  If you send another adult to pick up your child, they must be on your child’s emergency list.  Each month the centers have drills to keep staff and children prepared for an emergency.  Children participate in fire and earthquake drills, as well as lock down drills.  Teachers are trained in CPR and First Aid, and all centers are equipped with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Emergency EvacuationIn the event that a center must evacuate, we will work with campus police and the UCI Emergency Operation Center to determine a safe evacuation site.  Our designated evacuation site is the Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) located at 680 California St.  Any change of location will be posted at the entrance to each site. Building Access and SecurityAll visitors and guests must check in with the center office or director before entering the classroom. Insurance Child Care Services carries a secondary medical insurance policy for minor accidents occurring at the center for each child.  This policy, if used, will require parents to pay a $25 deductible fee.  Medical expenses up to $2000 are covered by this policy. Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect All staff are mandated by Community Care Licensing to report suspectedchild abuse or neglect to the Orange County Child Abuse Registry. Nutrition Family style eating is an integral part of our programs.  Staff sit with children during mealtimes to serve as role models and to encourage healthy eating habits.  Meals and snacks are planned according to the recommendation of the USDA Federal Child Care Food Program.  Monthly menus are posted in each center, and are given to parents each month. Centers receiving funding from the State Department of Education (the Infant Toddler Center, the Children’s Center and the Extended Day Center) provide breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack at no additional cost to families.  A doctor’s note is required if your child requires food substitutions or is unable to participate in center meals.   Parents of any child with severe food allergies or special nutritional needs should see the site director of your center.  Lunch boxes that are brought to school (at ECEC and Verano Preschool) must be labeled with your child’s name. Please note that all centers are NUT FREE, which means that no peanuts, peanut butter, or tree nuts (such as almonds and walnuts) may be brought into or served at the center. Sharing Foods from HomeTo ensure the safety of foods served to children, our accrediting body recommends that foods brought from home to share with other children must either be whole fruits or commercially prepared packaged food in factory-sealed containers.  If you wish to share a birthday treat with the class for your child’s birthday, please see your child’s teacher or center director for a list of healthy alternatives that come commercially prepackaged. Sleeping ArrangementsYour center director will discuss napping and sleeping arrangements with you during yourintake appointment.  We are required to provide a napping/resting period for all children up until they reach kindergarten age.  Our licensing requirements prevent us from disrupting a child’s sleep by waking them up, or forcing them to sleep if they are not tired.  At the Infant-Toddler center, children are always put down to sleep on their backs.  After that, they can assume any position.
 Administrative Policies: Non-Subsidized Families CalendarThe centers follow the administrative calendar of the University and are closed for all University holidays.  A calendar noting your center’s operating days will be given to you upon enrollment. Registration FeeAll families will be charged a one-time non-refundable registration fee to reserve a space.  If a child leaves the center for any reason, a re-registration fee is charged upon return. For Verano Preschool families, an annual deposit is required to hold a space for your child. This is applied to tuition unless you do not return in the fall.  If you do not return in the fall, the depositwill not be refunded.  Tuition is charged by the month throughout the year.Billing Procedures and Payment of FeesTuition is due in advance on a monthly basis. Tuition bills are placed on sign-in sheets at the end of each month (for the following month). A monthly fee is charged for tuition.  Should a child start the program during the middle of the month, the daily fee will be charged for the number of days in attendance.  Daily tuition is prorated based on a 20 day month.  No tuition credit is given for any days the center is closed due to university holidays and staff training days or any days a child is absent due to vacation or illness. If your child is absent from school for any reason, other than extended hospitalization, full tuition will be charged for the entire month. After the fifth working day of the month if tuition is not paid, a $3.00 late fee will be assessed for each day tuition is unpaid.  If payment is not received as of the tenth working day, child care will not be provided.  Due to University policy, cash cannot be accepted for tuition payment.  There is a $25.00 returned check service charge (fees subject to change depending on University Cashier policy).  If a check is returned, your personal check will no longer be accepted.  After that you will need to bring a cashier’s check or money order for payment. Tuition is due at the Child Care Services Office.  