UCNS Handbook

Download the UCNS Handbook

Handbook Excerpts

Arrival/Departure | Absence/Illness | Clothing | Snow | Snacks/Birthdays | Toys | Parent Participation | Special Occasions | Records | Emergencies | Complaints | Discipline | Behavior Management Policy | Abuse & Neglect | Medication Policy

If your child attends Extended Day:

Please send your child with a nut-free lunch and beverage each day he/she attends Extended Day. We recommend simple nutritious foods your child can easily manage. Please do not send candy or sugary foods. Please include an ice pack in your child’s lunch box. Label the lunch box clearly with your child’s name. When packing your child’s lunch, please include everything they will need (utensils, straws, etc.) and note that we cannot re-heat lunches.

Enrichment Program:

Every month we will have outside “guests” who will share with us their special talents and professions to enhance our curriculum. Past in-house events and activities have included visits by community helpers (police, dental hygienist, animal caregivers), musical artists, mobile science lab, parents, and seasonal “Talks with the Children” led by Pastor John Livingston.

OUR SCHOOL DAY

Arrival & Departure:

Please park in the parking lot upon arrival and escort your child to their classroom.  Parents of Three’s, Four’s and Five’s must sign in and sign out your child on the daily class attendance sheet.  If someone other than the normal caregiver will be picking up the child, you must notify the teacher and provide a written note or fill out a blue sign out slip and place with the attendance sheet. There will be no exceptions to this.

If a child is not picked up, the parents and emergency contacts will be called, and the child will remain in the nursery school area with assigned teachers until a parent or emergency contact arrives. A staff member will remain with the child until a parent or emergency contact can be located and the child is picked up.

A Few Words About Being On Time:

It’s very important that you are on time, both arriving at school in the morning, and picking up at the end of the day. Late arriving children miss many learning opportunities that occur during free play at the start of our day. In addition, young children need the time we allow for free play; time to choose an activity, time to get involved, time to talk with friends, time to complete what they’re doing and time to pick up. When a late arriving child doesn’t have the time he or she needs he may become frustrated, and disruptive. However, please don’t arrive earlier than 9:15 a.m. Our Teachers need time to prepare their classrooms for the day, and are not free to supervise children before the starting time.

Pick-up Policy:

At the end of the day most children are tired. As other parents and caregivers arrive, your child may become unnecessarily anxious if you are late.  We understand that unforeseen situations can happen that may prevent you from being on time. Therefore, we allow each child to be picked up late three times over the course of the school year.  After the third incident, our late pick up policy will go into effect.  For every minute that you are late picking up your child, we will assess a $1.00 fee. This can add up quickly! So please, remember to plan accordingly so you can pick your child up on time!

Absence:

If your child will not be attending school, please call the school and inform the teacher, or director, or leave a message on voice mail. It is preferred that you email the teacher, and copy the director as soon as you know your child we be absent. Please let us know if your child was signed up for Extended Day, in order that we may let a wait listed child know there is an opening.

Illness

A child should not attend UCNS with any of the following symptoms:

  • FEVER
  • UNDIAGNOSED RASH
  • LICE
  • VOMITING
  • DIARRHEA
  • SORE THROAT
  • RED/DISCHARGING EYES
  • SEVERE COLD
  • PERSISTENT COUGH
  • OR ANY OTHER CONTAGIOUS DISEASE OR INFECTION!

You should contact UCNS if your child comes down with a COMMUNICABLE disease. When a communicable disease has been reported, notes will be sent home immediately to all parents and a copy of the notice will be posted on the Parents bulletin board. NO CHILD WILL BE ADMITTED INTO THE SCHOOL UNLESS HE/SHE HAS BEEN FEVER-FREE AND OFF FEVER REDUCING MEDICATION FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS. UCNS Staff will not administer any medication during the child’s school day unless the child has an Individual Health Plan on file in the school for a specific medication. However, parents are welcome at the school at any time to administer medication to their child. (Please refer to UCNS Policy on Administration of Medication for further information.)

