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2021-2022 Parent Handbook

Before- and After-School Programs

Table of Contents

    Greetings, AYS Families!

    Thank you for entrusting AYS with your children for the 2021-2022 school year! You can count on a year full of fun, learning and exploring new interests.

    AYS is a safe place for children during out-of-school hours, but we strive for so much more. AYS offers a variety of educational and enriching activities that complement school day learning in a more relaxed environment.

    Throughout the school year, AYS will focus on health, literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and SEL (social and emotional learning). AYS programming aligns with Indiana Afterschool Standards to ensure that participants get the most out of the time they spend in AYS, helping them to go further in school and in life.

    Your program staff members receive a great deal of training, both prior to and throughout the school year. I encourage you to communicate regularly with the staff about the aspects of the program your family loves, opportunities for improvement and any special programming considerations for your children. There will also be a formal opportunity to provide feedback in the fall through a survey. I also welcome you to observe your AYS program in action or to participate in an activity such as reading a story, sharing a skill, or playing a game.

    More than a quarter of the children served at AYS receive some type of financial assistance in order to attend. If you would like to help give other children the opportunity to participate in AYS, please consider a gift to our Ellen Clippinger Fund. Donations are accepted at www.ayskids.org/donate or call 317-283-3817 ext. 118 for more information.

    Best wishes for a great school year,

    Chrystal Struben President/CEO

    Mission, Vision, Values

    MISSION

    AYS enriches the learning and well-being of children in a safe, caring and fun environment outside of the school day.

    VISION

    AYS is the provider of choice for out-of-school time programs in central Indiana.

    VALUES

    AYS values respect, responsibility and commitment by:

    • Delivering high-quality programs
    • Nurturing individual potential in children and staff
    • Supporting families and communities

    AYS Locations

    All AYS before- and after-school locations can be found at www.ayskids.org/locations.

    Holidays

    AYS is open on all regular school days and early release days. AYS is closed on the following holidays:

    New Year’s Day
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    Presidents’ Day
    Memorial Day
    Labor Day
    Thanksgiving Day
    Day after Thanksgiving
    Christmas Eve
    Christmas Day

    COVID-19 Updates

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health orders, AYS reserves the right to review and adjust any programming, activities, field trips, or policy to ensure AYS programs are as safe as possible. Any updates or changes will be determined by consulting appropriate health professionals and government agencies. Decisions will be communicated to parents.


    Kids Go Further at AYS

    All AYS locations meet Indiana Afterschool Network quality program standards. Some locations have also received national accreditation through COA (Council on Accreditation). We adhere to the National Afterschool Association Code of Ethics. All AYS staff members are first-aid certified and pass thorough background checks. Our part-time program staff members receive at least 20 hours of professional development every school year, and Youth Development Leaders complete a minimum of 40 hours. Most importantly, AYS is a safe place, right “At Your School”. There’s time for homework, playing outdoors or in the gym, academic enrichment, social and emotional support, and a healthy snack. We believe in children having fun, making choices, and learning together.

    PROGRAM

    While all AYS programs focus on health, literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and SEL (social and emotional learning), not all programs implement the same activities. Our goal is to develop activity plans that complement each of the school communities we serve. Examples of what parents might see include free play, cooking clubs and fitness tracking to foster healthy habits; independent reading lounges, theater clubs or letter writing activities to support literacy; construction projects, science experiments and musical exercises encouraging STEM skills. Parents may also notice activities such as cooperative games, youth leadership opportunities or philanthropy and community service projects, which support SEL.

    Morning programs open at 6:30am and run until school begins. Offerings rotate and may include academic stations, free play, art activities, reading, or group activities.

    Afternoon programs start when school is dismissed and close at 6:00pm. Snack, homework time, group enrichment, outdoor or gym free play or organized group activities, and a rotation of special games, staff-led activities, and stations are offered. Please refer to daily and weekly schedules posted at your child’s program site for details.

    SNACK

    AYS serves nutritious snacks, and children are encouraged to try new foods. A snack menu is posted at your child’s program site.

    Children with food allergies must have a completed Plan of Care form (and doctor’s note if possible) on file with AYS. Staff members will work with parents to provide a suitable snack substitution when necessary.

