The Center accepts children from six (6) weeks through twelve (12) years of age without regard to race, color, national origin, special needs or handicap. Enrollment depends on available openings in the child’s age group and the Center’s ability to provide reasonable accommodations. Our teachers strive to keep the age-level curriculum appropriate to the developmental level of the children in their classroom, helping them to develop social and life skills. The Gloria Ainsworth Child Care & Learning Center is a full-service center providing a positive learning experience. We ensure a safe and secure environment for your child.
Prior to enrollment, the Director or an Administrative Assistant will interview parents or guardians. A parent or guardian must complete and sign all forms in the Center’s registration packet as well as provide current immunization records for each child being enrolled. All information obtained is kept confidential. Drop-in children must be pre-registered and will be accepted only when there is an opening due to the absence of a regularly enrolled child. Records must be kept up-to-date. Report any changes of address, phone numbers or workplace as soon as possible to the office. Failure to do so could result in your child being dismissed from the Center.
Child Custody Policy:
When a court designates custody of a child, or if a court restrains contact with a child, a CERTIFIED COPY OF THE COURT ORDER MUST BE ON FILE IN THE CENTER’S OFFICE. The Center cannot restrict either “parent” access to the child unless the order is on file.
If divorced parents have joint custody of their child, the Center will release the child to either parent without regard to whether the particular parent is to have custody of the child on that given day.
Daily Arrival and Departure Policy:
The entrance into the building is made through the west (front) door. Upon arrival to the Center, the parent or authorized person must clock the child in at the front lobby counter, assist the child to his/her classroom and then release the child to the supervision of a staff member. If you receive DHS or Chickasaw Nation assistance, you must swipe the EBT card in and out daily for each child and sign in and out, as well. Failure to use your EBT Access card appropriately will result in you being responsible for day care charges incurred. You are allowed 24 hours to make-up a swipe. NO EXCEPTIONS.
The Center must be notified if someone not designated on the child’s enrollment form will be picking up the child. Photo identification will be required before the child can be released.
Transportation to and from the Center is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
Because our staff must be paid regardless of attendance of children, parents must pay whether their child attends or not (including holidays). Each child will be allowed two (2) weeks absence per fiscal year of the Center without pay after eight (8) weeks of attendance. Our fiscal year is from October 1st to September 30th. The days of absence for each child, whether from vacation or illness, must be taken a full week at a time in order for the days of absence to apply toward this two (2) week credit.
The office MUST be notified by 8:00 am each day your child will not be attending. This is especially important for children being picked up from school by the Center’s van.
Any child absent for more than two weeks without notice to the office will be dropped from enrollment. Re-enrollment will be on a space available basis and you may be placed on a waiting list.
Hours of Operation:
The Center is open from 5:30 am to 6:00 pm each weekday. It is important that you pick your child up by 6:00 pm or you will incur a late charge. There is a $1.00 per minute/per child charge after closing. After 30 minutes you will be charged the part-time daily rate. Please notify the Center if you encounter an unavoidable delay.
The Center is closed on the following six legal holidays and the day after Thanksgiving:
New Year’s Day Labor Day
Memorial Day Thanksgiving Day & Day After
July 4th Christmas Day
In the event one of the six designated holidays occurs on a Saturday or Sunday, the Center will close on the day designated as a legal holiday by the State of Oklahoma.
Snow Days: The weekly rate applies regardless of the weather or holidays.
Center Daily Schedule:
5:30 am Center Opens
7:00 – 8:30 am Breakfast
8:30 – 11:00 am Classroom/Playground
11:00 am Lunch
11:30 am – 1:30 pm Rest Time
1:30 – 2:00 pm Classroom
2:00 pm Snack Time
2:30 pm Pre-School Snack Time
3:30 pm School-Age Snack Time
3:30 – 6:00 pm Classroom/Playground
6:00 pm Center Closes
An addendum to the rate schedule will be made each time DHS approves a rate change. All rates are subject to change without notice and any rate increase will be posted in the Center’s lobby.
All DHS/Chickasaw Nation assisted families will be responsible for any fee amount over 10 hours, in addition to their co-payments. All co-pays must be paid by the 5th of each month. You are responsible for payment of all fees or rates not covered by DHS/Chickasaw Nation. You are responsible for the charges due to missed EBT swipes.
All parents are responsible for any activity fees.
In the event any co-payment or additional fees are more than 5 days in arrears, your child will be dismissed from the Center.
All tuition, if not used, will be refunded if notification is made in advance and it is approved.
