We are located in Charleston Park on the southwest corner of Church Street and Shenandoah Drive in Lee’s Summit.
Little Learner (LL) is open from 6:30am-6:00pm Monday through Friday.
LL is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Parents will be charged for these holidays as we offer paid holidays to all staff – full and part-time employees.
If weather conditions occur which may pose a threat to those traveling to our center, we will close until those conditions improve. Generally, we do not close due to weather conditions unless they are very severe. Please call when conditions are questionable.
Tuition payments are due every Monday for that week. There are three methods of paying your tuition accepted by LL. The first two options are cash or check. There is a lock box at the entrance of LL where you can drop your payment. Please be advised….LL utilizes an e-check system which means your paper check will be converted to an electronic check at the time of payment and the funds will be transferred electronically at that time. If you are paying cash, please put it in an envelope with your name on it. If you feel uncomfortable dropping your payment in the lock box, feel free to hand it to the Owner or Director. Please do not give anyone else your payment. This is to ensure proper controls over tuition payments. The third option for paying tuition is to sign up for our Rapid Tuition program which authorizes weekly ACH payments from your bank account to be directly deposited to the LL bank account. The automatic transfer will take place every Monday when your weekly tuition is due and the amount withdrawn will always equal your total tuition due for that week. In order to sign up for our Rapid Tuition program, you must complete the authorization form.
A. Late Payments
Weekly tuition payments are due on Mondays, however, we will accept payments through Tuesday evening. Payments made after Tuesday evening will be considered late. There is a $5 penalty per day beginning on Wednesday mornings until tuition is paid. When tuition becomes one week late there will be a $10 per day late fee until it is paid.
B. Tuition Increases
When a decision has been made to increase tuition rates, parents will be given 1 month’s notice.
C. NSF checks
When we receive an NSF check there will be a charge of $50.00. Payment for that check will be due in cash on the day we receive the NSF check notice. After we receive three NSF checks from a parent then that parent will be put on a cash-basis from then on. This means that we will only accept cash for tuition payments in the future.
D. Extended Hour Fees
Parents of school-agers will be charged for early release days and no school days. These extra fees will be added to your regular weekly tuition and will be due during the week they are incurred.
LL cares for children ages 12 months through 12 years old. We do not require that children be potty trained before enrolling, however, we do require that they at least wear pull-ups to the center if they are over the age of 23 months. Children over the age of 23 months cannot wear diapers to the center.
B. Enrollment Status
Full-time applicants have the highest priority at LL. We do accept part-time applicants, however, there are special rules regarding enrollment. In order to be enrolled as a part-time student, LL must have another part-time match which equals a full-time position. At LL, we are very empathetic to those looking for part-time care as it is sometimes very difficult. We try very hard to find a match for all of our part-time applicants. It is possible that you may be asked to go full-time if we cannot find a match for your part-time schedule.
C. Enrollment Package
All parents receive an enrollment packet which contains all of the applicable forms. Student enrollment forms must be completed and submitted to confirm your child’s enrollment. Also included in the enrollment packet are medical forms, supply lists, menus, classroom schedules and a curriculum guide for your child’s room.
Applicants who are not immediately enrolled will be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list will prioritize according to application date (the date on which the application is completed and fee is paid). Once space becomes available, we will notify the applicant immediately. You may contact the center Director to inquire about your waiting list status.
Once enrollment has been confirmed, we will then schedule a new student orientation. During this visit, we will review our program, policies, procedures and philosophy. You will get a chance to meet your child’s teacher, the rest of the LL staff and spend some time in your child’s classroom.
Once you have been enrolled at LL for 6 months, you will receive 2 weeks of free vacation time. We ask that you give us advance notice of any vacation you plan to use. This free time can be used for vacation, illness, visiting relatives, etc. Before the initial six month period is over, you will be charged for any absences from the center. After the six-month period, if you have used all of your 2-week free time, you will be charged for any absences from the center. Your vacation accrual will start.
