HELPING HANDS

Providing Family Child Care Services - Ventura, CA

FAQ

These Frequently Asked Questions are designed to provide a better understanding of my daycare, my license, and aspects of my business. They provide basic information to the most commonly asked questions that I hear from potential clients during calls and tours.


Enrollment & Fees

General Business Information

  1. What are your business hours?

    I do not have typical business hours.  Each family has their own schedule of hours based on their individual needs and this becomes their contracted schedule.  The earliest and latest time that I am available is 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

    My call hours (times that I'm available for telephone calls) are 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

  2. What type of program do you provide?

    I use a developmental approach to learning and focus a lot on social emotional, language, early literacy, early matematics, visual & performing arts, physical development, health, history/social science and early science all of which are important skills needed for school readiness.  I use everyday occurances and play to reinforce what we are learning.

    I also encourage moral ethics and the children are encouraged to use manners and values such as respect towards others, things and themselves.  I also encourage independence and self-sufficiency to build confidence from being able to complete tasks for themselves. 

  3. What age ranges do you accept?

    I focus mainly on early childhood which is infancy to pre-school age children (6 weeks to age 5), however school age children needing after-school care may be enrolled on a case by case basis.

  4. Do I need to sign a contract?

    All clients, including drop-in clients, are required to sign a contract.  This ensures that clear guidelines and expectations are met by both you and I.  A part of the agreement contract is in regards to following all of the policies of my daycare.  Before you sign the contract you should read, understand and agree with those policies.  If something in the contract or policies doesn't work for you, that's okay.  That simply means that my daycare and your needs are not a good fit and I would be happy to refer you to someone who can hopefully meet your needs better.

  5. What if I have a difficult schedule or my original needs change?

    A part of what I do has to do with flexibility.  I work with my clients with a goal to be as accommodating as possible within reasonable expectations and as long as it is conducive to group care.  What this means is that if your request is reasonable and it does not intefere with my normal duties or business then I see no reason why I can't accomodate it.

  6. What if my child has special needs?

     Although I do not have a lot of experience with children with dissabilities, I welcome and accept all children no matter what their abilities are. Please keep in mind that this is group care and that there are other children who's needs I also have to meet. If a child's disabilities require so much of my attention that another staff member must be hired in order to maintain the supervision and therefore safety of the other children, then it may be required that the parent incur or share this cost (this is an extreme solution to an extreme situation).

    If a child requires special therapy I welcome therapists to conduct them in my daycare if necessary. In fact, this is a great opportunity for me, as the child's daycare provider, to learn directly from the child's therapy provider how to better meet the child's needs. If this is something that a family needs please discuss these needs with me so that we can work out a good time that will not disrupt the day's regular routines.

  7. Are you licensed?

    Yes.  I am licensed by the California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division as a Small Family Child Care Home (FCC).  This means that I am required to follow strict regulations.  I am licensed to have 8 children present in my care at one time (my own children over the age of 10 do not count towards my ratios).

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Daily Routine & Schedule

  1. When can I drop my child off?

    Each family's needs are different and so these are discussed and a schedule of hours is created each individual child.  Those hours are called the child's "contracted schedule" and  will be the hours which I will be available for care for that child.  The earliest time that you can drop your child off is your drp-off time that is on your contracted schedule.  

  2. When can I pick up my child?

    Each family's needs are different and so these are discussed and a schedule of hours is created each individual child. Those hours are called the child's "contracted schedule" and will be the hours which I will be available for care for that child. The latest time that you can pick your child up is your pick-up time that is on your contracted schedule.

  3. Do you use vehicle transportation?

    Yes. I regularly drop-off and/or pick up my own children from their schools. Although I ordinarily accept infants to children of 5 years, school aged children may be considered on a case-by-case basis and therefore I may also be picking up other daycare children as well. I might be able to do so for your child depending on scheduling needs and location.

     We also take field trips that require vehicle transportation such as to parks and playgrounds. Because I use vehicle transportation I require that a transportation consent form be signed by all clients. If you do not wish to have your child transported in a vehicle we are not a good fit for you.

