Parent Handbook

Introduction to the Program

Welcome to the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center. At the center we work hard to help children develop positive attitudes toward themselves and others. We believe that children who gain a sense of security, self-worth and personal accomplishment when they are young, are much more likely to be successful learners and happy people throughout their lives.

Our program is dedicated to serving a widely diverse clientele. Within our student/parent population you will find a range of family needs, income levels, religious and ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles. We welcome this diversity and believe it is crucial to the quality of care experienced by all children in the center.

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center seeks to be a leader in providing high quality, developmentally focused early education for the whole child. We strive to engage and inspire parents, students, and the broader community toward a deeper understanding of the wonders of childhood.

We strive to deliver excellence in child care for children of the University of St. Thomas students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community, in a nurturing environment where the uniqueness of each child is recognized and respected and where children are safe, growing and learning.

In support of this mission, we strive to:

  • Provide services that facilitate the development of the whole child (social, emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual) in a values-oriented environment that reflects our Catholic nature.
  • Help children reach their full potential by focusing on their unique interests, abilities and needs.
  • Provide an environment that is stimulating, educational, caring, clean, healthy and fun.
  • Develop supportive relationships with parents and provide them with peace of mind.
  • Be creative, innovative and on the forefront in the delivery of child care services.
  • Provide learning opportunities for the students of the University of St. Thomas.
  • Be affordable and provide flexibility, especially to our students.
  • Treat everyone - children, parents, employees, students and visitors with respect, dignity and civility.
  • Provide a setting that is inclusive and fosters diversity.
  • Maintain the highest ethical and professional standards and practices.

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center is licensed by the Department of Human Services of the State of Minnesota . The center is licensed to serve 82 children: 12 infants (6 weeks to 17 months), 20 toddlers (17-33 months), and 50 preschoolers (33 months to 5 years). Information about our license or about licensing standards in general may be obtained by calling the Department of Human Services at (651) 296-3971.

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center is open year-around, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The center is closed for the following holidays:

  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday After Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • New Year's Day
  • New Year's Eve
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day

Specific dates

In addition to these holidays, the center is closed one day in October, one day in January, one day in March and one day in August for staff inservice. A calendar of these holidays and inservice days will be distributed in September of each year.

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center closes for bad weather when the University of St. Thomas is closed. Please check with your local news source for a complete listing of school closings.

The staff of the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center is a team of dedicated and experienced professionals, qualified according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and knowledgeable about the developmental stages of children. A creative, innovative and loving group of teachers is vital to the quality of child care. In recognition of this fact, the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center strives to create a work environment for staff that is challenging, flexible, supportive and encouraging. We respect each staff person for the unique perspective they bring to the program.

All staff are required to continue their education in early childhood development through inservice workshops and accredited courses. Staff also are required to renew first-aid and CPR training regularly in courses specific to the care and needs of children.

An integral function of the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center is the on-the-job and specialized training we provide to early childhood, special education and parent education students. Student teachers and interns from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University work and train in each of the classrooms of the center.

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center is located on the northwest corner of Grand Ave. and Finn St. on the university's St. Paul campus. Our facility consists of six classrooms: two each for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. These classrooms are designed carefully to be both visually attractive and to stimulate interest in learning and play. Each of the rooms is divided into interest areas, offering experiences in everything from sensory and art exploration to fine motor play with blocks, puzzles and pegs. Our classrooms are designed to encourage children to initiate their own activities and make their own choices with teachers following along to interact and extend learning experiences.

In addition to the classrooms, our facility also includes a children's library, a multi-purpose room and two Active Rooms-spaces for children to participate in a variety of large muscle activities. On the west side of the building we have a large playground space used daily for outdoor activities. And on the second floor there are apartments for 17 UST students who are actively involved in the Child Development Center through student teaching, student employment, internships and research.

At the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center we recognize that children have different needs at different developmental stages. We know that children learn by doing, and they must have the space and time to explore and discover independently, to take reasonable risks and to challenge their minds and their bodies. Infants focus on developing secure attachments to adults, a healthy self image, large and small motor skills and receptive and expressive language skills. Toddlers build on the skills begun in infancy and in addition focus on sensory, large muscle, social and self-help skills. Preschoolers develop skills related to problem solving, abstract thought, language, critical thinking and socialization.