Parents are always welcome to come to the Center at any time during program hours. Parental involvement is valued and therefore encouraged. Parents should feel free to come and spend lunch, birthdays, field trips, or other times with their child. We have many other opportunities for parents to be involved in our Center. We host an annual “Open House/Art Show” each spring and an annual “Autumn Harvest Festival” each fall. These are opportunities to become acquainted with your child’s teachers and to share information about parents, child, and family. All parents are encouraged to share personal interests, including hobbies, job-related interests, talents, cultural backgrounds, etc. We welcome parents to join our Parent Advisory Committee, which meets quarterly. Please see the Education Director for details.
The primary goal of our staff members is to provide the best possible care and education for your child. Good communication between parents and staff are necessary to provide this care. Please keep our staff members informed about your child and their needs in relation to our Center, and know that our staff members have been advised as to the confidential nature of this relationship. The staff will make every effort to keep you advised as to your child’s daily activities via the daily information sheets.
The Executive Director, Educational Director and staff of the Center encourage your input concerning our Center. Any communication will be dealt with in a timely, professional manner and is essential to our program. We first encourage parents to discuss any concerns or comments with your child’s teacher. Communication can be through telephone calls, in person, or in writing. Appointments can be made with your child’s teacher to discuss these matters. Because teachers are needed in the classroom, we request that appointments be made for extended conferences with a teacher separate from class time or with the Education Director at scheduled times.
A formal parent/teacher conference is held for children ages three to pre-kindergarten semi-annually. The purpose of these conferences is to discuss the development of your child.
While our staff receives child care training on a regular basis, we recognize that certain problems may require special help. We will help you seek outside resources in areas of early childhood and/or special needs, if necessary. No individual action will be taken regarding any child without parental consent. If your child has any special needs please discuss these with the Education Director so arrangements can be made.
Daily sheets from each class are provided for the parents as a means of communication. The Parent Bulletin Boards provided in each classroom are an important tool of communication. The boards are used to display menus, lesson plans, daily schedules, and any pertinent information concerning your child’s classroom. Our child care license, Stars license, emergency numbers and any other information directed to parents is located in the entrance lobby by the Executive Director’s office. Pamphlets or articles are available for parents to pick up, as well. A monthly newsletter is provided to each family.
An annual parent survey is given each January to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Center and to evaluate the Center’s effectiveness in meeting the family’s needs. Goals from this survey are reviewed in order to provide consistency with the program curriculum and philosophy of the Center. The Parent Advisory Committee reviews these goals annually.
If, at any time, you have a complaint or constructive criticism about our policies, staff or program, please speak with the Executive Director or Education Director and they will be happy to discuss the situation with you. If the situation cannot be rectified at that point, it will be referred to our Board of Directors.
As our Mission Statement reflects, we are enthusiastic about forming partnerships with our families. Please let us know if you have any needs over and above those we are providing to you and/or your child.
Our curriculum is from the Active Learning Series by Cryer, Harms & Bourland. We supplement our curriculum by utilizing the Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines, teacher creativity and other materials the teachers deem necessary.
Assessments and Observations:
We observe your child in many situations and settings throughout the day. We observe their fine and gross motor skills, receptive and expressive language skills, social/emotional and cognitive skills. From these daily observations we create semi-annual assessments (Developmental Checklists) of your child’s progress. With this information, we can better serve your child by individualizing their curriculum plan. All assessment findings will be held in the strictest confidence and are available to you upon request. Please feel free to speak with your child’s teacher at any time regarding their progress in class.
If at any time you wish to direct the Center to share your child’s assessment results with another individual or group, i.e., psychologist, counselor, Health Department representative, etc., you may do so by completing an Authorization of Disclosure form (see the Education Director for a copy of the form). Please know that your child’s file and assessment information is kept strictly confidential and is only passed on to another teacher when your child moves up to the next classroom. If, when performing routine child assessments, and your child’s teacher and/or the Educational Director suspect your child has a developmental delay or other special need, you will be notified. We will help you with the proper steps needed to address these concerns, and if appropriate, we will recommend resources for a professional assessment.
Our Center is proud to provide an educated staff, qualified to work with young children. Many of our staff members have a Bachelor or Associate degree, a Certificate of Mastery from an accredited college or university, and/or a Child Development Associate credential (CDA). Our teaching staff continues to work toward the goal of improving their knowledge base in child development by completing at least twenty (20) clock hours of child development training annually. The longevity of our staff provides stability for the children in our care.
The Center transports children to and from the Ardmore City Schools. Children riding the Center’s vans to the elementary schools must be at the Center, ready to leave, by 7:15 am. Will Rogers students must be here by 7:45 am to be transported to school. There will be no return trips to or from the schools.
Any time you are picking your child up from school, the Center must be notified by 8:00 am. Our drivers must know of changes for the day. If you have several incidents of non-communication, it could result in your child not being allowed to ride the Center van.
For any child misbehaving on the van or any child not wearing their seatbelt:
1st Incident: Parent will be notified.
2nd Incident: Parent will be notified and the child will not be allowed to ride in the van the next trip.
