Cypress Recreation & Community Services Kids Corner Parent Handbook

WELCOME
Cypress Recreation and Community Services and Kids Corner welcome you and your child. This Parent Handbook provides you with information about our Kids Corner Program and the policies that help to make the program meet the needs of all our families.

OBJECTIVES
Kids Corner is a recreation program with classes for 3 and 4 year old children. The main objective is to strengthen a child's self-image and feelings of competence. Children are encouraged to creatively explore the world around them through arts and crafts, music and rhythms, field trips, story telling, and many other learning experiences.

PHILOSOPHY

  • To provide an atmosphere conducive to social, physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of each child's development.
  • To challenge a child to achieve their full potential in an environment that fosters learning experiences.
  • To develop self-confidence and happiness through play and creative activities that are stimulating and exciting.

PURPOSE

  • To provide relatively low-cost early childhood education in a healthy and warm physical, social, and psychological setting.
  • To provide opportunities for children to express themselves through the use of creative materials, art, music, books, and language.
  • To provide children the opportunity to enjoy hands-on experiences in a variety of situations through field trips and with classroom visitors.

ADMINISTRATION
Cypress Recreation and Community Services and the Cypress City Council administer the Kids Corner Program. A Recreation Specialist and the Instructors at Kids Corner provide direct supervision.

STAFF
All instructors have some course work in child development and early childhood education and are certified in CPR and First Aid. All staff receives security and health clearance prior to employment.

CHILDREN'S PROGRAM
The staff provides a developmental program for your child in a recreational setting. Kids Corner activities are age appropriate. We do not provide an academic program. We offer music, stories, art, indoor-outdoor play, and language development. Social skills are most important. Play is a child's work. Children are encouraged to play. Our play yard has been designed for safety as well as fun.

ELIGIBILITY
A child must be the appropriate age for each class, 3 or 4 years old, by the date set forth by the California Department of Education. Children who have reached their 6th birthday or are in Kindergarten are not eligible for our program.

  • Children must be the appropriate age by December 2, 2010 (no exceptions).
  • Each child must be toilet trained.

ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES
Enrollment procedures must be followed each quarter:

  1. Kids Corner registration is handled at the Cypress Community Center, 5700 Orange Avenue, Cypress.
  2. Kids Corner registration dates appear in the Recreation Brochure.
  3. A copy of participant's birth certificate is required and must be presented at the time of registration, even if you have registered in the past.
  4. Priority registration is given to all children enrolled in the fall session for the remaining 3 sessions. Priority registration forms will be distributed through each class during the 7th week of each session. After priority registration is given, the child's birth certificate is not required when your register for the remainder of the school year.
  5. Failure to meet the deadlines of "priority registration" will result in loss of class space and placement at the bottom of the waiting list.
  6. Children residing in Cypress will have priority registration at summer and fall registrations.
  7. Children residing outside of Cypress will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, as space allows.
  8. Cancellations/Vacancies are filled during the year with the "waiting list" established at the Community Center.
  9. Parent/Guardian is preferred to be present to register the child. However, a designated adult may register the child if accompanied by a letter of consent written by the parent/guardian.

LATE FEE
Parent should contact their child's teachers (KC 1 (714) 761-7914, KC 2 (714) 952-9748) in the event of an emergency that will delay them from picking up their child(ren). If the child(ren) is not picked up and the emergency contact cannot be reached, the Cypress Police Department may be called to pick up the child(ren). Parents who do not pick up their child(ren) on time, will be charged an additional fee of $5 for every 15 minutes (rounded up).

FEE SCHEDULE AND POLICIES
Fees are to be paid by cash, check, or credit card for each nine-week session. You may pay for more than one session at a time. Checks should be made out to the City of Cypress.

Absences - There is no deduction or refund for days or hours your child is absent. Payment assures a space for the child in the program. The parent is expected to notify Kids Corner if a child is withdrawing from the program.

