Child Development Programs
Health, Nutrition and Safety
The Multicultural Learning Environment
Suspected Neglect or Abuse of Children
Affidavit to Reading the Statement of Center Policy and Philosophy
Facing the Facts: A Parent's Guide to the Understanding of Child Sexual Abuse
Our Philosophy is based upon the belief that children move through stages of development based on their knowledge and experiences. Children's cognitive, linguistic, physical and emotional learning occurs through their interactions with adults and peer and through the use of challenging materials. We believe that children must have a positive self-concept to become competent learners.
Children's Centers use multi-age grouping to give children a variety of social, cognitive, physical and linguistic experiences. We accept the child at his or her developmental level. We give the child the experience needed to develop and learn. We recognize that each child is unique and special. The education of each child is viewed as an effort of parents, center staff and district/community resource personnel.
We Benefit form the diverse cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds of our families. We actively support diversity through an anti-bias and multicultural environment for all children.
Our staff reflects high standards for educational excellence. Teachers are certified by the State Commission on Teacher Credentials. Aides assist teachers in providing a quality program for children. Other professional staff including nurses and mental health consultants are available to work with families. Administrators province the leadership and support necessary to maintain our our program's high quality standards.
The Children's Center instructional program is based on the Creative Curriculum, a child-centered curriculum. Staff plans and provides activities and experiences through projects and themes that reflects the cultures of the children and relate to all curriculum areas. Children are encouraged to express self-reliance, make choices, initiate their own activities, and solve problems. Staff provides children with developmentally appropriate work and play activities in an appealing and nurturing environment that is structured to best meet children's needs.
Our school-age program supports and enhances the elementary school program by providing assistance with home study assignments. We provide other activities designed to foster a cooperative learning environment based on the California Department of Education's program guide, Kids' Time.
Ongoing authentic assessment of each child's development needs and interests continues throughout the year. Anecdotal information resulting from staff observations and parents input is recorded for each child. The assessment is used to plan appropriate learning activities for the child.
Children are served without regard to sex, race, religion, ethnicity or physical handicap. No program is used for religious instruction or worship.
The Children's Center Program offers quality early childhood programs for infants through the primary grades for children whose parents are employed, in job training or physically disabled.
The program provides an environment where children can participate in intellectual, creative and social activities that are developmentally and linguistically appropriate and culturally relevant.
Children benefit from the diverse cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds of our families. Cultural diversity is supported through an anti-bias and multicultural environment for all children.
It is the policy of the Los Angeles Unified School District's Child Development Division Program to provide for the special needs a of all children.
The Child Development Program offers settings in which children:
In addition to the instructional activities, the following support services are provided:
The State Preschool Program
The state Preschool Program offers a three hour educational program for preschool children. This program emphasizes parent education, parent involvement an prepares the children for entry into kindergarten. These programs are located at children's center and elementary schools and provide personalized learning experiences before the children enter kindergarten. The State Preschool Program also helps increase their language and social skills. The program is designed for multi-age grouping and provides open-ended learning to meet the children's individual abilities.
The Title IV-A at risk Program
The Title IV-A at Risk Program is a federally funded program matched by state funds. It is an expansion of the general child care program operating in 102 children's centers. The purpose of the program is to assist families who are at risk of receiving public assistance because child care is not available. Children enrolled in the Title IV-A program must be preschool age and must have parents who are gainfully employed.
The School-Age Parenting and Infant Development Program (SAPID)
The School-Age Parenting and Infant Development Program (SAPID) offers child development services for infants of high school parents. These services include educational stimulation, health screening and other provisions to meet the physical and emotional needs of the infants. On-site career counseling and parenting education is provided to parents participating in this program. Through this program teen parents:
The KidCare Program provides an environment where children can participate in intellectual, creative, social and recreational activities that are developmentally and linguistically appropriate for the ages served. Program activities support and enhance the elementary school program and are designed to met the individual needs of each child.
