Guidelines

HOW WE HELP CHILDREN LEARN

At Little Acorns Child Development Center, we strive to maintain positive, supportive relationships with all children.
We base our educational program on the knowledge that young children learn:

As total persons-emotionally, socially, physically, and intellectually

Through all their senses

Through experiences, including play (Mississippi Department of Education, 2004)

We interact frequently with individual children. We express respect and affection for children by smiling, touching, holding, and speaking to children at their eye level throughout the day, and particularly on arrival and departure and when diapering and feeding very young children.

We speak with children in a friendly, positive, courteous manner. We talk frequently with children. We ask open-ended questions. Most of the time, we speak with individual children, instead of two groups of children.

Through a sequence of stages of development, at individual rates

Through active involvement

We maintain an environment of pleasant conversation, laughter, and excitement, rather than harsh, stressful noise or enforced quiet.

We strive to be available and responsive to children. We encourage children to share their experiences, ideas, and feelings. We listen to children with attention and respect.

We treat children of all cultures, religions, and ethnic groups with respect and consideration. We provide boys and girls with equal opportunities to take part in all activities.

MEALS AND
SNACKS

ALLERGIES

ARRIVAL AND
DEPARTURE POLICY

APPROVED
PICK-UP LIST

ACCIDENTS

HAND
WASHING

Meals and Snacks

Take it from Sammy-the food at Little Acorns is yummy! One question: Where are the nuts? (Little Acorns does not serve peanut butter, peanut products or any type of nut butter in the center.) Meals are served family style. If your child has any allergies, please provide written documentation from his/her physician. Little Acorns’ children ages 2 through 4 are given an opportunity daily for tooth brushing after at least one meal.

  • Breakfast: Usually consists of oatmeal, bacon, sausage, biscuits, pancakes, muffins or grits. Milk is served with breakfast.Toddlers are served whole milk and our 2’s, 3’s and 4’s are served 1% milk.
  • Lunch: Is served family-style between 11:15-11:30 each day and consists of a hot, well-balanced meal. We work with your children to encourage eating and good manners. Please let us know what food likes and dislikes your child has. We do not serve fried foods, spicy foods, or sugary foods. The only beverages allowed at our center are milk, 100 % fruit juice, andwater.
  • In addition to our meals each day, children are given two low sugar snacks. Sweetened beverages are avoided. 100% juice is served. Menus are sent home every Monday and also extra menus are posted on the parent bulletin board in the hallway. Kitchen staff checks labels on all foods,and we use the freshest foods available. Fresh fruits are served for snack and with meals when in supply. The program documents compliance and any corrections that it has made according to the recommendations of the program’s health consultant, nutrition consultant, or a sanitarian that reflect consideration of federal and other applicable food standards. If your child has special dietary restrictions, parents must send appropriate food from home. If your child has an allergy, a note from his/her physician is required for their file. Little Acorns’ staff keeps a daily record documenting the type and amount of food a child consumes and provides families with that information. Parents may provide special treats approvedby center, for special occasions like birthdays and holidayparties. Please coordinate this through your child’s teacher. We encourage our parents to help us in all event planning. Our staff also work with families (who are informed by their child’s health care provider) to ensure that the food is based on the infants’ individual nutritional needs and developmental stage. Parents must send infant bottles prepared, covered and labeled with the child’s first and last name and the date and time of preparation. Baby food must be sent in the original containers and labeled with the child’s first and last name. Please note: Special exceptions of dietary needs and allergies. Little Acorns has a private area located to the right of our entrance for breast feeding moms. We support our mothers who breast feed as well as those who choose not to. It is your choice to make. All infants should have a current feeding schedule posted in their cubbies.

Allergies

Upon enrollment into the program, please share all allergies in detail and how these allergies are treated with the director and the teachers. All allergies must have a physician’s note to be added to your child’s file.

  •  If your child is diagnosed with a food allergy, Little Acorns must have a letter from your child’s physician, signed and dated.
  • In addition to the physician’s letter, a consent form provided by the Food Allergy Research and Education, must be signed by the parents of the child.
  • In accordance with ADA guidelines, Little Acorns will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations regarding your child’s dietary needs.
    GuidelinesLittle Acornsiv.Staff and children will be aware if a child has a food allergy in a particular classroom. Little Acorns will determine what foods will be served at the center, and allow the parents to send alternate items if needed.
  • Special care will be taken to minimize any risk to the children in our center.
  • Little Acorns’ staff is trained to administer Epinephrine injections in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Your child’s medication will be kept in a locked cabinet in the classroom.
  • Additional information regarding this policy may be found in Mississippi State Department of Health (Appendix C, Nutritional Standards), and “Caring for Our Children” (pages 158-161).

