Mighty Bambinis Parent Handbook
License # 384002594
Staples Ave & Phelan Ave
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94112
Phone: (415) 841-3271
Dear New Mighty Bambinis Community Member,
Welcome to the Mighty Bambinis community. We are so excited that you have chosen our program for your family’s childcare needs. And important part of providing quality care every day for your child, is to create a stable, enriching environment by following fiscal and operational policies. Please keep a copy of this handbook for your reference about Mighty Bambinis’ policies and procedures. If you have any questions at all please feel free to drop by, call or email us with your questions.
Mighty Bambinis is not just a childcare program, we are a community. Every new child and family contributes to the diversity and vitality of our program. We hope that you will participate in community events, parent nights, and feel free to visit your child at any time. We look forward to working with you, caring and playing with your child(ren), and sharing and growing as a community of friends.
Owner/Director & Lead Teacher
Table of Contents
1) Program Description
b) Sample Schedule
c) Age Grouping & Group Size
2) Hours of Operation & Releasing from Care
a) Hours of Operation
b) School Closures
c) Substitute Care Arrangements
d) Drop Off / Pick up Windows
e) Drop Off & Pick Up Routines
g) Releasing a Child from Care
a) Enrollment documentation
b) Notice of Changes
c) Probationary Period
e) Provider Termination
4) Financial Agreements & Policies
c) Early Drop Off / Late Pick Up Fees
d) Financial Agreement
e) General Supplies (who provides what)
5) Health and Safety
a) Meals & Snacks
b) Sample Menu
e) Toilet Learning
f) Behavior Management
g) Field Trips
i) Child Abuse
j) Evacuation Plan
k) Dog on Premise
6) Other Policies
a) Damage Policy
c) Revisions to Handbook & Contract
1) Program Description
We believe children are competent, curious, resourceful learners. Our approach is inspired by the philosophies of Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and Magda Gerber's RIE approach. We respect children by allowing them to develop at their own pace rather than expecting them to meet developmental milestones on our timetable. We show this through caring individualized support, positive encouragement, affection, frequent eye contact, and communicating at the child’s level. Children are encouraged to respect others and to care for one another.
Our curriculum provides firm limits and predictable routines, but within that framework children are entrusted with freedom to explore, make choices, play, and build autonomy. Our thoughtful and intentionally designed environment fosters children’s interests, relationships, and opportunities work cooperatively. Materials and projects are selected based on children’s interests and provoke a spirit of experimentation and inquiry.
We are dedicated to providing care in a safe and healthy environment and teaching all members of our community with compassion and respect. We know that children are part of families first and foremost, as such we a committed to providing family- and child-centered care.
Our schedule provides a predictable routine for children around their natural rhythms around their needs for eating, sleeping, and diapering/toileting. In between we have time for free choice play and exploration of the space. We will have one to two planned activities facilitated and supervised by teachers per day.
For young infants, sleep schedules will reflect each child’s rhythm and be modeled after what routines you use at home whenever possible. Bottle-feeding will be on demand and based on parental consultation.
8:00am – 9:30am Arrival, greeting children and parents, wellness checks. Free Play and morning projects.
9:30am - 9:45am Circle Time / Morning Meeting
9:45am - 10:00am Morning Snack (organic, home-made, healthy)
10:00am - 11:45am Self-directed play in learning areas outside, neighborhood walks (CCSF, Library, Playgrounds, etc)
11:45am - 12:15pm Lunch & Lunch Preparation - Wash hands, potty, set table, family-style lunch, clean up after meal.
12:15pm - 12:45pm Nap transition - Potty/diaper changes, wash hands, brush teeth, read book before nap
12:45pm - 3:30pm Naptime for older infants and toddlers; individualized wake up; Infants / toddlers not sleeping – free choice play, one-on-one time
3:30pm – 3:45pm Afternoon snack
3:45pm - 5:00pm Free Play / Projects- self-directed play, movement group activities, guided learning for individuals (such as sensory experiences, art, science, “writing”), often outside.
5:00pm - 5:30pm Pick Up / Free choice play
Age Grouping and Group Size
We are licensed by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing. Our facility number is 384002594. We typically have 12 children with 3 or 4 experienced teachers.
2) Hours of Operation & Releasing from Care
Mighty Bambinis' operating hours begin 8:00am and end 5:30pm Monday through Friday. During enrollment, parents inform Mighty Bambinis’ staff of their expected routine drop off and pick up times. This help us know who to prepare breakfast and late afternoon snack for, as well as when / who will go with us on walks for example. We fully support spending as much time as time as a family as possible. So it is fine to deviate from your expected drop off and picks up times, however, it would be helpful to contact staff in advance regarding these non-routine days.
