Welcome to the Happy Trails Family. Happy Trails has been actively involved in child care since 1990. We are a full day educational child care program for working parents. Our mission is to enhance the physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs of young children. Your child will discover friendship and sharing while developing a positive self image. At the same time we strive to acknowledge the specific needs of each individual child. Our program encourages open lines of communication between the parent and the preschool at all times. We invite parent involvement in our many daily activities. Our door is always open and we welcome you to visit at any time. Thank You and Welcome to Our Center
Philosophy and Goals
Here at Happy Trails we are always working towards a nurturing, yet challenging environment. We are State Licensed, DES approved, on the USDA food program, participate in First Things First and The Early Inclusion Program through the Blake Foundation/Easter Seals. We have a state certified teacher on staff as well as staff with their CDA and everyone is required to continue their education. We are a center where your child will feel safe and be educationally stimulated. We provide a environment where each child can grow and learn at his or her own pace in an individual child directed classroom while enjoying fun and rewarding achievements that come with learning. Happy Trails is set up so each child has the opportunity to investigate, explore, study and discover in and outside of the classroom. Phonics, music, reading, writing, arts and crafts, games, dramatic play, science and math will all be part of your child’s daily schedule.
We believe that our program strength comes from our dedicated teachers. We support our teachers in continual training and educational resources. We are proud to say that all of our staff are CPR and First Aid Certified, have a fingerprint clearance card, TB and food handlers card. Our staff also receives at least 20 hours on continuing education classes and training.
When you visit our center our office staff will greet you. We will spend a few minutes to familiarize ourselves with you and your family . We will then take you on a tour of the classrooms and playground and introduce you to your child’s teacher. During this time feel free to ask any question so that we can better fit your family’s needs. You will then receive a packet containing important information. A family orientation that takes about 5 minutes will be done with you on your first day.
Before your child’s first day you will need to complete and return the following 24 hours in advance: emergency blue card, original copy of their current immunization records, signed Happy Trails Registration form, food program affidavit, and for infants a copy of their birth certificate and our feeding instructions.
Come Spend Time With Us
We believe it is very important for you to feel comfortable with the care we provide for your child while you are away. We have an OPEN DOOR policy. This means you are welcome at any time to stop in and visit your child or call to see how they are doing. We also encourage our parent’s to volunteer or come and spend some time in their child’s class. We also have special events where parents are invited to visit their child. Any time you are interested in these special days please let the office know.
Happy Trails will be closed the following holidays; New Year’s Eve & Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving weekend, and Christmas Eve & Day. If we decide to stay open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve we will close early. If the holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, depending on enrollment, we may be closed on that Monday or Friday respectively as well. Holidays are full tuition days.
Hours of Operation
We are open Monday through Friday from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm year round.
A registration fee of $55.00 is required when you enroll your child if only one start date is selected for the entire family. Otherwise an additional registration fee will be charged for children started after the original start date. This fee is non- refundable and must be renewed each fall on August 1st. This fee will also hold a space for your child if you are not ready to start attending. In this case a start date will be chosen and your child will be guaranteed a space in his/ her class on this day. If you fail to attend on this day and do not contact us within one week of your expected start date your space will be filled. On August 1st all families that are enrolled prior to February 1st are required to pay an annual registration fee. If an additional child was enrolled after February 1st you will only be charged $27.50. We do not refund tuition or registration fees.
Drop Off Hours
Children may not be dropped off between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. This creates a disturbance with the lunch planning and the napping schedule. If you are running late please call the office before 10:00 am so a lunch may be saved for your child and other arrangements can be made. If you must drop your child off during this time due to an appointment or other events please make arrangements with the office.
Signing In and Out Procedures
You are required to sign and clock your child in and out every time that you arrive and depart daily in the book as well as the computer. Your full signature is a requirement of State Licensing, DES, CPS and our scholarship programs. If a full signature is not present on every day of your child’s attendance DES will not reimburse Happy Trails. If this situation occurs you will be held responsible for the payment. Please walk your child to his/her classroom and release them to a teacher. This makes the transition easier on your child. When picking your child up please notify your child’s teacher that he/she is leaving.
