Welcome

Thank you for enrolling your child in the Hampshire Regional YMCA’s School Age Child Care (SACC) Program. This handbook is designed to give you information about our program and also supply you with information regarding policies and procedures as required by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

Our Philosophy

The Hampshire Regional YMCA is committed to preparing children to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow through programs that develop the individual, strengthen the family, and build safe, caring communities. Our child care program is designed to stimulate your child’s mind, develop creativity, enhance self-esteem, and incorporate the YMCA’s areas of focus for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Our fully licensed program:

  • Provides a safe, constructive alternative for before and after school child care needs
  • Welcomes and supports the diversity of our participants
  • Works closely with your child’s school to keep rules consistent by adhering to school policy
  • Offers choices of activities for participants
  • Provides information to and communication with caregivers to develop the best possible program for your children

Parent Involvement

Throughout the YMCA’s many years of experience with parent-child family programs, it has been proven that shared experiences between children and parents build a foundation for positive relationships and communication. Our HRYMCA programs work to help the whole family grow and prosper. If you have a special talent or a family tradition you wish to share with the group, please inform our staff. We look forward to new ideas. Your questions, suggestions, and concerns are important to the success of our program. Your calls are always welcome. If a staff member is not available to talk to you immediately when you call, please leave a message and someone will call you to schedule a meeting. Parents are welcome anytime at the program and an appointment is never required.

Program Information

Hampshire Regional YMCA School-Age Child Care Programs are licensed by The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), and are mandated to uphold all of the rules and regulations pertaining to school-age child care licensing. Parents may contact EEC at the number listed below for information regarding this centers compliance history.

Region 1 – Western Regional Office
95 Liberty Street, Suite 1124, Springfield, MA 01103
413-788-8401; Fax: 413-784-1227

Locations

Our programs held at Jackson Street, Bridge Street, and RK Finn Ryan Road elementary schools in Northampton. Programs are assigned to specific areas of the school building. Usage of the school space is at the discretion of individual principals and is subject to change. We appreciate the support of our schools that welcome our programs!

Staff and Site Phone Numbers

Please use these numbers in emergencies, to notify Site Coordinators of absences or lateness, or for any other necessary communication:

Director – Kim Allore 413-584-7086 ext. 107
Billing Coordinator – Jenna Audet 413-584-7086 ext. 112
Bridge Street 413-588-1826
Jackson Street 413-588-1819
RK Finn Ryan Road 413-588-1825

Hours and Days of Operation (rates available on registration form)

  • Full time care is available Monday through Friday
  • Part time options are 2 day T/TH or 3 day M/W/F
  • Before School Program: 7:00am – Until start of school
  • After School Program: School dismissal – 6:00pm
  • After School 1/2 days: School dismissal – 6:00pm

Half Days

These days are held at your child’s school for your convenience and will include a healthy snack. Please provide lunch, including utensils, for your child on all half days. Registration is first come first serve as space allows. Pre-registration is required for half-days. Forms will be available at the sites and the YMCA. Rates available on school days out flyers.

Full Days and Vacation Weeks

During full days and vacation weeks off from school, the programs will be held at Jackson Street School. All days will include a healthy snack. Please provide lunch, including utensils, for your child. Pre-registration is required for all days out days. Forms will be available at the sites, online at www.hrymca.org, and at the YMCA. Rates available on school days out flyers.

Holiday Closings

The child care programs will not run on the following scheduled holidays:

  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day

Staffing

Our main objective is to nurture the developmental growth of each child. Staff are trained and committed to meeting the needs of all children. Our staff brings a multitude of experience and backgrounds to our childcare programs. Staff is required to complete an in-depth orientation program at the beginning of the school year. They are then required to attend additional trainings and hands-on workshops throughout the year to enhance their education and skills. All of our staff undergo a criminal background check and attend child abuse training and other YMCA child care certification trainings. All staff are required to obtain First Aid and CPR certifications. The staff to child ratios is 1:13 as defined by EEC.

Typical Daily Schedule

The Before and After School programs are designed to allow the children the opportunity to grow, learn and thrive in a safe educational environment.

