Child care regulations, and the beliefs of our programs, prohibit licensed child care facilities from discriminating against any child or parent on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, parenthood, age or physical disabilities.
Imagination Station and Imagination Station Express carry full coverage insurance on all of our vehicles including our buses. We also carry general liability insurance for each center. If you would like more information feel free to stop by the office and speak to one of us. We also have them posted on the bulletin boards to the left of the main entrance.
HOURS OF OPERATION / CLOSURES
Imagination Station (56th Avenue) will be open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. Imagination Station Express (Denali Street) will be open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. (The buildings are right next door to each other).
Both facilities will be closed to observe the following holidays: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. If the holiday falls on the weekend we may close Monday and/or Friday. We may also opt to close early or for additional days as needed for staff training. You will be notified at least 30 days in advance of such a closure.
Both centers have fish tanks throughout the buildings. We currently have a 3 Bearded Dragon, a Frilled Dragon, a tortoise,a rabbit and multiple fish tanks. Imagination Station has had most of these animals for over a year. We will do our best to inform parents in advance before adding any other animals to the center.
Again, it is the parents' responsibility to inform the management at this center if your child/children have any known allergies to food, textiles, animals, chemicals or pollens.
VIDEO AND T.V.
Viewing television/videos and video games in our center is normally limited to one hour per week. This will usually include educational programs such as Veggie Tales, Sesame Street, etc. Other age-appropriate movies and games (“G” rated) will be shown or played on occasion.
Older school-aged children may be permitted to watch movies rated “PG”. These children may also use computers and computer games more often than one hour a week. (school-age refers to children who have actually started school)
If you prefer that your child not view the program or if the child does not wish to participate, an alternate activity will be made available. We also have “Gameboy Fridays” for the school age children. This is the only time that portable electronic devices are allowed to be brought into the center. Imagination Station will do our best to keep your child’s equipment safe. However Imagination Station and our staff are not responsible for loss or damage to your child’s electronic games, chargers or any other device brought into the facility. Please put your child's name on everything! We usually always have Black/Silver sharpies available to label belongings. For questions or clarification please stop by the office.
The use of video games and viewing television/movies is considered a privilege and can be revoked if your child misuses it.
Parents are more than welcome to drop by at any time for a visit and to check up on your child's progress. Parental visits to the center are strongly encouraged. This center believes that the more involved the parents of the children in our care are, the stronger the bond will be between the parents and children as they age and mature.
If you would like to join us for lunch, please let us know by 10 am that morning. Parent volunteers are also an important part of our center's home-like atmosphere. Volunteers must meet qualifications as specified by the Municipality's Child Care Code. If you are interested, please let one of the staff know!
PERSONAL BELONGINGS AND SUPPLIES NEEDED
A complete change of clothing to include underwear and socks are to be available at the center at all times. This is in addition to the "Comfort Care Kits".
(except for school age)
Diapers and wipes (if the child is not potty trained). During "Potty training" please supply several outfits & plenty of underwear with rubber pants everyday!
A blanket and/or stuffed toy from home often helps a child adjust to a new environment and we encourage you to bring one for naptime. (please remember that your child's blanket and pillow need to fit into their cubby) However, we do not allow other toys from home as they may be disruptive and get lost or broken. We assume no responsibility for lost or damaged items. We DO allow the children to bring items in for "Show and Share Day," which is every Friday. (Toy firearms, knives and swords will not be accepted at anytime or for any reason)
If you choose not to bring a blanket for your child to use at nap time, a $5.00 per week "supply and cleaning" fee will be added to your account.
CLOTHING SHOULD FIT THE SEASON
Clothing for outside play:
Please dress your child in comfortable PLAY clothes, as some activities may be messy. Although we have smocks for painting, the paints or mud, sand, water etc. may soil and/or stain their clothing. Do not send your children to daycare in fancy, special or their Sunday best clothing! Imagination Station and Imagination Station Express or its staff are not responsible for lost clothing, toys, blankets or anything else you may bring into the center. We WILL make every effort to get your child's belonging in their cubbies provided they are labeled with your child's name. If you do not have a silver or black Sharpie, please stop by the office. We will gladly mark their belongings for you!