SIGNING IN AND SIGNING OUT

  • Parents must sign their child in at the time of arrival and out at the time of departure.
  • Parents or other authorized adults must accompany the child to and from the classroom and make certain that a staff member acknowledges his/her presence. Kids Corner cannot accept responsibility for children left outside or who have not been properly signed in.
  • For the safety of the teachers and children in the program, once you have dropped off your child please close the Darrell Essex Park gates behind you.
  • Children may leave with authorized adults only. NO ONE ELSE! Authorized adults must be listed on the "Emergency Card."
  • Authorized persons, other than the enrolling parents, will be asked to identify themselves (i.e. driver's license) before a child is released.
  • Parents should contact Kids Corner immediately in the event of an emergency, which might make them late in picking up their child. If a child is not picked up on time, and emergency contacts cannot be reached to pick up the child, the Cypress Police may be called to pick up the child.
  • If parents bring their children to class after class begins, they MUST stay with their child outside the classroom until first rug is over.
  • If parents are excessively late, a late fee will be imposed.

CLASSROOM SCHEDULE

KC 1 KC 2 ACTIVITY
8:50 - 9:00 9:20 - 9:30 Arrive at Kids Corner
9:00 - 9:05 9:30 - 9:35 Greet child/verbal sharing
9:05 - 9:10 9:35 - 9:40 Calendar/Role Call etc.
9:10 - 9:20 9:40 - 9:50 Lesson or Objective
9:20 - 10:05 9:50 - 10:35 Free time/art/toys etc.
10:05 - 10:15 10:35 - 10:45 Clean up
10:15 - 10:30 10:45 - 11:00 *Rug time
10:30 - 10:50 11:00 - 11:20 Recess outside
10:50 - 10:55 11:20 - 11:25 Clean up
10:55 - 11:10 11:25 - 11:40 Star Fairy & Snack
11:10 - 11:25 11:40 - 11:55 *Rug time
11:25 - 11:30 11:55 - 12:00 Preparation for dismissal

*Rug time can consist of finger plays, stories, musical activity, flannel board, Star of the Week, birthday, games, table activity, puppet show, or a reinforcement of a learning activity.

HOLIDAYS
Kids Corner tries to follow the same holiday schedule as the Cypress Elementary Schools, including in-service and non-student days. There are additional days off for staff development and in-service for Kids Corner staff as well.

TEACHING GOALS/CURRICULUM/METHODS
To provide experiences that will enhance self-image and self-concept. To establish relationships between other people: language development, dramatic play, group projects, games, rhythm band, and interaction at snack table and at playtime.

To provide a climate for emotional understanding and growth: Identifying feelings and accepting them. Teachers use statements like "You look happy, angry, scared, etc. It's all right to cry when you're hurt. Use your words so John will know why you are mad."

To strengthen the child's feeling of competence: Encourage independence in self-help skills (toileting, washing, dressing taking care of personal belongings) and being able to choose and clean-up materials. Help child to his own decisions; guide rather than show the way.

To provide sensory stimulation and nurture perception and discrimination: Games involving see, smell, hear, taste, touch, same/different. Sorting according to color, size, shape, etc.

To lengthen attention span, complete individual tasks, and be able to attend as a member of a group: Group rug time gradually gets longer, encourage completing tasks, model desirable group behavior.

Language and concept formation-building vocabulary: Introduce new words and meanings--listen to child, mirror back thoughts in good speech model.

Problem solving: Provide problems and let children create solutions. Sequencing activities, negative space, etc.

Encourage toward creative potential: Encourage exploration, experimentation, questioning, risk-taking, and no penalty for wrong answers. Product not as important as process involved. Offer open – ended activities.

Develop large muscle groups: Running, climbing, swinging, pedaling, jumping, hopping.

Develop small muscle groups: Tearing, squeezing, cutting, drawing, writing, sewing, stringing, etc.

Develop hand/eye coordination: Use of manipulative toys, such as Legos, blocks, puzzles, etc.

Aesthetic appreciation in music, literature, cleanliness, and order: Listening to music, reading books to individuals and groups--take care of books, records, and toys.

Health: Reinforce washing hands at appropriate times, blowing nose, wearing sweaters. Provide nutritious snacks, visit dentist--how to brush teeth, etc.

DISCIPLINE
Kids Corner's philosophy on discipline is to work with the children in a positive manner. The staff recognizes and encourages each child's capabilities and praises positive, growth-oriented behavior. Staff does not use corporal punishment and abusive language. Limits are set by staff and constantly reinforced in order for children to learn acceptable behavior. Parents are encouraged to discuss discipline methods with the staff.

