The Hamilton County Child Care Program will accept all applications for enrollment of children who are eighteen months to twelve year of age who are residents of Hamilton County or other counties.
Pre-Kindergarten enrollment shall be open to any child 3 - 5 years of age that meets the established at-risk criteria.
The Preschool Center will offer a tour of the facility upon parents'/guardians' request. The parent/guardian must fill out necessary forms on the children and have them on file in the facility. This information will be kept in a confidential location.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years must provide a statement from a physician/public health official that their child was “risk-assessed” or screened for lead poisoning in accordance with State law. For those children 3 to 6 years of age appropriate immunizations (i.e. TB test, lead screening, and chicken pox vaccination) must be completed and documentation of these immunizations must be provided prior to enrollment in any program at the Hamilton County Preschool Center.
A student may be exempt from this policy's requirements on religious or medical grounds if the students' parent(s)/guardian(s) present to the principal/school nurse a signed statement explaining the objection. Exemption on medical grounds requires written verification (including reason for exemption) by a licensed physician or physician's assistant. Exemption on religious grounds requires a statement from the parent(s)/guardian(s) stating the religious belief (church established or personal) that exempts the student (and specifically what is to be exempt). District's school authority is responsible for determining whether the written statement constitutes a valid religious objection. Exemption by parent request simply because a parent/guardian wants the student to develop immunity by exposure will not be acceptable as per state Illinois Public Health guidelines.
Forms for Enrollment
Parent will receive several forms and one handbook when enrolling each child. The forms are to obtain information and consents. These forms will be updated once a year. A physical form will also need to be completed. A complete dental form is highly recommended for the 3-5 Pre-Kindergarten classes. A certified health official must fill out the forms along with the parent/guardian completing parts of the form. Both physical and dental forms are good for only two years from the date of examination. At that time, it will be necessary for the parent to see that new forms are completed and on file. A certified birth certificate will be required before enrollment. Services will be refused for a child who does not have the appropriate forms on file. Each family when enrolling their child for any Hamilton County Preschool Center program must receive a packet of information. The parent/guardian will be required to sign a form stating that they have received this packet.
The Hamilton County Preschool Center is licensed and inspected by the State Department of Children and Family Services, the State Fire Marshall, the Public Health Department, and the *Illinois State Board of Education (Early Childhood classroom and Pre-Kindergarten program only).
In addition to DCFS licensure, Hamilton County Preschool Center holds accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well being of all young children, with the focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children birth to eight years of age. NAEYC accreditation represents the mark of quality in early childhood education. To achieve NAEYC accreditation, early childhood education programs volunteer to be measured against the toughest and most thorough national standards on education, health, and safety.
The staff, as well as children, who are enrolled, must have up-to-date physicals with immunizations and TB test on file before they attend. Children eighteen months to six year of age must have a lead screening.
There shall be no smoking at Hamilton County Preschool Center at any time by the parents or by the staff according to state regulations.
The Hamilton County Preschool Center staff will operate under the policies of the Hamilton County Community Unit School District #10 and the Department of Children and Family Services, as well as the Preschool and Child Care Policies.
Salaries and job descriptions of the staff shall be outlined in the personnel policies and guidelines of the Preschool and Child Care policies based on policies of Hamilton County Community Unit School District #10.
Hamilton County Preschool and Childcare Center is involved with the East Side Elementary Parent-Teacher Association which meets monthly during the regular school year to discuss ways in which to support the students of both Hamilton County Preschool Center and East Side Elementary School.
A Hamilton County Preschool and Childcare Center parent, teacher, and administrator serve on the Hamilton County Community Unit School District #10 Excellence in Education Committee which meets to discuss concerns and happenings related to the individual school buildings.
A certificate of child health examination, signed by a licensed physician, PA, or APN is required at the time the child is admitted to the school. Such a certificate may also be required before entrance by a child after any lengthy or serious communicable disease or illness.
Should a child seem ill during the day, he/she is to be isolated immediately, and his/her parents will be contacted to pick him/her up immediately.
Parents are required to notify the school whenever a child has been exposed to a contagious disease.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years must provide a statement from a physician/public health official that their child was “risk-assessed” or screened for lead poisoning in accordance with State law. For those children 3 to 6 years of age appropriate immunizations (i.e. TB test, lead screening, and chicken pox vaccination) must be completed and documentation of these immunizations must be provided prior to enrollment in any program at the Hamilton County Preschool Center. Immunizations against, and screenings for, preventable communicable diseases, as stated by the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines, will be required. All newly enrolled students are required to have completed all age-appropriate immunizations.
A student may be exempt from this policy's requirements on religious or medical grounds if the students' parent(s)/guardian(s) present to the principal/school nurse a signed statement explaining the objection. Exemption on medical grounds requires written verification (including reason for exemption) by a licensed physician or physician's assistant. Exemption on religious grounds requires a statement from the parent(s)/guardian(s) stating the religious belief (church established or personal) that exempts the student (and specifically what is to be exempt). District's school authority is responsible for determining whether the written statement constitutes a valid religious objection. Exemption by parent request simply because a parent/guardian wants the student to develop immunity by exposure will not be acceptable as state per Illinois Public Health guidelines.
Any homeless child shall be immediately enrolled even if the child or child's parent/guardian is unable to produce immunization and health records normally required for enrollment. School Board policies JBCBC, JBCA, and JGCA, Education of Homeless Children, governs the enrollment of homeless children.
