This handbook is provided to answer some of the questions you may have and is intended to provide a brief overview of some Latchkey Day Care’s policies and procedures.

Parents/Guardians are always welcome to visit and tour the program during regular operating hours.  Please make arrangements with the program Supervisor.

Early Learning Years Philosophy

We believe that all children are naturally strong and capable learners.  Teacher collaboration and guidance are offered in a safe, licensed, supervised and supportive atmosphere where children are encouraged to explore, create, build, problem-solve and try out new skills.  We look to each child to help guide us in their learning.  We value and respect children and believe that their theories and ideas are an important source of curriculum.  We believe this approach is the most developmentally appropriate and is most consistent with our understanding of how children learn.

Key Principles of Early Learning Years Education

• Our understanding of children guides our decision making.  We view children as competent, full of wonder, willing to investigate, critique, reflect and collaborate.  This understanding shapes our decisions about how to arrange our classroom environment, schedule our days and plan our curriculum.

• Teachers pay careful attention to the use of space and time.  The classroom environment sets the tone, inviting children to explore, collaborate, reflect and communicate using a range of media.  The schedule each day allows for long stretches of open-ended time during which children can pursue their questions, passions and developmental themes.

• Curriculum planning is based on observation.  Teachers observe children as they play, paying close attention to recurring themes, developmental issues and underlying questions.  Observations guide curriculum planning as we create opportunities for children to deepen their thinking, represent their understandings and encounter new perspectives.

• Teachers consider relationships to be central.  Teachers emphasize relationship building and co-operation among children and between teachers and children.  Teachers actively seek out collaboration with other teachers and with families, asking and encouraging questions about children’s play and sharing their observations.  When we ask families to share their perspectives and invite them to help us make decisions about classroom life and curriculum, we enrich our understanding and include families in the life children live at school.

Within Our Early Years Learning Philosophy there are four essential elements;

i. The Environment-Quality Early Years Environments are inspiring!  

ii. The Role of the Educator- Professional and dedicated Registered E.C.Es serve as a resource collaborator and facilitator for each child and family.  

iii. Observation and Documentation- We learn best about children by watching them in action and taking note of the learning that they are experiencing.  Observation and documentation are therefore one of the most important roles of an Early Childhood Educator.

iv. Project Work and Project Practice- The Project Work Approach philosophy is based on the belief that children learn by doing and by experiencing hands-on learning.  Preschoolers do not do ‘projects’ in the traditional sense; they are building the skills they will need for project work later in life.  Educators plan encounters that provoke curiosity and lure the children into discovery.  The process in which these research, analysis and problem solving skills are enhanced is referred to as ‘Project Practice’.

School-age Child Care and Education Philosophy

“Children learn as a result of their own doing….through actions, relationships, inquiries, opportunities, and repetition; this knowledge is the foundation of how we deliver our programs through emergent curriculum using the project approach.”

School-age programs are adapted, modified and newly developed to meet the new stages of growth and development school-age children undergo.  School-age children have increasingly powerful desires to become more self-expressive and independent, to formulate and postulate their own ideas and theories, and to seek ‘proof’ of such by ‘testing’ and evaluating through observation, classification and experimentation.  School-age children need increasing amount of independence-along with increasing amounts of accountability.  The E.C.E. facilitates this process and offers guidance, support and direction on ways to obtain information, facts and organization of thoughts and ideas fundamental in helping them develop into creative, inquisitive and discerning individuals. The E.C.E. also helps school-age children develop competencies (in sports, arts, drama, science, self-help skills, safety etc.) through projects that are important and meaningful to them in their lives. 

Curriculum and programming for older school-age children is designed to be enriching, socially stimulating, fun and educational.  By the time that children have reached school-age, they have begun to develop a rather extensive understanding of the social structure of their family, community and society at large.  As such, discussions about civic responsibilities, social conduct and group friendship can be generated, with the older students in particular being able to carry this process and thinking over into pro-social behaviors-i.e., lending service and skills to benefit the neighbours and community.  

In keeping with a club-like atmosphere, long range and more in-depth activities are very appropriate, as students at this age have greater attention spans and capabilities to explore and master skills, ideas and concepts.

Enrichment, fun and opportunity will always be cornerstones to our school-age programming and activities.


