Policies and Procedures
Parents choose the hours you would like for your child for the month. We provide a flexible daily schedule based on the children's needs, and we follow a schedule that changes depending on the weather.
The centre will be closed on the following holidays:
New Year’s Day
British Columbia Day
In rare cases, statutory holidays fall on a Thursday. In years when this occurs, our centre will be closed on the Friday that follows, also. This provides an extended time of rest for our staff, so we can serve you and your children better.
We also observe days off in lieu of statutory holidays that fall on a weekend.
If changes are made regarding this policy, we will provide 1 months notice of availability for care.
Scheduled Hours of Care
You will be charged based on 8 to 9 hours of care, for full day childcare. There are no fees for care under 8 hours or care over 9 hours unless a special arrangement has been made with Charlotte.
The specific time you indicate for drop-off and pick-up must stay consistent. If your hours of care consistently fluctuate, your hours of care will be based upon your earliest drop-off and latest pick-up. Consistent is defined as “on three or more occasions”.
If you anticipate you will drop off early or pick up late, please inform Charlotte, so she can alert the caregivers scheduled. We will charge a one-time fee, instead of altering your monthly rate.
All person’s responsible for a child’s scheduled care are required to provide 30 days written notice, for any schedule changes. Fees will not be adjusted to reflect a decrease in hours of care, until 30 days from the date of notice.
For a request to increase scheduled care, this would be based upon availability, and may require more or less than 30 days, to fulfill the request.
If you are withdrawing from care, we also require 30 days notice. If you do not provide 30 days notice of withdrawal from scheduled care, you will be charged the full rate, for one month of care, following your withdrawal.
Rules for schedule changes are in place to allow us time to enroll another child or adjust staffing needs accordingly.
Schedule change exemptions can be discussed with Management, on a case-by-case basis.
To secure your spot, we ask for a prepayment for the 1st of every month. Etransfers are a preferred method of payment, and we also accept cheques. A tax receipt for all of your payments will be given in January to reduce your taxes.
Fees are due at the beginning of each month and alternative payment arrangements can be made, if needed, as long as the fee is paid within the month.
There is no refund if your child is away and the spot is reserved for you. A meeting can be arranged with the owner/manager if you are a low income family and a crisis arises.
Drop-in fees are paid on the same day
A trial day can be offered before a commitment is made.
If the Centre is closed due to an outbreak, then we forward a credit for when we reopen.
Prepayment for drop-in-spots is required.
BC Affordable Childcare Benefits Program
We offer affordable childcare through the BC government's Affordable Childcare Benefits Program. We support the affordable childcare program by assisting with grant applications.
Your benefit needs to be renewed every year and you will receive an email from My Family Services to let you know to start the renewal process. There is also an end date given to you on your copy of the approved benefit as well. We will also be watching for this to avoid delays. While waiting for your approval please check your portal for any messages as information may be missing or need resubmitting. We will do our best to alert you to changes.
* It is the responsibility of parents to ensure their benefits
have been approved and are up to date*
The Affordable Childcare Benefit program can be applied for by families with an income under $110,000. To determine eligibility and to apply, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care-funding/child-care-benefit
The Young Parent program is also available, for parents under the age of 25, who require assistance while completing high school. To determine eligibility and to apply visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care-funding/young-parent-program?keyword=Young&keyword=Parent&keyword=Program
*NOTE: The Provincial Fee reduction program gives all families a reduction in fees.
All paid childcare fees are a tax write off*
If you pick up past our closing time, we will allow five minutes to leave the building with your child. Otherwise, past 5:35 a $30 charge will be issued, to cover overtime costs.
If you drop-off early based on your scheduled time, we will charge $2.00 per 10-minute interval.
If you pick-up late, based on your scheduled time, we will charge 0.50 cents per minute.
For early drop-off, we ask parents stick to your scheduled time, although we are flexible if this occurs occasionally. More than 3 occasions will result in a permanent change to your regular schedule, to the closest 15 minute interval.
The Provincial Fee reduction program gives all families a reduction in your fees and fees paid are a tax write off. In addition, the Affordable Childcare Benefit program can be applied for families with an income under $110,000. The Young Parent program is also available.
Parents can use up to two weeks vacation time each year (see NOTE) without being charged.
Please provide one-month notice of your holiday, via e-mail.
We will confirm receipt of the e-mail and create a vacation fee exemption form.
For new families, vacation time can begin three months after enrollment.
*** To accommodate multiple holiday times within a standard calendar year,
the time frame for our "year" based on vacation exemption fees, begins September 1st, and ends August 31st of the following calendar year ***
The following supplies are required year-round, for all children. Please ensure all supplies are labeled with your child(ren’s) name, in a visible location.
Spare clothes in case they get wet from a toilet training accident or water play, etc. (three pairs for infant and toddler, including pants/shorts, shirts, underwear, socks, and sweaters).
