Parent Hand Book
About us: Headon Forest Montessori School offers casa program and toddler program for ages 18 months to 6 years. We are located in the quiet and peaceful neighbourhood of Headon Forest Burlington. As a school community, Headon Forest Montessori honours the values of respect, responsibility and creativity. We are very proud of the extensive and enriched curriculum that we offer our students, but are most proud of the nurturing, inspiring and empowering culture of our school. Our vision is that every child feels loved, respected, safe, inspired, challenged and empowered. We are a Montessori school that is committed to continual growth and development and meeting and supporting the needs of our community in ways that are both purposeful and meaningful.
Headon Forest Montessori recognizes that children are capable and curious and delivers programs and a curriculum that value and build on their strengths and abilities. At HFM we view children and families as capable and competent community members with valuable ideas and perspectives.
“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”
Our Program Statement: At Headon Forest Montessori we believe in creating an environment where attention is given to the development of the whole child. To reach this goal, trained teachers guide and mentor the children using the principles of freedom within limits and self-directed activity. This allows each child to achieve his or her potential and allows them to explore and learn at their level of readiness. Our vision is to develop and foster a safe and caring community where children and families are valued, grow and succeed. HFM’s interpretation of Montessori education and programming is consistent with the Minister of Education’s Policy Statement as set out in “How Does Learning Happen (HDLH)?”
The activities outlined in How Does Learning Happen? are organized around four foundational conditions that are considered essential to optimal learning and healthy development for children: Therefore, our interpretation of Montessori pedagogy and programming is consistent with the Minister of Education’s Policy Statement as set out in “How Does Learning Happen (HDLH)?” and complies with Child Care and Yearly Year Act, 2014 (General , O Reg 137/15).
Belonging: Children are encouraged to develop a sense of belonging through responsive relationships with their peers and teachers and being a part of their community.
Well-Being: Through exploration and inquiry, children become involved in the world around them. Our Montessori prepared environment offers children opportunities to construct learning experiences at their own pace and plane of development. We nurture the natural drive towards movement and self-mastery in our children. Our goal is to help them develop an awareness of the world around them and foster independence and confidence. We encourage children to care for themselves, others and their environment and nurture self-esteem, personal dignity, mutual respect and self-regulation.
Engagement: We foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry by having a fully equipped Montessori environment in which many activities are present for the full range of ages in each room. Our environment nurtures the child’s innate desire to observe, absorb, inquire and learn.
Expression: Our “Prepared Environment” revolves around the innate needs of children to explore and discover and helps them make sense and meaning of the world around them. The five curriculum (Practical life, Sensorial, Language, Maths and Culture) areas allow children to learn to be independent, fosters confidence and self-worth. In our prepared environment, children learn at their pace and follow their own individual interests, they teach themselves, using materials specially prepared for that purpose. Children develop skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and innovating, which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond.
We have created a prepared environment where children are free to explore and choose their own work with enthusiasm and interest and develop a life-long love of learning.
Our Staff: All staff members have education and experience as required by the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) and the Ministry of Education. The Casa Room (2.5-6 years) have MACTE qualified Montessori teachers and an assistant teacher. The Toddler room (18 months to 2.5 years) has a RECE (Registered Early Childhood Educator). All regular staff has their First Aid and CPR training, along with a police background check. Other certification of staff on site includes –Food Handlers & other certificates of training in Child Development and environment preparation related to Preschool settings. All Staff must be 18 years of age or older. Our Staff attends a minimum of 2 training and development seminars per year to maintain a quality standard of services.
An important aspect of our staff training is “Reflective Practice”, which supports every teacher’s own learning and thinking process. This self-monitoring of their growth as educators helps to develop best practices as professionals whose work is to engage the child as an active participant in the learning process. Our staff remains mindful of our quality of services and strives for a standard of excellence and innovation in our program. Our teachers adhere to our core values of inclusiveness, collaboration, integrity and accountability. We believe in being inclusive and endeavour to remove all barriers which prevent acceptance and accessibility. We have a collaborative team which shares ideas and work together toward a common goal of providing a safe, nurturing and inspiring learning environment.
Toddler Program: (18 months to 2.5 years): Our toddler program offers many opportunities for children to grow learn and explore in a respectful and nurturing environment that supports their needs. The various activities help toddlers develop a sense of independence and responsibility, to refine their fine and gross motor skills and to develop strength, coordination and balance. This work will be continued as they progress to the Casa classroom.
Casa Program: (2.5 to 6 years)
Children learn from each other and naturally acquire social and academic skills. The classroom is orderly and provides the freedom for each child to work according to his/her needs. The classroom operates on the principle of freedom within limits which is based on core Montessori beliefs – respect for each other and for the environment.
The children are free to move about, to work with others or in groups. Socialisation is very important at this age and as the children discuss their activities and learn from each other, they develop the basics of cooperation, sharing and relating to one another. Within the limits of social discipline he/she may choose their own work, according to their interests and may pursue an activity for as long as he/she wishes.