Arrival and Departure Policy

Little Acorns opens at 6:45 am and closes at 5:45 pm. Parents are allowed 15 minutes for parking each morning for drop off and 15 minutes in the afternoon for pick-up. Departure time is no later than closing time of 5:45 pm. We have an open-door policy which allows for drop off and pick up anytime during normal business hours.

Approved pick-up list

Our baby squirrels get a little nutty if they can’t find their mommy or daddy-wish wehad a pick-up list! Parents, anyone on your approvedpick-up list must show government issued photo ID to clear security and to enter Little Acorns. Please keep your approved pick-up list updated with our office, we will not allow your child to leave with anyone that does not comply with building and childcare security regulations. While most of our staff may visually recognize parents picking up their children, you may still be asked to show government issued photo ID by any staff person who does not recognize you. Any parent who does not show a government issued photo ID when they enter the McCoy Federal Building, will be required to enter the building via public screening through the metal detector.

Accidents

Squirrels…forests…jumping from tree to tree…accidents happen to the best of us. Little Acorns is fullyinsured against any accidents that may occur on-site. However, we feel that prevention is the best way to avoid accidents and we exercise extreme caution with your children. We monitor children by sight and sound at all times. All of our caregivers maintain certification in Pediatric First Aid and CPR. The regulations we follow and the design of the center and the furnishings provide another level of safety, such as the finger guards on our doors and child proof electrical outlets in all rooms. In theevent an accident occurs, parents are notified immediately. An accident report will be completed. One is given to the parents and the other placed in the child’s file. First Aid kits are kept in every class and the office for emergencies. First Aid kits are taken outdoors to the playground each time the children are taken out. They are also carried with us on field trips.

Handwashing

One of the most important things that we could teach your child at Little Acorns is to wash their hands properly. As adults, it may seem that we have always practiced this good habit and can’t recall when we learned that skill in early childhood. Proper hand washing must be done correctly in order to be effective

  • Please help us by reinforcing our hand washing procedures at home.
  • The program fullows these practices regarding hand washing:
    • Staff members and those children who are developmentally able to learn personal hygiene are taught hand-washing procedures and are periodically monitored.
    • Hand washing is required by all staff, vulunteers, and children when hand washing would reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases to themselves and to others.Staff assists children with hand washing as needed to successfully complete the task. Children wash either independently or with staff assistance.
    • Children and adults wash their hands
      • on arrival for the day
      • after diapering or using the toilet (use of wet wipes is acceptable for infants);
      • after handling body fluids (e.g., blowing orwiping a nose, coughing on a hand, or touching any mucus, blood, or vomit)
      • before meals and snacks, before preparing or serving food, or after handling any raw food that requires cooking (e.g., meat, eggs, poultry);
      • after playing in water that is sharedby two or more people
      • after handling pets and other animals or any materials such as sand, dirt, or surfaces that might be contaminated by contact with animals; and
      • when moving from one group to another (e.g., visiting) that invulves contact with infants and toddlers/twos.
  • Adults also wash their hands
    • before and after feeding a child;
    • before and after administering medication
    • after assisting a child with toileting; and
    • after handling garbage or cleaning.
  • Proper hand washing procedures are fullowed by adults and children and include:
    • Using liquid soap and washing running water.
      • Except when handling blood or body fluids that might contain blood (when wearing gloves is required), wearing gloves is an optional supplement, but not a substitute, for hand washing in any required hand-washing situation listed above.
  • Rubbing hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, including back of hands, wrists, between fingers, under and around any jewelry, and
  • Under fingernails; rinsing well; drying hands with a paper towel, a single-use towel, or a dryer; and avoiding touching the faucet with just-washed hands (e.g., by using a paper towel to turn off water).
  • Staff is to wear gloves when contamination with blood may occur.
  • Staff does not use hand washing sinks for bathing children or for removing smeared fecal material.
  • In situations where sinks are used for both food preparation and other purposes, staff clean and sanitize the sinks before using them to prepare food.
  • Hand hygiene with an alcohol-based sanitizer with 60% to 95% alcohul is an alternative to traditional handwashing (for children over 24 months and adults) with soap and water when visible soiling is not present.