Routine Communication with Parent/Guardians
Routine communication with parent/guardians around ongoing events at the child care is handled in a number of ways. Face to face contact with a staff at drop off and pick up time, and writing messages on a child’s daily chart are the most common ways to communicate daily. An electronic seasonal newsletter provides a summary of activities of the past three months and upcoming activities. As well list-serve messages from the management staff and Parent/Guardians Advisory Committee will be sent as necessary. Such methods will communicate information such as the introduction of new or temporary staff, changes in policy, reiteration or clarification of policy. Some room specific information may be distributed via your child’s cubby. Notice of events or permission for special events may be posted on or near the entrance door. Menus are posted in each room and on the Parent/Guardian Information Board located on the main floor.
Information from parent/guardians is also received via voice mail (notifying the daycare of a child’s absence due to illness or other cause, or unforeseen changes in the pickup arrangements), and via charts for anticipated changes, such as early pickup or parent/guardian attendance for part of the day.
Parent/Guardian Phone Line
There are times that the Manager and/or Supervisors are working in the program or are out of the office and unable to answer the phone. If you need to reach a teacher with a message please call your child’s classroom telephone line. (See Contact Us for the telephone directory). Phone messages are checked frequently or you are welcome to call again later in the day.
Whenever possible, parent/guardians are encouraged to address their concerns to teachers, supervisors or the ELC manager as soon as possible. (Please see Concern Resolution Chart below). The ELC management endeavours to address concerns in a progressive process and with understanding that hearing and resolving concerns is part of an organizational process.
Differentiating between a “concern” and a “complaint” is important. A concern is generally an issue that can be resolved at the first level after the concern has been expressed. An issue that can be resolved by the staff or supervisor receiving the notice of the information is classified as a “concern”.
Concern Resolution Chart
|Concern About||Who is responsible for resolving the concern initially and
who is the next person responsible if it remains unresolved:
|Student||Staff / Supervisor / Manager|
|Staff||Staff / Supervisor / Manager|
|Manager||Director of Family Programs & Services|
|Parent||Supervisor / Manager|
|Child||Staff / Supervisor / Manager|
|Program||Staff / Supervisor / Manager / Director of Family Programs & Services|
|Building / Playground||Supervisor / Manager|
|Procedures & Policy||Supervisor / Manager / Director of Family Programs & Services|
- If a satisfactory resolution is not reached after having followed through with first two levels outlined in the above process, the concern becomes a complaint.
- A “complaint” is an issue that proceeds further to the Manager or MCYCS. A complaint is an unresolved “concern” at the first two levels that is expressed by an individual or groups of individuals. (E.g. neighbour, community person, school staff, public health official, staff member, parent/guardian, child, etc.).
- All “concerns” and “complaints” will be taken seriously. Complaints will be documented, investigated and every effort to reach a satisfactory resolution will be made.
- Note: If the concern involves a change in an ELC policy, the Manager’s approval will be required.
Procedure Taken to Resolve a Concern:
- The person/group (concerned party) can raise a concern with a staff member if applicable. The staff will ask the concerned party to express their concerns thoroughly; ask for clarification to ensure the nature of the concern is understood, and may advise the person/group that time is required to consider a solution or investigate (if applicable) and will get back to them. The staff will try to resolve the concern.
- If the staff is unable to resolve the concern, the staff will inform the supervisor of the details of the concern. Also, if the concerned party (person/group) is not satisfied with the response received from step (1), the concerned party can raise the concern with the program supervisor. The supervisor will contact the person/group who raised the concern, and investigate the specifics of the issue and try to resolve it. If applicable, the supervisor may mediate a conflict between two parties, and have both parties sign an agreement outlining a mutually satisfactory resolution.
- If the supervisor is unable to resolve the issue, or the person/group is not satisfied with the response received from step (2), the supervisor will ask for the concern in writing and refer the matter to the Manager (refer to the concern resolution chart at the end of the 4th step). At this point if the concern cannot be resolved, the “concern” may become a formal written “complaint”. Every attempt shall be made to resolve the “complaint” at this level. The MCYCS and Toronto Children’s Services or Region of Peel will be informed of the “written complaint” at this point.
- The Manager will meet with the concerned party (person/group) and try to resolve the issue. If resolved, the Manager will request the person/group to sign a formal agreement of resolution. If a resolution is still not possible, the Manager makes a final decision, which will be given in writing to the complainant. (Person/group) The “complaint” will be documented, together with all the steps taken in trying to resolve the issue. The Manager or designate will complete a Serious Occurrence report, attaching pertinent documents, and sends copies to the MCYCS and Toronto Children’s Services or Region of Peel.
Notification of Extraordinary Events
In the event of an incident during a child’s day at the day care of a nature that is not covered in the Day Nurseries Act, the procedure is as follows:
A telephone call to the parent/guardian will occur as soon as possible after the event or in less urgent situations a note is to be placed in the child’s cubby asking the parent/guardians to speak to either the staff member who was on duty at the time of the incident or to a staff member designated by the staff member on duty at the time and fully informed of the incident. The staff member will inform the parent/guardian as to the nature of the incident and further action to be taken as necessary.
It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to look for such notes, and to speak to the appropriate staff member on the day the note appears. It is also the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the supervisor and/or staff of any type of incident they particularly want reported to them on a daily basis.
Notification of Extended Absence and Holidays
Parent/guardians are expected to advise the supervisor in advance of periods when a child will be away from the Centre for an extended period of time. It is expected that the parent/guardian(s) will continue to pay the regular fee for the child if they intend to return the child to the Centre.
Someone Else Picking Up Your Child
Children will not be released to anyone other than their own parent/guardians, unless the Early Learning Centre staff has been so authorized, in writing, or by voice mail, which must be recorded, by the child’s parent or guardian. Persons unknown to the Early Learning Centre staff, but who have authorization from the parent/guardian to pick up their child will be asked to provide identification before the child is released to their care. No child will be released to anyone under the age of 16 years old.
Each parent/guardian has the right to drop off and pick up his/her child. Unless there is a court order we cannot deprive a parent/guardian access to his/her child. If the parent/guardian requests that the other parent/guardian not be allowed to leave the centre with the child, then we must have a court order on file to this effect. If there is no court order then we cannot honour this request.
If there is a court order on file denying a parent/guardian access to their child then we are bound by this order. In order to protect the centre and staff, even with the custodial parent/guardian’s permission, the order cannot be broken.
If a staff has any doubt about releasing a child they must contact and consult the Program Supervisor or Manager. If every effort has been made and they cannot be contacted the staff will call the Serious Occurrence line at Toronto Children’s Services or Region of Peel Children’s Services.