We understand that when placing your child in care, it can be very nerve wracking and you will have many questions about the care we provide while your child is with us. We hope that this will help answer many of those questions, but we also know that not all of the questions will be answered so please feel free to ask about any other questions you may have as they arise.
Arrivals and Departures
What time can I drop off my child?
You should drop your child off at the time you indicated on your schedule that you needed care to begin each day.
What is the latest time I can pick up my child?
You should pick up your child off at the time you indicated on your schedule that you needed care to end each day.
Who can pick up or drop off my child?
Anyone can drop off your child at the center at the designated time.
Anyone you authorize can also pick up your child. To do this they must either be listed on the Enrollment form as an authorized pick up OR you must give the center written authorization specifying who will be picking up and when. We will ID the person at pick up unless they have been here before and the teacher knows them. Please let them know to have their ID ready. In emergency situations, you can also call and give a verbal authorization over the telephone for a different person to pick up. In no situation will a child ever be released to an unauthorized person.
What if there is a court order preventing the other parent from picking up my child/ren?
We will not and can not legally stop any parent from picking up their child from the center if they can provide legal documentation proving they are the biological parent UNLESS there is a court order preventing them from doing so. If this is the case, it is imperative that we have a copy of the certified court paperwork on file at the center as soon as you enroll your child or as soon as the court order is in place.
Can I pick my child up earlier than scheduled?
Parents are welcome to pick up their child any time they wish.
What if my schedule changes often?
The good thing is... with our center that is OK! We work to accommodate working parents schedules!
Varied schedules are assessed a $5.00 weekly varied schedule fee. Schedules changes are due in the payment/comment box in the lobby by Wednesday every week. If we do not have a schedule turned in, we can not guarantee days or times needed will be available. We can not accept schedule changes on the weekend. We can only accept schedule changes within the same week, if there is availability based on staffing and ratios.
Are there separate rooms for the children?
Children are separated by age groups:
Rainbow Room Under 1- newborn to walking
Squirrels Nest- 1 year olds
Fishy Friends- 2 year olds
Preschool Pals- 3 year olds
4K & School age- 4+ year olds
The main level of the building has our under 2 classrooms while the lower level has our 2 year olds and up.
Do you have an outdoor playground?
We have two outdoor playground areas that are shaded by big beautiful trees. The upper playground is designed with children under 2 in mind, as the equipment is much smaller in size. The lower playground is designed for children 2 and over. Each playground offers a different selection of toys for the children and additional items are added and switched out throughout the seasons. Some items that can be found on our playgrounds are swings, slides, a train to pretend on, climbers, balls, scooters, hula hoops, frisbees, ball catch and batting activities, a 5 cycle bike, ride on cars, and a sand box with sand toys.
Both playgrounds boast beautiful scenic views of nature at its finest along the Milwaukee River. We have seen deer, birds, and ducks. Both playgrounds are enclosed by 4 foot fences and multiple locking gates. The lower playground has a 16 foot tall fence along the south side that borders the Milwaukee River.
We have a sensory area outdoors for the children to do outdoor art and sand/water play activities. We have a separate grassy area for water activities in the summer months and a garden area for the children as well to grow foods and flowers. In all there is over 4000+ square feet for the children to run and play.
Children, including infants, go outdoors daily, except during inclement weather. Please make sure to dress your child accordingly for the weather.
Inclement weather is:
a) Heavy rain
b) Temperatures outside above 90° F
c) Windchills of 10° F or below for children 2 years of age and older
d) Windchills of 30° F or below for children under 2 years of age
Will my child take a nap?
All children from toddler age up to age five (5) have one scheduled nap time per day. Infants are on their own nap schedule and take as many naps as they need throughout the day. When a child turns five (5) parents are asked to provide in writing their nap time preferences, this includes for school age children. Ex. Do you want them to lay down and try to nap, nap only for a limited amount of time, just lay down and rest, nap if they choose, play quiet, no nap, etc..?
No child will ever be forced to nap nor to lay down for the entire nap time. If a child does not nap or awakens early, they will be able to play quietly while the others nap.
How long will my child nap?
How long your child nap depends on them. Infants and young toddlers not on center schedules nap on their own schedules for as long as they need. Older toddlers and up can nap from 12:45-3:00pm.
