PARENT HANDBOOK OUT OF SCHOOL TIME & DAY CAMP PROGRAMS
Includes Program Policies & Procedures & Emergency Policies & Procedures
YMCA OF METROPOLITAN DENVER
Revised January 2023
Welcome to the YMCA out of school time. The YMCA provides before and after School programming and summer day camp programs! We look forward to serving you and your family. The YMCA strives to provide a safe, affordable, convenient and quality program to meet your family’s needs. These policies & procedures answer many of the questions you may have concerning our childcare services. If you have any further questions, please contact the director of your program.
WHO WE ARE
The mission of the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
- The YMCA commits itself to serve the community with quality childcare services in a cooperative effort with area schools, and community partners. Parent involvement is essential to this goal.
- We strive to hire quality staff for our program. They work directly with children building strong positive relationships in a safe and caring environment.
- Staff and children work together to plan activities that encourage children to develop to their fullest potential.
- Since children have already spent most of the day in the classroom, opportunities for outdoor and recreational activities are provided. Age appropriate activities are offered in both large and small group settings. In addition, study or homework time is offered daily during the school year.
- Physical education activities are offered so that children can develop good coordination, physical fitness and athletic skills.
- Task oriented activities are planned to challenge each child’s present abilities and teach them new skills.
- YMCA childcare strives to establish a cooperative environment where children learn social skills while developing their character and self-esteem.
- The YMCA offers programs and services to individuals and families regardless of sex, race, religion, national origin or financial ability.
- YMCA childcare supports families through activities and parent involvement.
- The objectives of YMCA programs are: to grow personally, clarify personal values and character development, get along with others, appreciate diversity, become better leaders, develop specific skills, and have fun!
WHO WE SERVE
AGES OF CHILDREN
The YMCA out of school time and day camp programs accept children ages 5-12, different locations allow for different ages. Please check with your site director to confirm what ages the license can serve, or visit www.denverymca.org for specific ages accepted at each camp location. Children age 4, turning 5 no later than October 1 of this year, and are currently attending Kindergarten for the school year, can register for the before and after school program, but will not be able to attend until they turn 5. The YMCA will not accept children less than 5 years of age for any reason in the day camp program.
CHILDREN WITH ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS
The YMCA will not discriminate against anyone because of a disability. It is the expectation that every parent disclose any special circumstances that will assist in supporting the youth. The YMCA does have limitations due to ratio being 1-15 and nonspecific knowledge of certain disabilities or special needs. After review of the provided information, the YMCA will determine what special accommodations can be offered.
HOURS OF OPERATION
YMCA out of school time program runs from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm. A late fee will be charged for pick up after 6:05 pm.
YMCA summer camp day camps run from 8:30 am to 5 pm and program hours are from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. This is included in the program cost. A late fee will be charged after 5:05 pm. Before care option is available at selection locations as an add-on feature.
SEVERE WEATHER/SCHOOL CLOSURES
If a school/district is closed due to inclement weather, the YMCA childcare program based in that school/district will close as well. Trips and activities may also be canceled due to inclement weather. Delay of school start will also delay YMCA opening by the same time frame indicated by the District.
HOLIDAYS - NO CHILD CARE IS PROVIDED ON THE FOLLOWING DATES
- January 16 - Martin Luther King Jr Day
- February 20 -Presidents Day
- May 29 - Memorial Day
- July 4 - Independence Day
- September 4 - Labor Day
- November 23 & 24 - Thanksgiving Break
- December 22 & 25 - Christmas Break
- December 31 - Close at 2pm for New Year’s Eve
- January 2nd, 2024 - New Year's Day Observed
*The YMCA will hold four staff in-service days for professional development. Programs will be CLOSED. An annual calendar will be provided at the start of the school year.
NON-SCHOOL DAYS , HALF DAYS OUT AND FLEX DAYS
Full day programming will combine area sites, and will be offered at a pre-set designated site. There must be at least 5 children enrolled and attending daily.
Camps will be offered at designated YMCA locations during Fall Break, Winter Break and Spring Break. Please visit the YMCA website at www.denverymca.org or call the YMCA for specific information at 720 524 2700.
There is a $25.00 non-refundable registration fee for each participant. Online registration paperwork is required to be completed, submitted and approved by the YMCA prior to your child attending the program. Additionally, Colorado childcare licensing rules require all parents/guardians to submit a copy of children’s immunizations and any medication authorizations signed from the child’s physicians prior to approval or attending the program. All medical needs/plans are required to be approved by the contracted Nurse Consultant and the YMCA site director prior to the child attending.
BE AWARE THAT REGISTRATION APPROVAL CAN TAKE UP TO 3-5 DAYS ONCE SUBMITTED. If you have registration questions please contact the Solution Center at email@example.com or call 720 524 2700.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL RATES
*Monthly rates are in effect for the school year. Refer to the rate sheet for your specific school.* A child who attends afternoon Kindergarten may attend our regular after school program using the first through fifth grade rates. He/she may attend only after school. Payments are due at the 1st of the month in full.
No late charge will be applied if payment is made in full by the 1st of the month attending. If full payment is not received by the 15th of the month your child will be dropped from the program until full payment is made. If the 1st should fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday; the payment will be due on the following business day. Further, any cancellation must be submitted in writing two weeks prior to the start of a new month. If this is not done, the parent/guardian is responsible for next month’s payment.
Summer camp payments are due three weeks prior to the week attending. Payments not received will forfeit your saved spot at camp. Deposits of $25.00 per week are due at the time of registration.
Refunds or credits will be granted in the following cases: Deposits are non transferable
1-A doctor’s note stating the child’s health will prohibit him/her from participating in the program for three business days or more.
2-The child’s family moves out of the service area. (See Withdrawal Policy)
It is the YMCA’s policy that written notice must be given three weeks in advance of your child’s withdrawal from the program to avoid being charged for the following session. Any outstanding balance must be paid at the time of withdrawal. The YMCA reserves the right to dismiss a child from the program upon notifying the parent.
Refunds or credits will not be issued for dismissal from the program due to behavior.
To withdrawal or drop summer day camp care, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the event of a YMCA program closing, parents will be notified via email and text with as much notice is possible. Any necessary refunds as determined by the Y will be credited to the account.
This is only for programs that are not already designated as closed for holiday sor inservices. Summer 2023 there will not be camp on July 3rd and 4th and camps that operate in elementary schools will not operate on June 19th.
