Parents' Guide

Assessments

We regularly assess each child developmental progress and share our findings with you. Our assessment incorporates the Connecticut Early Learning Developmental Standards (CTELDS) as a basis for expectation.are Guidelines We incorporate our You are welcome to request a conference at any time of the year. Should a concern arise, we will arrange a mutually convenient time to meet and determine a course of action. 

Babysitting Policy

Cornerstone employees may not be contracted for child care service outside the Center by current clients.

Bedding and Linen 

Cornerstone provides complimentary linen service for cot linens, crib sheets, infant blankets and bibs. Items brought from home should be taken home and laundered at least weekly.

Breakfast

We encourage children arriving at the Center before 8:00a.m., who are not inclined to have breakfast at home, to bring along simple, nutritious finger foods like Cheerios©, hard cheese and crackers, or fresh sliced fruits packed in disposable containers. We always have milk available. Is your child not a breakfast eater? Do not worry, a nutritious snack is provided at about 9:00a.m.

Clothing

Parents are expected to provide sufficient clean, seasonally appropriate clothing, and undergarments for daily use. Children grow almost overnight so check frequently to be sure that sizes of the clothing you leave at the Center remain ample. Iron-on labels or laundry markers should be used to identify each item. One complete change of clothing is mandatory. Children in the process of toilet learning should have from three to six full changes of clothing on hand. Be sure to select comfortable clothing that is easy for you to launder and is simple enough for him to (learn to) put on and take off by himself. 

Please remember that children go outside every day and will need appropriate outerwear. The ability to add or remove a layer for fall/spring works best. Winter coats, hats, snowsuits, boots and mittens are appropriate and for summer send in a sun hat, bathing suit, towel and water shoes. If your child wears boots or sandals to Cornerstone remember to pack a pair of sneakers. All clothing should be stored in your child's cubbie.

Spare clothing is on hand for emergency use. Spare clothing should be laundered and returned the next day your child attends the Center.

Child Abuse Prevention

Abuse and neglect of our nation's children is a serious and highly prevalent problem. Cornerstone endeavors to meet its obligation to protect the children in its care from abuse and neglect in the following ways:

  • As "mandatory reporters," our staff is trained in child abuse detection and reporting requirements on an annual basis.
  • We check every child each day upon arrival. We seek explanations for injuries and complaints from the children.
  • Staff are attentive to changes in children's behaviors, moods, attitudes and expressions. Unusual patterns are noted and shared with parents.
  • We provide an "open care" environment with large rooms, many staff members constantly about, lots of windows, few doors and walls and an "open door policy" with regard to parental visits.
  • Positive identification is required from any adult entering the premises.
  • Children may not be removed from the Center except by duly authorized persons who have been positively identified.
  • We encourage parents to use child safety seats, sunscreens, and appropriate discipline. We advise parents about nutrition, seasonal dress, typical child behavior and development.
  • We encourage families having difficulties with their children to avail themselves of competent counselling. We provide referrals on request.
  • Cornerstone is required by state law to report any evidence or suspicion that a child or children are being or have been abused or neglected directly to the state Department of Children and Families. We accept our charter as a "mandatory reporter" without equivocation.

Discipline

Policy

At Cornerstone we believe that self discipline is best. Children in an active, child-driven and engaging program rarely require discipline. Such an environment encourages children to develop respect for others, self-control and social adjustment.

We believe children will develop self discipline if we:

  • act as we expect them to act
  • set reasonable and positive expectations
  • respect their feelings and their need to express them
  • trust them to succeed
  • offer them good choices
  • calmly resolve issues

At Cornerstone we:

  • recognize and reinforce positive behaviors (all ages)
  • redirect children to choose alternative choices (especially important for infants and younger toddlers)
  • initiate problem solving, determine and discuss appropriate behaviors (especially important for older toddlers and Preschool Pre-Kindergarten children.) 

Time Out

Time out is the only disciplinary sanction Cornerstone employs. Time out is appropriate for children 2.9 years in age and older only. Time out is not meant to be punitive as much as an opportunity for a child to regain self control. It is done in a non-specific space, aside from the main stream of activities, in the program space or in the office. Time out may only occur under continuous staff supervision and is limited to one minute for each year the child is in age.

Children who are disruptive, violent, crying inconsolably or those who are in the midst of a temper tantrum or other severe behavioral episode will visit in the office under one-on-one visual supervision for the period necessary to achieve control. Regrouping and reentry to group play is often easier without the distraction of an audience.

In the event of recurrent or severe behavioral problems, the teacher contacts the parent to discuss the problem and possible solutions. The Center works with outside experts and the parents to develop a plan to modify the behavior. The Center may refer the family to a behavioral therapist/child psychologist. The Center may require this referral as a condition of continued enrollment.