There is a tuition drop-off box located in the lobby. There is a one-month tuition charge if a one-month written notice of termination is not given to the office. There is a 10% tuition discount given for siblings. Full-cost families will receive $50.00 off their next month’s tuition for referring a new family to any one of the child care centers. Grievance ProcedureIf an issue cannot be resolved within the classroom, parents should contact the site Director at their center. Every effort will be made at that level to resolve the issue. However, if the issue remains, parents would then be directed to speak to the Director of Child Care Services. Termination of Services The Center may terminate your child’s enrollment under the following circumstances: Non-payment for your child  care services and/ or lack of adherence to tuition payment policies.Parents falsify information on enrollment forms or otherwise knowingly falsify information.Parents do not agree or do not follow and comply with the policies set forth in this Handbook.Lack of parental cooperation with the Center’s efforts to resolve difference and/or to meet the child’s needs through parent/staff meetings or conferences.Inappropriate or abusive behavior and/ or verbal abuse or threats by parents, relatives, guardians or other parties toward the Center staff, other parents or children.Inability of parents to deal in a professional manner with Center personnel or other parents and children at the center.The continued enrollment of the child poses a risk to the health and/ or safety of other children, parents or center staff members or continued enrollment of the child constitutes an undue burden on the Center’s resources. Scholarship The Karen L. Bocard Scholarship is available to provide tuition assistance to families. The scholarship is based on the availability of funds, and reviewed by committee for approval.  The scholarship can partially fund the cost of child care provided at the child care centers at UCI. Applications can be picked up in the Child Care Services Office.
  Administrative Policies: Subsidized Families CalendarStudent families follow the quarterly academic calendar of the University, and therefore receive child care only when classes are in session.  You will be given a calendar upon enrollment.  Medical and Law students will follow the academic calendar for the UCI Medical School or the UCI Law School but must contract for the number of days permitted by the contract to subsidized families.  Parents must notify the center at least 1 month in advance if they are asking for alternative dates of service different from the general subsidized calendar.  Eligibility Criteria Eligibility is based on documentation and verification of at least one of the following: 1.  Income Total countable income means all income of the individuals counted in the family size, for example:Gross wages or salariesOvertimeTipsCash aidChild support payment receivedPortion of student grants or scholarships not identified for educational purposes as tuition, books, or supplies. Income documentation is required for the month preceding certification or recertification.  If you are employed, UCI Child Care Services needs a release authorization and a payroll check stub(s) equivalent to one month’s pay, a letter from your employer, or another record of wages issued by your employer.  If you are self-employed, UCI Child Care Services needs as many of the following types of documentation as necessary to determine your income:  a letter from your source of income, a copy of your most recently signed and completed tax return, or other business records as requested. We reserve the right to ask for additional documentation to verify income.2.  Current Aid Recipient  3.  Homelessness If the parent is homeless, UCI Child Care Services needs a written referral from an emergency shelter or other legal, medical or social service agency OR a written declaration that the parent is homeless and a statement describing your living situation.  4.  Child Protective Services If the child is under protective services, UCI Child Care Services needs a written referral dated within six months of your application for services that includes:A statement from the local county welfare department, child welfare services worker, certifying that the child is receiving Child Protective Services (CPS) and that child care and development services are a necessary component of the CPS service plan. Probable duration of the CPS service plan Name, address, phone number and signature of county child welfare staff. 5.  At Risk of Abuse, Neglect, and/or Exploitation If a child is at risk, UCI Child Care Services needs a written referral dated within six months of the application for services, including: A statement by a legally qualified professional (someone licensed in the state to perform legal, medical, health or social services for the general public) that the child is at risk of abuse and neglect and that child care and development services are needed to reduce or eliminate that risk. Probable duration of the at risk situation. Name, address, phone number and signature of the legally qualified professional. Family Selection Process UCI Child Care Services accepts walk-ins and maintains a Wait List when our centers are full.  All families are ranked.  