LATE PICK UP CHARGE
Late pick-up is stressful for the child. Please call if you anticipate being late. A fine of $1.00 per minute will be enforced, after 5:05 pm for summer camp, and after 6:05 pm for Out of School Time care. This fee will be added to the account. Repeated violation of this policy may result in the child’s dismissal from the program.
Scholarships are available to families who qualify for financial assistance. Financial disclosure will be required, but kept confidential. There are limited funds available for scholarships; therefore, early application is encouraged. A reduction of fees shall be available to those requesting such assistance. Visit the YMCA website at denverymca.org/community-programs/financial-assistance to review the scholarship application.
Social services payments will be accepted from the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson, and Denver. When Social Service payments do not cover the cost of the program, scholarship monies are used to fully fund the child. These scholarship funds are limited; therefore, the YMCA will have limited Social Service slots available. It is the responsibility of the authorized parent or guardian to Check in and out DAILY to ensure that the YMCA is reimbursed for days the children attend. Failure to check daily will result in immediate dismissal from the program. All families seeking financial aid for childcare must inquire with their county social services to see if they qualify for aid.
RECEIPTS AND TAX INFORMATION
Receipts are available after making a payment and should be kept for families’ records. YMCA of Metropolitan Denver childcare payments may be a tax deduction. Statements are available on your account. The Tax ID # is 84-0402696. If you are having difficulty locating your tax form contact the front desk at 720 524 2700.
The State of Colorado requires a certificate of immunization signed by the physician for every child. All parents are required to upload this to the registration account prior to the YMCA approving the child to attend. Immunizations must be completed on the State-approved form. Failure to follow this policy will result in a delay for your child starting the YMCA program, and your spot may be given to a child on the wait list. Immunization exemptions are also available, and will be accepted in lieu of immunizations.
In the case of an injury on site, Parents will be notified immediately, and a decision will be made if a child needs to be transported for emergency attention. For any hospital or doctor required visits after an injury occurring at the YMCA program a report will be made to the State.
Prescription and non-prescription medication will be administered to children. The following procedures must be followed:
UPDATED 12/12/2017 by Nurse Consultant Sarah Orlando
- A written health care plan from the Heath Care Provider is uploaded to the registration site and must have Nurse and Site Director approval prior to acceptance into the program and attending.
- A parent written authorization is uploaded to the registration site and must have Nurse and Site Director approval prior to acceptance into the program and attending.
- Medication is provided to the YMCA in its original container with the prescription, dose and time to be administered attached.
- Medication is current and does not expire in the next 30 days.
- Medication may only be administered to the child it is prescribed for.
- Staff must be trained and delegated by a nurse consultant annually or as needed basis.
- Written order from a prescribing health care provider stating that the child can self-cary his/her own emergency medication and approved by the nurse consultant.
- All staff working with children must be informed of children who have emergency medication on-site and which children self-carry their emergency medication, and must have written approval from the parent and health care provider.
- This policy must be reviewed by the Nurse Consultant.
- All emergency medications must be stored with the child’s current approved health care plan.
- Emergency medications are not required to be stored in a locked area during program hours. Recommend locking medication after program hours.
- Emergency medications must be in an area easily accessible & identifiable to staff but out of the reach of children.
- When away from the program area (outside, field trips etc.) medication delegated staff must carry emergency medications in their bag or on their person.
- Medication must be kept at room temperature and not exposed to extreme heat or direct sunlight
- Check expiration dates regularly, and expired medication or discontinued medication must be returned to the parent /guardian or properly disposed of according to state practice.
- Staff will be informed of children requiring emergency medications.
- Program director will notify nurse consultant immediately of new children that are identified with an emergency medication.
No medication will be accepted without the approved forms and properly stored medication. All medication MUST have a valid expiration date. As of January 1, 2003, all childcare staff are designated by the nurse consultant to give medications and must complete the 4-hour department – approved medication administration training and have current first aid and universal precautions trainings. The YMCA is in compliance with the Nurse Practice Act.
The YMCA will provide sunscreen, Rocky Mountain Sunscreen. Staff will supervise application of sunscreen. If your child burns easily, send an extra shirt for him/her to wear while swimming. We strive to prevent sunburn and we appreciate the parent/guardian for sending the child prepared. If parents/guardians choose to have their children bring their own sunscreen, it must be labeled with the child's name and will be kept out of reach of other children.
For our staff to better serve your child, it is imperative that parents inform staff of any allergies that their child may have or had, for example, food, medication, environmental or other substances. The YMCA is NOT a nut free zone. We do not guarantee any exposure to foods that may cause allergic reactions. When completing your online paperwork please be complete with your information.
According to state licensing requirements and for the protection of all children, the YMCA cannot accept children with the following symptoms or have had the symptoms with in the last 24 hours:
- Elevated temperature (over 101)
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Undiagnosed rash
- Sore or discharging eyes or ears, profuse nasal discharge.
- Diagnosed contagious disease such as strep throat or chicken pox or pink eye
All children must be symptom free for 24 hours prior to returning to the program. In some cases, a doctor’s note of release will be required. If children become ill during program, they will be provided with a place to rest comfortably until they go home. Parents will be notified to come and pick up their child within the hour. Please notify the YMCA if your child contracts a contagious disease, such as whooping cough, German or regular measles. It is a licensing requirement that signs be posted to notify families. Children may not return to the program until they have been symptom free for 24 hours.
YMCA staff will refer any mental health concerns to the school or district health consultant or contracted YMCA nurse.
ACCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES
YMCA staff is First Aid and CPR certified and has been trained in FEMA and emergency procedures. Emergency numbers are available at each program. Plans for handling fire, floods, tornadoes, severe weather, lost or missing children, injuries and illnesses are on file at each site, and available on our website. We will call or contact you or your emergency contact person to notify of a minor accident or injury. When there is no question that your child must be taken to the doctor or the hospital, we will call you to inform you of our course of action as soon as possible. It is vital that you keep our staff updated in case of changes in your phone number at work and at home.
Every effort is made to keep all children safe. If a child is missing, or has been separated from their group, a search will be started immediately. If necessary, the parents and the authorities will be called to assist in this search. Parents, please assist us in educating your child of the importance of staying with the YMCA staff. Parents will be notified of any instances where their child is not under the direct supervision of their assigned staff member.