Can you wake my child up and only let them sleep xx amount of time?
If children are tired and sleeping, they need to be able to sleep and replenish their bodies energy. When nap time is nearing end, we do turn on the lights, turn off the naptime music, and allow the children to gently wake up on their own.
What will my child need for nap time?
Center provided cribs and/or pack n' plays are provided for infants and toddlers. Parents can send nuks and small blankets as needed.
Children are transitioned to center provided cots at around 1 & 1/2 years old. Children on cots will need a sleeping bag or a crib sheet and a blanket for nap time. A small travel size pillow and/or a small blanket is welcome.
Please do not send toys for nap time. They can become a distraction and we would be sad if they got misplaced.
What if I forget to bring my child bedding?
The center has a supply of extra bedding for if children have an accident during nap time and need new bedding or if parents forget to bring in bedding. There is a flat rate of $5.00 charged per week should the center need to use center bedding.
Who washes the bedding?
It is the parents responsibility to launder children's bedding and return it each week. Bedding must be taken home on Fridays for laundering for the next weeks use.
The center launders all bedding and other fabric items on a weekly basis at minimum and more often as needed.
Can I visit my child anytime?
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage parent volunteers to come and help out and also for parents to stop in on their break to breastfeed or take their child in one of our center provided strollers for a walk. Our center has an Open Door policy, which means parents are welcome to visit the center at any time during the hours of operation while their child is in attendance unless parental access is prohibited or restricted by a court order. Please understand that we cannot legally limit access to a parent if there is not a copy of a court order on file at the center.
How will I know what my child did during their day or how their day was?
Our center utilizes KidReports to stay connected with parents about their child's day! This is linked to our computer systems and makes a more streamlined system. Each child at our center goes home with a daily report specific to them and their day. This may include information on items they may need, how their mood was, naps they took, things they did, what they ate, as well as pictures and or videos of their day. KidReports gives parents options! Select your communication style from emails, texts or apps! Get pictures and videos of your child’s day! Staying connected to your child and Playful Hearts ChildCare has never been easier.
Where should I address a comment or concern I have?
We ask that parents first addressing issues with their child’s teacher before going to the director with concerns. However, if you feel the issue needs the more immediate attention of the director, please always feel free to do so. Questions, feedback, or discussions of any kind that affect a positive outcome for the child or center are always welcome. If there are issues or concerns that need to be personally discussed or that will take a significant amount of time, please work with the teacher or director to arrange a convenient time to talk on the telephone or in person, such as during naptime, so the issue can be given the attention it deserves.
Please use the payment/ comment box in the lobby for this as well; comments may be signed or left anonymous. You can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
What if I have a concern about my child's learning or development?
It is important that you communicate daily with your child’s teacher concerning the needs, health, and interests of your child. This is essential if your child is to receive consistent, nurturing care. Playful Hearts provides a variety of methods to foster communication on a regular basis including scheduled conferences every 6 months, a monthly newsletter, a parent information bulletin board, a parent information binder, and daily sheets specific to your child.
You can find the CDC's developmental Milestones check list here to give you ideas on what your child should be doing developmentally. Please remember each child grows, learns, and develops at their own individual pace and your child should never be compared to a sibling or another child for determining where your child is at developmentally.
Progress report evaluations are completed for each child upon enrollment and just before parent teacher conferences (typically in January and July). These are reviewed at parent teacher conferences at which time parents also receive a copy. If there are issues or concerns that need to be personally discussed, please work with the teacher to arrange a convenient time to talk on the telephone, such as during naptime, so the issue can be given the attention it deserves. We are not doctors, we can not give any medical diagnosis. We can share with you any signs of developmental delays or concerns that we notice. Please consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis of something you have a concern about. We will be more than happy to assist your child's doctor with information if needed.
We work with the Birth to 3 program, Wisconsin Early Autism Project, and the local school district in helping children to grow and learn to their full potential. Therapists are always welcome to come to the center to work with your child as well.
What if I have a problem with my child's other parent?