The curriculum at the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center is based on the CREATIVE CURRICULUM which emphasizes all the skills listed above. Teachers in each group provide a safe and loving environment that is rich in ideas, opinions and opportunities. Children choose from a variety of stimulating, developmentally appropriate activities set-up in interest areas around the room. Teachers flow with children to give them individual attention and to extend their learning experience within a given area.

While it is our desire to expose children to a variety of beliefs, customs and lifestyles, we strive to maintain an environment in which no one person's or group's beliefs or ideas are promoted above or to the exclusion of others. From time to time we find that young children are unable to distinguish the line between exposure to and promotion of an idea or belief. Innocent discussions can quickly become heated arguments for children whose scope of understanding is limited by their age or developmental level. When this happens, center staff will re-direct children to another topic of discussion or area of activity.

Additionally, the curriculum at the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center strongly discourages any type of violent, racist or sexist play. While we recognize that from time to time children do display this kind of behavior in their play, we believe it is our responsibility to create and maintain an atmosphere that ensures security and respects individuality in both children and adults.

Lesson plans are posted in each classroom to keep parents informed of activities planned for children.

It is our belief that each child's healthy development depends in part on a significant amount of regular physical contact with adult caregivers. This contact can be divided into three categories:

NURTURANCE - This includes hugs and non-intimate kisses, hand holding, gentle tickling and wrestling, carrying, cuddling and backrubbing. This type of contact is never made against the expressed wishes of the child.

SAFETY AND GUIDANCE - This includes administering first aid, applying sunscreens or topical medications, leading children from one location to another, separating children involved in conflicts and restraining children from harmful situations.

HYGIENE - This includes face and hand washing, diapering, bathing, assisting with toileting (for some children this includes cleaning and drying genitals), examining rashes or unusual marks, checking for head lice, nose blowing, and conducting necessary clothing changes.

Because of our program schedules, staffing patterns and room arrangements, we must require that all children be toilet trained at the time they enter the preschool rooms. We consider a child to be toilet trained when s/he is able to have fewer than three toileting accidents of any kind within a one week period. It is quite common for children experiencing major transitions such as starting at a new child care program, moving up from one group to another, welcoming a new baby into the family or moving to a new home, to have some regression in toileting habits. When this happens teachers will help children get back on track by taking them to the bathroom more often and by positively reinforcing their successes. At no time will any child be punished for any lapses in toileting habits. Also, from time to time we have children enrolled in the center who have special developmental or physiological needs that make toilet training very difficult or even impossible. For children with these types of special needs, we include toilet training as a goal on their Individual Education Plan, and work closely with parents and any special service providers toward meeting that goal.

Throughout the year children in each of the classrooms will go on walking field trips to sites around the campus and neighborhood. Destinations include such places as the library, bookstore, gymnasium, restaurants, greenhouse, etc. In addition, children in the oldest preschool rooms will take regular field trips that involve some form of mass transit: a UST shuttle bus, a city bus or the light rail train.

Whenever a field trip involves leaving the university campus, the classroom staff will post a sign-up sheet which explains the date, time, destination, mode of transportation and purpose of the field trip. Children whose parents do not sign them up for the field trip will not be allowed to go. Staff/child ratios will be maintained on all field trips. Parents are welcome to attend any field trip throughout the year.

All foods served at the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center are nutritious, well-balanced and planned according to USDA requirements. Menus are prepared in advance, and  posted in each classroom as well as the center’s website. If you want your child to eat a meal at the center, s/he must be in their classroom at the start of the meal. Meal start times are listed below.  Exceptions will be made for children arriving from other schools, children with medical or dental appointments, and all the children enrolled in the infant classrooms.  If your child arrives within ten minutes of the start of the meal and there is still food available, the classroom teacher will serve your child and then the center director will follow-up with you regarding compliance with mealtime policies.  In general, if you believe you will be arriving late for a meal, it is best to feed your child at home before coming to the center.













Teachers work hard to ensure mealtimes are a relaxed and enjoyable part of the day. Children have daily opportunities to learn about nutrition, table manners, and the foods of other cultures. They also are able to practice fine motor and conversation skills. All children are expected to sit down at the tables for each meal. Teachers will enthusiastically encourage children to taste everything that is served.

Special dietary needs must be documented with written instructions from your child's physician. Only in the case of certain special dietary requirements may the center ask that the parent send food from home. Otherwise, food from home is not permitted in the center.

