GRASP PARENT HANDBOOK

WHAT IS GRASP?

GRASP (Greenland Recreational After-School Program), is a community-based, non-profit corporation which operates a school age Childcare Program monitored by a Volunteer Board of Directors. The program has been in operation since 1985 and is located at Greenland Public School. Although priority is given to students from Greenland Public School, children from neighbouring schools are also eligible for inclusion in the program. The focus of GRASP is to work in harmony with the family, the community and the school to provide an enriched, stimulating and safe environment for the children. The program includes arts and crafts and a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. The program is designed to meet the needs of children and ensure that children not only acquire new skills, but also form a positive self-image.

PROGRAM STATEMENT

Our Mission

GRASP is committed to providing affordable non-profit childcare to our community through quality programing and qualified staff. Our mandate is to provide high quality childcare to our community, which is designed through pedagogy in a nurturing, child-focused environment at its core.

How Does Learning Happen?, Ontario's pedagogy for the early years is the foundation for our program. Pedagogy is the understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practices that support that understanding. Children succeed in programs that focus on active learning through exploration, play and inquiry. Children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential and thrive in programs where they and their families are valued as active participants and contributors

 

Foundations Goals for Children Expectations for Programs

Belonging

Every child has the sense of belonging when he/she is connected to others and contributes to his/her world

Cultivate respectful relationships and connections to create a sense of belonging among and between children, adults and the world around them.

Well-Being

Every child is developing a sense of self and health and well-being

Nurture children's healthy development and support their growing sense of self

Engagement

Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with her/his senses, bodies and minds

Provide environments and experiences to engage children in active, creative and meaningful exploration and learning

Expression

Every child is a capable communicator who is able to express himself/herself in many ways

Foster communication and expression in all forms

Our programs are fluid in design with activities to suit each child’s needs through child initiated and staff supported experiences. We believe that children of all ages should have a pedagogy choice. Founded on this principal, the intent is to strengthen the quality of programming and ensure high quality experiences that lead to a positive outcome for the children’s learning, development, health and wellbeing those aliens with How Does Learning Happen?

GOALS and APPROACHES

A. Promote the health, safety and well-being of children, families and educators

Patterns of eating and physical activity that are established in early childhood continue into later life.

B. Support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, child care providers and staff

GRASP encourages positive and responsive interactions among children, parents and staff. Families are experts on their own children and deserve to be engaged in a meaningful way that allows them to feel that they belong and are valued as GRASP families. Gaining knowledge about children from multiple perspectives helps ensure that programs also value the unique and diverse characteristics of the children’s families and the communities in which they live.

Strategies to Support and Strengthen Positive Interactions
Educators, children and parents are co-learners building on knowledge together. When we recognize and build on the strength of families and the love they have for their children, everyone benefits.

C. Encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate

Our staff creates engaging environments and experiences that foster positive interactions and encouraging ongoing communication among all children while keeping in mind their ability to self-regulate and individual needs. Self-regulation is about how a child is able to deal effectively with stressors and then recover. Educators support children`s developing ability to self-regulate by being responsive and attuned to children`s individual cues, arousal states, and responses to various stressors.

D. Foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry;
Evidence from diverse fields of study tells us that when children are playing, they are learning

Through play and inquiry, young children practice ways of learning and interacting with the world around them that they will apply throughout their lives. Playrooms are planned to allow for children to move freely from area to area

Supporting Healthy Development and Learning

E. Plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences;

Children are active rather than passive participants in their own learning process and are competent, capable and curious individuals with rich potentials. Understanding that each child develops at their own rate, we foster the child’s exploration and inquirer through play. Children grow up in families with diverse social, cultural and linguistic perspectives, knowing this we make it an integral part of our program to ensure each child feels that they belong at GRASP and that they are a valuable contributor to our program with the opportunity to succeed.

Every GRASP staff should feel that they belong and they are an integral and valuable contributor of our program. All staff deserves the opportunity to engage in meaningful work.

F. Plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported;

When educators have an understanding of child development, they are able to provide experiences that challenge children to stretch just beyond what they know and can do.

G. Incorporate indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time, into the day, and give consideration to the individual needs of the children receiving child care;

Children thrive in indoor and outdoor spaces that invite them to investigate, imagine, think, create, solve problems and make meaning from their experiences. GRASP incorporates on a daily basis time for indoor and outdoor play, as well as quiet and active opportunities, while taking into consideration the individual child and their needs

H. Foster the engagement of and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children

A shared view of families as competent and capable, curious and rich in experience informs our relationship with families and has a significant impact on children.

Educators engage in reciprocal relationships with families, learning about, with and from them. Educators share their professional knowledge and experiences and also seek out the knowledge and perspectives of families.

I. Involve local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff

Opportunities to engage with people, places, and the natural world in the local environment help children, families and educators, and communities build connections. GREASP seeks involvement from our local community partners and allow them to support our program, parents and staff.

J. Support staff, home child care providers or others who interact with the children at a child care centre or home child care premises in relation to continuous professional learning

We support our staff at GRASP by seeking out continuous professional learning opportunities and embracing by considering opportunities present to us. We believe our staff are knowledgeable, caring, resourceful and they too bring diverse social, cultural and linguistic perspectives. Educators are lifelong learners. Our staff are rich in experiences, competent and capable individuals that collaborate with others to create engaging environments and experiences. When educators engage in continuous learning and questioning, exploring new ideas and adjusting practices, they achieve the best outcomes for children, families and themselves.