We require written notice two weeks in advance of your intention to withdraw enrollment from LL. You will be billed for this two-week period if you fail to provide this notice.
All parent/child information including medical forms, applications and any other confidential information will be kept in individual files in the office area. Only the Owner, Director and Office Manager will have access to that information. Teachers are encouraged to create their own individual files for their classrooms containing information pertinent to the education of their students. No confidential information will be contained in those files. Parents may request access to the files at any time.
We strongly encourage parent interaction at LL. Our goal is to involve parents in all aspects of their child’s daily activities. Our door is always open. Parents can drop in at any time to visit their children, talk with staff or simply observe. We want parents to feel very comfortable at our center and very familiar with their child’s classroom. Family interaction is the key to your happiness at LL.
We have an automated attendance tracker. At the entrance of the center there is a keypad where parents check in and out as they drop off and pick up their children. Parents are allowed to choose a 4-digit code which is kept confidential. The code is entered on the keypad at the time of drop-off, which automatically keeps track of the time you checked in your child. The same process takes place at the time of check-out. This is a very time-efficient process that does not inconvenience parents and offers a safety check so that only persons with the code can check in and out children.
A. Age limit for persons allowed to take children from center
Anyone who comes to take a child from the center must be at least 16 years of age. This person must also be on the list as someone who the parent gives permission to take their child from the center. This list is in the child’s file. We will enforce this rule.
B. The chain of custody rule
All parents are required to drop their child off in the appropriate classroom each day. A parent cannot drop their child off in the hallway, in the parking lot or anywhere else but in the child’s classroom. Also, the parent must acknowledge the child’s teacher before leaving the center, so that the teacher is aware that the child is present.
C. Late pick-up fees
Our business hours are 6:30am-6:00pm Monday through Friday. After 6:05pm, if you have not picked up your child from the center, your account will be charged $1.00 per minute until your child is picked up.
Your child should not come to LL if any of the following occur:
- Your child has a temperature of 100.0 degrees orally within 24 hours of attending LL.
- Your child vomits once within a 24-hour period of attending LL.
- Your child has two occurrences of diarrhea or abnormal bowel movements within a 24-hour period of attending LL.
- Your child’s eyes are red, glazed or contain discharge.
- Your child’s ears are red, sore or discharging
- Your child has a continuous cough
- Your child has a contagious disease such as whooping cough, chicken pox, mumps, measles, etc. Please report this type of disease to LL immediately.
- Your child develops ringworm, lice or impetigo.
- Your child should remain at home for 24 hours after starting an antibiotic for an infection.
Your child may return to the center when symptoms disappear for a 24-hour period or with a physician’s note.
A. When symptoms occur at the center
When your child gets sick at LL, we will do the following:
- Take the child’s temperature and report all symptoms to person in charge.
- Contact you and determine the appropriate course of action.
- When we ask you to pick up your child due to illness, we expect you to arrive at the center within 60 minutes.
**ALSO, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO USE OUR JUDGEMENT IN INDIVIDUAL CASES OF ILLNESS. EACH CASE OF ILLNESS IS DIFFERENT FROM ANOTHER AND WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR ALL OF THE CHILDREN ENROLLED AT LITTLE LEARNER.
B. Administering medication at LL
LL staff will administer medication to children according to the physician’s instruction on the medicine label. Medication will only be administered at NOON (once a day). It is the responsibility of the parents to keep staff informed of the child’s daily medication needs. You must complete a MEDICINE REQUEST form located in the medicine cabinet in the kitchen in order for LL staff to administer medication.
The following guidelines must be followed:
- Prescription medication must have a pharmacy label with the child’s name on it.
- Non-prescription medication such as Sudafed, Triaminic, etc. will be administered for up to three consecutive days. After such time, a physician’s note will be required to continue administering non-prescription medication.
- All medication must be brought in its original bottle. Staff will always follow physician’s instructions if they differ from the parent’s.