Throughout the year parents may want to send a special treat into the center for their child to share with their group (birthday cake, Halloween candy, etc.) This is fine to do as long as the treat is commercially prepared. The Public Health Department will not allow us to serve anything that is homemade. If you would like to send a treat for a special occasion, you must speak with your child's teacher in advance. S/he can advise you as to the type and quantity needed for your child's group.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider

Along with day to day greetings, your child's primary caregiver will regularly communicate with you via notes, phone calls, emails or one-to-one discussions. S/He will relate information about your child's moods, activities, successes, challenges, etc. In addition, we are always available to discuss concerns, or to set aside time for a private conversation. Staff will also schedule regular parent/teacher conferences with you twice yearly. As parents, you are the most important people in your children's lives. The staff of the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center recognizes the impact good parent/staff communication has on the quality of each family's experience here at the center. We hope that each parent will set aside time each week to communicate openly, honestly and thoroughly with their child's teacher(s).

We welcome parents to spend time in the classroom observing or interacting with the children, and we encourage you to share time, talents and interests. We believe that a mutual trust and level of cooperation must exist between parents and staff in order to create a happy and challenging experience for your child.

Special family events such as open houses, parent information meetings, family celebrations, picnics and discussion groups will be announced during the year. Other opportunities for involvement include but are not limited to participation in fundraising activities, sharing of cultural or ethnic traditions with children, attending field trips, assisting with building maintenance and cleaning, and serving on center committees.

A preventative approach to discipline is employed whenever possible. Clear limits and realistic expectations of the children are defined and children are encouraged to have reasonable expectations of adults as well as appropriate behavior in various situations. At the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center we recognize that conflict is a very natural part of any group experience. Center staff provide support to children as they learn healthy, non-hurtful ways of resolving conflict. We maintain a respectful attitude toward children at all times and will never subject any child to any form of corporal or emotional punishment.

The staff of the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center also understand that inappropriate behavior is often a signal that a child needs help in coping with an unfamiliar situation or needs guidance in selecting an activity. Children are helped to learn that all behavior, whether positive or negative has consequences and they may need to be directed to another activity or away from a group situation.

Regular, clear communication will be maintained with the parent when their child displays persistent unacceptable behavior, or when the child's behavior can cause injury to the child or to other children or staff. If the response to an inappropriate behavior requires the child to be separated from his or her group, a record of the date, time reason for separation and description of less intrusive methods will be kept. The parent will be notified whenever their child has been separated from the group more than two times in one day, four times in one week, or seven times in two weeks.

All parents will receive a complete copy of the center's guidance and discipline policies and procedures upon enrollment in the center. Additional copies may be obtained in the center office.

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center offers special needs services to children and their families who are experiencing developmental delays or accelerations, or who are in crisis or transition. Our special needs services include but are not limited to: needs screening and assessment, individualized program plans, parent support and education, and resource referral.

At times, we may find it necessary to work with other community resources in answering a child's needs. In those instances we may seek the services of the Department of Public Health, Ramsey County Preschool Screening, Wilder Child Guidance, Resources for Child Caring, Children's Hospital, St. Paul Public Schools or the University of Minnesota to assist us in screening, assessing and programming. It is our policy to obtain parental permission for any screening or evaluation. Results of screening/evaluation are confidential, to be kept in the child's file and released only with parental permission.

If our program is unable to serve a child's special needs, we will work closely with the family to find an appropriate program for the child. Our center must obtain permission from our licenser before enrolling a child with a physical disability.

If for some reason you are having difficulty in providing for your child's needs (physical or emotional), you are encouraged to let us know. Our staff can help you find a community resource that can offer assistance. Some 24 hour community resources that can help you when you are experiencing more stress than you can handle are:


(651) 487-2111


(651) 266-4500


(651) 347-3161


(651) 335-5000

If ever our staff feel that your child's needs are consistently not being met, our staff will work with you to identify your child's needs and assist you in meeting those needs.

If we believe your child to be the victim of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or if you are temporarily unable or unwilling to meet your child's minimal needs for good nutrition, shelter, medical care, hygiene, clean clothing, intellectual stimulation, appropriate discipline, love and a feeling of importance, our staff is mandated by the laws of the State of Minnesota to file a report with Ramsey County Child Protection. It then becomes the role of the Child Protection Unit to investigate any suspected abuse and work with your family to ensure that your child's needs are being met.

