Bija Handbook for Families Enrolling their Children in Any Bija Program

Your Child’s First Day at Bija

Whether you are enrolled in a class or a school program, the first day in a new place warrants attention for your child. We ask that you follow the suggestions below to facilitate a smooth transition for your child.

  • Arrive on time. Not too early, not too late. Arriving five minutes before a scheduled activity is the perfect amount of time for kids to get settled and not feel anxious or bored.

  • Dress your child in comfortable clothes. Kids get messy and move around at Bija. While we work hard to make sure your child’s clothes look the same as when she arrives, we won’t interfere with her experience to keep them mess free.

  • Help your child be prepared for their program by feeding them a nutritious meal or snack, taking them to the bathroom, and checking that they have a clean and dry diaper if applicable.

  • Whether you are participating in an activity with your child or dropping them off, arrive with confidence. If you are not enthusiastic about a place or class, your child will sense that and may feel anxious or reluctant to participate. Every child requires a different amount of time to adjust to a new setting. Our experience is that your child will feel most comfortable at drop-off when empowered. Please respect staff directions if they ask you to step out of the classroom or to drop your child off at the front. We will be happy to discuss our thoughts on your child’s needs as we get to know them. Remember, if you approach the program as a place where you feel your child will be safe and have a wonderful time, he will have those positive feelings as well.

  • Turn off your cell phone while at Bija. Until your child is settled in a separation class, we ask that you focus on being present to support his experience.

  • If you bring a stroller or scooter to Bija, make sure it can fold and hang in the stroller area.

Bija Policies and Expectations

Expectations and policies are established through activities and discussion. We regularly communicate to the children our reasoning and rationale behind proper behavior and expectations. Our expectations empower them to make positive choices while attending Bija programs and while elsewhere.

Expectations and policies for all Bija activities and spaces include:

  • Use walking feet indoors (no running)

  • Treating your body and others’ bodies (children, teachers and parents) with respect         (no grabbing, pushing, hitting, biting, screaming)

  • Cleaning up after oneself at all times

  • Helping others when they need help

  • Using words to resolve challenges with other kids or teachers

  • Washing hands before eating and after using the toilet

  • Treating materials and toys with respect

Allergies

Please alert us to your child’s allergies. If your child is at risk for an anaphylactic shock, please provide an Epi-pen (properly bagged and labeled) and a medical release form signed by your child’s doctor and the parent/guardian.

Due to the life threatening allergic reaction for many children, we have a NUT FREE policy at Bija. Please do not bring anything containing peanuts or tree nuts into Bija Kids.

Parental Concerns or Complaints

If a parent/guardian has a concern or complaint concerning their child’s care or participation in our programs, they should bring it to the attention of the Director at once. Please note that drop off and pickup time are not suggested as a time to discuss concerns. Lauren Maples (Director) can be contacted by phone or email to set up a time to talk.

Discipline Policy

We approach discipline through modeling, explaining, and consistently verbalizing clear and understandable expectations, limits and consequences prior to and as part of any disciplinary action. As much as possible in carrying out discipline, teachers use firm, positive statements or redirection of behavior. If necessary to help a child gain control, the teacher may remove him/her from the activity or group for a “Break Time” not to exceed one minute per year of age. This time will be spent reflecting and taking deep breaths to calm down. We encourage children to resolve their own conflicts and consider their input in creating resolution.