- Medication will be sent home at the end of each week.
- Fever reducers such as Tylenol, Advil, etc. will NOT BE ADMINISTERED by Little Learner staff.
Please notify the center immediately if your child is exposed to or contracts a communicable disease. The following information needs to be provided:
- Physician’s confirmation of the type of disease
- Source of exposure
- Child’s last visit to the center
- Physician’s recommendation for the course of action for the child and center.
If a child is diagnosed with a communicable disease, notification will be posted in the center (child’s name will not be used). If your child is diagnosed as having one of the following diseases listed below, he/she may not attend the center for the specified number of days following the onset of illness.
- Measles: 4 days
- Mumps: 9 days
- Chicken Pox: 7 days
- German measles: 7 days
If your child is injured at LL, staff will provide initial emergency care. For more serious injuries, staff will initiate emergency first aid as required by the condition and call for help. Staff will record all injuries on the classroom accident report. Accident reports will also go in the child’s individual file.
When a child requires medical attention, staff will notify Owner or Director for assistance. Next, parents will be notified of the situation. You may be asked to provide transportation to the emergency room. If you cannot be reached, a decision will be made by the Owner or Director as to whether to proceed to the emergency room via ambulance, center van or staff car. We will continue to try to contact someone in the family for notification.
You will always be notified if your child receives an injury that is minor but more serious than a small scrape or bump. You will never be surprised at the end of the day by your child’s condition or be left to discover injuries later in the evening after leaving LL.
Little Learner, Inc. is licensed by the state of Missouri and complies with all regulations. A copy of Licensing Rules for Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers is available in the office area. Our licensing representative is Debbie Williams. She can be reached at 816-350-5466 or Debbie.Williams@dhss.mo.gov if you have any questions or would like to inquire about our history and licensing file.
All staff meets or exceeds the following:
- The teacher/child ratio established by Missouri child care licensing regulations
- Physical exam requirements
- Child abuse and neglect screening requirements
- Drug and alcohol screening requirements
- Criminal background check requirements
- At least 12 hours of continuing education in child care related studies per year
- First aid and CPR training requirements
**All staff wear the LL uniform.
Little Learner has adopted the well-known and highly recommended preschool program known as The Emerging Language and Literacy Curriculum (ELLC).
ELLC is a program that provides developmentally appropriate language practices for preschool children. ELLC addresses all developmental domains where all classrooms contain 11 learning centers, two-week theme units and checklists for on-going progress monitoring consistent with child development and early childhood experiences.
Our goal is to prepare our preschoolers for success in kindergarten and give them a strong foundation in oral language and literacy with this scientifically based curriculum.
ELLC is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as one of four approved curricula for early childhood programs.
The basic structure of this program encompasses the following components:
1. Theme-Based Learning
There are 22 key concepts addressed in two-week thematic units based on children’s literature.
2. Learning Centers
Activities revolve around the current theme providing continuity and context for learning. This time allows children to interact with peers in both associative and cooperative play schemes in the classroom.
3. Circle Time Instruction
Direct teaching during circle time allows for specific concepts, vocabulary, language forms and information to be communicated by the instructor.
4. Coordinated Teaching Structure
ELLC requires a team approach to teaching. Group planning time is allotted in preparation for each unit. Teachers are encouraged to coordinate activities and exchange ideas in an effort to enhance the program to its fullest.
5. Parent Involvement
Parents are an intregal part of ELLC. We believe parents should take an active role in their child’s education. Parent/Teacher conferences will be offered at least once a year in addition to a complete student evaluation. Weekly newsletters will go out to each parent with important classroom updates, reminders and information.
With the changing of thematic units every two weeks, classroom learning center activities will also change. We rely on our parent’s help in donating items for each thematic unit. An ongoing donation list of specialty items will be updated as we move from theme to theme. These are items that will enhance the learning environment related to our themes that cannot necessarily be purchased.