Who Should Report Child Abuse and Neglect

  • Any person may voluntarily report abuse or neglect.
  • If you work with children in a licensed facility, you are legally required or mandated to report and cannot shift the responsibility of reporting to your supervisor or to anyone else at your licensed facility.  If you know or have reason to believe a child is being or has been neglected or physically or sexually abused within the preceding three years you must immediately (within 24 hours) make a report to an outside agency

Where to Report

  • If you know or suspect that a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
  • All reports concerning suspected abuse or neglect of children occurring in a licensed facility should be made to the Department of Human Services, Licensing Division's Maltreatment Intake line at (651) 431-6600.
  • Reports regarding incidents of suspected abuse or neglect of children occurring within a family or in the community should be made to Ramsey County Child Protective Services at:  651.266-4500 or the St. Paul Police Department at:  651.291-1111.
  • If your report does not involve possible abuse or neglect, but does involve possible violations of Minnesota Statutes or Rules that govern the facility, you should call the Department of Human Services, Licensing Division at (651) 431-6500.

 What to Report

  • Definitions of maltreatment are contained in the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act (Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556) and should be attached to this policy.
  • A report to any of the above agencies should contain enough information to identify the child involved, any persons responsible for the abuse or neglect (if known), and the nature and extent of the maltreatment and/or possible licensing violations. For reports concerning suspected abuse or neglect occurring within a licensed facility, the report should include any actions taken by the facility in response to the incident.
  • An oral report of suspected abuse or neglect made to one of the above agencies by a mandated reporter must be followed by a written report to the same agency within 72 hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays.

Failure to Report

A mandated reporter who knows or has reason to believe a child is or has been neglected or physically or sexually abused and fails to report is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, a mandated reporter who fails to report maltreatment that is found to be serious or recurring maltreatment may be disqualified from employment in positions allowing direct contact with persons receiving services from programs licensed by the Department of Human Services and by the Minnesota Department of Health, and unlicensed Personal Care Provider Organizations.

Retaliation Prohibited

An employer of any mandated reporter shall not retaliate against the mandated reporter for reports made in good faith or against a child with respect to whom the report is made. The Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act contains specific provisions regarding civil actions that can be initiated by mandated reporters who believe that retaliation has occurred.

Internal Review

When the facility has reason to know that an internal or external report of alleged or suspected maltreatment has been made, the facility must complete an internal review within 30 calendar days and take corrective action, if necessary, to protect the health and safety of children in care. The internal review must include an evaluation of whether:

  1. related policies and procedures were followed;
  2. the policies and procedures were adequate;
  3. there is a need for additional staff training;
  4. the reported event is similar to past events with the children or the services involved; and
  5. there is a need for corrective action by the license holder to protect the health and safety of children in care.

Primary and Secondary Person or Position to Ensure Internal Reviews are Completed

The internal review will be completed by the director of the St. Thomas Child Development Center. If this individual is involved in the alleged or suspected maltreatment, St. Thomas Dean of Students will be responsible for completing the internal review.

Documentation of the Internal Review

The facility must document completion of the internal review and make internal reviews accessible to the commissioner immediately upon the commissioner's request.

Corrective Action Plan

Based on the results of the internal review, the license holder must develop, document, and implement a corrective action plan designed to correct current lapses and prevent future lapses in performance by individuals or the license holder, if any.

Staff Training

The license holder must provide training to all staff related to the mandated reporting responsibilities as specified in the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act (Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556). The license holder must document the provision of this training in individual personnel records, monitor implementation by staff, and ensure that the policy is readily accessible to staff, as specified under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.04, subdivision 14.

The mandated reporting policy must be provided to parents of all children at the time of enrollment in the child care program and must be made available upon request.

When you decide to enroll your child at the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center, you will be scheduled for an intake meeting with the program director and the head teacher who will be working with your child. During the intake, the program will be explained, you will be introduced to staff, and you will have the opportunity to talk at length about your child's interests, needs and routines. You will also be given several forms to complete and return to the center director. Among those forms will be a summary of your child's health status and immunizations. These summaries and the other forms must be completed before your child's first day of attendance.

