Sick Child Policy
DC Child Care licensing regulations prohibit sick children from attending childcare programs or remaining in the center once a child becomes ill with a contagious illness or disease. Upon arrival and throughout the day, staff observes children for signs and symptoms of illness. If signs or symptoms develop, parents are notified to make arrangements to collect their child within an hour.
If a child in the program is diagnosed with a contagious illness (example: strep throat), a health alert and information on the signs and symptoms will be posted throughout the center and emailed to all families.
Our childcare staff cannot diagnose illness. They are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of illness, and we reserve the right to determine when a child should go home.
The following signs and symptoms will be used to notify parents:
- Temperature of 100.5 degrees or higher*
- Deep chest cough
- Asthmatic symptoms
- Diarrhea (2 episodes of unformed stools within 2 hours)
- Discolored Discharge from nose
- Red, pink, itchy eyes*
- Change is behavior and unable to participate in normal activities.
Semillitas ELC cannot leave a child unattended inside. We cannot honor requests for children to stay inside during outside time. If a child is unable to participate in gross motor or outside play, they may be required to stay home until such time as they can participate in daily center/classroom activities.
Returning to the Center After an Illness
When a child has been absent due to an illness for three or more days, we require a note signed by the doctor, stating the reason for the absence and that the child may return to a normal schedule of activities, including outdoor play.
The center reserves the right to make the final decision on when a child may return to the program.
“Children must be symptom free for 24 hrs with out the use of medication in order to return to the center.”
It is Semillitas Early Learning Center’s Intention for all communicable disease cases be handled on an individual basis with an emphasis placed on the total care and safety of the entire center.
If diagnosed with a communicable disease: The CHILD MAY ONLY RETURN TO THE CENTER DOCTOR’S RELEASE FORM SPECIFYING A RETURN DATE. If it is found to be necessary, other families and the County Health Department will be notified of the communicable disease.
Likewise, we ask parents to notify the center if physician has diagnosed your child with a contagious illness.
We maintain a policy of NO LICE NO NITS. This means that if one “louse” or one nit (egg) is found on your child’s body or hair parents will be notified immediately and be asked to be picked up from the Center within an hour. The child may return to the center 24 hours after treatment. Upon returning to the center parents are required to provide proof of treatment (empty shampoo bottle) and a center staff member must check the child for absence of nits and lice. Please allow yourself time for the staff to examine your child.
In an event of a fever a parent/guardian will be notified if the child’s temperature is 100F or higher. If the temperature reaches 100.5F the parents will be asked to make arrangements for the child to be picked up from the center within an hour. Our center policy is that a child must be fever free for 24 hours without medication or provide a doctor’s note stating the child is not contagious in order to return to the Center.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
No child will be admitted to the Center if they have or are suspected of having conjunctivitis. If a child shows symptoms of the illness while at the Center the parents will be contacted and asked to pick up their child from the center within an hour. Although symptoms of allergies or colds can be mistaken for conjunctivitis it is the Centers responsibility to treat any illness with caution. Conjunctivitis must be treated by a physician and a doctor’s note must be provided to the teacher or director upon the child’s return.
Diarrhea and Vomiting
Diarrhea is defined as two or more loose or watery bowel movements within an hour. After a second occurrence the parent will be contacted and asked to pick up their child from the Center within an hour. The child cannot return to the center until they are symptom free for 24 hours.
Allergies + Special Needs
Parents whose children have special health needs such as food allergies, asthma, use a nebulizer, EpiPen, or other health needs, are required to complete all health forms required to complete all health forms provided by the center and require a doctor’s signature. Special instructions may require parent/staff training.
If your child is on a prescribed medication by a physician, we request that the dosage is scheduled so center staff is not required to administer the medicine. It is also recommended that the first dose of a newly prescribed medication be administered at home by parents, to ensure there are no adverse reactions.
Staff may not receive any medication that is not accompanied by a completed Medication Order Form. These forms are obtained from the center and completed by parents and signed by physicians. Medication is kept in classrooms in a locked box.
Staff can administer medicine only if:
- A completed Medication Order Form accompanies the medicine.
- The prescription is in original container from the pharmacy, labeled with child’s name, date, and the dosage for the child. Expiration dates are checked. Medication forms must be signed by the physician.
- Parents of children with disabilities or special needs such as asthma or bee sting allergies must meet with the directors and/or the classroom teachers. Each case will be handled individually.
Although biting is a behavior that sometimes occurs in a childcare setting and is age appropriate for ages 12 months – 3 years old, Semillitas ECL considers it a serious matter. We address the issue by caring for the child bitten and the bite by cleansing with soap and water; ice applied. (2) A biting report is written for both children and both parents are notified. As in the case with all incidents between children names are not disclosed. (3) A written log is kept on the biter which the parents are informed of. (4) We will conduct a parent conference with the biter’s parents if the issue is repetitive. (5) We will develop a plan for child to help modify the behavior. (6) We will ask parents to allow us to seek help from support services, if no improvement is shown. (7) As a last resort we may suggest to the parent that their child may need a smaller environment and dismiss the child. We understand that biting is age appropriate, but it is Semillitas Early Learning Center’s mission to provide a safe environment for all.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Under the penalty of law, staff is required to report suspected neglect or abuse to all Department of Social Services. Staff observe children daily for signs of abuse and neglect. Each suspected case is handled individually, with assistance form appropriate child protection agencies. Staff is not required to report suspicions to the director or the parents.
Semillitas ELC is a SMOKE-FREE property. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises.
Accident and Incident Reports
A parent will receive an accident report if their child sustains an injury while attending the Center. Any injury above the neck will be followed by a phone call to the parent.
It is required that parent/guardian contact the Center within 24 hours of an accident in which a child sustained an injury at Semillitas ELC that needed medical treatment. If an accident or mishap does occur that requires professional medical treatment, an insurance claim form will be provided.
Fire Drills and Evacuations
The center is required to conduct monthly fire drills. Procedures and diagrams of exits are posted in each classroom by the door. During these evacuations, our staff follows appropriate procedures for exiting the building. Designated staff members have attended the “Emergency Blanket Training” presented by the Office of Child Care, in conjunction with the Howard County Resource Center.
The practices Earthquake, Tornado, and Lock down drills quarterly.
During inclement weather, and/or in the event if an evacuation that precludes the children re-entering the center for extended period of time, an off-site location has been identified and procedures established.
If the emergency dictates that we leave the area, the children will relocate to Mary’s Center Clinic for Maternal Health.