  4. Do you provide meals?

     Yes. I serve breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and a light supper at scheduled times each day at no additional cost to you. Meals and serving sizes will meet the guidelines of the USDA food program. Children must arrive on or before mealtimes if they are to participate in those meals.

    Infants from 0-5 months are solely given breast milk or formula, infants months to a year are mainly given breast milk or formula and supplemented with first foods. I provide Kirkland brand formula at no additional cost . If you prefer a different brand you are welcome to provide it. If you prefer that your infant drink your breast milk at daycare I am more than willing to make accomodations for that. Feel free to ask me about how I store and prepare breastmilk.

    Special food accomodations for food allergies and medical conditions can be made as long as a note from the child's physician is provided. If your child has special food needs due to religious, spiritual or personal beliefs you are more than welcome to provide your child's meals. Meals brought from home must still meet USDA food program guidelines.

  5. Is there a nap-time?

    Infants are napped on demand when they are tired.

    All children from around 1 to 2 years and older have a scheduled time for nap and are required to lay down for 15 miutes. If they do not fall asleep they can then participate in quiet activities while the other children are napping.

    If you need to drop-off or pick your child up during nap time I can help arrange for a quiet drop-off or pick-up.

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Environment

  1. What materials are available for my child?

    Careful thought and planning has gone into choosing the toys & materials for my daycare.  There is a kitchen set, costumes, dolls, play food and play dishes, art supplies, blocks, manipulatives, puzzles, games and other toys and activities. Toys are rotated regularly so that the children don't become bored.  Check out out Materials List for a complete list.

  2. Where do the children sleep?

    Infants sleep in their own pack'n'play until between the age of 18-24 months when they show signs of wanting to sleep like the older children, either on the couch or on mats.  I provide each child with a designated blanket that only your child will use which I wash weekly or sooner if necessary.   

  3. Where do the children eat?

    Bottle fed infants eat in my arms while I hold the bottle for them until they can hold a bottle on their own.  When that happens they are given a bottle to drink either in a high chair or swing (in an upright position).  I do not allow them to walk around with a bottle for sanitary reasons.  Once infants eat first foods or table foods they are fed in a high chair.  

    Children between 12-18 months and older eat at child-size tables and sit in child-size chairs.  School-age children may sit at an adult-size table if they prefer and feel more comfortable.  For sanitary reasons children are not allowed to walk around with food. 

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Communication

  1. I'm not a client yet, can I visit without an appointment or arrive earlier or later than my appointment time?

    I care for other client's children and due to safety concerns I do not allow unnanounced tours or visits from non-clients.

    I typically schedule tours during non-business hours.  The time right before my scheduled tours may be spent preparing paperwork for the tour, tidying up, showering/changing, on another tour or with my family therefore if you set up an appointment for a tour and arrive early I may not be ready for you  and you may need to wait. 

    If you arrive later than your scheduled tour I may have other tours scheduled or may have personal obligations planned which may rush your tour.  Please be respectful of my time and call in advance if you are going to be late or if you need to reschedule your tour. 

  2. I am a client, can I arrive and enter the daycare unannounced?

     

    Yes! I have an "open door" policy so parents can come in at any time during the day when their child is in care. Please keep in mind that "open-door" does not mean "unlocked". For safety reasons my doors are usually locked from the outside however I provide regularly scheuled clients with an access code to our front door so that they can come and go freely.

     

    If you plan on stopping by to check in on things, please do so! Just be prepared for the possibility of your child having a difficult time understanding why this time mommy or daddy came back and aren't taking them home with them. In rare occasions a child sometimes is so confused that they become inconsolable even after a long period of time. Under these extreme situations you may be called to take your child home.

  3. How will I know if my child did well during the day?

    Communication is important to me and I make it a point to share important information about your child's day with you such as whether your child ate well, went to the bathroom and overall the type of day your child had.