Program Components

  • Charterer Development focusing on the Y Core Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility
  • Literacy
  • Arts , Drama and Music
  • Science and Technology
  • Homework Support
  • Service Learning
  • Social Competence and Conflict Resolution
  • Healthy Snacks and Nutrition Education
  • Physical Activity

Policies and Procedures

All of the HRYMCA School Age Child Care programs are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and are mandated to uphold all of the rules and regulations pertaining to school age child care licensing.

Snow Day Policy

The School Age Child Care Program follows the school district’s inclement weather closings. If school closes for the day, there will be no Before or After School program that day. If there is a delayed start, there will be no Before School Care but there will be After School Care. If there is an early closure then there will be no After School Care that day.

Tuition & Schedule Policies

The fee charged for School Age Child Care is distributed over the 10 month school year. The fees are based on the full school calendar and the result is the same charge each month for easier budgeting and billing. Please speak with our Financial Assistance Coordinator at 413-584-7086 ext. 110 if you would like to apply for financial aid.

  • Monthly fees are due the 20th of the month for the following month’s program.
  • Nonpayment will result in termination from the program.
  • All changes require a two week notice and must be approved by the Child Care Director.
  • Changes to days requested are based on availability of slots in program.
  • Tuition may be paid at the HRYMCA front desk, by mail, by phone with a credit card, automatic bank draft or have your credit card billed monthly. Please see the payment agreement form for the options available.
  • Please do not bring payments to your child’s school or send it in with your child.
  • There are no credits or refunds for absences, sick days or inclement weather days.

Additional Fees

  • Late Pick Up Fee: After School Child Care ends at 6 p.m. If you are late to pick up your child, you will be charged a late fee of $1.00 per minute. If a child is not picked up one hour after the program ends and we are unable to reach a guardian or emergency contact person, we will contact the Child-At-Risk Hot Line as required by DCF. We understand that emergencies do occasionally occur. If you have an emergency, contact the program via the site cell phone and/or find an alternate pick up. At the time of the late pick-up you will be asked to sign a Late Pick-Up Form that will be returned to the Child Care Director and Billing Coordinator. The site cell phone will be the source to determine the exact time of the pick-up.
  • Late Payment: If your payment is late, the HRYMCA reserves the right to add a $10 fee to your School Age Child Care account.
  • Insufficient Funds: If your payment is returned, the HRYMCA reserves the right to add a $25 fee to your School Age Child Care account.

All penalty fees must be paid within 10 days of receipt of written notice of incurred fees. If the fee is not paid, the HRYMCA reserves the right to deny participation from HRYMCA programs until payment is received in full.

Playground Use

EEC requires that all playgrounds must provide adequate impact absorbing materials and the depth of these materials must meet federal fall zone requirements. Playgrounds failing to meet these requirements may not be used during YMCA program hours.

Vacation Weeks

During vacation weeks sites are combined. The YMCA requests centrally located schools/sites for vacation weeks but school use is at the discretion of the school department.

Non Discrimination Policy

The Hampshire Regional YMCA does not discriminate in providing services to children and their families on the basis of race, gender, religion, cultural heritage, political beliefs, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

Special Needs Policy

The YMCA believes that all individuals, regardless of special needs, should be integrated into our programs. However, there may be a particular and/or special need which our staff is not trained to handle, or that our staff/participant ratio is not adequate to serve. In such an instance, the family or supporting agency will be asked to assist the YMCA in finding and supporting an aide for the individual, or be referred to a program better suited to meet their needs. In addition, the School Age Child Care Director, in consultation with the Operations Director and parents/guardian or legally appropriate agency reserve the sole right to determine whether the program is suitable in each instance.

Volunteers

When volunteers participate in the program on a scheduled basis they will:

  • Complete a volunteer application, CORI, BRC and Fingerprinting
  • Submit documentation from school or volunteer agency outlining service conditions
  • Submit documentation of required immunizations
  • Complete volunteer orientation and training
  • Documentation will be kept regarding dates, hours of service and responsibilities of volunteer
  • Volunteers will be under the direct supervision of YMCA staff at all times
  • Volunteers will have NO unsupervised contact with children at any times

Pick-up/Drop off Procedure

When dropping your child off at Before School Care or picking your child up from After School Care, you must go into the program to sign your child in or out, indicating the time of drop off or pick up. A picture ID must be shown. Children must also be signed in and out of the All days out programs.