KidCare program activities include homework time, multicultural activities, ares & craft. games outdoor recreation and shacks/
Program staff work in cooperation with parents, school staff, and the community to achieve program goals and objectives and to meet special needs of the children enrolled in the program.
Primary Reading Enrichment Program (PREP)
The Primary Reading Enrichment Program (PREP) focuses on reading enrichment activities for first through third grade students. This focus will assist in meeting the Superintendent's Call to Action goal of all children reading by third grade. The PREP Centers are housed on elementary campuses and are supervised by the Children's Center administrator.
The Family Literacy Program
The Family Literacy Program is implemented at selected children's centers that are near or adjacent to adult schools. The four components of a comprehensive Family Literacy Program include: Adult Education, Early Childhood Education, Parent/Child Interaction Time and Parent Groups. The adult education component is designed to extend basic education skills. The early childhood education component is based on a developmentally appropriated preschool curriculum. The parent/child interaction time component facilities parents and children working and playing together as a family unit. The parent group component blends the goals of parent support groups and parent education to meet the needs of the families in the program. Preschool
Special Education Inclusion
This collaborative project between the Child Development Division and the Division of Special Education is a full-inclusion morning program. Typically children's center preschool children and ten Special Education eligible preschool children participate together in the District adopted "Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood," a curriculum which stresses the facilitation of goals and objectives through developmentally appropriate concrete experiences and play.
The program is staffed by the regular children's center personnel along with a Special Education Teacher and Special Education Assistant. Other Special Education support is received when it is required to help meet the particular needs of the enrolled children.
The parent/guardian will provide the center with a written statement of a health examination report at the time of enrollment or within 30 calendar days when children are enrolled in the program. The report must be prepared by a licensed physician and must be current.
The report shall include:
1.A statement of any infectious or contagious disease.
2.The results of the tuberculosis (Mantoux) test.
3.The identification of any medical problems.
Immunizations must be current.
Children whose parents adhere to a religious faith practicing healing by spiritual means are not required to submit the results of a health examination. However, parents must provide information regarding their children's health history and sign a statement which indicates their responsibility for their children's health.
Each child is provided a daily health screening by staff. A child with obvious signs of illness, including but not limited to fever and vomiting, will not be accepted into the center. The person bringing the child to the center must remain until the child has been accepted. Parents should make arrangements in the event that their children become ill at the center during the day to have their children picked up immediately.
Children are given periodic health checks by a school nurse. Mental health services are available to assist parents with individual social and emotional needs of the children and families.
Medication can be given to children at the center under the following conditions:
medicine one-half prescription each so that the medicine for the center can remain at the center for the specified period.)
Meals are served in a family-style setting. During meal time the staff instructs children on how different foods contribute to a healthy mind and body. Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack is served at each center. School-age children scheduled to be in school eat at the elementary school.
Special foods will be served to children who have allergies. The allergy must be diagnosed by a doctor. The physician's statement must be on file at the center so that the center can plan for the child's special diet. The allergy statement must be completed and filed.
In the meal program all children will be offered the same meals at no separate charge with no physical segregation of or other discrimination against any child because of race, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. The meal program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
When a child has been under a doctor's care, the child should return with a doctor's authorization to return to school. The authorization should have information regarding restrictions to the child's normal activity. The parent must communicate with the site administrator to make the determination if the child can return to the center with restrictions.
Additional safety regulations include the following:
A family must complete an application and provide supporting documentation demonstrating eligibility and need for child care services. Children must be at least two years old and toilet trained. Waiting lists are maintained to ensure that families are enrolled in accordance with priorities established by the State Department of Education. Parents have the right to appeal any denial or termination of service. Special needs children are enrolled in the program according to the same priorities established for all families.
At the time of enrollment, a parent or guardian must complete an emergency information card. It is the parent's or guardian's responsibility to update the emergency card whenever the information changes. If the information on the emergency card is incorrect, program staff may not be able to contact you in case of emergency.
Any changes in family income, family size or need status must be reported to the center within ten days. Failure of a parent or guardian to notify the center of a pertinent change or the making of a false material statement by a parent or guardian is cause for termination of services.
