AmeriKids LLC. Parent’s Handbook
Hours and Days of Operation
Our Center is open Monday through Friday, year round. We open at 6:30 a.m. and close promptly at 6:30 p.m.
Our emphasis is on the whole child. By creating a safe, loving, nurturing and enriching environment, we want to foster the growth and development of healthy, happy, confident children.
Our director, Rebecca Jorstad, has worked in the Fairfax County childcare community for over 32 years. Our teachers and aides are also dedicated, well-trained, educated and experienced professionals whose qualifications exceed Virginia’s requirements. Our staff members are qualified and up to date in CPR and First Aid. Every employee undergoes an in-house review of background and all references, a criminal background check by the Virginia State Police and a central registry check by the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Our program is designed to offer a fun and enjoyable experience while providing developmentally appropriate challenges, skills and goals in a manner that will promote self-esteem. Our lesson plans revolve around a weekly/monthly/seasonal number, letter, shape, theme or activity.
Good communication between our Center and our parents is essential. Our Director or her alternate is always available. Please feel free to ask questions, express concerns, leave messages, or discuss your child’s progress. It is important that we work as a team for the benefit of your child. Check the bulletin board for daily announcements, reminders, and teachers’ reports. Accident reports containing the date, time, injury, treatment, etc., for any bruises, cuts, etc., your child may incur must be signed by the Parent/Guardian or other authorized individual picking up your child in the afternoon. You may also check out our website at www.amerikidsllc.com for general information concerning our center.
Children of all races, creeds and nationalities are welcome. If there is a waiting list, we will add your name and call you as soon as an opening becomes available. We recommend one or both Parents/Guardians visit the Center with your child before he/she begins our program.
The Registration Form, completed Contract, a completed Physical Examination form, the completed Emergency Sheet and a completed Pick-Up Authorization must be turned in prior to enrollment. Parents/Guardians whose child is enrolled in our 3-day or 4-day program must designate specifically which days their child will attend. The Center requires a 2-week written request to alter this schedule. The Director must approve the request before a change in schedule can be made. Things to remember on the first day:
- A shoe-box containing a complete change of clothing (shirt, undershirt, underpants, slacks/shorts, socks). Clothing must be updated seasonally and as used.
- A Crib-size sheet and a crib-size blanket with child’s name on each (State requirement). Both sheet and blanket are sent home on Fridays to be washed and returned the next Monday morning. A fee of $1 per day fee will be charged to use a school blanket.
- Diapers or “Pull Ups” with side openings and wipes for children not potty trained. Diapers or “Pull Ups” with side openings and wipes must be replaced as needed.
Tuition and Fees
Prior to enrollment, a non-refundable program registration fee will be due, guaranteeing your child placement in our program. This fee will hold a child’s spot in class for two (2) weeks from date of payment. A security deposit of one week’s tuition is due when the child is enrolled. This deposit is completely refundable after four weeks. Tuition is charged weekly and is due on Monday each week. Tuition is subject to change upon thirty (30) days notice. There are no deductions or credits made for any absence from the Center regardless of whether the absence is due to sickness, inclement weather, vacation, legal holiday, etc. If your child will be absent for an extended period of time (maximum of 3 months), half the monthly tuition is due for each month they are absent. This will hold their space in the class. Weekly tuition and associated fees are posted and a copy is available. A $35.00 fee will be charged for any/all returned checks. Cash or Money order must then be paid from then on out.
Physical Examination/Health Forms
Every child is required to have a current Commonwealth of Virginia examination and immunization certificate signed by a physician each year. This certificate will be maintained on file at our Center. No Exceptions. Have the Doctor make a note of any chronic conditions, allergies, and food sensitivities.
Divorce Disputes/Child Custody
AmeriKids, LLC, t/a Annandale Children’s Learning Center, will remain neutral in any and all divorce/custody situations. If a staff member is subpoenaed by either of the parents, the staff member will be compensated for loss of work and travel expenses. If a subpoena is issued for any documents, the center will be reimbursed at the rate of $30 per hour for time spent gathering materials and for copying. Neither Annandale Children’s Learning Center (ACLC) nor its employees are responsible for resolving questions or disputes between estranged parents regarding the custody of any child in our care. Unless a court order to the contrary is provided, a child will be released only to the Parents/Guardians or persons whom they have authorized. Annandale Children’s Learning Center (ACLC) will request assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department to resolve disputes arising on property.