In the case of a natural disaster the YMCA school age program will follow its emergency procedures and FEMA guidelines specific to the incident. The school age program follows the school districts guidelines set forth for evacuation and notification. If an emergency of this nature were to occur parents would be asked to be available at the number they have listed and an emergency contact and the YMCA will notify the parents via Alaris through email and text immediately once the participants are safe and the location is secure. The on-site director is available through the YMCA site phone, and parents may call the listed emergency numbers or the YMCA front desk at 720 524 2700. In the case of a participant with a disability, the emergency procedures will be followed & a staff member will partner with the child to move them to a secure location where the parent/guardian will be notified.
REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE
YMCA childcare programs are licensed programs. The YMCA is mandated to report any suspicion of child abuse to Social Services. The license indicates that the program has met the required standards for the operation of a childcare facility. If you have not done so, please ask to see the license.
If you believe that your child has been abused, you should seek immediate assistance from your county Department of Social Services. Colorado law requires that childcare providers report all known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. The telephone number to report abuse are: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437) www.co4kids.org/mandatoryreporting
Childcare services play a key role in supporting families, and strong families are the basis of a thriving community. Your child’s education, physical, emotional, and social development will be nurtured in a well planned and run program. Remember to observe the program regularly, especially regarding children’s health and safety, equipment and play materials, and staff. For additional information regarding licensing, or if you have concerns about a child care facility, please consult the Colorado Department of Human Services, Child Care Licensing, at 303-866-5958.
TRACKING ENTRY AND EXIT OF CHILDREN AND VISITORS
It is required by the YMCA and the Department of Social Services that only authorized persons sign their children in and out each day. It is not acceptable for children to sign themselves in and out unless that child walks to and from the child care site and the parent has completed a “Permission to Walk” form, and has a plan to ensure the child has made it home safely. If the child is 10 years of age, the parent may request the Permission to walk and must be approved by the on-site director.Persons must be 16 years of age to sign a child out.
Your child will be released only to the individuals that you have designated on the Child Information Record. If you need to make changes to the list of people authorized to pick up your child, please do so in your childcare paperwork on your account. If there is an emergency, please call the YMCA and we will make special arrangements.
We will ask for a picture ID and check the authorization for the release of the child.If the person is not authorized to pick up the child, the child will not be released. If an unauthorized adult attempt to take a child without permission, the parents and the police will be called. Licensing requires those designated to pick up and sign your child out, must be at least 16 years of age, or have an authorized self-release walk form.
The YMCA will call 911 regarding anyone picking up a child who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or otherwise incapable of providing responsible care to the child. These procedures are for the protection and safety of your child and staff, and for your peace of mind.
LATE DROP OFF
If your child arrives late, the parent needs to take the child to school or to the field trip location of the scheduled activity. It is the parent’s responsibility to have the child at the site prior to the group leaving for school or field trips. If a child needs to be dropped off at a field trip location, the parent must go to the Site Supervisor to sign in the child, even if the child has permission to walk form on file. Please notify the YMCA in advance if you will be bringing a child late.
LATE PICK UP
Children are supervised at the YMCA Day Camp Site until 5:00 p.m. If the YMCA is not contacted and your child is still present at 5:05 p.m., we will contact other individuals authorized to pick up and emergency contacts. If no one can be reached by 5:30 p.m., Social Services will be contacted and the children will be taken to the police. A late fee of $1.00 per minute/per child will be charged after 5:05 pm.
Children are supervised at the YMCA Out of School Care Site until 6:00 p.m. If the YMCA is not contacted and your child is still present at 6:05 p.m., we will contact other individuals authorized to pick up and emergency contacts. If no one can be reached by 6:30 p.m., Social Services will be contacted and the children will be taken to the police. A late fee of $1.00 per minute/per child will be charged after 5:05 pm.
Before a staff member closes the building, all rooms including bathrooms that the childcare program utilized will be searched to assure no child is left in the building and playground. The staff will review the sign in and out sheets to assure all children that were signed in are signed out by an authorized individual. If there are any question in these procedures staff will call the parent/guardian first and then proceed with authorized pickups to assure the safety and wellbeing of the child.
Parents or guardians are always welcome and visits do not need to be announced or arranged in advance. However, the observing parent or guardian must be listed on the child’s authorization pick up list to have access to the program area. Any visitor entering a YMCA childcare program is required to sign in. A visitor will sign the “Visitor’s Register”, write their address, state the purpose of the visit, and show identification.
CONFIDENTIALITY RELEASE OF RECORDS
Due to the volume of requests for information coming into the YMCA, and the necessity of protecting the privacy of the children in our care and the parents and guardians who utilize our services, the YMCA has established a policy, which prohibits release of information without the tender of the “Authorization, Release and Request for Information” form. This form can be obtained from the YMCA Area Director.
DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING MINOR CHILDREN, PARENTS, OR GUARDIANS WITH THIRD PARTIES
Discussion concerning any child, parent, or guardian with any third party will only be allowed with those individuals with whom authorization for release of the child (pick up) has been given on the registration information. Discussion concerning any child, parent, or guardian with any third party not authorized on the registration card, will occur only with a member of the YMCA administration present, and must be scheduled with the Executive Director of before and after School and day camp.
PROGRAM LOCATION OF CHILDREN
Staff supervise children always. Attendance is taken each day and staff make phone calls to account for all children. Staff utilizes attendance sheets for face to face every 30 minutes and head counts every ten minutes to account for children. When restrooms are not located immediately adjacent to the childcare room, children are accompanied by a staff member. Any time a program is away from the site, parents are given a written agenda of the field trip. A list of the daily attendees and staff are left on-site or at the central office for each field trip.
Children attending YMCA programs will be transported in YMCA minibuses or school district buses. All children are required to wear seat belts when riding in the YMCA minibuses. It is the YMCA’s responsibility to transport these children safely and to comply with Motor Vehicle Laws. A child must follow instructions and cooperate. If his/her behavior is affecting the safety of the other children, the participant’s parents will be notified and your child may be dismissed from the program. We all want a safe and joyful experience for the children. Safety is our primary concern. YMCA drivers are required to have a CDL license for the larger vehicles and state training for the 14+ passenger vehicles. Each driver participates in the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver’s drug testing program. During full days, out of school and the summer day camp program participants will be transported by a district school bus. We contract through local public-school transportation. The public-school transportation departments are required to follow State of Colorado Department of Transportation Laws (CDOT). We only transport children age five and older. If a child is unruly on the bus, a parent will be called to pick up the child from the current location to maintain a safe environment for all children.