    Some AYS programs partner with the Indiana Department of Education and offer healthy meals to all enrolled children as part of our participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP provides reimbursements for healthy meals and snacks served to children enrolled in childcare. For more information visit www.ayskids.org/cacfp.

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

    HOMEWORK

    Homework time is offered Monday through Thursday afternoons for 10-30 minutes. Children are responsible for working on school assignments independently. AYS staff members encourage children and may provide basic homework assistance when asked. AYS staff members do not provide tutoring or additional homework services. For children without homework assignments, a variety of reading materials or quiet academic-focused activities/stations are available.

    Please note: children are not allowed to return to classrooms after school is dismissed for any reason.

    PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

    Outdoor or gym free play or an organized group activity is offered during the afternoon program.

    EQUIPMENT & MATERIALS

    AYS programs have a variety of toys, games, and supplies. Please share any suggestions you may have for additional equipment or materials with your Youth Development Leader.

    ITEMS TO LEAVE AT HOME

    Each school and AYS program may have unique rules regarding types of personal items allowed within the school building. AYS families should follow guidelines set by the school as well as the AYS Youth Development Leader. AYS is not responsible for loss or destruction of personal items, including but not limited to cell phones, other electronic devices, books, games, and all other personal items.

    AYS is not responsible for covering any costs incurred due to the misuse of personal items. AYS recommends that all children leave valuables at home. If a special circumstance makes it necessary for a child to bring personal items to AYS, please make arrangements with your Youth Development Leader.

    SPECIAL NEEDS

    If your child has a special need or circumstance or requires additional assistance or accommodation, that information must be communicated and included with your enrollment application. AYS may require a parent meeting prior to your child attending the program to review the information and develop the best plan for your child. AYS may consult with its special needs consultant for assistance in developing this plan. If you have questions please call our administrative office at 317-283-3817.

    PROGRAM EXPECTATIONS

    Parent Responsibilities
    • Respectfully follow AYS and school policies including sign-in/sign-out procedures to ensure the safety of each child
    • Any changes in your child’s schedule, including withdrawals from the program, will be submitted through the online parent portal.
    • Communicate anything that may affect your child’s well-being in the program with your Youth Development Leader. This will be held in confidence.
    • Keep information about the family and child current, and communicate often with AYS staff
    • The primary guardian/parent should communicate with the Youth Development Leader any circumstances that relate directly to the care of the child in our program. Additionally, they should also communicate relevant information to the child’s other guardians, parents, or authorized pickup persons.
    • Payments will be made on-time and accounts will be kept current
    Child Responsibilities

    Listed below is the set of characteristics, known as “The AYS Way”, that each AYS student should demonstrate. These characteristics will help children develop a positive identity, more awareness, and more self-control. The AYS Way is made up of the following characteristics:

    • Adventurous: I can be brave, try new things and have fun!
    • Honest: I can tell the truth, be sincere and play fair
    • Kind: I can be friendly, forgive others and help people
    • Respectful: I can be polite, show concern for others and resolve differences
    • Responsible: I can follow the rules, do my best and set a good example

    NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
    Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
    Email: program.intake@usda.gov

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


    Enrollment

    AYS out-of-school time programs are designed for elementary school children who attend school in the district where AYS is offered. Enrollment in AYS is required for each school year. Click here to enroll today!

    Enrollment Requirements:

    1. Complete online enrollment including child and parent information, emergency and authorized pick-up contacts, and signed enrollment terms agreement

    2. Immunization record for each child

    3. Plan of Care and/or Medication Consent forms for each child (if applicable)

    4. Non-refundable enrollment fee per child

    Annual Enrollment Fee – $35 per child

    All children must be re-enrolled for each school year. All families are encouraged to enroll early and save on enrollment fees during promotional periods.

    REQUIRED ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

    Emergency Contacts & Authorized Pick-Up

    Emergency contacts, as well as persons authorized to pick your child up from the program, must be at least 18 years of age and have a photo ID ready to present. Please provide the names, relationship to the child, and phone numbers for these individuals when you enroll your child. You may change, add, or delete contacts through the online parent portal. If you believe you have an extenuating circumstance and are not able to meet the age requirement, please talk with your Youth Development Leader. A waiver may be available for older siblings in some circumstances.