Clothing:

Children will be playing hard and they should be dressed for close encounters with paint, glue, sand, dirt, play-dough, water and cooking ingredients. Please send a separate set of clothing to school in a clearly labeled ziploc bag in case a change is needed. PLEASE LABEL ALL CLOTHING – there is a Lost and Found box in the hall if anything is lost. Make sure that you send in new clothing as the seasons change so that the change of clothes is appropriate for the weather.

Outdoor Play:

Since outdoor play occurs every day that the weather permits, dress your child appropriately.  This means warm clothes including hats, mittens, snowpants and boots in cold weather and rain gear on rainy days.

When it Snows:

UCNS follows the Norwalk Public Schools schedule with regard to inclement weather. In the event that the Norwalk Public School closes school for the day, UCNS will also be closed. In the event of a Norwalk Public School delayed opening, UCNS will open 10:00 AM. If severe weather conditions begin in the morning and the public school has an early dismissal, UCNS will close at 11:45 a.m.Extended Day and Lunch Bunch will be canceled. ALL students must be picked up by 11:45 a.m. Snow days will not be made up. Allowances are made for snow days when planning the school calendar.

Norwalk Public School closing information may be heard on Norwalk radio stations:  WNLK 1350AM & WEBE 108FM, and Connecticut Cablevision Channel 12. UCNS will send an email, and also notification through our REMIND website. Parents are required to register their number on this site.

Snacks:

A nutritious and nut-free snack, along with water, is provided each morning by the school each day. Typical snacks include crackers, fresh fruit or cheese and are prepared by the teachers with occasional help from the students.

Celebrating Birthdays:

As we are a Nut-Aware school, we prohibit parents from bringing in cupcakes and the like for a child’s birthday. If you wish to celebrate your child’s birthday, you may schedule a date with your child’s Teacher to bring in a birthday craft or peanut-free treat to share with the class. Any treats that are brought in must be labeled peanut free. You may not distribute invitations to your child’s birthday party at school UNLESS every child in the class is invited.

Toys From Home:

Children are not allowed to bring toys to school. Toys designed for home play are often inappropriate and unsafe for use by large groups of children. Also young children may find it difficult to share their toys as they may feel the toy is a part of them. Except for toys that are needed in the very opening days of school or to ease your child’s transition from home to school, we ask that you leave your child’s toys at home or in the car to greet him/her when you pick the child up.

Guns, swords, or other toys of destruction are not allowed at school. To allow children to express feelings of aggression, we suggest play-dough to pound (good for manual dexterity), hammer and nails (good for visual-motor perception), or finger-paint (to soothe jangled feelings while practicing a developmental rhythmic movement).

Parent Participation in Class:

Parents participation in the classroom is always welcome and encouraged.  You may want to come in and read one of his/her child’s favorite stories to the class, or share a special talent, or tradition. This is a favorite time for your child to be able to share his/her parent.

Special Occasions:

UCNS schedules a few very special events for parents and families. In September or early October, there will be a special “Parents Night” where parents can come to their child’s classroom to meet with the teachers, learn about the classroom, meet other parents from the class, and find out what’s going on this year. During December, in celebration of the Holiday season, the Fours put on a morning Holiday show full of music, songs and fingerplays. We also celebrate “Dad’s Day” by inviting them in with their child on a Saturday morning. At the end of the school year, all our UCNS families are invited to Bayley Beach for the Annual Picnic Lunch.

