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Clayton Parent Handbook

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The Clayton Commitment to High Quality Youth Development

Core knowledge and competencies describe the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed by professionals to provide high-quality afterschool and youth development programming and support the learning and development of children and youth. Clayton prescribes to the 10 Core Competencies for quality youth enrichment programs as advocated by the National After School Association. They are as follows:

Child/Youth Growth and Development
Knows the typical benchmarks of growth and development and uses this knowledge to provide a program that meets the multiple needs of children and youth.

Learning Environments and Curriculum
Creates a high-quality learning environment and implements age appropriate curriculum and program activities.

Child/Youth Observation and Assessment
Understands and applies observation and assessment techniques and tools to meet individual needs.

Interactions with Children and Youth
Recognizes the importance of relationships and communication in the practice of quality child and youth care, and implements guidance techniques and strategies to support children and youth individually and in group experiences to develop self-regulation, self-concept, coping mechanisms, and positive interactions with their peers and adults.

Youth Engagement
Acts in partnership with children and youth to foster appropriate child and youth leadership and voice.

Cultural Competency and Responsiveness
Actively promotes respect for cultural diversity and creates an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment that embraces diversity.

Family, School and Community Relations
Builds on respectful, reciprocal relationships across settings to promote optimal development for children, youth and families and to enhance the quality of afterschool and youth development services.

Safety and Wellness
Ensures the safety and wellness of children and youth by implementing prevention, preparedness, and health and safety practices.

Program Planning and Development
Supports staff and serves as a role model around professional development plans by building healthy relationships with colleagues and families, providing developmentally appropriate practices and connecting with and utilizing resources.

Professional Development and Leadership
Acts ethically, is committed to continuous learning, and advocates for best practices and policies for children and youth.

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Full Day Programs and School Closings

Clayton Corporate Office and Centers will be closed:
Labor Day (September 4)
Thanksgiving (November 23-24)
Christmas Day (December 25-26)
New Year’s Day (January 1)
Martin Luther King Day (January 15)
Memorial Day (May 28)
Independence Day (July 4)

A four week notice will be given if the center will be closed for other school holidays. The full weekly fee will be charged for the weeks that have full in-service days or district holidays.

Full Day Care for Breaks, Intersession and Summer
Clayton recognizes that working parents need full day programs during school holidays and in-service days. Selected locations will be open during the winter, spring, summer breaks and for most school holidays. Registration and reservation details will be available approximately two months prior to optional full day programs and three months prior to summer programs. Reservations and additional fees are required for full day care; an additional fee is charged after the registration deadline. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. When a center is at capacity, parents may be asked to take their child to another location where space is available. It is important for us to know how many children will be attending so staff can be scheduled accordingly. Children without reservations will be accepted only if space is available. Once full day reservations are received, no credit or refunds will be issued for cancellations.

Field Trips, Transportation, & Swimming
Field trips and swimming may be planned during full day program time. An activity calendar will provide location, times and other important information. Field trips will also be posted on the parent communication board. Transportation for field trips is provided by either Fort Worth ISD or Durham Bus Services.

School Closings/Disruption in Program
If schools are closed due to inclement weather or adverse conditions, Clayton centers will also be closed. When schools delay opening, the centers will be open for after- school care only. If schools close early, then the Clayton programs will be closed too. Our programs respond to the decisions of each school district separately. There will be no refunds or adjustments if schools are closed due to inclement weather or adverse conditions. Notification of school closings will be by local newscast and posted on our web page. In the event that facility problems occur, i.e. no electricity or running water, extreme or worsening weather conditions, parents will be notified to pick-up children immediately.

Early Dismissals
When school is scheduled to be dismissed early (for teacher in-service, holidays or other events), the afterschool program hours will be adjusted to accommodate the early dismissal time. There will be no additional costs or fees for early dismissal days.

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Behavior Expectations/Code of Conduct

Children and parents must adhere to Clayton policies, licensing standards, and school district guidelines. The Code of Conduct is to ensure that each child’s behavior is consistent with the policies. The child and parent should read the Code of Conduct together. Feel free to talk with our program staff should you have any questions about our behavior expectations.

Discipline & Guidance
The following policies are based on an understanding of individual needs, the development and promotion of self-discipline and acceptable behavior. A positive reinforcement approach that encourages self-esteem, self-control and self-direction will be used. Clayton follows discipline and guidance polices that are consistent with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Minimum Standards for School-Age programs, Subchapter G.

The center staff will ensure that discipline and guidance are consistent for all children.