    Immunizations

    AYS requires immunization records for all children in our programs. The purpose is to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable communicable diseases. These records will be kept in confidence. AYS must have a copy of any parental objection for religious reasons or a physician’s objection for medical reasons.

    Medication Consent Forms

    Parents must provide any applicable Medication Consent and/or Non-Prescription Medication Consent forms with their enrollment application. If your child must take any prescription medication during AYS program hours, parents must complete a Prescription Medication Consent form, which includes written instructions, dosage information, potential side effects for AYS to monitor, and a doctor’s signature. The medication must be provided in its original prescription bottle with the child’s name, dosage, prescribing doctor, written instructions, and expiration information. If non-prescription medication is to be administered during AYS, a Non-Prescription Medication Consent form must be completed. Medications cannot be sent with the child.

    Plan of Care

    If your child(ren) has health conditions and/or special needs, please provide details with your enrollment request. AYS may require a parent meeting to follow up on the information.

    Updating Information

    Parents are asked to keep contact information current through the online parent portal. This includes updating mailing address, email, phone, emergency contacts, or changes to individuals authorized to pick up children from AYS as soon as they are known.

    PLAN OPTIONS

    3-5 Days Per Week

    This weekly tuition plans cover children who attend AYS the majority of the school week. If your child attends a session not included in your weekly tuition plan, you will be charged a drop-in fee of $22. A minimum one-week notice is required to change schedules or withdraw. Weekly tuition payments are due no later than Friday for the upcoming week, and tuition is due regardless of your child’s attendance. Credits are not available for absences.

    1-2 Days Per Week

    Part-time weekly tuition plans cover children who attend AYS one to two days in the school week. A regular schedule should be indicated at enrollment. If your child attends a session not included in your weekly tuition plan, you will be charged a drop-in fee of $22. A minimum one-week notice is required to change schedules or withdraw. Weekly tuition payments are due no later than Friday for the upcoming week, and tuition is due regardless of your child’s attendance. Credits are not available for absences.

    Occasional-Use

    For families who wish to only use AYS occasionally, you may register your child online and schedule the days they will attend. The cost of each before- or after-school session is $22. Parents must schedule their child’s attendance at least one week in advance. Subject to availability for programs not at maximum capacity.

    Breaks-Only

    AYS offers the opportunity to enroll children in break camps to families who live in school districts where AYS break camps are held. Enrollment application must be submitted through the parent portal at least one week in advance. Enroll early to receive an Early Bird discount.

    SCHEDULE CHANGES

    Parents may request to change their child’s schedule and corresponding weekly tuition plan online through the parent portal. A minimum one-week notice is required. After September 30, a $10 change fee will be applied for each schedule change.

    A minimum one-week notice is required to withdraw your child from AYS. Parent may submit their child’s withdrawal through the parent portal. There is no fee to withdraw; however, you forfeit your child’s place in the program. In some special circumstances AYS may approve to temporarily withdraw your child and hold the spot if the return date is known and there is no waiting list for the program.

    WHEN SCHOOL IS OUT

    Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter, & Spring Break Camps

    Some AYS programs host Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring Break camps in select locations. Advance registration for each break is required and can be completed online at https://sso.reg.eleyo.com/login. For children not already enrolled in AYS for the 2021-2022 school year, an enrollment fee per child is required. AYS reserves the right to cancel a break program if minimum enrollment is not met. Stay tuned to our website for break camp pricing.

    Non-School Days

    Some AYS programs host non-school day programs in select locations. Schedules vary so be sure to check with your AYS Youth Development Leader to find out if your school district participates. Advance registration is required. There is an additional fee. Non-school days are not included in weekly tuition. AYS reserves the right to cancel a program if minimum enrollment is not met.

    Holidays

    All AYS programs are closed in observance of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day*, Presidents’ Day*, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

    *AYS will be open if school is in session to make up for a snow day.