Here are some of the approaches that Bija Kids staff use with students:

  • Model appropriate behavior

  • Maintain realistic expectations of children

  • Provide clear and simple limits

  • Redirect inappropriate behaviors toward desired outcomes

  • Give children choices between two appropriate alternatives

  • Encourage children to work together to solve problems

  • Encourage children to use their words to solve problems or to elicit peer cooperation

  • Provide logical and natural consequences for children’s actions

  • Remove children from the situation until they are able to calm down and discuss the problem

Behavior Policy

Occasionally children will have a difficult time behaving in a way that is safe for themselves and others. Inappropriate and unsafe behaviors include:

  • Biting, hitting or punching other children or staff

  • Throwing toys, materials or chairs

  • Refusing to comply with teacher directions to have “Break Time” after an inappropriate behavior

  • Inflicting other bodily harm on staff or students

  • Running away on the street or at the playground

Our staff will make every effort to work with parents when challenges arise, although, we will not let other children or staff members suffer or be at risk for harm due to behavior problems from one child. The staff is committed to working with parents to create a partnership toward fostering a child’s social and emotional development. Communicating with parents helps Bija’s teachers share the strategies implemented at Bija and to hear what solutions are used at home. This partnership ensures that the child hears clear and consistent messages from both parents/guardians and Bija staff. In addition, parents and staff can set goals for the child and work together to provide the necessary tools, strategies, and techniques the child needs to be successful.

If a child does inflict bodily harm on another student or staff member, including but not limited to breaking skin, punching, or biting, parents/guardians and authorized pickup person(s) will be called to pick the child up for the day. A meeting will be scheduled with the Director to decide when the child can return and what strategies will be used to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.

Medical Policies

Sick

Please do not send you child to Bija Kids if he/she is sick.

A child should not come to Bija if he/she is experiencing any of the following:

  • a temperature of 100 or above

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • chicken pox

  • conjunctivitis

  • head lice

  • any skin condition that is easily transmitted and not under treatment.

Children with coughs, running noses with yellow or green mucus, or low energy should stay home and rest. A child who has a temperature, has vomited or had diarrhea within should not return to Bija Kids for twenty-four (24) hours. If a child has been put on medication, he/she can return in twenty-four (24) hours after the first dose. The child will be allowed to return to school 24 hours after he/she is not contagious and is able to participate in activities with comfort.

Lice

If you’re child has lice or nits, please notify Bija Kids immediately. If we feel it is necessary, we will call in a 3rd party to do a lice check for ALL students. Please note that your child should not return to Bija until they have been lice/nit free for at least 24 hours.

Emergency Healthcare

If a child becomes injured or ill, the parent/guardian will be notified. If parent/guardian is unavailable, the emergency number given by the parent will be notified. If the child needs to go to the hospital, an ambulance will transport the child accompanied by a teacher to the hospital. For minor injuries, a staff member who is present at the time of the incident will complete an incident report. The authorized pickup person must sign a copy of the incident report at time of pickup for that day. A copy will be emailed home.

Attendance

If your child will not be attending on a day he/she is expected at Bija, please call Bija Kids and leave a message or send an email if it is before or after hours. Bija does not offer refunds or makeup sessions for missed classes or activities.

Toys

Please have your child leave her toys at home to ensure a wonderful experience for everyone at Bija including your child. Bija is well stocked with toys and materials for your child’s use throughout classes and activities. If your child does bring a toy from home, she will be instructed to leave it in with shoes and bags until pickup.

Weather Emergency Closures

In cases of extreme weather, when it is unsafe for staff and students to travel to Bija, all Bija programs will be cancelled. No refunds will be given.

Payment Policies

Payments for all programs at Bija can be made in cash or by check or credit card. Payment plans are specific to each Bija program. Please consult Bija’s administrative staff or our website for details. Bija does not offer refunds. All sign ups and bookings are non-transferable.

Termination and Suspension Plan

A child may be terminated if it is determined that our program or staff is not meeting the child’s needs.

If the staff feels that our program is not meeting the needs of a child or for behavior problems, the parents will be notified and a meeting will be arranged. All efforts will be made to work with the child and parents in order to avoid termination. A child can be suspended from the program for up to three days if that child engages in behaviors that put him/herself or another child or a staff member at risk of physical harm. This suspension will be discussed with the parent and a plan for the child to re-enter the program will be agreed to. In instances where a child inflicts bodily harm on another child or a teacher, the parent or emergency contact will be called and the child should be picked up immediately.