Diapers (or pull-ups) and wipes, for IT group.
Only send pull ups with velcro if your child is toilet training. The ones that don't open make it difficult to change a child as shoes and pants need to come off and if they are full it is hard to take them off. Please send wipes in case of an accident if toilet training.
Clothes for all weather that can happen in that season as weather can change quite a bit in one day (swimwear and towel for summer) (rain gear and gum boots for spring, summer and fall) (snow pants, warm winter jacket, waterproof gloves, waterproof winter boots for fall and winter).
A water bottle, and a healthy lunch (with an ice pack). No juice boxes or water substitutes please. These often contain high levels of fructose and interfere with proper eating habits.
Indoor and outdoor shoes.
A backpack to carry their gear in, for walking field trips.
A bottle of sunscreen. Please let us know if you want your child to use a specific kind of sunscreen, in the even we are offsite, and don’t have access to everyone’s supply.
A NOTE ON SUNSCREEN:
Sunscreens can be harmful to our health and are used regularly over the summer, so it is important to source a healthy sunscreen. This article details a study of various sunscreens and rates them based on most toxic vs recommended brands. https://draxe.com/beauty/best-sunscreens/
Here is another link to available organic sunscreen brands - https://www.skincareox.com/40-best-organic-sunscreens-non-toxic-natural/
***We provide a Dragonfly Hat for your child, that is seasonally appropriate, so we can better see where all the children are when we are outside.
*** Please take your water bottle home to be washed on the last day of attendance for the week.
***School age families please ensure you have indoor shoes and a water bottle for your child that you can leave at Dragonfly.
*** Soiled garments will be placed inside of a plastic bag, free of any solid waste, and set near your child’s coat, for you to take home and clean. These items will be handled by caregivers, using medical grade gloves.
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future. Of all things love is the most potent”
Dragonfly Discovery Centre is designed to reach each child's needs and interests, thus reducing behaviour challenges.
The staff and volunteers utilize the strategies set out by the Ministry of Health in the Guiding Children's Behaviour Booklet.
All educators, volunteers and parents must review the Guiding Children’s Behaviour booket.
Key Points obtained from the provincial publication
Guiding children’s behaviour is intended:
for children to become self-disciplined
to assist children in developing respect, self-control, self-confidence and sensitivity in their interactions with others
to instil mutual respect and cooperation
to focus on prevention during the program, and the program itself will follow the needs of the children thus promoting positive behaviour
Quality Early Childhood Education
A quality program allows for reasonable risks such as swinging, climbing, walking down the sidewalk, and riding bikes in the gym, etc. A quality educator does make sure that children are using safe practice while doing these activities.
SAFE RELEASE OF CHILDREN
All parents/guardians must sign out their child with the time and signature.
A person authorized to pick up a child must be on the authorized pick-up list.
If we suspect that the pick-up person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or is otherwise NOT in a condition to safely transport or care for the child, an Emergency Contact will be called. If this inebriated person continues to attempt to take the child even though the staff sees that they are unfit to do so, the police will be called.
Out of School children taking the school bus to our centre, are picked up in front of the Columbia House Healing Garden.
*It is extremely important that you notify us if your child is not going to attend the child care centre after school, so we are aware they will not be on the bus*
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
A healthy lunch has whole food such as a protein and fruit or veggies. Research has shown that processed food when eaten over a long period of time can pose issues in your growing child. We have a microwave on site to heat up lunches. The Canada Food Guide was changed in 2019. Please see the link. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
Please no candy or junk food to reduce the amount of sugar products as it interferes with concentration and spikes blood sugar and can affect temperament.
Bring a water bottle from home to keep at the centre or take home so your child can freely access water throughout the day, especially for outdoor play.
We will give you a sticky note in your child's lunch kit to bring a healthy lunch for your child or to bring more food if needed.
We serve juicicals regularly with no added sugar and quality juice.
Children are free to choose from their lunch kit what parents have packed and when they want to eat and how much they want. We cannot force children to eat however we do encourage. We will take out unhealthy food sometimes, so the healthy food is selected and eaten first.
Active play is physical activity which includes moderate to vigorous bursts of high energy, raises children’s heart rate, and may make them ‘huff and puff’ such as running or jumping. Active play helps to promote healthy growth and development and supports body control and movement. Active play can help build strong bones and muscles, improve balance, coordination, and assists with the development of gross motor and fine motor skills. Active play also helps to promote children’s confidence, improves concentration and thinking and learning skills, and provides opportunities to develop social skills and make friends (Director of Licensing Standard of Practice - Active Play).
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that toddlers and preschoolers participate in 180 minutes of Active play accumulated through the day. Children 5 and older are recommended to have 60 minutes.