A. Lesson plans
Each classroom has a weekly lesson plan, which is posted near the entrance of the classroom for parents to view. Parents may receive a copy of the lesson plan upon request. Lesson plans will include a 5-day schedule including curriculum planning, special activities, crafts, meals, outdoor play, etc.
B. Monthly newsletter
At the end of each month, LL will release a newsletter for the following month, which will inform parents of the upcoming themes, activities and fieldtrips. Also, it will include any center announcements, new policies, etc. This is primarily to keep parents informed of upcoming events and involved in their child’s development.
C. Daily progress report/Weekly classroom newsletter
In our toddler room and our 2’s room, you will receive a daily progress report for your child. You will be updated on various aspects of your child’s day including naptime, meals/snacks, potty habits, etc. Once your child enters the 3’s room and up, you will receive weekly updates in the form of a classroom newsletter. These are designed to help keep you apprised of upcoming events, parent reminders, and more importantly, the preschool topics and concepts that are being implemented in your child’s room.
D. Student evaluations and Parent/Teacher conferences
Every classroom conducts an annual student evaluation for each child. Teachers use age-appropriate goals and milestones as well as the curriculum topics covered throughout the year as a testing guide. Pre-K students are tested for Kindergarten readiness using guidelines set forth by the Lee’s Summit School District. Parents are encouraged to schedule a parent/teacher conference with teachers to review and discuss any issues regarding the evaluation.
E. Enrichment programs
Little Learner offers special programs throughout the year. These are programs geared to enrich and broaden their learning experience. For example, LL has recently incorporated two innovative practices into our curriculum guide. Our toddler room is now using baby sign language to improve communication with our non-talkers.
As toddlers are learning to use words, sign language can help with their ability to communicate with their teachers as well as their parents. It is a very useful tool in the learning process and can be instrumental with children who are dealing with slow language development or other learning disabilities.
Also, we are now incorporating beginning Spanish lessons into our everyday lesson plans. Due to popular demand, our teachers are attending classes to assist them in implementing a Spanish program. We will introduce words, concepts and phrases to our circle time curriculum.
Kids Yoga is a new practice adopted at Little Learner for our Pre-K students. Time is incorporated into each weekly lesson plan to slow down, relax, breathe and enjoy some peaceful tranquility. Yoga teaches children how to deal with challenges more easily through relaxation. It encourages self-esteem and body awareness while allowing the children to engage in a physical activity that is not competitive. Through yoga, calmness, concentration and hyperactivity can be improved.
In addition, we offer programs to our parents that are conducted by outside sources at an additional cost. They are optional and are usually offered to specific age groups. They are Compuchild, Kindermusik and JR Kids Karate. Please check out the provided information regarding these programs. They are a fun and educational addition to their experience at LL and can help provide extra-curricular activities for your kids while taking the burden from the parents at night and on the weekends.
We have 5 classrooms in the center. Each classroom is designated for a specific age group. Other considerations are made for children with special needs or circumstances. Our goal is to place children in classrooms that suit their needs. We try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to each child but for the most part, one year olds are enrolled in our toddler room, 2 year olds are enrolled in our 2’s room and so on.
Staff will be scheduling field trips for their individual classrooms. Off-site fieldtrips are only scheduled for ages 4 and up. The Director approves all field trips. All parents are notified of any upcoming field trips through monthly newsletters, weekly lesson plans and verbal communication. You will be asked to sign a permission form before any and all fieldtrips. All parents are encouraged and very welcome to join us on field trips.
LL staff considers the following when arranging field trips:
- Developmentally appropriate
- Arranging for transportation using the LL vans
- Bringing first aid kid
- Carrying an attendance list of all children
- Partaking in frequent head counts
- Utilizing buddy system
- Thoroughly monitoring all children
- Complete check of LL vans after evacuation of all children
- Keeping field trips short because children tire easily
- Making sure that field trips do not conflict with meals and/or naptime
If it is your child’s birthday, you are welcome to bring birthday treats for your child and his/her class. We encourage parents to come celebrate with their child and his/her friends. Our staff keeps track of all upcoming birthdays and will talk with parents about bringing snacks. We ask that parents keep the treats simple as we do not allow actual birthday parties to take place at LL.