Good behavior is essential to our Program. We strive for a friendly, sharing, safe, cooperative social environment. If a child's behavior is continually unacceptable after verbal requests, and moving within the group, the child will be placed in "time out." This is a chair located away from the immediate group, but within vision of the group. The child will stay there, depending on age, until the child chooses to rejoin the group and use appropriate behavior. We expect children to be respectful of others. Talking back, yelling, fighting, hitting, throwing objects or biting is not acceptable.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior:

  1. The staff will correct improper behavior by redirecting the child and reinforcing positive behavior.
  2. In instances where improper behavior is repeated or the safety of other children is at risk, the behavior will be noted in the child's file and parents will be notified.
  3. If, after involving the parents, the behavior continues, the child may be removed from the program. The lead teacher and staff retain the right to determine if a child is compatible and/or benefiting from the program.
  4. Parents of a child who has been removed from the program may request a meeting with the Recreation Specialist/Kids Corner Director.

NUTRITION
The children will be provided a nutritious snack (1 food from 2 of the 4 basic food groups, i.e. crackers & milk or fruit & cheese) each day. To help defray costs we ask that parents volunteer to bring a snack. You may sign your name on the calendar located on the sign in table for the day you wish to bring a snack. Please bring enough snacks for 33 in the 4-year-old class and 28 in the 3-year-old class. If you are providing a drink, one gallon is sufficient. We will supply the cups and napkins unless you would like to bring something special. For birthdays and parties, cupcakes or cookies are acceptable if kept along the nutritious theme (i.e. oatmeal or peanut butter cookies, carrot cake, etc.)

CLOTHING
Please send your child to class in comfortable, sturdy, washable play clothes. Clothing that is easy to manage encourages independence and self-help. Many toilet accidents are prevented if children can unbutton or unbuckle pants and belts without a struggle. CLOSED TOED SHOES AND SOCKS ARE REQUIRED EVERY DAY AT KIDS CORNER FOR YOUR CHILD'S SAFETY.

Soiled clothing will be bagged and marked. Parents are expected to launder and return borrowed clothing by the next class day.

HEALTH
Prior to the first day of class, each child must have a physical. A doctor must sign the physician's report included in the child's information packet. The information packet received at registration must be completed and returned to the Community Center, 5700 Orange Ave. BEFORE your child enters the classroom. All immunizations and TB tests must be current. Kids Corner must have, on file, the doctor's name, address and phone number. No child will be allowed to attend class until TB test, doctor's statement and information packet are received.

* In the event your child travels abroad while enrolled in the Kids Corner program a TB test will be required prior to returning to the classroom.

A parent may not bring an ill child to class. Kids Corner is not setup to care for sick children. The following are guidelines for parents to follow.

You may not bring your child to Kids Corner:

  • When he/she has a contagious disease.
  • When he/she has a fever (above 100 degrees orally or 99 degrees axially).
  • When he/she has vomited within the last 24 hours.
  • When he/she has had a loose bowel movement within the last 24 hours.
  • When the nose or eyes have a mucous discharge (white or clear discharge from nose is allergy related and acceptable, but green or yellow discharge indicates infection).
  • On the first day of a cold.
  • When he/she has a red/sore throat.
  • When he/she has an earache.
  • When he/she has been awake for a long period of time during the night.
  • When, at the discretion of the teacher, the child is too fussy or irritable to be here.*

* This is an indication that he/she is not feeling well. By keeping your child home for a day or two at this point, you may prevent a longer illness.

If your child is ill, please notify Kids Corner staff:
KC 1 Room (714) 761-7914
KC 2 Room (714) 952-9748

If your child becomes ill while at Kids Corner, you will be notified by staff and be expected to pick them up as soon as possible.

Administering medication is the responsibility of the parent. Staff will not administer medications.

When your child's absence is for two weeks or longer due to illness, a doctor's release may be required upon return to class.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS & PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION
It is important that staff be aware of any special physical conditions or allergies that may affect your child, and/or any prescription medication that your child is taking. Please contact and notify the Recreation Specialist/Kids Corner Director to fill out appropriate paperwork to help us better serve your child(ren).

PERSONAL ITEMS FROM HOME
Parents are requested to have their child LEAVE PERSONAL TOYS AT HOME. If your child desires to share a special item or object on a day other than share day, special arrangements should be made with staff. Kids Corner is not responsible for loss or damage to personal items brought from home.

