Learn N Play Home Child Care & Early Learning






~~ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ~~

[click on the question links below]



These are questions that I've been asked and also some others that I wanted to include for informational reasons. Please don't hesitate if you have a question that is NOT answered below. An email link is located in the drop-down menu below.


Select one of the links below




GENERAL QUESTIONS:
CLICK on the links below to get the answer


How long have you done child care in your home?
Where are you located? AND are you near any [elementary] schools?
Are you registered/licensed with the State (of Iowa)?
What is your child care background? Do you have any previous experience?
What, if any, is your religious persuasion?
Are you trained in First Aid & CPR?
Are you married? or {Are there any other adults in your home while the children are present?}
Do you have a college degree?
Do you have children of your own?
Do you smoke?
Do you have pets?






PROVIDER QUESTIONS:
CLICK on the links below to get the answer


What other trainings are required? Do you take additional trainings beyond what is needed?
Do you have anyone help you during peek times or the summertime?
How often do you get inspected by the state?
How many children are you allowed to watch? {or What is your registration capacity?}
Do you ever leave the children in someone else's care?
What ages of children do you accept?




PROVIDER QUESTIONS continued...

Do you accept children with disabilities?
How do you go about making the daycare [as] 'germ free' [as possible]?
What are your hours of operation?
Which holidays will daycare be closed?
Do you have written policies and give a copy to the client for easy reference?
Do you pick up school age from school?
Do you have references?






PROVIDER QUESTIONS continued...

How many openings do you have right now for child care?
Do you accept part time children?
How would you describe your temperament with the kids?
How long do you plan to provide child care?
Do you have liability insurance?






FINANCIAL QUESTIONS
CLICK on the links below to get the answer


What are your policies on late payment, late pickup, client vacations?
What are your rates for child care?
Do you charge for your own illness, holidays, and your own vacations?
Do you have an enrollment fee?
Do you accept payments from the State?
When are payments due?
What do the child care fees pay for? {Or what is included in our fees?}
Do you take vacations?
What happens if you (the provider) get sick?
Do I have to pay for child care if my child isn't present at daycare?






PROGRAM QUESTIONS
CLICK on the links below to get the answer


What does my child need to keep at your daycare?
Does my child have a place to store their personal items?
If I want to come visit my child will I be able to?
Do I have to call before coming to the daycare?
How do you discipline the children?
What happens when a child breaks a rule?
Do you spank the children?




PROGRAM QUESTIONS continued...

Do you have a curriculum?
How do you keep parents informed?
Do you have a daily schedule?
What kind of activities do you do with the children?
Do you have books for different age groups? Or Do you read to the children?
Do you go on field trips?
Do you teach religious things to the children?
Which meals do you typically serve?




PROGRAM QUESTIONS continued...

What kind of food do you serve the children for breakfast? for lunch? for snack?
What if my child has an allergy to something you are serving?
Do you eat lunch with the children?
Do you make the children sleep at naptime? Where do the children sleep?
Do the school age children have to take naps during their summer break/inservices/days off?




PROGRAM QUESTIONS continued...

How is your home 'safety improved' for children?
What kind of movies do you allow the children to watch?
Do you allow the children to swim in the summer?
Do you have a fenced yard?
How much television are the children allowed to watch daily?




PROGRAM QUESTIONS continued...

Do you hand out treats to the children?
Do you reward the children when they have good behavior?
What happens if my child becomes sick during the day?
How sick does a child have to be before they cannot attend?
How often do you change diapers or take the children to the potty?
What age do you start potty training? And What is your potty training policy?




PROGRAM QUESTIONS continued...

If my child is teething and has a fever can they attend daycare?
Do you exclude a child due to a runny nose?
How do you handle or treat injuries?
If my child can't go to school due to illness can he/she spend the day at daycare?
Do you have a computer for the children to use?




PROGRAM QUESTIONS continued...

What kind of software are the children using?
I have to drop my child off very early (pre 7am). Do you require that they are dressed and ready for the day?




ANSWERS



How long have you done child care in your home?
I opened my home daycare officially in July 2001.

Where are you located? AND are you near any [elementary] schools?
Learn N Play Home Child Care & Early Learning is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on the North East side of town. We are in the Cedar Rapids School district and Garfield Elementary is the closest school.