If your child will be absent, please call your site’s cell phone as soon as you know he or she will not attend that day. If we do not receive a phone call, and your child is not on the school absent list, a call will be made to you.

Authorized Releases

SACC Staff will only release a child to parents or legal guardian(s) or to people identified on the Enrollment Form as authorized to pick the child up. In the event a relative or friend not identified on the form needs to pick up a child, parents should provide advance written notification. If an emergency or unexpected need should arise for an unauthorized person to pick up the child, precluding advance written notification, a telephone call from the parents or legal guardian(s) must precede the arrival of the unauthorized person. Identification from this person will be required. Changes to the list of people authorized to pick up your child may be made any time during the school year by calling or visiting the HRYMCA to update your file. If only one parent has custody of the child and the other is not authorized to pick up the child, the parent must inform the program and must provide the Director with a certified copy of the Court Order/Restraining Order confirming that one parent does not have the right to pick-up the child from the YMCA. If there are any changes in legal custody of the child while the child is enrolled in the program, the parent must immediately notify the program and must provide the Director with a certified copy of the notarized Court Order confirming the change in custody.

Impaired Judgment

If a parent or guardian arrives to pick up a child, and the staff’s opinion is that the person’s judgment is impaired by the use of alcohol and/or drugs, the HRYMCA reserves the right to refuse release of the child, and is mandated to report the incident to Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Income Tax Credit

You may qualify for a child care tax credit if you itemize your tax returns. Annual statements showing the total amount paid for the year to SACC and Camp will be emailed in February for the previous year.

Dependent Care Accounts

If you have a dependent care account and need statements for reimbursement please contact the SACC to make arrangements.

Emergency Procedures

Each site has a cell phone with emergency contacts to local authorities in case of an emergency. Each site will follow appropriate emergency procedures according to HRYMCA and EEC policy.

Contacting the EEC

Regarding the regulatory compliance history of our program, any parent can at any time feel free to contact the Department of Early Education and Care. The EEC Regional Office is located at: 1441 Main St, Suite 230 Springfield, MA 01103 and can be reached at 413-788-8401.

Children’s Records

The following forms (encompassed in the Enrollment Packet) are to be completed and on file prior to enrollment in the program:

  • Child and Parent Basic Information
  • Emergency Medical Information
  • Desired Schedule
  • First Aid and Emergency Medical Care Consent Form
  • Transportation and Authorization Plan
  • Consent for Child to Leave (only submitted when needed)
  • SACC Authorization Form
  • SACC/YMCA Waiver of Liability Form

Changing a Record

Any changes in contact address or phone numbers, medical information, or authorized/unauthorized pick up must be immediately reported to the Child Care Director at the HRYMCA. A parent or guardian has the right to add or remove information from a child’s file. However, all records must be complete for a child to be enrolled according to EEC regulations.

Maintenance of Records

Each child’s records are updated yearly.

Transferring a Record

A parent or guardian has the right to request, in writing, the transfer of their child’s record to any other person after that child has left the School Age Childcare Program.

Confidentiality of Records

Information in children’s records is confidential and will not be released without written consent from a parent or guardian. A guardian may have access to his/her child’s records at reasonable times. A log will be kept in each child’s record indicating every person who requested and received a copy of the record.

Health and Safety Policies

Sick Child Policies

  • These guidelines have been established for the health and well-being of your child and the other children enrolled in School Age Child Care.
  • If your child becomes ill at child care and needs to go home, you will be notified and must pick your child up within one hour.
  • According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Publication: Health and Safety in Child Care, Second Edition; 1995, we use the following criteria for excluding an ill or infected child (see pages 330-331). Children will not be permitted to come to the program and you must keep your child home if any of these symptoms occur:
    • Fever over 100 degrees, diarrhea, vomiting or any communicable disease.
  • A note from the child’s physician is required stating that treatment has begun and the child is healthy before the child may return to the program.

Please notify the SACC Director immediately if your child has a communicable disease so proper notification stating illness and symptoms can be given to other parents and guardians.

Medical and Drug Administration

**panel**Children with chronic medical conditions that require either an Epi-Pen or inhaler to manage the condition are required to have an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) signed by a licensed health care practitioner, as well as the necessary medication, on site prior to the child starting care.