Arrivals and Departure
Parents/Guardians are required to park their car in a parking space, walk child into the Center, and sign child in (indicating time). When picking up a child, Parents/Guardians are required, again, to park their car in a parking space, walk into the Center and sign child out (indicating time). Please do not block entrance into the Center. As a safety precaution, we do not release children directly from the playground. Parents/Guardians shall notify Center of their child’s absence and/or change in schedule. Each child’s departure must be documented on our daily “sign out” sheet by a person authorized to pick up the child as designated by the Parents/Guardians on the Pick Up List. Parents/Guardians picking up a child late will be charged a late fee of $15 for the first 15 minutes or portion thereof and $20 for each additional 15 minutes or portion thereof. After repeated incidents, a child may be dropped from enrollment at our discretion. The late pick-up fee is due immediately. The Center may call legal authorities to report children left in the Center one or more hours after our normal closing time (6:30 p.m.).
Parents are welcome to visit the school at any time during our hours of operation; however, we request that questions and/or comments be withheld during class time or unscheduled visits. If a conference with your child’s teacher is desired, Parents/Guardians should call the Director to schedule an appointment. This is to avoid a disruption of class activities, schedules, and to avoid the attention of the teacher being diverted away from the children in class. At least one parent-teacher conference will be held each year.
Nutritious mid-morning and afternoon snacks are provided. A snack menu will be posted. Parents may bring in separate snacks if child has a documented food allergy. We recommend that you feed your child a balanced breakfast before he/she arrives. We do not provide breakfast; however, between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. your child may have ready-to-eat foods/fruits brought in disposable containers. Parents should bring a bagged lunch containing a well-balanced meal. (See the Director for suggestions if you need them.) The Center will provide the children with 2% milk, juice and water each day. Children in our before-and-after school program will be offered snack(s) as well. The Parents/Guardians must provide the Center with complete written documentation of any food allergies and reactions their child may have. *To avoid food-borne illness, leftover foods will be disposed of at the end of the lunch period. (Please do not bring frozen dinners, or foods that require preparation or assembly, including cans that need to be opened with an opener. The Center does not have the ability to prepare and/or cook meals for students.) Please do not bring in food/drink in glass containers.
We recommend that toys and jewelry not be brought from home. We cannot be responsible for loss or damage of toys or jewelry. This policy is to avoid potential loss and conflicts arising over sharing “treasured” possessions.
Please dress your child in clothing that is comfortable, washable, and appropriate for a day of play and learning. Any clothing that may be taken off and misplaced (hats, sweaters, mittens, coats, etc.) should be clearly labeled with your child’s name. Please make sure your child’s extra set of clothing is changed seasonally. We prefer tennis shoes rather than sandals, crocks or flip flops for safety reasons.
Children enjoy running, playing, shouting and being outdoors. Weather permitting, all children are to spend one-half hour or more each morning and afternoon outside. We will exercise our best judgment in this regard. Please make sure that your child has clothing that is appropriate for the daily forecast.
Note: Please keep your children home when they: (1) are running a fever over 100 (2) have a rash without a Dr.’s written explanation, (3) are experiencing flu-like symptoms (4) have diarrhea (5) have pink eye (conjunctivitis) or any other condition which might be spread to the other children. We will notify you as soon as we are aware your child is ill. Your child will be considered ill if he/she has a fever (over 100); recurrent vomiting or diarrhea; or any communicable disease. The Parents/Guardians or another authorized individual must pick up an ill child within one-half hour (30 minutes) of notification by the Center. This requirement is to prevent the spread of contagious viruses and infections. For this purpose, it is required that all Parents/Guardians update their “Emergency Information” sheet every 6 months as well as every time a phone number, address, or an emergency contact changes. The Parents/Guardians will inform the Center within 24 hours or the next business day after child or any member of the immediate household has developed any reportable communicable disease, as defined by the State Board of Health, except for life threatening diseases which must be reported immediately.