Late Child Pick Up
We close promptly at 7:00 pm. A late fee PER CHILD left after 7:00 pm is as follows; $10.00 for the first 5 minutes and $2.00 for every for every minute thereafter will be charged and is due by closing of the next business day. DES or other child care subsidy agencies will not pick up these charges. If an emergency arises it is your responsibility to notify Happy Trails. If you are more than 30 minutes late without notifying us and we cannot reach an emergency contact we will call Child Protective Services.
Releasing Children and Family Visits
Children will only be released to their parents and those listed on the emergency blue card. All emergency contacts must present picture identification before we will release a child. If someone other than those listed on the emergency blue card will be picking up your child we must receive a letter. They must also present I.D. To ensure we are following proper court compliance, we will require court papers pertaining to the custody of your child. This information will be kept confidential and used solely for the well being of your child. Both biological and/or guardians sharing legal custody have equal rights in decision making for the child(ren) . This includes all decisions to be made in our facility including who has visitation rights while in our center and who picks the child up. If at all possible, parents need to come to a mutual decision on their own. If parents cannot agree on their chosen emergency contacts/pickups, a blue card will be issued for both parents to choose whom they allow to access their child while in our facility. The only way to override the other parent’s decision would be legal documentation specifying which guardian has full custody of the child or stating that the person in question on the blue cards is not allowed access to the child.
Tuition For Cash Paying Clients
Tuition fees are due in full on Monday for the current week. Payments are made after Wednesday, and not in full, will be charged a $6.00 late fee. Any client on a special payment schedule that does not pay on time will also be charged the late fee. If there is a problem with a payment please speak with your Director. We will make an effort to accommodate special circumstances. Child care services will be suspended for all account that are two weeks delinquent. We do not refund tuition or registration fees.
Tuition For DES Clients or other Subsidy Programs
Des clients are expected to pay the estimated amount for the current week and any balance left from the prior week in full on Monday. Payments are made after Wednesday, and not in full, will be charged a $6.00 late fee. Any client on a special payment schedule that does not pay on time will also be charged the late fee. If there is a problem with a payment please speak with your Director. We will make an effort to accommodate special circumstances. Child care services will be suspended for all account that are two weeks delinquent. We do not refund tuition or registration fees.
On your enrollment paperwork you are asked to notify us of your schedule in writing. If your child’s attendance days for one week need to be changed you are welcome to switch them around during that business week, permitting we have room and arrangements must be made with the office. An occasional day may be added if needed for our daily fee. If you need to change your child’s attendance days or program permanently it must be put in writing one week prior to the change becomes effective. If you add days or hours to your child’s schedule for 3 consecutive weeks with or without written notice your tuition and schedule will automatically change to the increased rate.
Returned Checks and Collections
Insufficient fund checks will be charged a $25.00 service fee. Your account must be paid in full, with cash, by closing of the following business day. A second receipt will not be issued. If your child care services have been terminated for any reason and your account is left with a balance we will begin our collection process. A $10.00 fee will automatically be added to your account to cover Happy Trails’ collection fees. If payment arrangements have not been made with us in a timely manner we will turn over your account to our collection agency. You are responsible for all collection fees and/or attorney’s fees incurred in clearing your balance. DES clients with unpaid balances will be turned into DES as well as our collection agency.
It is our policy to review tuition annually. However, we reserve the right to raise our tuition at any time we feel necessary. Parents will receive one month’s notice of any tuition increases.
Credit Card Billing
As of November 1, 2011 we accept Visa, Master card, and Discover. You must fill out a form to have the card charged. There is also an option to set up recurring charges. In order to stop payment of recurring charges you must fill out a stop recurring payment form in the office one week prior to stop payment date. Happy Trails will not refund a payment once it is processed. A convenience fee will be added to all credit card transactions. Please see office for more details.
Vacation and Illness Tuition Policy For Cash Paying Clients
Client’s on a 5 day program will be charged a full week’s tuition if your child attends three days or more per week. If your child attends two days or less or missed the entire week, half the regular tuition will be charged. Children on a 2 or 3 day weekly program will be charged their full weekly rate regardless of attendance. Any “unused” days cannot be used in another week but we may change attendance days during the current week.