Schedule for Toddlers
7:00 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.: Before Care
8:30 a.m.: Morning Snack
8:45 a.m.: Hygiene routine
9.05 a.m.: Circle time and Work Cycle.
9:30 a.m.-10.30 a.m.: Outdoor time
10:35 a.m.: Hygiene routine
10.45a.m.-11.25 a.m.: Crafts/story time/ work
11:30 a.m.: Lunch time
12.00 p.m.-2.00 p.m.: Rest time
2:00 p.m.: Hygiene routine
2:15 p.m.: Evening Snack
2.30 p.m.-3.30 p.m.: Outdoor time
3.40 p.m.-4.30 p.m.: gym/music/free play/Indoor activities
After Care: 4.30 p.m. -6.00 p.m.
06:00 p.m.: Last pick-up time
Schedule for Casa
Before Care: 7:00 a.m.-8.25 a.m.
8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m: Out door time (please ensure that your child comes to school with appropriate attire for the season and have sun block on).
9:35: Hygiene routine
9.45 a.m-11:45 a.m.: Montessori Work Cycle- children choose work after they finish their snack.
11:45 a.m – 12:00 a.m: Hygiene routine and preparation for lunch
12:00 p.m: Lunch
12:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m.: Rest Time
2:30 p.m: Evening Snack
2.30-3.00 p.m.: Gym/Art/ Music
3.30-4.30 p.m.: Outdoor time
4.30 p.m-6.00 p.m.: After Care
06:00 p.m.: Last pick-up time
Please ensure your child arrives consistently on time – to enable and maintain a regular routine and benefit from the Montessori work cycle. (8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m. including out door time)
Please ensure that your child arrives latest by 9 a.m. so your child will start the day with their peers, and avoid disruption to the program. If you are arriving later than 8.30 a.m. please allow a teacher to escort your child to class to avoid any disruption to the routine of the other children.
Please call the Montessori if your child will be late (after 8.30) or absent to avoid unnecessary calls to your home or workplace. Arriving late to school consistently may result in termination of your child’s admission (unless there is a valid reason and you have spoken to the supervisor about arriving late).
The after-hours program closes at 6:00 p.m. sharp! If you are not on time to pick up your child by 6 p.m. a $1 late fee will be charged per minute.
If you arrive before 7:00 a.m. a $1 per minute fee will also be implemented.
This late fee should be paid directly to the staff on duty. Please ensure that if you are unable to pay on the day of, you pay in cash to the teacher concerned the very next day. Thank you!
Please read the policies and procedures carefully and sign on the memorandum of understanding ensuring you understand and appreciate our program and philosophy. Thank you and Welcome to our community.
Fees for Fulltime Students / Registration Fee / Withdrawal of Services :
Headon Forest Montessori is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
The Montessori program begins at 8.30 a.m. and ends at 4.30 p.m.
The fee is for 8 hours of school: 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Pre-Schoolers: $53 per day (4 or 5 days only)
Toddlers: $57 per day (we do not offer less than 5 days for toddlers)
Before Care: 7:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.: $15 ($5 for every 30 minutes)
After Care: 4: 30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.: $15 ($5 for every 30 minutes)
Before and After care fees is separate from the school fee and an invoice is sent to you at the end of the month or If you need before and after care every day that your child is enrolled, you can choose to pay a flat fee of $150 for the month at the beginning of the month. In case of siblings, Before and After Care is charged for one sibling only.
Sibling Discount: In case of siblings attending the school at the same time, a 10% discount is given to the second sibling. Before and After Care is charged for one sibling only.
Term Begins: September- Ends: June
We follow the school year calendar; term begins in September after the Labour Day weekend and ends in June. Full fees is charged for September-June term.
Please plan your holidays in the summer break as full fee will be taken from September to June, irrespective of any vacation days , statutory days, snow days, holidays or any unexpected closures.
*Fees are due by the 1st of each month in cash or cheques,interac or direct deposits dated before the first of each month or you can pay bi- monthly (1st and then the 14th). Any fees received later than the first (1st) day of the service month are subject to a $5 a day late charge and any returned cheques are subject to a $7 service charge.
Any parent paying fees late – twice or more – may be subject to paying fees via pre-payment. Pre-payment requires parent to pay a full month’s fee selected in your agreement – by cash or certified cheque before services are rendered. Returned cheques ($7) may result in a cash or certified cheque only payment for future services. If there is further difficulty in paying fees – services will be revoked immediately.
An annual receipt for fees paid will be provided in February for the previous year, for tax purposes. Fees are subject to increase with a minimum of one full calendar month notice. Typically 5%-8% fee increases occurs Sept 1st or January 1st of each year or when warranted by the School.
Montessori attendance will not be terminated in the middle of a month; we work on calendar months only. If services are revoked – it will take place at the end of the month. This allows the school to acquire a new student contract, filling your child’s position. It is necessary to maintain consistent finances to run the school.
* On the first of the month change of status or withdrawal must be given in writing – one month prior to enrollment status change.
