WILD FLOWERS EARLY LEARNING CENTER LLC
"A fun place to grow!"
HIGH QUALITY CHILD CARE SERVICES
A note from STARS to Quality about Primary Caregivers:
Children each have a primary caregiver who develops a special relationship of mutual trust and respect with them and their parents. The primary caregiver works with other program staff to ensure a positive child care experience for children and their parents. The primary caregiver system ensures that every child has a special person, and that each parent has a primary contact. How is the primary caregiver special? She becomes an expert on each child, an advocate, and a coordinator of children’s and parents’ experiences.
Note: The primary caregiver-parent relationship is as important as the teacher-child
A primary caregiver’s relationship with children and parents usually begins during
intake. (While children are adjusting to being in care, it is easier for them to get to know
one new person than to get to know several.)
What Does Primary Caregiving Mean?
Caregiving is primary in two senses. First, much but not all of the care and nurturing and
parent communication is provided by the teacher who is the primary caregiver. Second,
teaching is primary because the prime times—those most intimate and personal moments
of care and teaching—are the major responsibility of the primary caregiver.
Primary Does Not Mean Exclusive
We don’t want children to become totally dependent on the presence of one person in
order to have a good day. Primary caregiving is not the same as a small-group structure,
and children do not spend the day at their teacher’s side, like chicks with a mother hen.
Other staff develop a warm relationship with the children and have caring and learning
interactions with them while they explore the learning environment.
Primary Caregiver Does Not Mean Exclusive Caregiver
The teacher who is the primary caregiver is not the all-powerful influence over children’s and parents’ experiences. The primary care system is just one system that promotes quality care and education. A primary caregiver does not determine children’s learning experiences. The educational experience of all the children, the caregiving practices and systems, and the other elements of quality care are planned and developed by leadership staff who have the training and experience in program planning. When children are divided into small groups for activities—for example, for walks—there is no assumption that grouping will be on the basis of the primary caregiver.
The role of primary caregiver can be played by staff at all teaching levels.
Qualifications of a Good Primary Caregiver
The important qualifications are those that we expect from all our teachers: sensitivity
to children and parents, caregiving skills, and understanding of the program’s philosophy
The Responsibilities of Primary Caregivers
• To Communicate. A primary caregiver is the essential link in the communication chain between parents and program, and children and program. Primary caregivers ensure that every day, each child’s experience is communicated to parents—not just what the teacher personally witnessed but what others observed or enacted. Also, a primary caregiver relays parents’ concerns and suggestions to other staff.
• To Advocate. A primary caregiver empowers parents and children by translating their individual concerns and needs into action through the efforts of all program
staff. The primary caregiver ensures the program wraps around children and their parents, rather than insisting that children and parents fit the program.
• To Nurture. A teacher who is the primary caregiver tunes in to each child and develops a special bond while ensuring all needs are met and all caring times are carried out in ways that empower the child and establish a sense of security and basic trust.
• To Teach. A primary caregiver is a teacher who cares for children in ways that maximize language experiences and learning potential in all interactions, and who ensures that the learning environment works for all children.
• To Observe, Monitor, and Evaluate. A primary caregiver makes sure children’s experiences in the program are positive and that parents’ concerns are addressed by continually assessing each child’s and parent’s experience. Observation, discussions with other staff and parents, and analysis of the actual experience of the child and family are regularly made and noted.
Assigning Teachers as Primary Caregivers
Children are assigned to a primary caregiver by the lead teacher based on compatibility
with parent’s’ schedules and the need to maintain a roughly equal number of children per teacher. The compatibility of parents and staff may also be considered. Once assigned, children are not reassigned while they are in the homebase unless staff changes or other pressing reasons make it absolutely necessary. The intent of the system is to promote security through continuity; reassignment results in the opposite.
Teachers Aren’t Perfect
Many of us have an image of the ideal teacher. She may look like a grandmother, a sister, or an idealized figure. This image may not include a man, someone who speaks with an accent, or someone who is nineteen or sixty-two years old. But if we look beyond idealized images, we realize that high-quality teachers come in all shapes and sizes, speak different languages, and have the usual assortment of human imperfections. It is our job as a program to help parents and staff recognize and value the qualities in each teacher that led to their presence in the program.
We provide high quality services to the children and families we serve by participating in the Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Best Beginnings child care scholarship program.
Emergency Contact Form
These forms are required for all families.
Please fill out a complete form for each child you would like us to provide care for.
Child and Adult Care Food Program
These forms are required for all families. Please complete one form for each family.
Individual Personal Care Plan for Infants and Toddlers
This form is for parents to complete to help us care for infants ages 18 months and younger. Please return this form with your infant's registration form.
Individual Personal Care Plan for Preschool Children
This form is for parents to complete to help us care for Preschool age children. Please return this form with your registration forms for your preschool age child.
The Preschool Partnership Agreement for Success in School and in Life
"We pledge to work with you and your child to ensure a quality educational experience. We recognize that you, as a parent, are your child's first and most important teacher, and your home is the most significant learning environment, where lifelong learning dispositions about learning begin and develop."
Pediatric Health Statement
This form is required for infants and toddlers ages 18 months and younger.
Please have your pediatrician complete this form.
This form is required to be on file before care can be provided to infants ages 18 months and younger.
Infant Feeding Schedule
This form is required for all infants and toddlers under 18 months of age.
Please update this form regularly and as your infant's eating habits change.
Special Needs Health Care Form
In order to ensure the health and safety of your child, it is vital that any person involved in the care of your child be aware of the child’s special health needs, medication your child is taking or needs in case of a health care emergency, and the specific actions to take regarding your child’s special health needs.
Please have your pediatrician complete this form.
If your child has special needs, this form is required to be on file before care can be provided.
Non-Ingestible Over the Counter Medication Form
In order to administer a non-ingestible over the counter medication:
• The medication must be brought to the day care facility from the parent;
• The medication must be in its original container, with a legible label, and expiration date of medication;
• The child’s name must be on the original container;
This form must be complete and on file for each non-ingestible over the counter medication you bring in.