According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of three and four year olds attending some type of school program has increased from 15.7% in 1968 to 47.9% in 1998. " Preschool provides a place where children meet new friends and learn to get along with other children, both on an individual basis and in a group" states Margery A. Kranyik in her book STARTING SCHOOL.
Should my child go to preschool? How do I find the right school? Most parents ask themselves these questions when their child is between two and four years old. Some parents are definite on their decision, while others ponder the question for months. If you have decided that your child is ready for preschool, here are some helpful tips to finding the right school for you both.
Let me tell you now from experience, start researching early. Some of the top preschools have long waiting lists. A friend put her daughter on a waiting list one week after her daughter's birth. When her daughter turned three years old she was finally accepted.
My daughter was on her school's waiting list for over a year. The best time to start looking is near their second birthday.
Some schools may have immediate openings. Don't act too quickly. It is important to check out at least three schools. Each school is unique. You need to make sure you chose a preschool that is right for your child and you.
Here are some suggestions to help you make the best choice.
When you have narrowed your decision down to one school, go back one more time. Ask to sit in and observe a morning or afternoon session. See if they encourage your child to participate.
Some schools may be more academic than others. Don't let that be a major factor. "Preschool children learn more by playing, touching, observing and interacting with others. Preschool needs to be fun" says Joanny Iaccino, teacher at Encino Parents Nursery School. " If a child's first exposure to formal learning takes place in a caring and wonder filled environment, it can help shape positive attitudes toward school that will continue".
You are your child's first and life long teacher. You need to make sure that your child's second teacher is a good match. Once you have decided on a school, be sure to support your child. Ask about their day. What was the best thing that happened? What was a bad thing that happened? What song was sung at circle time? What did they do when they played outside?
Hang their art work in the house for everyone to see. Talk about school at the dinner table with the entire family. Help your child pick out their outfit for their next school day.
You want your child to wake up in the morning and say "Do I have school today?" When you reply with a "yes" and they respond with a "hooray," you know that you have chosen the right school.
Jill Weinlein is the Outreach Director for the Southern Area Board of CCPPNS. This article has also appeared in two Los Angeles area parents magazines.
The home page should be designed with a purpose or objective in mind. For example, to expand the reach of your school in an electronic medium by providing information to prospective parents who want to learn more about the philosophy and methodology of your preschool program.
Suggestions for school topics to present to the general public:
Some general steps to begin:
Some general tips:
Larry Chu is currently Electronic Media Chair and a former Outreach Director for the Northern Area Board of CCPPNS. He is also a management consultant, advising financial service and e-business companies on the strategic implementation of information technology and resources.
“Quick-Check” is a collection of abbreviated notes from Title 22, Division 12, Chapter 1 of the Department of Social services, and also includes important CCPPNS membership and insurance information. It is intended to be a ready reference to pertinent rules and regulations. However, as a Director, President and Board of Directors of a parent participation nursery school, you should be cognizant of all requirements.
Each school in CCPPNS is a unique entity and each director and school must be knowledge of, and responsible for the implementation of ALL rules and regulations applicable to their own school.
Compiled January 2004
...it a tool, a reference, a “QUICK-CHECK”.
CCPPNS MEMBERSHIP & INSURANCE INFORMATION
IMPORTANT DATES & FEES:
Membership Dues – Dues to your council and to CCPPNS are due in November and delinquent January 1. It is the responsibility of the director to complete / update the renewal forms (check for changes), and that the Council Rep has a check in a timely manner. Be aware the amount of dues changes annually. Dues must be paid for the school to vote at the CCPPNS General Meeting at State Convention.
Insurance recommended by CCPPNS for its schools:
Insurer of Record for CCPPNS:
Annual policy period is April 1 to April 1 covers:
Note – Because the law requires ALL drivers to have insurance, this policy is secondary, and is only activated after the driver’s limits are exceeded. All parents must have proof of insurance filed with the school. The director must make visual inspection of all vehicles driven on field trip. If a school does not have parents drive school children for field trips or other school activities this may be a moot point, i.e. not applicable to your school.
