The purpose of this handbook is to keep you informed regarding the details which concern you and your child as a member of Gibraltar Point Day Nursery. After reading this handbook, please complete the Parent Application form and return to the Supervisor.
Welcome to Gibraltar Point Day Nursery. We have been in operation since 1982. We are a Government licensed, nonprofit corporation with the capacity for 24 full time children, ages 2-½ - 5 years. Our Nursery is located in and affiliated with the Island /,.Public/Natural Science School on Hanlan’s Point, Toronto Island. We are run by a Parent Board of Directors along with a fully qualified Supervisor and two Early Childhood Educators as well as, an occasional teacher, all of whom implement and run an excellent Early Childhood Program. Our Program has been highly commended by Government Inspectors as well as by Program Consultants from the Toronto District School Board.
Because of our natural setting, Gibraltar Point Day Nursery is unique from any other Centre. We have a whole Island for our children to explore and learn from. We are proud that our children think of Gibraltar Point Day Nursery as a warm and happy home away from home. Our philosophy is one of freedom with limits based on positive reinforcement. We offer each child the opportunity:
· to be and feel secure, safe and happy in an atmosphere, especially created to help a child develop to his/her full potential
· to participate in a balanced program covering the areas of intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth
· to experience activities which are at times structured to provide for guidance and are at times unstructured to allow for free individual expression
· to develop a positive self-image through appropriate and challenging experiences
· to learn self-discipline, positive work habits and independence through encouragement
· to develop a positive self-image through a relaxed, supportive climate, where each child is loved and valued for himself/herself
Our Nursery offers the following Program:
· full daycare 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Including
· Lunch and morning and afternoon snacks.
· program to complement the Junior and Senior Kindergarten Program offered at the Island Public/Natural Science School
· Our staff will provide an escort service to and from the City ferry docks for full day Senior Kindergartens only if we are not full to capacity.
Our Program consists of a variety of stimulating activities which help in developing each individual child’s social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth. These activities include:
Music, creative art, creative dance, body movements, pre-math and language concepts, cognitive activities, sand and water tables, family centre, library time, films, field trips, special events within the public school (such as concerts and plays).
Our Program is posted once a month in the “Gibraltar Pointer” news letter.
OBSERVATION AND PROGRAMMING
During the school year, we observe the children on a continuous basis. Our observations aid us in two ways. One is to shape our Program based on the individual child’s needs. The other is to help us communicate to the parents how we feel each child is developing and progressing in our setting. If you have any questions regarding your child and/or our observation methods, please feel free to contact us at any time. As your child enters Junior Kindergarten, his/her new teacher may find it helpful if we pass on information regarding your child’s progress.
Parents are always welcome to visit the Nursery at anytime. We do, however, ask that you come strictly to observe (as in the case of specific concerns), or that you become a part of our Program by sharing something of yourself with the children. In the past, parents have gardened with the children, brought musical instruments, or showed the children how to diaper a baby. Everyone has something to share.
Parents are asked to walk your child on the ferry boat where staff will be waiting to escort your child on a ten (10) minute ferry boat ride to Ward’s Island where the school bus will be waiting to shuttle the children to the school.
Attendance is taken upon arrival and departure from Gibraltar Point Day Nursery.
Parents should insure that the staff on duty is aware of your child’s arrival or departure from the ferry docks.
HOURS AND ESCORT
Gibraltar Point Day Nursery is in operation from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Our staff will escort your child to and from the City ferry docks (west side of docks).
Parents must always be on time when dropping off or picking up their children. Buses and ferries will not wait past their scheduled times. Remember that it is upsetting for the children and inconvenient for staff members to have to wait at the ferry docks for late parents. If you are late picking up your child and, after two (2) written warnings, there will be an additional charge of $1.00 for each minute you are late. The fees must be paid directly to the staff on duty. It is extremely important that parents contact the staff regarding any changes in their child’s escorting schedule, or if someone who we are not familiar with will be picking up their child. We would also appreciate a call if your child is going to be absent.