Student with Acute Communicable Diseases
Disposition of students with acute communicable diseases will be determined by the school nurse or the principal (with consultation by school nurse when possible). The school nurse or principal will refer to the Communicable Disease Guide issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In cases of concern, a physician's (or physician's assistant's note) may be required before the student returns to the school setting. The note should state words to the effect that the student is no longer considered contagious. The communicable disease guide will be used to offer education in regard to a disease whenever deemed necessary (i.e., students, parent/guardian, and staff).
All staff members, volunteers, and participating parents shall present certificates of good health and negative tuberculin tests.
The premises shall be open for Childcare from 7 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All children must be scheduled to attend. Preschool classrooms will be open from 7:45 a.m., to 2:50 p.m. Preschool classroom attendance hours are from 8 a.m., to 2:50 p.m. for the full-day classrooms and 8:00-10:30 for the a.m. half-day session and 12:00-2:30 for the p.m. classroom session
School children who attend the Childcare should be picked up no later than 5:30 p.m. If children are not picked up by 5:30 p.m., a late fee of $2.50 per child will be charged for each 15 minutes that the child is still at the center. In the event the child is not picked up by 5:30 p.m., the Preschool personnel will attempt to contact the parent at the phone number listed on the current emergency card, In the even no contact is made, personnel will then make a call to the emergency number also listed on the current emergency card. The Preschool staff will keep the child 1 hour beyond that pick-up time before contacting outside authorities, such as, the child abuse hotline or the police. It is also noted that staff shall not hold the child responsible for the situation and that discussion of this issue will only be with the parent or guardian and not with the child. As a reminder to the parent the emergency cards need to always have up-to-date information.
School holidays shall be determined by the proposed calendar of the Administration & Board of Education of Hamilton County Preschool and Hamilton County Community Unit School District #10. Notice of school closings shall be made to the parents. Childcare children may attend from one to five days per week, either for one-half day or the whole day. Rates will depend on the amount of time that the child is enrolled in the program.
Elementary school children will be accepted for Childcare only during the hours before school and after school or on days when school is not in session. Rates will depend on the amount of time that the child is enrolled in the Childcare program.
Childcare schedules will be in keeping with sound principles of education.
If at any time the parent chooses to remove the child from the enrollment at Hamilton County Preschool Childcare Center, please notify the director/principal. Please offer a brief explanation so that we may continue to provide quality services to other families.
Change of Information
Parents should notify the director of changes in addresses, phone numbers, places of business, or any other information, which appear on the children's forms. It is important that our files remain up-to-date.
A) The day care center shall develop guidance and discipline policy for staff use that is also provided to parents. Staff shall sign the guidance and discipline policy at the time of employment and parents shall sign the policy when their child is enrolled. The Policy shall include:
1. A statement of the center’s philosophy regarding guidance and discipline;
2. Information on how discipline will be implemented by staff;
3. Information on how parents will be involved in the guidance and discipline process;
4. Information on how children will be involved in the guidance and discipline process; and
5. Written procedures for termination of a child’s enrollment in the day care center because of disciplinary issues.
B) Written rules for all children shall be established and available to children, parents and staff. These rules shall set the limits of behavior required for the protection of the group and individuals. The rules shall:
1) Pertain to important situations;
2) Be understandable to children;
3) Be stated in the positive form whenever possible; and
4) Be enforceable.
C) Child Care staff shall help individual children develop self-control and assume responsibility for their own actions.
1. Limits and consequences shall be clear and understandable to the child, consistently enforced and explained to the child before and as part of any disciplinary action.
2. Firm positive statements about behaviors or redirection of behaviors shall be the accepted techniques for use with infants and toddlers.
3. Removal from the group to help a child gain control shall not exceed one minute per year of age. Removal from the group shall not be used for children less than 24 months of age.
4. Children shall not be disciplined for toilet accidents.
5. The following behaviors are prohibited in all child care settings:
- Corporal punishment, including hitting, spanking, swatting, beating, shaking, pinching and other measures intended to induce physical pain or fear;
- Threatened or actual withdrawal of food, rest or use of the bathroom;
- Abusive or profane language;
- Any form of public or private humiliation, including threats of physical punishment; and
- Any form of emotional abuse, including shaming, rejecting, terrorizing, or isolating a child
D) Preschool and school age children shall have reasonable opportunity to resolve their own conflicts.
E) Discipline shall be the responsibility of adults who have an ongoing relationship with the child.
F) When there is a specific plan for responding to a child’s pattern of unacceptable behavior, all staff that affects the child shall be aware of the plan and cooperate in its implementation.
G) Clinical behavior management plans may be developed to meet the needs of a particular child if developed with the parent and a professional clinician. This must be documented in the child's file. All staff working with the child shall receive training on implementing the plan.
The staff strives for consistency in handling children properly. In-services have been provided to our staff. It is our belief that positive behaviors will increase when they are reinforced and negative behaviors will decrease when they are not reinforced.
If there is a need for more than these reinforcements, other behavior management methods used are:
1. Quiet Time
Removal from the area
Removal from the room
2. Loss of Privilege
Corporal punishment is not used at Hamilton County Pre-School. Negative behaviors that occur frequently with a child such as hitting, biting, or the endangerment of others or themselves will be handled with quiet time or loss of privileges.
The child is told why the penalty is occurring and it is only imposed when the need arises. The children are never unsupervised.
Each parent may have a personal conference with a child’s teacher at any time. If a parent senses a need for a conference, call the director for an appointment. Please use time when the teacher is planning and not in direct supervision with the children. Report any upsetting experiences that you think will help the teacher better understand your child. The Hamilton County Pre-School Center staff will also keep you informed of your child’s progress. Weekly notes from your child’s teacher will keep you up to date on the activities your child participates in.