    If your child is under the age of 12 months and you would like daily logs about your child's day such as diaper changes, meals. naps etc. I would be more than happy to accomodate that.  Just supply me with a sheet for me to fill out and I will return it to you at the end of each day.  

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Illness & Safety

  1. Is there an emergency plan in place?

    I have an Emergency Plan in place for my daycare which is kept in my files.  Feel free to ask me to see it or for a copy.  Most of the Emeregncy Plan is included in the policy handbook as well.  

  2. What is the illness policy?

    I run a well-child daycare.  My illness policy is written with the best interest of all of the children and their families – sick and healthy - and is slightly stricter than that of a public school. I require that children with a fever of 100 degrees or higher stay at home until the fever is gone for 24 hours without the help of a fever reducer.  Children must also stay home if they have vomited or had diarrhea and/or show specific signs and symptoms for exclusion as listed in my illndess policy.  Feel free to discuss my illness policy with me at any time.  

  3. What if my child gets sick while at daycare?

    If a child shows signs of being sick while at daycare or shows signs of "symtoms for exclusion", I will make the child as comfortable as possible and call the parent to pick up the child.  The child will be required to stay home for a minimum of 48 hours. The Policy Handbook has more information about the illness policy.

  4. How do you handle falls and small injuries?

    If a child is injured at daycare, I will apply ice to bumps and wash open cuts with soap and water and then apply a bandage.  The parent will be notified at the end of the day.  

  5. What is your policy on immunizations?

    I must stay in accordance to California State regulations and follow the state's immunization schedule and requirements. All children are required to show proof of up to date immunizations and a record of current immunizations must be kept in the child's file.

    If your child is behind on immunizations a written plan to get caught up with a deadline must be signed. If the deadline passes and your child is not caught up then our child care contract is immediately void.

    California state law no longer allows vaccine exemptions for licensed child care facilities under personal beleifs. The only expemtion that is permitted is due to medical reasons.

  6. What is your discipline policy?

    To guide a child I will implement developmentally appropriate techniques such as positive reinforcement, forestalling, redirection, active listening, and calm-down time. I like to use strategies to engage children in their own problem solving which are appropriate to the child's developmental timetable. 

    I work together with families if challenging behavior such as hitting, biting, cursing and other aggressive behavior arises.  In these situtions a plan of action will be created with an appropriate deadline for positive changes in this behavior at which time the plan of action can either be extended for further assistance with the behavior or removed if the behavior corrects itself.  If the challenging behavior continues with no or insufficient improvement and poses a risk to myself, the other children in my care,my family or continues to become disruptive to our everyday activities then the child may be terminated and alternate child care arrangements made.  Please understand that I must of think of the needs of the group as a whole. 

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Provider Training & Experience

  1. How long has your daycare home been licensed?

    I have been licensed since April 2010.

  2. Does the child care provider have training in childhood development?

    Even thought the State of California has no formal training requirements for family child care I make it a point to receive formal and informal training in Child Development (CD) and Early Childhood Education (ECE). As a participant of the Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP) through Child Development Resources I have over 50 hours of training and 15 units of Child Development and Early Childhood Education college courses.  

  3. Is the child care provider trained in CPR & First Aid?

    I am trained in adult, child and infant CPR and first Aid and take recirtification classes every two years.  

  4. Is the child care provider background checked?

    The State of California requires that all family child care providers and applicants pass a criminal background check.  This background check consists of both a criminal background check through the Department of Justice as well as through the Child Abuse Central Index.  

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Enrollment & Fees

  1. How do I register my child?

    Once you have decided to enroll your child at Helping Hands Childcare you simply need to complete a parent packet, sign a contract and submit both with the two-week deposit and payment for the first week of child care before your child's first day of attendance.  A copy of the packet and forms can be emailed to you for your review. 

  2. What are your daycare rates?

    Our daycare rates are based on each child's individual schedule.  The child care needs for each family will be discuss which will include commuting time and a base rate will be quoted.  This base rate is a flat rate which is due weekly regardless of the child's attendance.  Rates are based on enrollment, not attendance.  Visit our Tuition Information page for an idea of the current pricing.

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