YMCA MINIBUS PICK UP AFTER SCHOOL
Please call the YMCA if your child will not be attending that day. Failure to do so will result in a delay of routes and children waiting at the next stop. Children must report to the YMCA minibus immediately after school. A call will be made to notify parents of absences. A $25.00 fee will be charged if parents do not notify staff in advance of absences.
FIELD TRIPS / SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
Field trips are a scheduled part of our program and will be posted in the SACC monthly schedules and the day camp weekly schedules, as well as in the YMCA Office. A sign will be left at the site for parents describing the location and return time of the group. During full day care and summer day camp we ask that all children be dropped off 30 minutes prior to departure. If your child arrives late and has missed the departure for the field trip, the parent will assume the responsibility for transporting the child to the group at the field trip location and locating staff to sign the child in (even if the child has a walking permission slip, or finding alternative care for the day). Schedules are subject to change; please call or visit the YMCA website for the updated information. Please realize that our drivers are instructed to consider safety first, and that they may run late when traffic or weather problems occur. Attendance on field trips is taken by two different methods. A head count is done every 10 minutes. Actual documented roll call is taken every 30 minutes.
In addition, the YMCA will be offering special activities where outside organizations will come into our programs as a guest speakers/or give presentations. During this time, the YMCA staff will continue supervising and not allow children to be alone with these individuals.
Your child will receive a camp T-shirt when your child is fully registered to the day camp program. Camp shirts must be worn on all field trips. Additional camp shirts may be purchased after each registrant has received one.
MEALS AND SNACKS
Snacks – During the school year an afternoon snack will be provided for your child. (This does not include summer day camp, the guardian must provide an AM and PM snack as well as a non-perishable sack lunch, and there is no refrigeration or microwave available). The YMCA uses the guidelines for HEPA, which ensures nutritious snacks are served to your child. You are required to provide your child a well-balanced, nutritious lunch on days your child is out of school. We encourage snack/lunch time to be a pleasant experience for children. The atmosphere will be kept pleasant with conversation encouraged along with eating. No child will be forced to eat, nor denied food as a form of punishment. Make sure that staff is aware of any food allergies your child may have. The YMCA does not allow sharing of food.
It is the intent of the YMCA to assist children to be as responsible for their belongings as possible. We believe that a child learning to care for one’s belongings is an important life skill that we want to foster. You can help by labeling your child’s belongings for easy identification.
WHAT TO BRING
Please provide your child with something that will hold his/her belongings and can be easily carried. Please read the activity schedule to determine when a child needs to bring extra items such as a swimsuit and towel. During day camp, days of out school, holiday break, and spring break, please send a labeled sack lunch with the child and a labeled water bottle, as well as two nutritious snacks.
WHAT NOT TO BRING
Do not allow your child to bring expensive clothes, gang clothing or items such as guns, knives, or any type of weapon or propellant toy. Tablets, I-Pad, Cell phones, game systems, pets of any kind, or money unless specified in weekly schedule. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD BRING ANY ITEM HE/SHE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE! The YMCA is not responsible for broken, lost or stolen items.
LOST AND FOUND
The YMCA will keep a lost and found at the childcare site. Check for lost items daily, as we donate the unclaimed items to charity, after 5 days.
We want children to have the opportunity to experience the changing seasons. All children need to be prepared to go outside daily. This gives children a chance to get fresh air, run, and climb in a large natural setting. We are aware of temperature and natural weather changes. Please send appropriate clothing for your child, i.e. snow boots, gloves, mittens, hats, jackets, and sunscreen. During hot weather, water is available at all times. Some activities are planned in the shade or indoors. If the temperature is below 32 degrees (F) , and the wind is too cold the children will stay indoors. During the summer months if the temperature raises over 102 degrees (F) the children will stay indoors.
Movies will be viewed occasionally during the program. We will be posting the movie before it is shown to the children. The movie will be offered to children as an option and will be a G rating (or PG rating with written parent approval). No PG 13 or R rated movies will be shown in school-age programs. Movies and screen time will not exceed 2.5 hours per month. Screen time is not permitted at the YMCA other than planned within the activities of the program.
The YMCA’s philosophy of a Behavior Support Program is that guidance for youth is a continuous, daily process of love and logic during which:
- Children will be encouraged at all times, and given feasible choices to adjust their behavior.
- Responsible behavior will be recognized.
- Self-esteem will be built through positive interaction, and age appropriate consequences.
The YMCA will not permit corporal or physical punishment against a child. The YMCA will work with the families and children to set guidelines and expectations to educate and support each child. While caring for a child, staff must be free of physical and psychological conditions that might adversely effect the children’s physical and mental health.
Occasionally it becomes necessary to inform parents of disruptive behavior that is above and beyond the typically expected range. In an event such as this, a behavior support report will be written and submitted to the childcare program director. A copy is given to the parent along with some discussion from the staff regarding the child’s behavior.
In cases where a child receives multiple behavior reports, a conference will be scheduled to discuss the child’s plan moving forward and to set goals for the child to help them be successful. There may be discussion of continued participation in the program, possible suspension may occur for 1 to 5 days, dependent on the behavior and the number of instances that have been addressed regarding the behavior.
Each behavior instance will be addressed individually and it will be determined if the behavior deems appropriate to be dismissed from the program. In some cases, it becomes necessary to dismiss a child from the school age program immediately, this is based on safety for self and safety for others. If this occurs, parents will be asked to find alternative care immediately. No child will be dismissed without the benefit of a conference between parent and staff first.
The quality and effectiveness of YMCA services for children are directly related to the skills and personal characteristics of staff. Recruiting, selecting, training and supporting staff are essential, interrelated processes in ensuring the success and integrity of children’s programs. The leaders are required to have experience in working with children, knowledge of recreational activities, and must possess certain qualities to serve as role models for children.
The staff is selected for personal qualities of warmth, empathy, and ability to relate positively to children. They receive training in many areas: Safety, child/adult communication, Guiding children’s behavior, numerous activities including arts/crafts, games, etc. YMCA staff is First Aid trained and CPR certified.
Background checks are conducted on all staff. This includes criminal record background checks, Central Registry checks and reference checks.