K. Document and review the impact of the strategies set out in clauses (a) to (j) on the children and their families

Early years curriculum is the sum total of experiences, activities and events that occur within an inclusive environment designed to foster children`s well-being, learning, and development and ensure meaningful participation for every child.

GRASP is committed to continuous improvement and our Program Statement is a fluid document reviewed and amended to meet the needs of children, families and educators.

GRASP Program Statement is reviewed annually with all educators/staff or at such time the Program Statement is modified. Staff, students and volunteers review the Program Statement prior to interacting with the children.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD)

The GRASP Board of Directors oversees the operation and financial viability of GRASP and has the option to make decisions, changes and/or additions to the policies, procedures and financial operation of the program as the need arises.
To comply with the Bylaws of the Corporation and Board of Education Policy, the GRASP Board of Directors must consist of a minimum to five (5) members. An Executive will formed that will comprise: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Board Members usually serve a two-year term and receive no remuneration for their services. Two of the members must be past or present parent users of the Program. All parents whose child/children attend the GRASP program are members of the corporation and are eligible to run for the Board of Directors. Representatives from the community are also eligible for election.

The Directors are elected each year by the members of the corporation. Elections for Members (including the Executive) are held in the summer each year at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Corporation which current Board Members, GRASP staff and parents are expected to attend. Each family has one (1) vote.
Board Meetings are held once a month at Greenland Public School. The Executive Director (ED) of the program, who is responsible for the decisions governing the day-to-day operation of the program, also attends these meetings to present a review of activities/concerns over the past month, and discuss these with the Board. This process serves to check whether the objectives of the program are being met, as well as to provide an opportunity for the Board and the Executive Director (ED) to resolve matters of concern regarding the overall operation and financial viability of the program.

PARENT PARTICIPATION & COMMUNICATION

To facilitate ongoing parent involvement and communication, GRASP staff are available at the beginning and end of each day for short update on how their child day was. Parents can contact the Executive Director, to make an appointment to see him/her or staff when they are not in ratio, for more detailed information or discussion if they have any queries, problems or concerns regarding their child/children or the Program.

There is also a Parent Information Notice Board in each class with posted information regarding the Program's daily activities, weekly plans snack menus, Meeting Notices, etc.

The GRASP Board of Directors encourages input to running the program in a positive productive manner. Parents' questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome and can be relayed through the Executive Director, in writing to the Board The GRASP Executive Director annually issues a newsletter on behalf of the BOD which contains information about the Program's activities and plans, reminders of certain policies and practices of GRASP, notices of forthcoming events and other information. Parents can participate in the Program by helping with Fund-raising ventures, volunteering their time to help on trips, joining the Board, helping with Arts and Crafts programs or sharing any special skills or knowledge.

HOURS OF OPERATION

GRASP is a before and after school program which operates five (5) days per week, Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 9:00AM and 3:00 PM to 6.00 PM; 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM during the summer program. We provide full childcare during school PA days and during school Christmas and March Break. We are closed on the following holidays:

New Year's Day Easter Monday Civic Holiday Christmas Day
Family Day Victoria Day Labour Day Boxing Day
Good Friday Canada Day Thanksgiving  

Please note that on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve that GRASP closes at 2 pm

Parents will be reminded of these closures ahead of time, and notified in advance if GRASP must close any additional days due to Board of Education policy. Due to safety reasons, once your child’s class/group has left the center for a walk or field trip, staff is not permitted under any circumstances, to release or accept your child off of school property. You must drop off or pick up your child before or after the walk or outing.

GRASP services a number of school in the Don Mill community, GRASP is located in a Toronto District School Board school and follow the holidays, PA day and PD days as set out by the TDSB. If your child attends a school with non- instruction days that differ from the TDSB, we will not be able to accommodate children and busing on those days.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES

GRASP is licensed to admit children 5 1/2 –1 2 years of age, and has a capacity of 63 children, although GRASP only admits children from 5.5 to Grade 5 only as that is the age group of the children served at Greenland Public School. Special consideration will be given to children after grade 5 based on written request from the parent at the discretion of the Executive Director. Admission of new children is done by the Executive Director based on a waiting list established in accordance with the following priorities:

  1. Children attending Greenland Public School.
  2. Siblings of children currently enrolled in the Program.
  3. Children who live/attend school in the Greenland Public School attendance area.
  4. People who work or live in the Don Mills community.

Once a wait list form has been completed, your child/children’s names will be added to the waiting list in sequence to the date of application an in accordance with the above priority criteria and families will be notified once space becomes available. Your child/children’s space(s) is confirmed once all necessary forms and documentation is completed in full and fees are received.

REGISTRATION, FEES & DEPOSITS

Upon registration with the program, a non-refundable administration Fee of $25.00 (per child) is required along with a Deposit of 50% of the fees based on the full fee rate along with first month’s fees of care.
This deposit will be refunded after the child last day in care provided a minimum of one month notice is given in writing to the Executive Director and all balances are paid in full. Failure to provide this notice will result in forfeiture of the deposit. This deposit is required prior to a child placement into the program. There will be no reduction of fees for statutory holidays or occasional absences. Fees are subject to change. Parents shall be given one months’ notice of any fee changes. Summer Camp registrations are final and no refund will be given after the final commitment date of April 15.

