MERRI'S DAYCARE
ROCKFORD, IL 61108
(815) 218-5814
MY PARENT HANDBOOK


Meals and Snacks

Merri's Home Daycare will be participating in the Illinois Child Care Bureau child and adult food program, which means that I will be
reimbursed a certain rate for each meal or snack offered to a child, In return for serving wholesome foods that follow set nutrition
guidelines.  2 meals and one snack or 2 snacks and one meal will be included in the cost of care.

The meal schedule I follow is listed below.  If the children are here during those times, they will be served.  Children who choose not
to eat will not be served again until the next scheduled meal or snack.  If the child will be arriving after mealtime, please feed them
before they arrive.  This helps the day run more smoothly and eliminates problems caused by children arriving with happy meals in
hand.

breakfast 7:00am-7:30am
morning snack 9:30am-9:45am
lunch 12:00pm-12:30pm
afternoon snack 2:30pm-2:45pm
dinner 5:00pm-5:30pm
evening snack 7:30pm-7:45pm

Infant Feedings:

Infants will always be fed according to their own schedule.  They will always be held during their meal times and bottles will never be
propped.

Parents may be asked to provide the infant's formula, juice and baby food.  There are a few reasons why this decision might be made:
* the child is not immediately enrolled in the food program.
* the child's pediatrician has a different time schedule for introducing different types of food than the food program outlines.
* the parent prefers to provide all food for the infant in order to know exactly what brands the infant has consumed and how it was
prepared.
* the infant is having a hard time with allergies, etc and has to switch formula and/or foods often.

All formula will be mixed according to manufacturer's directions, labeled with the child's name, dated and refridgerated as needed.  
Any leftover formula, milk, juice, or baby food will be discarded.  For this reason, you may wish to provide me with a full can of
formula so that I may prepare bottles as needed, or bring extra bottles of prepared formula.

When a child reaches 12 months of age or when it becomes developmentaly appropriate, a sippy cup will be introduced and bottles
should be left at home after the child has successfully learned to use the cup.

Meal and Snack Guidelines

Breakfast:
milk (in a cup)
fruit or veggie
bread or cereal

Lunch and Dinner:
milk (in a cup)
meat
veggie and/or fruit (2 total)
bread

Snacks: (consists of 2 items from 2 different groups)
milk (in a cup)
fruit or veggie
meat
bread

Meals are served family style, which means that I will include the children in parts of the preparation, table setting, serving
themselves and clearing.

I never force a child to finish what is on his/her plate, but I do encourage each child to try one or two bites of everything.

If your child requires a modified diet I will need a physician's written instructions.

Preschool Program

We use ABCmouse.com program for kids ages 2 and up.  
I also will be incorporating a preschool curriculum into our daily activities for
fun and to prepare the older children for school.  This is done at no additional cost to you.  This is a theme based curriculum set up on
a weekly basis, but if a theme is of particular interest to the children we will spend extra time on it. Activities include arts and crafts,
stories, music, games, etc.  These activities will allow your children to be successful and feel good about themselves, use and develop
language skills, use large and small muscles, learn new ideas and skills and expose the child to a variety of cultures.  The program will
also encourage creativity and imagination through the use of various materials and mediums.

Rest/Quiet Time

All children under the age of five are required to have rest time.  Our rest time is 1:00pm-3:00pm.  I will provide a safe, warm quiet
place for your child to rest.

Children who do not fall asleep or who awaken early will be guided to quiet activities that will not disturb other sleeping children.

If at any time your child is not sleeping through the night, or he/she doesn't seem ready to go to bed and you feel it is because
he/she sleeps too long here, don't hesitate to mention it to me and I can try waking him/her up a little earlier each day.

Infants will be allowed to follow their own patterns of sleeping and waking.

Toys From Home

Merri's Home Daycare furnishes a wide variety of appropriate playthings.  I ask that no toys be brought to daycare from home.  
Anything brought will be put up safely until the child is picked up.  This policy is for the concern of all children in my care.  One of the
behaviors I encourage is respect for others.  This includes sharing.  Often times children have a hard time sharing toys they bring
with them from home.  Also, since children share toys anything from home would have the potential to be damaged or misplaced.  The
only exceptions to this policy are:
* a special blanket or stuffed animal to be used at rest time.  This will be put up and only used at the appropriate time.
* show and tell.  At times we will have a show and tell period.  I will inform you ahead of time when this will occur.

Behavior Goals

At Merri's Home Daycare I try to stress two main patterns of behavior: respect for other people and respect for property.  As a
result I do not allow hitting, pushing, biting, kicking or pinching other children.  Obscene language is not allowed.  I also stress that
they treat material possessions (both mine and theirs) with respect.