Health and Safety

Illness

The center’s staff members make every effort to prevent the spread of disease. This includes frequent hand washing (children and teachers) and instruction in hygiene, which significantly minimizes the spread of germs. The center also takes great care to disinfect diaper-changing areas after each use.

The following guidelines are set to protect your child as well as others from contagious illness. We realize that this can sometimes be an inconvenience for working parents, but we know you understand the necessity for such a policy. When children become ill while at the center, parents are called. The child will rest on a mat in the reception area while waiting to be picked up. Children who have been contagiously ill are required to have been fever free for 24 hours before returning to the center. Guidelines for Illness at School are available on our Web site. This chart is an excellent tool for parents to use to determine when children should stay home, and when they should return to school.

You will be notified (and your child must be picked up from the center within 30 minutes) if any of the following conditions occur:

  • Fever (over 100 degrees under arm)
  • Diarrhea (2 times successively, watery)
  • Vomiting
  • Head Lice
  • Infectious skin disorders, such as ringworm, pink eye, etc.
  • Communicable diseases, such as chicken pox or measles
  • Any other conditions deemed necessary by the director for the well-being of your child and the other children enrolled

Medication

When your child needs to take medicine at the center, the following procedures are required:

  1. Sign-in medicine daily, or leave permission for “as needed” medication that you leave at the center.
  2. All medication belongs in the cabinet marked “medications.” For medication that needs to be refrigerated, there is a container marked “medication” in the kitchen. Please give the initial dose of any medication your child has not had before to check for a reaction.
  3. All medication must be in the original container, labeled with the child’s name and the date it is brought to the center. Prescription medication must include dosage instructions and child's name. Expired medication will not be administered.
  4. The dosages on the medication label will be followed unless a doctor’s note states other instructions.
  5. We ask that parents administer the first dosage of any medication in case of reaction.
  6. Diaper cream, sunscreen and bug spray can be provided by parent.  Parents should apply sunscreen and bug spray in the morning prior to arrival for morning outside play.  Teachers will re-apply after naptime.

Immunizations

Each child enrolled must meet applicable immunization requirements specified by the Texas Department of Health Immunization Requirements in Texas. All immunizations required for the child’s age must be completed by the date of admission. Current immunization requirements can be found online.

We encourage our staff to have up-to-date immunizations for vaccine preventable diseases. Just as parents are allowed to exempt their children from immunizations for reasons of conscience/religious or for medical reasons, our staff are also allowed to exempt themselves.

Vision and Hearing Screening

The Special Senses and Communication Disorders Act requires a screening or professional exam for possible vision and hearing problems. This screening must be conducted by a licensed or certified screener or health-care professional. All children who are four years old by September 1 of each year must be screened within 120 calendar days. First-time enrollees who are four years old or older by September 1 of each year may also present evidence of a screening conducted within one year prior to enrollment. You may refer to Texas Health and Safety Code, section 36.011, for specifics on vision and hearing screening. You may access vision and hearing screening information online.

Clothing

Safety is our primary concern. Shoes should be appropriate for running and climbing. Please do not bring your child in cowboy boots, flimsy sandals or flip flops. They are unsafe on the playground. Jewelry is not permitted, with the exception of small stud earrings that cannot catch on clothing and playground equipment.

Parents are responsible for keeping extra weather-appropriate clothes in their child’s cubby. This is particularly important for those children who are toilet training, but is also required for all children in case of accidental food, water, or creative project spills.

Our classrooms provide numerous props and opportunities for safe and creative dress-up play however we request that you do not bring your child to the center wearing makeup because of the disruption it creates among peers. If any of these policies conflict with your cultural practices please discuss your wishes with your child’s teacher.

Cold Weather

Outdoor play is an important part of the curriculum and is essential to children’s health. The children will go outside as scheduled unless it is raining, or the temperature is below 40 degrees on the playground thermometer.

The center will be closed when the university is closed due to inclement weather.

Accidents and Emergencies

Children are supervised carefully at all times at the center. In the event of an emergency, the child’s parents are contacted. When parents are unavailable, center administration notifies alternate contacts from the child’s files. If no one can be reached, the center calls the child’s physician to determine what action should be taken. If the emergency requires immediate medical attention, the center calls EMS to transport the child to Dell Children’s Hospital.

Under opinions issued by the Attorney General of Texas, state agencies cannot purchase insurance coverage unless the establish liability by common law or the Texas Tort Claim Act. In accordance with this ruling, The University of Texas at Austin Child Development Center cannot purchase any insurance coverage for children attending the center. Parents need to provide insurance for their children.

Emergency Evacuations

If the centers need to evacuate out of the area, the Comal Center will proceed to the Alamo Recreation Center at 2100 Alamo Street or the San Jacinto Center depending on the area of campus we need to evacuate from. The San Jacinto Center will proceed to Clark Field or the Comal Center depending on the area of campus we need to evacuate from. The Capitol Complex location will evacuate to the Stephen F. Austin building. Communication will be maintained by e-mail and cell phones. Each Center has an emergency evacuation book with parent contact information.

Emergency Drills

The program has policies and procedures for emergencies, such as fires, storms, etc. Each staff member is aware of these procedures to insure the children’s safety. Drills are staged regularly. Evacuation plans are posted in each room. There is always a staff member present with CPR and first aid training.

Firearms / Other Weapons

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Care Licensing forbids firearms or other weapons to be on the premises unless being carried by a law enforcement officials who are trained and certified to carry a firearm on duty.

Gang Free Zone

Under the Texas Penal code any area within 100 feet of a child-care center is considered a gang-free zone. Please inform the administration if you know of gang related activity near our centers.

Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse

  • Annual training for staff on child abuse and neglect
  • Daily health checks for sign of abuse or neglect
  • “Keeping Children Safe” flyer posted for parents and families
  • Texas law requires caregivers to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or law enforcement. Call 1-800-252-5400 to make confidential reports. Failure to report suspected abuse or neglect is a crim. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against caregivers who make reports in good faith.

Infant Safe Sleep Policy

The center will follow Safe Sleep recommendations from Child Care Licensing, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission for infants to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome. Parents can review information on Safe Sleep and reducing the risk of SIDS/SUIDS at https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Safe-Sleep-for-Babies.aspx.

Child Release Policy

Children are released only to parents, guardians, or other adults listed on the enrollment form. Children will not be released to other persons unless written permission is given. If a person is unfamiliar to the staff, a driver’s license is required for identification.