Each center has a parent information board that is used by program staff to communicate with parents and guardians. In addition, each family is assigned a mailbox or folder to receive information from center staff. Parent newsletters, notices of center holidays, fee notices, notes from the center nurse, and other important messages are often placed in the mailboxes or folders. Parents and guardians should check the parent information board and their mailboxes or folders every day.
The site administrator and other center staff are available on a daily basis to answer your questions about the program. At least two conferences per year will be scheduled by your child's teacher to discuss his or her progress.
Children are expected to attend regularly in accordance with contract hours. Excused absences for other than illness or quarantine of the child, parent or family emergency are limited to 10 days except for children referred for protective services and for the time a child spends with another parent or relative as required by a court of law. Excessive unexcused absences will cause termination of services. A limited term service leave for a period of three weeks or more may be allowed to accommodate parents who are temporarily out of need for subsidized child care. The leave should be discussed with the site administrator at least three weeks prior to the absence.
The family fee is based on a sliding fee schedule established by the California Department of Education. Families must pay fees in advance of service.
Fee-paying families will be charged a fee for every day that the center is open. No fee reduction or refund will be made because of absences either excused or unexcused, including vacation, illness, or family emergency.
Fees must be paid by check or money order. No cash will be accepted in payment of fees. If more than one check is returned by the bank for insufficient funds, all future payments must be made by means of a certified bank draft or money order.
Delinquent fees will cause termination of services.
Families with children receiving protective services must recertify eligibility and need for child care services at least once every six months. All other families need to recertify eligibility and need at least once every twelve months. Failure to provide eligibility or need information upon written request is cause for termination of services.
Every child must be signed in and out by a parent or authorized adult (I 8 years or older) daily. This requirement is to ensure the health and safety of the children. Failure to follow this procedure is cause for termination of services.
Late Pick Up of Children
All children must be picked up by a parent or authorized adult no later than the designated closing time for the center. Services will be terminated if lateness after closing time continues after three (3) warnings. The Department of Children and Family Services will be notified regarding children left in the center one hour after the close of the business day.
Health and Safety Code Section 1596.357 requires that parents or guardians be informed of their right to enter and inspect the children's center in which their child is receiving care.
1. Parents / guardians, upon presentation of identification, have the right to enter and inspect the children's center, in
which their child is receiving care, without advance notice to the provider. Entry and inspection are limited to the normal
operating hours while their children are receiving care.
2. The law prohibits discrimination or retaliation against any child or parent/guardian for exercising their right to inspect.
3. The law requires that parents/guardians be notified of their rights to enter and inspect.
4.The law requires that this notice of parents' rights to enter and inspect be posted in the facility in a location accessible to
5.The law authorizes the person in charge of the children's center to deny access to a parent/guardian under the following
a.The parent/guardian is behaving in a way which poses a risk to children in the facility.
b.The adult is a non-custodial parent and the facility has been requested in writing by the custodial parent to not
permit access to the non-custodial
Each person receiving services from a community care facility and/or children's center shall have rights which include, but are not limited to, the following:
1.Parents / guardians, upon presentation of identification, have the right to enter and inspect the children's center, in
which their child is receiving care, without advance notice to the provider. Entry and inspection are limited to the
normal operating hours while their children are receiving care.
2.The law prohibits discrimination or retaliation against any child or parent/guardian for exercising their right to inspect.
3.The law requires that parents/guardians be notified of their rights to enter and inspect.
4.To be informed and to have the authorized representative informed by the licensee of the provisions of law regarding
complaints including, but not limited to, the address and telephone number of the licensing agency's complaint
receiving unit and of information regarding confidentiality.
5. To be free to attend religious services or activities of his/her choice and to have visits from the spiritual advisor of
his/her choice. Attendance at religious services, either in or outside the facility, shall be on a completely voluntary
basis. (In children centers, decisions concerning attendance at religious services or visits from spiritual advisors
shall be made by the parents or guardians of the child.)