School Closures (Holidays)
Mighty Bambinis will be closed on the following days (in line with SFUSD):
· New Year’s Eve and New Years Day
· Martin Luther King Day
· Lunar New Year
· President’s Day
· Spring Break (last week of March W-F)
· Memorial Day (observed on Monday)
· Independence Day (4th of July) Week Break (M-F)
· Labor Day
· Columbus / Indigenous Peoples Day
· Veteran’s Day
· Thanksgiving Break (W – F)
· Winter Break (Monday before Christmas to New Years Day)
*There are no refunds or credits for the above Federal holidays & reserved day offs. You are financially responsible for any day that your child is not in attendance when the childcare is open.
Substitute Care Arrangements and Unexpected School Closure
It is extremely unlikely that there would be an unexpected school closure. However, in the event of a natural disaster, citywide emergency, extreme weather day, etc. - the parent, not the provider is responsible for arranging substitute care and will not receive a refund for additional time closed. We will follow emergency school closure days as dictated by SFUSD.
We may need to take personal days due to personal or family needs, including (but not limited to) personal or family sick leave, funeral leave, or professional development. When we close our business for these emergency purposes, you will not pay for that date. We will prorate the difference to you. You are responsible for finding a substitute child care provider for the duration of our closure.
Drop Off / Pick Up Windows
Mighty Bambinis’ operating hours are M – F 8:00am to 5:30pm year-round, excluding National Holidays and our 3 weeks of closures (see Hours of Operation). In general, children should arrive between 8:00am – 9:00am and be picked up between 4:30pm – 5:30pm. Children should ideally have sunscreen on and breakfast at home before coming to childcare. Please let staff know if they are hungry or need their first application of sunscreen at drop off.
Drop Off and Pick Up Routines
A quick, loving, and consistent goodbye ritual is encouraged from the first week of the children’s enrollment. Sneaking away and not saying goodbye are disorienting and scary for children.
One best practice for helping a child adjust to childcare is to come with your child for 1-2 hours on the first day as a way for your child to become familiar with the teachers and surroundings. After the transitional day, it is best to begin a quick, loving and consistent goodbye ritual (about 1-5 minutes). The director and teachers can help to create a goodbye ritual for your family.
Sign In & Out
Parents or authorized friend/family member must sign in and sign out when picking up and dropping off a child.
At arrival, Mighty Bambinis staff will do a wellness check with parents to ensure the child is healthy enough to participate in the day’s activities. This may include a diaper change, overall check of the child’s emotional and physical state, and conversation about the child’s health, night and morning. Children must arrive wearing sunscreen (after 6 months), clean, fully dressed with nails cut short.
We ask parents and children to leave their shoes outside before entering in the designated areas for shoes.
Please call/text by 8:30am if the child is not coming in to childcare that day.
Releasing a child from care
Unless we are instructed in writing to do otherwise, the childcare will only release the child to the following persons: (1) either parent, (2) a predestinated emergency contact person, or (3) any other guardian authorized in writing by the parent. We reserve the right to keep a child at the childcare if we are not completely certain about any person who has come to pick up the child. The parent(s) will be contacted immediately if this happens. For the safety of the child, we will also not release a child to a parent/guardian who appears intoxicated.
The parent(s) are responsible to notify the childcare if there is any family situation change at home, especially when there is custody battle. We must have a copy of a court order in order to deny a parent the right to pick up a child.
Prior to attending Mighty Bambinis, parents are required to provide the following information: copy of parent/guardian ID, enrollment form (including emergency contact, pick up authorization, child’s health history), photo release form, and immunization record. Proof of immunization is required by law before admittance to childcare. In addition to ensure each child receives the care they need, we will require a personal interview with the parent and child where we will fill out the Child Needs and Services Plan.
A child will not be considered enrolled, and the spot will not be reserved, until a signed copy of the Contract & Rate Agreement and a non-refundable deposit of the first month’s fee is received (applied to last month).
You’ll be given a supply list for daily supplies. Please be sure to maintain your supplies on a daily basis.
Notice of Changes
The parents must provide notice immediately of any changes regarding the contact information, or medical health insurance coverage, or other significant health issues. Please submit updated immunization records to Mighty Bambinis after doctor's visits.
Because we are dedicated to provide only quality care, and because we care deeply for all children, there may be times, unfortunately, when the care we provide is not suitable for certain children. The first 14 calendar days will be considered a probationary period for all parties including the child, parents, and provider. Should the arrangement prove to be unsatisfactory for either the parents or the provider, the contract may be terminated.
If the parent is planning to withdraw the children from the childcare, parents must provide a written termination notice 60 days prior to last day of care, to ensure adequate time to fill the opening. The notice shall be signed and dated by Evelyn Nichols. Failure to provide 60 days notice will result in a loss of your deposit.
