Infant, toddler and preschool programs are open weekdays from 7am – 6pm. Before and after school programs for Kindergarten and School Age children are open weekdays from 7am to the morning school bell and from the afternoon school bell until 6pm.
Safe Arrival and Departure
Parents must bring their children into the program each day and come into the program to pick them up, so that their child(ren) can be signed in and out. Parents may sign a waiver allowing children age 10-12 years to arrive and/or leave (at a set time) unescorted.
The safety of your child is of primary concern to us. At the end of the day, children are released to the child’s parent, or anyone else the parent has authorized on the registration form. If someone other than the parent (or other authorized person) is to pick up the child, staff must be notified in advance in writing. Designated persons picking up a child will be required to show identification until staff members become familiar with them. Children will not be released unless these conditions have been met.
The use of taxis for picking up or dropping off a child is discouraged. We recognize that in extremely rare cases this may be the only option for a parent. A specific procedure has been designed for this situation. Please ask to see a copy of the policy if you feel you may need to use this means of transportation in case of an emergency.
Please ensure that your child has appropriate clothing for daily outdoor play in all seasons.
For safety reasons, children are required to wear shoes with closed toes and heels. Running shoes are preferred. Flip flops and shoes with heels are not safe for active play, especially outdoors.
If your child sustains a bump or bruise while playing, appropriate first aid (e.g. disinfectant, bandage, etc.) will be applied. Staff will complete an ‘Umbrella Accident/Incident Form’ in duplicate – one copy for the child’s file and one for the parent.
If a child becomes seriously ill while in attendance at the centre, or suffers an injury requiring immediate medical attention, the staff will call the parent immediately to inform him/her of the situation. Whenever possible, a joint decision will then be made regarding the medical treatment required.
If the parent cannot be reached, child care staff will seek immediate medical advice and follow through as directed. If necessary, the child will be transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital emergency department. A child care centre staff member will accompany the child, and the staff remaining in the centre will endeavor to contact the parents by telephone to inform them of the situation. Parents will be required to report to the hospital to complete the necessary forms.
Parents are required to keep Umbrella staff informed of their current work and home telephone numbers, as well as emergency telephone numbers, which are recorded in the child’s file in the program.
At least two (2) emergency contact telephone numbers are required for each child at all times. It is also critical to inform the program if you will be out of town for the day, or unavailable at the usual number.
Fire Drills and Secure Schools Protocol
Each Umbrella program has a written procedure for fire drills that has been approved by the local fire department. Every staff member is familiar with this procedure, and each room has specific instructions for moving the children safely out of the building. The procedures are posted in each room and unannounced fire drills are carried out once per month in full day sites and once per month during the school year in extended day programs.
Every school has procedures in place to protect students and staff in the event of a serious incident in or around a school. Depending on the event, responses may range from Shelter in Place, Hold and Secure or Lockdown. These procedures are communicated to all users of the building and are practiced several times a year. Umbrella staff and children are included in the procedures and participate in the practices when they occur.
Each program is required to obtain an emergency evacuation site, the location of which is posted in the Parent Information Area. In the event that the building becomes unsafe, children will be evacuated from the school and moved to our emergency location. Once staff and children are safely at the evacuation site, parents will be notified by phone. Staff will remain with the children until their parents pick them up. A copy of the Emergency Evacuation procedure at your child’s centre can be found in the Parent Information Area or requested from your site’s Supervisor or Program Leader.
When the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board makes a decision to close schools for the day due to a snowstorm or other emergency, Umbrella programs are also canceled. Please check the HWDSB website for information regarding school closures. Should the Board of Education make a decision to close schools in the middle of the school day, the parent is responsible for making arrangements to pick their child up from the school/program as soon as possible.
Extreme Temperatures and/or Smog Advisories
For the well-being of both children and staff, outdoor play will be reduced or eliminated when Environment Canada issues an advisory based on weather conditions (e.g. heat and humidity, wind chill, smog advisories, etc.)
Child and Family Services Act
In compliance with the Child and Family Services Act, any staff member or person who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has suffered – or may be suffering from – abuse or neglect, must report the suspected abuse to the appropriate Children’s Aid Society (CAS or CCAS). Under the Act, a ‘child’ is a person under the age of sixteen (16) and ‘abuse’ occurs if a person who is providing care of the child causes or allows the child to suffer physical harm, emotional neglect or sexual interference.
Suspected abuse MUST be reported to CAS/CCAS by the staff member on the day the suspicion occurs. The Supervisor will also be notified of the action taken. The CAS/CCAS will then commence an investigation as appropriate, and will contact the family, usually within 24 hours. CAS/CCAS will often ask the reporting teacher not to inform the family that a report has been made, as this may interfere with the investigation.
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