The following is the fee schedule for G.R.A.S.P.:

If an account is past due after the 15th of the month the program may choose to withdraw your child unless you are otherwise notified. Please note that a $20.00 administration charge will be applied for N.S.F. cheques. Parents will be required to resubmit a certified cheque with the penalty charges added. Should your child be removed from the Program for any reason and then re-admitted a re-registration fee applies
All fees are payable by post-dated cheque, dated for the 1st of each month and sufficient for the entire school year. Cheques must be submitted to the Executive Director (ED) on the day your child/children commence care. Please make all cheques payable to “G.R.A.S.P.”. Income tax receipts will be issued before the end of February. A family that has more than one child in the Program will be given a 5% discount for the second and subsequent children. This is for full fee families only.

Effective January 1, 2009, each child with a fee subsidy is allowed up to 35 absent days per calendar year. The parent/guardian is responsible for the assessed fees set out by subsidy. If the child is absent for more than 35 days, the parent/guardian is responsible for paying the full cost of care. Statutory holidays will be excluded from the 35 days. Requests for additional days of absence, beyond the 35 allowable days may be approved by the city though the appeal process. Appeals will be considered for exceptional cases only, such as when a child has a documented special need or serious illness. Consequently, GRASP is requiring that you pay a two week’s full fee deposit (175) once your child has been absent 30 days. If and when you reach the 35 days the center will start to deduct your fees from you deposit and request a further deposit if necessary. GRASP has the right to cancel care for your child if you refuse to pay the deposit or daily fee promptly. Please note subsidy only allows 20 day of consecutive absences.

ADMISSIONS & WITHDRAWAL

Prior to enrolling a child into GRASP, the Executive Director will a schedule meetings with parents/guardians. Prior to admission, the Executive Director and parents will discuss all aspects of the daily program. These discussions will help determine if the program meets the families and child’s needs. Executive Director will meet the parents/guardians with their child/ren for a tour of GRASP. Subsequently parents will be given Center’s Enrollment package to fill out at home and GRASP’s Client Handbook to read and sign. Executive Director will meet with the parent/guardian in order to review and complete enrollment package.

This includes:

During both meetings parents/guardians may ask questions regarding the placement and the GRASP.

GRASP supports the inclusion of children with extra support needs; however, in the event that the center exceeds the natural proportion of children with extra support needs to the extent that it impacts service delivery, the Executive Director may not be able to admit additional children with extra support needs.

GRASP requires 30 day WRITTEN NOTICE be given to the Executive Director prior to a child being withdrawn from the Program. Notice will apply from the date the Executive director received the notice. Fees will be prorated as needed. Once this letter is submitted the notice is final. Parents failing to give thirty 30 day notice are subject to payment in lieu of notice from the date of notice of withdrawal. Failure to submit proper notice will result in a forfeit of the deposit

Once enrolled, if the program is having difficulty supporting the child’s needs, staff will work with the family and support services to ensure that a child's extra support needs are met. However it may be determined that the program is not an appropriate placement for this child. This decision will be discussed in consultation with the parents, the Executive Director, Board of Directors and may involve the Children Services Consultant and Special Needs Resourcing Services. It is recognized that all parties may not be in agreement however GRASP will make every effort within the centre's capacity to support the family in making suitable alternative arrangements.

The procedures will include:

Parents/Guardians must agree to work together to meet the child's needs. Services may be recommended and advised to be put in place by the resource consultant within a timely manner. Parents/Guardians must agree to be involved by attending any required meeting and providing input. As parent you will always have the final decision, but keeping an open mind and positive communication is key. Together we all will determine the individual child’s needs and lay out an action plan.

Parents will be notified when the recommendation for withdrawal is given to the Board and the parents will be able to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors in order to put their position forward. In special cases the Board reserves the right to have a child withdrawn immediately.

GRASP reserves the right to withdraw a family from care with 2 weeks’ notice, if the parent(s) do not fully carry out the parental responsibilities as set out in the Parent Agreement, and parental code of conduct; such as interferes with and disruptive behaviour within the program, or daily operations of the centre; or behaviour that is harassing, intimidating, or of an abusive nature to staff, other parents and/or the children of the centre

ACCESS, EQUITY & INCLUSION

GRASP upholds and supports the right to equal access to the program without discrimination and regardless of ethnic origin, race, creed (religion), abilities/disabilities, family and/or socio-economic status. GRASP aims to include all children within our program and services including those children requiring extra support or having special needs. Our full access, equity and inclusion policy is available in the GRASP Policies and Procedures manual.

GRASP is committed to excellence in serving all clients including people with disabilities. We are committed to ensuring that participants and/or their parents/guardians with disabilities receive accessible programs and services with the same quality and time lines as others do, wherever possible. GRASP supports the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all our programs and services as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), 2001 and the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT & RESPONSE

In the event of a major emergency or evacuation GRASP will relocate to;

Don Mills Collegiate
15 The Donway East
416-395-3190

Requirements regarding communications with parents

GRASP is required to follow Toronto District School Board required procedure along with Child Care Quality Assurance, Licensing Early Learning Division Ministry of Education and Toronto Children Services. When calling the parents, they will be informed of their child safety, the location where they can pick up. Detailed of the emergency will not be discussed until the debriefing for parents.

Debriefing After the Emergency

Parents will be debriefed after the emergency via email from the Board of Directors or the Executive Director of the Program. Information such as what happened? and steps to move forward will be included.

How to resume normal operations

Depending of the severity of damage, GRASP will make every effort to resume normal operations of the program. Mitigating factors that will have to be taken into consideration are:

Children and staff safety, Property damage, Relocation requirements as per Child Care Quality Assurance, Licensing Early
Learning Division Ministry of Education and Toronto Children Services.