We will not take sides in family matters, nor get involved with matters of the family not directly pertaining to the child in care. Should parents begin discussing matters not pertaining to the child, such as bashing the other parent, the teacher is expected to end the conversation by politely letting them know that they cannot get involved in the matter and can only partake in conversations related to the child. We are not here to be a middle man between parents; we will not relay messages between parents. We are not here to discuss family issues UNLESS it affects the child. We are here to provide the very best care for the child and in doing so, we do need to know about things that are directly related to the child and their well being. If there is an issue such as this, please discuss it with the director or your child's teacher.
If you are concerned about co-parenting issues becoming a problem while at the center, we strongly advise parents to arrange separate times to be at the center in order to avoid creating an uncomfortable environment for yourself, the staff, and most importantly your child.
Health and Safety
Do you have an illness policy?
Our goal is to provide child care for well children. Having ill children at the center presents the very real possibility that others can be infected. While we understand that parents need to be at work or in class, we need to enforce this policy to protect all children and staff from unnecessary exposure to communicable diseases and illnesses. We follow the guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association as well as those outlined by the Washington County Public Health Department. Parents who repeatedly fail to follow policies related to keeping children at home when they are ill may be required to withdraw their child from the center.
Young children, especially infants, are at a higher risk of complications from minor illnesses, as their immune system is not yet fully developed. Please DO NOT bring your sick child to the center if he/she is ill- it will hinder the quality of care we are able to provide to others and will simply spread to the other children and the staff.
When should I keep my child home due to illness?
Your child needs to stay home or will be sent home in the following situations:
-If your child began an antibiotic for illness, they should remain home for 24 hours to allow time for the medication to take effect before being around the other children.
-Fever: Children under 4 months of age should remain home with a fever of 100° F or above if taken under arm and 101° F or more if taken rectally. Children over four months of age with a fever of 101° F or above if taken orally (100° F under arm and 102° F rectally) should be excluded from care when accompanied by behavior changes or other symptoms of illness such as, but not limited to lethargic, lack of appetite, wheezing, sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, etc. A child’s temperature should be normal without medication for 24-hours before the child is brought to the center. If your child has a fever in the evening with symptoms of illness, he/she should not be brought to the center in the morning, even if his/her temperature is normal.
-Vomiting: Exclude a child from care who has had two or more episodes of vomiting in the previous 24 hours and continuing exclusion until the vomiting resolves for 24 hours.
-Diarrhea: Exclude a child from care who has had two or more abnormally loose, watery stools in the previous 24 hours and continuing exclusion until the diarrhea has resolved for 24 hours.
Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye): a child with pinkeye must be on medication for 24 hours before returning to the center.
-Rash: body rash, not associated with diapering, heat or allergic reactions, especially with fever or itching. A child can return to care once a child is seen and cleared by a health professional or on medication as indicated by physician and/or Local Public Health Department. *Chicken pox and Hand Foot and Mouth: blisters need to be dried and scabbed over before returning to care.
-Sore throat coupled with a fever or swollen neck glands.
-Lice, Scabies: Children must not return to childcare until they are free of lice and nits (eggs). Children with scabies can be admitted 24 hours after treatment has begun.
-Ear Infections: earache, with or without fever, may have drainage from the ear, child may pull ears or become irritable. Can be viral or bacterial. Remain home for 24 hours after medication has begun.
-Bronchitis, Croup, or Pneumonia: Remain home until after symptoms are gone if not treated with medicine or 24 hours after medication has begun.
-If your child looks or acts very ill, has severe or uncontrolled cough, rapid or difficulty breathing, wheezing, is unusually tired, pale, shows a lack of appetite, is difficult to wake, confused, irritable, or otherwise cannot comfortably participate in activities, your child should remain home.
Please note: Classroom teachers will use their best judgment, as well as these guidelines, to determine when to send children home.
**Please also DO NOT mask symptoms, by giving Tylenol or other medications before bringing your child to the center.**
What if my child becomes sick while in care?
If a child becomes ill while in care, we will attempt make them as comfortable as possible until the parent is contacted and is able to pick up the child. Parents should plan ahead for emergency situations like this and have a back up plan already in place. To protect the health of others if you are notified that your child needs to be picked up, please respect our need to abide by State Regulations by picking your child up within the hour allotment. When a child becomes ill during the school day, we make every effort to reach parents first. If after 30 minutes we have not been able to contact a parent, we will call the emergency contact listed in the child’s file.