Are you registered/licensed with the State (of Iowa)?
Yes. I'm a Category B child development home which means I can 'care for a maximum number of six children at one time plus 4 school-age children plus two part-time children'. My registration is valid through May 2019. It is renewed every two years.

What is your child care background? Do you have any previous experience?
I've always enjoyed playing with and teaching young children. My prior experience includes Sunday School teacher (and VBS), lots of time with nieces and nephews, baby-sitting (for non-family), and raising my own son. I've been a child care provider for over 15 years.

What, if any, is your religious persuasion?
I'm a Christian woman (ELCA Lutheran).

Are you trained in First Aid & CPR?
Yes, they are both a requirement for State licensing.



Are you married? or {Are there any other adults in your home while the children are present?}
Yes, since August 1997. To a wonderful man named Tom. He works at an auto parts store.

Do you have a college degree?
I graduated from the University of Iowa in 1990 with a BA in Political Science, later completing requirements for my Sociology BA.

Do you have children of your own?
Yes, Tom and I have a son named Alec, born in 2001.

Do you smoke? Do you drink (alcohol)?
No. Neither Tom nor I smoke. I abstain from alcohol, but Tom may have some at a family function.

Do you have pets?
We have two Netherland Dwarf bunny sisters named Daisy and Shirley and two Guinea Pig sisters named Zena and Jane. Occasionally, we have tadpoles, snails, ladybugs, caterpillars, or butterflies. The pets are for the children's real-life learning environment.



What other trainings are required? Do you take additional trainings beyond what is needed?
12 hours of training [per registration year] are required by state regulations but as I participate in a HACAP program called PACES [for more info CLICK HERE], I must have 16 hours per year. But normally I take around 30 hours or more per year of training.

Do you have anyone help you during peek times or the summertime?
Currently, I don't have any need for assistants. If in the future, I expand to having 9 or more children, I would need to have an assistant.

How often do you get inspected by the state?
In Iowa, there is no set number of inspections. Recently, the State's Department of Human Resources stated that it was going to work to get more inspections done.

How many children are you allowed to care for? {or What is your registration capacity?}
I'm able to 'care for a maximum number of six children at one time plus 4 school-age children plus two part-time children'. When more than 8 are present for two or more hours, I must have an assistant.

Do you ever leave the children in someone else's care?
Occasionally, I must attend a doctor's appointment or attend a class or an organizational meeting. Currently, if the need arises, my husband and both my parents are qualified DHS substitutes. A substitute must have First Aid, CPR, Mandatory Child Abuse and take 12 hours of Essentials health & safety training. They also receive Child Abuse and Criminal History checks. Clients are always pre-notified of these situations so that they may make alternate arrangements if they choose to.



What ages of children do you accept?
I accept children from around 6 weeks to 4 years of age. But the ages that I may have an opening for will vary.

Do you accept children with "special needs"?
Yes. I consider children with Autism, ADHD, ODD (and other learning challenges} to be "special needs".

How do you go about making the daycare [as] 'germ free' [as possible]?
I vacuum my home on a daily basis and swiffer the hard floors once a week or as needed. Toys are inspected and sanitized weekly or as needed. I wash my hands almost constantly and the children's hands are washed before and after every meal, after coming in from outdoors, and after toileting/diapering. I also use a glove when changing diapers/pullups/assisting during potty training.

What are your hours of operation?
I'm available between 6:00AM through 6:00PM Mon-Fri with some flexibility. When children are not present, it is my personal time.

Which holidays will the daycare be closed?
My daycare is closed New Years Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I do receive paid holidays from my full-time and part-time clients.{See below}. The day after Thanksgiving is a personal day.



Do you have written policies and give a copy to the client for easy reference?
Yes, there are State requirements for certain forms to be in the childrens' files. All clients receive a copy of my policy handbook and updates as they occur.

Do you pick up school age from school?
No as I don't currently accept school-age children.

Do you have references?
Yes. These are made available at interviews.

How many openings do you have right now for child care?
My current up-to-date openings can be found on my entrance page: CLICK HERE.