PART-TIME SPACES

Part-time care will be available at the discretion of the Executive Director (ED) and the Board of Directors, subject to availability.

SUMMER CAMP

During the months of July & August, the temporary admittance of summer campers, subject to the availability of space, shall be permitted. The summer program weekly fee will apply to all temporary summer campers along with the annual registration fee.

WAIT LIST POLICY

GRASP maintains an ongoing waiting list for families that have children that attend Greenland Public School, as well as other schools within the Don Mills Community.Once a waitlist registration form has been filled out, your child(ren)'s names will be added to the waiting list in sequence according to the date of application and using the following criteria:

If your child is granted a spot based on the centers needs and limitations, families (both subsidized and full fee) will be required to pay a $25 registration fee per child, 2 week deposit and the first month's fee. If the start date is not at the beginning of a given month, the first month's fee will be prorated. The two week deposit will be applied to the family's last month fees once 30 DAYS WRITTEN withdrawal notice has been given. (See withdrawal policy)While we will make every effort to accommodate your child by the date that care is needed we cannot guarantee that a space will be available. Parents may request an update about their child's status on the waitlist in person or by phone. Information will only be shared with the parent whose names appear on the waitlist. GRASP will not share information with third party agencies. The visible wait list will be available to see in person. The Staff will cover the names of other children on the list to ensure confidentiality

SAFE ARRIVAL/DROP-OFF

If your child is sick, late, or will not be in that day, GRASP must be notified by 2:30 by telephoning 416-444-7427. On days we have outing and are leaving the premises, all children must be at the center half 1⁄2 hour prior to departure to ensure the sign in process and trip procedure can take place without rush, risk and to ensure safety for the program as a whole.

Children attending GRASP from Greenland Public School:

As we are located on the Greenland Public School property, children attending GRASP’ will be sent to the program once school has ended. If a child has not arrived at the program with in 10 min of the dismissal bell, the staff will check with the school administration for the child’s whereabouts.

If the child was absent from school for the day, the child will be mark absent from GRASP and parent will not be called.

If the child was present during school hours and did not report to GRASP the staff member will call the Executive Director (ED) or designate and inform them of the situation and advise the school that the child did not report to GRASP. It will be the school’s responsibility to take responsibility as they were the last legal supervisors of the child.

A courtesy call will be made to inform the parents that the child has not reported to the program and advised to contact the school.

Children attending GRASP from Don Mills Middle School:

Parents of children attending Don Mills Middle School will be required to sign a “Permission to Walk from School Unaccompanied” form. Children will be expected to arrive no later than 3:30pm. If a child has not arrived by this time, the parents must be called. Staff will attempt to call parent 3 times on each phone number on file. (ex. work, home, cell and /or emergency contact). Staff will attempt to contact the school as well. If the child whereabouts are unknown the serious occurrence steps for missing child will be followed.

Children attending GRASP by school bus:

Staff will await for the school buses according to their arrival times as outlined by the parents. Buses will be given a 15-20 minute leeway. After 15-20 minutes, the following emergency steps will occur.

Step 1 call school and bus company to find out if bus is late and child is on the bus
Step 2 call parents on each # in file at least 3 times, including emergency contact

If the child's whereabouts are still unknown or contact with parents can not be made with in 30 min, police will be notifies and serious occurrence steps for missing child will be followed and police will be called. They will then take over the attempt to locate the child. The situation will also be reported to the Ministry of Education, as well as to the City of Toronto Children Services as a Serious Occurrence. (Please see the Serious Occurrence section of the handbook).

Outdoor Time for Before- and After-School Programs

As per the Early Year and Child Care Act 2014, before and after school programs must have outdoor time for at least 30 minutes included each day, weather permitting and safety conditions apply. Please ensure your child is appropriately dress for the weather and has the appropriate clothing (rain boots, hats, glove, coats) All children will be expected to participate in outdoor activities.

Trips and Going off Site

GRASP is an active program with outdoor and indoor activities. Our program consists of regular trips off premises during the summer and non-instructional days. We expect all our children to put their best foot forward and behavior appropriately to the environment we are in. We are extremely lucky to have access to the school yard and fields that include a baseball diamond, basketball court and a soccer fields that leads in to the valley, with a world of explorations and fun to be had.

All Students are expected to be on side at least half hour prior to departure of all trips and off site adventures. All children who are not here half hour prior to departure will not be accepted into the program. The reason for this is to ensure all safety measures have been executed in a proper manor. Once the group leaves the center for a walk or field trip staff is not permitted, under any circumstances, to release or accept your child. You must drop off or pick up your child before or after the outing on Greenland property.

Each child must be accompanied by an adult to and from the GRASP. Staff must be notified and made aware that your child has arrived. Verbal contact must be made. When parents pick up their children they must alert the staff that they are leaving the GRASP . Verbal contact must be made. At this point the center is no longer responsible for that child.

Children must be escorted to their room and the parent must acknowledge to the teacher that the child is present. (Do not leave children without supervision this is extremely unsafe). A child will only be released to a parent or guardian. Both parents/guardians have the right to see or to pick- up their child unless there is a written Court Order submitted (prohibiting this) to the Centre.

DAILY DEPARTURE/PICK-UP AND LATE FEES

It is the parent’s responsibility to notify GRASP staff if your child is to be picked up earlier or later than the usual time. Parents are advised to make every effort to pick up their child on time, especially during a storm or inclement weather, as staffs also need to get home to their families. Parents are encouraged to pick up their child by 5:45p.m. so that the center can close promptly at 6:00 p.m. If you are on premises after 6 pm you are considered late and late fees will apply.

