Quality Rating 1: Information and Policies

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Information and Policies: ADM 1.1 you will upload your program’s information and policies for the following:

The Policy or Statement Builder interactives provide step-by-step guides for creating your policies.

Health

Encouraging children’s healthy growth and development can have lasting effects on the children and families in your program. Your program’s health policies communicate to families the importance you place on their child’s health. These policies describe the steps you take to maintain a healthy environment, ways you support children to develop healthy habits, and other practices you follow to ensure that children are healthy and strong.

What does the documentation look like?

Your documentation describes the health policies and practices you follow in your program. This list gives you an idea of different health topics.

  • Wellness / Illness
  • Medication
  • Allergy / Asthma
  • Sanitation
  • Personal Hygiene (examples: hand-washing, tooth brushing)
  • Immunizations
  • Sunscreen
  • Opportunities for physical activity and play

Safety

As a child care provider or teacher, you understand the great responsibility you have to ensure that children in your program are safe. This includes keeping children physically safe and providing an emotionally safe environment where children can develop and learn.

Your policies describe the many steps you take to keep children safe. These policies help ensure that everyone in your program knows and understands their role in maintaining a safe environment.

What does the documentation look like?

Your documentation clearly explains your program’s safety policies and practices. This list offers you an idea of different safety topics.

  • Fire Drills
  • Emergency Evacuation Plan
  • Medical Emergency Procedures
  • Drop Off / Pick Up Procedures
  • Transportation
  • First Aid / CPR Training or Certifications
  • Security Procedures
  • Inclement Weather

Tuition/Enrollment

Your tuition policies help families understand the cost of your program and how you handle payment. While it is unnecessary to include actual tuition rates in your policy, you may include when and how you accept payment. Enrollment policies may include the number of children you accept to your program, when families can enroll their children, if you use a waiting list when your program is full, or other information you feel will be helpful for families.

What does the documentation look like?

Examples of tuition and enrollment topics include:

  • Required forms
  • Fee Schedule
  • Late tuition fees
  • Late pick up fees
  • Transition practices for children entering or exiting your program
  • Siblings

Inclusion of children with special health needs and disabilities

In an inclusive program, all children have access to and participate in the same routines, play, and learning experiences. This includes children with and without special health care needs or disabilities.

Inclusive practices benefit all children and families in many ways, and your Inclusive Policy communicates the steps you take to make sure all children are able to participate fully in your program. Including your program’s inclusion policies and practices in your handbook, written agreement or contract helps families clearly understand the ways you work to welcome and include all children in your program.

What does the documentation look like?

Inclusion policies may describe:

  • What you do to welcome all children and families into your program, including children with special health care needs and disabilities
  • Methods you use to meet each child’s individual needs
  • Procedures you follow in working with professionals, such as speech therapists, physical therapists, and others
  • How you participate as a team member and work with an IFSP or IEP team to make modifications and accommodations for children with special health care needs or disabilities
  • Any specialized training you and your staff receive related to diverse populations of children in your program
  • Access to specialized equipment or resources to support children with special needs

Policy or Statement Builder

Develop policies that are important for families to understand about your program. The Reflection Questions below will help you think about what you do in your program to capture it when creating your policies for your Family Handbook. Once you have spent time reflecting on the questions below, you’re ready to build your policies.

  1. What are your policies and practices about health?
  2. What are your policies and practices around safety?
  3. What are your policies and practices about tuition/enrollment?
  4. What policies are in place so that children with disabilities and children with special health care needs are included?

Optional Questions:

  1. How would you describe your programs mission and/or philosophy statement? What are the overall goals of your program?
  2. What policies are in place so that children with disabilities and children with special health care needs are included?
  3. What are your positive behavior practices?
  4. How do you communicate with families?
  5. How do the children engage in physical activity?
  6. What are your guidelines about nutrition?
  7. How would you describe your curriculum?
  8. What kinds of child assessments do you use?

Once you have spent time reflecting on the questions, you have the option to download and save the Information and Policies template to create your policies for your Family Handbook, Written Agreement or Contract.

Technology Tips

Download the PDF.

Save the PDF.

Print the PDF.

Edit the PDF.

Do you need more time to think about writing your policies? Use Writers Tips and Prompts to find examples and get more guidance on creating the policies for your Family Handbook.

Where can you learn more?

  • Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Early Childhood Development website includes information on regulations related to the child care community in Maryland.
  • Head Start provides helpful information and resources on safety practices. Their website offers a developmental checklist of safety tips based on the age of the children in your program.
  • The eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care lists helpful articles on a variety of important health and safety topics for child care, including food safety, toy safety, and preventing illness and injury.
  • Building Relationships with Families of Children with Special Needs Family members have important information about their own children, and this information is valuable to anyone involved in a child’s care.
  • Tuition and Fees information from The National Institute of Standards and Technology Child Care Center might give you ideas for your tuition policies. There is also guidance for other important policies to include in your written agreement or handbook for families.
  • Side by side: Brandon & Shaun is a video from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. It features child care providers and families speaking about the benefits of inclusive practices.