YMCA staff are not necessarily trained for specific behaviors, and at no time can be one on one with a child. Staff are not experts on behaviors or specific needs of extenuating circumstances, which would require special training.
The YMCA follows CDHS guidelines for the State of Colorado. The YMCA has a 1:15 ratio for school age childcare and camp. A 1:10 ratio is in effect during swimming. The YMCA CANNOT in any circumstance offers a 1:1 or anything less than a 1:15 ratio of staff to child. If you are registering for an Out of School Program, the child must be turn the age of 5 by the first day of program. In this instance of enrolled children that are 4, the ratio will be 1-12.
PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE
The YMCA is committed to a vigilant effort to safeguard and enhance the lives of young persons entrusted to our care. Every reasonable effort is made to reduce risks to children. Staff are trained, supervised and evaluated in the prevention of child abuse. As current information about child abuse demonstrates, there are no documented procedures to eliminate this risk. Nevertheless, the growing body of information about the nature, prevalence and effects of child abuse has created an enhanced awareness for childcare providers, families and the general community. The YMCA has in place a detailed training and reporting program.
YMCA staff and volunteers are not allowed to baby sit or transport children at any time outside of the YMCA program. Please assist us by NOT requesting staff to baby sit your child.
COMMUNICATION WITH STAFF
Each YMCA childcare site has a director in charge of that program. If you have a message or concern and are unable to reach that person, the area director assigned to childcare programs may be contacted. Please ask your site director for the necessary phone numbers.
Parent support is critical to the success of the program. The YMCA recognizes and values parents in our programs. Daily communication with staff is very important. Parents are welcome and encouraged to visit their child’s program. Parents or guardians are always welcome and visits do not need to be announced or arranged in advance. However, the observing parent or guardian must be listed on the child’s authorization card to have access to the program area. Donations of supplies for our dramatic play and arts & crafts areas are gratefully appreciated. Family events will be scheduled throughout the year. The YMCA staff hopes that your family will take the opportunity to visit with staff at that time.
The YMCA works in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care. One of the functions of this department is to monitor childcare centers. All YMCA childcare programs are licensed with the State of Colorado.
Colorado Department of Human Services 1575 Sherman Street Denver, CO 80203-1714 ; (303) 866-5958
During the year, you will be asked to evaluate our program. However, we would appreciate your feedback on our program and welcome your comments at any time. We are here to meet the needs of the community and welcome suggestions.
It is the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver’s goal to provide a healthy, safe, and secure environment for all participants. Youth who attend the program are expected to follow the behavior guidelines based on the YMCA’s four core values and to interact appropriately in a group setting.
We will CARE for ourselves and for those around us.
HONESTY will be the basis for all relationships and interactions.
People are RESPONSIBLE for their actions
We RESPECT each other and the environment
WHEN A YOUTH DOES NOT FOLLOW THE BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES, WE WILL TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
- Staff will redirect the youth to more appropriate behavior.
- The youth will be reminded of the behavior guidelines and program rules, and a discussion will take place.
- If the behavior persists, a parent or guardian will be notified of the behavior.
- The staff will document the situation using a Behavior Support Alert. This written documentation will include what the behavior is, what provoked the behavior, and the corrective action taken. In addition a Behavior Goal Sheet may be necessary.
- Staff will schedule a conference with the parent or guardian so they can determine the appropriate strategy for resolution.
- Staff will schedule a progress check or a follow-up conference.
- If the problem persists, staff will schedule a conference that includes the parent or guardian, youth, staff, and program director.
- If a youth’s behavior at any time threatens the immediate safety of themselves, other participants, or staff, the parent or guardian will be notified and expected to pick up the youth immediately.
- If a behavior persists and a youth continues to disrupt the program, the YMCA reserves the right to suspend the youth from the program. Expulsion from the program will be considered in each individual circumstance.
The following behaviors are never acceptable and will result in an immediate Behavior Support Alert, suspension of a youth for the remainder of the current day. Additional suspension up to expulsion will be considered dependent of behavior and circumstance.
- ENDANGERING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF YOUTH, STAFF, OR ANY OTHER PERSON
- STEALING OR DAMAGING YMCA OR LOCATION PROPERTY
- STEALING OR DAMAGING PERSONAL PROPERTY
- LEAVING THE PROGRAM WITHOUT PERMISSION
- CONTINUALLY DISRUPTING THE PROGRAM WITH BEHAVIORS THAT REQUIRE STAFF TO BE TAKEN OUT OF RATIO
- USING PROFANITY, VULGARITY, OR OBSCENITY OR ACTING IN A LEWD MANNER
- REFUSING TO FOLLOW THE BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES OR PROGRAM RULES
Immediate expulsion will occur if a youth is in possession of or using tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, illegal drugs, firecrackers, weapons, firearms, or explosives.
It is the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver’s goal to provide a healthy, safe, and secure environment for all participants. Youth who attend the program are expected to follow the behavior guidelines based on the YMCA’s four core values and to interact appropriately in a group setting.
- We will CARE for ourselves and for those around us
- HONESTY will be the basis for all relationships and interactions
- People are RESPONSIBLE for their actions
- We RESPECT each other and the environment
EMERGENCY POLICIES & PROCEDURES GUIDELINES FOR EMERGENCY AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
Unfortunately, accidents do occur. Some can be prevented, but despite everything we do, there will be situations which call for special actions. While the various steps and suggested actions outlined in this guide and various trainings represent sound procedure, your own good judgment should be the final authority until you are able to contact your supervisor, the department head, branch executive or association services staff.
- Prevention of accidents before they happen.
- Handling the situation quickly and calmly at the time it occurs.
- Notifying the necessary people after the incident.
- Recording and documenting the information as soon as possible.
The following items must be properly maintained and with staff members at all times, including when switching to alternate locations both on and off site:
- ATTENDANCE SHEET The master attendance must be updated as children arrive and depart. Attendance is required every 30 minutes.
- IPAD OR SIGN IN & OUT SHEET IPAD must be charged and logged in. If the roll call system is down a printed sign in & out must be used as an alternative option.
- CHILDREN’S INFORMATIONAL RECORDS (CIR/EMERGENCY BOOK) Childcare applications must be completed through Alaris. The Alaris information must be up to date on the child's first day of attendance.
