*Per state regulations, Religious Exemptions are NOT allowed in licensed child care programs, except for the Hib vaccine (There are very few religions that qualify for
religious exemptions and a parent/guardian is subject to penalty if they falsely claim a religious exemption for the student (i.e. a fine of up to $500, up to 6 months in jail, or both.).
Students must follow vaccine schedule per CDC guidelines.
Family Handbook Highlights
All students are required to be fully immunized per the DPHHS State licensing regulations schedule.
Without court documentation, both parents have equal rights to pick up their child, make changes to who is authorized to pick up the child, and make decisions regarding the care of the child.
For minor injuries, we will administer first aid as needed and the injury will be documented in Playground.
For injuries that MAY need medical attention, we will administer first aid, notify the parents/guardians.
For injuries that require prompt medical attention, CPR and/or first aid will be administered as necessary, 911 will be activated, and then the parents/guardians will be notified.
We will have several in class and after school celebrations throughout the year around major holidays, birthdays, and changing of the seasons. If your family has a unique tradition of celebrating a special day, please share this day with us so we can learn more. If you do not wish your child to participate in a holiday event, please communicate your wishes in advance so we can make accommodations. We are a non-religious program and celebrations will not include religious aspects.
We appreciate any and all feedback. Feedback can be communicated via email, in person, and/or via regular parent surveys. Without feedback, we do not know what we need to work on to improve the level of quality that we offer to our village community.
Childcare licensing guidelines are followed to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and visitors. The primary areas that are monitored daily are ratio/supervision, storage/handling of hazardous materials, safe sleep practices, water play safety, building access and releasing children to authorized individuals, and allergy awareness/response. No oral medication or topical prescribed medications are administered by The Birds Nest staff.
We spend time outside daily unless air quality or inclement weather is not suitable for the students.
Quick Drop Off
To minimize big feelings at drop off, it is best to keep it short. The longer a parent/guardian lingers, the longer it will take for the student to settle in for the day.
In an effort to reduce the spread of communicable disease, staff/students/visitors practice proper hand washing procedures upon arrival, before/after meals/activities, and after coming into contact with bodily fluids. The classrooms and common spaces are cleaned/sanitized often, and students are excluded from attending when signs of illness are present (aside from mild cold symptoms). Students are required to be symptom free for 24-48 hours prior to returning to school.
Drop Off Window
Students should not be dropped off prior to 7:30am or after 8:45am.
Infants are put to sleep on their back and in a sleep sack. At one year of age, a blanket may be used. No additional items may be kept in an infants crib. Infants are not allowed to sleep in swings, carseats, or in the teachers arms.
Parents are encouraged to use developmentally appropriate sleep training techniques in order to ensure your infant has a positive sleep experience in school. Infants that co-sleep or are not able to fall asleep on their own often cry and refuse to sleep in school. This can be very stressful for your infant and for the staff.
Toddlers often start toilet learning at home months prior to starting in school. When they start learning at school, we will ask them every 2 hours if they would like to use the potty (it is their choice). Once they are consistently using the potty when asked, we expect them to start telling us when they need to go potty. For sanitary reasons, a student may not switch to undies until they go 3 full days without having an accident in their diaper or pull-up. They will still be put in a pull-up during nap until they are consistently dry.
Upon enrollment, each family selects their set days and hours of attendance. Their arrival and departure time must remain the same from week to week. Any occasional changes to the arrival or departure times (> 15 min) needs to be communicated and approved in advance.
Pick Up Window
Students should not be picked up prior to 3:00pm or after 5:00pm.
All employees of The Birds Nest are mandated to report physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse/exploitation, emotional abuse, parental substance abuse, abandonment, and/or maltreatment by calling 866.820.5437.
Healthy Sleep Habits
Infants under 6 months nap as needed, on their own schedule. Infants 6-12 months usually take two naps from 9-10am and 12:45-2:30pm. Toddlers and Preschoolers take one nap from 1-3pm. School aged students have quiet time from 1-2pm.
They should not need a parent to help them fall asleep. We want to teach them life long independent sleep skills.
We try to serve mostly organic produce, whole foods, and minimize processed foods offered. We do not allow students over 12 months of age to bring food from home with the exception of suitable substitutes for documented food allergies (ie, milk/dairy, eggs, nut butter).
Guidance and Early Intervention
Students of all ages are expected to learn to respect others, themselves, and the environment.
When a students challenging behaviors are outside what is considered normal for their developmental age, guidance techniques are used to give them tools to avoid/replace the challenging behavior. In the even that the challenging behavior continues or could be an indication that early intervention may be beneficial, we will require that the student be evaluated by a professional and advice be given on how we can best support the student.
In the event that a family refuses to have the child evaluated and the Childs behavior is threatening the safety and wellbeing of the other students, the student will be dismissed from the program.
Smoke Free Campus
Smoking is not permitted on The Birds Nest property, this includes in the parking area or the landscaped areas around the school. Staff are not allowed to smoke prior to or during their shift.
We build our community and enhance the students development with family involvement. We welcome and encourage families to lend or donate materials, attend and/or help prepare for events, help with repairs/maintenance, photographing classrooms, events, and/or staff, attend parent-teacher conferences, and read newsletters or other communication materials.
Child Care Licensing requires that we close in the event of a flood, fire, gas leak, loss of power, and in the event that a communicable disease prevents us from maintaining minimum ratio requirements.
We may also close for severe weather or in the event that we are unable to slow the spread of a communicable disease or infestation without closure.
In all cases, no tuition credits will be issued.
Biting is an age-appropriate behavior between 1-3 years of age. Biting is unacceptable; however, it is not something to blame on the child, their parents, or the teacher. We have seen an increase in biting since COVID and work hard to minimize the occurrences. Often, time is the only way for the child to grow out of the biting phase.
A 30-day notice is required to terminate an enrollment contract. Tuition is owed for the final 30-day period regardless of attendance. In the event that a family chooses to pay more than 30-days in advance, no credit will be issued for overpayment.
Late Pick Up
Students picked up after 5:00pm will incur a $25/10 minute fee. If no communication is received by 6:00pm, the Kalispell Police and the Department of Child Protective Services will be contacted (after attempting to contact all emergency contacts in the students file).