The Early Learning Division, under the Ministry of Education, has established a new Branch called the Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch that will assume responsibility for licensing all Latchkey Day Care Programs annually.

The licensing process includes physical inspection, monitoring the environment, health, safety, policies and procedures, teaching qualifications and staff ratios.

Serious Occurrences

Although daily precautions are taken to ensure a healthy and safe environment for children and staff, accidents may happen and emergency situations may occur.  Latchkey Day Care staff is committed to providing important information to families regarding events that occur in the program while safe guarding the integrity and privacy of children, families and staff.

In the event of a serious occurrence, Latchkey Day Care will follow all Board of Directors approved policies and procedures as specified with the Ministry, including the posting of the Serious Occurrence Notification Form, in order to provide transparency for parents about the Serious Occurrences that occur.

A letter is available to families who are currently using Latchkey Day Care, as well as to new parents upon registration, regarding Latchkey Day Care’s responsibility in the Serious Occurrence Policy and the subsequent Serious Occurrence Notification Form posting requirements.

Please speak with your program Supervisor to read and become familiar with the complete Serious Occurrence Policy.


A $30.00 non-refundable annual registration fee is due at the time of registration, and reserves your child’s spot in the program.  


Before & After School Program


There is a minimal charge that will be applied for the first hour of attendance.  If a child is in program for less than an hour, a minimum charge of one hour will apply.  You are charged 15 minutes prior to dismissal.


Payment for all scheduled days for each month is required in advance.  Cash or post-dated cheques for the 15th of the month are acceptable.  Fees paid in advance are non-refundable unless you provide notification in writing.  Speak to Supervisor for site specific cancelation policy and notice required.  Any credits or balances, resulting from the advance payment, will be reflected in the current month’s statement when issued.


All overdue payments will be forwarded to a collection agent. 


Failure to sign your child out on the sign in/sign out sheet will result in a minimum charge of 3 hours per occurrence.


Preschool Programs - St. Pius, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Sacred Heart


Tuition is calculated on a monthly basis; according to the number of days each month your child is registered to attend the Learning Centre Program.


Tuition fees are be paid in advance by post-dated cheques.  All cheques must be dated for the first of the month.


Extra days beyond the scheduled days will be calculated at the beginning of each month with payments due on the first of the month. Latchkey Day Care will try to accommodate additional days.


There will not be any refunds of registered days for any reason including sick days and vacation days.


The Learning Centre Supervisor must be notified in writing, a minimum of one month, and prior to a change in your child’s schedule.  If proper notice is not given one month’s payment is due in lieu of notice. 


Please see the fee agreement for daily rates.


Subsidy is available for qualifying families by contacting Social and Family Services at 255-5312 (Windsor) or 1-877-792-2312 (County). 


Admission & Discharge


Parents/Guardians are required to complete a registration package and sign a tuition agreement for each child registered at Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre.


Parents/Guardians must provide written notification within one month if you are planning to discontinue using Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre services.


Arrival & Departure


All children must be escorted into and out of the program using the designated entrance.  Each child must be signed in upon arrival and signed out upon departure.  The person signing in and out must be at least 16 years of age.  No child will be released to any person not authorized by the Parent/Guardian to pick up the child.  The names of all people authorized to pick up your child must appear on the Authorization to Pick Up form, found in the registration package, or we may not release the child.  All people on this list should be prepared to present picture identification when picking up a child.  

We must have written authorization for changes in this respect.


Children with Special Needs


It is a matter of the Latchkey Learning Centre philosophy and policy to accommodate children with special needs at all programs.  Please discuss your child’s needs with the program Supervisor.


Bad Weather Conditions


All Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre programs will attempt to remain open on bad weather days.  If you are unsure if your location is open please call the program to confirm that we are open.

Please note that if the schools are closed then all of the Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centres will also be closed.  This also applies when the schools close during the middle of the day due to bad weather.  The program Supervisor will call the Parent/Guardian for early pick up.

Tune into AM 800 for weather updates and school closure information.



Emergency and Evacuation Procedures


Emergency and evacuation procedures are in place at all Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre locations.  In the event that the children need to be evacuated from the school due to carbon monoxide, the smell of gas or any other environmental emergency all staff and children will be moved to the emergency shelter location.  The emergency shelter location for your program is posted on the wall with the fire procedures.  Once everyone has arrived safely, Parents/Guardians will be contacted by phone and notified of the emergency.