Ranking is based on your gross family income and your family size. Priority for selection are: CPSAt RiskLowest rank Documentation of Family Size You must provide supporting documentation regarding the number of children and parents in the family. Supporting documentation for the number of children shall be at least oneof the following: Birth certificateChild custody court orderAdoption documentsFoster Care placement recordsSchool or medical recordsCounty welfare department recordsOther reliable documentation indicating the relationship of the child to the parent Supporting documentation of the presence or absence of the other parent must be any one of the following: Records of marriage, divorce, domestic partnership or legal separation;Court-ordered child custody arrangement;Evidence that the parent signing the application receives child support payment;Rental receipts or agreement contracts, utility bills or other documents for the residence of the family indicating that the parent is the responsible party;Any other documentation, excluding a self-declaration to confirm the presence or absence of the parent of the child in the family. When only one parent has signed the Application for Service and the information provided indicates the child in the family has another parent whose name does not appear on the application, then the presence or absence of that parent shall be documented. If due to the recent departure of a parent from the family, the remaining applicant parent may submit a self-declaration under penalty of perjury explaining the absence of that parent from the family.  Within six (6)months of applying or reporting the change in family size, the parent must provide one of the above supporting documentation.  CertificationTo qualify for a subsidy, one parent must verify that he or she is a matriculated UCI student. Failure to make reasonable academic progress may result in termination of services. Academic progress is defined as: a grade point average of 2.0 each quarter.  If you do not maintain a 2.0 grade point average, you will be given an additional session to bring your average to 2.0; if it is not maintained a second time, services will be terminated based on failure to make academic progress. The other parent must verify need based on documentation of one of the following: Child Protective Services (see Eligibility above)At-Risk (see Eligibility above)Parental Incapacity:  If you are incapacitated, UCI Child Care Services needsA signed release statement authorizing a legally qualified health professional to disclose information necessary to establish that you meet the definition of incapacity andA statement (form CD 3906) from a legally qualified health professional that includes the following:That the parent is incapacitated, that the parent is incapable of providing care and supervision for the child for part of the day, and the extent to which the parent is incapable of providing care and supervision, the days and hours per week that services are recommended, probable duration of incapacitation, name, business address, telephone number, professional license number, and signature of the health professional.  EmploymentTraining Toward Vocational Goal (see requirements under “Certification”)Actively Seeking Employment (this is limited to 60 days per fiscal year)Seeking Permanent Housing  Recertification of Eligibility and NeedTo continue to receive services, the family must be recertified every quarter, and must provide documentation to support continued eligibility and need for services.  The enrolled student must submit new training verification and employment verification each quarter as well as any time there is a change in your status.  A report of sufficient progress will be required at the end of each quarter (a copy of grades/transcripts).  Child Care Services receives a mid-quarter verification from the Registrar to confirm the full time status of UCI students.  You must report the following changes within 5 days to the Child Care Services Office or you risk losing your child care: A change in need.  (Employment, training, seeking employment-including schedule changes).A change in income (including wages and other sources of income).A change in the family size. Fraudulent information or failure to report changes to the Child Care Services Office will result in immediate termination of services.  The parent(s) will be obligated to re-pay the State and UCI Child Care Services for services rendered. Contract HoursEach quarter, subsidized families are required to make an appointment to establish contract hours for childcare.  Your contract hours for the quarter will be based on the training and  or employment verifications of both parents.  Contract hours will be assigned based on the need of both parents.  While seeking employment, your hours will be limited to not more than 30 hours per week with a maximum of 60 days.  Failure to notify Child Care Services of any changes in your status will result in termination of services.   Drop-in care is not available at any of the centers. AttendanceUnexcused absences by student families jeopardize the contract for all families.  An unexcused absence would include things like the child not feeling like coming to school, or the parent or child waking up late.  It is understood that special circumstances arise, but after three unexcused absences you will be required to meet with the director to discuss your childcare.  Unexcused absences will result in termination of services. Unexcused absences are anything not listed below: Excused absences include:Child illness, or parent illness (specific)Quarantine of child or parent (specific)Family emergency (death, funeral, car accident, car trouble, weather conditions, court appearance, etc.)Court ordered visitation with absent parent (Court order must be on file)Best Interest days (please see below for limitations and exceptions)  Best Interest Days are limited to ten days per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).  