- Winter: Heavy coat, snow pants, sweatshirt, waterproof mittens, hat and boots, and a pair of shoes, to be used for inside play.
- Summer: Lightweight jacket or sweatshirt/hoody, rain boots and a pair of shoes, to be used for inside play.
NO FLIP FLOPS, Shoes must strap on child’s feet. We also strongly discourage open toed shoes.
Fire Department regulations require the children's shoes remain on at all times (including naptime) in case of evacuation. PLEASE make sure that your child has INDOOR shoes in addition to any outdoor footwear you have provided. Children WILL NOT be allowed to wear outdoor boots inside the building for extended periods of time. This includes rubber break-up boots. Parents will be asked to return to the center with the appropriate footwear or be charged an additional fee for use of the centers footwear.
Outside play will be offered twice a day for toddlers and pre-school aged children, as weather permits. Children will be provided a minimum of 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity indoors or outdoors, for every 3 hours the facility is open.
Inside activities will be substituted for children when the temperature is 10 degrees or lower for toddlers or pre-school aged children and 50 degrees or lower for infants. Also, if weather is too severe for outside play due to wind chill factors, heavy snow, unsafe conditions (icy or heavy rain, poor air quality and the occasional moose), indoor vigorous activity will be substituted for outdoor play.
Children who are well enough to be in care are presumed well enough to play outside. All children will go outside unless staff has been notified with a written excuse from a physician for the day (on staff availability only). The child/children who need to stay inside will be supervised at an alternate choice of games and activities.
FIELD TRIPS AND WALKS
Field trips and walks away from the center will be planned for children over the age of 3 years to area parks, zoos and other facilities, both indoors and outdoors. Prior to any child leaving the premises, a consent form must be signed by at least one of the parents or legal guardians.
There will be separate forms for each outing. Primarily, we will use our bus to transport children and chaperones, in which case, car seats are not necessary. The drivers employed by Imagination Station hold a current Commercial Driver's License (CDL) class C or higher with a passenger endorsement. We carry full coverage insurance on all Imagination Station vehicles. On rare occasions, we may also use parent volunteers as drivers. If we use parents' vehicles, transportation will only be allowed when there are enough seat belts and parent volunteers to safely travel, and your child's car seat has been left at the center for his/her use. No child will be allowed to attend the outing without an age-appropriate child safety seat. This only applies when using private vehicles. For more information see bulletin board at the main entrance.
DIAPERING & POTTY TRAINING
When toilet training, please provide us with at least 10 pairs of underwear and rubber training pants as well as several complete changes of clothes so we can ensure your child stays clean and dry. All children at IMS Express location must be fully potty trained. (see "additional fees that may apply" page 5, for more information on potty training)
There will be a charge of $2.00 for any "house diaper" and $0.50 for any "house wipe" we use for your child after you are notified you need them. It has been our experience that children who use "Pull-Ups" take longer to potty train. Because of this, we discourage their use. It is our belief that children who are put in underwear and rubber pants take less time to potty train due to the wetness they feel. Diapers and pull ups are designed to draw the moisture away from their skin. It is our policy however, to be consistent and supportive of the method you are using at home to train your child. Therefore, if your family chooses to use "Pull-Ups," you will be charged an additional fee of $40 per month.
We celebrate all birthdays during afternoon snack time. Parents may provide a treat for their child's class provided they check with staff regarding allergy issues within that class (i.e. peanuts, soy, strawberries, etc.) The teacher will add special stories, songs and games to make the day a special one for your child.
CHILD ABUSE AND/OR NEGLECT
Alaska State Statutes and Anchorage Child Care Center regulations require that all licensed child care providers report ALL incidents of suspected or actual abuse or neglect of children regardless of whether they occur in, or are related to the facility. This facility is therefore obligated by law to report such incidents within 24 hours to the Office of Children's Services. Their phone number is 269-4000. Centers are also required to notify the Municipal Child/Adult Licensing office of incidents which alleged a child was abused or neglected when the center is responsible for that child. The Municipal Child/Adult Care Licensing office number is 343-4758.
INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS
The Municipality of Anchorage, Department of Health and Human Services is the agency mandated by State Law to regulate childcare facilities. This agency therefore supervises, monitors, and investigates complaints involving childcare centers in the Anchorage bowl. This office is located at 825 L. Street, 3rd floor and the phone number is 343-4758. You may view our inspection history at
http://hhs.muni.org/childcare/selectinspection.asp?key=81 (Imagination Station) and at http://hhs.muni.org/childcare/selectinspection.asp?key=474 (Imagination Station Express).
DISCIPLINE AND BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT
The staff at Imagination Station and Imagination Station Express will always try redirection and praise on a child to try to solve a behavioral problem before it begins. Consistent redirection, teaching them how to make good choices, understanding the natural consequences when we are not making good choices, and talking with the child will be applied first and foremost. If these tactics are unsuccessful, then time-out will be administered according to the child's age, and will usually run 1 min. per age of the child. No child will ever be in time-out for more than five minutes. Our center does not use corporal punishment. Spanking or slapping by staff is strictly prohibited. Parents who want to spank their child must do so behind closed doors and out of the sight or sound of other children. You must also clock your child out of our attendance computer before doing so.
In the rare event that all other methods of discipline have been exhausted, or the child is a danger to him/herself or anyone else, you will be called and may be asked to come to the center to discipline your child in a manner appropriate for the situation. In severe cases, you may be required to pick them up for the day. If the problem becomes consistent, you may be asked to enlist professionals, such as your pediatrician, Alaska In or Denali Family Services (to list a few) or in rare cases find another care provider.
We have written resources and maintain on staff several highly trained people who can help families who find themselves in need of more information regarding the relationships between parents and children. If you'd like some suggestions for reading materials or other tactics that can help fill your specific needs, please let De or Shauna know. We'd be happy to help your family be successful in any way possible.
STAFF SUBSTITUTIONS AND VOLUNTEERS
Before starting employment with Imagination Station and Imagination Station Express employees and substitutes must obtain, consent for criminal records clearance and fingerprinting within 14 days of their first day of work. We do appreciate parents and other volunteers. If you are interested, please see De or Shauna for the necessary requirements. In the event that an emergency fill-in/substitute is needed a person meeting the necessary requirements will fill that need, we usually use office staff first. Volunteers will need to fill out an application and we will call 3 references who can attest to your good character, we may also check the Alaska Court System and Alaska Sex Offenders list, you may be asked to supply additional documentation on an as needed basis.
We also feel that our parents and the children we care for need to be assured that our staff are free from drugs and alcohol. Upon hire, we may do random drug tests and that their continued employment is based on the ability to pass this testing.
ILLNESS AND ACCIDENTS
If a child becomes ill while in care, the parent will be called and asked to come and pick up the child within one hour of the initial phone call. (i.e.: vomiting, fever or other strong symptoms, for clarification of "Symptoms of Exclusion" please see the bulletin board to the left of the main entrance.) If you are not available, the next person on your emergency card will be called. It is the parents' responsibility to keep your emergency cards updated. The child will be kept under supervision, quiet and resting until the parent arrives. Children who are ill upon arrival will not be allowed to stay. It is the center's discretion as to whether a child is too sick to remain in care. The child may return to the center after all symptoms of illness have gone. Any child reported with any communicable condition (pink eye, strep throat, lice and so on)may return only with documentation from a licensed physician that it is safe for the child to return. If your child has anything contagious, please let the office know so we can post a notice.
In the event of a serious accident or injury, the parent will be notified immediately. If the parent is unreachable, the emergency contact name will be called. Parents are required to leave the phone number of places other than their work or home if they plan to be elsewhere. Parents are required to update any information such as a change of work place, address or phone number every quarter. Parents will also need to sign a medical release form in case of a serious emergency. In such an event, we will call 911. We will not attempt to transport the children ourselves. The child will be transported in an ambulance to the closest hospital, unless another hospital has been designated by the parent on the emergency card.
