Welcome to Shaughnessy Point Grey Out of School Care
affectionately known as SPG. Please read the entire Family Handbook so you are aware of all the important information that may affect you and your children. Sharing an understanding of all SPG’s policies and procedures will help ensure that your family’s experience in our centre will be a positive one. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask. You will find monthly updates and policy information on our website at http://www.spgoutofschoolcare.org.
SPG’s main centre is located in the Activity Room of Quilchena Elementary. This has been our home base since the society’s incorporation in September 1977. Today, we also use an Art Room we created in the gym area and all the lower hallway spaces. We are proud to be a non-profit, parent-run organization meeting the needs of Quilchena students and their families.
Our Mission and Philosophy
Our goal is to provide professional care, tending to the needs of each child for nurturance and guidance. We aim to make it possible, through the environment we create and the program we implement, for children to become more aware of their own self-worth and more responsible for their actions. SPG serves more than 70 families from all parts of the community and promotes the social, cultural and artistic development of youth. Through our recreational program, we attempt to build skills and confidence within all individuals and offer new experiential opportunities in a safe, judgement-free setting.
Children learn and develop best when treated as individuals. We realize that each child comes to us with a different background and a different rate of development. We aim to encourage SPG children to build upon their own abilities at their own pace.
Play is serious business to a child. A child’s social, cognitive, emotional, and physical needs may be met through a program that is play based.
We are always open to the ideas and suggestions of children and parents. We use member input to enhance our programming and we go beyond standard daily programming to include activities such as skating, drama, yoga, science and art workshops, and special guests.
In our centre, we have a wide variety of games and toys, blocks, interest centres, computers, imaginary play centres, arts and craft supplies, a playhouse and a reading area for children to choose from. We have also created a space dedicated to art projects and use the hallway spaces as needed and gym as available.
Monthly schedules of activities and events are posted in our centre to give the children a sense of routine and an expectation of upcoming activities. Our website at https://spgoutofschoolcare.org also provides current calendar and policy information.
Our program takes into account the different interests and abilities of children of varying ages. Our Primary Program encourages children Grades K through 3 to develop social skills and fine motor skills, offering a selection of carefully-planned, age-specific activities each afternoon. Our Intermediate program encourages self-direction for children Grade 4 and up.
Our schedule of activities remains flexible, allowing for change if the need arises.
Active Play Policy
Why is ACTIVE PLAY Important? Active play helps to promote healthy growth and development and supports body control and movement. Active play can help build strong bones and muscles, improve balance, coordination and assists with the development of gross motor and fine motor skills. Active play also helps to promote children’s confidence, improves concentration and thinking and learning skills and provides opportunities to develop social skills and make friends. As such, SPG’s programming meets or exceeds the standard of practice set by licensing.
Screen Time Policy
SPG does not schedule regular movies. We may show a movie once in a blue moon (inclement weather may factor in). We do have two iPads the children may use for homework purposes and, after 5:30pm each evening, the children may sign up with partners for ten-minute turns using them for games. That’s pretty much it for screen time (except when we show our Annual Slideshow of Awesome Events).
We work as a team to achieve our mission and stay true to our stated philosophy. Our team members are selected for their positive outlook and supportive demeanour. We are all First Aid certified and have completed criminal record checks and background reference checks. SPG ensures all staff members have the required minimum 20 hours experience and are supported in the pursuit of professional development opportunities throughout each year. Safety is part of our ongoing program at SPG. Earthquake and fire evacuation procedures are posted in the daycare and are practiced regularly.
As part of our community vision, SPG supports volunteerism and we welcome volunteers to participate in our program. All volunteers are interviewed and complete criminal record checks and background reference checks. Volunteers are considered program support and are not counted in our staff ratio and are not directly responsible for the supervision of children.
We are committed to providing healthy food to our young members. We believe that modelling healthy food habits in our childcare setting will impact lifelong eating habits. Balanced daily snacks are provided that are supported by Canada’s Food Guide. We offer healthy alternatives to members with food allergies, diabetes or other food restrictions. For a look at our typical snack list go to https://spgoutofschoolcare.org
Our programming includes indoor and outdoor play each day and can sometimes get messy. Washable, comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and suitable footwear is ideal.