In the interest of safety, fire drill and evacuation procedures are completed with the children on a monthly basis as required by the Day Nurseries Act.




Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre is committed to providing a healthy child care environment that enhances the development of lifelong good eating, nutritional and wellness practices to promote healthy eating and physical activities.


Our goal is to promote the development of healthy food habits and to provide nutritious meals and snacks at all times.  Keeping in mind allergies and food sensitivities, all food that is provided will offer varying food choices that meet the Canada Food Guide requirements and standards.  Provisions can be made for vegetarian and diet restrictions due to religion and culture.


Latchkey Learning Centres will provide 2 nutritious snacks and a hot lunch each day.  All special dietary concerns and allergies will be posted in the eating area.  Menus are posted each week on the information board.

In some programs, due to severe allergies and other food sensitivities, peanuts and nutmeat products such as peanut butter will not be permitted in the Learning Centre.


The Parent/Guardian is responsible to note any medicinal, food or environmental allergies your child may have on the registration package.  This information allows the staff to determine the difference between a sick child and one suffering from allergies.


Nap/Rest Time


As required in the Day Nurseries Act any child, 5 years or younger that is in attendance for 6 hours or more in a day, is offered a rest period of at least 1 hour.  If your child is unable to sleep during the rest period, he/she can engage in a quiet activity by reading a book or playing quietly with a puzzle.


Clothing and Possessions


Your child should be dressed in clothing that is appropriate for physical activity and the weather.  Please label all of your child’s belongings to avoid loss.  

It is recommended that your child have an extra set of clothing at the Centre at all times.

Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre is not responsible for lost clothing or personal possessions; especially ipods, ipads, cell phones or other expensive electronic devices while at a Latchkey Day Care program.


Illnesses and Accidents


Latchkey Day Care can only accept children in good health.

The Day Nurseries Act requires outdoor play for each child on a daily basis.  Therefore, it is our policy that children too ill to play outside should remain at home.  

If your child has any of the following symptoms, you must keep him/her at home:

Temperature 100°F or more, Earache, Skin Rash, Nausea/Vomiting, Dizziness/Faintness, Chills, Diarrhea, Swollen Glands, Inflamed Eyes.


If your child is ill and receives antibiotics, your child may not attend until he/she has been on the antibiotic for more than 24 hours.  In the case of head lice, your child must be nit free to return to the Latchkey Day Care program. 


If a child becomes ill or in the event of an accident, temporary care will be provided until you or your emergency designate can come and pick up your child (within 30 minutes of notification).

It is in your child’s best interest that you provide your program Supervisor with up to date information of phone numbers, emergency contact numbers, allergies, medication (if taken), health card number and any other relevant information that may be needed.  This information is contained in the Registration Package.


Administration of Medication


The Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre staff will administer prescription drugs to children in accordance with current legislation.  Parents are required to provide:

1.  Written authorization, including dosage, time to be administered.    

2.  Medication in the original container, clearly labeled with the 

    child’s name, name of drug, the dosage, reason for the drug 

    and instructions for storage and administration of the drug.


Please do not leave any medication in a child’s backpack, parents must hand deliver the medication to a Learning Day Care & Learning Centre staff.




Children are disciplined in a positive manner at a level that is appropriate to their actions and their age in order to promote self-discipline, ensure the health and safety of themselves and others respect for the rights of others and to protect property.


No form of corporal punishment is permitted at any Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre programs as a means of discipline.  Please see our Behaviour Management Policy for further information.


Latchkey Learning Centre has a comprehensive behavioural support policy that promotes a team approach between the family, school and other professionals.  As a matter of policy, we do not allow hitting, biting, kicking, abuse of children (self or others), abuse to staff, leaving the program without permission, non-compliance to a staff request or the physical destruction of school or Latchkey property.

We rely on the co-operation of children and families in this regard.  The program Supervisor and the Executive Director will review specific behavioral occurrences.


Child Abuse


Licensed childcare providers are mandatory reporters of child abuse.  Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre policies and procedures clearly outline the protocol for reporting suspected abusive situations.


Also, please do not come to pick up your child while under the influence of alcohol/drugs.  Although by law we must relinquish custody to you under those circumstances, please be aware that the proper authorities will be notified.