This facility requires written parental permission and instructions before administering any and all medications, including over the counter, naturopathic remedies, vitamins and mineral supplements. Any over the counter medications must have a dosage by age or weight on the bottle that match your child's age and/or weight.
All prescription medications must have a label with the child's name, prescribing person's name, dosage and the name of the medication. Upon expiration of the written permission slip, the parent must remove the medication from the center, or it must be discarded by the facility. Any child who requires an inhaler or EPI pen is required to have one here at the center at all times. (even when it is only used "occasionally")
As preventative measures, this center will utilize sunscreens, toothpaste (children under 2 will receive a fluoride-free product), insect repellent (children under age 2 will receive a DEET-free product), hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, Bag Balm, and baking soda. Parents will indicate on the form provided any personal preference or known allergies to the "over the counter" items listed above. If you wish, you may designate a substitute product for any item listed. You will be required to supply the facility with the alternate item for the specific product type listed above and label it with the child's name for his/her use. The signed form will need to be updated as your child's needs change and remain in effect until revised or revoked by the parent.
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
No information of any kind will be released to any other party without the express written permission from the parent/legal guardian or by court order. The Department of Health and Human Services or their representatives and the Office of Children's Services also has access to children's files.
Both Imagination Station and Express prohibit smoking in or around our buildings, play yard, or anywhere on our property. Smoking of any material shall be done no less than 100 feet from any door or window of our facility. Child care personnel may not smoke while responsible for the care of children, and they may not expose children to second-hand smoke. We ask that all cigarette butts be left in your car and not in our parking lot. If you find that you need to empty your ash tray or trash, please use our dumpster!
Please understand that we take this very seriously and will terminate childcare for repeat offenders.
Because of the number of parents who feel it necessary to spit on our property, we now have to include this in our handbook. The children in our care use sidewalk chalk, play hopscotch and use the sidewalks and parking lots for various activities. PLEASE DO NOT SPIT ANYWHWERE ON OUR PROPERTY. It is extremely unsanitary. Please understand that we take this very seriously and will terminate childcare for repeat offenders!
Due to difficulties with being able to communicate with parents, we ask that you finish ALL cell phone calls before proceeding to pick up or drop off your child. THIS INCLUDES TEXTING! Our caregivers usually have a small amount of time (as they are watching kids) to fill you in on your child's day. They need to have your full attention so that they can brief you as quickly and completely as possible. We have instructed our caregivers not to release children to anyone who is using their cellphone.
CONSENT TO VIDEO TAPE
At this time we have cameras in all areas. By entering the buildings you are giving consent to be video taped and/or audio taped. Video taping can be used as a training tool.
Parents may park in any space in the front or on either side of the building with the exception of the handicap area which includes the ramp, loading area and the space directly to the left of the ramp (clearly marked). Handicap parking is allowed with a state approved placard or plates, belonging to a child or individual entering or exiting the vehicle (see state law below). We have several children and adults who need that area to access our building, so please do not park there for any reason, not even for a quick drop-off or pickup.
Please understand that we take this very seriously and will terminate childcare for repeat offenders. If you have any questions or concerns about this, stop by the office so that we can discuss this with you further.
Excerpt from DMV form 861
State law requires that the authorized holder (disabled individual) must enter or exit the vehicle when parking in a space reserved for individuals who experience a disability. In other words, if you experience a disability and have been issued a placard or plates you may not park in a reserved parking space and stay in the vehicle while another person runs an errand. Furthermore, using a placard or plate that was issued to another person could result in a fine of up to $500.00. Loaning a placard to another person can result in your privileges being revoked.
NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE
Any rate or policy change will be posted on the notice board thirty (30) days in advance of implementation of the changes. It is the parent's responsibility to read any notes posted, we do not have the staff to notify parents individually of every change. Imagination Station will do our best to make sure these changes are clearly labeled and noticeable to anyone entering the building. This board is located by the front door.
Imagination Station Express
5651 Denali St.
Anchorage, AK 99518
(907) 563-8291 Fax (907) 563-8830
All Rights Reserved