Each classroom schedules a “movie day” once a month. This is viewed as a fun day and will often be accompanied by a pajama day, special snack day and/or sleeping bag day. The kids will be asked to bring “G” rated movies only and the kids usually vote on which movies to watch throughout the day. Any other random use of the television will only occur if there is an education basis relating to our theme or curriculum objectives.
Children play outdoors for a minimum of 1 hour each day unless prevented by weather conditions or special medical reasons. Weather conditions where the heat index is at a dangerous level or the wind chill is below freezing level would prohibit children from outdoor play.
Staff makes sure that each child is dressed appropriately before going outside. Parents are responsible for providing appropriate clothing for outdoor play such as hats, coats, gloves, sunblock, etc.
Your child may stay inside if parents submit a doctor’s written request and there is space and staff available inside.
Staff maintains close monitoring of children outside. They use this time as an extension of the classroom to participate in activities outdoors. If children are on climbing structures there is always a staff member around keeping close tabs.
Nap and rest time begins at 12:00pm and ends at 2:30pm. LL provides cots with sheets for children to nap and rest. Children who do not fall asleep on the cot after 30 minutes are allowed to engage in quiet play (reading a book or coloring) while sitting on their cot. Staff cannot keep a child awake during naptime at the request of a parent. All children are required to partake in naptime with the exception of school-age children.
All sheets will be washed on a weekly basis and cots are sanitized periodically. Parents are asked to bring a blanket for their child and pillows are optional. Individual bedding will be sent home at the end of each week for cleaning.
You will need to bring an extra change of clothing for your child to LL. This extra change of clothing will be kept in the child’s cubby. Additional clothing such as coats and gloves may be necessary for outdoor play. Staff will help you in deciding what and how much to bring. Children need to be dressed for play and free from worry about ruining good clothes. Accidents can happen and children tend to get dirty during outdoor play.
We ask that you do not bring toys from home to the center. We cannot be responsible for any breakage or damage. However, you are permitted to bring a special blanket or security item to help make your child feel at home for naptime.
We do not require that children be potty trained before enrolling at LL. However, we do require any child enrolled in our 2’s room to wear pull-ups on a daily basis. We do not allow any diapers for any child over the age of 23 months. Potty training will begin at the appropriate time for each individual child. We require that all children moving into our 3’s room are potty trained so it is usually a focus in our 2’s room.
Hand washing will take place before and after all meals, after outdoor play and after any special activities in which hands might get dirty. Staff also follows this policy. We feel this is the best way to prevent the passing of infectious diseases. This is part of the daily routine.
We offer nutritionally balanced meals and snacks (morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack). Food is prepared in our commercial kitchen facility by our own LL cook. All food is served in each classroom by staff. All meals and snacks meet USDA requirements.
At times, discipline is necessary in a child’s development. At LL, we have adopted a discipline policy that is one which encourages problem solving, not punishment. Our discipline policy is modeled after the Ozanam philosophy of “grace and accountability”. Their B.I.S.T (Behavior Intervention Support Team) model for behavior management focuses on respectful discipline and developing caring relationships with children. Many of the local school districts use the BIST model. The BIST model enables staff to provide safe classrooms, develop relationships with students and partner with parents in this important process.
This philosophy encompasses a 5-step problem solving method:
- Laying the groundwork
- Approaching an upset child
- Identifying problem behaviors
- Understanding and managing feelings
- Developing a plan for change
Instead of focusing on punishment, which can provoke aggressive behavior, damage self-esteem and promote other hostile emotions, we move toward problem solving. This allows children to be a part of the decision making when it comes to choosing how he or she is going to change to a more positive behavior. One of the key elements is using firm, positive and supportive communication. This philosophy of discipline focuses on making children feel safe through supportive relationships with their teachers.