Medication for temporary illnesses will only be administered under the following guidelines:

  • Prescription medication will not be administered to a child without written permission of a physician. The label on the prescription medicine is acceptable as the written consent. There must be instructions stating specific dosage, number of times per day, and criteria for the administration. Standing orders for medication are valid for one year from the date signed. No medication will be administered if the product is expired.
  • A parent must give consent to administer the prescription by completing an Authorized Medication Form which must be signed and dated.
  • Medication must be given to a staff member upon the child’s arrival at the program. All medication is secured within a locked area.
    *Please note that not all Before/After School sites have access to refrigerators. If your child’s medication requires refrigeration, please speak to the SACC Director prior to the start of the program to be sure accommodations can be made.
  • All medications will be administered by the Site Coordinator or designated person.
  • All medications must be in their original containers; no medication will be accepted in baggies, or unlabeled prescription bottles.
  • Any unused medication is to be taken home that day unless other arrangements have been made. If any meds are left at a site, SACC staff will call the MA Dept. of Health in order to receive proper instructions on how to disposes of medication.
  • The medication you wish your child to receive must have been previously administered. This is to ensure your child does not have an allergic reaction to the product.
  • If the staff does not have written consent from both a physician and a guardian, they will not administer any medication to a child. There are no exceptions.
  • All staff will be trained in how to properly administer medication and will periodically be evaluated by the Child Care Director to ensure proper procedures are being followed.

Over the Counter Medication

Non-prescription medication will not be administered.

Sunscreen and Bug Repellant

Authorization forms for sunscreen and bug repellant are available upon request and must be completed and signed by a guardian before they will be administered. Parents or guardians must supply their own product.

Child Injuries

All School Age Child Care staff is required to be certified in First Aid and CPR. If an injury is minor and can be taken care of by a staff person, appropriate treatment will be administered and an injury report will be completed for parents to sign. If a staff member feels an injury may require additional medical treatment (but not emergency care), parents or guardians will be notified immediately to pick up their child and decide if they wish to seek medical attention. In the case of an injury that requires immediate medical treatment, the following steps will be taken:

  1. An ambulance will be called.
  2. The parent or guardian will be notified.
  3. A School Age Child Care staff will accompany the child to the hospital
  4. A HRYMCA staff member will remain with the child until a parent or guardian arrives
  5. An incident report will be filled out on all injuries and a copy will be made available to the parent.

Policy for Reporting Abuse and Neglect of Children

Child abuse is damage to a child for which there is no “reasonable” explanation. Child abuse includes non-accidental physical injury, neglect, sexual molestation and emotional abuse. The increasing incidence of reported child abuse has become a critical national concern. It is a special concern of the YMCA because of the organization’s role as an advocate for children and its responsibility for enhancing the personal growth and development of both children and adults in all YMCA programs.

For the protection of its children, families, members and employees, the Hampshire Regional YMCA has established the following policies to aid in the prevention and reporting of child abuse cases.

  • Any caregiver may request a complete copy of the YMCA Child Abuse Policy.
  • All children in Before and After School Care shall be protected from abuse and neglect. As child care workers, all YMCA staff are mandated by the State of Massachusetts to report the suspected case of abuse or neglect to DCF. This includes the reporting of guardians who appear to be impaired by drugs or alcohol. These reports will be in writing and will include factual information and observations of the child in question. The report will be dated and signed true to the best of the reporter’s knowledge.
  • Any suspected cases of abuse or neglect will be reported to the HRYMCA Child Care Director immediately who will then contact the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
  • Any case of suspected child abuse that has allegedly occurred while the child was under the care of the YMCA staff will be reported to the Department of Children and Families (DCF)
  • The YMCA will cooperate fully in all investigations of abuse and neglect. Cooperation will include identifying guardians of children currently or previously enrolled in the program to EEC or any agency or person specified by EEC necessary to prompt investigations of allegations and protection of the child or children.
  • Any staff member who is under investigation for suspected child neglect or abuse will be removed from direct care responsibilities until the DCF investigation is complete and until the Department of Early Education and Care clears the individual to return to work. If the investigation proves the complaint valid, the staff member will be dismissed immediately.