We ask that children keep their own toys at home. Free Play Fridays are the only exception. Please note, we cannot be responsible for items brought from home.
To enhance our quality program, SPG staff members take groups on local field trips (eg: skating, running). In most cases, your monthly fees cover all costs related to such activities. We travel by foot, on public transit (including buses, SkyTrain, and the SeaBus), and in charter school buses. Transportation costs are also included in your monthly fees. We require that all parents complete the “Activities and Excursions Waiver” that includes many of these activities.
Our program runs Monday through Friday, twelve months a year (excluding statutory holidays and annually determined winter break closures). On days when school is in session, our hours are from 7:30am to 9am and from 3pm to 6pm. During school breaks, our hours are from 8am to 6pm. SPG is typically closed for a few days during winter break and for one staff development workshop annually.
In the event a labour dispute or safety issue prevents Quilchena Elementary from opening, SPG will not be able to operate. Should an alternate location be found, parents may have to pay additional fees to cover any increased overhead.
In the event Quilchena Elementary is closed due to inclement weather, lack of heat or electricity or any other condition which makes the building unsafe to inhabit, SPG will also be closed. Staff on site will contact parents and wait until all children are picked up. Should the building require evacuation before parents can collect their children, staff will escort children to the Kerrisdale Community Centre.
Our Parent Board
As a parent of an SPG child, you have an opportunity to play a direct role in determining our policies and programs. Each registering parent becomes a Direct member of our society and has a vote at our Annual General Meeting (non-registering parents are Associate members). SPG is governed by a volunteer Parent Board, comprising Direct and Associate members, which meets up to eight times each year. We encourage you to become involved whether as a Board member or by sharing your skills with the society. We need your expertise, time and talents to make SPG flourish.
Board Nomination Process
- Towards the close of the school year (usually by May 31st), a general invitation is sent to all members via email inviting expressions of interest.
- By mid-September of the new school year, a second invitation is sent to all members indicating which positions are open. This invitation includes encouragement to contact the parent-liaison or vice-chair with any questions. (If volunteers are not forthcoming, SPG will hand-deliver to each family a request for statements of interest.)
- Once interested parties respond, skills of those volunteers are balanced against need and final requests to potential board members are made.
- Proposed slate to be finalized one week prior to AGM. Brief biographies of proposed directors will be posted.
- New and continuing board members will be elected by a vote at the October AGM, which all parents are invited to attend.
Parent Communication Responsibilities
Any time your child will be absent on a regularly scheduled day, you must contact the centre before the time they are expected (usually 3pm).
Should your child not arrive at the expected time, centre staff will:
- have your child paged over the PA
- check attendance with your child’s teacher
- check the school office, library and school grounds
- contact you regarding other arrangements that may not have been communicated to staff
If you cannot be reached and your child cannot be located, centre staff will contact POLICE to report your child missing. So, please, if your child is going to a friend’s house, let us know.
You are responsible for making contact with daycare staff in person when dropping children off (to ensure we are actually in the centre) and must sign your child out at pick-up time.
If your child is to be picked up by someone other than those named on the “Child Pick-Up Policy Form” you must contact the centre in advance. If that person is unknown to SPG staff, we will need information from you about that person including their name and a physical description. That person will have to show photo identification.
General Health and Well-Being
In order for our staff to provide the most appropriate care for your child, it is important that you share information with staff members that is pertinent to your child’s general health and well-being.
- has your child received support from Vancouver Supported Childcare Services or any other organization
- are there any behaviour management concerns
- is your child on medication
On a daily basis, you should share with the staff any information relevant to our care for your child.
- what is happening at home (eg: death of a pet)
- any physical or emotional occurrences
- new experiences
- what your child tells you about our program
Feel free to ask the staff any questions about your child’s day.
Did they eat/try anything new/make a new friend…
Please ensure that all our file information is up to date. In case of emergency, it is imperative that we have current contact information including:
- work and cell phone numbers
- change of address
- email address
- change of emergency contact person
- pick-up list changes
- health/allergy developments
- custodial issues (Please note: We have no authority to keep a child from a parent unless the legal documentation is on file in the centre.)