More than ten absences, in the best interest of the child, may result in termination of services.  Failure to list a reason for your child’s absence will result in an unexcused absence. Best interest include:Vacation (specific, with parent/relative)Day with familyReligious holidayOccasional special event (school play, recital, etc.)School program/ field tripChild’s birthdayOther reasons which are clearly in the best interest of the child. An absence is applied only if your child is out for the entire day. Limited Term Service Leave is not allowed.  If your child leaves the program, it is your responsibility to fill out a new subsidized application to put your name back on the wait list.  Priority will not be given for your anticipation return date. Billing Procedure and Payment of FeesA family fee assessment is based on your income and family size. Family fee is charged by the day, every day the center is open.  There is no adjustment for excused or unexcused absences.  There is an exception to the family fee if the family income is below 40% of State Median Income, or if the family is receiving CalWORKS cash aid, or at the recommendation of a CPS social worker. Your daily rate is based on current income and family size.    If you pay for childcare for another child not in one of our programs, your daily fee will be adjusted upon verification of other childcare.  If you pay fees to other service providers because we are not able to meet all of your childcare needs, you will be given credit for this when you submit a receipt or cancelled check. State regulations require that a family fee be charged even when your child is absent due to excused or unexcused absences. The family fee is due in full on the first of each month and is delinquent if not paid by the by the seventh (7th) calendar day.  It is to be paid at the Child Care Services Office.  If payment is not received by the 7th calendar day, a notice of action will be issued to terminate services two weeks from the date of the notice.  A reasonable repayment plan may be accepted, and you must comply with the repayment plan for continued services.  Due to University policy we cannot accept cash for your family fee payment. A one-month notice in writing is required when terminating from the program.  Transferring From One Center To Another Transferring to the next center is not automatic.  It is only possible if your child is next on the waiting list and there is an opening at the appropriate center.  Children enrolled in a subsidized program are automatically placed on a waiting list for the next subsidized center.  Names are put on the list according to the date your child was initially enrolled in his/her current center. Summer Session Childcare may continue during summer if the family meets the eligibility and need requirement. Parents still must meet income and need eligibility requirement. If your child will not be attending in the summer and you wish to return Fall Quarter, it will be your responsibility to fill out a subsidized application to put your name back on the wait list. There will be no priority to return in the fall.   Termination of Services A family will be terminated from the program if they fail to meet subsidy requirements or knowingly use incorrect or inaccurate information to obtain a benefit that they would otherwise not be entitled to receive. The Center may also terminate your child’s enrollment under the following circumstances: Non-payment for your childcare services and/ or lack of adherence to family fee payment policies.Parents falsify information on enrollment forms or otherwise knowingly falsify information.Parents do not agree or do not follow and comply with the policies set forth in this Handbook.Lack of parental cooperation with the Center’s efforts to resolve difference and/or to meet the child’s needs through parent/staff meetings or conferences.Inappropriate or abusive behavior and/ or verbal abuse or threats by parents, relatives, guardians or other parties toward the Center staff, other parents or children.The continued enrollment of the child poses a risk to the health and/ or safety of other children, parents or center staff members or continued enrollment of the child constitutes an undue burden on the Center’s resources.  If services are terminated for grades, your family will not be eligible to re-apply for services for a minimum of six months.  Re-application for services will be subject to review by the Child Care Services Committee.   Uniform Complaint Procedures Notice University of California Irvine, Child Care Services  It is the intent of the University of California Irvine, Child Care Services to fully comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Anyone has the right to file a complaint regarding the University of California Irvine, Child Care Services alleged violation of a statute or regulation that the California Department of Education is authorized to enforce.  This includes allegation of unlawful discrimination.  Complaints must be signed and filed in writing with: California Department of EducationChild Development DivisionComplaint Coordinator1430 N Street, Suite 3410Sacramento, CA 95814 If the complaint is not satisfied with the final written decision of the California Department of Education, remedies may be available in federal or state court. A person filing a written complaint alleging unlawful discrimination may also pursue civil remedies.