Do you accept part-time or drop-in children?
Yes. Part-time is contracted on a FIXED hours time slot (days/times will be the same) OR be attending less than 20 hours a week.
Drop-ins are accepted on a day-to-day basis and are determined by the children who are in attendance or scheduled to be in attendance. Drop-in clients must inquire at least three days in advance. More info is available on my Program Page--> CLICK HERE.



How would you describe your temperament with the kids?
I allow the children a lot of room to explore through their emotions. But I also have learned what to/what not to ignore. Sometimes all it takes is a sideways glance from me to put them back on the appropriate path! I have a child care background and a lot of patience. Humor also is made use of daily. I've learned that the proper placement of humor alleviates most problems.

How long do you plan to provide child care?
I really enjoy my career as a Child Care Provider and plan to continue for some time.

Do you have liability insurance?
Yes. My insurance is through West Bend Mutual Insurance. My coverage is $1,000,000/$3,000,000 and I have coverage for 12 children. This insurance is separate from and additional to the homeowner's insurance we have for our home and belongings.



What are your policies on late payment, late pickup, client vacations?
All I ask is for a phone call to let me know you are running late AND when to expect you. If I'm not contacted then the overtime fee will be $1.00 per every fifteen minutes per child.
I've recently implemented a late fee of $10 per day if payment is not made in a timely manner. Payments are due by 6pm on Monday unless parent has another pay day arrangement. Each client receives 2 weeks during the year in which they may pay $50 (or $100 total) to hold the child’s spot.


What are your rates for child care?
Please email me for my current child care rates.

Do you charge for your own illness, holidays, and your own vacations?
Clients do pay a fee for the holidays that my daycare is closed [see question above re--holidays]. Days off due to my (or another family member's) illness and my vacation days are unpaid. I can take up to 10 days of unpaid vacation per year. Generally, I'll take a Friday off near a holiday.



Do you have an enrollment fee?
Beginning June 1st, 2014 all private pay AND block assistance (CCA)/Promise Jobs enrolling clients will be asked to pay a nonrefundable registration fee of $25 when the contract is returned. This will primarily ensure that the client is serious about enrolling at Learn N Play Home Child Care.

Do you accept payments from the state?
Yes. I'm a qualified state provider. I accept Block Grant (CCA) and Promise Jobs.



When are payments due?
Payments are due by 6pm on Mondays OR on the day mutually agreed upon in the contract. Full/Part clients may pay me weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

What do the child care fees pay for? {Or what is included in our fees?}
Tuition includes quality child care, nutritious meals, and a nurturing environment for your child. Your fees also provide my income, including taxes and social security. Beyond that, your fees pay for special insurance, training, food, toys, equipment, art supplies, and all of the other things that your child will use.
Like other self-employed workers, family child care providers don't receive benefits such as health/dental insurance, life insurance, unemployment insurance, retirement, flexible time off, etc. To protect my business and my income, you will find that a guaranteed wage is part of my contract. The services I provide are distinctly different from those of a “baby-sitter”, with consistency in pay being key to maintaining these services. I love what I do and accept the nature of my business, however, I must ensure that I'm able to continue providing a high quality care while providing for my family.

Do you take vacations?
Yes. My vacations are unpaid. I generally take off Friday's around a holiday (weekend). I receive up to 10 vacation days per calendar year. Clients are notified of these days as far in advance (usually a month) as is possible.




What happens if you (the provider) get sick?
I've got some really great healthy genes on my part so I stay healthy during the year. My family and I also get the flu shot each year. PLEASE have a backup available. Unfortunately, if I'm ill, the daycare must close to prevent the spread of illness to the children. Clients don't pay fees for my sick days.

Do I have to pay for child care if my child isn't present for daycare?
This question comes up a lot. Any time I'm available for business you must pay me whether your child attends daycare or not. I compare it to paying car insurance. We all have to have it, yet most of us will never need to use it. But we pay it so that if we do need it, we do have it. You are paying me for a service or more accurately, you are paying to hold a spot in my child care. Paying for that spot each week will guarantee your child will have those days available to them each week. I'm allowed only 8 spots and my income is based on those spots. Special discounts/considerations are given to anyone experiencing job disruptions and family/health emergencies.