Families are encouraged to bring questions or concerns regarding any aspect of the child care program to the Executive Director. If an issue arises, the goal is to resolve differences in a peaceful way, finding solutions that everyone can accept. In the event a parent chooses not to approach the coordinator or another staff member, a Parent Liaison on the Board of Directors will be pleased to hear any concerns. The name of the Parent Liaison is available on the society’s website at https://spgoutofschoolcare.org
To keep parents updated on any fee changes, special field trips, or meeting dates, calendars are made available at the beginning of each month and a monthly update email is sent to all members. As well, an information area next to the sign-out sheet often advises parents of current events. Please visit our website at https://spgoutofschoolcare.org at the beginning of each month for news updates and calendars.
Your feedback is important to us. SPG encourages parents to provide ongoing comments or suggestions. We also conduct intermittent satisfaction surveys. Your responses help us develop programming policies and procedures to better serve your family and our community.
Health and Safety Policies
Late pick-up policy
If you have not picked up your child by 6 pm, a fee of $1 per minute will apply (even if you call the centre in advance). Continued inability to abide by the centre’s operating hours will be brought to the Board of Directors for discussion of penalties, potentially a request for withdrawal. If after 30 minutes from the centre closing time, the staff remains unable to make contact with you or any of the designated emergency contacts, your child will be turned over to the Ministry of Children and Family Emergency Services
Should you or your authorized pick-up person be in a state deemed unsafe to provide care (eg: inebriated), staff members are instructed to advise that person to arrange for additional adult/familial support. Should the suggestion be refused, the police may be contacted.
If a custody agreement or court order exists, a copy must be kept in the child’s file. Without a custody agreement or court order on file, staff cannot deny access to a parent.
Children Arriving or Leaving on their Own
In some situations a family may request permission for a child to arrive or leave on their own. Parental written approval of this request must be given to SPG staff. Considerations will be based on your child’s age and development, any safety issues, time of day, and whether or not an adult is present at home. An arrival/departure agreement may be discontinued at any time. The enrolling parent must complete the “Self Sign Out Form.“
Policy for Care of Sick Children
While we are sensitive to the stress that illness may cause families, we are not licensed to care for children when they are ill. You will need to keep your child at home, or make alternate arrangements, if your child:
- has a communicable disease
- has a contagious infection, including pink eye
- has a fever over 38 degrees C (must be fever-free for 24 hours)
- is vomiting or has diarrhea (must be symptom-free for 24 hours)
- has a skin infection or undiagnosed rash
- is not well enough to participate in all program activities, including outdoor play
- has a continual flow of mucus from the nose
Please notify SPG staff if your child has a communicable disease so that other families and the Community Health Department may be notified.
If your child becomes ill during the day, we will attempt to contact you. If you are unavailable, we will try to reach your emergency contacts. Your child will be kept in a restful area until you arrive.
In cases of persistent illness, the coordinator may require a letter from your family doctor stating your child is well enough to attend daycare.
Should your child require medication throughout the day, a form “Permission to Administer Medication” must be completed. Medication must be sent to the centre in the container in which it is prescribed with the child’s name visible.
Parents should also inform staff of any medication the child is taking at home in case of a reaction while at the centre.
Upon enrolment, a deposit of $125 is to be paid to SPG. This deposit will be returned to you within 60 days of your child’s withdrawal, provided you have given the required one month’s notice in writing.
SPG’s fee structure is posted at the front entrance of the centre and on our website. Void cheques are required for auto-debit of monthly fees.
If this is not possible, a written note of explanation will be submitted to the centre coordinator for the Board of Directors.
To ensure your child does not lose his or her space in the program, the full fees must be paid for any time your child is away, including vacation, sickness or other absence.
See Summer Fee Policies for minimum registration to hold space for fall.
Summer Fee Policies
Registration in our Summer Adventure Program opens to members in early April. Your child’s summer fees will be calculated based on your registration at this time, not actual attendance, unless attendance exceeds registration.
To hold your child’s care space for fall, you must register for a minimum of two weeks of summer care.
There are no refunds (or alternate dates) for cancellations or non-attendance unless space can be filled, in which case fees minus a $30 administration charge will be refunded.