Full fees are due regardless of a child’s illness, any holiday, statutory holidays, vacation days off or snow closures, winter break and teacher-development days or unexpected closures. Children who attend 4 days, there is no change of days or days in lieu of absence for any reason. Fees are non-refundable for any reason.
*PLEASE NOTIFY HEADON FOREST MONTESSORI OF ANY VACATION TIME YOU ARE TAKING SO THAT WE ARE AWARE OF YOUR CHILDS ABSENCE.
Admission and Registration:
- To confirm registration at HFM a Registration fee of $100 (Non-refundable) and a two week Security Deposit Fee is required upon submission of your fully completed enrolment forms.
- Admission will not be provided without these items and a space will not be held by verbal contract.
* Admission and discharge is at the discretion of the school.
Re- registration ($75, non- refundable):
Your contract for admission ends with us in June. Every year you will have to inform us by February 1st if your child is coming back in September and re-register for the new year (September- June).
Summer Camp: (7:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.)
July to August pre-payment (Cheques only dated 1st July and 1st August) is made for the number of days/weeks booked, once booked you cannot cancel and no refunds are offered. No Sibling discount is offered for the summer camp.
The Camp is run by registered early childhood educators at $50 per day (8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m.). Please book the days/weeks in advance by a post dated cheque.We take a maximum of 20 children in the camp, please book early to avoid disappointment.
The Summer Camp operates from: 8.30 a.m – 4.30 p.m
Before Care: 7.00 a.m-8.30 a.m. ($5 for every half hour)
After Care: 4.30 p.m-5.30 p.m. ($5 for every half hour)
If you need before and after care every day that your child is enrolled, you can choose to pay a flat fee of $150 for the month. In case of Siblings, Before and After Care is charged for one sibling only.
These are the days we are closed and full fees is charged for all these holidays. All statutory holidays, snow days or closure due to bad weather (if the Halton District School Board announces closure due to inclement weather, we will be closed), Teacher Development Days (1 in March or April and 1 in November), Labour day, Winter Break and last week day of June are all paid holidays, in case of any unexpected closures we are unable to refund any fees.
September: School begins after Labour Day holiday. (Full Fees is charged for September)
October: Thanks Giving
November: Teacher Development Day: date to be given at the beginning of the term
December: Our last working week is the third week of December. We re-open on the first Monday after the New Year holiday.
January: HFM opens on the first Monday after the New year holiday
February: Family Day.
March and April: Teacher Development Day Holiday, Good Friday and Easter Monday
May: Victoria Day Holiday
June: Last day of the week is closed for preparation of summer camp
Policies and procedures:
Wait List Policy:
Thank you for your interest in adding your name to our waiting list.
Please provide the following information for you file on the waiting list:
- Parents first and last names
- Best contact telephone number(s) and or email addresses
- Your expected start month
- Your child’s name
- Date of Birth
- Here is how the waiting list works:
- Call or e-mail us (Subject: Wait List), book a time to come for a visit to see if our Montessori School is a good fit for your family. Then add your name to the waiting list.
- Each age group (Toddlers and Pre-schoolers) has its own individual waiting list.
- The day you send an email with all your information, will be your seniority date on the waiting list.
- Provide the required information for your file on the waiting list: Be mindful and strategic of Your expected start month, you may also put the earliest start month you will consider for e. g You are willing to start in September but you really need a space for November.
- If there are any changes to your contact information please contact (e-mailing is the best option at all times) the School to update your file.
- There is no specified length of time that you need to be on the list to be offered a space.
- Spaces are created when a family or child leaves the school or a toddler moves up to the Casa Room. Spaces can be available at any time of the year and at point in the month.
- We are usually able to contact families 4 weeks before any given space, as parents are only required to give us 1 month notice of their withdrawal.
- Only once the withdrawal is confirmed in writing can we begin to find a family for the space.
- Supervisor will call all families that are eligible to start in the age group. All parents who are waiting for a particular month are contacted when spaces are available. Even if the month you specified has already passed if your child is still within the age group of the room they will be offered a space.
- Once a family is called or e-mailed from the waiting list they are given a specified time frame to return the call or e mail us back and express continued interest in the space available.
- From the families that return our call with in the specified time, the family with the highest seniority date will have first official refusal of the available space.
- If a child is offered a space for an age group we will let you know the likely hood of them moving over to the next age grouping, for e.g if your child enters the toddler room at 2.4 years there may or may not be a space for them in the Casa room right at 2.5 years, however, we will be able to give you a sense of when they will be able to move and the possibility.
- Once your child is officially offered a space, if you would like to accept it, you will be required to provide a 2-week deposit and a registration fee of your child’s fee for the age group. This deposit will be applied to your child’s last month of care provided that the appropriate notice is given.
- For all families that express continued interest in a space and are not successful will be contacted to let them know that another family has filled the space.
- If you are called for a space and do not wish to take it at the time, your place/seniority on the waiting list remains the same.
- You may call at any time to change the information for you file with no consequence for eg. Moving from the the Toddler list to the Pre-school list.