3rd Incident: The child will be suspended from the van for five (5) days. If misconduct continues, the child will be permanently suspended.
Due to State regulations, children under the age of four (4) years old must be transported in a child safety seat due provided by the parent or guardian.
Various excursions and trips are planned for the children. Short ones are spontaneous and longer ones are planned in advance. Parents are notified of these trips via notes from the teacher and a permission slip must be signed.
If an emergency or illness requires immediate attention when a child is on a field trip and the parent cannot be located, the Center will seek medical attention as per the signed authorization. Emergency authorizations will be taken with the staff when children are taken on field trips out of town.
Nutritious meals and snacks are planned in accordance with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) guidelines. If your child has a special dietary need, please provide a physician’s statement explaining the situation and stating the limitations of that diet. In the case of religious dietary restrictions, a form must be signed and put on file. No child will be turned away hungry but for the consideration of the kitchen staff, please observe the meal and snack times. Weekly menus are posted in each classroom and in the cafeteria. Extra menus are also available for parents to take home each week and are located in the Parent Resource area in the front lobby.
No outside food or drink should be brought into the Center. However, birthdays and holidays are special occasions. We ask that any food brought to share is purchased at a store and not homemade. At various times throughout the year, special daytime or evening parties and/or programs are planned. We encourage you to come and share in these events, as well as your child’s birthday. For birthdays, arrangements must be made at least one (1) week in advance with the Educational Director or your child’s teacher.
Breastfeeding is encouraged and supported by all staff at our Center. We provide a space for breastfeeding mothers and infants in the “Sick Room”. For your convenience, there is a comfortable rocker, soft lighting and a privacy screen. The Infant classrooms have refrigerators and freezers for expressed milk storage. Educational materials on breastfeeding are in our Parent Resource area, the classroom, and on the counter in the Sick Room.
Our staff appreciates the diversity in the families we serve and welcomes the cultural expressions within each family. We offer cultural meals to the children throughout the year to coincide with our monthly cultural themes. If there is a special cultural celebration that would make your child feel comfortable in our Center we are very willing to have you share that with your child’s class and/or the Center as a whole.
What to Bring:
Please send your child dressed ready for play in simple, washable clothing appropriate for the season. In cold weather, please send warm coats, hats, and mittens (please mark all items with your child’s name). Every attempt is made to take the children outdoors whenever possible.
For children ages 6 weeks – Kindergarten, please bring an extra set of clothing in case of an emergency. For children in diapers or potty training, please furnish diapers, wipes, and ointment, as needed.
What Not to Bring:
Children should not bring toys, food, or personal items from home without their teacher’s consent. When such items are brought, the child will be expected to leave them with their teacher. Please be aware that toys brought from home are usually lost, broken, or the cause of disagreements among the children.
Your Child’s Health:
A complete immunization record is required before your child’s first day at the Center. Your child must be in good health. If your child is too ill to attend preschool or Kindergarten, he/she is too ill and cannot attend this Center, as well. Please adhere to the following Health Policies and Procedures.
Health Policies and Procedures
As hard as we all try to keep our children healthy, they will get earaches, sore throats, and runny noses. We understand it is difficult for many of you to take time off from your jobs. When children are really ill, however, we cannot provide the type of care they need. And, of course, if a child with a contagious illness comes to the Center, the illness can be passed around to the other children. Please contact us A.S.A.P. if your child has been diagnosed with a contagious illness so we can alert the other parents.
For the above stated reasons, we have decided to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC suggests that children not attend or be removed from child care programs when any of the following symptoms are present:
- Fever of 101F or higher (Child needs to be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of medication)
- Diarrhea (runny, watery or bloody stool) (Child must be symptom free for 24 hours without the aid of medication)
- Vomiting (Two or more times within 24 hours) (Child must be symptom free for 24 hours without the aid of medication)
- Body rash with fever (check with doctor)
- Sore throat with fever or swollen glands
- Severe coughing
- Eye discharge (thick mucus or pus) or pinkeye
- Yellowish skin or eyes
- Lice (Child needs to be treated and nits removed before returning)
- Irritability or continuous crying that requires more attention than can be given in a group setting
Following this paragraph is the telephone number of the Department of Human Services Child Care Warmline. You may call at any time for a pre-recorded message on an illness, care and safety topics, or behavioral situation, or you can leave a message to speak with a representative.
Daily Health Check:
Each day our teachers perform a Daily Health Check on each child in their care. We understand and appreciate the fact that you are busy, working parents and that it is hard to take time off for an ill child. However, please understand that if a child is contagious, it is in the best interest of all children and staff to have that child removed from the Center until they have been released from a doctor’s care. If your child has been identified as having an illness, we will immediately contact you. The child will be made comfortable in the Sick Room where he or she will be supervised until the child can be picked up. For this type of emergency, please keep your employment records and phone numbers current.