At the time you go through the intake meeting, the center director will review with you the child care program plan. The child care program plan is a compilation of important facts, policies and procedures which are specific to the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center. In addition to discussion at intake, any parent may review the program plan upon request.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider

In general, it is best for your child to attend regularly and in time for daily activities. A fairly set routine is important to your child's sense of security in the program, and so that your child does not miss planned activities or special events. You must bring your child into the center and sign him or her in on the sign-in sheet located in your child's classroom. Likewise, your child cannot leave the center unaccompanied by yourself or an adult whom you have designated to pick up your child. If you have authorized an adult other than yourself to pick up your child, please have that adult come to the center with a picture I.D. If you wish to send in another child (a sibling, a neighbor, a sitter, etc.) please notify us in advance. Also, please be aware that we will not release a child to anyone younger than 12 years of age. When you pick up your child, remember to sign out.

The hours of operation for the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each weekday. Parents must pick up their child and leave the classroom by 5:30. In the event that parents and children have not left the classroom by 5:30, this will be considered a late pick-up.

The fee for late pick-up is $1.00 per minute beginning at 5:31 p.m. When you leave the classroom with your child the staff person who has stayed late will give you a written notice of the late fees charged. The fee must be paid within three working days to the staff person who stayed late with your child. If your late fee is not paid within three working days, we will add $1.00 per day (including weekends and holidays) until your late fee is paid in full. Parents who are late picking up their child five or more times in a two month period may jeopardize their child's enrollment in the center.

If you know in advance that you are going to be late picking up your child, please call us. If your child has not been picked up by 7:30 p.m., and we have not been able to reach you or any of your emergency contacts, staff will call the St. Paul Police Department. A police officer will then transport your child to an emergency shelter.

Each year the center fees will be reviewed by the center director and the advisory council, as well as the executive vice president's staff of the University of St. Thomas. Fees are based on the actual cost of care with budgeting priority given to staff wages and benefits, staff/child ratios and program supplies and equipment. Fees cover all listed holidays. We do not reduce rates for vacation, sick or snow days.

There is a non-refundable registration fee of $90.00 per child. This fee covers the administrative costs of enrollment. It does not hold a slot for a child. A slot can be held for a child by contacting the center director or assistant director. The registration fee must be paid at the time of intake.

All regular parent fees are payable in advance by the 15th day of each month. Because the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center operates exclusively on the income from parent fees, it is very important that all fees are paid in a timely manner. Parents who are students, faculty or staff of the University of St. Thomas may choose to have their child care fees deducted directly from their university account.

If you are planning to remove your child from the center, two weeks written notice to the director is required. If the center needs to terminate services to a child or family, we will try to give the same notice. Reasons for the center to terminate service to a child or family may include:

  • Failure to pay fees (this includes debt due to loss or change in subsidy).
  • Failure to attend more than 50 percent of one month.
  • Decision by the center staff that another type of program would better serve your child or family.

From time to time there are families enrolled at the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center who are engaged in child custody disputes. These conflicts within families can cause tremendous stress for both children and parents. The staff of the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center recognizes that we are in a unique position. We must offer support and understanding to parents and security and consistency to children, while all the time remaining strictly neutral on all issues related to the custody dispute. Because this line we walk is often quite fine, we have developed the following list of expectations for center staff and for parents.

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, you can expect the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center staff to:

  1. Focus on the needs of the child(ren) enrolled in the center. During times of family conflict it is especially important that children have a place that is safe, consistent and impartial.
  2. Remain strictly neutral in all matters regarding the custody dispute. We will insist that parents resolve the conflict independent of the center and its staff.
  3. Follow the custody arrangements strictly as they are written in the court documents. *Please note - Documents or written instructions from either parent's legal council are not acceptable and will not be honored. If there are items in the court documents that are subject to interpretation, the center director will describe in writing, his or her interpretation of the item. If either parent is in disagreement with the center director's interpretation, it will be that parent's responsibility to supply the center director with new court documentation that clarifies the item. If there are no court documents regarding custody or restraint of access to a child we cannot, according to the law restrict access to either properly identified parent.
  4. Communicate regularly with both parents, any problems or concerns regarding the effects of the custody dispute on the child(ren), or problems or concerns with the custody arrangements as they impact the operations of the center. When parents are unable to resolve matters and their dispute becomes disruptive to the center, the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center reserves the right to dis-enroll the family from the center at the discretion of the center director.
  5. Offer to assist both parents in finding outside resources that might be helpful to them or their child(ren).