First Aid kits should be checked and refilled regularly and include, band aids, paper towels, plastic bags, medical gloves, Kleenex, and instant ice packs. A First Aid kit must be at every group location. All emergency medication must be taken with us at all times. Any child(ren) needing emergency medication must be in a group with a staff member trained in Medication Administration or delegated for a particular medication individually by the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver’s nurse consultant.
MAINTAINING INDOOR & OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTS
- All children must be supervised and monitored at all times. Children will never be left alone during YMCA before and after school & day camp programs.
- All program areas including all indoor facilities, outdoor areas, transportation vehicles, and field trip locations will be checked for safety hazards before being accessible to children.
- Active & quiet games/activities will be separated from each other to avoid congestion and collisions and will be included on daily/weekly schedules.
- Staff supplies/equipment that may be hazardous will have limited access to children. Items such as staff personal belongings, medications, cleaning supplies, and other hazardous items must be locked and out of reach to children.
- The environment must be arranged so that children and staff are visible at all times, including bathroom supervision.
- Staff to child ratios and proper group sizes must be maintained at all times. Ratios are at a minimum 1 staff: 15 children during normal programming and 1 staff: 10 children during aquatic activities. As much as possible group sizes should be maintained at 30 children or less while maintaining ratios.
Staff that is employed by the YMCA for before and after school and day camps are expected to actively supervise all children at all times. This means that while children are present staff are expected to place the needs of the children ahead of their own personal needs.
STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES BEING A PROPER ROLE MODEL
A proper role model acts in the same manner that children are expected to act while at the program. This includes: following all policies and procedures of the YMCA, meeting all Colorado Department of Health and Human Services licensing requirements, supervising and acting in ways outlined in staff trainings, making safe decisions, and acting in a manner appropriate around children.
EXERCISING PROPER JUDGEMENT
Proper judgement includes following all safety guidelines, making quick and sound decisions, and being prepared for any situation that may arise while working with youth.
MINIMIZING THREATS TO CHILDREN’S SAFETY
The most important part of the staff’s job is to keep all of the children safe. By acting in accordance with the responsibilities outlined above we can avoid most accidents. Staff should never be afraid or hesitant to change an activity or leave any location, no matter how much planning was involved or how excited both staff and children are/ were, if a safety risk or issue arises. Staff must be prepared to respond immediately when children are making unsafe choices.
DEVELOPING SAFE HABITS INVOLVE CHILDREN IN MAKING SAFETY RULES
Program Rules are made in conjunction with children in the program. Guidelines included: Keeping rules to a minimum so children can remember them, but also broad enough that one rule can cover multiple expectations. For example, Rule: Treating Others with respect can mean; keep hands/body parts to yourself, let others thoughts be heard, help out when needed, etc.
COMMUNICATE RULES, EXPECTATIONS, & DIRECTIONS
Explain game rules, daily expectations, activities planned, program procedures, activity directions, etc. clearly and constantly. Even when activities are common children need refreshers or new children may be present.
TEACH & MODEL HOW TO CARE FOR YMCA EQUIPMENT
Show children and explain to them how to use, clean up, and to store equipment and supplies.
Staff trainings are required both by the YMCA and by CDHS licensing requirements. Trainings are extremely important to ensure proper supervision and to keep children safe.
REQUIRED TRAININGS FOR ALL STAFF
Standard Precautions - Hazmat - CPR and AED - First Aid & Oxygen - Emergency Procedures - Program Policies - Safety & Supervision - Child Abuse Prevention - Fire Safety & Prevention - FEMA - Mandated Reporting - Building and Physical Premises Safety - Behavior Support - Child Development - Injury Prevention - Playground Safety
REQUIRED FOR SOME STAFF
Medication Administration - Immunization
MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION TRAINING
All sites also maintain a staff member certified in medication administration, and the YMCA works in conjunction with a registered nurse employed by Children’s Hospital to ensure all medications are given correctly and medical concerns are managed properly.
Staff member are required to complete additional training hours and various trainings are scheduled throughout the year. This includes a week long training prior to the start of the each program and four Professional Development Days during the school year.
Emergency drills are an important piece to being properly prepared to handle emergency situations. The YMCA performs routine safety and emergency drills to prepare for fires, tornados, bomb threats, active shooter and lockdown and lockout policies. Drills are held quarterly, at the minimum, and records for drills are kept on site at locations. More detailed information containing procedures for each of the above drills are given later in this guide.
ACCIDENTS, INJURIES & MEDICAL EMERGENCIES
Respond to all accidents both major and minor quickly and calmly. Remember that in an emergency response time matters immensely. Keep in mind that children will follow your lead so responding frantically can make the situation worse. Keep calm and follow the practiced procedures.
Minor injuries are those in which staff trained in First Aid is able to attend to without calling for additional help.
IN CASES OF MINOR INJURIES
- Administer First Aid as needed in manner prescribed during First Aid training.
- Call the parent to share information about cause of injury, condition of injured party, and course of action taken. Don’t presume an injury is insignificant and parent contact is unnecessary.
- Document all information properly using incident reports, log books, and always follow up with both the injured party and parents/guardians. Document all follow up conversations as well.
MAJOR EMERGENCIES & INJURIES
Refer to Section I: Emergency Response: Who to Call in an Emergency in this guide in case of major emergency. A copy should be posted at all locations and kept with each location’s Children’s Informational Records.
IN CASE OF MAJOR EMERGENCY AND/OR INJURY
- First Aid should be administered immediately. Follow procedures from trainings including CPR, First Aid, and Universal Precautions.
- Call 911. Never hesitate to call. It’s better to call for help and not need it then to not make the call. Give the emergency dispatcher all relevant information needed to find you and about the incident. Do not hang up until told to do so. Have the injured party’s emergency information (paperwork from Children’s Information Records) available and send with paramedics.
- Keep the YMCA informed by following the steps outlined in Section I of this guide.
- Contact Parents/Guardians/Emergency Contacts as soon as you have information about condition, and transport information if relevant.
- A staff member must accompany any child(ren) transported by ambulance. Remember that it is our policy the children will never be left alone.
- Get names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses for future reference and for documentation including incident reports, log books, and any other relevant form. Submit the incident to a supervisor as soon as possible.
- Follow up with both the injured party and parents/guardians about their condition, etc. Document all follow up conversations as well.
When all children have boarded and are properly seated, a staff member or school district bus driver will go over both safety rules and evacuation procedures.