Medication will be given only after the parent or guardian signs an authorization for the Center to administer it. (You have been given a Medication Policies and Procedures form.) All medication must be labeled with the child’s full name and the directions for proper doses and times needed. All prescription medicine must be in the name of the child who will receive the medication. A Medication Permission form (at the front counter) must be filled out for each new medication.
If a child has a chronic medical problem, the parent or guardian may sign the Medication Permission form for up to a six (6) month period for prescribed medication to be administered when symptoms occur. Parents must update these Medication forms at the end of the six-month period.
In the event your child has a medical emergency and requires immediate care, the following procedure will be conducted:
- Call 911
- Notify parent or guardian
- If necessary, transport, by ambulance, to Mercy Memorial Hospital.
The Center will not accept financial responsibility for emergency services rendered as a result of such emergency treatment, including but not limited to, fees of ambulance, hospital, or doctors.
Suspected child abuse or neglect must be reported. This applies equally to all children and when the abuser may be a member of the child’s family or a Center staff member, we deal with the issue according to the mandated Oklahoma Child Abuse Law (21 O.S., Sec. 7102). Every person, who has reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected, is mandated, by law, to promptly report the suspected abuse/neglect. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.
Each child is placed in a group of children approximately his/her own age on the basis of staff judgment as to where and with whom the child would be best suited. Each group has its own assigned classroom. The children have playtime outdoors or in the indoor play area each morning and afternoon. Meals are served in the cafeteria or classroom (depending on the child’s age).
Occasionally it is necessary to bring children together in one room early in the morning or late in the afternoon to meet the staff/child ratio that is required for each classroom or to assist our staff with appropriate work schedules.
Pictures and Publicity:
From time to time we will photograph and/or videotape many special events and other program provided by the Center. On occasion, the news media will do stories relating to child care and our Center. In order for a child to be photographed for use by the Center for publicity and teaching purposes, the child’s parents or guardian must give written consent, which is included on the enrollment form.
Fire and Storm Drills:
Fire drills are conducted and documented monthly with specific procedures for teachers and children to follow in case of fire. Appropriate fire evacuation plans are posted in each classroom and other designated areas.
Each hallway between classrooms is built as a storm shelter. When notified of weather warnings, all children will be taken to their respective hallway. A tornado drill is conducted and documented quarterly.
Discipline is an on-going process. Our procedure is to provide guidance at the child’s level of understanding and stage of development and redirect children by giving alternatives when behavior is unacceptable. During redirection the teacher talks to the child about what the limits are and what is acceptable behavior. If a child is physically hurting him/herself, others, or a staff member, the child may go to the Educational Director’s office. At NO TIME will a child be subjected to physical or emotional punishment, verbal abuse, humiliation, or threats. Discipline is a necessary component of any healthy, successful life. Our goal is to help children learn self-control. We feel a firm, but gentle, calm, matter-of-fact and consistent approach best helps children.
We are alert to the occasional problem of hitting or biting. The staff always attempts to stop the behavior that would hurt any child and redirect and guide the child into other activities. Biting is a common behavior among 10 to 30 month-old children. We sometimes give a teething ring or biscuit to the biter to redirect them to something appropriate to bite and chew on. Parents are notified when their child is bitten and if their child has bitten someone.
NOTE: The Center reserves the right to discharge any child for behavior deemed to endanger the health, safety, or welfare of other children and staff.
Planned routines and activities are divided into three major divisions:
- Self-directed free play – Blocks dramatic play, reading, science and art.A variety of materials and equipment are provided and a child may choose activities to pursue alone or with friends.Teachers are available for encouragement, supervision and guidance as children learn problem-solving, decision-making, and social skills.
- Teacher-directed group activities – Small and large groups are planned and directed with emphasis on group behavior, participation, and sharing.
- Self-help routines – Children learn self-reliance and independence through:
- Eating – breakfast and lunch are served at tables set up for children either in their classroom or the cafeteria.The children are assigned to a specific table with a teacher.Family style meals are served and the children are encouraged to manage for themselves as much as possible to learn those attitudes and manners that make mealtime enjoyable for all.Snack times are more informal.They are served in the classrooms for all children.
- Sleeping – Afternoon naps follow lunch. The length of the nap depends on the age group, but there is generally a quiet time of at least two hours.Older children may participate in quiet activities for part of that time.
- Toileting – Teachers of one and two-year-old’s handle diaper changing and assist with potty training.Parents must provide a supply of diapers as well as numerous pairs of underwear and clothing for children who are potty training.
- Washing and Dressing – Children that are well, curious and free to play often get wet and/or dirty.Teachers assist, but the children are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their own cleanliness and clothing.It is recommended that clothing be as simple as possible for children to manage themselves.