*As employees of the school (not members of the school) the director, teachers and other paid staff are not covered as drivers.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE:
This insurance is not included in the above list because most CCPPNS members are covered through the State Compensation Insurance Fund, a government-owned insurance program. By law every school is required to protect its teachers and director with workers’ compensation insurance. Dates for renewal vary as to school.
Contact Robert Hadzor Insurance Services for more information.
BASIC INFORMATION FOUND IN MANUAL OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TITLE 22 DIVISION 12 CHAPTERS 1 & 2 of the DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, COMMUNITY CARE LICENSING DIVISION
Every school shall have and keep on file a current plan of operation that must be revised and filed with DSS when changes are made (adding a toddler component or a “stay & play” program.) (# 101173)
Admissions policies (#101218)
School financial statement must be available for review for DSS. (# 101213)
Parent participation/cooperatives shall employ a full-time teacher in addition to director when the number of children reaches 25. (# 101216.5 (a))
A ratio of one staff member or participating parent for each five (5) children in attendance. (#101216.5 (b))
Parents in parent participation schools and teachers for special classes (music, art, etc.) who will be under the supervision of the director are not required to be fingerprinted. (#101170 (2) (D))
The license shall be posted in a prominent location (# 101160 (a))
Facility number/license number shall appear in all advertisements, publications or announcements used in publicity (advertising for new members). (# 101162 (1) (a))
Once a year, a non-profit corporation must, in print, make public their non-discrimination policy.
Every school must pay an annual fee adjusted by capacity. The fees are delinquent 30 days after billing (# 101187 (a) (1)). As of the writing of this document fees are as follows:
ANNUAL VISIT (#101201):
Every school can expect an annual evaluation visit form the Dept. of Social Services (Community Care Licensing). A site visit shall be unannounced. If during the visit the evaluator deems that a deficiency exists, a notice of deficiency will be issued, unless the deficiency can be corrected during the visit. If not, the director and evaluator shall discuss the deficiency and develop a plan for and a date of correction not more than 30 days.
The notice of deficiency shall be in writing and will include; regulation or law violated, description of deficiency, the plan and date of correction.
To determine compliance with the plan of correction; a follow-up visit may be necessary unless the school has demonstrated the deficiency was corrected as required (phone call, picture sent, etc) Upon a finding of noncompliance, the DSS may levy a civil penalty to be paid to DSS daily until the school is in compliance.
A DSS report relating to a site visit shall be posted for 30 days – failure to comply will result in a civil penalty of $100
A copy of a DSS report pertaining to a facility visit that results in a citation as specified or as the result of a complaint investigation must be posted for 30 days upon receipt. Failure to comply will result in a civil penalty of $100 (new – AB 1683 as of 1/1/2004)
Refer and read the following:
Deficiencies in Compliance – (#010093)
The Director shall be accountable for the general supervision of children *(see Note below), and with the Board and Membership for establishing policies concerning the operation of the school (#101214)
Director & teachers shall provide care and supervision to meet children’s needs. Supervision shall include visual observation. (See Note below) (#101229 (a) (1)
NOTE - participating parents function as teaching parents and as such are a part of the adult / child ratio. Teaching parents are involved in the daily program and it is the Director’s responsibility that teaching-parents are dispersed through out the school to be WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE, and under their DIRECT OBSERVATION AND SUPERVISION.
Director shall be at least 18 years of age and meets the qualifications specified in section 101215 of the Manual of Policies and Procedures – Title 22
There shall be a clear written statement (job description) of authority and responsibility delegated to the director and must be available to DSS. (#101215.1 C (1))
The Director (or a qualified substitute) must be on the premises during school hours. (#101215.1 (d))
When director is absent, a fully qualified teacher as specified in Section 101216.1 shall act as substitute.