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, the University of St. Thomas Child Development Center will expect you to:

  1. Provide current court documents regarding any and all custody arrangements and access restrictions. The center director also may ask that you complete additional information forms for use by classroom and office staff.
  2. Refrain from involving the center or its staff in the custody dispute. Involvement of the center and its staff includes, but is not limited to:- Engaging in conversations about the dispute in the presence of children. This includes telephone conversations.- Asking questions of staff or making statements to staff about the other parent.- Putting staff in a position of mediating conflict between two parents, and/or their legal counsel.3. Follow all center policies as they are written in the parent handbook and explained at the intake meeting.

TOYS - We recognize that being away from home all day may be difficult, and a favorite toy from home may make your child's stay in the center more comfortable. Teachers may ask children to keep toys from home in their cubbies during group times, naps or mealtimes. Sometimes, special toys are so desirable that they may cause fighting or stop play. When this happens, the teacher will help the child stow the toy safely away until the child goes home.

Please do not send toys from home that may be dangerous such as sling shots or darts, violent toys such as guns, swords or super heroes, or toys that depict or encourage racist or sexist play. Also, teachers cannot be responsible for lost or broken toys, so please do not send toys or other items of significant value.

CLOTHING - Throughout the day your child will be involved in active and sometimes messy play. Please dress your child in comfortable and carefree clothing so that he or she can get involved in the day’s activities. Your child's clothing should also be appropriate to the weather as we go outside almost every day in both winter and summer months. You will need to keep an extra set of your child's clothing in his or her cubbies. If your child is in the process of toilet training, or has frequent toileting accidents, please keep two or more extra sets of clothing in his/her cubbies. This set should include a shirt or sweater, pants, underpants and socks.

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center maintains a non-violent, anti-bias environment free from all the visual and verbal cues that might make violence or a dislike for those who are different seem acceptable. To maintain this environment, all children and staff are actively discouraged from wearing clothing that depicts violent, racist or sexist themes. This would include but is not limited to: pictures of weapons, super heroes, sexually suggestive poses, violent or racist sports logos, and stereotypical characterizations of any particular group of people.

If a child comes into the center wearing clothing of this nature, teachers will help the child change into something from his/her reserve clothing. If the child has no reserve clothing, the teacher will help the child turn their clothing inside out so that the picture/logo is no longer visible.

DIAPERS - Parents of infants and toddlers who are not yet able to use the toilet will need to bring in disposable diapers for use in the center. If your child has an allergic reaction to disposable diapers, you may send cloth diapers and plastic pants if you have a release signed by your child's physician. In order to prevent the spread of germs when changing cloth diapers or underwear, your child's teacher will remove the diaper or underwear and put it directly into a sealed plastic bag. Teachers may not wash or rinse out wet or soiled diapers or clothing.

BLANKETS AND PILLOWS - Your child will need a blanket from home to use at naptime. Also, if your child has a special pillow or toy that helps him or her relax at naptime, you may want to bring that in as well.

LABEL ALL ITEMS FROM HOME - This is very important. Teachers make every effort to help children learn to be responsible for personal belongings, but items can still be accidentally misplaced or lost. Please label everything you or your child bring into the center. We often are able to find lost items that have been labeled.

From time to time there will be pets in the classrooms. Pets are a fun and interesting learning experience for children. Any pets kept in the center will meet licensing guidelines for type and care of animals. Pets also will be properly inoculated. Parents will be made aware of any pets kept in classrooms.

Periodically, University of St. Thomas faculty or students, or outside research agencies, photographers, advertising agencies, etc., will come to the center wanting to use the faces, names or time of the children enrolled. When these research or public relations events come up, parents will be notified in advance and will have the opportunity to sign permission forms which allow their child to take part. Permission forms will be kept in the child's file.

** Ill Children

If your child is ill or unable to participate in center activities (example: can't go outside due to a cold), you must make arrangements for alternate care DO NOT BRING AN ILL CHILD INTO THE CENTER. This policy is for your own child's comfort and to prevent the spread of illness to other children.

If your child appears ill on arrival, a staff member may refuse to accept him or her into the center. Your child cannot remain in the center with any of the following:

FEVER Axillary temperature over 99 degrees or oral temperature over 100 degrees.

VOMITING Occurring more than once in the day or in combination with other symptoms such as a fever or behavioral change.