Children’s Records:

All children must have a completed registration application on file. The following 3 forms must be on file, and up to date at all times, for every child in our program:

  • CHILD HEALTH RECORD:
    This form must show that your child has had a complete physical with the past 12 months, and has received the required immunizations. NO STUDENT WILL BE ADMITTED TO THE SCHOOL WITHOUT A CURRENT HEALTH FORM.
  • PERMISSION AGREEMENT:
    This gives the staff permission to call an ambulance, and perform emergency CPR if necessary. It also gives your child permission to use the playground, and take walks with their teacher on the property. Please update as necessary.
  • EMERGENCY INFORMATION:
    This gives us important names and telephone numbers of whom to call when your child becomes ill or has an accident. Please update as necessary.
Emergency Evacuation:

In the event of an emergency where the school would need to be evacuated, the children would be moved to Hilltop Homes (next door to the church), which is our designated Emergency Shelter. Teachers will bring emergency phone contact numbers for all children.

Procedure for Filing Complaints:

This procedure is for child day care programs, which are licensed under the authority of Connecticut General Statutes 19a-79-1 through 19a-79-12. Most problems within a day care center are non-life threatening and can be resolved by:

  • Discussing the problem with the classroom teacher
  • Discussing the problem with the program Director

If the problem is not resolved, you may contact the Department of Public Health, Day Care Licensing Unit.
In case of an emergency, notify the Department of Public Health as soon as the emergency is under control.

In cases of abuse/neglect or life threatening situations, contact the Department of Children and Families at 1-800-842-2288 and the Department of Public Health, Day Care Licensing Unit at 1-800-282-6063.

ALL INSPECTION REPORTS AND COMPLIANCE LETTERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR INSPECTION AT THIS DAY CARE PROGRAM OR BY CONTACTING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH – DAY CARE LICENSING UNIT AT:

410 Capitol Avenue-MS#12 DAC 1-800-282-6063
P.O. Box 340308 1-800-439-0437
Hartford, CT 06134-0308 (860) 509-8045

THE SAME PROCESS WORKS FOR COMPLIMENTS AS WELL!

Discipline Policy:

All UCNS Staff use the following disciplinary measures in order to encourage self-control and self-esteem in each child:

  • Careful supervision of children to prevent conflicts before they arise.
  • The use of words and mediation to settle disputes and conflicts among children.
  • Encourage and support positive interactions.
  • Set consistent and developmentally appropriate limits and expectations for children that reflect their understanding and safety.
  • Use redirection techniques to encourage appropriate behavior.
  • If necessary, the teacher and child will find an alternative place or activity within the school until the child is ready to rejoin the activity.

BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT POLICY

UCNS Procedures for Handling Atypical Development and Challenging Behaviors:

Children’s development and behavior is taken seriously at UCNS. We feel strongly that it is the responsibility of our staff and administration to provide a safe, supportive, and developmentally appropriate program to all children to the highest degree possible. Therefore, we will adhere to the following policy on the management of children with atypical development and/or challenging behaviors.

Definitions:

Atypical development shall be defined as that which does not meet established norms for children of the same age group in any of the domains of development including physical, language, motor, self-help, cognitive, and social/emotional domains. Challenging behaviors shall be defined as aggression such as biting, hitting, pushing, kicking or other potentially dangerous acts toward other children or staff. Also, inappropriate language, inability to follow rules and comply with directives, escaping from the classroom, outbursts and tantrums, disruption of classroom activities or any act which endangers the health and safety of self or others, damages property, or disrupts program quality.

The step-by-step process for assessing, referring, and accommodating children with atypical development and/or challenging behaviors is as follows:

Teachers will bring concerns about a child’s development immediately to the attention of the director who will document those concerns and place them in the child’s confidential file. Parents will be notified when any behavior of the child is in question. At the director’s discretion, an education, health, and/or mental health consultant who has contracted with the program can be contacted for the purpose of advice on assessing, referring, managing and/or accommodating the behavior/development of concern. In many cases, such informal guidance is enough to handle those concerns satisfactorily. Parents will be informed about how these issues will be addressed at the center before there are any modifications to the child’s program and to share the recommendations of any consultant.

