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Ozuna Learning and Academic Center
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Child Care FAQs

Dear Families, When a new child is enrolled at Ray Ellison Family Center, we give the family a copy of our "Handbook of Operational Policies". Its purpose is to acquaint you with the policies and procedures of the center. Some procedures are of our own design, however others are mandated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS). Your questions will usually be answered or addressed in the handbook. However, to assist you in finding some answers quickly, we have developed these answers to frequently asked questions. If you require more information, please do not hesitate to call or speak to our Coordinator or Senior Secretary at 210.486.3500.

Staff

How are staff qualified and trained?
At the Ray Ellison Family Center we strive to have 1 Child Development Specialist and 1 Assistant Child Development Specialist in each classroom. Child Development Specialists (CDS) have a minimum of an Associates degree, although some have bachelors. Assistant Child Development Specialists (ACDS) have at least their Child Development Associate Certificate. All CDS and ACDS have current first aid and CPR certification. All Work study students who are with the children have received an 8 hour basic training class as mandated by TDPRS.

The Ray Ellison Family Center received accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in April, 2010.

 

How does staff stay current in appropriate practice with children?
Each staff member completes a minimum of 20 hours per year of Professional development training covering a wide variety of topics.

Billing

How often will I be billed?
Billing is done on a weekly basis. The bill must be paid weekly before childcare services are rendered.

Where do I pay my bill?
Payments must be made at the Bursar's office or online at TheVirtual Business Office. The File Copy receipt must be turned in to the Ray Ellison Family Center to properly credit your account.

Do I pay for days my child is absent due to illness?
Yes, per the parent agreement.

Do I pay for holidays?
Yes, if they fall within the college calendar. However you do not pay for either Winter break or spring break when the center is closed.

Will the center accept payment from a subsidizing agency, such as CCDS?
Yes. Please see the front desk about arranging the paper work for subsidies.

Eligibility

Do I have to be a Palo Alto student to be eligible?
No, but students have first priority when openings occur.

Do I have to re-register each semester to keep my child's place?
Yes. At the end of each semester you will receive paperwork to re-register your child and will be required to pay a $40 non-refundable registration fee.

If I don't attend summer school can I still have a space held for the upcoming fall semester?
Yes, you will need to re-register for fall and pay the $40 non-refundable registration fee.

Do I pay a registration fee each semester?
Yes, you must pay a $40 non-refundable enrollment fee for each semester ($20 for each summer session).

Arrival and Departure

When does my child need to be at school?
We require that children arrive daily by 9:15 a.m. This allows children to participate fully in the daily activities, including the morning meal which is served at 8:30a.m.

What happens if I am late picking up my child?
You are charged a late fee. If a parent is consistently late, he/she may be asked to find alternate care for their child. Please see your handbook for our policies.

Meals and Treats

What time is breakfast?
Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m.and is completed by 9:30 a.m.

If I bring my child late for a meal time, will you still provide the meal?
If you call ahead of time and ask for a plate to be saved, YOU may feed your child outside the classroom. You may also take your child to the cafeteria in the Student Center before signing them in.

May I bring birthday treats for my child?
You may provide a special store bought snack for the children as long as it is healthy and promotes nutritious eating habits. Please check with your child's teacher about planning these special days. Refer to the handbook for food ideas.

How will I know what my child eats during the day?
We have copies of the monthly menu posted outside the classroom doors. Also, you may request Daily Reports from your child's teachers for a detailed account of your child's day.

Children's Activities

Does the Center have a curriculum?
Yes. Our curriculum emphasizes developmentally appropriate play experiences. For more specific information on our curriculum please refer to our handbook or ask your child's teacher.

How will I know what my child does during the day?
Please refer to the daily schedule and lesson plans posted in the classrooms. The teachers will also be pleased to speak with you about the activities that are planned. You may request Daily Reports from your child's teachers for a detailed account of your child's teacher.

Will my child play outside during the winter?
Yes. Licensing requires that children have an outdoor time daily. Please bring jacket, mittens, gloves, etc. so that your child can enjoy the healthy outdoors. It is usually the adults who are uncomfortable with the cold, not the children.

Health Concerns

May my child come to school when he/ she is ill?
No. Home is the best place for children when they are contagious or recuperating. Your handbook lists contagious illnesses that require children's absence.

Will the center give my child medicine?
Yes, if it is in the original prescription container and the parent has filled out a medicine authorization form.

How often does my child need a physical?
Physicals are required once a year after enrollment.

What happens if my child is ill or hurt while at the center?
Minor injuries are tended to by the teachers and an incident report is completed to document the event. You will receive a copy of this report at pick up time. For more serious injuries we will use your emergency information to contact you so you can be with your child. See emergency procedures in your handbook.

Parent & Family Involvment

May I come visit my child at the center?
Yes! Our center has an open door policy. You are also welcome on field trips and during family events. Please be aware of how your child will respond to you coming and visiting as some children will be distraught after a visit.

In what ways can I be involved in my child's program?
We encourage you to come and visit your child and participate in the activities of the day. Speak with your child's teacher for special upcoming events or let them know about your special talents and interests.

Does the Center have parenting books or resources I can borrow?
You bet. We have a lending library with books that can be checked out. We also have a wealth of handouts to share with you concerning your child's development. Let us know what information you need and we can help you find it.

How do I request a parent conference?
We provide parent conferences twice a year AND upon request. Feel free to ask your child's teacher if you would like to schedule one.

If I have a concern about services my child is receiving what can I do?
Please feel free to speak with the Coordinator with any questions you may have.

Should I notify the center if there are questions surrounding custody issues?
Unless otherwise notified in your child's enrollment packet, we assume both parents have legal custody and both have full rights to leave our center with their child. We can only enforce custody matters if we have copies of the court orders on file.

Is there a Parent Group?
Yes! The REFC Parent Organization is a recognized student club whose mission is to increase family involvement. Meetings are held regularly and information on upcoming events, fundraising, or activities is posted in the center lobby. Contact the Coordinator to join.

Holidays & School Vacations

Is the center open during semester breaks?
No the center is open only when classes are in session. Please refer to the "Dates to Remember" flyer for a complete listing of important dates.

Does the center celebrate holidays?
Yes, but in ways that are appropriate and meaningful to young children. Please share with the center staff celebrations that are important to your family. Every effort will be made by our teachers to respectfully honor your families culture and traditions.

Discipline

What will the center personnel do if my child acts inappropriately?
We use positive guidance techniques that help to promote self- discipline and acceptable behavior. Please refer to the handbook for more details.

Will the center tell me if my child is having any problems?
If we are not able to correct them in a reasonable time, yes, we will ask for your input and assistance. In such instances, the teachers and/ or the director will likely request a parent- teacher conference.

Should I punish my child at home if he/she acts inappropriately at the center?
No! It is best if the teacher's deal with the childcare behaviors and parents handle the home behaviors. We would like to share strategies with each other for dealing with inappropriate behavior so we can all be as consistent as possible for your child.

Withdrawl & Dismissal Procedures

How much notice should I give before withdrawing my child?
We require a two week notice before withdrawing your child. Please stop by the front desk to complete the necessary paperwork.

Can the center dismiss my child?
Yes but this is very, very rare. Please refer to your parent handbook under discipline.

Contact Information

Director/Coordinator:
Alice C. Regala

Location:
Ray Ellison Family Center (REFC)

Phone:
210-486-3500

Fax:
210-486-9161

 

Hours of Operation

7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Head Start Classes
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.