Prohibited Methods of Discipline

Anything that would cause physical or emotional harm to a child, including but not limited to abusive, neglectful, corporal, humiliating, or frightening punishment, and physical restraint, unless such restraint is necessary to protect the health and safety of the child or other people, is prohibited.

Developmental Needs

We believe that children benefit from interaction with other children. Children with developmental advances, delays and infirmities enjoy and enrich Cornerstone's programs. We regularly assess each child development and share our findings with you. If a concern is noted, a conference is set at a mutually convenient time to determine a course of action which can include a professional evaluation.

Fee Policy

Cornerstone is operated for profit and is supported primarily by parent paid tuition. The Center does not seek to raise funds through solicitation or through events designed exclusively for that purpose. Cornerstone cannot accept monetary donations, gifts-in-kind, commodities or government or charitable grants other than in aid to individual children.

Health

A current certificate of good health (not more than twelve months old) signed by the child's physician is required at the time of enrollment. Updated health forms are required annually up to the year the child enters school. Thereafter, the school's requirement for such is satisfactory.

Enrolled children are required to have completed immunizations appropriate to their age. Immunization updates are due when any immunization is received.

Children new to a child care center or school environment will doubtless contract more frequent colds and other ailments than they would at home. Be prepared for it and be assured that as your child's immunities are strengthened by exposure, episodes of illness will be less frequent. 

We require that you inform us whenever you know that your child has been exposed to a contagious disease. Some communicable childhood diseases include chicken pox, German measles, impetigo, fifth disease, measles, mumps, pinkeye, ring worm, scarlet fever, strep throat and whooping cough. Children exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms should not be brought to the Center, or must be removed immediately:

  • elevated temperature*
  • nasal discharge (other than clear)
  • vomiting*
  • diarrhea*
  • an unexplained rash
  • reddened eyes
  • listlessness
  • undue irritability or inability to be made comfortable.

* readmission will be permitted 24 hours after the last episode

If your child is seen by a physician to treat an illness or injury, written authorization is required for your child to return to the Center. This helps us to ensure that the Center remains relatively free of communicable disease and that your child is able to resume vigorous activity without harm.

We believe that children healthy enough to be at the Center are healthy enough to participate in all aspects of the program including outdoor play. Please do not request that we exclude your child from outdoor play. Such a request is not possible for us to honor without jeopardizing the safety and quality of the play program for other children.

Lost Articles

Please label or mark all clothing items and other personal belongings you bring to the Center. Labeled or marked items are difficult to lose. Found articles can be recovered from the lost and found box.

Medication Policy

No medication, prescription or nonprescription, will be administered to a child without the written consent of a parent and the written order of an authorized prescriber indicating that the medication is for a specific child. The first dose of any medication must be administered by a parent or guardian with no adverse effects prior to the administration of the medication by Center staff.  

Per State Day Care Licensing Regulations:

  1. Prescription and Non Prescription Medication Authorization Forms be completed in their entirety*
  2. Medications must be in original, child-resistant, safety container containers
  3. Prescription medications must be accompanied prescription label on the original packaging. 
  4. Medications cannot be expired
  5. All medications must be handed off to staff trained in the administration of medication.  

*Medications based upon a child’s weight must be accompanied by a Prescription Medication Form completed by a doctor. 

There is an individual trained in the administration of medications present whenever a child who has orders to receive medications is present at the facility. This person will have been trained by a physician or a registered nurse in the proper methods of medication administration. No other staff are allowed to accept medications. 

Prescription and nonprescription medications must be handed off to the above mentioned staff person. Absolutely no medication may be stored in a child's bag or cubbie. 

In the event of a power outage Center personnel is unable to administer medication requiring electricity.

Prescription Medications include but are not limited to: 

  • Oral medications
  • Topical medications inhalant medications
  • Injectable medications (in a premeasures, commercially prepared syringe for a child with a medically diagnosed condition who may require emergency treatment

Nonprescription Topical Medications include but are not limited to:

  • Diaper changing or other ointments free of antibiotic, antifungal or steroidal components
  • Medicated powders
  • Teething, gum or lip medications

Non-prescription medications must be in their original containers labeled with the child's name, must be handed to an afore mentioned staff person upon arrival at the Center and may not be stored in a child’s bag or cubbie. 

Naps

Infants nap on their own schedules. All other children at Cornerstone are given the opportunity to rest and/or sleep for at least one hour and no longer than three hours each day. Children not able to sleep may “read” or (after one hour of rest) play quietly until other children are awake. Schoolagers may spend this quiet time reading their “just right” books or playing table or other quiet games. 

Non-Discrimination

Cornerstone welcomes families of all shapes and sizes regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle, ability or national origin. We do not discriminate in the administration of our policies or programs.