What does my child need to keep at your daycare? What do I need to supply you with for my child?
Each child should have a WEATHER APPROPRIATE change of clothing (top, bottom, undies, socks, shoes). Shoes should be something that the child can learn to put on themselves. Ties aren't the best choice for children under age 5. You can also bring a special blanket or soft animal for naptime that can be kept here. I supply wipes.

Does my child have a place to store their personal items?
Currently, I have hallway coat hooks for coats and a 24-pocket shoe holder screwed into the wall for shoes. There is ample space for storage in the diaper area and for those children who don't wear diapers, there are tubs under the diaper changing table.

If I want to visit my child will I be able to?
You may visit/drop-in anytime that your child is present for a visit (although I ask clients not to come during nap time). If it is just a visit and not a pick-up, I do ask that you keep it a short visit as "visitors" always get the children excited. [NOTE- visits may be difficult on a child experiencing separation anxiety.]

Do I have to call before coming to the daycare?
Although it is best to call or text first, it is not required for CLIENTS. Prospective clients must call me before dropping in as I may not be able to accommodate them otherwise.

How do you discipline the children?
I use redirection and discussion for those under 3 years and "time for thinking and discussion" for the older preschoolers. The older children are told the house rules frequently and reminded as needed.

I try to discipline in a positive, loving but firm manner that is age appropriate. My philosophy is to recognize "teachable moments" that occur before the need for discipline. When at all possible the need to remove the child from the situation or interactions with other children is avoided. Children need to be taught the positive ways to interact.

Children [ages 3 and up] are offered alternatives to their behavior but if the behavior continues the children are asked to play independently for a short time. During this brief time the children and I spend time discussing how they might positively interact with their friends and what is and is not "okay". Other children normally join them to continue playing with their friend.



What happens when a child breaks a rule?
Please see my response to the above question "How do you discipline the children?"

Do you spank the children?
NO. It is against State regulations for me to give any kind of corporal punishment to a child even if the parent gives me permission.

Do you have a curriculum?
I've found that the internet can provide anything I need. There are many sites offering activity suggestions or

How do you keep parents informed?
The parents/guardians are kept informed by a daily 'consult session' which occurs at both drop-off and pickup times.

Do you have a daily schedule?
My schedule can be found on my Program Highlights page-- CLICK HERE.



What kind of activities do you do with the children?
I have all sorts of activities for them to do. I have crayons/markers and the children have access to white paper. We also play with playdoh and work on lacing projects, peg boards, and of course, Mr/Mrs. Potato Head!. I have some felt board activities. The popular blocks are the magnetic ones of which I never have enough! Magna/mini doodles are also quite popular.
I have cardboard building blocks, legos, puzzles, and plenty of pretend dishes and dolls. We have free play as well as structured play (circle time, story time). We play music, sing, dance and exercise our bodies. We do open-ended art, color, paint, puzzles. During the day, I may set out a "plop" of items that they children haven't seen before or haven't seen for a while. There is no limit to what makes up a "plop". But the children are not given any advice on how to play with the items. It is there time to explore. There are also activities towards building their skills; such as numbers, shapes, and letters. Normally, we might work on literacy activites which help the child with the left-right orientation, as in reading. The Montessories offer many free activites and ideas for this. For numbers and shapes we might work on our patterning. Playing games is a great way to work in some math.

Do you have books for different age groups? or Do you read to the children?
Yes! Everything from soft beginning books for infants to preschool books. The children have complete access to the books (which is why they are usually all over the place). Reading time occurs whenever a child asks to be read to or in the afternoon before naptime.

Do you go on field trips?
This answer can vary depending on if I have children under 2 yrs. of age and how many children I have on any given day. My van seats 5 children but we can sometimes call on my Mom to join us and bring her van too. Some places I would go to are: Park, Zoo, Fire Station, Library etc. Proper car seats and restraints will be used. Parents always sign a special activity visit card for any trip away from the daycare (including neighborhood walks).

Do you teach religious things to the children?
I don't feel like it is my place to teach the children religion. If they ask my opinion I keep it very simple. I also mention to the parents/guardians what the question was.



Which meals do you typically serve?
I serve breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack.