When there is a discipline problem, the following actions may be taken:

Step 1: A Communication Form will be completed and discussed with the parent and child.
Step 2: A conference will be scheduled to discuss a Behavior Agreement outlining appropriate behavior expectations, unacceptable behavior, and possible future consequences.
Step 3: Parents may be requested to pick up their child for the day.
Step 4: If a child’s behavior continues to be a disruption to the center, the child may be suspended or released from the program at the discretion of the Director of Programs.

If a child is suspended from school, the child may not attend Clayton during the suspension time.

Clayton reserves the right to suspend or dismiss a child immediately for violating any of the following:

• Inflicting physical harm to oneself or another individual including adults
• Threatening or bullying other children or adults
• Destruction of property
• Inappropriate touching of another individual
• Possession of a weapon, controlled substance or alcohol
• Leaving the program area without permission

Child Assessments
Clayton is committed to meeting the unique needs of each child served. If a child is identified as being in need of more individualized care, a determination will be made based on the child’s needs before his/her enrollment is considered complete. The purpose of this determination is to evaluate if the program design and staff can meet the needs of the child. Our goal is for every child to succeed in our program. However, Clayton centers are group childcare facilities and consequently, they are unable to provide individual one-on-one care, including assisting in the restroom. Contact the Corporate Office at (817) 923-9888 or email ccc@claytonyouth.org if you would like to schedule a meeting or initial assessment with program staff.

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Parent Responsibilities

1. Accompany the child into the center during morning check-in times, and sign the child in for the day.

2. Sign the child out of the center each day. Children are not allowed to sign themselves in or out of the program. Failure to comply may result in termination of services.

3. Check the parent information board and parent file daily for communication regarding policies, holiday registration and other important information.

4. Notify the center if the child will be absent for the afternoon. Messages may be left on the center phone. The school faculty is not responsible for notifying Clayton of absences. A $10.00 search fee will be charged to parents who fail to report their child’s absence. It is not necessary to report morning absences.

5. Notify the administrative office and center staff of any change in those individuals authorized to pick up the child.

6. Report any change to Client Services at the corporate office regarding your child’s enrollment records. For example: Change in address, phone numbers, physician, emergency contacts, and any updates to the immunization records.

7. Pick up a sick or injured child from the center as soon as possible after being notified by the center.

8. Adhere to Clayton policies; Clayton follows the policies of the host school district and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

9. Drop-in/Daily Rate participants must notify the program of their attendance by 12:00pm, preferably by text message to the site phone.

Release of Children
Children are released only to authorized individuals, 18 years of age or older, listed on the enrollment form. A person picking up a child for the first time, or not recognized by staff, will be required to provide photo identification.

Sign-in & out forms are legal documents and are the property of Clayton. Copies can only be provided if requested and accompanied by a court order or subpoena.

Legal Issues – Custody of Care
Certified legal documentation must be provided to Clayton staff regarding any custodial evidence or authority limitations of either parent or legal guardians. Without legal documentation, either parent will be allowed full access to the child during program time. In the event that an unauthorized parent attempts contact with the child, the local police department and custodial parent/legal guardian will be contacted.

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Parent Information

Homework Policy
Clayton recognizes that most families have busy evening schedules and outside commitments that allow children to participate in sports and other activities. To assist our parents in meeting these commitments and their child’s commitment to school, children are given a focused, quiet time to work on homework. Children will be encouraged to do homework but will not be forced. Other academic quiet activities will be available for children who do not have homework. Clayton staff members are not certified tutors, so parents should also check their child’s homework for accuracy and completion. Our program is designed to offer a variety of enriching activities in addition to homework assistance.

Parent Involvement
Parent involvement is always welcome at the centers. Involvement may include:
1. Chaperone a field trip. Additional actions may be required (such as background checks etc.)
2. Assist in activities, especially holiday parties.
3. Make monetary or material donations at the Center or on our donation page.
4. Share about your occupation or cultural heritage.

Authorized parents of enrolled children are welcome to visit. A Copy of the DFPS Minimum Standards and the most recent Licensing Inspection reports are available for review at the center or online at: www.dfps.state.tx.us.

Communication
We request that cell phones and other devices not be used while dropping off or picking up your child. All communication should be directed to the Site Supervisor, so that center staff can supervise the children. In order to better meet the needs of your child, we may share information with school personnel.

Clayton strives to deliver the highest quality and most appropriate services to children and their families. As part of this commitment, Clayton recognizes that children and families have an invested interest in the type and quality of services received. We welcome all feedback, and any comments or concerns related to the program can be directed to either the center staff or Clayton corporate management. We request that any serious concerns be discussed outside of program time so as not to disrupt the flow of activities.