Children at Dragonfly meet this licensing regulation with an on-site gym that allows for running, jumping, biking, rolling on the mats, and climbing. We have daily creative dance sessions and periodic yoga sessions. We have several manipulative toys, such as balls and rackets, that promote gross motor skill development. We go outside daily to the local playground, field, or sled hill, or our large on-site yard, for more active play. Dragonfly provides facilitated games such as "What Time is it, Mr. Wolf?" along with unfacilitated free play. The teachers incorporate injury prevention into all activities. Charlotte Streicek, the manager, holds a Physical Education Degree from UBC, allowing for a strong physical education program at Dragonfly's daycare facility.
We can have sledding in our yard for the smaller children that is very gradual and does not require the use of helmets. Older children will be taken to the hill by Pynelogs on occasion. We only take the children if it is safe conditions. If you want your child to wear a helmet, please bring one for us to use for the winter season.
We do NOT allow hand held screens at Dragonfly. We sometimes show the children videos that relate to emergent learning such as a volcano erupting, an animal we are learning about, or a children's performer. Screen time is always under 30 minutes a day, if at all.
PREVENTION OF ILLNESS AND IN CASE OF ILLNESS
Please keep your child home if they have a fever, cough, chills, diarrhea or difficulty breathing. If you have these symptoms, please stay home as well. If symptoms include fever or difficulty breathing, or if symptoms last for more than 24 hours or get worse, seek a health assessment by calling 8-1-1 or a primary care provider.
We promote prevention of illness by asking parents to wash their hands with soap and water upon entering the building. We spray high touch surfaces down regularly and ask children to wash their hands with soap and water prior to eating. We have a clear disinfecting schedule to ensure nothing is missed. If your child shows symptoms of a communicable disease such as Covid or hand, foot and mouth disease, we will call the parent, guardian, or emergency contact for safe release of the child. If you are not available, your emergency contacts will be called. We will observe your child and keep them away from the other children. A child may attend if a runny nose is manageable, and this will be determined by the educators. The educator will assist your child with nose wiping using safe practice.
SEVERE BEHAVIOUR CHALLENGES
If a child poses a threat to the other children enrolled in the program on a regular basis or does not respond to Guiding Children's Behaviour Strategies, we will meet and discuss strategies and come up with a care plan. If these strategies do not see a considerable improvement within a set time, then we will ask that your child be removed from the classroom environment. If this child is able to overcome these challenges with professional assistance, then we would love to have your child back into the learning environment for a trial basis.
EMPLOYEE PLAN - Skills and Training
Dragonfly Discovery Children's Centre has staff for each care program who have BC Certified Education along with required character and skills necessary to work with children of all ages and stages. In addition to ECE certification, Charlotte also has Montessori teaching from birth to 12 years, a Degree in Physical Education and Biology, a Recreation Management Diploma and Rediscovery International Leadership Certification.
MONTHLY FIRE DRILL AND EMERGENCY PLAN
We will perform regular fire drills so the children know what to do in case of a fire. We have our emergency plan in a binder at the centre for you to review. We will perform a yearly disaster emergency response and record this so we are prepared for any emergency. We will be signing up with the Regional Districts cell phone alert system once it is in place. All parents will be notified immediately in the event of an emergency via cell phone so please have a phone available for pick up.
SUPERVISION OF CHILDREN
Staff are expected to use Active and Positive Supervision. The children have continuous supervision from a qualified teacher or volunteer. The teacher scans the area to observe all the children are playing safely and positively. Each child will be observed to be engaged in an activity and if they are having a hard time engaging, the teacher will encourage the child to an activity or another child they think would interest them. The program is enriched to meet all needs and interests, thus helping prevent behaviour problems.
TRANSPORTATION - off-site field trips
We take children on periodic walking field trips to the spider park (by the hospital), Kinsmen beach and park, and pothole park. We bring a wagon for water bottles, lunches, and equipment. One teacher walks at the front of the group, one in the middle and one at the end. When crossing the street, the children "slinky in" (get close together), so a child is not leading a group across the road. If a teacher is alone with a small group, the children hang onto the wagon. The older children walk holding hands and the teacher is at the front. She turns around constantly to make sure the children are following the group properly. A backpack with first aid, children's files, and supplies is always with the group when they are outside. A cell phone is always with a teacher if they are off-site. We do not pet random dogs without asking the owner in case they are not friendly. We always wear Dragonfly Hats when off site, so teachers can easily scan the group and count the children. We do not inform parents when we are off site as this is part of our regular program. The manager always knows where the children are.
We provide comfy mattresses for children who need a nap in a separate room from the children who do not. The children may rest whenever they want, and we have quiet areas for resting. Children who do not nap do arts and crafts, play in the gym, do puzzles, etc.
Charlotte loves feedback so do not hesitate if you think something can be done better or have any ideas to contribute!