Baby Steps specializes in the care of infants and toddlers. I accept ages 3 months to 3 years. Learning the basics in language, sounds and recognition is essential for every child’s growth. I spend a great deal of time focusing on reading and educational games and activities engaging the various age groups to ensure they are getting age-appropriate and diverse teaching techniques. Each day I work on helping the kids to learn a necessary foundation: the alphabet, colors, shapes and numbers.
Arrival and Departure
Please send your child clean, dressed and ready for the day, as well as all of your child's necessary supplies needed for that day's care. Please make your goodbye brief, the longer the goodbye, the harder it is for both parent and child. No one other than the parent or person designated by you will be allowed to pick up your child without advanced permission indicating the person's name and relationship to your child.
If you will no longer be needing my childcare services before your child turns 3, a one months notice needs to be given.
Behavior Management & Discipline
I believe that the discipline of a child is achieved through patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. I work hard to teach the children in my care manners, kindness and respect of others. When a child is demonstrating acceptable behavior, I encourage the child through Positive Reinforcement. If the child is having difficulty staying focused on a task or activity, I use Redirection to steer the child on a new path and then give them the opportunity to try again at another time. Daycare rules are explained to the children frequently, so they know what's expected of them. Once a child is old enough to understand the rules and disobeys them, engages in temper tantrums or exhibits inappropriate behavior by hurting others or property, the child will "take a break". The child is separated from the group for an age appropriate amount of time (one minute per one year of age). If a child’s behavior is continually upsetting or dangerous to others, a meeting will be called with the parents.
I take the well being of your child very seriously and work hard to provide an environment that is as healthy as possible. I am committed to keeping my home and the children in it as clean as possible in order to help minimize and/or prevent the spread of germs. I thoroughly clean surfaces that children come in close contact with using soap and water and non-toxic cleaning agents. The high chairs are cleaned between each use and the diaper changing tables are disinfected as needed after each diaper change as well as each night. Hand washing is the single most effective practice in preventing the spread of germs. I wash my hands many times throughout the day, as well as the children's hands before and/or after engaging in a thorough list of activities.
Child’s Absences and/or Vacations
If your child will not be attending daycare due to illness or other reasons, please let me know as soon as possible. No discounts will be given for your child's absences due to illness or vacations. If your child will not be attending daycare for whatever reason, you are still required to pay the full tuition. Tuition isn't based on attendance but rather holds your child's spot.
The schedule posted on Baby Steps website is meant to give you an idea of your child's day. Activities may vary depending on time of the year, weather, age and temperament of the children. Age-appropriate activities are scheduled with the flexibility allowed to respond to the needs of each individual child and their various ages.
Baby Steps only accepts Full-Time care and is open Monday through Thursday 8:00am to 5:30pm and Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm (Please refer to Holidays for days closed)
It is the parent's responsibility to provide diapers wipes, and diaper cream for your child. Diapers are checked frequently, and changed every two hours or more often if required. Diapers containing bowel movements are changed immediately.
Baby Steps has established policies and procedures for dealing with emergencies and natural disasters. Evacuation plans are posted in the daycare. In the unlikely event of an emergency, the children will be evacuated to the prearranged location and you will be notified as soon as possible. My emergency location of choice is the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center located at 725 Monte Diablo Ave, San Mateo. The cross street is Eldorado. A notice will be posted at the daycare with all the information on the alternative sight. This location is 1.5 blocks from the daycare and the children will be walked and/or pushed in a stroller.
Guidelines for Children Requiring Exclusion from Daycare
Any child with a fever of 100 degrees or above may not attend daycare. State law requires that I notify parents of children who have been exposed to contagious illnesses including Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Impetigo, Strep Throat, Whooping Cough (Pertussis) and Chicken Pox (Varicella). This is not a complete list, however, these illnesses are the most common for the age group I provide care for. Please notify me if your child becomes infected and keep them home until they have made a complete recovery.
If your child is taking antibiotics for an illness, he/she may return to daycare after 24 hours of beginning antibiotics AND after 24 hours of being fever free (a temperature under 100 degrees) and as long as they are feeling well enough to participate in the daily activities.
For the health and safety of your child and of all the children at Baby Steps, please do not bring your child to daycare sick. I can only care for children with mild cold-like symptoms that are otherwise feeling and acting well. Mild cold-like symptoms are clear runny nose, slight cough, and temperature under 100 degrees. If you are not sure if your child should be brought to daycare, please call and check with me. If a child becomes ill during daycare hours the parents will be contacted to pick up their child. Parents need to pick up their children within one hour of being notified. If parents are not available, the emergency contact person will be notified.
Note: Once the child is removed from daycare due to illness, they may not return to daycare until symptoms requiring removal are no longer present. The child must also be void of any contagious disease unless accompanied by a doctor's note stating the illness in question is not contagious, and the child is otherwise feeling well enough to participate in the daily schedule.
Thanksgiving day and the day after
Christmas Eve through New Years Day (12/24-1/1)
Martin Luther King Jr Day
If the holiday falls on a Saturday daycare will be closed the Friday before. If the holiday falls on a Sunday daycare will be closed the Monday after.
Late Pick-Up Policy
If your child is picked up after closing time there will be a late charge assessed of $1.00 for every one minute.
It is the responsibility of the parents to bring any and all medication or medical supplies needed for your child. I will inform you if your supply is getting low.