- You will remain on the School list until you have asked us to take you off.
Addressing parents’ issues and concerns
HFM supports an “Open Door” Communication Policy Procedure:
- Parents are welcome to drop in and observe the program (for 30 minutes or more) after they book a slot.
- If consultation with a child’s teacher or HFM supervisor is desired, please let us know ahead of time so that the concerned person can give you their undivided attention.
- Parents concerned with the care of their child, or any incidents at the school are urged to speak directly with the school supervisor or the head teacher. All concerns and issues will be resolved within 2 working days if not earlier.
- Telephone communications (please leave a VM if not answered) and E-mails are encouraged.
- Please do not ask the educators about administrative issues. Please e-mail the supervisor if she/he not available so she can respond to you within 24 hours.
- Parents can expect ongoing communication with staff concerning:
- their child’s progress
- program activities
- school operation
- Children’s nutrition and dietary concerns and requirements
- Child’s emotional well being
- Any changes at home that you may want to share with the school
- Parents can expect information regarding community resources to be available to them at the school or asked to be sent through e-mail
- Parents are asked to make themselves familiar with the Parent Handbook which states HFM’s Policies and Procedures which apply to:
- the care of the children
- the program
- the general operation of HFM
- our program statement
- holidays observed.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a transparent process for parents/guardians, administration and staff to use when parents/guardians bring forward issues/concerns. Parents/guardians are encouraged to take an active role at HFM and regularly discuss what their child is experiencing with our staff and administration. As supported by our program statement, we support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents/guardians and staff, and foster the engagement of and ongoing communication with parents/guardians about the program and their children.
All issues and concerns raised by parents/guardians are taken seriously by the administration and staff of HFM and will be addressed. Every effort will be made to address and resolve issues and concerns to the satisfaction of all parties and as quickly as possible. Issues/concerns may be brought forward verbally or in writing (e-mails). Responses and outcomes will be provided verbally, or in writing upon request. The level of detail provided to the parent/guardian will respect and maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved.
An initial response to an issue or concern will be provided to parents/guardians within two working business days. The person who raised the issue/concern will be kept informed throughout the resolution process.
Addressing Parent Issues and Concerns:
Confidentiality: Every issue and concern will be treated confidentially and every effort will be made to protect the privacy of parents/guardians, children, staff, students and volunteers, except when information must be disclosed for legal reasons (e.g. to the Ministry of Education, College of Early Childhood Educators, law enforcement authorities or a Children’s Aid Society).
Conduct: Headon Forest Montessori maintains high standards for positive interaction, communication and role-modeling for children. Harassment and discrimination will therefore not be tolerated from any party.
If at any point a parent/guardian, provider or staff feels uncomfortable, threatened, abused or belittled, they may immediately end the conversation and report the situation to the supervisor and/or licensee.
Concerns about the Suspected Abuse or Neglect of a child
Everyone, including members of the public and professionals who work closely with children, is required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
If a parent/guardian expresses concerns that a child is being abused or neglected, the parent will be advised to contact the local Children’s Aid Society (CAS) directly.
Persons who become aware of such concerns are also responsible for reporting this information to CAS as per the “Duty to Report” requirement under the Child and Family Services Act. For more information, visit http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/childrensaid/reportingabuse/index.aspx
|Nature of Issue or Concern||Steps for Parent and/or Guardian to Report Issue/Concern:||Steps for Staff and/or Licensee in responding to issue/concern:|
E.g: schedule, sleep arrangements, toilet training, indoor/outdoor program activities, feeding arrangements, etc.
|Raise the issue or concern to
– the classroom staff directly
– the supervisor or licensee.
|– Address the issue/concern at the time it is raised
– arrange for a meeting with the parent/guardian within 48 hours or 2 business days.
Document the issues/concerns in detail. Documentation should include:
– the date and time the issue/concern was received;
– the name of the person who received the issue/concern;
– the name of the person reporting the issue/concern;
– the details of the issue/concern; and
– any steps taken to resolve the issue/concern and/or information given to the parent/guardian regarding next steps or referral.
Provide contact information for the appropriate person if the person being notified is unable to address the matter.
Ensure the investigation of the issue/concern is initiated by the appropriate party within [insert number] business days or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter. Document reasons for delays in writing.
Provide a resolution or outcome to the parent(s)/guardian(s) who raised the issue/concern.
|General, Centre- or Operations-Related
E.g: child care fees, hours of operation, staffing, waiting lists, menus, etc.
|Raise the issue or concern to
– the supervisor or licensee.
|Staff-, Duty parent-, Supervisor-, and/or Licensee-Related||Raise the issue or concern to
– the individual directly
– the supervisor or licensee.
All issues or concerns about the conduct of staff, duty parents, etc. that puts a child’s health, safety and well-being at risk should be reported to the supervisor as soon as parents/guardians become aware of the situation.
|Student- / Volunteer-Related
|Raise the issue or concern to
– the staff responsible for supervising the volunteer or student
– the supervisor and/or licensee.