In the event that the child’s development remains of concern, the parent will be informed by the director. At this time, it will be the responsibility of the parent to seek evaluation services through one of the following choices:

  • Health care specialist (if a physical concern) of the parent’s choice
  • Mental Health professional (if a behavioral concern) of parent’s choice
  • Public school early intervention/special education programs (children over 3)
  • Connecticut’s Birth to Three System (for children under 3)
  • Public services (Help Me Grow, Early Childhood Consultation Partnership, etc.)

Any fees related to such evaluations shall be the sole responsibility of the family unless otherwise agreed upon in advance by the child care program.

Parents will be required to submit evidence of contact/appointment with such services within one week of the referral or the child’s attendance will be suspended until the evidence of contact has been made. The program agrees to cooperate with consultants and professionals in allowing them to make assessments of the child and his/her educational environment on-site. No information about the child will be provided to these agencies or individuals without parent’s signed consent.

The parent agrees to provide the results and recommendations of assessments to UCNS for the purpose of appropriate program planning for the child. This information may be presented in writing or in a personal meeting between the parent, center staff, and outside agency or professional. Any cost of such planning meetings will be the responsibility of the parent unless otherwise agreed upon. UCNS agrees to follow professional recommendations regarding the accommodation and support of the child’s development to the greatest extent possible while maintaining program integrity and within budgetary, regulatory, or building restrictions that would prohibit making modifications or accommodations to the program. The parent agrees to provide a copy of an IFSP or IEP and permission for the program to communicate with special education
personnel and therapists for the purpose of consistency and support in a detailed plan of care as required by DPH. This program is fully compliant with the ADA.

Support service professionals, therapists, and special educators will have full access and cooperation to provide services on site during regular business hours provided they are oriented and agree to follow program policies and procedures. Program transitions will be facilitated by the center in cooperation with other service agencies and transportation systems.

A re-evaluation of the success of any recommendations will take place at a time set by the director, generally 7 to 30 days from implementation of any recommendations. At that time, a determination will be made to either continue successful programming, modify programming for another 7 to 30 days, or recommend an alternative placement for the child. In such cases, or in the case of non-compliance with this policy, parents will have 2 weeks to make new arrangements unless the child is a danger to himself or others, or disruptive to program quality in which case dismissal from the program shall be immediate.

The method and schedule for continual monitoring of the child’s growth and development will be determined by the director and will be dependent on the effectiveness of the program for the child. Parents have the right to access any information regarding their child’s program and/or development and will be immediately informed should any issues of concern occur. Parents have the right to make on-site visits at any time the program is in session.

Abuse & Neglect Policy:

UCNS requires its Staff to report any and all situations involving Child Abuse and/or Neglect. If any of our staff, in their professional capacity, has reason to suspect that a child has been the victim of child abuse or neglect, they will report the incident to a Law Enforcement Agency within 24 hours.

Administration of Medication Policy

UCNS policy regarding medication is restricted to the dispensing of oral and inhalant medication for children who have asthma, allergies, or other conditions that might require the administration of emergency medication. The dispensing of such medication can only be done when the following conditions, as required by the state of Connecticut, are met:

  • Doctor’s order has been completed, signed, and stamped by the pediatrician and signed by the parent or guardian on a state approved form.
  • Medication date has not expired and has been prescribed for the child specified on the doctor’s order. The parent is responsible for providing the medication. It must be presented to UCNS in the original container with appropriate labels.
  • At UCNS, the medication will be stored and kept in a cabinet or refrigerator, as appropriate for the medication. UCNS staff members will maintain current certifications to dispense these medications. Medication administration will be recorded on a state approved form and any medication administration errors will be reported to the parent.

Forms for Parents

UCNS Forms
Waivers, permissions, emergency contact, & pre-payment forms.

Meet the Staff

UCNS Staff
Meet the director and teachers who make UCNS so great!

News & Events

UCNS News
Find out what’s happening at UCNS & what’s coming up next!

School Calendar

School Calendar
Find out what’s going on now, next week, or even for the entire year

Address:

United Church Nursery School
210 Rowayton Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06853

Contact Us:

Phone: 203-853-3554

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