Listed below are the Center's health policies. Please carefully review all information on this page.
The staff checks the general health of each child daily. Children may not come to the Center when they are ill. The Center is not equipped to provide the kind of one-on-one care that sick children require. Although we make every effort to keep children at the Center during scheduled hours, there are occasions when children become ill and need to be sent home. Children who have a fever, have diarrhea, or who are vomiting and show other signs of illness are not permitted to attend the program and will be sent home. A child developing a rash will generally be sent home until the nature of the rash is determined.
Families will be notified if their child becomes ill during the program day. Families must make arrangement for sick children to be picked up within the hour. Every effort will be made to make the child as comfortable as possible while waiting for the parent to arrive.
We will try all possible phone numbers to reach the child’s family first. If we have been unable to reach the family after one-half hour, we will notify the emergency contacts on the list. If the situation is an emergency, this will happen immediately.
In cases where custody is shared, we will need clear instructions as to which family member or designated contact person to call in case of an illness or emergency.
The decision to send a child home because of illness is not taken lightly at the Center. Staff members have children of their own and know first-hand of the inconvenience of having to leave work if a child is ill. We ask you to understand that your child will be sent home only if we consider it absolutely necessary. We appreciate your cooperation in responding to our calls and arriving promptly to pick up your sick child.
Children are actively engaged in play during their day at the Center, and minor accidents and injuries do occasionally occur. All staff members who work directly with the children are trained in First Aid and CPR. In the event of a minor accident or injury, a teacher trained in First Aid will immediately attend to the injured child. (Student Classroom Aides are not involved in administering First Aid at any time.) Latex gloves are always worn by the staff attending injuries which involve bodily fluids.
At the end of the day, families will receive a report stating when and how the accident occurred, who witnessed it, and how the child was treated. Families will be asked to sign the report to indicate their satisfaction with the treatment. A copy of the report can be made for the family, but the original must remain at the Center.
More serious accidents or injuries are rare occurrences at the Center. We strive to maintain a safe environment in which children are closely supervised. In the rare event of a more serious accident, we will attempt to notify you immediately. If you cannot be reached, we will attempt to notify your emergency contacts. If necessary, the child will be transported to Speare Memorial Hospital (unless otherwise indicated on your child’s emergency forms) in an ambulance, accompanied by a staff member.
Please note that the use of an ambulance will be reserved for serious injuries to the child, including but not limited to a child who is unconscious, not-breathing, or has sustained an injury in which movement of the child would cause further injury or if a child has a special medical condition which outlines this type of care necessary. If the child is conscious, talking and moving on their own, but appears to be experiencing major discomfort, a family member or emergency contact will be notified. Injuries are stressful for young children and when a child must be attended by strangers and ride in an ambulance it can be overwhelming and/or traumatic experience, especially without a family member present. This is another reason why only major injuries will result in an emergency service call.
IMPORTANT: If you will not be at your usual phone number during the day, please let the office know where you can be contacted if necessary. All family members who are Plymouth State students should make sure the office has an up-to-date copy of their class schedule. In addition, we will need to know where you are when not in class. All families are asked to provide the names and phone numbers of at least two local people to call if the parent cannot be reached; please keep this list up-to-date.
Throughout the day at the Center, children are exposed to appropriate hygiene activities such as washing hands before and after meals and after toileting. The staff at the Center are trained in hygiene and strive to provide a healthy environment for your child. So that we can maintain a safe and healthy environment, please remember the following:
- Children should not come to the program ill. Ill children will be sent home.
- Check you child’s cubby every day for soiled clothes and sleeping materials such as blankets or pillow.
In keeping with universal health precautions, which are designed to protect the children and staff from contagious diseases, we cannot wash children’s soiled clothes in the Center washing machine. If your child vomits or has a toileting accident, the soiled clothes, blankets, sheet, etc. will be sent home in a plastic bag.
- Send clean clothes to replace any soiled ones that were sent home.
- Wash the child’s lunch box and thermos each day.
- Be sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather and has extra clothes suitable for the season.
- In compliance with state regulations, parents must send in diapers for children who need them. The diapers must be either disposable or service-cleaned cloth diapers.
- Enforce good hygiene habits at home. Thorough hand washing should be encouraged.
All of the staff at the Center are trained in health issues and first aid. At all times gloves are used for diapering or emergency care. Washing hands is continually emphasized. We request that parents reinforce handwashing at home.
It is Center policy that we do not administer non-prescription drugs or medicine to children. We will only administer medication prescribed by a health care provider.
Prescription medication may be administered at the Center provided that it is in the original container, properly labeled with the child’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage, and the name of the attending health care provider. We are not allowed to administer “samples” given to you by a health care provider, unless the samples are accompanied by a note from the provider noting the medication and prescribed dosage.
Families are responsible for filling out an “Authorization to Administer Medication” form, available from the office. If a child is taking medication and, in the judgment of the health care provider, is able to be with other children, they may attend the Center.
If your child will be taking medication at the Center, please leave the medication with the office staff or your child’s teacher. For the safety of all the children, please do not leave prescribed medication in a lunch box, backpack, or in a child’s cubby. It is the responsibility of the family to remember to pick up the child’s medication each day. As a convenience, you may wish to ask your pharmacist to split the dosage into two containers, each properly labeled, so that one may be kept at home and one at the Center. Many pharmacies provide this service.
It is Center policy not to administer eye drops to young children. It has been our experience that children strongly resist having eye drops administered, and we are concerned about their eyes being scratched if they struggle. We prefer that families administer eye drops at home, or come in to the Center if necessary. If medication for an eye infection is necessary, please ask your health care provider if an oral medication may be prescribed.
