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Nursery Guidelines

Emergency card

All children in the nursery for any period of time without a parent should have an emergency card on file. The cards are kept in the nursery file box at all times for the caregivers’ reference. The card includes pertinent information such as parent contact information; names of adults approved to sign out child; and allergy, health and behavior information. Cell phone number is essential.

and sign-out of children

When a child is brought into the nursery, the adult bringing them should complete the sign-in sheet on the shelves next to the door. Only adults approved by the parent on the child’s emergency card are allowed to sign a child out of the nursery.


Children’s hands should be washed prior to snack and just afterwards. Small snacks such as pretzels or animal crackers and water will be available. If a snack or drink from home is preferred, please pack an individual portion and label. All snacks must be peanut-free. If your child is unable to chew the snacks available in the nursery, please bring a snack s/he can safely eat.

Positive behavior management and guidance

Toddlers and very young children are just learning how to express their wants and needs. They are beginning to learn how to take turns and share as they approach preschool age. The childcare providers can help the children avoid conflict by closely monitoring their play and ensuring that the children are engaged in various fun and interesting activities.

  • Redirection: redirecting child to a toy or activity that distracts away from conflict
  • Positive Reinforcement: noticing and pointing out specific positive behaviors
  • Modeling: demonstrate or show them how to play with a toy or each other
  • Conflict Resolution: guiding the children to work out conflict with their words


The childcare providers can teach and assist the children in turn taking and sharing by modeling this, sitting close by and using verbal guidance. If a child is having difficulty with another child or during a certain activity or area of the room, the caregivers can use redirection. For example, “let’s play over here with the puzzles now or read a book with me.” They can also help the children take turns. For example, “Karen can play with the red car for 1 minute and then trade with Erin’s blue car. I will tell you when 1 minute is over and Erin gets the red car. What nice sharing!”

Positive attention and praise for desirable behaviors help encourage appropriate behavior. If a child is being hurtful or unsafe, the caregiver may help remove the child from the situation if verbal prompts and redirection are not working, and help them take a break by themselves to calm down with the help of the caregiver. The break or time-out should not last more than a minute per developmental age of the child (ie 1-2 minutes for a 2 year old). They caregiver should help the child re-enter a play area and give the child praise for more appropriate behavior.

If a child is having a particularly difficult morning, or behaving unsafely, the parents may be called to help the child calm. If there are strategies that seem to work well for your child’s behavior, please let the caregiver know ahead of time.



  • First Aid: a kit is located in the family bathrooms and also on top the refrigerator. In the event of an emergency, parents will be contacted immediately.
  • Emergency Plan: children in the nursery will exit with the nursery caregivers to the left, out the closest exit door leading to the playground. The caregivers will take them to the tables by the creek at the bottom of the hill. Parents should follow the emergency directions given for the upstairs sanctuary and they will be directed from the parking lot to their children. In order to avoid confusion and delay of exit, parents should not attempt to go downstairs to get to their child but rather get outside according to the emergency plan of the upstairs.
  • There will be two care providers (tow adults or one adult and one qualified teenager) in the Nursery at all times.
  • Overall safety in the nursery: keep all hazardous products (including hand sanitizer), sharp objects or potential allergens for children with known allergies out of the reach of children. Closet doors and front door to the nursery room should remain closed. Safety should be considered at all times while supervising the children. The environment and overall tone of the nursery should encourage a sense of trust and safety/security in the children attending.

Toy washing and repair

If a child mouths a toy, it should be placed in the “to clean” basket. These toys will be washed and returned to the nursery. Toys and equipment will be cleaned monthly with the help of volunteers. Toys should be in good repair and if a childcare provider notices a toy in disrepair, it should be removed and brought to the attention of the DRE.


The children should be encouraged to help pick up the toys. However, it is the responsibility of the childcare providers to generally tidy the room, dispose of trash, and clear the tabletops.


Parents will be contacted by cell phone if their child’s diaper needs to be changed. A care provider will walk a child to the bathroom but the child must be able to use the toilet by him or herseld.Therefore, parents are encouraged to change their child’s diaper and/or take them to the bathroom just prior to the child’s time in the nursery. If a diaper contains a bowel movement, the bm should be put in the toilet and the diaper disposed of in the bathroom trash can, not in the nursery. Please wipe the changing table with a disinfecting wipe after using (located in the changing table’s drawer) and wash hands.