    Snow Day/School Delays/Emergency Closure

    AYS snow day, delays, and emergency closure practices vary by school district. Please check with your Youth Development Leader for detailed information specific to your school location. Like AYS on Facebook for inclement weather updates. Visit www.ayskids.org/closings-delays for more information.

    PRIVACY

    Confidential Information Disclosure

    AYS does not sell or rent customer information to any company. As a matter of standard practice, AYS will not release confidential information or allow access to that information without prior written, signed, and dated consent that specifies the information to be disclosed, the party to whom the records are to be disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure. However, there are times when AYS may disclose at AYS’ discretion confidential information without consent if the disclosure meets one or more of the following conditions:

    AYS Official AYS staff members may disclose confidential information to other AYS staff members whom they have determined to have a legitimate interest in the information.

    Educational Institutions AYS may disclose confidential information upon request to the school, school system, or other applicable institutions so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the child’s education, safety, and/or well-being.

    Health or Safety Emergency If AYS determines there is a significant threat to the health or safety of a child or other applicable individual, AYS may disclose confidential information if disclosure of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the child or other applicable individual.

    Federal, State, and Local Officials To comply with federal and state agency audits, evaluations, and other legal requirements, AYS may disclose confidential information to authorized representatives of those agencies.

    State and Local Juvenile Justice Officials AYS may disclose information to whom the information is specially allowed to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute or other law.

    Court Order or Subpoena AYS may disclose confidential information to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. In most cases, AYS will make reasonable efforts to notify the parent of the order or subpoena.

    Lawsuit AYS may disclose confidential information in the context of a lawsuit that the child or parent brought against AYS or that AYS brought against the parent or child.

    Accrediting Agencies AYS may disclose confidential information to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.

    Media Release

    AYS uses and releases photographs, audio recordings, and/or video recordings (collectively media) taken or recorded at its programs and events for educational, instructional, and promotional purposes as determined by AYS. These items are for AYS use in broadcast and media formats now existing or created in the future. These media often include depictions of AYS children and/or parents engaged in instruction, activities, or other functions. Any such media is the sole property of AYS and may be used or disclosed by AYS for any purpose without express written consent. To withhold your consent for the disclosure of your and/or your child’s media, you must notify AYS in writing during the enrollment process. If you wish to withhold your consent for the disclosure of media of your child after registration is complete, please notify AYS in writing by sending a letter or email (from the account owner’s email) to the AYS registrar at registrar@ayskids.org. Please note that AYS will not be responsible for and cannot control media captured by individuals who are not employed by, affiliated with, or under contract with AYS. AYS will not identify children by last name in its use of media.


    Money Matters

    TUITION

    Tuition is based on the school calendar and is due regardless of your child’s attendance. Credits are not available for absences. Regular weekly tuition plans include all days that school is in session. Weekly tuition does not include breaks or non-school day programs. Tuition is due no later than Friday for the upcoming week. Please see the parent portal or your school’s location page, available on our website, for specific weekly tuition rates. A minimum one-week notice is required for any change of plan or withdrawal.

    Annual Enrollment Fee – $35 per child

    BILLING

    AYS offers the following billing options:

    1. Semester payment receive a 7% discount if paid in full by the start of the fall semester & start of the spring semester. Please email registrar@ayskids.org to set up a full semester payment.

    2. Monthly billing is processed on the first of each month or the next business day if the first falls on a holiday/weekend). Your account must be authorized for automatic payments to be eligible for monthly billing.

    3. Weekly billing is processed each Thursday, and if a balance is due, the account holder (indicated at enrollment) will receive an emailed payment reminder. Weekly tuition payments are due no later than Friday for the upcoming week, and tuition is due regardless of your child’s attendance. Credits are not available for absences.

    A single payer account is maintained by AYS. Custodial parents with shared payment obligation arrangements may request an exception in writing to AYS. Overpayment will result in an account credit. Account credits will be held for one additional semester. After that time, the credit will be forfeited.

    PAYMENT OPTIONS

    AYS offers three tuition payment options:

    1. Automatic deduction from a bank account or credit card. You may set up automatic payments through the parent portal.
    2. Online through the parent portal.
    3. Check or money order. We are unable to take payments at the program locations. If you wish to pay via check or money order, please contact the business office at registrar@ayskids.org to make arrangements.