All issues or concerns about the conduct of students and/or volunteers that puts a child’s health, safety and well-being at risk should be reported to the supervisor as soon as parents/guardians become aware of the situation.
Escalation of Issues or Concerns: Where parents/guardians are not satisfied with the response or outcome of an issue or concern, they may escalate the issue or concern verbally or in writing to Supervisor or licensee at email@example.com.
Issues/concerns related to compliance with requirements set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act., 2014 and Ontario Regulation 137/15 should be reported to the Ministry of Education’s Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch.
Issues/concerns may also be reported to other relevant regulatory bodies (e.g. local public health department, police department, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Labour, fire department, College of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario College of Teachers, College of Social Workers etc.) where appropriate.
Contacts: Ministry of Education, Licensed Child Care Help Desk: 1-877-510-5333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HFM has emergency management policies and procedures in place. In case of any emergency, the supervisor and staff members will inform you on the cell phone, home phone and emergency numbers provided to us.
Group Page FB: Headon Forest Montessori-Burlington
After your child is registered and enrolled at HFM, please join our closed face book group page Headon Forest Montessori – Burlington. This page provides both parent and school with an important connection with your child’s everyday activities, meal plans and other information posted daily. No sensitive issues will be discussed on the Face Book Group page – please check your regular email (email@example.com) for this information or speak to us in person.
Weekly progress reports:
How can Montessori teachers and parents connect more for the betterment of their children? How do Montessorians’ effectively communicate what’s going on inside the classroom?
Thorough this app. we will share your child’s individual progression, and it will allow you to understand the Montessori material and work that your child chooses in the five areas of the Montessori curriculum.
Communication – Communication between the school and our families is of great importance to us. If you need to contact the school at any time please call 905-315-8385 – we may be in program with the children so leave a detailed message and we will return your call as soon as possible. We check our messages frequently throughout the day – as long as it does not interfere in the safety and supervision of the children.
Parent Code of Conduct
We must all work together in order to meet the needs of your children and strive to create a supportive community atmosphere. It is our sincere hope that you feel welcomed and supported as parents and partners of our school and that your children feel safe and secure and are inspired to play and learn while contributing their voices to their classroom program.
Any deliberate, harsh or degrading measures directed towards staff will not be tolerated. If you have any concerns of a serious nature, we ask that you direct your issues directly to the Administrator in person or in writing. We value your input and encourage your questions, ideas and feedback. They are not only important to us, they make us better.
If we are unable to meet your needs, or our standards do not meet your requirements, we respect your right to choose alternative facilities. Parents who choose to ignore, or not respect our values will have their child’s enrollment terminated. If a parent is volunteering for special events or field trips a current vulnerable sector police check will be required.
Volunteers and Student Teachers: Students and volunteers on a placement are important to our program. In order to ensure the safety and well-being of all children in our program, students and volunteers will not have direct unsupervised access to children and are not counted in our required ratios. HFM has an orientation in place that includes a Criminal Reference Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening. A review of the policies and procedures including the individual anaphylaxis plan for each child and all emergency procedures are reviewed before they commence. Measures are put in place to monitor the behaviour guidance of all volunteers and students. Reviews are completed on an annual basis and at any time there is a change made.
All staff of HFM, volunteers and student must have a Criminal Reference Check (CRC) and Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) that is current within six months, prior to starting their contract with HFM. CRC and VSS will be completed every five years. Annually, when a new CRC and VSS is not required, all staff of HFM, volunteers and students will sign a Declaration of Offence certificate indicating whether there has been any incident that would alter the results of their CRC and VSS. This must be completed no less than 3 weeks before the annual anniversary of the original CRC and VSS Verification Form sign off.
Supervision for Volunteers and Students
Only employees will have direct unsupervised access to children. Volunteers and students may not be counted in the staffing ratios and will be supervised by the full time permanent staff within the setting. No child is supervised by a person under 18 years of age.
HFM expects volunteers and students to follow and take direction from the RECE’s and all the Montessori trained staff at HFM. Students enrolled in Montessori and ECE courses only will be accepted to complete placement at HFM. Each student or volunteer will receive a tour and orientation before commencing placement or volunteer experience at HFM. This orientation will be carried out by our supervisor or by the lead Casa Room teacher. During the orientation, a full review of policies and procedures is to be made by the volunteer or student placement teacher.
HFM Behaviour Management policies and procedures as well as all other policies and procedures are reviewed with all employees, volunteers, and students who will provide care or guidance at HFM before they begin providing care or guidance and at least annually afterwards.
Students and volunteers will comply with the written behaviour management procedure. Students and volunteers will review the individual plan for a child with anaphylaxis. The emergency procedures are reviewed by volunteers and students. The plans are reviewed before they begin providing care and at least annually afterwards.
All volunteers are required to provide a criminal reference check. Criminal reference checks for students are routinely required by community colleges and universities prior to students beginning a placement in childcare, this same CRVS can be provided to HFM.