We reserve the right to terminate care for the following reasons (but not limited to):
· Lack of compliance with handbook regulations
· Lack of parental cooperation, disrespect
· Continual or serious behavioral issues with the child
· Our inability to meet the child’s needs
· Serious illness of the child or the provider.
The provider may terminate this contract at will, in this case, the monthly tuition will be prorated. We will give two-weeks written notice of terminating childcare.
4) Financial Agreements & Policies
A non-refundable deposit of the first month’s fee is required to hold and guarantee a position for a child and to cease further competition for that position. The fee should be due upon your child’s acceptance at Mighty Bambinis, and will be applied to the last month’s tuition.
Fees for 2015-2016 School Year
Full-time Infant Program (0-24 months)= $2,800 / month
Full-time Preschool Program (24+ months) = $2,300/ month
Part-time Fees (only available for 24+ months) - currently unavailable
Part-time schedules are for full days that are consistent from week to week (i.e. Tom comes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays every week; Caroline comes Thursday and Fridays weekly).
2 days / week = $1000/ month
3 days / week = $1,500 / month
Monthly tuition includes organic meals and snacks.
* Tuition is consistent from month to month, regardless of the number of days/hours in the month that the child attends. Tuition is subject to change on a yearly basis. Individual contract prices are valid for calendar year Jan to Dec.
A one-time $30 application fee, $75 registration fee, and a materials fee ($300 for part-time, $500 for full-time) is due at enrollment.
Tuition should be paid by a check or Brightwheel (preferred).
Deposit to hold the spot is one month's tuition applied to your last month. Tuition is due on the 1st of the month, prior to receiving care, each month. On or before your child's first day, you are responsible for the first month’s tuition, the annual materials fee, and registration fee. A $25.00 late fee is charged per day late for the payment. In the event that payment is late by a period of 3 days, the child will not be admitted to Mighty Bambinis, until the payment has been made.
$40 service charge is applied to all return checks.
No refund on tuition is given for the scheduled childcare’s holidays/reserved day-offs, child’s illness, any absence, or vacation periods.
General supplies (who supplies what):
Early Drop Off / Late Pick Up Fees:
Parents are charged $1 per minute for the first hour of late pick up or early drop off (prior to the 7:55am), paid immediately upon arrival.
Your backup authorized pick up list will be notified if we are unable to get ahold of either parent by 6:15pm. Parents are required to make contact within the first hour of being late. Failure to make contact with Mighty Bambini staff within one hour of pick-up time may be reason to file a report with Child Protective Services. Consistent early drop off and/or late pick-up may result in the dismissal of the child from the program.
To avoid late pick-ups and associated fees, it is a good idea to have numerous people in advance on the designated approved pick up list as backup.
5) Health & Safety
Meals and Snacks
We are committed to providing homemade meals and healthy snacks for the children (generally following WIC guidelines). We will use organic ingredients whenever possible, and try foods from a variety of cultures. Water will accompany all meals and snacks. Food will be introduced around 6 months, or when you pediatrician recommends. For older infants (after 9 months), children will be encouraged to feed themselves in the fashion of baby-led weaning. This encourages fine motor coordination, independence, and better self-regulation of food consumption. Children eat family style to support a sense of community.
Parents can check the menu board to see what nutritious meals and snacks we will serve each day. You may bring snacks to share, but please do not bring any sweets, candies, or gum for your child.
Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be provided. Young infants will be fed on demand.
Sample Menu for 1+ years old
(Infants 6 – 9 months will have pureed fruits, vegetables, and grains)
**Please discuss any food allergies at time of intake, or whenever they are discovered.
We realize that it can be a burden on you to keep your child home when she or he is sick, but often when children start in group childcare, they get sick. To try to minimize the children’s exposure, please help us by taking the following precautions with us:
For the sake of all of the children please keep your child home if she or he is sick enough to be contagious or sick enough not to be able to participate normally in our activities. If a child has any of the following illnesses or conditions, parents must keep a child at home:
Any other symptoms, which are in the opinion of the caregiver, indicating the possible presence of a contagious disease such as chicken pox, measles, impetigo, etc. – the parent may be required to obtain a doctor’s note before the child returns to childcare.
In order to return from childcare after being sick, a child must:
(1) Be free from fever for a full 24 hours
(2) If on antibiotics, have taken them for a full 24 hours
(3) Runny nose must be clear, not green or yellow
If your child has or has been exposed to certain communicable diseases, we may need to notify the other families and possibly the Health Department. If your child has any of them, he or she should stay home, and please call to inform us as soon as possible. These diseases include (but not limited to):
Diarrheal diseases (such as Shigella and Salmonella)
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Rubella (German Measles)
If the child becomes sick while at childcare, the parent will be notified, and will arrange for pick-up of the child within 1 hours of notification. Should any serious illness or injury befall the child, the provider reserves the right to immediately call 911, or other emergency aid. Should any cost be attached to emergency aid, the parent shall be responsible unless the injury or illness is the fault of the provider.