When the director is absent for more than 30 consecutive days, the substitute shall meet the qualifications of a director. (#101215.(f) (1))
Each school / director shall maintain an up-to-date list of qualified teacher substitutes as defined in (#101152q.(1))
The director must have at least 15 hours of training in preventative health practices, including pediatric CPR and pediatric first aid. (#101215.1 (m) (1))
Teacher qualifications – 101216.1
Teacher aide qualifications – 101216.2
PERSONNEL RECORDS (# 101217):
Employment application forms shall be completed and maintained on each employee and shall be available to DSS upon request. The file should include:
Employee’s full name, current home address and phone number
All personnel records shall be kept for at least three years following termination of employment and maintained @ the child care center.NOTE: For NAEYC accreditation TB test requirement for staff is every 2 years
MEMBERSHIP – CHILD & FAMILY RECORDS (#101221):
All records shall be maintained at the nursery school and be readily available to DSS Membership files are always at school and are kept for a minimum of three years.
All information and records (family membership and child’s) shall be confidential. The director shall be responsible for safeguarding the confidentiality of records with the following exception: All children’s records shall be subject to reproduction by DSS upon demand during school hours. (#101221 (c ) (d)
Membership files shall include: (See order form from DSS)
Admission (Membership) agreement –copy - signed & dated
File I9 form on all new employees (done by school districts for ADA schools).
Each year after school election, or when a change in president of the school occurs, a statement of Domestic Nonprofit Corporation must be filed with the California Secretary of State. Director will sign the form as the receiving agent for any legal documents.
President must be fingerprinted, & criminal clearance kept on file. (#101212 (e) (3))
A Change in the school director shall be reported to DSS within 10 days of change, including verification of education & qualifications as required in (#101215.1 (h))
A report shall be made to DSS by phone or fax within the next working day and a written report containing specified information within seven days for any of the following: (101212 (d)(1))
Any injury to a child requires medical treatment
Report shall include: (#101212 (d)(2))
Child’s name age, sex and date of admission
The director shall report to the local health department all outbreaks or suspected outbreaks involving two or more children of any communicable disease listed in on pages 50-51 in the Manual – Title 22 (these are from Title 17 section 2500)
INFORMATION TO BE POSTED:
School license shall be posted in a prominent location (#101160 (a))
School shall post a written disaster plan – ( section #101174) for extensive information
A membership roster shall be posted in the office and available to DSS. (101221)
Menus shall be posted in area accessible to parents (#101227 (6))
Special dietary needs for children shall be posted in the food preparation area.
The director shall post a sign at the entrance to the center that provides the telephone number of the local health department and information on child passenger restraint systems (car seats) pursuant to Health & Safety Code Section 1596.95(g) and Vehicle code Section 27360(b) (#1011225 (f))
Workers’ Compensation information shall be posted in area accessible to staff.
The center shall post a copy of LIC 613A (Personal Rights form) in a prominent, publicly accessible area in the school. (#101223 (b)(2))
DSS report as a result of, or pertaining to a site visit shall be posted for 30 days. Failure to comply will result in a civil penalty of $100. (See info. in section about annual visit)
GENERAL HEALTH and SAFETY:
Conduct disaster (fire & earthquake) drills at least every 6 months (#101174 (d))
Drills shall be documented and file maintained for one year.(#1101174 (d)(2))
School shall have readily accessible in cooking area / kitchen a fire extinguisher, which shall be recharged annually.
School shall have earthquake supplies (food, water, medical) in quantity for children, parents & staff: (#101174 (a)). Seek information from Red Cross or obtain the Disaster Planning Guide for Child Care Centers from DSS.