6. Not to be locked in any room, building, or facility premises by day or night.
7. Not to be placed in restraining devices without advance approval by the licensing agency.
The parent(s)/guardian(s) have the right to contact the appropriate licensing agency regarding complaints, which is:
Parent Advisory Activities
The Child Development Division's parent activities include parent education and parent advisory meetings that are held monthly at the individual sites, geographic areas and division level.
Each year, a needs assessment and/or interest survey is conducted to determine the focus for the year. Meetings are planned that are relevant to the parents' needs and the needs of the centers.
Center activities include Shared Decision-Making Council, Parent Advisory and Parent Association meetings. Each group is able to work in conjunction with each other to ensure that common goals are met and that the monthly activities reflect the needs of each group.
Four geographic areas have been identified by Child Development Division for regional meetings: Harbor/South, Central/West, East, and Valley/North. Each area has approximately thirty-three Children's Center and KidCare Programs. The meetings are held on a monthly basis. Each center in the geographic area is responsible for sending at least one parent to the area meeting. Any and all matters that are not resolved at the center level are discussed and resolved at the area level if possible. Area officers conduct the monthly meetings.
The Division Advisory is comprised of elected representatives from each of the four geographic areas. Each area elects four members from their group to represent them at the Division Parent Advisory meetings. The meetings are conducted by the elected officers of the group. Meetings are scheduled as needed. Agenda items discussed are items that are relevant to all of the centers and KidCare programs in the division.
Some of the other ways in which parents may work with the center are by:
Supporting the center's efforts to establish behavior and attendance standards.
The atmosphere at every children's center is one of joy, warmth and caring. The adults create a safe and nurturing environment in which the cultural uniqueness of each child and the child's family are valued. Every learning area reflects the cultures and languages of the children and contain visual displays such as books, dolls, musical instruments and clothing, all of which are real, current and non-biased.
Every children's center of the Los Angeles Unified School District has a strong commitment to implement systematic changes which affirm and value diversity and which ensures that each person is treated with dignity and worth.
A major Child Development Division
goal is to create and maintain a multicultural environment where
effective learning occurs.
In order to maintain the learning environment, the California Education Code and Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education policy have established suspension procedures which apply to all children within the District including children enrolled in children's centers.
A child may be suspended from the center if he or she has:
A. Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another
B. Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other
C. Unlawfully possessed, used, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of
any controlled substance or intoxicant of any kind.
D. Unlawfully offered, arranged or negotiated to sell any controlled substance, an
alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind, and then either sold, delivered, or
otherwise furnished to any person another liquid, substance, or material and
represented the liquid, substance, or material as a controlled substance, alcoholic
beverage, or intoxicant.
E. Committed robbery or extortion.
F. Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property.
G. Stolen or attempted to steal school property or private property.
H. Possessed or used tobacco.
I. Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity.
J. Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia.
K. Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of
supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials or other school personnel
engaged in the performance of their duties.
Suspension from the center does not mean suspension from the elementary school. Students suspended from the elementary school may not be assigned to the center for supervision. A parent or guardian has the right to appeal a suspension. The suspension remains in effect during the appeal process.
Board of Education policy states that conduct of a child tending to seriously disrupt the smooth and efficient operation of the program and which cannot be reasonably controlled by District personnel in the usual performance of their duties, is cause for termination of services.
The California Education Code and Board of Education policy states that the failure of a parent or guardian to cooperate with District personnel in the course of their duties where such failure materially disrupts the smooth and efficient operation of the program is cause for termination of services.
Children's center staff is
required by law, and in the interest of the child, to report
suspected neglect or abuse of children in attendance at the center.
All financial and individual
family information provided for participation in the program will be
treated as confidential. The use or disclosure of this information
will be limited to the administration of the Child Development
Program. No other use of this information shall be made without the
parent's written consent. Written permission will also be obtained to
use photographs of children for purposes outside the program, to
release information, and to allow children to participate in
Parents must sign affidavit to
attest that they have read the statement of the center's policies and
What is Sexual Abuse?