Mighty Bambinis staff are not responsible for administering any medication to your child, except life saving emergency medications such as epi-pen or inhalers for children diagnosed with asthma or allergies.
All prescriptions (and creams including suncreen and toothpaste) must be in the original containers with the patient’s name, dosage and prescribed time to be given. The doctor must complete a medical form before medication can be administered. Parents must have a signed Medication Release form on file per medication.
We take a very relaxed attitude towards potty training. Please realize this is toilet training is a developmental milestone and accomplishment of the child. While at school, children will be given the opportunity to potty when they are interested. Children should not be compared on how the others are doing. Children will be trained easily when they are ready. The parents should begin the toileting process at home. We will follow up with toilet training suggestions and develop a plan together for your child. Underwear should be worn by children not wearing diapers.
Our environment is set up as a “yes space” meaning that is it is safe and teachers encourage children to explore freely and choose their own activities. In addition, with out small group size we are able to provide support for each child reducing their volatile moods, fussiness and conflict between children.
We understand that “twos” and preschool children are learning to exhibit a sense of self and competency and embrace their “me do it” and “no” attitudes as a healthy part of the development of autonomy. We set firm, consistent limits for toddlers in a respectful way. These limits provide them with the security they need to know they will be kept safe. Their social and emotional development are one of the most important parts of our time with your children. Our bank of "discipline" / teaching strategies include;
Going outside to nearby locations (for example: Sunnyside Playground, CCSF Child Observation classes, Balboa Park, Aptos Playground, Ingleside Branch Library, or grocery stores) for enrichment will be a regularly weekly part of our program. However, field trips that require are car or the use of public transportation will require a separate form for you to provide parent authorization for your child to attend and to authorize someone other than the child’s parent to transport the child. It would be ideal if parents can join us on field trips, as additional chaperoning will be necessary.
We have a written fire evacuation plan and practice a fire drill with the children at least once every six months. We also keep a written earthquake plan and practice once every month.
Any child who receives a minor cut or bruise will be tended to by first aid certified personnel. An injury report (Boo Boo Report) will be filled out by the teacher in attendance, and one copy of the report will go to the parent and one copy will be placed in the injured child’s file. You will receive a call immediately if medical care may be necessary. Generally, you will receive a call if a Boo Boo Report is filed out for such things as scrapes, bumps that produce abrasions or bruises, and more.
All caregivers are required by law to report any suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
With parent’s help, Mighty Bambinis has a designated 3-day evacuation for each child. We hope that we never have to evacuate our facility. However, in the event of a temporary relocation here are the two sites we might be. We will do our best to contact you if we are able, so it is essential to have correct contact information for you and your emergency contacts.
The best contact to reach us at is 858-228-6536 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our temporary evacuation sites are:
Little Lemon Tree Nursery School
1 Gennessee Street, San Francisco, CA 94112
CCSF Chasing Lions Cafe (CCSF parking lot)
50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco CA 94112
Dog on Premise
Mighty Bambinis childcare has a dog (Nina) on premise. She is well mannered and good with children. She will spend some of every day interacting with the children under the supervision of Mighty Bambinis staff. Enrolling at Mighty Bambinis means that you are comfortable with your child interacting with our dog.
6) Other Policies
If damage is deemed over and above, normal wear and tear at a childcare, parents must provide reimbursement for any damage over $10.00 caused directly by a child, within a 2-week period.
The provider will provide appropriate childcare provider insurance. The parties agree to resolve all disputes by submitting them to a neutral mediator, and thereafter to arbitration by a neutral arbitration should mediation fail to resolve the dispute. Parties shall share equally in the cost of mediation/arbitration.
Revisions to Handbook & Contract
There will be occasional revisions to this handbook and the accompanying contract at which time you will be asked to sign a new contract. We reserve the right to make changes in policies, as we deem necessary. The parents will be notified, in writing, of any changes that may occur.
Parent Communication / Grievances
Our goal is to keep lines of communication open with families. We value your participation and input, so do not hesitate to bring up ideas for your child or our program, suggestions for improvement, or just share things about yourself or life. We hope to resolve conflicts in a way that shows that we respect you/your family, your child, and your culture and values.
As a Reggio inspired program, we believe that documentation is essential for learning. Documentation is important for keeping track of memories, keeping you up-to-date about your child’s learning and discoveries, as well as a great tool for assessment. We will be making a diary for your child capturing their story while at Mighty Bambinis. We’ll keep photos, your child’s work, notes and observations and more. Our goal is to add content to it weekly, if not daily. You and your child can see it whenever you’d like, it will be keep on a shelf above the cubbies.
Evelyn Fidler Nichols