BIRTHDAYS
A child's birthday is a special event. Parents may bring a special nutritious snack for the day or other items for the entire class. The teachers will make a special birthday hat and card as well as sing a special song in honor of the event. Invitations for home parties handed out at Kids Corner should invite the entire class. If you wish a smaller party, please mail invitations. We do not want to hurt or exclude any one.

STAR OF THE WEEK 3-YEAR OLDS ONLY
Each week one 3 year old child will be chosen at random to be "Star of the Week." On the Thursday before, that child will bring home a note stating that he/she will be the "STAR" for the following week. On Tuesday the "STAR" should bring in some special things to share that might be left at school for the week. Example: pictures, stuffed toy, or favorite clothing- anything they can tell us about. (Some parents have enjoyed making a poster board collage of pictures of special times and people for sharing.) The goal is to encourage the child to talk, so anything that child is excited about discussing would be appropriate to share.

EMERGENCY INFORMATION
In the event of an emergency or natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood, all children will be kept at Kids Corner until their parent picks them up or authorized person. Should it be necessary to evacuate children from the facility, the location of the new site will be posted on the door of Kids Corner. Every effort will be made to notify parents of an evacuation. Staff members will remain with the children until they are released to their parent or authorized person.

In the event of a disaster, Kids Corner would like to be prepared. The children will discuss earthquakes and fires and how to handle themselves. We will do monthly drills and talk through why we do them. We have water and other supplies on hand. In order to keep our food supply fresh and desirable for each child, we are asking that you send a special care package for your child. The package should be no larger than a gallon size zip-lock storage bag. It should have your child's name on it. Inside can be your choice of things that your child might eat willingly (i.e. granola bars, breakfast bars, dried fruit, crackers, small canned items). The bag may contain only one item (one box of granola bars) or it may contain a variety (fun fruits, crackers/cheese, 3 granola bars). This is your choice. Please be advised that raisins and fresh fruit will not last the entire year. It is nice to include a reassuring note from Mom and Dad. These items will be stored at the site for use in a disaster. At the end of the year, this will be returned to you. Each child will be required to have this at school by the 3rd week of class.

FIELD TRIPS
Field trips will be taken throughout the school year. School buses will be used to transport the children. Parents/Guardians who are interested in chaperoning will have an opportunity to sign up one week before the field trip date. ONLY these parents will be permitted to join the field trip. All children must leave and return on the bus, they cannot be picked up or dropped off at the field trip site.

When Parents/Guardians sign up to be a chaperone during a field trip they may be given other children as well as their own child to watch. Please make sure that you are watching the children you are given at all times. If you have any questions regarding chaperoning for field trips please ask your Kids Corner teachers. Sorry, younger siblings are not invited.

PARENT'S INFORMATION
Please check the sign in table daily when signing in your child. This is our major means of communication. Each month there will be a newsletter/calendar for you. You will also find helpful handouts, notices, and sign up sheets for field trip drivers. It is your responsibility to know what it going on at school each day. Please arrange with car pools to pick up notices for you and to keep you informed.

Volunteers are always welcome. Please feel free to stay any morning and assist. This is a good way to see our routine and perhaps learn some songs and games you can do at home with your child. Sorry, younger siblings are not invited.

As parents, everything you do sets an example for our children. Being on time is an important example to set early in a child's development. When your child begins Kindergarten, lateness is not tolerated. Kids Corner classes begin at 9:00 a.m. for KC 1 and 9:30 a.m. for KC 2. We ask for your consideration and effort in prompt arrival of your child so Kids Corner classes will run smoothly and effectively. Children arriving five minutes after the scheduled start time will wait outside with the parent for a break in the program to enter, unless prior arrangements have been made (this is usually about 20 minutes after class has begun).

Parents with a concern or complaint should first refer to the Parent Handbook for clarification. If there is a further concern, the parent should consult with the Lead Instructor. If the concern is still not resolved to the satisfaction of the parent, an appointment may be made with the Recreation Specialist/Kids Corner Director by calling the Community Center at (714) 229-6780.

SUMMARY
We hope that this Parent Handbook will be a help to you in understanding the policies and procedures of Kids Corner. If we can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact a staff member.

We look forward to working with you and your child.

CYPRESS RECREATION AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
KIDS CORNER
(714) 761-7914 - KC 1 (South Bldg)
(714) 952-9748 - KC 2 (North Bldg)
Cypress Community Center (714) 229-6780