HOURS AND ESCORT
Escort services for Island children Escort service for city children
8:30 a.m. pick up - ferry docks 8:45 a.m. pick up - Ward’s Island
3:50 p.m. drop off - Ward’s Island 4:30 p.m. drop off - ferry docks
Parents are to call the Nursery and notify staff when your child will be arriving at the Island. Parents are to escort their child to the Island and drop them off on the school bus. Arrangements will be made for a bus to pick up from the ferry boat dock area to the School/Nursery
FERRY BOAR SCHEDULES
Please be advised of the seasonal ferry boat schedules.
The fall schedule begins after Labour Day, the winter schedule usually begins after Thanksgiving and the summer schedule begins after Victoria Day. Unexpected weather may cause delay or ferry break downs. If you feel that the weather may cause an unexpected delay prior to arriving in the morning you may call the ferry services at (416) 392-8193 (recording) or (416) 392-8194 for traffic office. An emergency escort procedure is in place in the event of a ferry breakdown.
FERRY BOAT SHUT DOWN
In the event of a ferry break down the school will be taking a school bus located at the foot of Bay and Queen’s Quay. The bus will drive to Bathurst and Queens Quay and board onto the island airport ferryboat. Please keep in mind that ferry boat breakdowns are not in our control.
PARENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gibraltar Point Day Nursery, while being affiliated with the Island Public/Natural Science School, is entirely parent operated and supported. This means that the parents along with the Supervisor are responsible for all legal, financial, administrative and staffing aspects of the Nursery. Even though the Toronto District School Board and the Island Public/Natural Science School help us out tremendously, and we would not exist today without this support, the continued success of the Nursery ultimately depends on the active work of all parents. There are four (4) executive positions that must be filled by parent volunteers, President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The Principal of the school, a member of the school staff, and the Nursery Supervisor are also on the Board of Directors. There are also two (2) committees that must be filled, fundraising and advertising. All positions are voluntary and elections are held at the Centre’s Annual General Meeting in March of each year. When enrolling your child into to Nursery, you will be asked to indicate your preference. It is important that parents attend our General Board meetings where Nursery policies and procedures are determined. Please help wherever you can, and remember, we do this for our children.
FEE STRUCTURE AND POLICIES
A non refundable registration fee of $100 is required upon registration.
Parents must submit 11 cheques dated on the first day of each month from September through to June.
Full Time: $825.00/monthly
JK/SK $575.00 monthly
Part-time $600.00/monthly (3 days per week)
We do not offer half day services.
Rates are not reduced due to absence because of illness, vacation or statutory holidays. Fees must be paid until the end of the school year. Cheques are to be written in advance dated for the 1st of each month. If a cheque should bounce, the supervisor immediately notifies the parents in writing. Parents must pay the outstanding amount plus the non-sufficient funds charge incurred by the daycare within two weeks of notification.
NOTE: NSF cheque will be billed back to parents.
Special consideration will be given to a child who has an extended absence due to severe illness. Please contact the Supervisor regarding their situation.
Children already enrolled in the program who wish to keep their childcare spot for the next year must provide a $100.00 non refundable deposit by July 1st.
Families with outstanding accounts will not be permitted to enroll for the next session.
Notice of withdrawal must be received in writing at least one month prior to the first day of the month in which the withdrawal becomes effective.
All fees are reviewed annually by the Board of Directors.
ADMISSION AND WITHDRAWAL
Prior to enrolment of a child, parents must provide a doctor’s certificate confirming a recent medical and up-to-date record of immunizations. In order to ensure the continuity of the Program, parents wishing to withdraw their child from the Nursery are requested to give one month’s notice.
HOLIDAYS AND P.D. DAYS
Gibraltar Point Day Nursery is in operation from September through to the end of June and 4 weeks in July. We are open P.D. Days and March Break unless otherwise notified. We are closed on all Statutory Holidays, Christmas Break and through August to the end of the Labor Day weekend.
INCOME TAX STATEMENTS
A record of the previous years’ fees and other monies paid to the Nursery will be provided to each parent before the end of February of the following year. Parents who wish to withdraw during the year must ask for their fee record at that time. It normally will not be mailed. Fee receipts will not be issued until all outstanding fees are paid.
It is extremely important for parents to keep their child home when signs of illness are present. Your child should remain home when his/her temperature is high (over 100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C), when acute symptoms of cold are present, when there is a yellow discharge from the nose, crustiness around the eyes, puffy eyes, or red eyes, and when diarrhea or vomiting occurs. He/she should remain home at least one day after symptoms subside. Should your child contact a contagious disease (such as chicken pox, mumps, strep throat, pink eye, flu, impetigo, etc.) Please notify the school immediately so that parents of other children can be notified if necessary. The child will not be accepted back into the Nursery until there is a note from the doctor saying that the child’s condition is no longer contagious.