Withdrawal from HFM: We have a one month written/verbal withdrawal policy for children enrolled in the school. If the parent/guardian wishes to withdraw the child from the program, the parent/guardian require a months’ written/verbal notice (Subsidised students are required to provide two weeks notice). Fees will be charged for one month from the date the withdrawal notice is received.
Behaviour Management: We encourage children to have positive self-esteem. We teach children to respect themselves and others. It is our belief that children’s behaviour is usually a reflection of their needs. If children feel good about themselves, their behaviour will mirror that. We adhere to a behaviour management policy that includes redirection, resolution and reasoning and logical/natural consequences. We believe children thrive in an atmosphere of encouragement and support.
We do not use “time outs” or punitive measures such as corporal punishment, humiliation or isolation. We feel these measures (are unacceptable and often) increase a child’s feelings of resentment which in turn will inevitably result in more of the behaviours we are trying to avoid. Staff will be required to adhere to our behaviour management policy. While we respect a range of parenting strategies, we require that you respect our policies while in the school. Parents will be expected to work with the staff and their child towards manageable solutions to the issues. The management of challenging behaviours is the responsibility of both staff and parents. Every effort will be made to keep you constantly aware of any difficulties or changes in behaviours.
Our child guidance policies reflect these beliefs and the following methods will be used by HFM teachers as appropriate in individual situations:
- Redirection – guiding a child towards an acceptable option when engaged in an unacceptable activity
- Natural and logical consequences.
- Limit setting – boundaries are developed by the HFM teachers for the children as a group or for individual children, according to specific situations.
- Modeling appropriate behaviour.
- Providing and encouraging choices.
- Anticipating conflict-planning an appropriate program environment.
- Positive reinforcement and encouragement.
Prohibited Practices: HFM believes that the practices outlined below are inappropriate, negate children’s rights and must not be utilised:
- any corporal punishment of the child;
- physical restraint of a child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purpose of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose of preventing a child from hurting himself, herself or someone else, and it is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent;
- locking the exits of the child care centre for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency and is required as part of the licensee’s emergency management policies and procedures;
- use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
- depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
- inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.
All staff members, volunteers and student teachers will be required to review annually the policies and procedures regarding Behaviour Guidance.
Inclusion: Headon Forest Montessori staff support and provide enriched early learning and child care environment which nurture and foster each child’s development by providing the highest quality program, in an inclusive setting. We believe that every child is entitled to full participation and support to meet their individual needs. HFM believes that all children are unique with a multitude of gifts and abilities, and have the right to be valued, accepted and included. Regardless of a child’s level of ability in any area (socially, physically, mentally, emotionally), they have the right to be provided a safe and caring environment that is conductive to their needs. Therefore, HFM is committed to partnering with the children’s family, community resources and other professionals in the field, in order to provide all children with any needed support. We will do our very best to make accommodations to ensure that all parents are able to actively participate in all meetings pertaining to the developmental needs of their children.
Nutrition: Our menus meet the recommendations set out in the Health Canada Document “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide”. There will be two snacks and a lunch given to the students in a full day program. Children with dietary restrictions and allergies are accommodated with meals that meet their specific requirement. We post our menus (at least 2 weeks) on our news board and parents have access to these menus. Drinking water is available at all times.
All snacks and meals will be provided by the Montessori – to ensure the safety of children with food allergies. We ask that you send no food or drink products without written consent from the Montessori Administrator or Director – to fulfill any special diet requirements. In case you child has any special dietary needs which we are unable to fulfill parents/guardians must supply the required food. All food allergies and food restrictions are posted where food is prepared and served.
Parents/guardians must indicate any food allergies on their child’s Application Form, Child’s Individual Student Plan (if applicable) and Emergency Card.
Please do not drop off your child with food in their hands or mouth as this can cause other children with allergies some distress and it could be a choking hazard if not observed. Children will be required to sit at the table for all snacks and meals – which means that sippy cups / bottles will not be allowed in other areas of the school. Children who require assistance during meal times will be accommodated. Staff will be seated at the table with the children during meal and snack times.
Health (Illness) / Medications / Allergies (Anaphylaxis) / First Aid – In the event of illness parents must provide alternate arrangements for their children, in order to prevent other children from becoming ill. The teacher has the right to refuse admittance or to request a medical certificate if the child has any of the symptoms listed below.
Should your child become ill during our program, he/she will be supervised away from the other children and parents will be contacted and asked to pick up the child. If it is not possible for a parent of the child to come and take the child home or if the child needs immediate medical attention, the child must be examined by a qualified physician or nurse. In the case of serious illness or injury during program hours, we will complete the following:
- 911 will be called in the event of an emergency.
- HFM staff will try to contact one or both parent/guardians. If parent/guardians cannot be reached, one of the emergency contacts will be notified.
- Once the child is able to fully participate in all aspects of the program, including outdoor activities he/she may return to the program. A First Aid Kit and First Aid Manual are kept on site and all our teachers have a valid standard first aid cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.