Vacation and Illness Tuition Policy For DES Clients
DES Clients are granted 2 absent days per month per child within your allowed days. A co-payment and any additional charge is still your responsibility during these 2 days. If an entire day is missed, after your 2 allowed absences, the DES client is required to pay the full daily amount of that missed day, according to the child’s age. If a full week is missed the charge is (per child) half the weekly rate, depending on the child’s age, according to our regular cash paying schedule. See price sheet and contract.
Discounts are available for full time cash paying clients that wish to pay 4 weeks in advance. There are no discounts on holiday weeks. Please see the office for details. DES clients and FTF Scholarship clients are not eligible for any discounts due to the fact that these organizations pay the provider after the services have been rendered.
Other Fees for DES Clients
DES half days are 6 hours or less. DES full days are 6-10 hours. If a DES client is only authorized ½ days and a full day is attended they are responsible for the difference. Any child attending more than 10 hours will be charged $2.00 per hour per child. DES assigns a co-payment and parent is responsible for this co-payment and any additional charges that have been noted in this statement of services and/or your Provider/Parent/ Guardian’s Agreement.
Other Fees for Cash Clients
Our weekly tuition rate includes a 10 hour day. Any child attending more than 10 hours will be charged $2.00 per hour per child.
Registration fees and Tuition fees are non-refundable unless previously authorized by the director.
If your child will be absent for any reason, please notify the Director as soon as possible. Especially if your child is sick with a contagious illness. If Happy Trails is scheduled to pick up your school age child from public school, but you will not be needing our transportation services for that day, we need at least two hours of notification in order to prevent miscommunication. If we are not notified in a timely manner your account will be charged $3.00 per child.
Homemade Nutritious Meals
We serve well balanced home cooked meals. Happy Trails is certified by the CACFP food program and we follow all their guidelines. A menu is posted in the office and they are available upon request. Please do not bring your child their own food, this is a CACFP rule. If your child has an allergy to a certain food speak with the office and arrangements will be made. A doctor’s note will need to be brought in. Our meals are served at the following times:
Cold Breakfast 6:00-7:00 a.m.
Hot Breakfast 7:30-8:00 a.m. School age 8:00- 9:00 a.m.
Lunch 11:00-12:00 p.m.
Snack 2:00-2:30 p.m. School age 3:30-4:00 p.m.
Dinner 5:00- 6:00 p.m.
We are committed to supporting your child in establishing lifelong habits of healthy eating patterns. In keeping with this philosophy, our facility will serve meals family-style whenever possible to support children in learning to serve themselves and develop healthy relationships with food. Our role as caregivers is to provide nourishing food. The child’s role is to decide whether and how much to eat. We will never force a child to eat. We will model behaviors for healthy eating and positive body image in the presence of children by having staff members recognize the important role adults play as role models for children as they learn to live healthy lives.
Healthy eating handouts will be made available for the families at least once per year. Fruit juice will not be served to children younger than 11 months and shall not be served more than two times per week. Only 100% fruit juice with no added sugar shall be served, only four to six ounces shall be served at one time and fruit juice shall only be served with meals and snacks and not continuously throughout the day. Water will be used as the first choice for thirst and will be offered throughout the day. Information on fruit juice will be available to the families at least once per year.
Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
We are understanding of varying dietary needs. We are able to help meet the needs of the child in many different ways. If a child has an allergy or intolerance we first need a Doctor’s note for the allergy. We provide Soy Milk and Lactaid and these milks only require a parent letter stating their preference. Other milks or foods need Doctor’s permission. In certain instances components of the Happy Trails menu may be substituted for other components to meet the child’s restrictions. When more than one component must be substituted arrangements are to be made with the office and it will be determined at that time if the parents will need to bring in the entirety of the meal. If so, the procedure is as follows:
Parents will bring all meals packed (as you would for a sack lunch.) All meals for the day should be in the bag, labeled with the child’s full name and dated. You may leave your milk here if it is one you are providing (with your child’s name on it).
Birthdays and Special Celebrations
Happy Trails welcomes the celebrations of birthdays and other special events. If your child would like to celebrate with their classmates please arrange a day with your child’s teacher, all parties held at 2 pm. State law requires baked goods to be store bought and no candles please.