What kind of food do you serve the children for breakfast? for lunch? for snack?
I offer cereal, waffles, english muffins, bagels, breakfast bars, toast, and muffins for breakfast. My morning snack may include any of the above breakfast items except waffles. I serve kid-friendly meals such as chicken nuggets, fish sticks, hot dogs, corn dogs, sandwiches [grilled cheese, ham, chicken], english muffin pizzas, flour tortillas with hamburger & cheese, and home-made pizza. For afternoon snacks I offer various crackers and cheese cubes. The only juice I serve is at the afternoon snack (100% juice). All of my meals are nutritious and follow the guidelines of the Child and Adult Care Food Program [CACFP].



What if my child has an allergy to something you are serving?
If your child is allergic to something on my menu you MAY bring a credible replacement for that part of the meal on that day but I also keep notes on the allergies and work around them.

Do you eat lunch with the children?
No. I generally eat late in the afternoon or not at all.

Do you make the children sleep at naptime? Where do the children sleep?
The State requires that all children are given a rest time. Most children nap upstairs while I may occasionally have a crib in use in the living room. Children are checked on every 20 minutes and I keep monitors in the upstairs rooms. They can lay quietly on their mat.

I have gates at the top of my stairs and at the bottom that are locked during naptime.

An exterior emergency staircase was built in 2008 in order for the upstairs to be used as a napping place (required for B Category providers). Photos of this can be found on this website. The window which opens to the staircase is equipped with a window alarm in the event it is ever opened.

Do the school age children have to take naps during their summer break/inservices/days off?
I don't currently accept school-age children.

How is your home 'safety improved' for children?
I have gates at the top and bottom of my up stairs but also a gate at the top of my basement stairs and one just before my kitchen. I have an interior door at my entryway which is ALWAYS locked. My cabinets/drawers in the kitchen/living room/bathroom all have childproof locks on them. Of course, my outlet plugs are all covered. Any outlet in use is either covered by furniture or with a special child proof cover. Medications are stored on the 2nd shelf over my changing table. Cleaning chemicals are stored in a closed-off area near the kitchen.



What kind of movies do you allow the children to watch?
We have some Disney movies. I have some Winnie the Pooh, The Wiggles, Blues Clues, Veggie Tales, Bob the Builder, and Richard Scarry videos that the children enjoy watching. But this is generally for a 1/2 hour as lunch is being prepared.

Do you allow the children to swim in the summer?
I do own a few fun sprinklers. My liability coverage includes a water rider. Also, our neighborhood park has a 'splash pad' with fun different shapes/colors water spouts that the children can run under and get wet.

Do you have a fenced yard?
Yes. Our yard extends quite a ways back and over so it is ample for the children (it is sort of shaped like an inverted letter "L").

How much television are the children allowed to watch daily?
While I'm preparing lunch I ask the children which brief video they'd like to watch or they may play independently. In the afternoons around 5:00pm I may allow them to watch a cartoon if they clean up the toys a little bit.

Do you hand out treats to the children?
They do get special treats around Valentines Day and Halloween. But they are not rewarded with treats.



Do you reward the children when they have good behavior?
For preschool children who require some extra attention, I make every effort to praise them. The children are rewarded with extra time for playing with a certain toy or helping me in our tasks [which they enjoy immensely]. Of course, all children, get my appreciation for a job well done.

What happens if my child becomes sick during the day?
I define sick as head lice, unidentified rash, vomiting, a high fever over 100.41º, excessive drowsiness, excessive crankiness, excessive or strange coughing, the child is complaining of pain, or any sign of a communicable disease. If any of these occur, the parents will be notified immediately. If I feel that child should be seen by a doctor, then the child can return when cleared/after checked by a doctor. Otherwise, the child can return to care 24 hours after symptoms have passed -OR- they have received one dose of prescribed medications.

If a child becomes ill while at daycare, the child would be separated from the other children and kept comfortable and quiet until the parents are able to come pick up the child. Pick-up must be made within 1 hour. Child may return to care 24 hours after symptoms have passed -OR- they have received one dose of prescribed medications.