Right to Dismiss

Cornerstone reserves the right to dismiss a child from the Center for the following reasons:

  • non-payment of tuition or fees.
  • incompatibility of the child or parent(s) with the Center's program 
  • noncompliance with Cornerstone policies

Dismissals follow thirty days written notice of intent to dismiss from the Center. Dismissals may follow thirty days suspension in lieu of notice.

In the event of dismissal, the entire account balance including unpaid tuition, fees, and other charges herein referenced is immediately due and payable.

Safety

The children's safety is of paramount importance. Cornerstone's equipment is designed for rugged play and safe use. Supervision is adequate at all times and staff members are well schooled in safety precautions, first aid, CPR and the safe control of groups of young children.

We conduct fire drills regularly and inspect toys and apparatus on a regular schedule.

First aid is always available. Physicians, dentists and hospitals are on call for advice and help and an ambulance service is only moments away. Cornerstone’s Registered Nurse Consultant monitors conditions at the Center and to ensure that our staff consistently uses safe and healthy practices.

Even with the best precautions illnesses and accidents happen; fortunately, most are minor scrapes and bumps, a part of every child's experience growing up. We treat all injuries seriously, even if it amounts only to a hug and reassuring words as treatment. We will inform you of all accidents involving your child of which we are aware, minor ones at pick-up time, those less minor by phone. Accidents, illnesses and injuries are documented. A copy of the report is placed in your child’s mailbox

Cornerstone assumes no responsibility for medical expenses a child incurs for injury sustained or illness contracted at the Center. Parents should ensure their child's coverage under an adequate medical insurance plan.

The Center offers every modern safety feature to keep the children safe inside our doors and gates. No child is allowed to open a gate or door.  Do permit your child to do so at drop off or pick up. The safety of your child is in your hands. Be certain to have control of them in the driveway, street and parking lot and use appropriate child safety restraint devices in your cars. 

Schedules

Full-time

Any five day regular schedule over 6 hours per day is considered full-time. The schedule is firm and families are financially committed to it one month at a time. Full-timers are entitled to care up to 12 hours per day as scheduled. There is no credit for casual absences of up to two weeks duration.

Part-time

Any regular schedule of attendance other than full-time is known as part-time. Part-time schedules comprise of one to four full days or up to five part days each week. The schedule is firm and families are financially committed to it one month at a time. Adding (if available) or dropping days is done upon prior written notice from the parent. Part-time schedules, like full-time schedules, allow no credit for casual absences (up to two weeks duration). We give families with children on part-time schedules first priority for available Flex-time space. One day a week schedule requests are evaluated on a case by case basis.  

Flex-time (Hourly basis)

Flex-time is an arrangement by which families use available space for their children at the Center on a first come, first serve basis. Children attending as Flex-timers receive the same level of care and services as children attending regularly. We compute Flex-time charges on an hourly basis for each hour or part of an hour used at rates in effect at that time. You may request available space by telephone or in person any time before you need it. Giving us early notice of your needs enhances the likelihood that space will be available. A confirmed Flex-time schedule may be expanded (assuming space is available), changed or canceled up to seven a.m. on the day of planned use without a financial penalty. A child arriving earlier or leaving later than the confirmed time is billed for each of those events that occur.

Signing In and Out

Log in and out at the foyer computer each time you arrive or leave with your child. This enables us to have an accurate attendance list to use in the event of an emergency, Check with the office to secure your individual access code, and instructions on how to use the computer.

Sunscreen

Cornerstone provides SPF 30 sunscreen and staff apply it regularly to children who will be exposed to the sun in either of our swing set play grounds provided we have written parental authorization to do so.

Toys and Personal Belongings

Cornerstone provides many interesting and age-appropriate toys which are multi-child user-safe. For safety reasons we ask that toys from home stay at home and naptime comfort items be limited to one small, soft toy that can fit in a shared cubbie. Licensing regulations prohibit stuffed items of any type in cribs. Including those attached to pacifiers.  We cannot store other personal items such as car seats during the day. We do not have sufficient storage space to do so safely.

Withdrawal / Re-enrollment

Cornerstone does not require notice in advance of full or partial withdrawal of a child from the Center except in the Infant Program. A family wishing to withdraw from the Infant Program must provide one month notice to not forfeit all or part of their nursery deposit.  

To temporarily withdraw a child tuition for the month (or four weeks tuition in the case of weekly payment) the child is expected to return is to be paid in advance of the withdrawal date. In this way, parents guarantee the child's space and avoid having to pay the reenrollment application fee. Tuition paid in this manner is not refundable but is creditable against tuition charges for up to three months beyond the original expected date of return.

 

In the event of the withdrawal or dismissal of your child the entire account balance including unpaid tuition, fees, and other charges herein referenced is immediately due and payable.