The teacher handbook includes many materials relating to BIST. It is a very good tool, which helps teachers understand a child’s perspective. Also, it offers many situational examples in which they may encounter. It walks teachers through the process of the 5-step problem-solving method in these examples and exhibits the use of positive and supportive language. In addition, teachers take part in on-going training and staff development throughout the year. Training classes often focus on behavior management and offer additional support in this area.
Part of the problem-solving process is for the child to take some time to figure out how, together, we are going to change his/her disruptive behavior toward more positive behavior. In simple terms, this is usually going to be a “time-out” period. State regulations state that this period of separation should be based on the guideline of 1 minute for each year of the child’s age.
The following are types of discipline that will never occur at LL:
- Physical punishment including slapping, shaking, biting, spanking or pulling hair.
- Humiliation, threats, shame, ridicule
- Harsh, demeaning, abusive language with profanity
- Restriction of food, rest or toilet privileges
Parents are welcome to read our teacher handbook at any time. We encourage you to become familiar with our policies.
If there are persistent problems with a child which have not been resolved over a period of time, parents will be asked to work with the center to correct disruptive behavior. If a sufficient reasonable time period has passed with no improvement, LL reserves the right to dismiss the child.
Safety is our #1 concern at LL. All activities, field trips and outdoor play times are planned with safety in mind. Staff relies on the following guidelines and procedures to ensure the overall safety of their program:
- No detachable small parts that can cause choking
- No rough or jagged edges
- Unable to pinch or crush fingers and toes
- No cords or strings over 12 inches long
- Does not produce excessive noise or shoot projectiles of any sort
- Free from hazardous chemicals
- Furniture is safe and secure
- Unused outlets have safety caps
- Tile floors are free from water
- Floors are free from tripping hazards
- Safety mats are under climbers higher than 24 inches from the ground
- Playground equipment is safe and in good condition
- Staff are located all over the playground area
- Children on climbing equipment receive special attention
- Children do not leave the playground area without staff supervision
- Staff/Child ratios are maintained outdoors
- Fencing material is in good condition with no way for children to get out of play area
- Children are not allowed on the playground without adequate staff supervision.
Coming and Going:
- Children are only released to authorized individuals
- Parents must have 4-digit number to sign in and out
- Parents must have entry code to get in the center
Smoking or the use of tobacco in any fashion is prohibited in the LL building and on the playground area.
Missouri licensing law requires us to report immediately any suspicious incident of child abuse or neglect to the Missouri Division of Family Services. The State may impose penalties for failure to report such incidents.
Staff will be informed of the Missouri Child Abuse law, which includes:
- Legal definition of child abuse
- Behavioral indicators of child abuse
- Procedures for notifying management if a child appears to be at risk
If you wish to deduct your child care expenses for the year on your annual tax return, we suggest you keep good records of all tuition payments made (cancelled checks, weekly bills). At the beginning of the year, we can provide parents with a report totaling all child care expenses for the previous year (current tax year).
We are very happy that you decided to join our family at Little Learner. We hope this parent handbook has helped you understand our policies and procedures. Please feel free to inform us of any important topics you would like to see addressed in this handbook. This is an evolving process and we need and appreciate any comments and suggestions you might have. We are here for you and want to make this a wonderful experience for you and your children.
Parent Handbook Policies and Procedures
VII. Waiting List
XI. Children's Files
XII. Open Door Policy
XIII. Signing In and Out
XVI. State Regulations
XVII. LL Staff
XVIII. Education Program
XX. Field Trips
XXIII. Outdoor Play
XXIV. Nap and Rest Time
XXVI. Personal Items
XXVII. Toilet Training
XXVIII. Hand Washing
XXIX. Meals and Snacks
XXX. Disruptive Behavior
XXXII. No Smoking Policy
XXXIII. Child Abuse Suspicion Policy
XXXIV. Child Care Credit