FLAT TIRE AND/OR BREAKDOWN
If a flat tires occurs or if the bus breaks down, exit any main roads and park the bus in the safest location possible. When safe and free of any dangers have all passengers exit the bus and proceed to the safest and most accommodating location possible. Contact the immediate supervisor and wait for instructions. Always be prepared for the unexpected and have backup activities available while you wait.
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING INJURIES
Determine the condition of all parties involved. If possible pull off the road to a safe location. Following procedures outlined in First Aid, CPR, & Universal Precautions initiate any help that might be needed.
Refer to Section I: EMERGENCY RESPONSE: WHO TO CALL IN AN EMERGENCY & Section III: ACCIDENTS, INJURIES, & MEDICAL EMERGENCIES both of which were previously outlined. Any driver that is a YMCA staff member and receives a citation for a moving traffic violation must immediately submit to a controlled substance test and an alcohol test if, (a) the accident results in a fatality, or bodily injury to a person who must immediately receive medical treatment away from the scene, or (b) one or more of the vehicles involved is towed from the scene.
EVACUATIONS, LOCKOUT, SHELTER-IN-PLACE, LOCKDOWN, & ARMED PERSON ON PREMISES EVACUATION
Evacuation is required when a YMCA facility or off-site facility must be cleared and unoccupied for any reason. Many times this event is caused by the fire alarm system activating. When evacuating stay calm and think before you act. One should be aware of at least two means of exit from their location at all times.
- In cases when evacuation is necessary all children & staff are to line up at the assigned exit.
- Staff members will perform a count of children and a quick walk through of the area to ensure all children are accounted for and in line.
- Staff must remember to bring the five required staff equipment items listed in Section 2.
- Ensuring that all children are present, with a staff member at both the front and end of the line, the group will exit the facility quickly.
- After leaving the building, walk to the predetermined evacuation site/area. Do not use elevators; use stairways only. Stay quiet so instructions may be heard. Think about safety first.
- Immediately upon reaching the designated evacuation area attendance will be taken. Reentrance to the facility will only occur when granted by the proper authorities. Parents will be immediately notified of alternate pick up information if re-entrance is not granted.
A Shelter-In-Place is ordered when short term protection from an outside event is necessary. One of the most common ways to Shelter-In-Place is to take refuge in a small, interior room, with no or few windows. These situations include, but are not limited to, severe weather, tornado warnings, and hazmat incidents. For weather emergencies, a Shelter-In-Place is typically reported by emergency weather reports or emergency broadcast systems. It may also be reported by staff or guests based on personal knowledge.
- If a tornado warning, or other event requiring a Shelter-In-Place occurs, all children and staff are to line up at the assigned area.
- Staff members will perform a count of children and a quick walk through of the area to ensure all children are accounted for and in line.
- Staff must remember to bring the five required staff equipment items listed in Section 2. Ensuring that all children are present, with a staff member at both the front and end of the line, the group will relocate to the predetermined Shelter-In-Place location. Immediately upon reaching the Shelter-In-Place location attendance will be taken. Children and staff will remain in the designated area until the warning has expired or the hazard has been deemed safe.
A lockout is initiated when there is a threat or hazard outside of a YMCA Facility or off-site location and it is safer for all persons to remain inside. The danger may be criminal, threatening or suspicious activity outside the premises or, in the immediate vicinity of the facility. A lockout uses the security of the building for protection.
- In cases when lockouts are necessary, all entrances and exits are locked and all individuals are directed to exit from only one source to maintain security within the building and minimize potential exposure to the outside threat or hazard.
- All staff and children will continue with regularly scheduled activities inside the building.
- Parents coming to pick up or drop off will be properly identified prior to gaining access to the building. In the event a parent wishes to still leave the facility with their child during a lockout, staff members should encourage them to remain indoors until the “lockout” is lifted.
A lockdown is initiated when there is a threat or hazard inside of the YMCA facility and evacuation may be unsafe to perform. This may be presented as a parental custody dispute, alcohol or drug impairment, intruders (armed with weapons or not), disciplined or discharged employees, etc. Always be aware and assess the situation. Use lockdown procedures to protect children, visitors, and staff from physical threats. If at an offsite location, i.e. schools make sure to follow their lockdown procedures.
INITIATING A LOCKDOWN
- If you recognize a threat or hazard, do not approach the offending party or put yourself or others in danger.
- Immediately designate a staff to call 911 and report the type of threat. Stay on the line with the dispatcher and provide a description of what was observed, the number of individuals providing the threat, their height, weight, race, sex, clothing description, type of weapon (if any), and nature of the threat.
- As soon as possible notify the Executive Director or Designee of the emergency or threat.
- Announce over the paging system: “LOCKDOWN THE BUILDING, LOCK ALL DOORS AND TURN OUT ALL LIGHTS.” If a PA is unavailable, and it is safe to do so, identify staff to circulate the building and notify all persons of the threat or hazard.
- As soon as possible follow contact the YMCA as described previously on “Who to Call in an Emergency” from Section 1.
- Wait for notification from first responders that it is safe before beginning to exit all areas. Under no circumstances should any member unlock a door and allow an unknown person to enter. Remember, an intruder may pretend to be harmless or even helpful to gain entrance to a locked room. One should never put themselves in danger. The first reaction should be to avoid or get away from the threat. Should one find themselves confronted by the threat they should take any and all actions to protect themselves.
ARMED PERSON INSIDE THE FACILITY - LOCKDOWN/EVACUATE
In the event of an armed person or persons inside the facility the following steps should be taken depending on the immediate danger/threat.
When at all possible get yourself and all children out of the facility or building and far away from the threat.
Use mobile phone to call 911. Call over the PA system “Code Silver” if at a YMCA owned/ran facility, or use alternate verbiage if at an off-site location.
Do not lock exterior doors. Close, lock, and barricade interior doors, if possible.
Seek shelter in the nearest secured place. Turn off lights and any devices indicating that the room is occupied. Keep out of the line of sight. Be Quiet. Do not respond to anyone at the door.
Last Resort. Use anything to distract or disable the suspect.
ONLY CONFRONT THE PERSON AS A LAST RESORT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE
In the event of an emergency additional and intentional care will need to be made for any children or staff with access and functional needs, including disabilities. A list of those with access and functional needs should be made and special notation will be taken identifying weather this need is permanent or temporary.