GRASP clocks are set to Eastern Standard Time and parents are encouraged to set their watches to match the portable clock. If there is one late pick up a verbal reminder of the policy will be given to parents from staff. Two late pickups, parents will be contacted by the Director via email and asked to make arrangements for someone else to pick up their child. If there are more than two late pickups in a month, the parents will be contacted by Director and asked to find a solution to the late pickups or a more suitable daycare arrangement. Failure to pay late fees to staff within 5 days or make a payment plan and adhere to it, may result in suspension from the program. no rebate on regular fees for the time your child is absent.

Parents who are late picking up their children will be charged a LATE FEE of $10.00 for the first 10 minutes or part thereof after 6:00 PM payable directly to the Program staff in cash. After the first 10 minutes, a charge of $1.00 per minute will be payable. Parents are required to sign the late form and adhere to the policy.

Note: Parents of the child are liable for any late fees owed. If a designated person of your choice picks up late and acquires a late fee, you, the parent, are responsible to pay this fee to the childcare staff on duty. Parents are responsible to collect this fee from a designated person if they wish, NOT THE CHILD CARE! If we do not receive a call from a parent by 6:00pm the following procedure will be followed:

If your child is not picked up by 6:00pm, and no parent/guardian or emergency contacts can be reached, GRASP staffs are legally obligated, under The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) 1999, to report the matter to Children’s Aid Society of Toronto after an hour at 7:00 pm

Children will not be released in taxis or sent home with any persons except those designated. Arrangements can be made to allow another adult to pick up a child, providing that the centre receives written notice or verbal permission. Proper photo identification will be required at time of pick up by anyone at any time including parents or legal guardian. A telephone call is acceptable if the parent’s voice can be identified on the telephone. People who are picking up MUST BE of legal age (18 years of age or older). GRASP is required to release children to either Parent, unless a Court Order indicating otherwise is provided.

SUPERVISION

All staff is to ensure that every child who is in attendance is supervised by a paid staff member. No child is to be left supervised by a person less than 18 years of age. Students and volunteers are not permitted to be left alone with a child at any time and are never in staffing ratios.

TEMPORARALY UNSUPERVISED/ LEAVING THE ROOM

Children from time to time require going to the washroom or to their belongings hanging by the hooks. GRASP will allow children to go to use the facilities or put stuff away in their bags with the conditions that they MUST ask permission to leave the room, write their name on the board/attendance and take a buddy with them. Any child not back within a reasonable time (10 min max) Staff will go seek out their whereabouts. If a staff is unable to leave their post, they must radio for another staffs assistance or take the children with them.

HEALTH POLICY

The child's Immunization Record must be provided and the Executive Director (ED) informed of immunization updates so the record can be kept up to date.

Children that are sick should not attend GRASP for their own protection, the protection of other children and staff. Any child who is too sick to participate in any indoor or outdoor activities must not attend. When a child is ill and cannot attend, GRASP staff should be informed by phone.

Any communicable diseases such as strep throat, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough must be reported to GRASP as soon as possible so that we can notify other parents and take proper precautionary measures. It is the best interest of everyone that your child stays home and seeks a doctor’s advice when he/she has one of the following symptoms: a cold, sore throat, ear-ache, discharge from eyes and ears, swollen neck glands, unexplained rash and skin eruptions or any communicable diseases. In these cases, the child can return to GRASP accompanied by a doctor’s note stating that the child is ready to come back and is not contagious. GRASP staff has the right to refuse care to a child who is too sick to be at GRASP. Public health regulations take priority in any communicable disease situation, as we must follow proper procedure. These procedures may not necessarily concur with the doctor’s advice. A fever is the body’s way to fight off infection or virus. Therefore, children with a fever (101.3 F or 38.5C) must not attend GRASP for their protection, the protection of other children and staff.

If a child should become sick while at GRASP, exhibiting signs of illness, excessive diarrhea and/or fever, parents will be called to pick up their child as soon as possible. Parents will be notified upon the first loose bowel movement and vomiting and will be asked to pick up the child upon the second one. In the case of diarrhea or fever, a child can return to GRASP 24 hours after the symptoms disappear. If a child has a fever of 101.3 F and 38.5C or more the parent of the child will be notified. In this case the child can return to GRASP 24 hours after the symptoms disappear. It is advisable that parents prepare and arrange for an alternate or emergency person who could pick up your child when you are unable to.

As part of the Parent Agreement the Parent agrees to pick up their child or have the child picked up by an authorized person within one (1) hour after having been notified by telephone by GRASP Staff.

WATER SAFETY

In accordance with the Ministry regulations, Grasp is prohibited from the use of and access to all standing bodies of water (e.g. ponds) and recreational in-ground / above-ground swimming, portable / “kiddie” / inflatable wading-type, and hydro-massage pools, hot tubs, and spas.

GRASP may use a public pool that is a “Class B” pool as defined in Regulation 565 and where:

CHANGE OF TELEPHONE NO./ADDRESS OR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT

It is extremely important to inform GRASP of any telephone and/or address change at home or at work and also provide an up-to-date telephone number where you can be reached in the case of an Emergency.

ACCIDENTS

An Accident Report will be filled out by GRASP staff for all accidents outlining the circumstances of the accident, and any first aid treatment given. The report will be discussed with the parent upon pick up and any major accidents require a courtesy call to parents to inform them of what happened. The parent will be asked to acknowledge by signing the Accident Report and a copy will be kept on file.