The Center staff cannot under any circumstances give over-the-counter drugs or medicine. Please do not put vitamins or cough drops in a child’s lunch box.
Children will be playing in areas of shade and sun. Families are highly encouraged to provide protection from sun and insect-borne illness. Only sunscreen or sunblock with UVB and UVA protection of SPF 15 or higher will be applied. Insect repellant may also be provided. When public health authorities recommend use of insect repellents due to a high risk of insect-borne disease, only repellents containing DEET are used, and these are applied no more than once a day. Families will receive a permission slip for the use of sunscreens and insect repellants in their registration paperwork.
Rest time is an important time of the day for all young children and is mandated by the State of New Hampshire for all programs. Each program has a block of time designated as rest (see below). The blocks outlined below are approximate, but may change depending on the needs of the group. Children who fall asleep will be allowed to awaken at their own pace within this block of time. If your child’s napping appears to interfere with his/her bedtime at home, please make an appointment to discuss the situation with your child’s teacher and create a plan that will meet your child’s needs.
|Non-Resters get up
Children must bring their own lunch and two snacks each day. Milk will be provided by the Center. Please note that we reserve the right to become a Nut-Free environment if needed. All lunches should be in a bag or lunch box clearly labeled with the child’s name. Thermoses and plastic containers should also be labeled. We do not have the facilities to heat up or microwave foods for the children’s lunches. We also cannot refrigerate lunches; we encourage parents to use cold packs to keep lunch items cold.
When families provide lunches and snacks, state licensing and accreditation requires staff to monitor children’s lunches to be sure that they meet USDA guidelines for a healthy, nutritious meal. Lunches that do not meet these guidelines are required to be supplemented by the Center.
To meet USDA guidelines for lunches, the following components are required:
|Milk or Milk Alternate*
|1 ½ servings
|Meat or Meat Alternate*
|Fruit/Vegetable or 100% Fruit/Vegetable juice
|Bread or Bread Alternate*
|½ slice/1 serving
|½ slice/1 serving
|1 slice/2 servings
*Food Alternates and Serving Sizes
|Milk and Milk Alternates:
|milk, fluid (whole, low fat, nonfat, cultured buttermilk, flavored milk)
|Yogurt made from whole milk (plain/flavored)
|1 ½” X 1 ½” square
|Biscuits, rolls, muffins, bagels
|Cooked pasta, noodle products, rice
|Cooked cereal grains
|Crackers (saltines or similar)
|½ oz (33 mini or 7 regular size)
|1/3 oz or ¾ of 1 whole cracker
|Meat and Meat Alternates:
|Lean meat, poultry, fish
|Cooked dry beans or peas
|Peanut butter, soy nut butter, other seed/nut butters
|Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts or seeds
|Yogurt made from whole milk (plain/fruit flavor)
To meet USDA guidelines for Snacks, you must provide your child with 1 out of the 4 components (the Center already provides the milk component for your child). If your child will not drink milk, you must provide 2 components.
|Milk or Milk Alternative
|Fruit or Vegetable or or 100% Fruit/Vegetable juice
|Meat or Meat Alternate
|Cereal, cold dry; or
|¼ cup or 1/3 oz
|½ slice/1 serving
|1 slice/2 servings
**Children under 2 shall be served low fat or non fat milk only with written authorization from the child’s parent and from the child’s licensed health practitioner.
(NH Child Care Licensing Program Rules)
Please do not send soda or candy in your child’s lunch. These items will be sent back in your child’s lunchbox.
Please Note: In the Toddler program, teachers put a bit of each item in your child’s lunch on a plate. Older children receive help opening items. The staff does not tell children in what order to eat food items, but tries to guide them in eating a balanced lunch. This is a practice endorsed by many pediatricians. This is another reason to be sure your child has a nutritious lunch.
We do not allow children to share food during lunchtime. Children have many opportunities to share food during our cooking experiences. Uneaten food will be sent home in the child’s lunchbox, so parents will know what the child has eaten.
There is no need to send silverware, plastic cutlery, or cups/sippy cups with your child’s lunch. We provide silver (not plastic ware) for your child’s use. Some children, especially the younger children, have in the past bit into plastic spoons and forks, which then presents a choking hazard. We would prefer that you not send those items.
Please note that the staff cannot offer children under four the following foods, in conjunction with NAEYC accreditation guidelines: hotdogs (whole or sliced in rounds), whole grapes, nuts, popcorn, spoonfuls of peanutbutter, raw peas or chunks of raw carrots or meat larger than can be swallowed whole.
Children who are under 3 years old must have their foods cut into ½ inch pieces or into manageable bites as individually appropriate. We must ask that families cut foods before they are packed in children’s lunchboxes. Unfortunately, the staff cannot cut food due to the time, supervision and safety issues involved. We will be unable to serve foods that are not cut.
Cooking experiences, which promote language development and socialization, are an integral part of our program. These activities will be planned by teachers and Elementary Education & Youth Development students.
Television viewing is not part of the Center program. The programs do, on occasion, show children’s videos on appropriate themes or from children’s literature or as part of the Center’s exercise program. These videos are used selectively, not as part of the daily routine. The videos are used to supplement curriculum, not to quiet the children or as a substitute for active play on a bad weather day.
Teachers preview any video that is shown at the Center. Alternate activities are always available during video showings so that children who do not choose to watch the video (or families who do not want their child to watch) may play quietly in the classroom. These alternate activities are supervised by Center staff. Teachers watch the videos with the children, and discuss the content with them as appropriate.
Sometimes, children bring in videos from home that they expect to watch at the Center. This inevitably creates frustration for the child bringing the video, given the policy previously described. Please do not send in videos with your child without first consulting the child’s teacher and giving the teacher a chance to preview the video to see if it fits in with curriculum and program goals.