    Please note: AYS does not accept cash.

    RETURNED PAYMENT FEE

    Returned checks and declined bank/credit card transactions will result in a $25 charge. After two returned payment charges, other payment arrangements will be required.

    LATE PAYMENTS

    Full weekly tuition is due no later than Friday for the upcoming week and is due regardless of your child’s attendance. There are no credits for absences. Late payments will result in a $10 late fee. Each week that an account is not current will result in an additional $10 late fee. Repeated late payments will result in the suspension of your participation in AYS. If your family has an emergency that may affect prompt payment, please contact 317-283-3817 or registrar@ayskids.org. Financial assistance or special payment arrangements may be available. Late payment fees are not covered by CCDF vouchers or discounted by any financial assistance program.

    LATE PICK-UP FEE

    AYS closes at 6:00pm. Anyone arriving after 6:00pm, per the AYS clock, will be charged a late pick-up fee. Within the first five minutes, an automatic flat $10 late fee is charged. After five minutes, an additional $1 per minute fee is charged.

    Example 1: If a child is picked up two minutes late, it is a flat $10 late fee.

    Example 2: If a parent/guardian arrives at 6:12pm, the charge is $10 for the first five minutes, and $7 for the additional seven minutes. The total late fee charge would be $17 (only one charge per family of multiple children).

    Late pick-up fees will be added to parents’ billing statements and are due with the next regularly scheduled payment. Repeated failure to pick up children in a timely manner will result in forfeiture of your child’s participation in AYS. If you have an emergency and will be late to pick up your child from AYS, call your Youth Development Leader as soon as possible.

    Late pick-up fees are not covered by CCDF vouchers or reduced by any financial assistance program or discount.

    DISCOUNTS

    Limit one discount per family. If you qualify for more than one, the best offer will apply.

    Multi-Child Discount

    Families with three or more children enrolled in AYS will receive an automatic 5% discount per child.

    Full Semester Payment

    AYS offers a 7% discount to parents who pay tuition in full for the entire semester. Payment must be received prior to the start of the fall or spring semester. Please contact 317-283-3817 or registrar@ayskids.org for more information.

    Military Personnel

    AYS offers a 10% discount for direct dependents of current military service members. To receive this discount, please indicate your military affiliation with enrollment. AYS defines a direct dependent as a child living in the household of the service member or a child for whom a military service member is listed as the primary or secondary payer on the AYS account.

    Partner School Personnel

    AYS offers a 25% discount for direct dependents of current partner school personnel. To receive this discount, please indicate your school affiliation with enrollment. AYS defines a direct dependent as a child living in the household of the partner school personnel or a child for whom partner school personnel is listed as the primary or secondary payer on the AYS account.

    FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

    AYS accepts CCDF vouchers and recommends that families who meet the CCDF guidelines apply. Information about CCDF eligibility and the application process can be found at www.intakechildcare.com. Please note, regular tuition payments are due until CCDF approval is received. Families with CCDF vouchers are required to swipe their Hoosier Works child care card daily at their AYS program site to record their child’s daily attendance.

    AYS Financial Assistance

    AYS offers limited financial assistance through the Ellen Clippinger Fund on a first come, first served basis. Families are required to apply for CCDF and either be wait listed or denied before they are eligible to apply for AYS financial assistance. Please contact our financial assistance coordinator for more information at registrar@ayskids.org or 317-283-3817. Please note, regular tuition payments are due until a financial assistance award decision is made.

    TAX STATEMENT

    Regular billing statements contain AYS’ Tax ID# 31-0989270. Tax statements can be accessed via your online account at https://sso.reg.eleyo.com/login. Please note, AYS will not release payment information to any person other than the account holder.

    BEREAVEMENT POLICY

    AYS offers bereavement credit to families of full-time students after the loss of an immediate family member (mother, father, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle – as described by relationship to the child). An eligible family may be credited up to three days of tuition. The family will need to contact the Registrar as soon as they are aware their student will be absent so the Youth Development Leader of the program can be informed and the account can be credited.