Non-Clayton After School Activities
In the event that your child participates in a school or community sponsored activity, an Authorization for Child to Leave Program form will need to be completed before the child can be released. Examples of such activities could include tutoring, sports, special clubs and assisting teachers.

Outdoor Play
Staff inspects playground equipment daily to ensure its safety. Children may not be allowed to play on equipment if staff has determined it to be unsafe. Playground equipment located on public school property may not meet the requirements of DFPS licensing standards.
The nature of our programs is to provide youth with an ample amount of outdoor experiences in multiple environments, including structured games, learning activities, and small group interactions.

Phones
All centers are equipped with a portable phone. Voicemail or text messages may be left at any time. The use of the telephone is for business purposes only. Use of the telephone by the children and staff is discouraged. Children are not allowed to use personal cell phones at the center.

Child Abuse Prevention
Clayton realizes the crucial role that “mandated reporters” play in keeping children safe. Clayton provides all staff with child abuse prevention training and ensures awareness of their responsibility to report when there is reason to suspect that a child may be abused, neglected, abandoned, or exploited. It is the policy of Clayton that any suspicion or allegation of abuse, neglect, abandonment or exploitation perpetrated against a child is reported in adherence to the mandated reporter policy.

Gang Free Zone
Gang related criminal activity or engaging in organized criminal activity within 1000 ft. of the school building is a violation of the law and is subject to increased penalty under state law.

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General Information

Snacks & Lunches
• During full-day programs, parents should provide children with a sack lunch. Morning and Afternoon snack will be provided.
• Parents should provide appropriate snack items for children with special dietary needs due to medical or religious reasons for days when the posted snack is not suitable. A statement from a physician or a registered licensed dietician must be provided to serve a child an alternative meal or special diet.
• On school holidays and during the summer, children must bring a nutritional lunch from home. Clayton is not responsible for the nutritional value or for meeting the child’s daily needs when food is provided by the parent.
• Clayton strives to maintain a peanut-free zone whenever possible.

Insect Repellant and Sunscreen
During holiday camps and field trips, children will have more opportunity for outdoor play and exposure to the sun. We highly recommend that parents apply insect repellant and sunscreen at home before coming to the program. Parents should also supply their children with insect repellant and sunscreen to bring to the center. These items must be in their original container and labeled with the child’s name. Staff will remind children to apply insect repellant and sunscreen multiple times per day. Staff may assist children younger than age 9 with the application. For this reason, spray varieties rather than lotions are strongly encouraged.

Emergency Preparedness
For the following emergencies, the Clayton school age child care program will relocate to an area away from the school until the emergency is no longer a threat: earthquake, lightning storm, severe weather including tornadoes, or a situation outside with an unsafe person. Once relocated, all children will be accounted for and the appropriate Clayton staff and licensing officials will be notified.

For the following emergencies, the Clayton school age child care program will relocate to an area outside of the school until the emergency is no longer a threat: gas leak, bomb threat, hostage situation when able, fire, or internal flood. Once relocated, all children will be accounted for and the appropriate Clayton staff and licensing officials will be notified.

If we are unable to return to the school, Clayton will work with school officials, district transportation, and emergency management personnel to determine where care can be provided. Clayton will be responsible to communicate with parents and licensing should we need to relocate our program for an extended period of time.

Each afterschool program has available on-site an Emergency Preparedness plan specific to their school and program. This plan is available for review by staff, licensing representatives and parents.

Liability
Clayton is not responisble for medical expenses resulting from an illness or accident at the center.

Illness/Communicable Diseases
Care cannot be provided for children who are ill. An ill child will not be admitted if one or more of the following exists:
1. Illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities, including outdoor play.
2. Illness requires a greater need of care that compromises the health and safety of other children.
3. The child has one of the following, unless medical documentation
by a healthcare professional indicates that a child can be included in the program activities:
a. Oral temperature of above 100.4 degrees or arm pit temperature of 100 degrees and accompanied by behavior changes or other symptoms of illness;
b. Symptoms of illness such as lethargy, abnormal breathing, uncontrolled diarrhea, two or more vomiting episodes in 24 hours, rash with fever, mouth sores with drooling, behavior changes or any other signs that the child is ill;
4. A healthcare professional has diagnosed the child with a communicable disease, and the child does not have medical documentation to indicate that the child is no longer contagious.
Parents will be called to pick up children who become ill at the center. If a child is dismissed from school due to illness, or if a child has been in a nurse’s office at the end of the day, that child will not be allowed to come to our program. Children must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing aids in order to return to the program. Please contact the center immediately if your child has a communicable disease. When a communicable disease is reported, a note may be posted to inform other parents of possible exposure, but will not include any identifying information.