How are falls and incidents handled?
It is state (and our centers) policy that if a child is injured while in care, parents be notified. If it is a minor injury such as a scrape or bump, parents will be notified at pick up. We can apply ice to bumps or wash open cuts with soap and water and apply bandages as needed. Parents will be notified immediately of severe injuries and depending on the severity, the child may be transported to the local hospital, St. Joseph's on Pleasant Valley. In either case, parents will need to sign an accident/incident report filled out by staff that details the injury.
What about immunizations?
Our center must follow the states policies regarding immunizations. All children should be immunized according to the immunization schedule for their age unless a parent chooses not to have his or her child immunized and completes the immunization release form by having it signed and dated by the child’s physician. Immunization records can be printed here.
What happens if there is a center emergency?
Each room has Emergency procedures posted. These detail where you are at in the center and how to get out in a fire or where to go incase of an emergency. To familiarize the staff and children with emergency procedures, fire drills are practiced with the children monthly throughout the year and tornado drills are practiced monthly from April through October.
How can I be sure your center is safe?
Our center offers many security features to ensure the safety of the children. View our safety measures already in place here.
Are staff trained in CPR and first aid?
All teachers are required to complete first aid and CPR training within six months of hire and these are renewed every 2 to 3 years depending on expiration.
Are background checks completed on staff?
The State of Wisconsin requires licensed group daycare centers to complete background checks annually on all staff members. The director has a background check completed by the State of Wisconsin at their predetermined intervals. All staff are required to have a fingerprint background check on file as well, which includes an FBI background check.
What are the minimum requirements for the education of your staff?
The state requires employees working 20 or more hours a week to complete 25 hours of continuing education annually and 15 hours of continuing education annually for staff working less than 20 hrs per week.
While our staff have varying degrees including degrees in ECE (Early Childhood Education), Social Work, General Education, and teaching, all staff are selected for their unique skills and talents they have to offer. The following are the minimum requirements:
All staff must complete SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome) prevention training upon hire.
Within 6 months of hire Assistant teachers must complete the EC1 (Introduction to the ChildCare Profession course), Lead Teachers must also complete EC2 (Skills and Strategies of the ChildCare Professional), and staff working with under 2 years old must also complete Fundamentals of Infant and Toddler Care.
Is Playful Hearts ChildCare a licensed or otherwise regulated facility?
Yes, our center is licensed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Children and families. Our license number is 1015826.
How long has your facility been providing child care?
Our center has been a licensed group facility since January 2010. Prior to that the director, Jessica Howe, operated Playful Hearts as an in-home daycare for 3 1/2 years. As an in-home center it was licensed by the state and certified through the county to operate 24/7. It was also an active participant in the USDA food program. However, as an in-home daycare center you are very limited in the number of families you are able to serve, which is why the center was expanded to the group centers current larger operation.
What is the staff to child ratio?
The state has established staff to child ratios that we must follow
Teacher to child ratio per age group
1 : 4 2 weeks to 2 years
1 : 6 2 years to 2 ½ years
1 : 8 2 ½ to 3 years
1 : 10 3 years
1 : 13 4 and 5 years
1 : 17 School age
Registration and Fees
What is your admission policy?
Admission or discharge of a child shall not be based on race, color, sex, creed, handicap, parents’ political persuasion, national origin, or ancestry.
Childcare applications for enrollment shall be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis, with previous and current parents taking priority when possible. Fees and paperwork are required to hold a spot.
Children may be enrolled full-time, part-time, or on a drop-in care basis. Full-time and part-time status is determined on a daily basis. A child can be enrolled for full-time and/or part-time days. Full-time is more than five (5) hours when calculated daily and up to eleven (11) hours per day. Part-time is five (5) hours or less per day. When limited by space/availability, priority will be given to enrolling or enrolled children who need fulltime care, or the most regular care. All children will be enrolled for a trial period of two (2) weeks. During the trial period either the center or parent may terminate childcare without advance notice.
Children may be enrolled for drop-in care if prior enrollment arrangements have been made and space is available. Children may be enrolled on a periodic drop-in care basis, but a spot will not automatically be reserved for that child; we will not assume that your child will be in attendance for drop in care on the same days or times every week- that would be considered a varied schedule. You will need to inform the center of when your child will be here. Regularly scheduled children will take priority when establishing staffing and child care schedules. Drop-in care is welcome, but you will need to call and check availability before dropping your child off at the center.