    Health & Safety

    AYS works with and follows all local, state, and CDC guidelines for program safety. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AYS reviews and updates its individual site safety plans on a regular basis. Please speak directly with your Youth Development Leader for information about AYS safety and our plans to keep students safe.

    SCHOOL COMMUNICATION

    AYS requires that all parents communicate their child’s AYS schedule and participation information with the appropriate school personnel. The school releases children to AYS’ supervision at the end of the school day, so it is vitally important that parents, the school, and the AYS Youth Development Leader understand each child’s schedule. Parents should provide written notice to the school office and the child’s school day teacher.

    DROP-OFF & PICK-UP

    To ensure the safety of all children, AYS requires that every child is signed in and signed out by a parent or another authorized adult each day. Children cannot be dropped off on school grounds and may not sign themselves into the program. Only persons authorized in advance may pick up a child from AYS. In the event of a custody situation, you must provide court documents showing proof of legal restrictions. Only individuals 18 years or older may be listed as authorized pick-ups. Photo ID is required until staff become familiar with faces. ID will be required if there is someone picking up that staff or substitute staff do not recognize.

    The AYS Youth Development Leader releases children for the start of the school day, and signs children into the program when school dismisses.

    In the case of an emergency where no previously authorized individuals are available to pick up the child, the parent/guardian may contact the Youth Development Leader in advance by telephone to make special arrangements. A verification will also need to be faxed or emailed. The new authorized individual must show picture ID to sign the child out.

    ACCIDENTS & INJURIES

    Accidents, injuries, and other significant occurrences may occur while your child is under AYS supervision. AYS strives to prevent these situations, but even with substantial preventative efforts taken, these events may still occur. AYS staff will notify parents if such situations occur.

    MEDICAL EMERGENCIES

    In the event of a medical emergency, AYS staff will contact emergency medical services and the parent(s) of the child. If a parent or designated substitute cannot be immediately reached, AYS will reach out to each emergency contact(s) listed until someone has been notified.

    BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT

    AYS strives to enhance the social development of each child we serve. All AYS staff and volunteers endeavor to develop positive relationships with children based on mutual trust, honesty, and respect. AYS staff and volunteers appreciate and support the uniqueness of each child and will interact with children in a positive manner including: helping them feel welcome, comfortable, and supported; engaging them; recognizing their positive accomplishments; listening to what they say; responding to them with interest, acceptance, and appreciation; sharing skills and resources to help children solve problems; involving children in programming decisions; using positive language; and encouraging children to take on leadership roles.

    AYS program policy prohibits negative approaches to child engagement, such as: corporal punishment; aversive stimuli; withholding nutrition or hydration; inflicting physical or psychological pain; demeaning, shaming, or degrading language or activities; unnecessarily punitive restrictions; forced physical exercise to eliminate behaviors; punitive work assignments; punishment by peers; and group punishment for individual behavior.

    If a child’s behavior requires discipline, AYS staff will handle the inappropriate behavior by redirecting the child to another activity, guiding them through conflict resolution, allowing space and time, and communicating with them in a way that allows them to identify feelings and develop an understanding and respect for the feelings of others. AYS staff will discuss the behavior problem with the parent(s) and complete a report as needed. If the behavior continues, the Youth Development Leader will schedule a meeting to discuss strategies for improvement. If the behavior persists, the parent(s) will be notified of a suspension or permanent removal from the program. If at any time AYS determines that the safety of any person or property is in question, AYS has the right to dismiss the child from the program immediately. If a child deliberately damages any property or equipment that AYS is responsible for, the child/parent will be responsible for the cost of replacement.

    VISITS FROM GUESTS & NON-PARENTS

    AYS believes that our programs are strengthened by greater parental involvement, and parents are encouraged to visit and participate in the program at any time during regular hours. AYS requires a parent to be present with any guests who visit their child and limits their interactions to only their child. While it may be tempting to correct or engage other children, AYS asks parents to notify AYS staff and allow them to address any concerns. AYS does not allow parents to discipline or question children who are not their own. This applies to AYS programs or activities on or off site. Failure to adhere to this policy could result in parental suspension or expulsion from the program.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, AYS requires all individuals who wish to visit a program to work directly with their Youth Development Leader to determine a safe and appropriate way for such a visit to occur. If you have any questions or concerns about visits, please speak with your Youth Development Leader.