If a child has head lice, the hair must be properly treated and all nits removed before the child can return to the center.

Medical Accident or Emergency
In case of a medical emergency, Clayton staff will call 911 and contact the parent. First aid treatment and CPR will be administered if needed. If the child is transported to the hospital, staff will take the child’s emergency medical release form and accompany the child to the hospital. Staff will stay at the hospital until the parent arrives.

Food Allergies
If your child has food allergies, please discuss them in detail with the Site Coordinator. We will need to develop a Food Allergy Support Plan that will have to be signed by parent and doctor and must be on file at the center and updated every year. The staff at the center will take appropriate precautions. If at any time your child develops an allergy, please let us know immediately.

Immunizations
Children enrolled must meet applicable immunization requirements specified by the Department of State and Health Services. The Texas Department of State and Health Services does not require tuberculosis testing for children under the age of 14. At this time, Clayton does not require specific immunizations for staff, other than receiving confirmation of being free from tuberculosis.

Medication
Clayton is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and wellbeing of children entrusted to its care. Trained Clayton directors may only administer prescribed medication, over-the-counter medication, and topical ointment in adherence to Clayton policy and state regulations, concerning the safe administration and storage of medication. Prior to administering medication/topical ointment, a parent must complete the medication authorization form.

Health Checks, Hearing and Vision Screenings
Staff will visually observe each child as he/she enters the center each day to note for any unusual or abnormal appearance or sickness. Although comprehensive health checks are not conducted by Clayton staff, children may be referred to the school nurse if necessary. Hearing and vision screenings are done at the school and are kept on file at the school. Contact the host school campus for more details.

Personal Belongings
• Clayton is not responsible for personal belongings or clothing that are lost or damaged.

• Children participate in active play and should dress accordingly.

• Pets from home are not allowed in the afterschool childcare program. Clayton will notify parents in advance if animals from vendors or enrichment providers will ever be introduced in the program. If a service animal is required for your child, please speak with the corporate office to discuss accommodations.

• All items (clothing, school supplies, lunch boxes, etc.) should be marked with the child’s name

• The center is equipped with age appropriate materials. At the discretion of the center director, children may be allowed to bring electronic equipment, to be used at designated times. Children will be allowed to bring educational electronic equipment to be used during designated times. Parents may be asked to sign an Electronic Equipment Permission Form.

Staff
Clayton assumes no responsibility for staff’s conduct or activities outside Clayton programs. Staff members are not permitted to fraternize, transport or provide private child care for children who are or have been enrolled in our program.

Fundraising
Clayton sponsors fundraisers throughout the school year to purchase materials for each center and to support the scholarship fund. Participation by parents and children is strictly voluntary.

Refusal of Service
1. Failure of parent or child to follow Clayton and school policies, procedures and guidlelines.
2. Falsifying or omission of information on Enrollment Application.
3. Parent or child’s behavior is disruptive to program, including the use of physical or verbal abuse to staff or children.
4. Failure to pay fees as scheduled.
5. Failure to provide updated information and records.
6. Failure to sign child in and/or out.
7. Failure to pick up child by closing time.
8. When the Director of Programs believes that continued services are not in the best interest of the child and/or agency.

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Financial Terms and Conditions

1. An Attendance Plan is decided at the time of enrollment. Each time it is changed, a $10 fee/per child will be charged. A change, including drops, must last for a minimum of four weeks, and all changes will take effect on a designated Monday. Retroactive adjustments cannot be made to attendance plans. Notice must be given at least one week in advance.

2. A non-refundable Enrollment Fee is due the time of enrollment. A separate Enrollment Fee will be required for summer program participants. A re-enrollment fee will be charged if your child drops from and returns to the program.

3. Drop-in/Daily-rate clients must also pay the Enrollment Fee at enrollment. Daily-rate charges must be paid in advance to avoid late fees.

4. A full-weekly fee is due whether or not a child attends for the week. There will be no credit adjustments or refunds for absences or suspensions. Payment is due the Monday of each week of service.

5. Clayton will discontinue a child’s enrollment upon the first full week of absences if the Parent/Guardian has not contacted the Site Manager or Client Service Department.

6. Children should be picked up promptly by the program closing time. Repeated failure to comply may result in termination of services. A late pick-up fee of $10.00 per child will be charged if a child is picked up during the first five minutes after closing time, and $1.00 per minute thereafter. The late pick-up fee will be added to the account and must be paid the following day.