RESPIRATORY Wheezing which occurs suddenly and is unexplained. Severe SYMPTOMS congestion or prolonged cough.

DIARRHEA Loose, watery stools that do not improve, occur in more than one child, or are accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, etc.

SORE THROAT If accompanied by other symptoms such as a rash, fever or behavior change.

RASH If cause is unknown.

A child can be re-admitted to the center after contracting a communicable illness or condition according to the following guidelines:

CHICKENPOX Six days after lesions appear (ALL lesions must be completely dried up).

IMPETIGO Twenty four hours after treatment begins and drainage is over.

LICE After treatment begins. Treatment must be followed through.

SCABIES After treatment begins.

STREP THROAT Twenty four hours after an injection or oral medication begins.

MENINGITIS According to the guidelines of the local or state health department, or

HEPATITIS written recommendation of child’s physician.

PINK EYE Viral cases do not need to be excluded. Child should be seen by a physician to determine if condition is viral or bacterial. Physician's recommendations should be followed.

FEVER Must be fever-free (without the aid of medication) for 24 hours before returning to the center.

If a child becomes ill while at the center, he or she will be isolated from the other children and a staff member will call the parent or an emergency contact from the child's emergency card. Staff will continue to monitor the child's condition (take temp., provide fluids, etc.) until the child is picked-up.

If your child will be absent from the center, please call us that day and let us know (for vacations, please let us know in advance). If your child has been diagnosed with a communicable disease or condition, you must notify the center within 24 hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays.

If your child has been exposed to a communicable, reportable disease or condition while at the center, we will notify you the same day we are notified. Parents will be given a letter describing the disease or condition and its symptoms and steps to take if your child displays any of those symptoms.

** Health Forms

We are required by law to have on file for each child a written copy of immunization dates and a health summary signed by a physician. Failure to provide current medical information for your child's file may result in dis-enrollment from the center. If your personal convictions lead you to object to your child being immunized, we will ask you to complete a special form which must then be notarized and returned to the center. Updated immunization and physical exams are required as children move-up from one group to another.

** Medications

We can only administer medications with a doctor's prescription. Medications must be in their original container with the prescription clearly printed on it. When you bring medication into the center, hand it directly to a classroom staff person. DO NOT leave medications in cubbies, backpacks, diaper bags or on top of shelves. When you hand the medication to the staff person s/he will give you a medication permission form to complete and sign. This form gives classroom staff vital information about the medication including the time(s) and dose to be administered. When your child has received medication, the classroom staff will note the time it was given and will then initial the medication permission form. Completed medication permission forms will be kept in each child's file. Staff will throw away any medications that have exceeded their expiration dates. "Over the counter" medications such as children’s pain reliever or topical ointments may be administered only when the parent gives us written and dated permission from the child's physician. That authorization will be kept on file for the child. Any health conditions requiring special medication or special medical equipment such as heart monitors, blood sugar monitors, feeding tubes or asthma nebulizers requires specific written instructions from the child's physician. In addition, our public health nurse may need to train our staff before they can administer special medications. If we are unable to serve a special medical need, we will make every effort to help the family find suitable alternative programming.

** First Aid and CPR

All teaching staff are required to take first aid and CPR training, and to renew that training regularly. If any injury or accident occurs, the nearest staff person will assist the child. If the injury may need medical attention, we will contact the parent or the emergency contact person designated by the parent.

If an injury is deemed life threatening, staff will immediately call the University of St. Thomas Public Safety Department for emergency medical assistance. The child's parent or emergency contact designated by the parent will then be called. If the child must be transported to an emergency medical site, an ambulance will be used to transport the child at the parent's expense. A staff person will accompany the child to the emergency facility if a parent is not able to arrive in time. A written report of the accident or injury will be completed by the staff person(s) involved, and a copy of that report will be given to the parent.

In all grievance situations, the person with the grievance must attempt to discuss and resolve the problem on a one-to-one basis with the other person involved before moving on to the following procedure.

  1. Discuss the problem with the center director. The center director will resolve the issue or explain to both parties any limitations there might be to resolving the issue.
  2. If either party is not satisfied with the director's resolution, they may file a written grievance with the University of St. Thomas Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will choose an appeal board of three members. The appeal board will not rehear the case, but will consider evidence of a violation of proper procedures or manifest partiality. The appeal board will take its recommendation to the Dean of Student Affairs, whose decision will be final.