You will be contacted if your child shows any of the following symptoms:
- A temperature greater than 99.9 degrees (orally)
- Discharge from ears
- Discharge from eyes or red eyes
- Stomach ache
- Vomiting or diarrhea.
- Any rash or skin lesion that blisters – mouth sores that appear open or with visible pus.
- Excessive signs of cold, tiredness, sore throat, runny nose (especially if discharge is yellow or green in colour), sneezing, or coughing.
Parents are required to inform the Montessori of any serious illness or communicable / contagious disease (with their child or within their family) within 24 hours. This will allow other families within the school to be alerted – when required. Children cannot be admitted into the school with signs of a communicable disease. Children must be free from a fever (or diarrhea) for at least 24 hours before returning to school. If the child is too ill to participate in the outdoor part of the program, then they are too ill to be in the program.
Allergies / Anaphylaxis and Dietary concerns: All allergies / anaphylaxis and dietary concerns will be clearly posted in both the food preparation areas as well as in each classroom. A record of these will be kept in the child’s file and written on the child’s emergency information.
This policy is to help support the needs of a child with a severe allergy and provide some information on anaphylaxis and awareness to parents, staff, students and visitors to our Montessori. Emergency procedures, in the event of exposure to allergens, must be outlined by the parent on their “Permission to Administer Medication” form. Any medication to be administered must be prescribed by a doctor and be current.
Prescription Medication: All medications will be stored in a locked medicine box, inaccessible to the children. Children are not given any medication without a doctor’s prescription or without the parents’ written consent. A “Permission to Administer Medication” form must be filled out by the parent to indicate written consent. This form will include full instructions for administering (only the directions on the bottle will be accepted for administering the medication) with parent signature. All medications must be in their original pharmacy bottles with original pharmacy labels. This record of medication administration will be kept on site and signed by designated staff administering the medication. With any prescription medication children may not return to care until they’ve had a full 24 hours of dosage, are no longer contagious and ready to participate in the full child care day, to ensure they are well on the road to recovery.
Non – prescription Medications: This type of medication will NOT be administered by the Montessori unless written consent is given by a physician and / or the parent. Medication must be in the original container with full labeling intact.
Immunization: The Medical Officer of Health requires that children at schools be fully immunized. We need to keep an up to date immunization record of your child at the Montessori. Each time your child gets immunized, please provide us with the update information.
Hygiene and Health Promotion: Proper hygiene practices will be used at all times. Consistent hand washing will be practiced by both staff and children to prevent the spread of germs. Toileting / Diapering will include essential cleansing – hand washing and disposal of used wipes and diapers (away from any food prep / consumption areas). Disinfecting of these areas will be done on a daily basis or when required.
Food prep area will be sanitized and kept clean and free of debris, daily or when required. Appropriate food preparation practices will be maintained at all times.
Play and sleep areas will be sanitised – linens laundered and equipment / toys washed on a weekly basis or when required (the school washes the cot sheet every Friday; we would request you to wash your child’s blanket alternate Fridays or earlier if required). Laundering will include any plush toys or play clothes.
All cleaning supplies and equipment will be inaccessible to the children at all times!
Serious Occurrence Policy and Procedure
Policy: Headon Forest Montessori Staff will immediately report an occurrence of a serious nature to their Supervisor/Manager/Designate. It is not staff’s responsibility alone to determine if an incident is a Serious Occurrence (SO), Procedure: The Supervisor/Manager, following a submission on the CCLS of the Serious Occurrence Initial Notification Report (INR) to the Ministry, communicates information to parents about the Serious Occurrence by printing the SO Notification Form from CCLS and posting it near the license, for all to see upon entering the Montessori
Injuries and other emergencies: In the event of a fire, we will evacuate the school immediately (multiple exits are available) and gather outside. Monthly fire drills will be practiced so the children are familiar with the procedures.
First Aid: Staff at the school has been fully trained in first aid and CPR – in the event of an emergency staff will act in a safe and professional manner – contact emergency services if required & contact parents. An accident / incident form will be filled out and the parent will be asked to sign the form to indicate they are aware of the incident and all that has taken place.
Sun-screen, diaper rash creams: Please apply sunscreen on your child before coming to the Montessori in the morning, from May to September. Parents who provide sunscreen and sign application permission form will ensure teachers apply additional sunscreen for the afternoon outdoor play period. A sign application permission form is also required for the application of any diaper rash cream.
Rest/nap and out-door Time: Every day, your child will be given the opportunity to rest/nap. A nap cot and sheet will be provided by the Montessori. Parents are to supply a blanket and cuddle item (if required). Rest period during the day is from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
A toddler, preschool or kindergarten child is permitted to sleep rest or engage in quiet activities based on the child’s needs. If you are picking your child up from the Montessori during this time we ask that you respect that others may be resting and do so quietly. However, we strongly encourage pickups and drop-offs to be outside of nap time. Each child who receives child care for 6 hours or more in a day is expected to play outdoors for at least 2 hours each day, weather permitting. We have out door time in the morning and late afternoon.