MEDICINES & MEDICAL NEEDS

Only designated ECE staff are allowed to administer medication to the children, in accordance with the instructions on the label and the Parent/Guardian Authorization Form. If prescription medication is to be administered to a child it must be in its original prescription container clearly labeled with the child’s name, the doctor’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage required to be administered, the expiry date and instructions for storage and administration. Medication will not be given to a child in milk or within food. A Parent/Guardian Authorization Form must be filled out by the parent/guardian of a child for each new prescription before medication can be administered. The parent/guardian must give their child’s ECE staff specific, written instructions consistent with the prescription including a written schedule for the administration of the medicine and a signed authorization form provided by GRASP.

BEHAVIOUR GUIADANCE

At G.R.A.S.P., the Staff provides a kind, understanding atmosphere involving methods and attitudes that help produce self-control and self-direction. In doing this the Staff meet all the requirements set out in the Child Behaviour Guidance Policy, specified by Child Care and Early Years Act , 2014 and Children's Services, which states that children should be encouraged to verbalize their aggression rather than resort to physical action, but they also need to know it is necessary to live with restrictions and limitations. When a conflict arises, children are sometimes unable to express their emotions. At such times their attention needs to be redirected. If a child does resort to physical aggression/violence, and another child is involved, both children should be taken aside and the situation should be discussed with them so they may gain an understanding of the problem. The staff provides help in directing behaviour in ways that are acceptable to others. We feel that our major goal in the area of discipline is self-control; helping the child take steps toward responsible self-direction. All staff is required to use positive discipline methods. Disciplinary action will take the form of positive guidance, re-direction and the establishment of well-defined limits which will occur at the time of the incident.

In accordance with by Child Care and Early Years Act , 2014, the center will not permit, practice or inflict any form of the Prohibited Practices listed below :
The following are unacceptable behaviour management strategies and are not permitted at any time under any circumstances;

The following methods of direct and indirect discipline will be used:

  1. Redirecting (suggesting an alternative activity/space)
  2. Using positive statements (‘ I need you to sit on the chair’ instead of ‘stop standing on the chair’)
  3. Choices and Logical Consequences (i.e. Lose the privilege of the activity for the day)
  4. Reasoning
  5. Positive Feedback (‘way to go’, ‘good for you’, 'keep up the good work’)

PERSONAL BELONGINGS/TOYS

GRASP is not responsible for the loss or breakage of any personal belongings or toys brought to GRASP. These are the responsibility of the parents and the child/children. All such items should be clearly marked with the child/children's full name. We ask that except for pecial days (check calendar/notice) that you refrain from bringing toys from home.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTSREGARDING SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE

The Child and Family Services Act (Section 72)

Duty to Report

In accordance with the Child and Family Services Act, it is the responsibility of every person in Ontario, including a person who performs professional or official duties with respect to children, to immediately report to a Children's Aid Society if s/he suspects that child abuse has occurred or if a child is at risk of abuse. This includes any operator or employee of a day nursery. An individual's responsibility to report cannot be delegated to anyone else.

Children Aid Society 416-924-4646
Catholic Children Aid Society 416-395-1500
Jewish Children Aid Society 416-638-7800
Native Child and Family Services 416-969-8510

SERIOUS ACCIDENT/ OCCURRENCES

All licensed child care programs are responsible for delivering services that promote the health, safety and well-being of children. Child care operators are accountable to the public and the ministry to demonstrate that their services are consistent with relevant legislation, regulation and policies

A serious occurrence is defined under the CCEYA as:

In a situation that is considered a serious occurrence, a report will be completed and signed and submitted to the licensing authorities as a form of notification.

PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAM

The GRASP Program incorporates a variety of activities to meet the physical, intellectual and emotional needs of the child/children. If a child is unable to participate in all facets of the Program the parent(s) should discuss the circumstances with the Director. Special consideration may be granted at the directors’ discretion.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Our GRASP will not release information about families and children enrolled to anyone. Confidentiality is followed in order to respect families’ privacy. Staff and management and the Board of Directors understand that they will receive and have access to confidential information about children and their families. They agree to keep this information in the strictest confidence. Parents sign a consent form as part of the registration package to consent to sharing information with school, staff of the GRASP and the resource staff consultant.

Complaint and Conflict Resolution

The purpose of this policy is to provide a transparent process for parents/guardians, the child care licensee and staff to use when parents/guardians bring forward issues/concerns. This policy does not reflect situations of discrimination, harassment and/or sexual harassment. A distinct policy exists for problems of that nature.

The needs of children and all members of the organization must be taken into account in the operation of GRASP at all times. Issues, concerns or problems may arise, from time to time, that require attention and resolution. The policy is to facilitate problem resolution as quickly as possible with due regard to the rights and responsibilities of those involved. It is the responsibility of the individual who has a complaint to initiate the process of resolution.

Procedures for initiating problem resolution and for lodging formal complaints are outlined below.

The Board of Directors is responsible for final decisions of complaints that are not resolved prior to being presented to the Board. Parents/guardians are encouraged to take an active role in our child care centre and regularly discuss what their child(ren) are experiencing with our program. As supported by our program statement, we support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents/guardians, child care providers and staff, and foster the engagement of and ongoing communication with parents/guardians about the program and their children. All issues and concerns raised by parents/guardians are taken seriously by GRASP and will be addressed. Every effort will be made to address and resolve issues and concerns to the satisfaction of all parties and as quickly as possible.