Please keep your child at home if he/she has the following symptoms
· Fever persistent crying, irritability, unusual lethargy, difficult or irregular breathing or other signs of possible illness.
· Diarrhea that is not contained by diaper or toilet use. Diarrhea is defined as an increase number of stools compared with the child’s normal pattern, increased stool or decreased stool form.
· Vomiting twice or more in the previous 24 hours unless it can be determined that the vomiting is due to a non-communicable condition and the child is not in danger of dehydration.
· Mouth sores associated with the child’s inability to control her/his saliva, unless the doctor states in writing that the child is non-infectious.
· Rash with fever such as measles or rubella or behaviour change associated with such rashes until a doctor has determined that the illness is not a communicable disease.
· Streptococcal throat (strep throat) until 24 hours after the treatment and until your child’s temperature has been normal for 24 hours.
· Scabies until after the treatment is complete.
· Whooping cough until 5 days of the medication has been completed.
· Mumps until 9 days after the start of the gland swelling.
· Hepatitis A infection until 1 week after onset and jaundice, if present, has disappeared.
If your child becomes ill with any of the outlined illnesses, you will be required to pick up your child as soon as possible. Also be informed that a doctor’s note may be required upon your child’s return to the Nursery.
In case of a medical emergency, children will be taken to the hospital. We will notify the parent when the medical emergency happens. If we cannot reach you, the emergency contact person will be called, and also the family doctor is called. Failing to reach either, we take the child to the nearest hospital and continue our attempts to contact you. We cannot stress strongly enough the importance of making sure that you keep us informed of all changes in addresses and phone numbers.
In case of a minor accident (scrape or abrasion) we immediately apply first aid to the child, comfort the child and decrease the child’s activities until the child is ready to actively participate in the program. An accident report will be filled out and sent home with the child for parents to sign and return.
If your doctor orders medicine, we will be pleased to administer it, however, the following safety rules must be strictly adhered to:
· Medicine must be in a properly labeled bottle (an original container with pharmacist’s label specifying child’s name and dosage).
· Non prescription medicines (e.g., aspirin) will be given only on the written request of a physician.
A letter of permission for each medicine must be written and signed by you, the parent.
· Start and ending dates of medication given storage instructions parents signature with date.
ILL OR INJURED CHILD
When a child is ill or injured the supervisor the supervisor is immediately informed, record the event in daily log book and accident report. The child’s activity level will reduce and a bed will be provided.
Parents living in the city will be informed by telephone, arrangements are made for parents to pick child from the Island to the city. Parents/guardian must contact the school before arriving at the Island for bus pick up to the school.
Island parents are to pick up their children at the Algonquin bridge or Ward’s Island. Arrangements are made for parents to pick up their children from the bus.
Another very important way in which parents can be involved is communication with the staff about their child. It helps the staff if parents contact them in the beginning of the day to let them know of any special or unusual events which he/she will approach the Program.
Please remember that if your child is absent from Nursery for any reason, we must be notified in the morning (416) 393-1907. This is for your child’s safety and protection. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Supervisor with any problems or concerns regarding your child’s care at Gibraltar Point Day Nursery.
All Early Childhood Educators will treat parents with respect. At GPDN we take pride in relating each child’s progress with parents and answer any questions regarding their children. Any questions regarding finances and administration must be passed on to the Supervisor.
Parents are regularly informed of Special events, activities, outings etc, at the centre.
Gibraltar Point Day Nursery certifies it’s commitment to provide an environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, creed, colour, national origin, political or religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family relationship and disability. Gibraltar Point Day Nursery has developed and adapted the anti-racism protocol and equity for all policy.
What is a racial incident?
A person or group of people who exercise the following based on a person’s racial heritage, colour, place of birth, language, religious customs or rituals and cultural dress or adornment.
Verbal abuse, name calling, insults, threats, slurs degrading or unwelcome remarks, jokes or innuendoes/taunting.