There shall be no smoking on school premises (#101231)
No firearms or other weapons are allowed on or stored on premises (#1101238 (2))
There shall be a working telephone available. (#101224)
A director/teacher supervising activities away from the school shall have in her possession a first aid kit and for each child; (1) a signed consent form for emergency medical treatment (2) emergency information (parents phone #, authorized relatives or others to be called to assume responsibility for child) (#101226 (1, A &B)
The school shall maintain the following first-aid supplies in a location accessible to staff, but inaccessible to children (#101226 (d)(1))
A current edition of a first-aid manual
*In a schools that chooses to handle medication – see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Child Care Centers, Title 22, Div 12, Chapter 1 – section 101226(e) pages 78-79
ILLNESS PROCEDURES AND POLICIES:
Directors shall be responsible for a daily inspection for illness – (#101226.1)
Children with obvious signs of illness are not accepted
Special attention shall be paid to children who:
Director shall develop and implement a written inspection procedure (#101226.1 (b)) that shall include the following: (1) no child shall be accepted without contact between staff (director) and the person bringing the child to school. (2) the director shall require the person bringing the child to school to remain until the child is accepted (3) after the child has “passed inspection” the person responsible for child shall sign in. (see sign-in procedures below).
A school shall be equipped to isolate and care for any child who becomes ill during the day. The isolation area shall be located to afford easy supervision by staff, and equipped with a mat, or cot. This area shall not be located in the kitchen or general use toilet area. The child’s parents/authorized representative shall be notified to remove child from school as soon as possible. (#101226.2)
Any unusual behavior, or any injury, or sign of illness shall be reported to child’s parents and noted in child’s records. (#101226.3)
The director shall implement and maintain a written procedure to sign each child in/out of school, that shall include the following; (#101229.1)
SNACKS / MEAL POLICIES (#101227):
Full-day programs shall offer a midmorning and mid-afternoon snack.
Half-day programs shall offer a snack.
Parents may send snacks for child.
Menus shall be in writing and shall be POSTED at least one week in advance in an area accessible for review by parents.
Copies of menus as served shall be dated and kept on file for at least 30 days and shall be available for review by parents and DSS.
Director shall be aware of all special diet restrictions due to medical necessity or allergy and appropriate diet served. POSTED in food preparation area.
Milk shall be pasteurized. Raw milk may not be used. Powered milk may be used only in cooking and baking.
All food preparation and food storage areas shall be kept clean, and persons engaged in food preparation and service shall observe personal hygiene and food service sanitation
Equipment necessary for the preparation and service of food or snacks shall include:
Food preparation area shall not be use as – (1) play area (except when children are involved in supervised food preparation / activities. (2) napping, (3) passageway for children while area is being used for food service.
Pesticides, cleaning compounds and similar solutions shall not be stored in kitchen/food preparation area or food storage cupboard and shall be in locked cabinet inaccessible to children. Soap and detergent shall be stored in areas separate from food supplies.(#101227.(16))
Schools that serve children in half-day programs are not required to schedule napping periods or have napping equipment.(#101230 (2))
A napping space, a cot or mat shall be available for children at schools with afternoon programs. ( # 101230 (b) 1)
Ratio of one (1) teacher or qualified aide may supervise 24 napping children, provided that remaining teachers necessary to meet overall ratio are available. (#101230 (c))
NAPPING EQUIPMENT (#101239.1):
Napping equipment shall be arranged so each child has access to a walkway without having to walk on or over mats / cots of other children
Cots shall be maintained in a safe condition
Floor mats shall be (1) constructed of foam at least 3/4 inch thick, (2) covered with vinyl or similar material that can be wiped, (3) marked or colored so that the sleeping side can be distinguished from floor side.
Mats shall be wiped with a detergent/disinfectant weekly or when soiled or wet and shall be maintained in a safe condition – no exposed foam
Each cot or mat shall be equipped with a sheet to cover it and depending on the weather, a blanket for each napping child.
Bedding shall not be shared by different children with out first laundering the bedding.
Bedding shall be individually stored so that each child’s bedding is identifiable and no child’s used bedding comes into contact with other bedding.
Sheets shall be washed weekly or when wet or soiled; blankets cleaned regularly or when soiled
Each child shall have an individual storage space for clothing, personal belongings and/or bedding.
EQUIPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT:
There shall be at least 75 sq. ft. per child of outdoor play space and 35 sq ft per child of indoor activity space based on licensed capacity. Floor space occupied by shelves, permanent cabinets, etc., halls, office, bath room, storage area are not included in calculations. (#101238.2 – 101238.3)
There shall be one toilet and one sink for every 15 children – based on total licensed capacity. * There shall be one toilet and sink for staff use and near isolation area for ill children.
*Schools licensed prior to December 31, 1983 and operating continuously since then are not required to make modifications to meet requirement * above.
Faucets used by children for personal care shall deliver hot water - water of not less than 105 degrees or more than 120 degrees in sinks used by children. Not withstanding above, hand-washing fixtures shall not be required to deliver hot water.(#10123.9 (e))
Common towels or washcloths are not permitted (#101239 (j))
Drinking water form a non-contaminating fixture or container shall be readily available both indoors and the outdoor play area. Bottled water is allowed provided that containers are secured to prevent tipping. Children shall be able to drink as they wish. (#101239.2)
Schools shall be clean, safe, sanitary and in good repair at all times to ensure the safety and well being of children, employees, parents and visitors. All outdoor and indoor passageways, stairways, ramps, porches and other areas of potential hazard shall be kept free of obstruction. (#101238)
All play equipment and materials used by children will be age appropriate. Tables and chairs will be scaled to size of the children. (#101239 (m) (k))
All equipment shall be maintained in a safe condition, free of sharp, loose or pointed parts – beware of slivers on wood play equipment. (#1011239 (n)(o,1))
Play equipment and play areas should be arranged so there is no hazard from conflicting activities.(#101239 (o))
Areas around and under climbing equipment, swings and slides shall be cushioned with a deep bed of material that absorbs falls (sand, pea gravel, wood chip, rubber mat made specifically for this purpose) (#101238.2 (e))
Unless designed to be portable, playground equipment shall be securely anchored tothe ground. (#101239 (o))
Playground – Children are able to get to it safely, It must be fenced and provide areas of shade for the children. (#101238.2)
To avoid entrapment – gaps in play equipment should be less than 3 1/2” or more than 9”
Sand boxes should be covered when school is not in use – sand boxes and sand activity areas should be checked daily for debris (#101238.2 (f))
It is imperative that playground equipment is kept in good repair. In the near future, the Department of Social Services will set standards and criteria for safe play equipment and playgrounds. If at that time it is necessary for a school to replace play equipment be advised that CCPPNS RESOURCE DIRECTOR in both Southern Area and Northern Area have information from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on guidelines for playground safety for your information.
BE INFORMED!!!!! Directors and School Presidents: All new and changing information about playgrounds and state regulations from the Health Department and Department of Social Services on all matters will always be forthcoming from CCPPNS through your regional council. For this and other important information it is imperative to have your school representative attend all regional council meetings. STAY INFORMED!!!
SCHOOLS THAT HAVE A TODDLER COMPONENT MUST ADHERE TO ALL REGULATIONS AS SET FORTH IN TITLE 22 AND REGULATIONS AS SPECIFIED IN Section # 101216.4 (a) 1 – 6
Marjorie A. Bohn
Information from workshop at Convention 2004
The following are my notes from the CCLD workshop.
Participating parents function as teaching-parents and as such are a part of the adult/child ratio of 5-1. Teaching-parents are involved in the daily program and the Director’s responsibility that teaching-parents are dispersed through out the school to be WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE AND UNDER THEIR DIRECT OBSERVATION AND SUPERVISION keeping the ratio of 5-1
Know the regulations. When you have a site visit, ask questions of the CCLD representative and challenge their opinion if necessary as they are to help us provide good child care, and to know and understand the regulations.
(Abbreviated notes from Title 22, Division 12, Chapter 1 of the Department of Social services compiled by Marjorie Bohn)
The Center for Health and Health Care in School
Check the organization's website for the latest grants available with regards to promoting health in schools.
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