Discontinuation of Child Care Services


The Executive Director, on behalf of the Board of Directors, reserves the right to ask

       for a child’s withdrawal if:


 Repeated behavioral difficulties and lack of Parental/Custodial 

Support deems it necessary to discontinue the child’s enrollment in the program.

 Arrears in accounts past a Thirty (30) day period. The Parent or Guardian has not made payment arrangements for overdue account. In addition, your account will be sent to a collection agent. 

 Latchkey staff is not able to meet the behavioral or physical needs of the child in our day care environments/setting.

 Tardiness in picking up your child/children on 3 or more occasions.

 A Parent or Guardian displays threatening, violent, abusive, and harassing and/or any inappropriate behaviour towards any Latchkey Day Care staff.




As a non-profit Corporation, fundraising is a fact of life and a way of building community.  Throughout the school year, your program Supervisor will hold special fundraisers (Avon, Zehr’s tapes etc.)

The monies raised are used for fieldtrips, transportation costs or special craft supplies for each specific Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre program location.


Latchkey Day Care Program Safety and Security


The Management of Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre is committed to the prevention of workplace violence and harassment and is ultimately responsible for worker health and safety.  We will take whatever steps are reasonable to protect our workers and children from workplace violence and harassment from all sources.


Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre believes in the prevention of violence and promotes a violence-free workplace in which all people respect one another and work together to achieve common goals.  Any act of violence committed by or against any staff, volunteer or registered family of Latchkey Day Care is unacceptable conduct that will not be tolerated.  This policy applies to all activities that occur while on Latchkey Day Care/school property or while engaging in Latchkey Day Care business, fieldtrips or social events.


Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre will not tolerate any form of harassment under any circumstances and will actively engage staff in education and training to ensure all workplaces promote respect for all employees, children, parents, teachers and visitors.


Latchkey Day Care services may be terminated or suspended if a Parent or Guardian displays threatening, violent, abusive, harassing and/or any inappropriate behaviour towards any Latchkey Day Care staff.


Volunteers & Students on Placement


Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre believes that the placement of an Early Childhood Education student or volunteer in one of our program sites is a valuable opportunity to build experience while learning about working within a licensed childcare setting.  The needs of the children in our care are paramount therefore the quality of supervision is central to the development and maintenance of high standards of professional services.


Students and volunteers will never be considered in the staff to child ratio.  The students or volunteers will be supervised by the Latchkey Day Care program Supervisor or full-time R.E.C.E. in the child care room.  Parents will be notified when a volunteer or student on placement is present at a Latchkey Day Care program.


Latchkey Day Care welcomes the opportunity to provide for students on placement and volunteers with St. Clair College, The Greater Essex County District School Board and the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board and any other recognized Institutions of Learning, following prescribed policies and procedures.  These educational opportunities and experiences will contribute to the successful completion of their studies and provide examples of quality practices in childcare settings.


Parent Concerns

Latchkey Day Care and Learning Centre will endeavour to provide an environment that is appropriate for you and your child.  We will work in partnership with you and welcome any comments or suggestions. Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre has an open door policy to welcome you in at all times.

It is the responsibility of all Latchkey Child Care Supervisors to ensure that all parents/caregivers have access to this procedure in the result of any dissatisfaction with the service that is offered to them.

The following procedures apply:


 In the first instance, you would discuss any concerns you may have with the individual member of staff caring for your child.

 If you are not satisfied after doing so, you will be referred to the Latchkey Child Care Supervisor or designate, who will address the situation immediately.

 In the event of an unsatisfactory solution being reached at this stage you can be referred to the Executive Director or the Executive Assistant.  This referral can be either through a letter or by personal request.  An appointment will then be made for a meeting at a mutually agreed time.

 All complaints are confidential and all information will be recorded.


The Executive Director and or the Executive Assistant will acknowledge receipt of the referral and make arrangements for all information to be heard and make a decision regarding the situation.


If the Parent/Guardian is not satisfied with the decision of the Executive Director and or Executive Assistant, they may make an appointment to speak with the Board of Directors at the next regularly scheduled Board Meeting.


As per Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre policy, a Serious Occurrence may be reported to the Ministry where the complaint involves the operational, physical or safety standards of the service that is considered by the service provider to be of a serious nature.  This includes all allegations of abuse or mistreatment of children against staff or volunteers, as well as complaints made about a parent or child.


Latchkey Day Care & Learning Centre 

A great place to enhance your child’s education!