Parents with fees outstanding will be given notice, with a specified time for payment to be made. Members will have an opportunity to make arrangements for payment with the Executive Director. Each situation will be handled individually.
If payment has not been received within the specified time, formal written notice will be sent by the Board of Directors indicating a final ten days to remit payment or membership will cease.
Withdrawal or Change to Registration
Parents are required to give one month’s notice in writing if they plan to alter the care package or discontinue their child’s enrolment in SPG. If adequate notice is not received, the $125 deposit will be forfeited.
Our Child Guidance Policy
Successful behaviour management is a team effort, requiring open communication between the child, staff team, parents, and sometimes requiring the support of outside resources.
Our goals are to help the child:
- gain a better measure of self-reliance and good judgement
- enhance their self esteem and self control
- understand the limits of his or her freedom
- learn respect for the person, values and property of others
- understand important concepts, such as “safe” and “unsafe”
With the safety and care for all of the children in mind, SPG staff will work proactively to model positive and appropriate behaviour at all times. Self control, manners and acceptable behaviour are taught by setting a good example and showing care and understanding. Our emphasis is on developing self-discipline and problem-solving skills. Allowing children to express thoughts and feelings and to make choices about their behaviour nurtures a positive self-image.
Our staff team will:
- Be reasonable. We offer a child a choice to stop inappropriate behaviour or leave for another activity. If the problem persists, we may reasonably direct the child to another activity.
- Be consistent. We ensure that behaviour expectations are clear and unwavering. What is allowed for one is allowed for all and vice versa.
- Be aware. As much as possible, we deal with a behaviour problem before it happens. By being watchful, we can offer children options to avoid conflict.
- Be effective. We ensure that our body language, tone of voice and demeanour all work to gain a child’s attention and understanding. Something as simple as a hand on the shoulder makes all the difference.
- Be resourceful. SPG staff work as a team, looking to other staff, parents, and outside resources for support and assistance in difficult situations.
When a situation arises that requires adult intervention, the staff members, using their own judgement, follow this general protocol:
- Nonverbal clues. Facial expressions or hand signals will be used in an attempt to guide the children.
- Verbal clues. For example, if a child was running inside, he or she would be asked to stop, go back, and walk.
- Discussion. If verbal clues prove ineffective, the child and staff member will enter into a discussion, which will include:
- establishing clear and realistic expectations with input from the child
- establishing logical and natural consequences
- Cool Down. In some cases, a “cool down” period in a quiet area may be necessary before entering into a discussion.
Parent Involvement and Support
Parental input is an integral part of our guidance policy. Parents will be informed of any inappropriate behaviour that staff members feel is dangerous to their child, other children, staff or property. Should the Executive Director request it, parents will be required to:
- meet to discuss any concerns raised by members of the staff team.
- sign an agreement permitting open communication between the SPG team and school staff.
- seek support from outside agencies for behaviour assessment and to access additional supports for the childcare team.
Denial of Space
If a child applying for care is denied space at SPG, documentation of the rationale used to make this decision will be provided to the family. If a family wishes to appeal this decision, a written request should be forwarded to the Board of Directors.
Suspension from school is regarded as suspension from the school premises. Children who are suspended from school will not be able to attend SPG for the duration of the suspension.
Termination of Service
SPG staff is committed to providing a caring and supportive environment for families. However, termination of service may be required if:
- fees for services are not paid
- the centre is unable to satisfactorily resolve a conflict with an enrolling parent/guardian
- parents do not fulfill their obligations in the area of Parent Involvement and Support (above)
- the child’s behaviour is disruptive or threatening to the well-being and safety of themselves, other children and/or staff and adequate supports to accommodate the child are unavailable; in such cases, SPG reserves the right to cancel service without notice. All cases will be assessed individually with the intention to provide as much notice as possible to families without detriment to the program and its members.
Please note: Should your child be suspended from the program for behaviour reasons, no portion of your monthly childcare fees will be reimbursed.
Thank you for joining the SPG Family. We welcome your comments and feedback. If you have any questions, feel welcome to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-261-0515 or even just stop by our space in the Quilchena activity room.