How sick does a child have to be before they cannot attend? OR What do you consider to be too ill to be in care?
Some symptoms that your child is too ill to be in care are: Children who are not teething and have temps above 100.41 degrees. Unusual rash, stiff neck, excessive coughing, difficult or rapid breathing, diarrhea (two or more abnormally loose stools within a 24 hour period), unusually dark urine, vomiting (such as if he/she has vomited within the past 24 hours), lice, scabies, discharge from eyes or ears (including conjunctivitis-pink eye), or any communicable diseases. If you have a note from the doctor stating they can return to daycare then they are allowed to be in daycare [although the final decision on attendance rests with me].

If your child exhibits any symptoms such as unidentified rash, vomiting, a high fever over 100º, excessive drowsiness, excessive crankiness, excessive or strange coughing, the child is complaining of pain, or displays any sign of a communicable disease within the last 24 hrs., PLEASE keep your child home. If your child is unable to participate in our activities, he/she should not attend and children really don't want to be away from you when feeling sick.



How often do you change diapers or take the children to the potty?
Children under 2 years receive a 'diaper check' every two hours and are changed earlier as needed. Potty trainING children are taken at regular intervals--such as when they first arrive, midmorning, before lunch, before/after nap, midafternoon, before supper, and before bedtime. Potty trainED children tell me when they have to go.

What age do you start potty training? OR What is your potty training policy?
(The one bit of advice I would like to give potential clients - don't place child into a pull-up until ready to begin potty training in ernst. Otherwise, the pull-up will just become a diaper) Girls are normally 2 to 2 1/2 while boys are 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. There is no exact age that potty training should be done, as it will depend on the child and the child's language development. A child may show an early interest in potty training, then back off of it. Allow the child to take the lead in the start time for potty training, and you will be most successful. I'll begin potty training once parents have told me that they have started at home and child is responding well to it. Potty training is the slow process of rewiring those brains to go in the potty rather than in their diapers. The child should be able to know the feelings of when they need to "go", dislike being wet/stinky, be able to communicate some potty needs, and stay dry for two hours. Pull-ups are required in the early stages of potty training, but normally for not more than 3 weeks. After that time, the child should be able to know when they have to go and be in underwear. The process must be uniform-- the same at daycare as at home and elsewhere.



If my child is teething and has a fever can they attend daycare?
They can attend daycare as long as their fever is no higher than 100.41. Anything higher than that may not be a teething problem but the body's way of fighting an infection.

Do you exclude a child due to a runny nose?
No, I don't. Most often a child may be carrying a contagious illness and have clear runny discharge. By the time the discharge is discolored, the body is already fighting off the infection. {the green or yellow discharge is the infection being removed}. If the discharge is red, I'll require the child visit a doctor and be cleared to return. EXCEPT- in the event of a heavy, thick discharge, I may make a decision to have the child visit a doctor to rule out any infection (such as ear infection or sinus infection). Young children who mouth toys simply pass their infections on to the other children.

How do you handle or treat (possible) injuries?
I follow the training principals I learned from various First Aid/Universal Precaution classes. I have a first aid kit near my changing table, one in my car, another outside in the storage shed and a small travel-size one that travels with us outside the home. Parents would be notified of non-Band-Aid related [such as broken bone, high fever, minor head injury] (possible) injuries if they were to occur. In a non-emergency situation, it is the parents' discretion as to whether the child should see a doctor. If it is decided, the parent or another parent-chosen person must pick up and take the child. If a true emergency exists (such as a seizure, large open wound, unconsciousness, unresponsiveness ) then 911 will be called first.



If my child can't go to preschool due to illness can he/she spend the day at daycare?
My policy on this is if they are too sick to got to preschool they are too sick to be at daycare. This is to protect the health and well being of the other children and myself.

Do you have a computer for the children to use?
No, currently I don't.

What kind of software are the children using?
When I did have a computer for them, the children had over 15 titles to choose from. They were educational [letters, numbers and colors] and some were for fun [games].

I have to drop my child off very early (pre 7 a.m.). Do you require that they are dressed and ready for the day?
No! I believe a child should be able to have their morning process just like they are at home. Many of the kids who arrive at 6 a.m. are still in PJ's or even asleep. I'll lay them down and let them wake when they are ready. I don't mind dressing kids as it is all just a part of an average day.









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