Medications will only be given in emergency (life and death) situations. Parents/Guardians are welcome to administer medications during the day prior to 12:30 p.m. and after 2:30 p.m. A staff member must be present when the Parents/Guardians dispense the medication and the staff member must initial the entry after the Parent/Guardian signs a logbook which documents the time that the medication was given, the name of the medication, the quantity, the name of the child who received the medication and the name of the parent who dispensed the medication. Please apply a 24 hour sunscreen during the summer, before dropping your child off in the morning. We do NOT apply sunscreen, diaper ointment, powder, lotion, bug spray etc.
Our Center’s rules, limits and behavior expectations are made with the ages and abilities of the children clearly in mind. Our teachers, as role models, are aware of their responsibility to teach social skills and safety rules by example as well as by encouraging good behavior. When it becomes necessary to discipline a child, we do the following:
- We encourage the child to verbalize his/her feelings.
- When needed, we intervene and attempt to redirect a child’s attention or activity.
- For more significant disciplinary problems, we use a “cooling off” period. This means that, when a child misbehaves or displays undesirable behavior, he/she is temporarily separated from his/her group or activity. This break allows the child time to calm down. After a brief period of time, he/she is again able and encouraged to rejoin the group or activity.
No child is ever punished for a toileting accident. This is a natural childhood occurrence and we treat it as such. At no time is physical punishment, verbal abuse, withholding food, or withholding playtime used at our Center.
Policy on Reporting Child Abuse
Law requires that childcare staff report the following: physical abuse, neglect, emotional maltreatment, and sexual abuse.
Annandale Children’s Learning Center (ACLC) will be closed for the following days/holidays: Teachers Work Day (prior to opening of fall session), New Year’s Day, Martin Luther Kings birthday, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving & Friday after, Christmas eve, Christmas Day & day after Christmas.
Snow & Emergency Closings
We follow the schedules for the federal government and/or the Fairfax County government (not to be confused with Fairfax County public schools) as they relate to serious weather conditions (i.e., snow, ice, flood, hurricane, or tornado) or other. Therefore, if either the federal government or Fairfax County government is closed due to serious conditions, we are closed. If Fairfax County government is closed and the federal government is open, we are closed. (An emergency situation might exist within the County that might not affect the federal government.) If the federal government and/or Fairfax County government is on liberal leave, we will make every attempt to open. If you have reason to believe the staff may have difficulty getting in, please call our office (703-256-4770) before leaving home to make sure the Center is open. We will have a recording indicating if we are closing or opening late. Note: we will close if any circumstance or condition develops which might pose a threat to the health or well being of the children attending the Center and our staff. More specific information as to emergency evacuation procedures is available upon request. If the weather becomes bad during the day or if road conditions begin to deteriorate, please plan to leave work early so that you and your child and our staff can reach home before it becomes too dangerous to travel. A staff member will contact you if it becomes necessary to close the Center early. When the federal government is closed or closes early, we also are closed or will close early.
A two-week (2-week) written/typed notice must be given prior to the withdrawal of a child for any reason. Parents will be charged during that period. A late fee will be added until the total owed is paid in full. Once a child has been withdrawn, a new registration fee must be paid and a new contract must be signed in order to re-enroll a child/children. If your child will be absent for an extended period of time (maximum of 3 months), half the monthly tuition is due for each month they are absent. This will hold their space in the class. The Center may disenroll any child without prior notice if the Center makes the determination that the child’s dis-enrollment is in the best interest of the child or the Center. Behavior that will cause disenrollment includes, but is not limited to, the following: acts or threats of physical violence, unresolved differences with a parent or child, or non-payment of fees. Every effort will be made to resolve any conflicts that arise. The Director and Administrator are responsible for making the final determination regarding expulsion. The Parents/Guardians will pay all court costs, attorney fees, and any other legal expense incurred by Annandale Children’s Learning Center (ACLC) in the process of collecting money due under the terms and conditions of the contract.
7100 Columbia Pike
Annandale, Virginia 22003
Administrator – Sheila Ohi
Director – Rebecca Jorstad