We are willing to help with toilet training; however we must ask the following:
* Please remember to send your child in “user-friendly” clothing that makes toilet training and diaper changes easy. No snap crotch t-shirts, no tights and have your child wear track pants or elastic waist pants without zippers or buttons. Clothing with too many “gadgets” makes it harder to get the child on the potty in time.
* Easy open pull-ups are also a must have! We request that you no longer send diapers and stick to pull-ups once you start. Going back and forth is confusing for your child.
* Remember your child must be ready and show an indication they are interested in being put on the toilet. Toilet training is a family affair! We are here to support your child once you have started toilet training at home – not to train your child. All toileting supplies must be provided by the families – the Montessori does not provide diapers – pull-ups – creams or wipes. If your child is in diapers and uses a cream – please ensure you submit the permission to apply cream form.
Items from Home:
Diapers/wipes/creams – Extra Clothing – Blanket for nap time/cuddly toy (if required) – sunscreen &sunhat – Bottles or Sippy cups – soothers –
Foot wear must cover the entire foot – sandals must cover the toe and have a heel strap –For your child’s safety, Please NO CROCKS (or flip flops)!
*Please ensure that your child is sent wearing proper attire suitable for the weather conditions.
*Be sure all items are labeled clearly!
We will give you a list upon registration.
Show and Share Days: Please do not send your child with electronic devices (Gameboys, iPods, MP3 players, Cell Phones etc.). Also it is not encouraged to bring cherished toys as they may get lost or damaged, or toys with small batteries or sharp edges or small toys with parts that can get lost. Children are only allowed to bring things from home on selective days (we will give you a schedule) for show and share day. Please send items related to their work/theme of the month/educational/ books.
Pick-up and Drop-off of the Child – As per the CCEYA, all children must be escorted directly into the school and be received by one of our staff. Parents should drop off their child with confidence to ensure your child has an easier transition. Please ensure that the classroom teacher has acknowledged your child’s arrival. You will sign your child in and out. Staff will do a head count at all outdoor transition times.
Please call to let us know if your child will be absent for any reason. If you have not called us we will be calling you by 9.00 a.m. to confirm if your child will be attending the day they are scheduled to be with us.
At pick up the staff may ask for photo identification if anyone other than the parent is picking up the child. We must release the child to a parent, even when the parent’s name does not appear on the registration form, unless a court order or custody agreement is provided to the school, stating otherwise. Please be sure that you have submitted and signed the Head Forest Montessori Child Pickup Authorisation form.
No Smoking – Parents are reminded that there is no smoking allowed on the Head Forest Montessori property whether children are present or not. This includes the parking lot of our building. The Ontario Smoke Free Act came into effect on May 31, 2006. Under this Act smoking is prohibited in all day nurseries and private home child care centers licensed under the Day Nurseries Act.
Custody / Guardianship Issues – In the event parents do not share custody of the child the school must follow the instruction of the custodial parent regarding any and all issues with the child. Any court orders will need to be copied and a copy left on site in the child’s file.
Fire Safety Drills – To ensure the safety of your child the school will perform regular monthly fire drills and teach fire safety practices. Fire escape plans will be posted at all exits. The school is equipped with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.
Community Organizations – If you have any questions about your child’s development, we recommend contacting one of the following agencies to help answer any question you may have:
Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)
(905) 339-3525 ASK (formerly known as DEIPP Developmental Early Identification and Prevention Program)
(905) 825-6000 ext. 2531
Halton Region Children’s Developmental Services
Halton Region Health Department
1151 Bronte Road Oakville, Ontario L6M 3Ll
Tel: 905-825-6000 Toll: 1-866-442-5866 TTY: 905-827-9833 Fax: 905-825-8588 Website: http://www.halton.ca/living_in_halton/public_health/
Please print and sign the MOU on the following page and return to Headon Forest Montessori. Thank you!
Memorandum of understanding
I UNDERSTAND THAT, in case of emergency, if needed, my child will be evacuated to a safe location. The staff of Headon Forest Montessori School will notify us of this situation. Should a mass evacuation occur, The Red Cross will have the whereabouts of my child.
I UNDERSTAND THAT, no reduction in fees is made for vacation, statutory holidays, or sickness. One month’s written notice MUST be given at the beginning of the month, if the child is leaving the school. Please provide $100 registration fee, which is non-refundable with the registration form. A charge of $7.00 will be levied against all N.S.F Cheques/Direct deposit returned for any reason. A late pick-up charge will be applied at the rate of $1.00 per minute after 6:00 p.m or at any time that a teacher remains beyond established hours.
Initial here _______
I give permission for my child _____________________________________________________to:
- Have his/her work displayed with his/her name on it at Headon Forest Montessori School.
- Have his/her picture taken and the picture displayed at Headon Forest Montessori School.
- Go for neighbourhood walks with the class of the Headon Forest Montessori School.
- Have his/her picture displayed at Headon Forest Montessori School.
à I _________________________, (PRINT NAME) have read the policies and procedures of Headon Forest Montessori and I agree to abide by the policies outlined above by Headon Forest Montessori.