Issues/concerns may be brought forward verbally or in writing. Responses and outcomes will be provided verbally, or in writing upon request. The level of detail provided to the parent/guardian will respect and maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved. An initial response to an issue or concern will be provided to parents/guardians within 2-5 business day(s). The person who raised the issue/concern will be kept informed throughout the resolution process. Investigations of issues and concerns will be fair, impartial and respectful to parties involved.

Complaints Addressed to Staff

Discussions between parents and staff members must take place at an appropriate time and location, where confidentiality can be adhered to and the program will not be disturbed. The first priority for staff members on program as per the Child Care Early Years Act is supervising the children at all times. Anyone who has a concern or any parents, who would like to discuss an aspect of the program or their children’s progress, is invited to call the Centre to set up an appointment for a meeting. Staff members on program are not to be removed from supervising the children under any circumstances.

Complaints Addressed to the Executive Director

If a parent feels that staff does not adequately resolve his/her concerns, they then must approach the Executive Director or designate. Staff may direct the parent to the Executive Director if they feel that they are unable to solve the matter or if the matter should be addressed at management level. The Executive Director will contact the person who made the “complaint,” investigate the specifics of the “complaint” and make every effort to resolve the issue within 2-5 days. All communication will be documented and placed on file in GRASP office. If, after addressing the issue with the Executive Director, the parent continues to feel that the complaint has not been resolved, he/she may ask, in writing, for the matter to be brought to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director may also advise the parent that the matter must go to the Board if the parent is not satisfied with the actions or response of the Executive Director. The complaint may be addressed at the next scheduled Board meeting or if deemed urgent by the Executive Director, the matter will be brought to the President of the Board

Complaints about the Executive Director

Complaints that involve the Executive Director should be made to the President of the Board of Directors in writing and may be placed in the mail box next to the portable door. The person making the complaint must include a phone number or other form of communication. The President will contact the Executive Director and try to resolve the complaint or if needed inform the rest of the Board of Directors. A written response will be provided to the person who made the complaint within two weeks.

Escalation of Issues or Concerns /Complaints Addressed to the Board of Directors

Complaints made to the Board of Directors must be made in writing. The Board, collectively with the Executive Director, will make every effort to resolve the issue(s). During the course of discussion with the person making the complaint, the President or any Board member must remain neutral and ensure that the outcome suggested remains undetermined until the Board of Directors has met and a relevant resolution is passed. The Board of Directors will contact a Legal Counsel if deemed necessary.

A written statement providing the outcome of the Board’s decision will be delivered promptly to the person who issued the complaint within 2 week following the Board meeting.

Confidentiality

Every issue and concern will be treated confidentially and every effort will be made to protect the privacy of parents/guardians, children, staff, students and volunteers, except when information must be disclosed for legal reasons (e.g. to the Ministry of Education, College of Early Childhood Educators, law enforcement authorities or a Children’s Aid Society).

Conduct

Our centre maintains high standards for positive interaction, communication and role-modeling for children. Harassment and discrimination will therefore not be tolerated from any party. If at any point a parent/guardian, provider or staff feels uncomfortable, threatened, abused or belittled, they may immediately end the conversation and report the situation to the Executive Director and/or licensee.

Concerns about the Suspected Abuse or Neglect of a child

Everyone, including members of the public and professionals who work closely with children, is required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. If a parent/guardian expresses concerns that a child is being abused or neglected, the parent will be advised to contact the local Children’s Aid Society (CAS) directly.

Persons who become aware of such concerns are also responsible for reporting this information to CAS as per the “Duty to Report” requirement under the Child and Family Services Act

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

Nature of Issue or Concern

Steps for Parent and/or Guardian to Report Issue/Concern:

Steps for responding to issue/concern:

Program Room-Related
E.g: schedule, indoor/outdoor
program activities, etc.

Raise the issue or concern to
- the classroom staff directly
or
- the Executive Director. for immediate attention. The Board of Directors will provide a written response to the parent or person making the complaint within two weeks of the Board meeting.

- Address the issue/concern at the time it is raised
or
- Arrange for a meeting with the parent/guardian within 2-5 business days.

Document the issues/concerns in detail.
Documentation should include:
- the date and time the issue/concern was received;
- the name of the person who received the issue/concern;
- the name of the person reporting the issue/concern;
- the details of the issue/concern; and
- any steps taken to resolve the issue/concern and/or information given to the parent/guardian regarding next steps or referral.

Provide contact information for the Executive Director if the person being notified is unable to address the matter.

Ensure the Executive Director is informed of the issue/concern within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.

Ensure the investigation of the issue/concern is initiated within 3-5 business days or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.

Document reasons for delays in writing. Provide a resolution or outcome to the parent(s)/guardian(s) who raised the issue/concern.

General, Centre- or Operations-Related
E.g: child care fees, hours of operation, staffing, waiting lists, menus, etc.

Raise the issue or concern to
- the Executive Director

Staff, Executive Director-, and/or Licensee-Related

Raise the issue or concern to
- the individual directly
or
- the Executive Director.

All issues or concerns about the conduct of staff, that puts a child’s health, safety and well-being at risk should be reported to the Executive Director as soon as parents/guardians become aware of the situation.

Student- / Volunteer-Related

Raise the issue or concern to
- the staff responsible for supervising the volunteer or student
or
- the Executive Director.

All issues or concerns about the conduct of students and/or volunteers that puts a child’s health, safety and well-being at risk should be reported to the Executive Director as soon as parents/guardians become aware of the situation.

Issues/concerns related to compliance with requirements set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act., 2014 and Ontario Regulation 137/15 should be reported to the Ministry of Education’s Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch.