The sexual abuse of a child occurs whenever any person forces, tricks or threatens a child in order to have sexual contact with him or her. This contact can include such "non touching" behaviors as an adult exposing himself or asking a child to look at pornographic material. It includes behaviors ranging from the sexual handling of a child (fondling) to actual genital contact, to intercourse, to violent rape. In all instances of child sexual abuse, the child is being used as an object to satisfy the adult's sexual needs or desires.
"Candy is my best friend I play at her house a lot. Today her daddy asked us to look at some pictures, they were nasty pictures of people with no clothes on. He said 'Doesn't that look like fun?' I didn't think so but I said 'Yes'"
Who Gets Sexually Abused?
Any child of any age is a potential victim of sexual abuse. Some important facts to keep in mind ...
*Although the majority of adults do not sexually assault children, most sexual abuse occurs with an adult the child knows and trusts.
*Most sexual abuse goes unreported and undetected.
*Although we do not have exact numbers..some studies
have found that one out of ever), four girls and one
of every ten boys become victims of child sexual
abuse by the age of eighteen.
*Children often keep sexual abuse a secret.
"When Mommy goes to work I stay at Mrs. Jenkins house, I wish I didn't have to. Mommy says Mrs. Jenkins is a real nice lady but Mrs. Jenkin's son, Ralph, sometimes makes me do bad things. Yesterday he made me take off my underwear and he put his finger in my 'privates' he said 'You better not tell."
Children may keep a sexual assault a secret for many reasons. They may fear rejection, blame,
punishment or abandonment; they may think people won't believe them. Boys are less likely to report an abuse than girls. The closer the relationship of the offender to the child, the less likely that the child will report the incident
How Can You Determine if Sexual Abuse Has Taken Place?
First and foremost, if your children confide that they have been sexually assaulted. Believe them! Children very seldom lie about such a serious matter. Also be aware that most sexual abuse does not result in the child being violently attacked or hurt physically. Often there is no physical evidence a child has been molested. Fondling, involvement in child pornography and oral sex usually present no physical sips of abuse. But, if a child has been physically harmed as a result of sexual abuse, the following may be signs of this occurrence:
*A discharge from the vaginal area or penis
*Injury to the genitals or anus
*Pain, itching or bleeding in the genital or anal area
*Discomfort in walking or sitting
*The discovery of a sexually transmitted disease
Children, especially very young children, are many times unable to verbalize that they have been molested. The following are some indicators that sexual assault may have taken place:
*Nightmares and sleep disturbances
*Fear of certain places or certain people (such as a day care center or a friend)
* Loss of appetite
*Clinging to a parent more than usual
*Behaving as a younger child (such as an older child sucking
his or her thumb)
*Unexplained changes in behavior at school, day care, or in relations with peers
*Acting out the abuse with dolls, friends or through drawings
Keep in mind that although these are the most common sips of sexual abuse, there may be other causes for these changes. However, sexual abuse should not be ruled out as a possibility.
What Can You Do To Prevent Sexual Abuse?
You teach your children many safety rules. You tell them to look both ways before crossing the street, what to do if they get hurt, not to talk to strangers and so on. Discussions relating to sexual abuse prevention can be included in this normal teaching process. Your children need not be made afraid or suspicious of all adults in order to accomplish this. You don't even have to talk to very young children about sex if you don't want to. Simply make your children aware that if someone touches them or does anything that makes them uncomfortable, they should report it to you or another adult they trust. You can teach your children they have the right to say "NO' if asked to do something that makes them uncomfortable, even if the person who asks is a relative or close friend. Use words your children understand. Let them know they can come to you to talk about anything that's upsetting to them. Answer any questions your children may have and be calm and matter-of-fact.
Other Things Parents Can Do To Lessen The Risk Of Sexual Abuse.
* Know where your children are and what they are doing.
*Know who is with your children. Get to know any adults or older children that have regular
contact with your child.
*Check out fully any babysitters or day care
providers. Ask for references and then check them. Do not use child care settings which prohibit drop-in visiting. Visit your child's day care facility frequently and observe the daily activities.