YMCA Plan for Behavior Management

Discipline and guidance shall be consistent and based on an understanding of the individual needs and the level of maturity of each child. Developmentally appropriate methods of behavioral management will be used in dealing with unacceptable behavior.

Repeated behaviors that threaten the physical and/or emotional safety of the child, other children, or staff (such as hitting, biting, verbal assault, kicking, throwing objects, pushing, temper tantrums, etc.) will result in the following:

  • First Occurrence: The child will be removed from the situation and have the opportunity to discuss the incident with a staff person. Alternate appropriate behaviors will be suggested at that time. An incident report will be written to document the behavior.
  • Second Occurrence: The child will again be removed from the situation and given the chance for discussion. An incident report will be completed and the guardian will be informed upon pick-up of the child.
    • The Child Care Director will come to observe the child and site within one week of the second offense and provide suggestions when appropriate.
  • Third Occurrence: There will be a meeting between the guardian(s), Child Care Director, and Site Coordinator to develop a behavior management plan. During this meeting the Director will be willing to offer referrals to parents for evaluation, diagnostic or therapeutic services. During the meeting, we can also pursue options for supportive services to the program including consultation and educator training.
  • Fourth Occurrence: The child will be asked to leave the program.

**Extremely violent, disruptive and/or threatening behavior (such as housing a weapon in the program, inflicting serious injury, threatening to hurt other children or staff, property damage, etc.) can result in immediate termination at any time.

Progress Reports

As required by the EEC, all parents/guardians with children enrolled in the SACC Program will be given a mid-year progress report.

Termination Policy

The YMCA requires a two-week-advance notice for all terminations from the program. Caregivers who fail to do so will still be responsible to pay for the billing period.

If the HRYMCA asks a family to leave the program, caregivers will receive written documentation of the termination. Possible reasons for suspension and/or termination from child care services are:

  1. Inappropriate physical and/or verbal behavior by a child or guardian that continues after the meeting with the Child Care Director.
  2. Extremely violent, disruptive and/or threatening behavior.
  3. Overdue fee payment(s).

Upon termination or suspension, the Child Care Director will provide an opportunity to meet with parent/guardian to discuss options other than suspension or termination.

Dress

Children should wear clothes that are comfortable, practical and wash easily. Program activities may involve the use of paint, glue, or other messy materials. Children are scheduled to go outside on a daily basis, except in extremely inclement weather. Please dress your child appropriately for the weather.

Toys from Home

Items from home including toys, games, sporting equipment, electronics, trading cards, stuffed animals, and electronics are not allowed in the Before and After School programs and are to remain in the child’s backpack if brought to school. We are not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen person items brought into program from home.

ALL Days Out 2017-2018

Date Holiday, Professional Day, 1/2 Days YMCA School Out Days
Friday, September 1 Professional Development Day NONE
Monday, September 4 Labor Day NONE Paid Closure
Wednesday, October 4 Professional Day 1/2 day At the Schools 12:20-6pm
Monday, October 9 Columbus Day None Paid Closure
October 23-27 Parent Conferences 1/2 day At the Schools 12:20-6pm
Tuesday, November 7 Election Day/Professional Day AT YMCA
Friday, November 10 Veteran’s Day At Jackson Street School
Wednesday, Nov. 22 Thanksgiving Break 1/2 day AM Care only, PM Closed
Thursday, Nov. 23 Thanksgiving Day NONE
Friday, Nov. 24 Thanksgiving Break NONE
Wednesday, Dec. 6 Professional Day 1/2 day At the Schools 12:20-6pm
Friday, December 22 Holiday Recess NONE
Monday, December 25 Holiday NONE Paid Closure
Tuesday, Dec.26-29 Vacation week At Jackson Street School
Monday, January 1 New Year’s Day NONE Paid Closure
Monday, January 15 Martin Luther King Jr. Day NONE Paid Closure
Wednesday, January 24 Professional Day At Jackson Street School
February 19-23 Winter Vacation At Jackson Street School
Friday, March 10 Professional Day 1/2 day At the Schools 12:20-6pm
April 16-20 Spring Vacation At Jackson Street School
Friday, May 18 Professional Day 1/2 day At the Schools 12:20-6pm
TBD Last Day of School 1/2 Day AM Care only, PM closed