    TRANSPORTATION

    Transportation for field trips or special situations is arranged through local agencies or school buses from the school districts AYS serves. AYS will ensure that anyone driving is at least 18 years of age and holds a valid driver’s license and that the vehicle has the proper safety features and all other items as required by Indiana law. AYS staff will be responsible for the supervision of all children while they are being transported and will continue to follow all provider eligibility standards during the transportation process. Permission slips are required for all field trips and must be signed by an authorized parent/guardian prior to the child being transported. Parents may not drop off or pick up their child(ren) while AYS is on a field trip. Any exception to this policy must be requested and approved in writing 48 hours prior to the scheduled field trip. In the event of an emergency requiring a child to be transported to another location, transportation will be arranged through the school district if possible or a transportation service. Any fees incurred in this service will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

    AYS may coordinate with other local programs to provide off-site enrichment activities. Parents must complete and sign a Field Trip Permission slip before the child can participate. Parents will be notified of field trips in advance through communications from the Youth Development Leader. AYS may or may not be able to offer alternative activities for those children who are unable to participate in the field trip.

    SAFE CONDITIONS

    The following steps will be taken to ensure the safety of children in AYS’ care:

    • Children will be actively supervised by qualified AYS staff at all times in accordance with the following Child/Staff Ratio Chart and other accreditation-based ratios as applicable but not greater than the numbers listed below:
      Age of Youngest Child in Group Maximum Number of Children Supervised by One Caregiver Maximum Number of Children in One Group
    3 Years 10 20
    4 Years 12 24
    5 Years/Kindergarten 15 30
    1st Grade and Above 20 40
    • All AYS staff members pass through an extensive screening process, including a comprehensive criminal history check, checks against the national sex offender list, a drug screen, and a negative TB test. In addition, staff participate in New Employee Orientation, receive Child Abuse Prevention training, Safety and Risk Management training, CPR/First Aid, and other ongoing trainings in crucial areas to ensure that they are qualified to work with children.
    • AYS will not provide services in areas that are being remodeled and/or repaired. The schools that AYS partners with are responsible for maintaining all interior and exterior surfaces; however, AYS staff will conduct routine and regular inspections of relevant indoor and outdoor spaces to ensure AYS is not exposing any child to an identifiable safety hazard or other unsafe conditions. These inspections include, but are not limited to, visual inspections of the relevant spaces.
    • In addition to the interior and exterior surfaces where services are provided, AYS will inspect all equipment and furnishings to ensure safe conditions. This includes making sure that there are no sharp points or jagged edges, protruding nails or wires, loose and/or rusty parts, and/or other unsafe materials. If at any point AYS staff has a concern, AYS will work diligently with school personnel to ensure all children are in a safe environment.
    • As part of AYS’ routine practices, AYS staff members clean and sanitize the areas in which AYS provides services. This includes, but is not limited to, sweeping/mopping, wiping down surfaces, discarding trash, and other regular sanitary measures. These actions occur daily, weekly, and as needed when items become soiled or contaminated.
    • AYS has worked cooperatively with the schools where AYS provides services to ensure that AYS staff members have and follow the school’s approved evacuation methods in the event of fire, severe weather emergency, or other threats. AYS conducts regular drills to ensure all children are prepared for such emergencies.
    • AYS prohibits the use of toxic substances by either the staff or the children and further prohibits the following items from AYS program sites: alcohol, guns, drugs, smoking, and violence.
    • To ensure all children are free from confusing and/or unsafe encounters with strangers, AYS does not allow strangers near children. When necessary, AYS staff will ask for the identification of any unknown individuals who are attempting to contact children. If unable to ascertain an approved purpose, AYS staff will ask them to leave the area or will contact the authorities, whichever is necessary.
    • If an AYS staff member suspects the person picking up a child to be intoxicated or impaired, AYS shall: separate the individual from the child, discourage the individual from leaving with the child, and let the individual know that if they leave with the child AYS must contact the police or school authorities pursuant to state law.