Condescension or paternalism which undermines self respect, threatening of rude physical intimidation or assault, vandalism, insulting actions, or practical jokes, refusing to talk, play or work with someone. Avoidance, exclusion of inaction, refusing to talk, play or work with someone.
Creating, displaying or disturbing racist, derogatory note of offensive materials (including literature), jokes, pictures or cartoons, written materials that implies the inferiority or superiority of a group of people.
A copy of policy is available in the policy manual and posted at the centre.
*Encouraging others to engage in any of the above is also RACISM.
SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE
The term “child abuse” cover’s four major conditions; physical abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect and emotional abuse.
Physical abuse includes all acts by a caregiver, which result in harm to a child. Sometimes physical abuse is caused by over-discipline. Although cultural factors may play a role in disciplining children, injuring a child is not acceptable and is against the law.
Sexual abuse refers to the use of a child gratification of an adult or young person. Sexually abuse acts include exposure, fondling, masturbation, intercourse (including incest and rape) and engaging a child, in sexual activity through threats, bribes, force and, misrepresentation.
Child neglect is the chronic inattention or omission on the part of the parent/caregiver to provide for the basic emotional and/or physical needs of the child, including food, clothing, shelter, health, hygiene, safety, adequate supervision and medical attention.
Emotional neglect is often the most difficult type of abuse to define and identify. Other than extreme cases, such as locking a child in the dark to frighten him/her, emotional abuse is a pattern of overt rejection, belittling, blaming, accusing, finding fault or shouting at a child. Criticism and withdrawal of affection are used to discipline the child.
Gibraltar Point Day Nursery is committed in providing a safe and healthy environment for all the children in our care. Policies and procedures have been implemented. A copy of the Child Abuse Policy and Procedures is available in the policy manual and posted at the centre.
A Serious Occurrence Policy is in effect. The policy describers the definition of a serious Occurrence, staff responsibility, reporting process and requirements as prescribed by the Day Nursery Act. More detailed information of the policies and procedures are available in the policy manual and posted at the centre
We encourage our children to participate in a wide variety of exciting activities, both indoors and outdoors. When buying clothing allow for freedom of movement, simple enough for the children to dress themselves and practical enough to not worry about soiling.
The children’s name should be marked clearly on all clothing which they remove (i.e., coats, sweaters, hats, shoes, underwear, etc.). In addition, we would like you to send with your child in a clearly marked bag, a complete spare set of clothing which is labeled. While staff will be diligent in looking after each child’s personal property, we are not responsible for loss or damage to property left at the Nursery.
Make sure that your child has warm outdoor clothing and boots for cold weather. Mitts should be fastened to outer wear or preferably strung together. In June and July please remember to send in the following items, as we spend much of our time at the beach; sun hat, bathing suit, sun lotion and towel.
If your child attends our rest period please send in a blanket which is also labeled.
For those children who are not yet toilet trained, parents are asked to bring in enough disposable diapers for each day. Plenty of training pants (labeled) should also be provided. Soiled or wet pants will be sent home to be laundered. Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s toilet training with the Supervisor and staff so that a co-operative and consistent effort can be achieved.
The most practical way for children to carry diapers and labeled clothing, books, etc., is in a child-sized knapsack. Other types of bags are awkward for children to handle on the bus and boat.
- One complete change of clothing including socks and shoes appropriate for the current weather condition (ex. set of summer clothing in the summer season, set of fall clothing for fall)
- Clothing worn by the child that is appropriate for the current weather condition (ex. winter jacket and two pairs of gloves or mittens for cold weather days of fall, winter, and spring)
- If appropriate, prescription medicine (see drug and medication policy)
- Diapers, wipes, cream if needed
- Indoor shoes or slippers
Items Not Allowed:
The following items are not allowed in the centre:
- Non-prescription drugs or medications (ex. cough syrup, lozenges, Aspirin, Tylenol)
- Candy or gum
- Electronic items
Our children are provided with hot nutritious lunches and snacks daily which are catered by the kitchen staff at the Island Public/Natural Science School. You will receive a monthly calendar with the menu and your snack posted. If a child has allergies or is on a special diet, it is the responsibility of the parents to notify the staff so that special arrangements can be made concerning meals.
We sincerely hope that your child will enjoy every day at Gibraltar Point Day Nursery. We appreciate the confidence you have displayed in us by placing your child in our care.