Issues/concerns may also be reported to other relevant regulatory bodies (e.g. local public health department, police department, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Labour, fire department, College of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario College of Teachers, College of Social Workers etc.) where appropriate

BUSSING

Given your written permission annually, GRASP will ensure your child is put on and received from the community school bus when it arrives at Greenland Public School Monday to Friday, not including PA Days, school holidays or days the school is not operational.

GRASP will not be accountable or responsible for the safety of your child when he/she is on the bus or if your child does not arrive on the bus. GRASP will only assume responsibility for your child once he/she has been received from the bus in the afternoon.

GRASP staff will wait for the school buses according to their arrival times as outlined by the parents. Buses will be given a 15-20 minute leeway. After 15-20 minutes, the following emergency steps will occur.

Step 1 call bus company to find out if bus is late and child is on the bus
Step 2 call parents on each # in file at least 3 times, including emergency contact

if the child's whereabouts are still unknown or contact with parents can not be made with in 30 min, police will be notifies and serious occurrence steps for missing child will be followed

GRASP staff will accompany your child to school in a taxi if the bus is missed or does not show up by 9:00am. With your annual written consent and agreement of the policy

If your child misses the bus and it is because GRASP staff was negligent in getting them to the bus at the schedules pick up time, GRASP will absorb all costs in getting my child to school in a taxi. Full responsibility for the cost of the taxi or staff fees after 9:00am if the bus does not show up at the scheduled time and no notification was given to GRASP to make alternate accommodations will lays with the parents.

GRASP will make any and every effort to resolve any situation at minimal disruption to the day for parents and the program. Please be courteous and advise your child’s school and bus company that your child attends GRASP and that We should be notified of any change or delay in the busing schedule as soon as possible, although intimately it is the parents responsibility to notify GRASP of any changes in schedule and of any absence by 2:30 pm.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Introduction

Definitions

“Harassment” is a form of discrimination and is defined in this policy as any course of conduct or comment that is related to any of the discriminatory grounds contained in the Ontario Human Rights Code. These grounds include race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offenses, marital status, same-sex partnership status, family status, religion, sex, physical or mental disability; and is offensive to any person; and is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome.

Examples of harassment include:

Guiding Principles

  1. GRASP does not tolerate any harassment, violence or unsafe behaviour.
  2. All members of the GRASP community are entitled to be treated with respect.
  3. Everyone has a responsibility to resolve conflicts in a civil and respectful manner.
  4. Everyone is expected to resolve conflicts without using aggression.
  5. Everyone should be aware of their rights and accept responsibility to protect their rights and the rights of others.

Standards of Behaviour
All members of the GRASP community (children, parents, and staff) must:

Enforcement of Code of Conduct

Depending on the severity of the conduct and the number of past similar occurrences, disciplinary action may call for any of four corrective steps:

Resource support, written warning, suspension, or withdraw from the program. Except for withdrawal from the program, any step of the disciplinary procedure may be bypassed or repeated more than once, if necessary, at the Director’s discretion.

Informal Resolution:

Depending upon the severity of the conduct, staff will firmly state that the behaviour is note tolerated according to the Code of Conduct listed herein. The expectation is that with a reminder of the Code of Conduct, the behaviour will not be repeated and the process will be resolved.

Should the process not be resolved a formal complaint will be made.
If the incident has happened on more than one occasion or is serious is nature, a formal complaint will be made.

Formal Complaint:

The Director will discuss the incident with the parent. During this initial call, the Director will provide verbal information containing details of the incident(s) (i.e. what occurred, when it occurred, where it occurred and why it is unacceptable). Complaints will be dealt with in a confidential and expeditious manner. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the process to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances.

Progressive Discipline Stages

Our progressive discipline policy is based upon a 4 stage system as follows:

Stage 1: Resource support

When incidences have occurs that warrants resource support under this policy, the Director will bring the incident to the parents/persons attention.
The Director and the parent/person will discuss the concerns and agree on action plan.
The Director is expected to follow-up with the parent/person and resource worker to ensure the action plan is effective and the desired results are achieved. If the desired changes or results are not achieved after a reasonable period of time, then a Written Warning may be implemented.

Stage 2: Written Warning

Written warnings are used for behaviour or violations which a Executive Director considers serious or where a resource support has not helped to change unacceptable behaviour (or has not be implemented by the parent). The parent/person will be given a letter indicating the severity of the problem, expected course of action by the parent and/or child, and the consequences of any future violations (e.g., suspension, withdrawal). The Director will inform a board member of the letter being issued.

Stage 3: Suspension

Suspensions will be implemented when Written Warning has not resulted in behaviour change or there has been failure to comply to the actions listed in the Written Warning. The suspension will be given with conditions to return to the program. The fact that a suspension has been imposed will be confirmed in writing to the parent/person and placed in the file related to the person. A Board member must sign the letter along with the Director.

For serious misconduct, earlier progressive discipline stages may be bypassed and suspension may be imposed. The parent/person will be given a letter confirming the fact that the suspension has been imposed, the severity of the misconduct, expected course of action of the parent and/or child, and the consequences of any future violations.

Stage 4: Withdrawal

Withdrawal from GRASP resulting from progressive discipline is typically implemented when serious safety concerns are present, behaviours occurred on multiple occasions, refusal to seek support as indicated in a course of action following a disciplinary matter, or when the use of discipline has failed to change behaviour. The following page contains a working document to assist the Director and staff in determining whether suspension is an appropriate or necessary consequence.