Our days are filled with FUN! Children should only wear PLAY CLOTHES. Due to the continuous hands-on activities children will get messy! Dress your child appropriately for the weather we are currently experiencing, shoes included. We request all children bring in a complete change of clothes that include pants, shirts, socks, and underwear. All clothing must be clearly marked with your child’s name. We are not responsible for any lost clothing items. If we send your child home with our clothes please wash and return them by the following Monday.
Treasures from Home
TOYS AND FOOD ARE ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED! Happy Trails cannot be responsible for items brought into the center from home. Please encourage your child only to bring items on show and tell day. Please label all items brought into the center. Nap time materials such as; a blanket, pillow, or a stuffed animal are always welcome. Parents are responsible to clean these items weekly.
Parents are required to supply all diapers, wipes, blankets, a change of clothes and most important all jar food and formula. The bottles must all be pre-made with caps and must be labeled with the child’s first and last name and the date. Extra formula may be kept at the center in case your child’s runs out. We are not responsible for cleaning the bottles or personal belongings.
Changes in information
Please keep us informed of any changes in home or work telephone numbers. This information is kept on your child’s emergency medical card, and will be used to notify you when necessary.
Child Accident and Emergency Procedures
We take every precaution to ensure the safety of your child. We follow all state mandated inspections of the building, playground and equipment. You may also hear about our exciting fire drills from your child. Children will be children and they will get bumps and bruises. You will receive an accident report of any incident upon picking up your child. If we feel medical attention is necessary we will notify you unless it is a life threatening emergency in which 911 will be called first. In case of a bump to the head you will be notified immediately in order to offer you an opportunity to schedule a medical appointment for your child.
Transportation For School Age Students
Transportation to and from Sunrise, Otondo and Desert Mesa elementary schools is provided at no extra charge. This includes before school drop off and after school pick up. If you fail to notify us of a change in your pick up/ drop off schedule a $3.00 change will be added to your account, per child/ per day. We do not provide transportation to/from other preschools or head starts. Transportation is also provided by us for field trips to exciting places in Yuma. Your child must be signed up on each field trip permission slip form with your full signature in order to attend the event. We cannot accept a verbal authorization. All trips are posted in advance and our school van is used for most trips, unless it is in safe walking distance. Some trips may require a small fee due before the trip.
Happy Trails will ONLY be able to administer life threatening medications prescribed by a doctor i.e. Epi pens, Benadryl, inhalers and breathing machines. We will no longer be able to apply orajel unless it is prescribed by a doctor. The only other exception is prescription diaper ointment (over the counter diaper ointments are not considered medication). To administer medication you must properly and completely fill out a medication consent form. We will administer only dated, labeled, and prescribed medications in their original bottles. All containers must have the child’s full name.
Health is an important factor at Happy Trails. Children who are ill and/or have a temp of 100 or greater may not attend the center. If your child becomes ill at school you will be notified immediately and you will be expected to pick up your child within 30 minutes. If the documented “first person to call” cannot be reached, parent/guardian will be attempted, if the guardian cannot be reached we will begin calling your emergency contacts starting at #1. Your child will be removed from his/her class and made as comfortable as possible on a cot in the front office until you arrive. If your child is sent home, they must be free of any symptoms and a fever for at least 24 hours before returning to Happy Trails, or sooner with a doctor’s note. For tuition questions please see section: Vacation and Illness Tuition Policy. If a doctor’s note is brought in we may or may not consider it to waive any tuition fees.
Here at Happy Trails are committed to providing ongoing support to breastfeeding mothers and will respect a mother’s decision to continue to breastfeed her child. In keeping with this philosophy, our facility will provide a welcoming atmosphere that encourages mothers to initiate and continue to breastfeed, even after returning to school or work. We will provide a designated place for mothers to breastfeed their child on site (such as a rocking chair) and a refrigerator will be made available for storage of expressed breast milk. Information on breastfeeding will be available to the families at least once per year.
Oral Health Education
At Happy Trails we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our students and staff in regards to tooth decay, which is an infectious disease and a serious problem among young children in Arizona. Our facility recognizes that we play an important role in preventing tooth decay and in educating children, their families and staff on tooth decay prevention. In keeping with this philosophy, our facility will provide oral health education once a month and guide our staff on steps they can take to prevent tooth decay according to the age-appropriate guidelines in the Empower Guidebook. Information on tooth decay prevention will be made available to the families at least once per year. We also participate in First Smiles where the children will be screened 3-4 times per year.