Medical and Dental Emergency Procedures
Emergency information is kept on file at the daycare. In case of illness or injury this information will be used to notify you or the person designated by you, of your child's status. If your child is injured while at the daycare, first aid will be administered. If treatment by a doctor is necessary, I will make every effort to contact you or the doctor you have chosen to treat your child. In all cases, an injury report is completed, and a copy is given to the parents as well as the Department of Social Services. Authorization for emergency treatment must be signed at the time of enrollment to ensure that in the event of an emergency, I can make sure your child receives the necessary emergency treatment he or she needs. It is very important that all emergency contact information is kept up to date and correct. Please inform me immediately of any changes to keep your information current. Parents are responsible for all costs involved in emergency medical treatment, including emergency transportation if required.
Each day I provide almost exclusive organic nutritious and well-balanced meals and snacks. Organic Milk or water is served with all the meals and snacks. I also provide organic baby food for infants. The children are offered the food, but they will not be forced to eat. It is my goal to offer nutritious meals and snacks and to help the children in my care develop healthy eating habits to ensure optimum health.
Due to the inconvenience of NSF checks, a $50 fee will be charged for NSF checks.
Infants and toddlers sleep in separate rooms. Each bedroom is equipped with blackout shades and sound machines. Naptime for children 18 months and older is roughly 1:00pm to 3:00pm each day. Children 18 months and younger will take a morning nap as well, moving toward a one nap a day schedule between 12 and 18 months. Children under 12 months will most likely need a third nap during the day, which will be incorporated into their late afternoon schedule.
The State of California requires that all children under the age of five have at least a two hour rest period every day. No child will ever be forced to sleep, however, they are encouraged to remain quiet during this time.
Payment is due on the 1st of each month. If the 1st falls on a Saturday, payment is due the Friday before. If the first falls on a Sunday the payment is due on Monday. If payment is received after the 3rd a late fee of $50 will be charged.
Payment is based on contract, not attendance. In order to hold your child's space, payment must be made whether your child attends or not.
Daycare tuition rates will be adjusted when transitioning from Infant (3mon-18mon) to Toddler (19mon-3yr).
I am more than happy to encourage potty training as long as the child is ready (typically between 2 and 3 years old). The initial start needs to be done at home for at least two weeks with success before it can be effectively started at daycare. Parents will be required to supply pull-ups and wipes. Children will be allowed to come to daycare in cotton training pants/underwear after they have been accident-free for at least two weeks in pull-ups. Communication between parents and the daycare provider is imperative for a successful transition from diapers to the toilet.
Reporting Child Abuse
I am required by law to report any suspected incidents of possible child abuse or neglect. Your child can be questioned by child protective services at any time without your consent.
As strong as my immune system has become over the years, I still, unfortunately, get sick from time to time. Because of this I allow myself 10 sick/personal days per year. I also use these days for my continuing education classes (CPR, Pediatric First Aid, etc) in order to keep my RN License and childcare license in good standing. I will give you as much of an advance notice as possible.
There will be times when I need to take my children or myself to the doctor. I will inform you with as much notice as possible and will have my substitute care provider cover my daycare for the few hours I will be gone. She is CPR and First Aid certified and has had a complete and clean background check according to Childcare State Law Requirements. I will be available to her for questions regarding your child’s care when I am gone.
If your child has any particular dietary needs resulting from having allergies, being a vegetarian, religious beliefs, etc, please inform me and if applicable, provide a doctor's note. Certain meals and different types of foods can usually be substituted. However, if a solution cannot be reached between parent and provider, then all of the child's meals and snacks will have to be provided by the parent.
Supplies Needed at Daycare
Parents are responsible for supplying the following items:
weather appropriate clothes and change of clothes
shoes that lace-up or Velcro and/or slip ons
pacifier (if needed)
extra socks (with nonslip bottoms if possible)
I am a NO shoe household so having good socks is a must. It is fine for your child to go barefoot in the house in warmer weather but socks will be needed most of the time.
I supply and apply sunscreen when needed for playing outside. There is a good possibility your child will get dirty throughout the day so please dress your child accordingly for play.
I will be sending home any soiled or dirtied clothes to be washed and will need a new set of back up clothes to replenish your child’s supply when this happens.
State Licensing Requirements
Baby Steps is licensed and complies with all applicable licensing regulations and standards. These standards relate to my home, staff, health, safety procedures, nutrition, caregiver to child ratios, and record keeping. I believe that these standards are in the best interest of the children. My home is subject to random inspections by state and city health, fire, and licensing officials.
The first two weeks will be regarded as a trial period, in which case either party may terminate the contract without notice. After the first two weeks of enrollment, 30 days notice from parent or provider is required to terminate the contract.
On occasion, if cold, stormy weather inhibits our ability to play outside, I may pick an appropriate children's video or program to watch. Television viewing is allowed for no more than half an hour at a time and is limited to PBS, the Disney channel, and Baby Einstein for the younger ones. Children are never required to sit and watch TV, and TV is not offered in place of free play or learning activities.
Baby Steps will be closed for Spring Break in accordance with my children’s school schedule. I will also be closed the first two weeks of July each year along with all Holidays previously mentioned in this handbook. In September of each year, I will send an email with the exact dates of all vacations and holidays.
Regular payment rates apply for my vacations, your vacations, weeks with holidays, and my sick/personal days.