How long can my child be in care?
It is state law that NO child may be left in care for more than 12 hours in any 24 hour period. Our rates are based on 11 hours for full days. If you need 12 hours of care, you will be billed hourly for the extra hour.
What are your rates?
Rates are determined based on a different number of factors including the age of your child/ren and the number of days and hours that care is needed. Rate information can be viewed here. To ensure proper pricing please call the center at 262-338-0172.
Do you accept daycare assistance from the state?
We do accept daycare assistance. The full amount for all tuition and fees is billed to the parent and the parent is responsible for making the state assistance payment along with any co-pays for anything the state does not cover.
Beginning 02/2017 WI DCF began utilizing ebtedge for issuing parents daycare assistance. Parents are now responsible to either call the 800 on the back of their state issued daycare assistance card or logging on to ebtedge to make the payment.
Families receiving daycare assistance, will need their assistance set up and in our system before a child can begin care. Due to past problems with this, NO exceptions will be made unless the parent pays for care until the daycare assistance authorization goes through.
Who pays if there is shared custody between parents?
Tuition must be paid in full. If there is a verbal agreement between the parents about which one pays how much, we need to know, so we can set up two separate accounts, create separate contracts for care, and bill parents accordingly. If there is a court order specifying which parent pays how much, we need a copy of the order to set up two separate accounts to bill each parent accordingly. Otherwise, one account will be set up for the parent who is enrolling the child and that parent will be billed and responsible for the full amount.
How can I make a payment?
Payments are prepaid and due on Fridays for the following week of care. Checks must be placed in the payment box located by in the lobby. We accept cash, check, or credit card: VISA, MasterCard, and Discover payments. These can be made directly at our check in computer, online, or directly with the Director. See director for online access. All accounts must be secured with a checking account or credit card, which will be billed for any remaining unpaid fees upon termination of care. ***Payments may not be made to a teacher. No exceptions.*** Payment information can be viewed here.
What should my child wear to school?
We do not allow flip flops or crocs while in care for safety reasons. Sandals, tennis shoes, or other shoes that have straps or backing and can stay on a child’s foot are acceptable. Please dress your child for the work they will be doing each day: cutting, gluing, running, jumping, sliding, crawling, painting, coloring, etc.. They spend their days exploring the variety of active and messy activities we provide daily. Therefore, we do not recommend dressy or fancier clothing as it will most likely get dirty. Clothing should be comfortable, easy for them to manage, and appropriate for the season. Children potty training should not wear onesies, overalls, or other clothing that would hinder their ability to undress themselves during bathroom times. From the late November until May children need winter clothing here at the center daily. We recommend leaving it here, so it is not forgotten. Winter clothing includes: snow pants, snow boots, winter coat, hat, and winter gloves. Scarves are optional.
What do I need to bring for my child?
Each child will be assigned a cubby in his or her classroom. This is a place to store all items brought from home. To avoid lost items, make sure everything is labeled in permanent marker with your child’s name. Please place labeled clothing in a labeled zip-loc baggie. The bag will be kept at the center in case of an emergency or accident.
Children under 2 years old or Not Potty Trained:
· 3 full changes of weather/season appropriate clothing, including socks
· Diaper cream as needed
· One 1½ inch 3-ring binder with 8 divider tabs
· Sunscreen and bug repellant - optional
Children 2 years old and older and Potty Trained:
· One complete change of weather/season appropriate clothing, including socks and underwear
· One 1½ inch 3-ring binder with 8 divider tabs
· Sunscreen and bug repellant - optional
All children 1 ½ years and older:
· Sleeping bag or a crib sheet and blanket labeled with child’s name placed inside a pillow case for sanitary storage (cots and cribs are provided by the center)
· Tooth brush and toothpaste in a plastic labeled Ziploc baggie
· Night care children here at 8:00pm: PJ’s or something comfortable to sleep in and a spare change of clothing just in case of an accident
Toys, electronics, money, and candy should NOT be brought to the center.
Frequently Asked Questions
Proving the fun, loving, educational care your child deserves!
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