We follow age specific recommendations to limit sun exposure and we constantly check for the UV index and heat advisories. Children are limited to sun exposure during peak hours (10-4). Sunscreen will be applied by Happy Trails with written consent to the children during the months of May- September prior to outside play after nap time. It is the parent’s responsibility to apply prior to drop off. You are more than welcome to provide your children with hats and sunglasses.
When you leave us
When your family decides to terminate child care with Happy Trails, for whatever reason, a written one week (5 business days) notice is required. If you do not give proper notice you will still be held responsible for the full tuition payment of that week. The vacation and illness tuition policy does not apply here. This includes DES clients and families on scholarships as well. To avoid this situation please notify the Director in writing as soon as possible.
Happy Trails does not provide tax print outs at the end of the year. We ask that you keep all your receipts for your taxes purposes and records. We cannot go back and provide you with duplicate receipts.
Records request and release of records
If requested in writing Happy Trails will only be giving sign sheets for the current month and the prior month of care. Records will only be release to guardians/parents indicated on the Emergency Blue Card. We must follow all licensing, DES, DCS and WACOG guidelines. Please allow one full week for Happy Trails to process your request. In certain instances a court order may be necessary to release records.
Tuition and Balance inquires
If a client has a concern about their account balance it must be brought to the director’s attention immediately. Happy Trails reserves the right not to review accounts and balances prior to 60 days from the day of the request. However, if a review is completed and an error is found in the favor of the client a credit will applied to the account. If an error is found in favor of Happy Trails the balance will be added to the clients account. Refund checks will not be given.
Happy Trails carries life insurance according to state regulations R9-5-301A11. We are regulated by the Arizona Department of Health Services (502) 628-6540, 400 W. Congress, Suite 100, Tucson, AZ 85701. Inspection reports are available upon request.
We will post notice in our front entrance at least 48 hours before a pesticide application occurs on facility premises.
Conditions under which a child will not be able to attend school:
- Excessive coughing or congested wheeze
- Excessive nasal congestion or discharge
- Diarrhea (three or more your child will be sent home)
- Vomiting or fever over 100 degrees
- Chicken Pox or other communicable diseases or the presence of a rash
- Stomach Ache or Ear Ache
- Lice or the presence of nits in a child’s hair: before a child may attend the director must give permission.
- Any change in behavior such as loss of appetite, drowsiness, cranky/crying, and behavior unlike themselves.
Positive Discipline in the Right Direction
We provide our children the opportunity to explore and learn in a safe and loving environment. We look to our teachers to model appropriate behavior and to protect and preserve the children’s feelings of being capable and valuable. We use the following guidance techniques:
- We offer children choices concerning their behavior.
- We set forth consistent guidelines and regard each child as an individual.
- We give children safe limits which they can understand and recognize their feelings by their actions.
- We use redirection and time out to help the children learn the acceptable limits of their behavior.
-Physical activity will never be used as a punishment.
If our positive guidelines are not working with your child, we will notify you either by phone or in writing about your child’s behavior. We may ask to set up a conference with you and the teachers or if the Director feels it is necessary your child may be suspended. If attempts have been made to correct the inappropriate classroom behavior and your child has shown no improvement we may then ask you to find other child care arrangements.
Biting Happens! Toddlers in particular are subject to this behavior. They do so for many reasons; lack of verbal skills, teething, experimentation, and frustration. We keep literature on biting in the office that we are happy to share with the parents. Unfortunately biting can be dangerous and unpredictable. We also sent reports home to both the biter and the victim’s parent and calls are made when we feel it is necessary. If your child bites three times in an excessive and serious manner we will require a parent conference with you immediately. If we decide together to work on this behavior a confidential individualized action plan will be put into effect. If we cannot break this behavior you will be asked to make other care arrangements. Any child ages three and up will be sent home immediately for biting.
Other Reasons for Termination of Child Care
- Non- payment of tuition fees and/or lack of adherence to our tuition payment policies.