*Talk with your children about the day's activities. Be observant of anything they say or do
that seems out of the ordinary.
"Uncle Bill takes me lots of places and buys me ice cream and stuff. But sometimes I don't feel good when he makes me touch his 'thing. 'I want to tell mom, but I'm scared she'd get mad
What if You Discover Your Child has Been Sexually Abused?
Children's reactions to being sexually abused differ greatly from child to child because of the child's age, his or her personality, the nature of the offense, the offender's relationship to the child and adult reactions to the discovery of the abuse. Sometimes children do not appear overly upset by the abuse; often, they are confused or frightened by what they have encountered. You, as a parent, play an important part in how the abuse will affect your child both in the short and long term.
The following are some suggestions if you discover your child has been sexually abused:
* Believe your child: reinforce the fact he or she is not to blame for what happened.
* Immediately report the abuse to the proper authorities. (see "Contacts and Services')
* Assure your child that you still love him or her.
* Allow your child to talk about the incident(s), but do not pressure him or her to do so.
* Let your child know that he or she will be protected from further assault. Protection of your child should be your first concern.
*Seek medical care if you suspect any sexual abuse may have occurred. Although children are rarely seriously damaged physically by sex offenders, internal injury may have occurred and the risk of a sexually transmitted disease
must be considered. Discuss any possible medical complications with your physician.
* Be aware of your own feelings concerning the -abuse. Although you may have many feelings including shock, anger and disbelief, make sure your child understands your feelings are not aimed at him or her.
Just Sexual Abuse?
Be aware of other forms of abuse, especially if you examine your child's body. (This can be done in a casual manner while dressing or bathing. ) Question any unusual marks, bruises, burns, welts, etc.
While everyone should report suspected child abuse and neglect, the California Penal Code provides that certain professionals and lay persons must report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. The mandated reporters include:
Any Child Care Custodian (teachers, licensing day care workers, foster parents, social workers)
Medical Practitioners (physicians, dentists psychologists, nurses)
Non medical Practitioners ( public health. employees, counselors, religious practitioners who treat children)
Employees of a child protective agency (sheriff, probation officers, county welfare department employees)
Failure to report suspected abuse by a mandated reporter ( listed above) within 36 hours is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in county jail, a fine of not more then $1,000 or both.
Remember, you have the primary responsibility for your child's well-being. With a little time and effort you may prevent your child from being injured in an abusive situation
If you believe a child is being (or has been) abused by an individual (relative, friend)
If you believe a child has been assaulted by a stranger
If you believe a child is being (or has been) abused in a licensed day care setting (child care center, school, recreational facility, family day care home)
If you have any questions or complaints concerning the licensing, organization, staffing or programs of a licensed child care setting
This page to remain in the family file at the center.
I hereby acknowledge that I have received and reviewed with the site administrator/designee information regarding the Children's Center Program including:
I further acknowledge that I have received and have reviewed with the site administrator/designee the following causes for termination of children's center services:
I. Delinquent fees.
2. Failure to comply with a plan for payment of delinquent fees.
3. Expiration of 60 day seeking employment period.
4. Excessive unexcused absences.
5. Failure of the parent or guardian to cooperate with District personnel where such failure materially disrupts the smooth and
efficient operation of the program.
6. Failure to follow sign-in/sign-out procedures.
7. Late pick up of children after closing.
8. Failure to notify the center of any pertinent change in material, family, financial status, employment or other information
relating to eligibility or need.
9. Making of a false material statement regarding family, financial status, employment or other information relating to
eligibility or need.
10. Conduct of child tending to seriously disrupt the smooth and efficient operation of the program.
11. Child not trained in toilet habits.
12. The contractor has factual information that confirms the death of the parent or the child.
13. The parent does not provide eligibility or needed information after a written request by contractor.
14. Failure of parent/guardian to respond promptly when requested to remove child from center because of child's illness or
15.Violation of contract hours.
Child(ren's) Name(s):_________________________ Children's Center___________________
Parent/Guardian Signature Date