CHILDREN WITH ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS
Any children with Access or Functional Needs will be assigned to a staff member to ensure safe evacuation or relocation. This staff member will be responsible for providing any and all assistance needed for the child. Any child(ren) needing emergency medication must be in a group with a staff member trained in Medication Administration or delegated for a particular medication individually by the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver’s nurse consultant.
TRACKING ENTRY & EXIT OF CHILDREN AND VISITORS
To ensure the safety of the children and to be recognizable to parents and school staff all YMCA Staff must wear YMCA staff badges and staff shirts at all times while in the care of children.
It is required that all children be signed in and out properly by a parent or guardian from our programs. The YMCA School Age Child Care Programs and Day Camps use the Roll Call application on each site’s I-pad as a means to sign in and out. When not available, printed paper copies of the “Sign in and out” are to be used in substitution.
As children arrive they will be added to each locations master attendance sheet. This master attendance sheet must include each child’s first and last name. Staff members are required to take attendance at minimum every 30 minutes while children are in attendance. This is required to be recorded on the proper attendance sheet. Additional attendance sheets may be necessary when groups are separated. In event of field trip a copy of the master attendance is required to be left behind at the facility. As children leave the facility staff will make note on the attendance sheets that they have left after they are properly signed out.
HEAD & FACE COUNTS
In addition to attendance, staff are required to perform head and face counts continuously while children are in attendance. It is the responsibility of all staff members to know the exact number of children present in their group at all times. It is the director’s responsibility to know the exact number of children present for the entire program at all times.
PARENT PICK UP
New parents or unknown person – ask if you can help them. If they say they are to pick up a child, ask to see their photo ID. Refer to the child care application for who is authorized to pick up. If they did not sign the form or are not listed on the authorized to pick up list, you MAY NOT release the child to that person. A call must be made to the parent/guardian. The parent/guardian can authorize the release over the phone and must amend the application as soon as possible.
LATE PARENT OR GUARDIAN
At 10 minutes late start calling both authorized parent’s home and work phone numbers. At 20 minutes late and unable to contact either parent, call any other person who is authorized to pick up the child and/or the emergency contact person. At 30 minutes late and unable to contact anyone, call your program director. At this time the program director may make the decision to contact the proper authorities.
INTOXICATED PARENT OR GUARDIAN
Ask if someone else can drive them home. If no, ask if you can call a taxi or use an app based transportation such as LYFT or UBER. Inform the parent/guardian that while you legally cannot refuse to release their child to them if they leave in a vehicle you are required to contact the police. If they leave anyway, call police, explain the situation, give license number, make of vehicle and home address, and any other relevant information.
Parents or guardians are always welcome and visits do not need to be announced or arranged in advance. However, the observing parent or guardian must be listed on the child’s authorization card in order to have access to the program area. Any visitor entering a YMCA childcare program is required to sign in. A visitor will sign the “Visitor’s Log”, write their address, state the purpose of the visit, and show identification.
AFTER AN EMERGENCY
DEALING WITH THE MEDIA
In case of an accident or missing child, the media may come to investigate. Only Branch Executives or Association Services staff may speak with the press. Any questions should be referred to Claudia Morlan at Association Services. Call your immediate supervisor with any instances needing further direction. The initial news media contact is the most crucial because:
- Once a serious accident occurs, the YMCA has been undeniably harmed. It becomes the job of the Association to make the impact of that harm as light as possible.
- The first impression the general public gets is the one that is the most lasting.
- Maintain an attitude of cooperation and helpfulness even though, you are unable to respond to their questions.
- Be wary of casual conversation. Do not say “off the record” or “no comment”. Once again, refer them to call Association Services with any questions.
Essentially, the YMCA carries three types of insurance: Compensation for employees on payroll for injuries or illnesses attributed to their work. If staff are hurt at work; forms must be filled out that day, whether or not the staff needs medical attention or not. If medical attention is needed, staff must go to the YMCA’s designated doctors and hospitals. This insurance is called Workman’s Compensation.
Personal injury or property damage to persons other than employees. The determination of whether our insurance company will pay a claim is totally up to the insurance company. A participant may send us a bill and we will turn it over to the insurance company who will determine liability.
Automobile accidents which result in injury to persons or damage to property. Make sure that automobile forms are completed immediately and turned into the Executive Director.
CAUTION: If you are asked about the insurance coverage of the YMCA, you are authorized to say ONLY: “It will be referred to our insurance company”.
CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS AFTER A DISASTER
In the event of an emergency, the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver, has the option for continuation of operations by combining with other YMCA programs in the vicinity, whether at a school location or YMCA building.
After evacuation or lockdown is lifted and the area has been determined as safe, participants can be picked up at the Lockdown (program) location and sign their child(ren) out, or they can be picked up at the sites pre-determined evacuation location as listed at each site. Parents can also call the site cell phone for information or can call the YMCA main offices to receive information.
RETRIEVING STAFF & CHILDREN’S FILES
Staff files are kept at two separate off site locations. Children’s files are kept in a mobile workbook that should be with staff at all times. In the event that a backup of this information is needed, all children’s files are also available digitally.
Public Health Reporting Requirements
By law, certain diseases and conditions are reportable to public health for surveillance purposes and so disease control measures can be implemented. Persons treating or having knowledge of a reportable disease, whether the disease is suspected or confirmed, must report the case to the state or local public health agency. This includes schools and child care providers. Group outbreaks resulting from any cause, including foodborne outbreaks, must be reported to the state or local public health agency within 24 hours. For the purposes of public health reporting, an outbreak is defined as two or more persons ill with similar symptoms within a similar time frame.
In an outbreak situation, the state or local public health agency will typically work with the child care facility or school to achieve the following:
Control and prevent further spread of disease; Identify ill persons so they can receive proper treatment if indicated; Attempt to identify the source of the outbreak; Identify infection risk factors; Evaluate existing prevention strategies.
Child care facilities and schools can also contact the state and/or local public health agencies about infectious conditions that are not reportable, especially if the facility has questions about notifying parents, exclusion, and disease control measures.
The YMCA will consult with our health consultant about any type of communicable disease issue, case, or outbreak and follow their recommendations when reporting. Childcare facilities are inspected routinely by either the state or local public health agency to ensure compliance with the health and sanitation regulations. These inspections are typically conducted by Environmental Health Specialists employed at the state/local public health agency.