- Lack of cooperation from parents with the program’s efforts to resolve differences and/ or meet the child’s needs through parent and staff conferences.
- Abusive behavior and/ or verbal threats by parents toward staff or other parents. Unnecessary rudeness to staff will result in immediate termination.
- Parents discipline, in any way, children other than their own while at the center or parents disciplining their own child in any way the staff feels is abusive.
- A stop in attendance with no explanation for longer than a week unless contact has been made between the client and Happy Trails.
- Any policy broken will constitute immediate termination.
We at are committed to furthering staff knowledge on the Empower Program and Empower topic areas, including: physical activity, nutrition, oral health and tobacco. In keeping with this philosophy, our facility will make sure that staff receive or attend three hours of training annually, on age-appropriate topics pertaining to: physical activity, nutrition, oral health and tobacco education. All trainings shall be documented and records will be readily available.
Smoke Free Campus
Happy Trails is committed to supporting the efforts of the Arizona Smokers' Helpline (ASHLine) to help staff and parents quit tobacco. In keeping with this philosophy and to protect the health of our children, their families and our staff, our facility will promote the ASHLine information on the dangers of second- and third-hand smoke by placing them in a visible spot at least once per year so parents and staff can see them. We will also refer parents, when possible, to ASHLine. We at Happy Trails are committed to providing a smoke-free environment for children and staff due to acknowledged hazards arising from exposure to second-hand smoke. In keeping with this philosophy, our facility will notify all employees, families and visitors of the smoke-free policy. Appropriate signage will be posted.
In all classrooms we encourage and promote at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. This includes teacher directed, free play, indoor, outdoor, moderate and vigorous activities. We limit sedentary activity to no more than 60 minutes at a time (not including nap time). Children are occasionally aloud a “movie day” but no more than 3 hours per week. Information on screen time will be made available to the families at least once per year.
We offer an environment that is warm and soothing with music and developmentally appropriate toys and activities. Our teachers are loving and attentive to the needs of our babies. Each infant has an individualized plan that will be developed by the parent. The children will spend time on their tummies, in swings, high chairs, exer-saucers, being held, and exposed to a variety of stimuli. The children are read to, sung to, and their day is narrated by the teachers. Their days are full of love and snuggles.
Our toddlers are busy all day long. Our energetic teachers help build an ideal environment for your child to learn and grow. Toddlers are beginning to think about their actions, solve problems, and understand language. Our teachers will engage your child with different activities such as jumping, rolling, touching walking and climbing. We also work on self discipline, life skills, and table manners. Your child will be introduced to colors, numbers, shapes, and lots of hands on art as well as singing, dancing, and motor development. In our twos room, with your support, we will begin to potty train. Our teachers are expert potty trainers and will help you throughout the process.
In this program children are given the opportunity to discover and explore in a rich child centered environment. Your child will delight in a wide variety of activities that will strengthen social, cognitive and motor skills. Creative music, books, and art help develop skills that will enhance future school experiences. Your child will be introduced to our phonics program, enabling him/her to develop vocabulary, reading and writing skills that will last a lifetime. We will stimulate your child with hands on introductory math and science. Our program helps develop friendships and other important life skills. Our four/ five year old room focuses on kindergarten readiness and we put on a very elaborate graduation at the end of every preschool year.
During the school year we provide the children with a safe, fun filled environment. We provide care both before and after school and on your child’s Elementary School vacation time. The children will play sports and games. We go on field trips like swimming, bowling, and the movies. We also introduce them to cooking and intensive arts and crafts. We keep the children very busy during the day so there is no need for Electronic games, cell phones, cameras, laptops, ipods, or other electronic devices. Ask the teacher before you bring anything in from home. Don’t miss the fun!
As part of our program your child’s teacher will conduct a screening to help assess where your child is developmentally and if we need to modify our curriculum into order to assist them to reach milestones. The screen tool we use is call ASQ-3. We will do one screening shortly after your child starts, annually, as a follow up if scores are low or anytime in between if we feel necessary or at the parents request. A summary of the screening will be shared with you in the form of a parent conference.
A conference may be requested at any time by the parent, teacher or director. We will hold annual conferences between May and June to discuss your child’s progress, please sign up in the office if interested. A conference will also be done with you after your child’s ASQ screening.