7. A $10.00 ‘search’ fee will be charged when the Site Manager has not been notified of a child’s absence at the center for the afternoon.

8. A $30 fee will be charged for each returned check or failed electronic transaction. A money order or automatic EFT transaction may be required for future payments.

9. The full-weekly fee will be charged during some school breaks and in-service days. There will be a separate charge on designated weeks of holiday care/camps. Reservations must be made for days when full day care is provided. Winter, spring and summer breaks will have additional fees charged only if the child registers or attends. Once full day reservations are received, no credits or refunds will be issued for cancellations.

10. Account Balance Refunds must be requested in writing and sent to the corporate office within 10 days after the last day of attendance. All unclaimed credit balances will be automatically transferred to our scholarship fund.

11. Clayton employees, working at centers, are not allowed to accept payments (cash and/or checks).

Ask about our 15%-off military discount!

ISD Employee Discount
Clayton provides a 25% discount to full- time employees of most schools with whom we collaborate. Guidelines for these discounts are as follows:

1. Parents must contact the Client Service Department and provide verification of school district employment.

2. Parents must pay full enrollment fee.

3. The discount is for weekly attendance at our programs and does not apply to daily-rate and full day programs.

4. Parents agree to be on an Automatic Pay Plan.

The ISD employee discount will not be in effect until all paperwork is received by the Client Service Department.

Financial Assistance
Clayton realizes some parents need assistance with childcare expenses. We are a vendor for Child Care Management Services (CCMS), which provides subsidized childcare to families. Clayton also provides financial assistance from community resources. If you wish to apply for assistance, complete the online request form here.

Total Annual Child Care Expenses Receipt – Income Tax Purposes

As a courtesy to our clients, a report of total childcare expenses paid for the year is available on the online Parent Portal. This summary can be viewed and printed at any time.

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Enrollment Information

Enrollment is open without discrimination to school-age and pre-school children, at locations where there is a Clayton program. However, during the summer our programs are open to all children regardless of residency; provided the program can meet the needs of the child, which includes being able to provide an appropriate safe environment. The enrollment process is complete when all required documentation (paper or electronic) and fees are submitted and accepted. See Financial Terms & Conditions for specific fee information.
To enroll click here.

Parent of Record
Parents/Legal Custodians are considered the parents of record and are responsible for payment of tuition and authorizing who may pick up the child(ren). All changes must be submitted in writing.

Method of Payment
Clayton will accept the following types of payment online and at the administrative office:

1. IN PERSON at the Corporate Office by the due date:
a. Credit/Debit Cards Visa, Master Card (MC), Discover and American Express (AMEX);
b. Checks/Money Orders – made payable to Clayton;
c. NOTE: Cash accepted only at Corporate Office.

2. ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS: (any payment type above except cash and Money Order)
a. Clayton automatic EFT payment plan – Requires Authorization Form. Requires Authorization Form; contact Client Services for set-up. Payments may be done weekly, monthly or semi-monthly, charged on a Monday. Contact Client Service Representatives;
b. Via the Parent Portal

3. Payments are accepted at the Clayton Corporate Office, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. An after hour’s drop slot for payments is located on the north side of the Corporate Office.

4. Center employees are not allowed to accept payments.

Late Fees
A $15 late fee is assessed on Tuesday of each week for unpaid balances as of Monday at 5:00 p.m. Notices are emailed after late fees have been assessed. Payments due and not paid by 5pm on Monday will be subject to termination of service effective the following day.

Termination of Services for Non-Payment
The Client Service Department will determine when the termination of services is in effect and will contact the parent/ guardian on or before the day of termination. The center and school office will also be notified. Parents who wish to re-enroll children after termination for nonpayment must pay past due fees, a $25 reinstatement fee per child and be placed on automatic EFT. If the mandatory EFT payment fails, the child may not return to the program for the remainder of the school year. Past due amounts are subject to being submitted to a collection agency and reported to credit bureaus.

Account Information
To find out about your account balances, receipts, etc. visit the Parent Portal. If you need assistance, contact Client Services at 817-923-9888.

Non-Discrimination Clause
Clayton, a non-profit organization, does not discriminate in employment, enrollment or nutrition programs on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability or handicap, age, veteran status or any other status protected under local, state or federal laws.

Licensing
Clayton School Age Child Care centers are licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. A copy of the state department’s Minimum Standards, as well as a copy of the most recent licensing inspection, can be found at the parent sign-in area at each center. A copy can also be found on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website.
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