    ABUSE & NEGLECT REPORTING

    AYS staff members are considered mandatory reporters for child abuse and/or neglect. AYS staff members will, if they have a reason to suspect a child is a victim of abuse and/or neglect, notify CPS by calling the CPS hotline at 1-800-800-5556. Parents may contact Family and Social Services Administration/Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning with any questions or concerns: 402 W. Washington Street, Room W-361, Indianapolis, IN 46204, 317-234-4056 or 1-877-511-1144 or www.childcarefinder.gov.

    ILLNESS & CONTAGIOUS DISEASES

    If a child becomes ill while at AYS, a staff member will contact parents/guardians to pick up their child. Children must be picked up promptly, within one hour. If you are unable to do so, please indicate which emergency contact will be arriving to pick up your child. Children who are experiencing symptoms of illness must be kept at home. These symptoms include but are not limited to: Fever (Above 100 Degrees), Chills and/or Chills with Shaking, Loss of Taste or Smell, Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing, Cough, Congestion or Runny Nose, Sore Throat, Muscle Pain or Fatigue, Headache, Nausea, or Vomiting/Diarrhea. It is important for a child to be free from all symptoms for 24 hours before returning to any program.

    SNOW DAY/SCHOOL DELAYS/EMERGENCY CLOSURE

    AYS snow day, delays, and emergency closure practices vary by school district. Please check with your Youth Development Leader for detailed information specific to your school location. Like AYS on Facebook for inclement weather updates. Visit www.ayskids.org/ closings-delays for more information.

    Emergency Situations

    All AYS sites practice emergency drills, and AYS has implemented emergency procedures that include moving children to safe locations, checking attendance, notifying authorities, checking for injuries, and notifying parents. Evacuation procedures for persons with mobility challenges are included in the site’s emergency plan. For specific details for each location, please see the Youth Development Leader. In the event of an emergency, please contact the Youth Development Leader via text or phone call at the designated cell phone number located on the program site page. If a parent is unable to contact the Youth Development Leader during the emergency, AYS provides a secondary number that should be called. If during an emergency a parent is unable to be reached, AYS will coordinate any necessary care with the authorities until the parent is contacted.


    Connect With Us

    PARENT SURVEYS & FEEDBACK

    AYS wants to hear regularly from all the parents and children it serves. To assist in gathering feedback, AYS may conduct satisfaction surveys, self-assessments and participate in accreditation processes. Parents and children are asked to participate from time to time in these efforts. If you ever have any questions or suggestions for AYS programming, please feel free to speak directly with your AYS Youth Development Leader or contact the administrative office at 317-283-3817.

    PARENT CONFERENCES

    Parents may request a conference with their Youth Development Leader or a member of AYS’ administration as needed. AYS may request a parent conference to work with families and learn how to best serve their children. AYS asks that parents make themselves available within two business days of any request for a parent conference.

    SOCIAL MEDIA & E-NEWS

    Please follow AYS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates, news, and stories. Our E-News will keep parents informed of program happenings. The account holder email address provided during enrollment is added to our mailing list. Parents may unsubscribe at any time.

    SHARING POLICY CHANGES

    AYS strives to keep parents informed about policy changes. We may send emails and/or provide handouts at the program site to communicate any changes. Questions should be directed to your Youth Development Leader or you may call the AYS administrative office at 317-283-3817.

    VOLUNTEERING

    Do you know someone interested in volunteering at an AYS program? We welcome volunteers with special skills and interests who want to work in a positive environment where children prosper. Volunteers must be 16 years or older. A volunteer application, background check, drug screen, TB test and other requirements must be completed in advance. Please contact human resources at 317-283-3817 ext. 135 for more information.

    AYS also welcomes volunteers who are interested in serving through the board of directors and special event committees. Please contact our executive assistant at 317-283-3817 ext. 146 for more information.

    DONATIONS

    AYS, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. If you would like to make a donation, visit www.ayskids.org/donate. Thank you for helping us further our mission to enrich the learning and well-being of children in a safe, caring and fun environment outside of the school day!